See if you can pick which is worse between the following pairs: a traffic jam or an ice cream cone, a root canal or a three day weekend, chickenpox or Super Bowl tickets. Fairly easy, right?
But Sam Harris can’t always pick between such obvious options….
By 2006, Sam Harris, an outspoken atheist, had already written The End of Faith in which he condemned all religion, Christianity, in particular. In September of that year, his book Letter to a Christian Nation was set to be published, so he was interviewed by The Sun’s Bethany Saltman about his views.
While Saltman is also a self-professed unbeliever, she clearly lacks Harris’ frothing (and irrational?) hatred of faith. Here is an abbreviated transcript of their dialogue:
Saltman: Isn’t religion a natural outgrowth of human nature?
Harris: It almost certainly is. But everything we do is a natural outgrowth of human nature. Genocide is. Rape is. No one would ever think of arguing that this makes genocide or rape a necessary feature of a civilized society.
Saltman: Your analogy between organized religion and rape is pretty inflammatory. Is that intentional?
Harris: I can be even more inflammatory than that. If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion. I think more people are dying as a result of our religious myths than as a result of any other ideology.
Most would think rape is far worse than religion…including the religions they don’t agree with! But Harris hates the idea of God so much he’d rather have sexual violence as a part of the human landscape than religion. Sad.
Click here for the online report.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)