Sam Harris

2015 Islamophobia Awards and the nominees are……

Believe it or not there is such a thing as the Islamophobia Awards.

Not only do they nominate individuals for the award, they also have nominated books and films.

They have even helpfully included a quote to go with each of the nominees. Frankly I am struggling to find any lies. All I see are facts and opinions. I don’t see any hate but what I do see in the creation of these awards is Islam attacking Freedom of Speech yet again. Admittedly this is a ‘ moderate ‘ way to try to silence the dissenting voices, but it is an attempt to silence us nevertheless.

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Bill Maher and Sam Harris give Ben Affleck a good kicking over Islam

Ben Affleck is an ignorant idiot on things to do with Islam.

This is a must watch. Bill Maher and his guest Sam Harris are absolutely correct and present fact after fact after fact to Ben Affleck.

Watch Ben Affleck sulk.

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Whale Week What Was

682zoomWe started our Saturday by paying our respects to Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., the hard-charging US Army general whose forces smashed the Iraqi army in the 1991 Gulf War.  He died aged 78.  At The Standard 2012 Worst Political Blog Mike Smith is told some home truths about long term grass-roots Labour families heading for the Greens.  A quick vid on how to put out a boat fire the Kiwi way is next, followed by a vote for Best Minister.  The winner, at 52%, is Judith Collins.  The Whale Week That Was summarised all the stories this blog covered in the previous seven days.  A quite active Saturday Debate (for the time of year especially) led a post calling for nominations for Best Political Blog.  Those who see WOBH as any sort of threat to them (and those that don’t too), should take heed of this Malcolm Tucker quote: “marshal all the media forces of Darkness to hound them to an assisted suicide”.  A CNN piece showing Teachers in Utah taking a class on gun use shows some common sense around the gun debate.  A reader has taken yesterday’s US Fiscal Cliff graphic and created one for New Zealand – great work.  As Cameron Slater predicted from the outset, the Aussie Hoax DJs will not face charges.  The NZ Herald continues to amuse – this time a car crashed into a poll.  The blog then introduces us to two sexy taxidermists showing you don’t have to look like a front row forward to deal with dead animals.  And you’d think we’re picking on an incompetent NZ Herald, and you would be right.  This time they have Jesse Ryder beating himself at Eden Park in Wellington.  Then a hilarious story about a Queensland woman who fell into the longdrop and was there for two hours before being discovered by her husband.   Turns out that during the Falklands War the French tried to send missiles to Argentinia behind Margaret Thatcher‘s back.  Commerce first eh?  The last post of the day highlights a report of a man holding up a Countdown Supermarket with a hammer.  Our readers get fired up about the idea of hammer banning.

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Mental Health Break

Are atheists really evangelicals?

via Andrew Sullivan

Reza Aslan thinks atheists are so like evangelicals that they have in fact become evangelical.

Of course, positing the existence of a transcendent reality that exists beyond our material experiences does not necessarily imply the existence of a Divine Personality, or God. (In some ways, the idea of God is merely the personal affirmation of the transcendent experience.) But what if did? What if one viewed the recurring patterns of religious phenomena that so many diverse cultures and civilizations–separated by immeasurable time and distance–seem to have shared as evidence of an active, engaging, transcendent presence (what Muslims call the Universal Spirit, Hindus call prana, Taoists call chi’i, Jews call ruah, and Christians call the Holy Spirit) that underlies creation, that, in fact, impels creation? Is such a possibility any more hypothetical than say, superstring theory or the notion of the multiverse? Then again, maybe the patterns of religious phenomenon signify nothing. Maybe they indicate little more than a common desire among all peoples to answer similar questions of “Ultimate Concern,” to use the Protestant theologian, Paul Tillich’s famous phrase. The point is that, like any researcher or critic, like any scientist, I’m open to possibilities.

The new atheists will say that religion is not just wrong but evil, as if religion has a monopoly on radicalism and violence; if one is to blame religion for acts of violence carried out in religion’s name then one must also blame nationalism for fascism, socialism for Nazism, communism for Stalinism, even science for eugenics. The new atheists claim that people of faith are not just misguided but stupid–the stock response of any absolutist. Some argue that the religious impulse is merely the result of chemicals in the brain, as though understanding the mechanism by which the body experiences transcendence delegitimizes the experience (every experience is the result of chemical reactions). What the new atheists do not do, and what makes them so much like the religious fundamentalists they abhor, is admit that all metaphysical claims–be they about the possibility of a transcendent presence in the universe or the birth of the incarnate God on earth–are ultimately unknowable and, perhaps, beyond the purview of science. That may not be a slogan easily pasted on the side of a bus. But it is the hallmark of the scientific intellect.

Heh. There is a god, one who delivers smack downs like this.