11 January 2009

"I Don't Believe in Atheists:" A Preview

Back in May 2007, the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, who had just published an attack on the American Christian Right that called them American Fascists, debated Sam Harris, the author of The End of Faith. It was a scarring experience for Hedges, who has gone on to publish an attack on Harris and his peers in the so-called "militant atheist" movement. The latter part of the video segment below is transcribed in Hedges's new book, I Don't Believe in Atheists, in which Harris's preference for polls over personal experience is presented to demonstrate his alleged willful ignorance of how Muslims think, and his anti-Muslim bigotry.

Hedges ends the excerpt here, but for the sake of argument, I'll continue the conversation through the end of the debate.

Hedges wrote a peculiar book with one of the most peculiar notions of religion that I've ever encountered. I'm going to discuss the book and my criticisms of it at length this coming week, but I wanted to see a head-to-head encounter between Hedges and one of his atheist antagonists as a preview of some of the concerns that fuel his attack on them. You may be able to draw some conclusions before I write, but I hope you'll stay tuned.

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