Sam Harris What Happens If You Really Follow The Bible

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Sam Harris What Happens If You Really Follow The Bible

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[Sam Harris What Happens If You Really Follow The Bible]

Sam Harris
Author, “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason”

[Samuel Benjamin “Sam” Harris (born April 9, 1967):] Source: LYBIO.net
Now, this link between Religion and Morality that we – really is everywhere in our culture and which – which really underwrites Religious Moderation and Religious Fundamentalism to a significant degree. The idea that without Religion, something fundamental would be lost to us in moral terms. This really is questionable when you look at the books.

The truth is that not even – just to – to speak specifically of The Bible, for a moment, not even an Orthodox Jew or a Fundamentalist Christian can take God at his word, given how sadistic God is in books like Leviticus and Deuteronomy, Exodus.

I mean. If you’re going draw your to-do list out of a book like Leviticus, you would make Mullah Omar, of the Taliban, look like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is just – it creates a – it paints a vision of life so needlessly horrible, so subversive of the basic project of creating a sustainable society where human happiness is even possible. That we effectively have edited The Bible, even Fundamentalists have.

But it is important to point out that nobody ever says these passages are immoral, and the idea that you have – you find a women is not a virgin on her wedding night and you stone her to death, you stone homosexuals to death, if your kids talk back to you, you stone them to death.

If you go into a town and you see someone praying to a foreign God, you kill him; you kill his family, you kill everyone in the town because these are not metaphors, these are not analogies for some spiritual struggle within, these are explicit directives to kill people for theological crimes. No one ever says that this is immoral. Christians just say we don’t have to do these anymore because Jesus brought us the doctrine of grace.

Well, incidentally, Jesus also said that every jot and every tidal of the law has to be fulfilled. So, the Inquisitors of the middle-ages had a rationale for practicing this kind of law.

I can assure you that Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas had read The Sermon on The Mount. They managed to square the Ministry of Jesus with their impulses to kill people for thought crimes.

I mean, if this is the best book we have. From the point of view of Fundamentalism, this – The Bible is the best book we have, or The Qur’an is the best book we have because it’s literally been dictated by the creator of the Universe.

From the point of view of Moderation, these are the best books we have, but who knows what their sources, just the smartest people who ever lived, wrote these books, they’ll say.

If these – if The Bible is the best book we have in the west, in ethical terms, we should be practicing slavery. The creator of the Universe clearly expects us to keep slaves.

He simply tells us not to beat our slaves so severely that we put out their eyes and their teeth.

Jesus clearly expected us to keep slaves. He never criticized the institution of slavery. He uses analogies with slaves.

Paul in 1 Timothy, admonishes slaves to serve their masters well and deserve their Christian masters especially well, so that they can part take in their holiness.

If this – the abolitionists were absolutely on the wrong side of the theological debate.

If this is the wisest book we have, the slaveholders of the South were right. And on so many other questions this is true. If this is the wisest book we have, we should be beating our children with rods. He says – it says in Proverbs.

Incidentally, Fundamentalist Christians in our country are beating their children with rods.

The last year alone in Alabama, 40,000 kids were paddled in their schools. It is legal to do this. This is a faith-based initiative.

It’s important for us to recognize that we decide what is good in the good book.

We cherry-pick these books based on our own ethical intuitions.

All we have to decide questions of Ethics are our own ethical intuitions and the ethical intuitions of others who we are in conversation with.

You can put your faith in a 21st Century conversation about Ethics or you can put your faith in a 1st Century conversation as preserved in these books.

Sam Harris What Happens If You Really Follow The Bible

Sam Harris What Happens If You Really Follow The Bible

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