Monday, September 11, 2006

A Plea for the Rational

I don't normally do link-based posts but for this I shall make an exception. I really urge you to listen to this presentation at Pop!Tech 2005 by Sam Harris on The Future of Ideas. This is a half hour talk which rationally, carefully and in a considered manner takes a look at religious belief from a very unemotional perspective and analyses its effect upon us all, believer and aetheist. I will write more on this when I have properly formulated my own response, but in the meantime it's one the best speeches and pleas for common sense I have heard.

The presentation is distributed via the fabulous www.itconversations.com, which despite its rather technical URL, is an excellent collection of content from seminars, radio shows etc. which would be of interest to anyone living in this technological age.

2 Comments:

Blogger Stuart Berman said...

I found his podcast poorly reasoned and arrogant. He explicitly renounces tolerance since he possesses a higher truth. Unfortunately he uses a rational veneer to posit a very irrational position.

Cheers.

3:38 am  
Blogger Mr Atrocity said...

I agree it's intolerant, but within itself I do believe it is irrational. I don't believe anything he says is inconsistent within his argument and as I now live in a country where it will soon be illegal for me criticise any religion on the grounds that they're silly, any case for a rational, by which I mean evidence based, approach to life is one I am willing to endorse. In the playground of ideas all are open to criticism and when belief systems based on dogma alone hold such sway over the lives of those who do not believe we must ask ourselves some very serious questions about our civil liberties and how these may be protected.

Thanks for your comment.

7:17 am  

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