07 July 2006

Interview with Sam Harris (Author of "The End of Faith")

Salon.com has an interview with Sam Harris:

The disbeliever
Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith," on why religious moderates are worse than fundamentalists, 9/11 led us into a deranged holy war, and believers should be treated like alien-abduction kooks.

Sam Harris isn't totally anti-religious. His criticism is mostly directed towards scripture-based God-of-Abraham monotheism. With our historical roots in this tradition, this book might be a good resource for a book discussion group to explore how to responsibly exist in our tradition.

Here's a brief quote from the Salon.com interview where he talks about Buddhism:

You can't get the same kind of death cult brewing in Buddhism, or at least not as readily. And that's why we don't see Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers.

You know, the Tibetans have suffered a terrible occupation under the Chinese. Many people estimate that 1.1 or 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a result of that occupation. We should see Tibetan Buddhists blowing themselves up on Chinese buses, if all religions are equivalent. But we don't see that. What we do see in Tibetan Buddhism -- which is impossible to even imagine in Islam at the moment -- we see Tibetans who have been tortured for decades in Chinese prisons, coming out and saying things like, "My greatest fear while I was in prison was that I would lose the strength of my compassion and come to hate my torturers." Now, that said, there's nothing in Buddhism that's held dogmatically that I would support. It's just that all dogmas are not equal and don't have equal behavioral consequences.

No comments: