My dear Hitch: there has been much wild talk, among the believers, about your impending embrace of the sacred and the supernatural. This is of course insane. But I still hope to convert you, by sheer force of zealotry, to my own persuasion: agnosticism. In your seminal book, God Is Not Great, you put very little distance between the agnostic and the atheist; and what divides you and me (to quote Nabokov yet again) is a rut that any frog could straddle. “The measure of an education,” you write elsewhere, “is that you acquire some idea of the extent of your ignorance.” And that’s all that “agnosticism” really means: it is an acknowledgment of ignorance. Such a fractional shift (and I know you won’t make it) would seem to me consonant with your character – with your acceptance of inconsistencies and contradictions, with your intellectual romanticism, and with your love of life, which I have come to regard as superior to my own.
Sam Harris on The Credibility of Biblical Miracles
Harris completely destroys the logic behind believing in Christianity within four minutes.
The entire two hour debate which features Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Dan Dennett going head to head with Dinesh D’Souza, Shmuley Boteach and Nassim Taleb with Robert Wright taking a neutral stance on the existence of God can be viewed here (*warning the full debate link has audio problems).
My journey from doubt to denial is summed up perfectly in these four minutes from the almighty Mr. Sam Harris. This is why I changed my mind, my life, my future, my outlook, my dreams, my hopes, (some of) my friendships, my gods. This is it, and I am ever grateful and thankful.
Anything eternal is probably intolerable. One thing that makes the atheist position intellectually, and in some ways morally, superior is that we accept conclusions on the basis of reason and evidence that are not welcome to us. We don’t want to be annihilated. We just think the overall likelihood is that we will rejoin the molecular cycle when we die. We don’t wish it to be true, but we face it.
The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that’s what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting shit dead wrong.
My very favorite Maher quote, and one of my favorite quotes of all time.
Whatever is outside our cosmos is outside our understanding and doing fine — or not — with or without us.
Source: The Huffington Post
It’s very attractive and clever, what [Rabbi] David [Wolpe] is trying to do, saying that it’s those of us who doubt the supernatural who have the failure of imagination. And good move. But there’s no one who can’t play this game. There could be an afterlife, and no God. Why not? There could be many gods, and no afterlife. There could be a God with a sense of humour, where good people went to Hell and evil people carried on as in his initial creation, ruling the roost. As Princess Leia says in Star Wars—I can quote literature and scripture, too—she wants to borrow Harrison [Ford]’s starship and he’s reluctant, and her envoy says, “She’s prepared to offer you more money than you can imagine.” And he says, “Well, I can imagine quite a lot.” I can imagine quite a lot, too… It’s not a failure of imagination to say that this use of imagination is perverse. Neither Sam [Harris] nor I have said that it’s impossible for there to be a post-life existence. We just say it’s not knowable.
Christopher Hitchens, http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/?bcpid=533363107&bctid=802338105001 (via cocknbull)
It is so good to see Hitch is still absolutely on his game.