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Anyone else here feel like Sam Harris is a Trojan horse for Zionism?

teslanesta 4 Apr 1

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While I think Seder is on the money in regards to what Sam Harris has to say about Muslims, he is to the best of my knowledge not a Zionist. Here is what is quoted from him by Wikipedia.

"I don't think Israel should exist as a Jewish state. I think it is obscene, irrational and unjustifiable to have a state organized around a religion. So I don't celebrate the idea that there's a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. I certainly don't support any Jewish claims to real estate based on the Bible. Though I just said that I don't think Israel should exist as a Jewish state, the justification for such a state is rather easy to find. We need look no further than the fact that the rest of the world has shown itself eager to murder the Jews at almost every opportunity. So, if there were going to be a state organized around protecting members of a single religion, it certainly should be a Jewish state. Now, friends of Israel might consider this a rather tepid defense, but it's the strongest one I've got. I think the idea of a religious state is ultimately untenable."

So explain to me how Harris is a "a Trojan horse for Zionism"?

I think Seder's attack on Harris's PHD from UCLA is absurd. Seder's countance in his discussion about Harris positon is disturbingly bias to the max. It sounds as bad as the NRA's bull shit from the other side around.

Here is a more balanced discussion that is also critical of Maher/Harris and Ben Affleck. I am not over enthused by this commentor either, but he does make sense on this topic, at least he is much fairer than Seder IMHO.

cava Level 7 Apr 1, 2018

I agree in regards to Harris not "trojan horse" for Zionism.

And I agree in regards to Seder's and his crew's criticisms of Harris' previous strict stance on Muslims. But what they've not acknowledged is his softening of that stance. E.g. his calls for acknowledging that Syrian refugees should be allowed aid because their troubles are not their own doing. E.g. his support of his Islamic-practicing friend, Maajid Nawas, and Nawas' programs to make Islam more tolerating - like the general Christian religions.

And I agree in regards to Seder's and his crew's challenges against Harris' credentials - mainly in regards to Harris' claim on being a neuroscientist. The link below is not from Seder. Instead, it's an "opinion" piece by someone else. But the arguments are still valid: []

By the way, I'm a Sam Harris and Sam Seder fan.

@SamKerry I disagree that it is valid criticism. I think Seder's criticism of Harris's PHD is a blatant and egregious ad homenium, almost slanderous in my opinion. There are countless people who received PHD's and never practice what they studied. I have a friend who got his PHD in Organic & Inorganic Chemistry and never picked up a test tube, yet did great things in computer science. The shear intensity of study, critiques and the rest make the award of a PHD an accomplishment to be regarded with some intellectual respect, and of course UCLA does not just generate credentials regardless of what Seder says. Anyway what relevance does this bear on his opinion about Muslims? Clearly his and Maher's arguments against Muslims appear, at least to me to be inferior/fallacious compared to Afflect's position. While I hope I have made it clear at I don't agree at least with Harris's said here, I do think that some of Harris's more philosophical thoughts are worthy of serious consideration.

I don't know enough about Seder to be a fan, not so sure , I guess I will have to listen to more he has to say.

@cava I agree that Seder's and his crew's criticisms of Harris are definitely near to slanderous. But I don't remember them challenging Harris' PhD, though. Have they? I remember them challenging his claim of being a neuroscientist. I could be wrong, of course. My memory could have been affected by that link I posted - because I read that AFTER hearing of Seder's remarks about Harris. Thank opinion piece in that link doesn't question Harris' PhD. But it does differentiate between holding a PhD on neuroscience and being a neuroscientist.

But that has nothing to do with Harris' stance against Islam. I only mentioned it as a reply to your post.

And I actually agree with you. I watched that debate on Maher's show a while back. I remember thinking that Harris and Maher "painted themselves into a corner" in being too strict in their generalisations against Muslims.

However, I find that Harris' current beliefs against Muslims have softened.

In 2015 or 2016, I attended Harris' talk when he was in Sydney the year before last. His friend, sometime collaborator, who practices Islam, and is not interested in leaving the Islam faith, Maajid Nawas was with him. And, amongst other topics, they spoke of Nawas' programs in de-radicalising Islam into a more moderate religion - similar to the more tolerant Christian and Jewish faiths.

He confirmed this on his apperance on Maher's show last year - 3 years after his appearance with Affleck.

In this video, Harris is calling for "winning the war of/with ideas" and "We should be desperate to have moderate Muslims". He emphasised this with "We want moderate Muslims." He also calls for giving aid to and allowing refuge for Syrian refugees. All views that I agree.

Hence, I argue against those who have not updated their views of Harris to the current version of Harris. Most who defend or criticise him do so based on an "old version" of Harris, I think.

@SamKerry K, yes I agree, Harris in this interview seems about 180 degree from his conversation with Affleck. I don't know that we can talk to "Muslims about it" to paraphrase their conversations, but we can explain our convictions and they can come to their own conclusions. Otherwise we have an issue...who says we are right and they are wrong? How would that work, no I don't think so. As the Muslim world interacts with the West they should find that certain of their cultural practices are more in sync with Western ideas and they may find that it makes good cultural sense for them to accentuate these normative values.

@cava Hence Maajid Nawas' social programs in Egypt to de-radicalise Islam into a more moderate religion similar to more tolerating Christian and Jewish religions.


Is Zionism still the code for Jewish world domination? How will a marginal religion that only has 6.5 million followers world wide conquer the World. Did someone find the Ark ?

BillO Level 2 Apr 1, 2018

movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. It was established as a political organization in 1897 under Theodor Herzl, and was later led by Chaim Weizmann

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