Sunday, May 04, 2008

Head in the Sand Liberals

Chris Hedges is the poster child for Sam Harris' essay "Head in the sand Liberals". Hedges embodies the straw man liberal who gets the stuffing beat out of him daily on right wing radio and punditry and then equated with anyone who is not staunchly conservative. In typical fashion I agree with Sam Harris that people like Hedges have their heads firmly buried in the sand. on this religion/society issue.
People like Chris Hedges are committed to being tolerant of the intolerant. He embodies what Wilber would call the "mean green meme" or liberalism gone insane.

I have watched the debates with Hedges and to my mind he has been trounced each time. The only thing he does is go on and on about how much more knowledgable he is of Muslim society because he lived in it for years as a reporter, but dodges specifics. Then he will claim that atheists are fundamentalists, but when questioned about how they are like fundamentalists he stammers and stutters grasping for some absurd comparison with no compelling weight behind it. He has called Sam Harris a racist in debate, apparently because most Muslims have brown skin? Harris easily countered by pointing out that he was equally against John Walker Lindh, the white American who joined the Taliban. In typical mean green meme fashion, Hedges searches desperately to find a way to call people he doesn't agree with "racist", "sexist" etc...
In this Point of Inquiry interview, Hedges pulls his same tactic out on D.J. Groethe and whines on and on about how he understands Muslims better than everyone else, as if this alone is a powerful argument.


upinVermont said...

I couldn't listen to the whole interview. He lost me from the get go when he implicitly treated the atheism of Sam Harris as a belief system - but that's the only way he can criticize it.

It's Methodological Naturalism, which, by definition, makes no assertions of belief. (Which, by the way, can't be said of someone like Richard Carrier, whose strong atheism *is* a belief system.)

The supreme irony is that he is implicitly trashing religion every time he uses derogatory religious nomenclature (like fundamentalists or dogmatists) to characterize the atheists.

And then he takes a statement by Harris completely out of context and criticizes it out of context. The guy is missing a few screws.

Aaron said...

Ya, I'm not sure if it was in that interview or the debate with Harris (I think it was the debate), but at one point Hedges reads something from "end of faith" and then takes it to be a claim that Sam Harris thinks a preemptive nuclear strike would be warranted on an Islamic country. A few people in the audience clapped and I shouted at my computer "you people can't *possibly* have ever read that book". I read that book and such a claim is shameful. I can barely stand listening to Hedges for more than a minute and I could only multitask my way through the point of inquiry interview.