Tag Archives: sam harris

How To Shift The Goalposts With Dean Obeidallah

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If you ever need a guide stick by which to measure the integrity of someone’s arguments, you could do a lot worse than familiarise yourself with the most common logical fallacies. These enable you to separate the hack from the journalist and the scholar from the apologist.

Dean Obeidallah and Sam Harris have clashed before, and it’s clear that Dean is committed to the idea that Harris is motivated solely by bigotry. Unfortunately for Dean however, he’s having a terrible time trying to demonstrate as much. Finally, in what must have seemed like the dream ‘gotcha’ moment, Dean took to the internet to accuse Harris of ‘teaming up’ with an ‘anti-Muslim hate group’ in a series of Tweets. The excitement here is palpable:

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Sam Harris Predicted Donald Trump

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Ahead of Sam Harris’s scheduled talk in Australia, the organisers of the event , ‘Think INC.’, shared the above meme on social media. Sam Harris is quoted from his 2006 essay titled ‘The End Of Liberalism’:

‘Increasingly, Americans will come to believe that the only people hard-headed enough to fight the religious lunatics of the Muslim world are the religious lunatics of the West’

Rather than heed the warnings contained within, critics of Harris opted for distortion instead – namely by spreading the lie that Harris was actually issuing a call to embrace fascism rather than decrying the empowerment of it. As Harris clarifies here:

‘The whole purpose of that essay (written in 2006) was to express my concern that the political correctness of the Left has made it taboo to even notice the menace of political Islam, leaving only right-wing fanatics to do the job. Such fanatics are, as I thought I made clear, the wrong people to do this, being nearly as bad as jihadists themselves. I was not praising fascists: I was arguing that liberal confusion and cowardice was empowering them.’

Fast forward nearly a decade and we appear to be catching a glimpse of what liberal complacency looks like in the rise of one Donald Trump. A man who sees the collective punishment of Muslims as a solution to Jihad, amongst other abhorrent views. This man isn’t just some TV rent-a-mouth, but a Presidential Candidate. If alarm bells weren’t ringing for liberals in 2006, they should be now, because the house is on fire.

This is a perfect example of how toxic the ‘nothing to do with Islam’ brigade has been on our political landscape. Whilst this collective can only insist that we needn’t be concerned about Islam, the far-right are able to mine a ceaseless supply of Islamic terror to bolster their narrative. The really bad news is that this supply won’t be decreasing any time soon either.

What is on the decline however is the number of people willing to subscribe to the head in the sand approach from the left – namely individuals who are able to see, read or listen to what’s actually going on in the world.

Without a sensible, mainstream counter-narrative, who are the uninformed, frustrated and fearful going to look to when those elected are clearly lying (at least to themselves) about the problem? It’s no surprise that some people may opt for Trump’s wrong ‘solutions’ over no clear solutions at all. Trump is at least ‘in the right ball park’ as they say Stateside, insofar as the problem is related to Islam. It’s just that he’s swinging like a lunatic and isn’t fit to play the sport.

It’s hard to estimate just how many of Donald Trump’s supporters can be explained by this phenomenon, but the answer surely has to be ‘more than enough’. It’s unlikely that Donald Trump will ever make it as far as The White House, happily. But it makes you wonder just how many warning shots liberals are willing to ignore before they decide to reclaim the stage on this issue. The consequences of my fellow liberals not being up to the task is a future reality too grave to contemplate.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

Ep#70 – Dave Rubin – The Regressive Left

Another fantastic guest on this week’s #GSPodcast. Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) from The Rubin Report joins me to discuss a whole host of topics including: Stand-up comedy, the state of American news media, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Israeli/Palestine conflict and the regressive left. Dave will also be talking about his relationship with Cenk Uygur and why Cenk has been a “genuinely bad actor” in the discussion on ‘new atheism’. I also ask to what degree being gay informs his politics and worldview.

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

Listeners get a free audiobook and trial with Audible at http://www.audibletrial.com/gs


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Taking The Myth – 04 Oct Edition

This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight and A Scotsman Abroad discuss the big topics with guest callers. Topics include: The UCC Oregon shooting, Craig Stephen Hicks and The Pope. Dean Obeidallah and The Pope are this week’s ASLAN contenders. A Scotsman Abroad also blames something on religion. We also pay our respects to Glen Carrigan. Also, correction – ‘Rand’ is a male name…

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

Listeners get a free audiobook and trial with Audible at http://www.audibletrial.com/gs


Direct Mp3 Download

Taking The Myth – 20 Sep Edition

This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight and A Scotsman Abroad discuss the big topics with guest callers. Topics include: Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz’s discussion at Harvard, Ahmed Mohamed’s ‘bomb clock’ fiasco, The Young Turks Network, The British Monarchy – specifically the controversy surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s decision not to sing along to the national anthem. We also award our second ever ASLAN Award. A Scotsman Abroad also blames something on religion.

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

Listeners get a free audiobook and trial with Audible at http://www.audibletrial.com/gs


Direct Mp3 Download

Islam And The Future Of Tolerance– A Harvard Discussion Between Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz

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Ahead of the November 3rd release of ‘Islam and the Future Of Tolerance: A Dialogue
a book collaboration between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz – both men sat down in conversation before a Harvard audience a little while ago.

I’ve always admired both men’s willingness to seek out dialogue with those who hold different, or even wildly opposing worldviews. Actual dialogue mind you, not point scoring and inflammatory rhetoric, but a genuine, civil exchange of ideas. I’ve become somewhat disillusioned with the typical debate format over the years. Often, a truly valuable opportunity can be sacrificed in the pursuit of victory. The debate format is engineered around ‘winning’, not investigating truths or finding common ground.

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