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Post08 Oct 2014

For those of you who prefer the other side of religion ... there are a lot of interesting threads to explore here, Project Reason is a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. They have their own online forum which is a good resource.

I don't know the work of Sam Harris but he seems both to be very clear minded but have a thankfully active sense of humour. I like this quote which applies to Bible Belt America ...
“The God that our neighbors believe in is essentially an invisible person. He’s a creator deity, who created the universe to have a relationship with one species of primates — lucky us. And he’s got galaxy upon galaxy to attend to, but he’s especially concerned with what we do, and he’s especially concerned with what we do while naked.”

Project Reason is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. We seek to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy through a variety of interrelated projects. The foundation can convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific studies and opinion polls, hold contests, publish original research, award grants to other charitable organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world.

While Project Reason is devoted to fostering critical thinking generally, we believe that religious ideas require a special focus. Both science and the arts are built upon cultures of vigorous self-criticism; religious discourse is not. As a result, religious dogmatism still reigns unchallenged in almost every society on earth—dividing humanity from itself, inflaming conflict, preventing wise public policy, and diverting scarce resources. One of the primary goals of Project Reason is to change this increasingly unhealthy status quo.
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Pink Panther

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Post08 Oct 2014

I have read and heard quite a bit of Sam Harris. He’s what we call ”a public intellectual”.

He can be brilliant, clear and concise but at other times he can be too clever for his own good. It may be like an author or a rock band that have been contracted to put work out on a calendar basis so not everything said or written can be as good as work that got them the contract in the first place?

I mean, with a reputation for cleverness, you can’t keep saying the same clever things. You’ve got to provoke, take risks... or stop being paid.

He wrote a brilliant piece for Shambala magazine on Lin Chi’s (Japanese Zen master) quote, ”if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him” but he then wrote a real dud (as far as I was concerned) on American gun culture, basically saying there’s too many guns already out there and the only way to be safe is to have one yourself. On matters religious, he’s usually quite definite. Catch him on a good day and you’ll admire him, on a bad day you wonder what idiot gave him the stage.

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