Thursday, September 20, 2012
Ok rant time. Sam Harris is horrible. He is a moral monster who routinely uses his platform and reputation as 'rational person(tm)' to basically push the window more and more towards all out war and/or genocide. but the Atheist community has still gleefully embraced him.
<blockquote>Our panic and moral confusion were at first sublimated in attacks upon the hapless Governor Romney. I am no fan of Romney’s, and I would find the prospect of his presidency risible if it were not so depressing, but he did accurately detect the first bleats of fear in the Obama administration’s reaction to this crisis. Romney got the timing of events wrong—confusing, as many did, a statement made by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for an official government response to the murder of Americans in Libya. But the truth is that the White House struck the same note of apology, disavowing the offending speech while claiming to protect free speech in principle. It may seem a small detail, given the heat of the moment—but so is a quivering lip.</blockquote>
Harris here is willing to defend Romney, a plutocrat who views 47% of the population as unruly servants that need to be controlled and is no friend to atheists or reason, simply because he hates Muslims almost as much as Harris does. The worst part is that this is not at all the worst Harris has ever said. He has defended racial profiling, even in the face of a frelling expert telling him it's pointless, he has defended preemptive strikes, total war and nuclear strikes. If Harris had the same disdain for America he did for the Arab world he would have been on a watch list and possibly spirited away to an undisclosed location for some enhanced interrogation (which he also approves of!)
Even more liberal institutions of it, like say the ACA which is in theory A+ and all has defended him in response to the observation that "holy shit Harris is an asshole". Harris is no different from homophobes calling for an underground railroad of kidnapping. How is he accepted by even progressive atheists/atheist groups? Jeff Dee on Atheist Experience a few weeks ago basically defended Harris saying the crazy shit he said wasn't a deal breaker. Aron Ra has said similar stuff defending Penn and others. Their awful ideas and awful things they promote are not deal breakers. Because *we* are not their targets. To an atheist attacking Muslims isn't a deal breaker, it's not THAT serious to warrant exclusion. To a white financially stable able bodied man Penn's insanity is not THAT serious. Huge privilege, it is a HUGE fucking deal breaker to Arabs and Muslims and Penn's insanity is a huge deal breaker to the disabled and less wealthy or environmentally conscious. This is why I really really hate the community. The Atheist community engages in the same privilege blind support or (even worse) accommodating of bigotry because the targets aren't us. Even worse I think Harris and Penn never will be disowned as they should be, because much like how an individual is much more likely to dig their heels in and defend a bad position if it they have publicly endorsed by them, the group as a whole has endorsed these assholes for so long that we're just going to keep making excuses for them. Good money over bad, sunk costs. It is the same mentality that causes Church's to protect their priests. Rather than address these biases and blind spots Atheists are apparently just going to pretend that because they eschewed religion they are free from it, even as they defend war hawks, sexists, racists, and all around assholes.