I recall during my first year of college, a fellow Christian/Bible study attendee explaining to me that he just read a book by a guy who set out to disprove Christianity and in the process, realized the Bible was true and subsequently became a Christian. This author according to my Christian comrade, had completely dismantled all of the anti-Christian arguments. I was excited to hear this at the time and over the years I would hear the “Lee Strobel narrative” again and again. To this day I see it passed on as a meme (“Atheist sets out to disprove Christianity. Becomes Christian.”). But how true is it?
According to his own testimony, Lee Strobell ‘became an atheist because of high school biology (see video below). And according to wikipedia “he began investigating the Biblical claims about Christ after his wife’s conversion. Prompted by the results of his investigation, he became a Christian.” Emphasis added.
The Rubin Report finally aired with Sam Harris as the first official guest. This was a great interview and it allowed Harris to clear the air on this stances what are often taken out of context. Harris points out that many of his detractors believe to be able to plumb the depths of his mind and ‘find’ some deep-seeded malicious intent behind his words, and that this is coming from left-leaning sources (Glenn Greenwald, Cenk Uygur, Reza Azlan, etc).
I highly suggest watching the Bill Maher segment where Ben Affleck explodes into a testosterone-filled tantrum of political correctness (if you haven’t already) first.
Harris’ detractors seem to believe that these philosophical thought games are only OSTENSIBLY meant to lead us to reflect and focus on morally-charged topics (torture, religion, nuclear war) in a clear and objective manner. In REALITY he is Continue reading
I recently came across a heated debate regarding Sam Harris and his controversial views on torture. Having read the debate in earnest and having gone back to read what Harris has to say on this topic (it’s been nearly 10 years since I read End of Faith!), I believe the controversy is entangled in semantics. The most direct Harris quotes I can find:
I will now present an argument for the use of torture in rare circumstances.
Although I think that torture should remain illegal, it is not clear that having a torture provision in our laws would create as slippery a slope as many people imagine.
End of Faith
I believe I have successfully argued for the use of torture in any circumstance in which we are willing to cause collateral damage p. 199
Certainly those statements would leave a different impression on a reader than simply Continue reading
My wife and I have become fascinated with these “pre-gunpower” shows as I like to call them. Rome, The Tudors, The Borgias, Marco Polo and now Vikings (of course, these aren’t all technically pre-gunpower, but they do predate the dominance of firearms as the main source of military power among nation states). Vikings represents our latest fling.
I always enjoy the culture clash that many of these shows include. And while this isn’t an “east meets west” scenario like we see in Marco Polo or the book/mini-series Shogun, we do see a clash of religions which in many ways makes this culture clash every bit as dramatic as Blackthorne’s exposure to pre-Edo era Japan culture in Shogun. Continue reading