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YouTube - Sam Harris SALT - 2 views

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    December 9th, 02005 - Sam Harris"The View From The End Of The World"This is an audio only presentation.
    This talk took place in the Conference Center Golden Gate Room, San Francisco.
    Quote:
    With gentle demeanor and tight argument, Sam Harris carried an overflow audience into the core of one of the crucial issues of our time: What makes some religions lethal? How do they employ aggressive irrationality to justify threatening and controlling non-believers as well as believers? What should be our response?
    Harris began with Christianity. In the US, Christians use irrational arguments about a soul in the 150 cells of a 3-day old human embryo to block stem cell research that might alleviate the suffering of millions. In Africa, Catholic doctrine uses tortured logic to actively discourage the use of condoms in countries ravaged by AIDS.
    "This is genocidal stupidity," Harris said. Faith trumps rational argument. Common-sense ethical intuition is blinded by religious metaphysics.
    In the US, 22% of the population are CERTAIN that Jesus is coming back in the next 50 years, and another 22% think that it's likely.
    The good news of Christ's return, though, can only occur following desperately bad news. Mushroom clouds would be welcomed. "End time thinking," Harris said, "is fundamentally hostile to creating a sustainable future."
    Harris was particularly critical of religious moderates who give cover to the fundamentalists by not challenging them. The moderates say that all is justified because religion gives people meaning in their life. "But what would they say to a guy who believes there's a diamond the size of a refrigerator buried in his backyard? The guy digs out there every Sunday with his family, cherishing the meaningthe quest gives them."
    "I've read the books," Harris said. "God is not a moderate." The Bible gives strict instructions to kill various kinds of sinners, and their relatives, and on occasion their entire towns. Yet slavery is challenged nowhere in the New or
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