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Does anyone listen to Sam Harris podcast, what you think about race politics, is affirmative action helping minorities or it's making race distictions bigger than it needs to be?

peststudio 5 July 30

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Not a direct takedown of Harris, but it mentions him

JeffB Level 6 July 31, 2018

If she is a real scientist then just present scientific facts, the audience can reach their own conclusions based on those facts. Why the name calling? Making me wonder her credibility.

the point is there's always someone criticizing someone else's ideas but what's important I think is that we recognize facts and reason

I'm not even sure I follow any of that. She is not a scientist and didn't claim to be one. She did give all the relevant facts as to her main point of the video. I'm sorry if this is not a troll, but it's almost like we seen two different videos.

@JeffB If she's not a scientist then what's her credibility for criticizing an area of science? Why do you think some random woman's opinion on the internet is relevant to quote? What relevant facts did she present other than her own opinions and a lot of name calling? Watch the video I posted everything this woman said has been debunked.

@peststudio sigh. If only scientist can comment on scientific ideas, then why are you asking a question on this form that has lots of not scientist.

That is besides the point, because I didn't like the video to criticize evolutionary psychology, but to give I mild criticism to Sam Harris. Since that is not obvious to you, I'm guessing that a dialog might not be possible.

What facts did she present? I believe you mentioned that rhetorically, but in the interest of dialog, I'll answer. She presented that the fact that Kevin MacDonald received a defense in a publication that Sam Harris is on the board of. She also mentioned His had on people like Charles Murry. Those are facts. Maybe you don't care. Maybe you don't think there is much of an issue. Maybe she is mischaracterizing these people and their works. But I'm not sure how you said there were no facts only opinions.

I did watch the video and it criticized her presentation of evolutionary psychology at a Skeptics convention. Maybe he has a point or not, but it was of topic. The topic bring Sam Harris.

I didn't post that video to debunk Harris, only to give to a minor place to start looking for criticism. It's not the best case against Harris, not did I present it as such. It was something I just ran across and posted. I don't think I would spend much time on Harris.

It was just strange that you didn't even seen to caught what the criticism was.

@JeffB I guess you don't seem to be able to distinguish facts and opinions, she mentioned Murray and her distaste for Murray is a matter of opinion. Bringing Murray onto the show does not automatically discredit Sam Harris. Maybe you want to read Murray's book before you make an informed decision. Although your opinion on Murray is also beside the point. You presented this video as a criticism of Harris with facts and reason and I completely failed to see the point. It is a fact Harris had Murray on the show, does this fact lead logically to Harris being a racist or there's something missing in the middle of this link, which is her opinion of Murray? If you can not logically deduct something that simple there's indeed no point in conversation. It is true not only scientists can comment on scientific ideas, but I would think when you quote someone you would quote someone with credibility not some random woman you might have met in the supermarket. But hey you are free to quote whomever you like just don't expect to be taken seriously


I do sometimes. I think he has some interesting things to say sometimes. But I find his views on Islam to be pretty messed up.

JeffB Level 6 July 31, 2018

Some people can't take criticism of some topics without automatically labeling someone. There are plenty of public figures who criticize things that unfairly get labeled all the time. Some are considered right wing racists when 90% of their platform that they speak on is liberal. It's ridiculous. People can't seem to separate criticism of an idea or situation with actual racism or sexism or whatever-ism you want to insert here. People seem to just react or conflate without actually trying to understand an argument. Sometimes it's warranted, but sometimes it's just a knee jerk reaction.

Joe Rogan just had a podcast with Dr. Debra Soh. She was a sex researcher and neuroscientist. She explains the biological differences between men and women. She has done extensive research on the topic, yet there are people out there that call her all types of names because they think she's transphobic just because she explains the science between the two sexes and it doesn't fit into a "non-transphobic" narrative.

People do this with Sam Harris too.

People have done it with Joe Rogan. People have called him all sorts of names and called him a right winger etc., but his platform and beliefs are much closer to being a liberal than a conservative. I would say it's not even close either.


I listen to and enjoy some of his books and podcasts. Some other stuff can be cringy. And some, taking bits out of context, paint him to be just the worst. Some of the more cringy bits, I listen through simply for the understanding another mindset. Then I move on. I think he gets a bad wrap, and I think he feeds into it whether intentional or not I'm not sure. Mainly, I guess I'm saying I'm not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


I listen to and enjoy some of his books and podcasts. Some other stuff can be cringy. And some, taking bits out of context, paint him to be just the worst. Some of the more cringy bits, I listen through simply for the understanding another mindset. Then I move on. I think he gets a bad wrap, and I think he feeds into it whether intentional or not I'm not sure. Mainly, I guess I'm saying I'm not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


I have a general distrust of people. If given the option to be racist and sexist people will too often be just that. I support affirmative action. Sam is no expert on this,and all, topics


If you look at race based statistics minorities are treated worse in almost every arena measured, not only employment. The concept that everyone should just treat everyone fairly without political intervention is naieve idealism at best and justifying racism at worst. In areas outside employment that don't have racial regulations in place regarding equality minorities are constantly treated worse, so why would anyone consider that the cause of "racial distinctions" (aka racism) is affirmative action? Is the claim that affirmative action created racism or that it's keeping it going? Far too many people are racist, and people pointing out laws trying to combat it as the cause of racism are simply full of shit.

I am a middle aged white male with an above average salary in Florida with literally zero black friends. I actually benefit from systemic racism and would further without affirmative action in place. The issue I have is that if you look at the evidence and statistics, the idea that affirmative action is part of the problem is fucking offensive if you give half a shit about data and the truth. I don't listen to Sam Harris, but if he spends his time shooting down affirmative action over any other myriad of racial problems, he's an ignorant or dishonest racist and nobody else should listen to him either.


Sam Harris is a Western chauvinist. I hate Islamic fanaticism also, but Sam Harris overlooks the West's role in making it grow into the monster that it is and in continually using it for the West's own imperialist purposes.

Why a chauvinist lol, I'm not aware of his views on gender equality

@peststudio Not a gender chauvinist but a cultural one.

@Krish55 I don't think he is condescending towards every other culture that's not Western, and even when it comes to Islamism he treats it the same as he treats Christians, he is always subjective to the facts.

@peststudio He ignores the role of Western imperialism in nurturing and spawning Islamic fanaticism. He ignores the role of economic injustice in creating conditions that prompt religious fundamentalism.

@Krish55 It still doesn't justify calling him a chauvinist though, by definition a cultural chauvinist thinks his own culture is more superior than every other culture, that certainly is not Sam Harris. Religious fundamentalism is ingrained in the religion itself, the west didn't create the word jihaddist.

@peststudio You are right. But it was the West that fed the jihadist bulldogs red meat, creating the problem we have now. Harris ignores the role of imperialism in creating the wealth that made the Western Enlightenment possible. He ignores the links between economic injustice/Western imperialism and the instability that promotes fundamentalism and jihadism.


As long as there is racism in society and in institutions, and as long as the effects of racism persists, there will be race politics.


I'm Canadian play hockey, drink beer, and be polite and the only colour I see is red and white.


I'm not a huge fan of Harris. Some of his views are good, but some are pretty bad. I haven't listened to the last podcast with Coleman Hughes, but as far as I know Harris is against affirmative action. The problem I have/had with his views on this topic is that he seems to think that there is an easy answer to this. You can't argue about this point, you need to look at the statistics. In an area (or country) where affirmative action was implemented, did it lead to positive or negative outcomes? That is the only question that matters, not how some people judge these policies from their biased opinion. Harris unfortunately focuses his attention on the latter. But maybe he is more reasonable on his latest podcast. I, for one, have lost my interest in his opinion long ago.

Dietl Level 7 July 31, 2018

I think one of the point they are making on this podcast is that all those political acts are turning people against the lefts, thus creating the situation of Donald Trump, rather unfortunately

I think that affirmative action turning some people against the left is a fair point to make, if it is supported by some data, like opinion polls. From a moral standpoint I think it is still problematic. A parallel example would be slavery. 200 years ago, should you stop doing anything against slavery just because it might turn somebody against you? Should you stop proclaiming your ideas just because some racists won't vote for you anymore? Change only happens if you do something aabout it and I think racism in the USA is still an issue. My question to Harris would be "What are your solutions?" Maybe economic equality, by which I mean helping poor people in general, in the long run helps abolish the racial inequalities, maybe. Maybe not.
Regarding the creation of the whole Trump debacle, I think it is a bit of an overstatement to lay the whole blame on the left, specifically affirmative action, when the right has been campaigning against science, education and a fair society for decades. It is a bit more complex than that, is what I'm trying to say.


I think speaking idealistically, yes it would be great if there was no need but let's get real. Minority sounding names get looked at differently. Disparities happen both in the wage Gap and in gererational wealth gap. Resumes side by side with a Ramirez vs a Chan, are viewed differently. Johnson vs Weissman are veiwed differently. In the linked podcast, not once was the population of Hispanics/Latinos brought up. 17% of the population is omitted. Why not? I'm curious about your opinion on that. To have a binary conversation about race in "Beyond the Politics of Race" is an interesting omission. Roughly 47 million American citizens. But the only viable time Hispanics are discussed is when we are being labeled "immigrants" or worse, "illegal aliens". Thoughts?

Obviously there exists inequalities between how different races are treated in the society, the point Sam is trying to make is not to deny that but to propose the question if dealing with those issues with political means is the best way, does it help elevate those discriminations or does it actually drawing people's attention more on racial differences than necessary. Wouldn't it be better to not pay attention to race when we look at a person at all but base solely on their qualities as a human

@peststudio I think the conversation is more so about having the ability to address the actual issues without being called at racist. Sensibilities, not omission of. How do you tell black people that most crimes are done by black people, to black people without it seemly being conveyed as racist. The point made regarding "Redlining" holds presedence historically and I agree with Hughes regarding the admission process changes to income gaps versus ethnicity.The conversation of cultural influence regarding the importance of educating someone on fiscal responsibility is more than true but what is missing is the difficulties of assimulation to American culture or the reality of generational growth limitations via culture. The culture of self limited success is what's being discussed but it's being discussed as self inflicted instead of systemically taught and limiting. As a 2nd generation immigrant, myself, I see the processes of struggle that first generation immigrants have and I also see the success that 3rd and 4th generations have. But it's based on a progressive educational curve. But I thank you for the discussion. I do like Sam, and Hughes brings up some interesting, yet limited perspectives.


I love Sam, he always makes some really interesting points, and he never seems to get angry, he's alway calm. Even when he disagrees with someone.
Some of his debates I've seen were very good.


Came across this from a post in the Philosophy & Meaning forum, just a moment ago ... check it out.
134 - Beyond the Politics of Race A Conversation with Coleman Hughes

Yep just listened to this yesterday


I've listened quite a bit of Sam's stuff and I think he has several good points on the topic of Identity Politics. There was a time when affirmative action helped minorities in the US, but imo i think it has become an overall negative. From Asian students being penalized on their SAT's to A. Action students not being able to make it in the colleges the get into. It has a "check the box" kind of policy that is prioritized more than how well one can do in the position.


Sam is a fave. he is all about reason. "identity affiliation" interferes with all reason. 'Tis sad we are still so programmed to be tribal.

JacarC Level 8 July 31, 2018
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