Mailvox: okay, he got me

BigTexasRob proves his point:

1) Harris states one could be almost certain that the religion of an unknown suicide bomber was Islam.”

In fact, it IS easy to guess this hypothetical bomber’s religion, but we couldn’t tell that given the part of the original text that you conveniently left out. You neglected to mention the part where Harris writes

“Although saddened to have lost a son, [the bomber’s parents] feel tremendous pride at his accomplishment. They know that he has gone to heaven and prepared the way for them to follow. He has also sent his victims to hell for eternity. It is a double victory. The neighbors find the event a great cause for celebration and honor the young man’s parents by giving them gifts of food and money.”

Why would anyone assume that the “adamantly secular” Tamil Tigers (likely to have grown up in a Buddhist or Hindu community) would have such parents?

I’ll want to do a bit of checking on how the Tamil Tigers celebrate their suicide bombers, of course, but since I never considered that paragraph for a second I was clearly wrong to hammer Harris on that particular point. Nicely caught.

Now, I still think this is a somewhat deceptive way for him to begin a book in which he’s attacking all religious faith as dangerous, and yet all he’s saying here is that it’s obvious that Christians, Hindus, Buddhists etc. don’t commit suicide bombings. And based on the population percentages alone, you’ve got a one in six chance of being right even if you leave out the suicide bombing and just say a young man is on a bus, guess his religion.

As for the second point, which we agree I did not misrepresent, let me lay out the logic for you:

If A=safe, B=deadly and A+B=deadly, which is the dangerous element that should be eliminated, A or B? The answer is obviously B.

Now, Religion does not threaten the planet nor has it ever been capable of doing so. We agree that Harris states that the planet is now threatened by Religion + Technology. Technology alone is clearly capable of threatening the planet. So then, if we are in dire peril demanding action, which is the dangerous element that should be eliminated, Religion or Technology?

Ergo, Harris is INADVERTANTLY making a logical case against technology/science. Of course he’s not intending to do so, he’s trying to attack religion. But the logic is clear that based on his claim that the imminent peril to the planet demands something be eliminated from the equation, it is technology/science that must be eliminated.

And that’s just one of the many examples of Harris’s woeful incompetence.