Thursday, December 4, 2008

End of Faith

(Continuing my review of Sam Harris' book)

Jumping back a little, to page 34:
"texts like the Koran and the Bible must be appreciated, and criticized, for any possible interpretations to which they are susceptible" [emphasis in original]
I'm not sure what Harris' point is here. His hermeneutics seem way off. There is one correct interpretation of any passage in the Bible (and probably the Koran, but I don't really care what the Koran says). People say what their interpretation is, and we can argue who is right. People do this with all sorts of books, without trouble.

A concrete example: Westboro Baptist. These people claim to be interpreting the Bible. And most everything they say is wrong. Most Christians will agree. Is that the Bible's fault, or Fred Phelps' fault? It seems Harris wants to blame the Bible. That is like blaming musicians for crazies who play their records backwards and think they hear messages...

And, briefly, page 34-35:
"Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98."
People routinely kill each other during and after sporting matches. Must we do away with sports, or is the problem people?

That is the heart of the matter:

Harris believes people will be good, if we just get the right environment.

The Bible says there is none good. That we will be evil until Jesus remakes the world.

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