May 18, 2018

HUMANISM IS ANTI-HUMAN:

Sam Harris and the Myth of Perfectly Rational Thought (Robert Wright, 5/17/18, Wired)

Sam Harris, one of the original members of the group dubbed the "New Atheists" (by Wired!) 12 years ago, says he doesn't like tribalism. During his recent, much-discussed debate with Vox founder Ezra Klein about race and IQ, Harris declared that tribalism "is a problem we must outgrow."

But apparently Harris doesn't think he is part of that "we." After he accused Klein of fomenting a "really indissoluble kind of tribalism" in the form of identity politics, and Klein replied that Harris exhibits his own form of tribalism, Harris said coolly, "I know I'm not thinking tribally in this respect."

Not only is Harris capable of transcending tribalism--so is his tribe! Reflecting on his debate with Klein, Harris said that his own followers care "massively about following the logic of a conversation" and probe his arguments for signs of weakness, whereas Klein's followers have more primitive concerns: "Are you making political points that are massaging the outraged parts of our brains? Do you have your hands on our amygdala and are you pushing the right buttons?"

Of the various things that critics of the New Atheists find annoying about them--and here I speak from personal experience--this ranks near the top: the air of rationalist superiority they often exude. Whereas the great mass of humankind remains mired in pernicious forms of illogical thought--chief among them, of course, religion--people like Sam Harris beckon from above: All of us, if we will just transcend our raw emotions and rank superstitions, can be like him, even if precious few of us are now.

It's ironic that the mass-murderous delusion of Rationalism is best cured by Christianity, where Hisownself demonstrated Man can't transcend his humanity.    



Posted by at May 18, 2018 4:55 AM

  

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