A link to a post by Sam Harris

Sam Harris wrote a response to a TEDx talk by the neuroscientist David Eagleman. It’s not a long post and well worth reading here: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/whither-eagleman/

While I freely admit that Sam Harris is perhaps not the most engaging speaker and his books aren’t the easiest or the most exciting the read, the man has clarity of thought second to none and his writing is exceedingly clear and concise and conveys his points masterfully.

What I’m really trying to say is that I wish, enviously, that I could think and write like him. Nigh on every sentence in his post is a gem like this one:

We simply observe, as you do, that the God of Abraham has the same empirical status as Poseidon and that the books attesting to His existence bear every sign of having been cobbled together by ignorant mortals. This is all one needs to judge Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to be incorrigible cults peddling ancient mythology.

Its true, one god has the same empirical status as another – all of them – and it doesn’t take much to see that. Which does lead one to wonder why so many can’t.

In fact, atheism (old and new) is entirely comfortable with the sentiment, famously expressed by the geneticist J.B.S. Haldane, that “the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

Anybody who has spent any amount of time looking into quantum mechanics or particle physics can tell you that the universe really is so strange it’s hard if not impossible to imagine. So strange that nobody could have imagined just how strange. And we keep finding even stranger things every day. God, just isn’t one of those things.

About the three Abrahamic religions he says:

Worse still, each rests on the premise that its holy book contains the transcribed thoughts of an omniscient Deity. A glance at the books reveals this claim to be manifestly insane, as each is barren of scientific insights and bursting with logical, factual, and moral errors


Now go read “Whither Eagleman” on Sam’s blog. (I do wish he would allow comments).