Sunday, 8 May 2011

sam harris on islam - the last word with lawrence o'donnell

sam harris on islam - the last word with lawrence o'donnell

04:03 sam harris: islam is at a very different moment in its history and it's as though we're encountering the christians of the 14th century, armed with 21st century weapons. we have a real problem with islam and it's not an accident that we're not having this conversation about the amish or quakers or jains or even buddhists. ideas have consequences and the idea that you can get to paradise by dying in the defense of the faith, in fact dying in the defense of the faith is the best thing that can possibly happen to you--that is a mainstream notion in islam.

04:37 lawrence o'donnell: is there any lesson in how catholicism worked its way through its homicidal phase of a couple of centuries, for present day islamic extremists?
sam harris: yes, the problem is that we just dont have 500 years to work it out. we were burning heretics alive for 5 centuries in europe and it's understandable, based on a certain reading of the bible. we have incredibly destructive technology spreading all over the world and it's getting increasingly easy for one person to screw up life for millions. and so i think we have some decades at best, to get straight about this and to build a viable, global civilization that is compatible with human well-being and religious demagoguery of any kind is the worse piece of software to have running on your brain when it comes to actually engage that challenge.

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