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Sam Harris - The narrow world view of the prophets

Sam Harris - The narrow world view of the prophets

Sam Harris points out, as he so often does, a very obvious point, once it's pointed out. Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad knew next to nothing of what is relevant to us today.

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Filmaddict Filmaddict (3280 days ago)
Complete hogwash. The human condition applies to prehistory and the present day, in fact we learn of the human condition from history. Each generation suffers just as past generations have; the private inner individual now, is no different to that of Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ etc, we just have a bit more technology and knowledge, which could be said to hinder our progress than to further it on.
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Complete hogwash. The human condition applies to prehistory and the present day, in fact we learn of the human condition from history. Each generation suffers just as past generations have; the private inner individual now, is no different to that of Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ etc, we just have a bit more technology and knowledge, which could be said to hinder our progress than to further it on.
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BoreMeEditor BoreMeEditor (3279 days ago)
If by "private inner individual" you mean morals and attitudes, then I think the "private inner individual" of someone today is very different to that of Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc. For example, take the concept slavery - unacceptable in a modern society, but fine in Biblical times. Same goes for animal cruelty, homophobia and racism to name but a few. These attitudes have changed because of the accumulative body of knowledge and experience acquired over the centuries. The human condition evolves like everything else. It didn't just pop into existence. It is an integral part of what makes up a human being and so changes as human beings evolve.
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If by "private inner individual" you mean morals and attitudes, then I think the "private inner individual" of someone today is very different to that of Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc. For example, take the concept slavery - unacceptable in a modern society, but fine in Biblical times. Same goes for animal cruelty, homophobia and racism to name but a few. These attitudes have changed because of the accumulative body of knowledge and experience acquired over the centuries. The human condition evolves like everything else. It didn't just pop into existence. It is an integral part of what makes up a human being and so changes as human beings evolve.
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (3279 days ago)
No, that is not what I meant by 'private inner individual'; my experience of the human condition is completely different to yours and anyone else’s since 1) I don't share the same genes as anyone else living, therefore my physiology is very different (nature) and 2) my life experiences from birth to date are also completely different (nurture), but we all struggle with the human condition since our challenges are the same .i.e. the positive and negative aspects of our existence are similar and sometimes very much the same. Although I can communicate to you what such positives and negatives are, they still remain private to me, since there is no way you can feel as I do, right this minute in time; you might sympathise or empathise, but the experience is all mine. These challenges have not changed since the time of Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ etc, as we are all human beings experiencing an earthly encounter.
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No, that is not what I meant by 'private inner individual'; my experience of the human condition is completely different to yours and anyone else’s since 1) I don't share the same genes as anyone else living, therefore my physiology is very different (nature) and 2) my life experiences from birth to date are also completely different (nurture), but we all struggle with the human condition since our challenges are the same .i.e. the positive and negative aspects of our existence are similar and sometimes very much the same. Although I can communicate to you what such positives and negatives are, they still remain private to me, since there is no way you can feel as I do, right this minute in time; you might sympathise or empathise, but the experience is all mine. These challenges have not changed since the time of Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ etc, as we are all human beings experiencing an earthly encounter.
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BoreMeEditor BoreMeEditor (3280 days ago)
To the guest who made the comment, "if religion is irrelevant, why are so many people discussing it?" Apologies, I accidently deleted your comment. You went on to say, "something that is irrelevant wouldn't be discussed, because it is irrelevant", implying that religion is relevant because lots of people are discussing it. I hope I paraphrased your comment accurately.
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To the guest who made the comment, "if religion is irrelevant, why are so many people discussing it?" Apologies, I accidently deleted your comment. You went on to say, "something that is irrelevant wouldn't be discussed, because it is irrelevant", implying that religion is relevant because lots of people are discussing it. I hope I paraphrased your comment accurately.
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BoreMeEditor BoreMeEditor (3280 days ago)
People are discussing religion precisely because it is irrelevant. Much better answers to the big questions come from science and the ability to admit "we don't know (yet)". The more interesting question is not whether god exists (unprovable either way) but why, when the scriptures are so obviously irrelevant, is the majority of the world still religious?
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People are discussing religion precisely because it is irrelevant. Much better answers to the big questions come from science and the ability to admit "we don't know (yet)". The more interesting question is not whether god exists (unprovable either way) but why, when the scriptures are so obviously irrelevant, is the majority of the world still religious?
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (3280 days ago)
I for one love science, but as you say, we don't know as much as we would like to and must admit we're not as smart as we like to think we are. Science still cannot prove why we're here, how we got here and where we came from. These are all very good questions, but pale into insignificance when there is a famine in Somalia, Wars in every corner of the world, riots in Tottenham ad infinitum. In other words, science does not come to the aid of the child dying of malaria, because although the scientist has a cure, the pharmaceutical company won’t send aid as it affects their bottom line. It takes humanitarians/Christians/ Muslims/Buddhists to decipher the human condition, although science does play a comparatively small part.
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I for one love science, but as you say, we don't know as much as we would like to and must admit we're not as smart as we like to think we are. Science still cannot prove why we're here, how we got here and where we came from. These are all very good questions, but pale into insignificance when there is a famine in Somalia, Wars in every corner of the world, riots in Tottenham ad infinitum. In other words, science does not come to the aid of the child dying of malaria, because although the scientist has a cure, the pharmaceutical company won’t send aid as it affects their bottom line. It takes humanitarians/Christians/ Muslims/Buddhists to decipher the human condition, although science does play a comparatively small part.
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Guest: (3279 days ago)
Filmaddict i agree completely that science can't answer why we are here. It was not really it's intention although we are on a better path of understanding via it. That's probably why it gets dragged into the "why are we here" debate. The basis of the conundrum is that religion doesn't answer the question, and religion is meant to! So the silly argument of science-religion-and why we are here, is pretty moot for me. Science is not meant to answer that question, help us yes. Religion is, and can't. In the past and now.
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Filmaddict i agree completely that science can't answer why we are here. It was not really it's intention although we are on a better path of understanding via it. That's probably why it gets dragged into the "why are we here" debate. The basis of the conundrum is that religion doesn't answer the question, and religion is meant to! So the silly argument of science-religion-and why we are here, is pretty moot for me. Science is not meant to answer that question, help us yes. Religion is, and can't. In the past and now.
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (3246 days ago)
Latest comment: Apologies for the later reply, it’s been really busy. I think science is intended for understanding the secular world rather than the spiritual one. Surely the question ‘why we’re here’ is closely related to ‘where we come from’ and never the twain shall part. Religious books cannot offer e.g. does the sun revolve around the earth or vice versa? And is not meant to, it is erroneously mentioned in the bible (nothing surprising there), but the overall essence of the story is understood without the scientific fact; however, with faith for me, the Bible does state why we’re here and where we come from. Of course without faith it obviously would not; neither religion nor science has proof or empirical evidence of either, therefore paths are clear for either the atheist or theist. Whatever gets one through the day, is probably the most important factor in the human experience; for me it’s being a Christian and to someone else it’s being an Atheist. Both are valid and highly significant to the individual, regardless of what anyone else believes. Overall, religion cannot help the faithless, but science can help the faithful. Your last statement 'Science is not meant to answer that question, help us yes. Religion is, and can't. In the past and now'. I think you need to amend it to 'Science is not meant to answer that question, help us yes. Religion is, but can't help me, in the past and now'. I don't think you have the empirical evidence to speak for anyone that has ever lived on the earth. :o)
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Latest comment: Apologies for the later reply, it’s been really busy. I think science is intended for understanding the secular world rather than the spiritual one. Surely the question ‘why we’re here’ is closely related to ‘where we come from’ and never the twain shall part. Religious books cannot offer e.g. does the sun revolve around the earth or vice versa? And is not meant to, it is erroneously mentioned in the bible (nothing surprising there), but the overall essence of the story is understood without the scientific fact; however, with faith for me, the Bible does state why we’re here and where we come from. Of course without faith it obviously would not; neither religion nor science has proof or empirical evidence of either, therefore paths are clear for either the atheist or theist. Whatever gets one through the day, is probably the most important factor in the human experience; for me it’s being a Christian and to someone else it’s being an Atheist. Both are valid and highly significant to the individual, regardless of what anyone else believes. Overall, religion cannot help the faithless, but science can help the faithful. Your last statement 'Science is not meant to answer that question, help us yes. Religion is, and can't. In the past and now'. I think you need to amend it to 'Science is not meant to answer that question, help us yes. Religion is, but can't help me, in the past and now'. I don't think you have the empirical evidence to speak for anyone that has ever lived on the earth. :o)
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BoreMeEditor BoreMeEditor (3280 days ago)
Actually, Sam Harris didn't say that religion was irrelevant, he said the prophets, because of when they lived, were ignorant of anything relevant to us today.
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Actually, Sam Harris didn't say that religion was irrelevant, he said the prophets, because of when they lived, were ignorant of anything relevant to us today.
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Guest: (3280 days ago)
This is clearly not true though. Humanity in its desire to reach out and examine what is within has remained the same. Religious people usually only believe not because they feel that they are empirically convinced by evidence but because what has been said feels relevant to them and speaks something about their spiritual condition.
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This is clearly not true though. Humanity in its desire to reach out and examine what is within has remained the same. Religious people usually only believe not because they feel that they are empirically convinced by evidence but because what has been said feels relevant to them and speaks something about their spiritual condition.
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Guest: (3281 days ago)
But they didn't try and talk about scientific matters, they spoke about spiritual things and since the composition of the human brain is no different, then these things are going to be just as relevant now as they were then. I doubt this guy would say the same about Socrates even though he lived before Jesus, but Socrates is definitely relevant today.
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But they didn't try and talk about scientific matters, they spoke about spiritual things and since the composition of the human brain is no different, then these things are going to be just as relevant now as they were then. I doubt this guy would say the same about Socrates even though he lived before Jesus, but Socrates is definitely relevant today.
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Guest: Mmm (3280 days ago)
Your point is a good one but they DID talk about scientific matters too. E.g. the issue of how the world came into being is a scientific issue. The Qur'an in particular is revered by (some) Muslims as a great work of scientific (as well as moral/spiritual) revelation.
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Your point is a good one but they DID talk about scientific matters too. E.g. the issue of how the world came into being is a scientific issue. The Qur'an in particular is revered by (some) Muslims as a great work of scientific (as well as moral/spiritual) revelation.
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Guest: (3279 days ago)
Excuse me but was i just greeted with an advertisement while Boreme's security question was being posed?? ffs. That is low. Boreme must be pretty hard up for cash if you are subjecting it's viewers to capitalist bs like that. There are ways and means people, underhandedness is foolhardy.
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Excuse me but was i just greeted with an advertisement while Boreme's security question was being posed?? ffs. That is low. Boreme must be pretty hard up for cash if you are subjecting it's viewers to capitalist bs like that. There are ways and means people, underhandedness is foolhardy.
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