TakeOnIt
Compare opinions of world leading experts and influencers.

Sam Harris

Writer, Speaker, Atheism Activist

Sam Harris is an American non-fiction writer and a proponent of scientific skepticism. He is the author of The End of Faith (2004), which won the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and Letter to a Christian Nation (2006), a rejoinder to the criticism his first book attracted.
Contents

Sam Harris' Opinions

God

Disagree
Most people believe that the Creator of the universe wrote (or dictated) one of their books. Unfortunately, there are many books that pretend to divine authorship, and each makes incompatible claims about how we all must live. Despite the ecumenical efforts of many well-intentioned people, these irreconcilable religious commitments still inspire an appalling amount of human conflict.
02 Jan 2006    Source


Disagree
The difference between science and religion is the difference between a genuine openness to fruits of human inquiry in the 21st century, and a premature closure to such inquiry as a matter of principle. I believe that the antagonism between reason and faith will only grow more pervasive and intractable in the coming years. Iron Age beliefs — about God, the soul, sin, free will, etc. — continue to impede medical research and distort public policy.
02 Jan 2006    Source


Disagree
There is nothing that prevents an atheist from experiencing love, ecstasy, rapture and awe; atheists can value these [spiritual] experiences and seek them regularly. What atheists don’t tend to do is make unjustified (and unjustifiable) claims about the nature of reality on the basis of such experiences. ... There is [no way to] be certain that Jesus ... was born of a virgin or rose from the dead. These are just not the sort of claims that spiritual experience can authenticate.
24 Dec 2006    Source


Agree
...let me make it clear that I do not consider religious moderates to be "mere enablers of fundamentalist intolerance." They are worse. My biggest criticism of religious moderation-and of your last essay-is that it represents precisely the sort of thinking that will prevent a fully reasonable and nondenominational spirituality from ever emerging in our world. ...imagine a world in which children are taught to investigate reality for themselves... [with] truly honest, fearless inquiry.
02 Feb 2007    Source


Agree
One cannot criticize religious dogmatism for long without encountering the following claim, advanced as though it were a self-evident fact of nature: there is no secular basis for morality. Raping and killing children can only really be wrong, the thinking goes, if there is a God who says it is. ... But if there are psychophysical laws that underwrite human well-being—and why wouldn't there be? - ... [then] Knowledge of these laws would provide an enduring basis for an objective morality.
04 Jun 2007    Source


Mostly Agree
So, while it is possible to say that one can't move from "is" to "ought," we should be honest about how we get to "is" in the first place. ... What evidence could prove that we should value evidence? What logic could demonstrate the importance of logic? ... So it is with the linkage between morality and well-being...
07 May 2010    Source


Disagree
I’ve written before about the crisis of inequality in the United States and about the quasi-religious abhorrence of “wealth redistribution” that causes many Americans to oppose tax increases, even on the ultra rich. The conviction that taxation is intrinsically evil has achieved a sadomasochistic fervor in conservative circles—producing the Tea Party, their Republican zombies, and increasingly terrifying failures of governance.
17 Aug 2011    Source


Agree
The scandal in the Catholic Church--one might now safely say the scandal that is the Catholic Church--includes the systematic rape and torture of orphaned and disabled children. ... The evidence suggests that the misery of these children was facilitated and concealed by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church at every level, up to and including the prefrontal cortex of the current Pope.
10 May 2010    Source


Disagree
...Allah commands his followers to slay infidels wherever they find them... What one doesn’t generally hear from Western Muslims is any frank acknowledgment of these unpleasant truths. In response to serious concerns raised over Islamic doctrines related to jihad, martyrdom, apostasy, and blasphemy—along with their incontrovertible link to terrorism, threats of violence, cartoon “controversies,” and the like—one generally meets with petulance, feigned confusion, half-truths, and non sequiturs.
13 Aug 2010    Source


Agree
There is probably no legal basis to do so in any case—nor should there be [against building the mosque. But] the erection of a mosque upon the ashes of this atrocity will also be viewed by many millions of Muslims as a victory—and as a sign that the liberal values of the West are synonymous with decadence and cowardice.
13 Aug 2010    Source


Comparisons with Other Experts and Influencers

The similarity between Sam Harris and each expert and influencer is calculated by looking at how the same questions were answered. These figures are used to calculate conforming, nonconforming, and projected opinions. The accuracy of the analysis depends on Sam Harris' coverage, which grows with the number of their opinions entered into TakeOnIt.

Agree
Ayn Rand
Philosopher, Novelist
93% agreement / 4 opinions

Bill Maher
Political T.V. Host, Comedian
100% agreement / 3 opinions

Richard Dawkins
Evolutionary Biologist, Writer, Atheism Activist
100% agreement / 3 opinions

Scott Bidstrup
Blogger
100% agreement / 1 opinions

Ayatollah Khomeini
Leader of Iran 1979-1989
100% agreement / 1 opinions

Salman Rushdie
Author of Satanic Verses
100% agreement / 1 opinions

Mostly Agree
Paul Z. Myers
Biology Professor
62% agreement / 2 opinions

In-Between
Robin Hanson
Economics Professor
50% agreement / 3 opinions

Daniel Dennett
Philosophy Professor
50% agreement / 2 opinions

Donald Trump
American Business Magnate
50% agreement / 2 opinions

Barack Obama
United States President
50% agreement / 2 opinions

Michael Bloomberg
Mayor of New York
50% agreement / 2 opinions

Henry Louis Mencken
Journalist
50% agreement / 1 opinions

Mostly Disagree
M. Zuhdi Jasser
President of American Islamic Forum, U.S. Navy L. Commander
25% agreement / 2 opinions

Steven Weinberg
Nobel Laureate in Physics
37% agreement / 2 opinions

Disagree
George W. Bush
United States President 2001-2009
0% agreement / 2 opinions

Bruce Sheiman
Author, Atheist
0% agreement / 2 opinions

Sarah Palin
Former Governor of Alaska (Republican)
0% agreement / 2 opinions

Richard Feynman
Nobel Laureate in Physics
12% agreement / 2 opinions

Andrew Sullivan
Journalist, Author
0% agreement / 2 opinions

Deepak Chopra
Inventor of Quantum Healing
0% agreement / 2 opinions

Conforming Opinions

Sam Harris' conforming opinions are opinions that align with the group of experts and influencers Sam Harris typically agrees with.

Coverage Answer Question
High Agree Should atheists directly challenge religious beliefs?
Medium Agree Would the world be better off without the Catholic Church?
Medium Disagree Is Islam fundamentally a peaceful religion?
Low Disagree Are America's rich taxed enough?
Low Agree Is morality objective?
Low Disagree Are the core truths of science and religion complementary?

Projected Opinions

Sam Harris' projected opinions are opinions Sam Harris is expected to have if their opinions align with the experts and influencers that they typically agree with.

Coverage Answer Question
High Disagree Does God exist?
Medium Disagree Does astrology work (is personality correlated with the positions of celestial bodies at birth)?
Medium Mostly Agree Is free will an illusion?
Medium Disagree Must God exist to explain how the universe began?
Low Disagree Do we have an immaterial soul?
Low Mostly Agree Was the US government's $700 billion bailout ultimately good for the taxpayer?
Low Mostly Disagree Are our enemies innately evil?
Low Agree Do we work unnecessarily long hours?
Low Agree Should the burka be banned?
Low Mostly Agree Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection?
Low Agree Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?
Low Disagree Is truth relative?
Low Agree Is self-deception a fault?