Sam Harris v Mandy De Waal

July 29, 2011

There seems to be a lot of Sam Harris bashing of late, and the latest example of this is Mandy De Waal’s “Islamophobia and Sam Harris’ tyranny of ‘reason’” in the Daily Maverick.

Sam Harris

Her article is, on the face of it, an attack on Harris’ anti-Islam stance, but a cursory analysis of the language she uses reveals that it is an attack on atheism and atheists in general. For example she says that Harris “intellectually clubs spiritual ‘gurus’ like Chopra, in much the same way fur hunters club baby seals.” Just to make sure we get the point that the spiritual and religious are cute and cuddly and atheists are filled with adamantine ruthlessness, she goes on in the following paragraph: “Intellectually clubbing seals is a practice fairly common among atheists”. She quotes Alister Mcgrath who called Richard Dawkins “Darwin’s Rottweiler”, promotes Harris’ atheism to a more general “misanthropy”, claims that Harris “grinds in the heel of hatred”, describes his followers as “rabid”, and his ideas are “hate speech”.
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