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Sam Harris: I’d vote for Ben Carson over Noam Chomsky “Every Time”

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, neuroscientist Sam Harris

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, neuroscientist Sam Harris

Cenk Uygur, of the Young Turks has described fellow atheist Sam Harris as “Scam Harris” in light of Harris’ comments that he would, given the choice between Noam Chomsky and Ben Carson, “vote for Ben Carson every time.”

Harris’ comments are part of a pattern of support for extremist right-wing politicians. In the past he’s spoken favorably of European fascists, stating they are “the people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europeans.”

By Tom Boggioni, RawStory

During a discussion on whether the U.S. should allow Syrian refugees into the county, neuroscientist and atheism advocate Sam Harris continued his personal jihad with author Noam Chomsky while finding common cause with Christian conservative GOP presidential candidates who want to keep the refugees out.

In his podcast interview with author Douglas Murray, Harris lamented the “demagoguery on both sides” by the political parties, while accusing President Barack Obama of being “politically stupid” in the way he addresses the threat of Islamic fanaticism. Harris did have  kind words for Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, despite admitting that he is a “religious maniac.’

“The Republicans are right to be completely outraged by this — and they’re completely crazy,” Harris explained.”This is a terrible situation to be in politically.”

“Take the personalities of the people on the right out of the equation. Is it crazy to express, as Ted Cruz did, a preference for Christians over Muslims in this process?” Harris asked. “Of course not. What percentage of Christians will be jihadists or want to live under Sharia law? Zero. And this is a massive, in fact the only, concern when talking about security. We know that some percentage of Muslims will be jihadists inevitably… So it is not mere bigotry or mere xenophobia to express that preference. I hope you understand that I am expressing no sympathy at all with Ted Cruz’s politics or with Ted Cruz. But it is totally unhelpful to treat him — though he actually is a religious maniac — like a bigot on this point. This is a quite reasonable concern to voice.”

It was toward the end of the broadcast that Harris had to take a shot at author Chomsky with whom he has had a running battle over ideology and political worldviews.

“Given a choice between Noam Chomsky and Ben Carson, in terms of the totality of their understanding of what’s happening now in the world, I’d vote for Ben Carson every time,” Harris stated. “Ben Carson is a dangerously deluded religious imbecile, Ben Carson does not…the fact that he is a candidate for president is a scandal…but at the very least he can be counted on to sort of get this one right. He understands that jihadists are the enemy.”

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  • Reynardine

    You mean Watership Down?

  • Reynardine

    Probably because he finds it more fun to practice rape than religion.

  • Reynardine

    In fact, there were two, and one was a woman: what they shot up was a Christmas party of the man’s co-workers, a few hours after he had walked out of a dust-up in high dudgeon. Why were they prepared with Kalashnikovs? I don’t know. The workplace environment was described as “toxic”, but it would take a pretty intense folie a deux to prepare for this kind of event well ahead of time. It was neither a normal workplace shooting nor a normal terrorist event. I am only glad that patients were apparently not targeted, after all.

  • Reynardine
  • Princess Erika the Radiant

    sadly that is a much better explanation than wht Juggalos actually are

  • George Carty

    A disabled person’s institution seems like a weird target for a jihadist attack.

  • Laurent Weppe

    That’s pretty much what happened: the nutjobs became gleeful when the police announced arabic sounding names.

  • Alejandro Rodríguez

    It’s interesting you mention the case of Judaism, since it’s true that publicly atheists don’t say much against it, but their books and media actually show a rather virulent anti-semitism. For instance, Western atheists have a nack for saying that the persecution of the Jews in history is partly their fault due to their intractable adherence to their religion. You see this in Hitchens, you see this in Harris, heck, you even see it in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, where Jewish rebellions are portrayed as nothing more than religious fanaticism with no genuine grievances whatsoever.

    They also try to couch their anti-semitism as anti-Christianity whenever they say that the God of the Old Testament is inherently evil. If they said something along the lines of “Jews worship a genocidal God”, they quickly would be labeled anti-semites (and quite rightly so), but since Christians are an acceptable target, they can say this about them with no problem whatsoever.

  • Alejandro Rodríguez

    Really, most Republicans? I mean, I agree that maybe most Republicans use Christian rhetoric, even if in practice it is secular intellectuas like Leo Strauss or Milton Friedman that guide them more, but it can be easily proven that the vast majority of Republicans are not trying to replace the constitution with the Bible. For instance, how many Republican representatives and senators have actually introduced a motion or bill that tries to make Christianity the state religion and replace secular law with the Bible in the past 15 years (instead of just saying they will without actually doing anything)?

  • Reynardine

    In fact, some dairy farmer up in Alberta is trying to breed juggalos, so his cows won’t freeze their juggalos off.

  • Reynardine

    Three white guys armed with Kalashnikovs just shot up an institution for the disabled in San Bernardino. Perhaps this is their very own T-4 program… but the chances are the color chart will determine they are “mentally ill”.

  • Mehdi

    You’re right, the historical research on nazi antisemitism shows it was an obsession and a central one, their antisemitism was racial (they saw jews as a race) and deeply ideological, as they saw Jews as the driving force under communism and capitalism, for instance the decision to launch the final solution was correlated with the moment in December 1941 when Germany declared war on the USA and started having major setbacks in the Eastern front.
    You are right, they talked about Jude constantly.
    The Nazis were deeply racist and hated/despised Easter europeans, Arabs, Blacks, Romas, etc. But their obsession with Jews was unique and different.
    After the start of the war against the USSR in 1941 started the process that led to the holocaust, at that moment the Nazis wanted to kill all the Jews up to the last one, did they want to do the same with the Arabs? For sure there were no plans at that moment, the question is what they would have done had they conquered the middle East, I have no doubt that their treatment of Arabs (and any people they saw as undermenschen) would have been horrendous.

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    I am a bit busy with exams right now but I will send you a reference afterwords Inshallah

  • Just_Stopping_By

    I’ve never heard that. Is there some source?

    I can’t say that that never happened, but there certainly was a lot of Nazi propaganda that clearly uses the word for Jew (Jude and various permutations). I did a Google image search on the terms nazi, propaganda, and semite, and I see a lot of posters with Jude, but I didn’t spot any that are aimed at Semites more broadly.

  • George Carty

    Judaism doesn’t threaten atheists (in the West) as it isn’t proselytising.

  • HSkol

    Buxom, no brassiere … no, that’s not acceptable. Please pretend I did not type that.

  • Reynardine

    Juggalos? Is that a dairy breed of bison?

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    From what I know Nazi propaganda did not differentiate between Semites (Arab or Jewish) but once they needed Oil from Arab lands the Arabic translations of Nazi propaganda replaced Semite with Jew

  • MichaelElwood

    Laurent Weppe wrote: “Having seen european antisemites suddenly becoming pro-Israel in the name of “Israel is doing to the Arabs what we would be doing to them if we were in power”, I’ve become increasingly convinced that a good chunk of the loud “Israel is always right” crowd don’t even like the state of Israel that much.”

    They DON’T like Israel or Jews. But it doesn’t matter to a lot of Jewish Zionists. Just like it doesn’t matter to them that a lot of non-Jewish American Christian Zionists don’t like Israel or Jews (Christian Zionists believe that the Jews who don’t accept Jesus will meet a not-so-pleasant end in the End Times). They’ll take whatever support they can get.

    Laurent Weppe wrote: “Jewish ancestry or not, Harris is first and foremost a wealthy atheistic white dude who view religious believers are intellectually stunted bipedal cattle, so I for one wouldn’t bet on his proclamations of sympathy toward the Hebrew state being that heartfelt.”

    Funny you should mention that. Because until recently, in both Europe and America, Jews were not considered quite white. In Germany, they were subject to the Nuremberg laws, which were similar to the Jim Crow laws in America (both meant to keep the “white” race “pure”). In America, “white” Jews like Leo Frank swung from the same trees as “blacks”. On passenger lists from Ellis Island, Jews were described not by their nationality (German, Russian, etc.) but by their “race” (i.e., “Hebrew”). Many Jews fought hard to be considered “white”. And they largely succeeded after WWII when it became taboo to consider Jews as a “race” distinct from “whites”. However, there’s still some old school antisemites who don’t see Jews as “white”.

    I think a lot of older Jews are still self-conscious about their status as “whites,” and try overcompensate by becoming champions of “whiteness” and “Westerness” (and adopting anti-“black” and anti-Muslim beliefs). For example, David Horowitz tries to pass (no pun intended) himself off as the defender of “whites” and Western civilization in his books “Hating Whitey,” “The Race Card,” and “Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream”.

    Although the sympathy a lot of European and American Islamophobes have for Israel is suspect, I think Harris’ sympathy is heartfelt. He’s trying to play the same role on the secular left that Pastor John C. Hagee plays on the religious right–to convince non-Jews that it’s their obligation to support Israelis against Arabs, Jews against Muslims. Hence, his ridiculous article “Why Don’t I Criticize Israel?”:

    http://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/why-dont-i-criticize-israel

  • George Carty

    So “Lehava” is actually a real organization?

    I’d only encountered a fictional version (on alternatehistory.com) which was a kind of Jewish Daesh which stole Israeli nuclear weapons and was bent on genocide of Muslims and Germans.

  • George Carty

    I suspect the Nazis had the same sort of attitude towards al-Husseini and his supporters — “we’ll enslave them once we’ve used them to kill the Jews”.

  • George Carty

    The UK and the Scandinavian countries are all officially Christian countries, while being scarcely less democratic than officially secular states like the USA or France. Certainly not in the same league as Iran, let alone the Taliban or Daesh.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Having seen european antisemites suddenly becoming pro-Israel in the name of “Israel is doing to the Arabs what we would be doing to them if we were in power“, I’ve become increasingly convinced that a good chunk of the loud “Israel is always right” crowd don’t even like the state of Israel that much.

    Jewish ancestry or not, Harris is first and foremost a wealthy atheistic white dude who view religious believers are intellectually stunted bipedal cattle, so I for one wouldn’t bet on his proclamations of sympathy toward the Hebrew state being that heartfelt.

  • Laurent Weppe

    If you define Jihadist by “wishing to see secular democracy dismantled“, the percentage of American Christian Jihadists is 24-25%, give or take:

    70,6% of the American population are Christians,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States

    57% of Republicans want to dismantle the secular state and make Christianity the state religion
    http://www.politicususa.com/2015/02/25/57-republicans-dismantle-constitution-christianity-national-religion.html

    39% of American adults lean Republican
    http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/?utm_expid=53098246-2.Lly4CFSVQG2lphsg-KopIg.0

    That makes, give or take a million or two, 55 million out of the 96 million republicans and 226 million american Christians who want to establish religious supremacy over the State.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Not every nuke fetichist is a lunatic: some are psychopaths.

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