Atheism / Psychology · September 16, 2006

Sam Harris – Speaking Truth to the Religious

I mentioned Sam Harris in my “Mind Hacking” article, where I tried to explain that personal religious experience doesn’t prove the ‘truth’ of religion. While browsing his web site I found a link to this article, “Reply to a Christian.” Mr. Harris puts it so much better than I can:

… your reasons for believing in God may be more personal than those I have discussed above. I have no doubt that your acceptance of Christ coincided with some very positive changes in your life. Perhaps you regularly feel rapture or bliss while in prayer. I do not wish to denigrate any of these experiences. I would point out, however, that billions of other human beings, in every time and place, have had similar experiences-but they had them while thinking about Krishna, or Allah, or the Buddha, while making art or music, or while contemplating the sheer beauty of nature. There is no question that it is possible for us to have profoundly transformative experiences. And there is no question that it is possible for us to misinterpret these experiences and to further delude ourselves about the nature of the universe.

Check out the other articles at his website, or check out the video of the lecture he gave in Toronto in 2005, “Idea City ’05 Conference.” It’s well worth your time.