I do not make any appeals to personal qualifications, training, or expertise. The reason being is that if I have no qualifications or relevant training, this may cause some to dismiss or overlook a good argument for this reason alone. On the other hand, if I do have qualifications and relevant training, this may cause some to embrace a bad argument for this reason alone. I would rather let the arguments stand on their own.
is Harris (or Dawkins) recognized as someone who displays compassion? He can talk about it and write about it, but does he live it? What has the rich Sam Harris done to “help the poor, feed the hungry and defend the weak?” And while there are dozens of atheist organizations that bash religion, where are those that refrain from bashing religion, but instead devote most of their energy to “help the poor, feed the hungry and defend the weak?” For example, every Christmas, you can’t miss the Salvation Army people collecting money to “help the poor, feed the hungry and defend the weak.” Why don’t we also see the “Army for Reason” doing the same thing every Darwin Day? And if we did, would it be a PR stunt or would the desire be genuine?
If Harris wants to claim there are “better reasons to help the poor, feed the hungry and defend the weak,” he needs more than rhetoric. He needs a rich tradition of action to draw from. As it stands, he would struggle to come up with examples.
How many hours does MG spend doing actual research for the betterment of our world, or teaching the results of actual research to children and interested adults? How much blood has he donated? How many private or public acts of charity has he tallied up? Or does it only count as charity if it’s part of a group with the word “army” in its name?
In the words of Joe Hill’s great hymn “The Preacher and the Slave”:
And the Starvation Army they play,
And they sing and the clap and they pray,
Till they get all your coin on the drum,
Then they tell you when you’re on the bum
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die
Bonus wanker: Bill “given funds to write another book on Orthodox Theology … however he has never written the book” Dembski, for approvingly quoting the same passage.