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Old 07-05-2020, 02:35 PM   #126
Original Position
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Re: RGT is dying. Please post something stupid we can laugh at....

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
We can reasonably assert that people in the KKK believed it was true that blacks were inferior to whites. Does their belief in the truth of the assertion imply an absence of animus? I don't think so.

As far as Harris' view of torture, he has an entire article titled "In Defense of Torture": https://samharris.org/in-defense-of-torture/. (The underlying argument is kind of an all-or-nothing argument about war, and I don't think it's particularly persuasive.)

Whether you think my description of his view as "advocating for torture" is accurate is left as an interpretation that you are welcome to disagree with.

This is why I referred festeringZit to the collective body of statements and not any particular statement. Animus towards a person or a group is sometimes overt enough that a singular statement or action is sufficient as evidence. But this is not always the case. Sometimes, it's the collective body of works that leads one to reach that conclusion.

And that's my view of Sam Harris' views of Islam. At some point, being charitable is to choose to be willfully ignorance of the available evidence.
I misspoke earlier - I don't want to deny that Sam Harris holds an animus against Islam, I think he clearly does. He is in general anti-religion, but views Islam as the worst of the major religions today. If that is all you mean to assert, I agree. Claiming he is Islamophobic (as defined by Greenwald) is to also assert that he is irrational in these attitudes and beliefs.

I view it as rational to hold animus against evil religions that harm humanity. So the question is whether it is rational to believe that Islam is an evil religion that harms humanity. Harris argues yes, and has written many books, articles etc to making this argument. However, you think it is fair to ignore all these arguments defending the rationality of his position and assume bad faith because Harris also bites the bullet on some obvious implications of act consequentialism. Huh?

Granting the rationality of Harris's views doesn't mean that they lead to moral outcomes or shouldn't be opposed, let alone that they should be accepted (I reject many views I regard as rational). In particular, I've always disagreed with the anti-religion views of the New Atheists, but the arguments they've put forward are arguments of reason and should be responded to as such. That means constructing and responding to the best version of these arguments, not just smearing them as based on icky emotions we disapprove of and using that as an excuse to ignore them.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:46 AM   #127
Aaron W.
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Re: RGT is dying. Please post something stupid we can laugh at....

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
I misspoke earlier - I don't want to deny that Sam Harris holds an animus against Islam, I think he clearly does. He is in general anti-religion, but views Islam as the worst of the major religions today. If that is all you mean to assert, I agree. Claiming he is Islamophobic (as defined by Greenwald) is to also assert that he is irrational in these attitudes and beliefs.
I never adopted Greenwald's definition. I can reject his definition while accepting his general presentation of Harris' views. Here is the explicit definition he uses:

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The meaning of "Islamophobia" is every bit as clear as "anti-semitism" or "racism" or "sexism" and all sorts of familiar, related concepts. It signifies (1) irrational condemnations of all members of a group or the group itself based on the bad acts of specific individuals in that group; (2) a disproportionate fixation on that group for sins committed at least to an equal extent by many other groups, especially one's own; and/or (3) sweeping claims about the members of that group unjustified by their actual individual acts and beliefs.
You seem to be criticizing point (1) of the definition. Can you elaborate further? Are you saying that the generalizations he has used are rational? Or that you should charitably accept them as rational?

For example (emphasis mine):

https://samharris.org/the-reality-of-islam/

Quote:
The truth about Islam is as politically incorrect as it is terrifying: Islam is all fringe and no center. In Islam, we confront a civilization with an arrested history. It is as though a portal in time has opened, and the Christians of the 14th century are pouring into our world.
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