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Old 06-06-2017   #1
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Beliefs and Behavior

Does your belief system inform your behavior?

This is absolutely chilling. There is no middle ground here. The only solution is a Carthaginian peace. A large part of this podcast is Sam Harris reading from the ISIS propaganda recruiting magazine Dabiq.


And this is the consequence of such beliefs:


Last edited by bendk; 06-06-2017 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 06-06-2017   #2
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Well, it certainly does inform Harris', who is a well known islamophobe and hard core preacher of scientism to boot.

I am not defending terrorists with what I just wrote, but I am pointing out that Harris IS insufrible, and arrogant and in many ways not too different from the religious folks he loves to piss on. Just a different form of intolerance.

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Old 06-06-2017   #3
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
Well, it certainly does inform Harris', who is a well known islamophobe and hard core preacher of scientism to boot.

I am not defending terrorists with what I just wrote, but I am pointing out that Harris IS insufrible, and arrogant and in many ways not too different from the religious folks he loves to piss on. Just a different form of intolerance.
I would be more inclined to believe you, Karnos, if Harris wasn't reading directly from their magazine - but he is.

And appearing "arrogant" and "insufferable" may be a natural consequence when all of the demonstrable evidence is on your side.
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Old 06-06-2017   #4
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Mr. Harris is incredibly knowledgeable in the field of neuroscience and I could listen to him talk all day about anything to do with how the human mind works. But that's about where my interest in him ends. I definitely don't agree with everything he espouses, especially when it comes to politics and foreign relations. He absolutely comes off as cocky, for sure. Though, I have to imagine that it's probably hard for anyone with a high intellect to not sound that way.
That being said, I hear him labeled quite often as an islamophobe, which I don't understand. I've listened to many of his speeches and read a couple of his books and he is very critical of all religions, not just Islam. So I think that if one felt the need to slap him with a phobia related label, it would have to be Theophobe.
It seems like today that anytime anyone is critical or just outright disagrees with a religion, ideology, lifestyle choice, etc., they are inaccurately labeled with having some kind of phobia. Please don't misunderstand my statement as agreeing or disagreeing with anything in support of or against any of the above mentioned examples. I'm merely trying to objectively as possible point out the inaccurate overuse of calling someone with an opposing view a '----phobe'.
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Old 06-06-2017   #5
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Quote Originally Posted by BeelzeBob View Post
That being said, I hear him labeled quite often as an islamophobe, which I don't understand. I've listened to many of his speeches and read a couple of his books and he is very critical of all religions, not just Islam. So I think that if one felt the need to slap him with a phobia related label, it would have to be Theophobe.
Theophobe is accurate. Harris does voice more of a concern about radical Islam (for obvious reasons) but he trashes all faith-based belief systems. He also calls out both the right and left politically in equal measure for their excesses.
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Old 06-06-2017   #6
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Quote Originally Posted by bendk View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
Well, it certainly does inform Harris', who is a well known islamophobe and hard core preacher of scientism to boot.

I am not defending terrorists with what I just wrote, but I am pointing out that Harris IS insufrible, and arrogant and in many ways not too different from the religious folks he loves to piss on. Just a different form of intolerance.
I would be more inclined to believe you, Karnos, if Harris wasn't reading directly from their magazine - but he is.

And appearing "arrogant" and "insufferable" may be a natural consequence when all of the demonstrable evidence is on your side.
True, but Daesh is a radical faction within radical Islam, in no way representative of the faith in general. You cannot paint an entire ethnic/religious group with one stroke and claim they are all the same. I have no idea of Sam Harris's personal experiences with Muslims, but mine have been pretty ordinary and safe after travelling extensivelly through Morocco plus having to live among them in several Spanish cities.

Terrorism is a shameful fact of the modern world, but so are other equally repulsive practices done by folks of every creed and color.

As for Harris's arrogance, there are ample intellectuals the world over who display a sense of humility big enough to put into question Harris's cocksure attitude as a default for people with high enough iq horsepower.

Anyway, people die...
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I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
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Old 06-06-2017   #7
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
True, but Daesh is a radical faction within radical Islam, in no way representative of the faith in general. You cannot paint an entire ethnic/religious group with one stroke and claim they are all the same. I have no idea of Sam Harris's personal experiences with Muslims, but mine have been pretty ordinary and safe after travelling extensivelly through Morocco plus having to live among them in several Spanish cities.

Terrorism is a shameful fact of the modern world, but so are other equally repulsive practices done by folks of every creed and color.
I agree and so does Harris, if people took the time to listen to what he is saying. No one has suffered more than Muslims because of ISIS. Harris is just one of an increasing number of individuals that have grown impatient with faith-based belief systems and their influence on the world.

Last edited by bendk; 06-06-2017 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 06-06-2017   #8
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

I have never seen Sam Harris say anything Islamophobic. He is often misunderstood as unfortunately the far-right/Trumpists do frequently cite him as a source for their own agenda, which he goes out of his way to repeatedly dismiss as rubbish.

As for the OP's question, I would be curious if anybody disagreed that belief systems inform behaviour. It seems eminently provable.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
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Old 06-06-2017   #9
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

I generally like Harris. He said something a decade ago about Islam being "all fringe and no centre", and painted quite a scaremongering caricature of the religion, which was irresponsible and possibly quite damaging. But he's been debating this stuff constantly since then, had Muslim guests on his podcast and done that book with Maajid Nawaz. He's moved on from that earlier statement quite a bit.

The only recent thing that given me pause was his suggestion about people not being able to cover their face in a place like McDonalds. I don't know if he was actually endorsing this rule or if it was just a "what if" exploration but I think it's an awful idea.

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Old 06-06-2017   #10
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Re: Beliefs and Behavior

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
I have never seen Sam Harris say anything Islamophobic. He is often misunderstood as unfortunately the far-right/Trumpists do frequently cite him as a source for their own agenda, which he goes out of his way to repeatedly dismiss as rubbish.

As for the OP's question, I would be curious if anybody disagreed that belief systems inform behaviour. It seems eminently provable.
I think they (beliefs) do, or should (inform behaviour), but I'm constantly surprised at how inconsistent people are in this area. I'm not sure, for instance, how Harris squares his belief in determinism with the content of what he says. (There's a lot of implication that we should be acting this way or that way, but if there's no free will, there's no 'should' about it.) Or with the very fact that he tries to exercise reason and persuade. I'm not sure how you can believe you've come to a rational conclusion if you don't believe you're in control of that conclusion.

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