Sam Harris and Cenk Uygur Clear the Air on Religious Violence and Islam


Alright, welcome to TYT interviews… we’re gonna have what I hope is one of the most interesting interviews we’ve ever done. It’s with Sam Harris Uh, he has a BA in Philosophy from Standford from Stanford, a PHD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA. You might be familiar with some of his books: The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape Lying, Freewill And now his most recent book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion Um, now Sam, Welcome to The Young Turks. Thank you Cenk. Uh, I really appreciate you coming in, it’s going to be an interesting conversation, as I said, for a number of reasons. There are a lot of things that we agree on. I would say that at least 90% of our views are probably similar, if not identical. I think that people, some people, might be surprised by that, uh, and there’s some that we disagree on and actually the more that I’ve read your stuff, the more I realized the degree of our differences. So that’ll be interesting to talk about. We want to air out everything. You asked our audience, “Hey, send in questions”. We have to be honest with you guys, you see all these papers in front of me, we stopped reading after 75 pages of questions. Okay so there was a lot of questions for you Sam. So lets start with the easy stuff, the stuff that we agree with on Okay so obviously you’ve written a lot about religion. You’re a well-known atheist although you don’t love that word for reasons that you’ve explained. and, um On the topic of your religion I think we totally agree You’re against religion, I’m against religion I’m against all the religions. You’re against all the religions? Yeah, yeah yeah Okay, alright, great great But I know there are things we disagree about in that area but yeah We are both atheists by any reasonable definition. Right. So, and having read some of your new book. Actually, there was refreshing agreement there, as well. Okay. So, I love that you’re pointing out that spiritually and religion don’t have to be connected. I’ve been tearing my hair out saying this for so long. I don’t have to subscribe to one of the religions to be a spiritual person. Right? And just because somebody is spiritual, And I’m not that spiritual. But I think I’m open to it and I have no problems of other people being spiritual. And just because somebody is open to spirituality, doesn’t mean that they believe in Vudu. And or subscribe to any particular religion. So I think you talk about that in an interesting way in the new book. Right. So, um, now The part I think we disagree on Is, um, Islam and the perception of Muslims. Ok. So broadly speaking so, so let’s start that conversation. Um Can we actually start just with the context of this conversation (Cenk) Sure I am very happy to be talking to you And that’s what I do I-I-I’m consciously aware of and often saying on this topic, we’re talking about this percentage and on this topic we’re talking about this percentage How else do you speak with precision about who you’re talking about? -Okay, well, I have a theory on how we can do that, and I’ll get to that in a second but I want to read some of your quotes, now again there are many many like this, but to give people a sense of what I’m referring to, okay? So, you say at one point, “It is time we recognize and oblige the Muslim world to recognize that Muslim extremism is not extreme among Muslims. The truth about Islam is as politically incorrect as it is terrifying. Islam is all fringe and no center.” Give you just one last one here, “Unfortunately in the case of Islam, the bad acts of the worst individuals…

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