Why Sam Harris is My Kind of New Atheist

It’s no secret to readers of this blog that Sam Harris is my personal favorite among the New Atheists. I like them all, btw. Their books are part of my Creep Library collection. I admit that the tone and polemics used by Harris in his book, The End of Faith, could be a little harsh on some people (especially those who have deep convictions with their religious and philosophical beliefs). But if readers could set aside the “irreverence” of the book then I think they would see that Harris’ take on reason and faith is not only refreshing but also ethical, relevant, and very timely.

And yet, Sam Harris seems to be an enigma for some. I understand that Harris prefers not to be called “Atheist,” but I’d like to refer to him as an “Atheist with a Twist.” I wonder if he would consider himself as an Agnostic Buddhist.

Here is Sam Harris’ infamous speech during the 2007 Atheist Alliance International (AAI) Conference. Now that’s what I call ballsy and fluffy 🙂

[Note: Notice the Q&A part with Dennett towards the end of the video. Is it just me or did Dennett just displayed his massive ignorance of the philosophical and phenomenological discoveries of the contemplative and mystical traditions? In any case, it’s good to know that Dennett practices Transcendental Meditation.]

UPDATE: Just received the word that Sam Harris is in the process of starting The Reason Project.

“The Reason Project will soon be a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The Reason Project will draw on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines — science, law, literature, film, journalism, information technology, etc. — to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy. It will convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific research and opinion polls, award grants to other non-profit 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.”

Nice! Harris is taking his idea (of not using the “A” word) to another level. I think I like this better than Atheist Alliance International. Very fluffy, Sam. Very fluffy!