Thursday, January 18, 2007
Harris vs. Sullivan Debate
VermontBard, you must have designed this thing yourself! Andrew Sullivan is having an open email debate with Sam Harris on beliefnet. The debate is concerning religious modernism with Sullivan seemingly in defense of it. This is not as hostile as the Dennis Prager fiasco (so far) as both agree on the problem with religious fundamentalism. The opening salvos were not salvos, just clarifications. Sam's second post is clearly argued and beautifully written and I am forced as always to just wholeheartedly agree with him- why not just utterly dispense with Christianity entirely?
If Sullivan is going to try using Christianity as his moral template or his template for universal "mystery", he has to cherry pick to the extreme. After so much cherry picking, at what point does a reasonable person just admit that the entire thing is unnecessary? As Harris points out, they could develop a better spiritual system in the course of an email exchange than the entire bible offers. I just can't see any reason to be a moderate within the "great" religions, and I think it is indefensible. And I think that Sullivan is probably rare amongst the moderates he is defending. His reply post should deliver his best argument to change Harris' mind (and mine).