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Sam Harris, author of "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion". Photo by Jonathan Alcorn for The Washington Post That question may be imminent in the case of celeb-author Sam Harris , whose recent books attacking religion became bestsellers and fueled a deeper new look at secular ethics.
In the midst of sectarian turmoil in the Middle East, one section of Arab society rarely gets much attention: those who reject religion entirely. And yet such people do exist, their numbers appear to be growing and they are beginning to find a voice.
I noted the use of a new term "evangelical atheism" in recent article on the Daily Maverick website by a Christian whining about actions being initiated to stop government funded schools promoting themselves as "Christian" schools and abusing their secular status by proselytising one particular religious view to pupils. The author of that hypocritical diatribe clearly sees no problem with a publicly funded school, that serves a diverse local community, imposing the views of her particular religious minority cult on all pupils at the school.
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and prominent " new atheist ," who along with others like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens helped put criticism of religion at the forefront of public debate in recent years. In two previous books, "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation," Harris argued that theistic religion has no place in a world of science.
In a 2006 article for the Los Angeles Times , Sam Harris identified 10 myths about atheism, among them the idea that "atheists are closed to spiritual experience." Harris explained: "There is nothing that prevents an atheist from experiencing love, ecstasy, rapture and awe; atheists can value these experiences and seek them regularly."
I must respond to Cal Thomas' Sept. 1 column about racism. First, he writes to hate someone because of race is so incredibly stupid, yet as a Christian, his world view hates the atheist of Christianity.
Before the dispute could play out in court, the school board agreed an atheist group could distribute its pamphlets when Christian groups leave An atheist group was allowed to leave pamphlets about atheism at schools like Boone High School last year, but they claimed the district censored their views so they took it to court. That led to David Williamson and the Central Florida Free Thought Community to leave pamphlets about atheism at the same schools.
What we believe matters. It matters because our behavior is often predicated on what we believe to be true.
We also know there are known unknowns: that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know.
Our days long meta stew on atheism vs. theism can only be complete once jazzed up with the simple but potent spice of retired Congressman Barney Frank.
"Why I am not a Christian" is a book by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell which I read when I was a freshman in high school.
Updated: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:20 am
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