Saturday, February 17, 2007 Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan

Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan on Faith, Religious Tolerance, Moderates, Islam, Atheism, Letter to a Christian Nation --

The other day my wife mistakenly deleted from the Tivo a program I was in the middle of watching, a back and forth involving Sam Harris (The End of Faith) and Reza Aslan (No god but God), moderated by Jonathan Kirsch (A History of the End of the World). I'm not prone to reading such books, but being somewhat familiar with Sam Harris I thought it would be interesting to see how he would do.

The program was gone from the Tivo, but BookTV sometimes makes their programs available over the internet, so I queried Google (which way I frequently find what I'm looking for more readily than by directly searching at the website of interest).

Book TV was only the second among Google's hits. The first hit turned out to be to the blog of Brian Flemming, the filmmaker who did the documentary, The God Who Wasn't There. A few posts down Flemming's blog was a link to the subject exchange between Harris and Sullivan on Beliefnet. That looked interesting so I followed the link.

I still haven't finished watching the Book TV segment, but I've read the exchange between Harris and Sullivan on Beliefnet. It's a civil exchange, and Sullivan seems to be a reasonable guy, but I thought he did a lot of eloquent sidestepping and arm waving. Shermer's bit about smart people being good at rationalizing came to mind.

To the meager extent I think any of this matters, I remain firmly sympathetic to Harris' position.

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