Sam Harris, author of “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason” and “Letter to a Christian Nation,” has graced the LA Times with an anti-religion oped entitled: “God’s Dupes – Moderate believers give cover to religious fanatics — and are every bit as delusional”.
First of all, I have to ask, how the hell can they be, “God’s dupes”, if there is no God, as he continually argues??? And what is it about militant atheists that they can’t refrain from the insults?
Thank Gaia, there are great Christian minds out there that revel in responding to these ever increasing insults against Christianity, such as The Anchoress, and our Curmudgeon Emeritus, Francis W. Porretto of Eternity Road.
The anchoress asks the same question, I did, albeit more elegantly:
“God’s Dupes?” If you’re arguing against religion and theism why would you begin an essay by acknowledging in your title that there is a (Capital G) God and that he is a Duper who has in his grip a legion of Dupees? If you’re committed to the idea of disavowing the existance of God, any God, particularly the nefariously “Iron Age” God-of-Abraham, who has begot so many troublesome
children, dupes, why not call it, “The Dupes of Blather,” or “Gadzooks, these Dupes!”
Harris’ oped comes in the wake of Pete Stark’s (D-CA) announcement
that he does not believe in God, and is used as another opportunity to impugn the religious:
The truth is, there is not a person on Earth who has a good reason to believe that Jesus rose from the dead or that Muhammad spoke to the angel Gabriel in a cave. And yet billions of people claim to be certain about such things.
The Anchoress responds:
Many millions of people are absolutely certain that the world will end in precisely 30 years – and it will all be man’s fault – unless we start buying carbon offsets from Al Gore and David Cameron. Faith is a funny thing. As a Christian I don’t demand that anyone believe as I believe, and yet some religions – largely the secularist ones – insist that I believe as they do.
You’ll want to read her entire post. but her main point is well taken:
Harris’ essay simply shows me that religion is religion, even if people don’t want to admit it, or if they want to call it something else. Secular Humanism is a religion. So is fervent Atheism. And as religions, they are subject to fundamentalist interpretation, just like every other religion.
Who are the real dupes, here?
Our Curmudgeon Emeritus takes exception to Mr. Harris’ arguments too, in a perfectly cordial and gentlemanly way, of course:
Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter To A Christian Nation, has made it his life’s work to undermine the religious faith of as many Americans as he can possibly intimidate. Why? The reasons are unknown. They might include any number of things: abuses at the hands of religious parents, mistreatment by religious educational authorities, or his extreme dismay at discovering that Catholic high school girls don’t “put out” that easily after all. But his motivations are less interesting than his tactics. To achieve the atheization of America, Harris has chosen as his tools:
- Treating all faiths as equivalent;
- Denigrating the intelligence of religious persons;
- Impugning their honesty.
A new Lincoln walks among us! Perhaps one really can catch more flies with a gallon of gall. At any rate, Sam Harris is the right man to be the test case.
Read on with satisfaction as Fran dissects and dismisses the arguments.