Religion doesn't have a corner on terrorism.


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 23, 2006 6:36:23 PM PDT
LindaT says:
If we will all take time to remember Communism, think about all of the religious people who were imprisoned and killed in Russia, Romania and (perhaps even now) in China.

I don't want to commit the error of of "pointing to another wrong" to excuse abuse in the name of religion. But let's look back to our recent past and find out that atheists can be just as mean and doctrinaire with their views as religionists.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2006 3:21:59 PM PDT
Why not point to another wrong? Further examples, properly understood, can only be illuminating. Have you ever read the Communist Manifesto? Have you read any Soviet political propaganda? It is virtually indistinguishable from theological propaganda, simply replacing "God" with "the Party". Communism is a religion, albeit one without a supernatural God. Buddhism is a religion without a God. Confucianism is a religion without a God. Taoism is a religion without a God. Is it any suprise that a Communist state would imprison and kill those who refuse to worship the Party when the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have a long hisotry of likewise persucuting unbelivers? Perhaps if people would bother to look beyond their recieved prejudices regarding atheism (that Communism and fascism are the inevitable consequences of atheism/secular humanism) they might realise that both Communism (worship of the Communist Party with the premier as prophet) and fascism (worship of the State with dictator/fuhrer/Il Duce as prophet) are both religions. Consequently, the evils committed by Communist and fascist regimes are crimes in the name of religion, although not in the name of God. They are nontheistic, rather than atheistic, religions, but religions nonetheless. They are, furthermore, religions clearly modelled on the Catholic Church, with a defined power heirarchy culminating in a leader who is the ultimate authority in all things, and from whom the lower levels derive their authority as his agents. You might want to check out The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff for a more in-depth review of the religious tone of much fascist and communist apologetics. I would also note that both fascism and communism are unapoligetically authoritarian. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are also authoritarian, and have historically demonstrated little tolerance wherever one sect is in a position of overwhelming dominance. Perhaps the problem lies not with religion or faith, but with authoritarianism. It is that attitude, peoples' learned willingness to blindly obey the dictates of their chosen authority, that poses the danger. And perhaps part of the answer lies with people of faith actually practising the humility they claim to possess.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2006 5:05:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2006 5:06:36 PM PDT
Gaetan Lion says:
To: L.L Teuling

Harris addressed your issue throughout the book. He stated it is not just Faith he is after but Dogma. He referred to communism as a sort of political religion. He mentioned Mao (and Maoism), Hitler (Nazism). And, attacked them all on the same grounds of being Dogmatic and irrational. He mentioned at some point that no country ever suffered from governance deemed to be rational. So, Harris covered your point left, right, and center.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2006 11:39:47 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 9, 2011 9:05:57 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 2:33:16 AM PDT
Josh says:
This misses the point entirely. Of course the problem with Communism and Nazism is irrational dogmatism. The point is that by abstracting from organized religion to uncritical faith as a point of attack the argument loses much of its analytic traction. Organized religion is a particular way of life. If it were true that organized religion as a way of life were largely responsible for uncritical faith, this would be a powerful observation. Teuling's point is that non-religious ways of life can be equally ideological. The idea that ideology can be dangerous is a much less contentious and much less interesting claim than the idea that organized religion can be dangerous.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 1:53:48 AM PDT
Esquid says:
There will always be greed and conflict between groups, and the urge of some to dominate others. The frightening aspect of religion is the myth that there is some afterlife, and what is more, a reward for self destructive behavior in this life that will make for a glorious afterlife and reward in some paradise of heaven.
The mutually assured destruction of the nuclear faceoff with the USSR prevented any usage of nuclear weapons on human targets, as oppressive as they might be, the Soviets were still rational and grounded in effects in this world.
The message of religion wherein the efforts of this life only matter in that which comes after, and that self destructive behavior is even beneficial to the next. Witness the "holiness" of the Christian self-flagellants, holy men that flogged themselves and let the flesh rot to obtain entry into heaven. If you think that is an ancient aberrant practice of some obscure sect, note that there are reports that Pope John Paul practiced self flagellation.
The suicide bombers are simply a more extreme example, and the thought that bringing on mass destruction including ones self can have holy purpose can only be supported by the irrationality of religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 1:40:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2012 1:48:10 AM PDT
Bruce Bain says:
.

ISSUE THE FIRST
====================

"The frightening aspect of religion is the myth that there is some afterlife, and what is more, a reward for self destructive behavior in this life that will make for a glorious afterlife and reward in some paradise of heaven."-----sentence 2 of paragraph 1, from the comment "Esquid" on Jul 27, 2012 1:53:48 AM PDT regarding the disucssion topic,
"Religion doesn't have a corner on terrorism" on Amazon.com

=================================

.

.
(1) You have failed to substantiate your assertion with facts.

(2) You have not justified what you refer to as FRIGHTENING
nor have you factually established that anything is, or ought to be regarded as FRIGHTENING in nature.

(3) You haven't established factually, the existence of a MYTH.

(4) You haven't established factually, that any MYTH exists in a Causal Relation in Nature.

.
.

ISSUE THE SECOND

==============================

"The message of religion wherein the efforts of this life only matter in that which comes after, and that self destructive behavior is even beneficial to the next."----sentence 4 of paragraph 1, from the comment "Esquid" on Jul 27, 2012 1:53:48 AM PDT regarding the disucssion topic,
"Religion doesn't have a corner on terrorism" on Amazon.com

===============================
.

.

(1) Your statement is demonstrative of the common logical error designated the Fallacy of the Dicto Simpliciter
("Sweeping Generalization"), and you have failed to provide supporting evidences to demonstrate that RELIGION teaches what you assert that it teaches.

.

.

(2) Fallacious communications are not admissible as facts, nor admissible as reasonable conclusions derived from credible premises.

.

.
.
Remember, it is incumbent upon you to offer a Logical, rather than an Illogical argument.

.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2014 12:21:54 PM PDT
And yet, as the posters above have pointed out, Communism and Fascism can be every bit as destructive even without believing in an afterlife. So Harris's claim is just factually wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2014 12:37:19 PM PDT
Here's a quote from the British Philosopher George Berkeley, which is especially relevant here, despite the archaic language.

"PHIL. Tell me, Hylas, hath every one a liberty to change the current proper signification attached to a common name in any language? For example, suppose a traveller should tell you that in a certain country men pass unhurt through the fire; and, upon explaining himself, you found he meant by the word fire that which others call WATER. Or, if he should assert that there are trees that walk upon two legs, meaning men by the term TREES. Would you think this reasonable?
HYL. No; I should think it very absurd. Common custom is the standard of propriety in language. And for any man to affect speaking improperly is to pervert the use of speech, and can never serve to a better purpose than to protract and multiply disputes, where there is no difference in opinion."

We can, of course, tar religion with many other brushes if we follow this line of reasoning. The Bloods and the Crips are religions, because they irrationally believe that wearing different colors is sufficient reason for killing each other. The 2008 depression can also be blamed on religion, because Greenspan had an irrational faith in the Free Market. This might be called "Guilt by Free Association".

Also the claim that Communism is founded on faith is just false. Marxists are great believers in rationality. They argue for hours, and base their conclusions entirely on their evaluation of the quality of those arguments. They eventually come to a consensus from those arguments and then force others to accept that consensus. But except for the higher level of brutality in the enforcement, this is not significantly different from the way consensus is reached in the sciences. A heretic Marxist is killed, a heretic scientist is denied tenure.

This is NOT a defense of communism, but an attack on Harris' description of it. The problem with Communists is not that they reject reason but that they reason BADLY and therefore end up believing things that are not the case. If we try to extend Harris' criticism of religion to Communism it becomes the utterly toothless and trivial claim that it is better to reason well than badly, and better to believe true statements than false statements. No one would have read Harris book, if that was all he was saying.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2014 6:35:05 PM PDT
Bruce Bain says:
...and in that regard, one need only look to paragraph 1 of chapter one of "The End of Faith" to see that the author begins his book with a fiction; to wit, a false statement.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Participants:  8
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Sep 23, 2006
Latest post:  Jul 11, 2014

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 1 customer

Search Customer Discussions
This discussion is about
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris (Hardcover - Aug. 2004)
4.0 out of 5 stars   (1,166)