Yesterday I watched a wonderful ABC News, NightLine debate "Does God Have a Future?"
Participants, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Deepak Chopra (who was torn to shreds for talking nonsense) and Gene Houston (who must be relieved that she barely talked at all) took the gloves of - it was delightful.
There are so many aspects I'd love to share - but I think Sam Harris' conclusion at the 1h32m00s mark is the message for today - I have done as best I can to quote and paraphrase a summary here:
"We are really prisoners of literature right now (in our era). We are constrained to talk either explicitly about these books (the bible/koran, etc) or in some vague conformity to these books. (But, every reader of this has) more access to information, to scientific knowledge and to what is now basic common sense than any author or character of the bible and koran.
By virtue of the sheer time that they appeared in history, the worldviews of Abraham, or Moses, or Jesus, or Mohammed are more limited and backward than anybody you know or have ever met.
(To truly progress,) We need to honestly commit ourselves to a 21s Century conversation about the possibilities of human wellbeing.
(If not) We are just going to be at sea and trying to grapple with whether to pass laws about gay marriage, or ban blasphemy at the UN, or allow newspapers to print cartoons depicting Mohammed
We’ll continue to be bewildered by the relentless certainties of people who are obviously lying to themselves.”
Of course – Harris is so crisp in his delivery that my attempt to record it here rather diminishes the potency of his words. My hope is that you’ll watch the debate in full – as linked above.
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