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Sam Harris and Robert Spencer

 
Hesperado
 
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Hesperado
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10 October 2016 12:55
 

Sam Harris was recently interviewed by Gad Saad, and the topic of Robert Spencer came up briefly.

Spencer put up a post about it on his own website, Jihad Watch here:

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/10/sam-harris-robert-spencer-so-fully-stigmatized-you-just-dont-actually-know-who-youre-talking-to

I would encourage the Harris fan club to read the brief critical overview by Spencer, and then to plunge into the comments field, composed mostly of comments by the Spencer fan club.

Spencer’s main point is acutely apposite:

Now, whether or not Sam Harris actually ever has a public (or private) conversation with me is immaterial. The point is this: what he says here reveals a great deal about the effectiveness of the “Islamophobia” smear campaign, and illustrates why Leftists and Islamic supremacists generally resort to ad hominem attacks against those whom they hate and fear, rather than engaging them intellectually: because it works. Harris is saying that I am so stigmatized that he would be wary of talking with me unless he had the time to check out the veracity of all the charges against me, and he doesn’t — as he put it on Twitter, it’s a “bandwidth problem.”

A few of the comments are good too.  One example:

Despite being very well educated, and articulate he can not answer a question which should be a no brainer — “should we join forces with Christians in criticism of Islam in the context of human rights”. He can’t answer this question, and rambles off into a discussion of stem cell research, something about which he was never asked. He won’t team up with Christians in defense of human rights, but will team up with Maajid Nawaz. This is not rigorous thought, it is failure, intellectual, and moral failure.

 
June
 
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June
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11 October 2016 07:50
 
Hesperado - 10 October 2016 12:55 PM

A few of the comments are good too.  One example:

Despite being very well educated, and articulate he can not answer a question which should be a no brainer — “should we join forces with Christians in criticism of Islam in the context of human rights”. He can’t answer this question, and rambles off into a discussion of stem cell research, something about which he was never asked. He won’t team up with Christians in defense of human rights, but will team up with Maajid Nawaz. This is not rigorous thought, it is failure, intellectual, and moral failure.

 

Yeah I thought this comment was relevant.  Harris should have stopped after writing End of Faith, his number one work.  Instead, he reacted and continues to react to following criticism,  so he writes,  A Letter To A Christian Nation.

He has been in a steady decline ever since, and his battles appear to be fighting off the tormenting boogeyman charges of racism and islamophobia.

Was he not aware the book would stand on its own merit, even grow legs without any further assistance on his part.  Those that chose to misunderstand the content have captured his attention and continue to make him spin.    Did he not know every time he makes an explanation for his writings or talks, that only leads into yet another explanation to the first explanation further weakening his credibility?  Time to retire.

  When politicians or a member of the academia elite pull the Islamophobia Card out of their hat they’ve already lost the argument, and it’s time to change the channel. 

 

 
 
Ola
 
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Ola
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11 October 2016 10:09
 

I feel so stupid right now but I don’t know anything about Robert Spencer (bar that he opposes radical Islam and jihad but ffs who doesn’t) and I don’t care that I don’t. So I’m probably about to say something woefully ignorant.

Is Spencer stamping his foot in a tantrum right now cos Sam Harris isn’t paying him enough attention?

Sam is just telling the truth. So what?

Sam has been quite respectful of and even defensive about “Tommy Robinson”:  by Sam’s own admission, this was based on hearing one interview with his pal Dave Rubin, and now I think he probably understands that the interview did not adequately explain Tommy Robinson, and is a bit of a false impression (at least, it’s not the whole truth). Maybe he has learned from that experience?

 
June
 
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June
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11 October 2016 15:48
 
Ola - 11 October 2016 10:09 AM

Is Spencer stamping his foot in a tantrum right now cos Sam Harris isn’t paying him enough attention?

I did not pick up anything remotely close to Spencer reacting childishly out of a perceived notion that he is being ignored by Harris.  From the link, I’d conclude he’d prefer not to engage him while Harris is in skittish mode, fearful of the baggage attached to Spencer. 

I took at face value, as truth from Spencers perspective:    “Now, whether or not Sam Harris actually ever has a public (or private) conversation with me is immaterial. The point is this: what he says here reveals a great deal about the effectiveness of the “Islamophobia” smear campaign, and illustrates why Leftists and Islamic supremacists generally resort to ad hominem attacks against those whom they hate and fear, rather than engaging them intellectually: because it works. Harris is saying that I am so stigmatized that he would be wary of talking with me unless he had the time to check out the veracity of all the charges against me, and he doesn’t — as he put it on Twitter, it’s a “bandwidth problem.”

I don’t understand, what part of the link indicated a temper tantrum fit on Spencer’s side due to a lack of attention from Harris?

 

 
 
Hesperado
 
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Hesperado
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12 October 2016 20:16
 

Thanks June, that was a good quote from Spencer by which to answer Ola’s question.

I also agree with your assessment of Harris’ “devolution”.  I’m not familiar enough with Harris’s work or career to be sure, but I do get that impression Every time I hear a podcast or an interview of his (and I’ve listened to quite a few) I get the sense that he has an obsession-compulsion with ironing out every last wrinkle that might be misunderstood.  And as you say, this compulsion apparently has been growing larger and larger because he keeps either responding to what he thinks are misunderstandings or he’s trying to anticipate them.

P.S. to Ola:  the fact that Harris would talk with Tommy Robinson, who has more “Islamophobic cooties” than Spencer does, but he won’t talk with Spencer, indicates something else going on here.  Perhaps his friend Maajid whispered sweet taqiyya in his ear…

 
Ola
 
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Ola
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14 October 2016 14:18
 

I’m not really into conspiracy theories.

 

 
Hesperado
 
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Hesperado
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14 October 2016 18:51
 

If people like Sam, Robert, and Maajid won’t answer questions and be transparent to us Great Unwashed Ordinary People, then we can’t be blamed for conjecturing plausible explanations.

 
Ola
 
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Ola
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15 October 2016 02:31
 
Hesperado - 14 October 2016 06:51 PM

If people like Sam, Robert, and Maajid won’t answer questions and be transparent to us Great Unwashed Ordinary People, then we can’t be blamed for conjecturing plausible explanations.

Yes, we can all waste our time as we wish. That’s the beauty of living in the free world.

 
Ola
 
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Ola
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15 October 2016 02:34
 
June - 11 October 2016 03:48 PM
Ola - 11 October 2016 10:09 AM

Is Spencer stamping his foot in a tantrum right now cos Sam Harris isn’t paying him enough attention?

I did not pick up anything remotely close to Spencer reacting childishly out of a perceived notion that he is being ignored by Harris.  From the link, I’d conclude he’d prefer not to engage him while Harris is in skittish mode, fearful of the baggage attached to Spencer. 

I took at face value, as truth from Spencers perspective:    “Now, whether or not Sam Harris actually ever has a public (or private) conversation with me is immaterial. The point is this: what he says here reveals a great deal about the effectiveness of the “Islamophobia” smear campaign, and illustrates why Leftists and Islamic supremacists generally resort to ad hominem attacks against those whom they hate and fear, rather than engaging them intellectually: because it works. Harris is saying that I am so stigmatized that he would be wary of talking with me unless he had the time to check out the veracity of all the charges against me, and he doesn’t — as he put it on Twitter, it’s a “bandwidth problem.”

I don’t understand, what part of the link indicated a temper tantrum fit on Spencer’s side due to a lack of attention from Harris?

I was just asking.

smile

 

 
Hesperado
 
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Hesperado
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29 October 2016 09:32
 

My latest essay, on a recent post by Robert Spencer on Jihad Watch about Sam Harris being vilified by the Leftist activist group, the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Damned if you, demonized if you don’t
http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2016/10/damned-if-you-do-demonized-if-you-dont.html

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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29 October 2016 10:20
 
Hesperado - 29 October 2016 09:32 AM

My latest essay, on a recent post by Robert Spencer on Jihad Watch about Sam Harris being vilified by the Leftist activist group, the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Damned if you, demonized if you don’t
http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2016/10/damned-if-you-do-demonized-if-you-dont.html

(By coincidence I just started a thread on the SLPC’s list of 15 anti-islam extremists).

The SPLC list includes: Brigitte Gabriel, Pamela Geller, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Horowitz, Maajid Nawaz, and Robert Spencer (among others who I’m less familiar with).

It seems to me that the folks I mentioned above are largely in agreement, and probably would dispute only minor points. But they all deliver their points differently. They will all appeal to some portion of that part of the population who are concerned about Islam. Speaking for myself, my experience is that most of the time these folks have their facts straight. But some of these critics rub me the wrong way - it’s just a matter of style. I can imagine that - on paper - Harris and Spencer would agree on most points. But I’d also say they appeal to different demographics. So it makes sense for them to not meet publicly.

 
 
Celal
 
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Celal
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29 October 2016 11:42
 

I agree with comments about Sam’s diminishing status as a public intellect. Also agree that “The End of Faith” was his greatest work. He steadily lost credibility as he tried to defend against his attackers. Lately, he absolutely painted himself in a totally different light when he defended Hillary’s illegal email server with this ...

“... what do you actually think was going on? Now do you think she’s a spy? Do you think she was sharing state secrets with the Russians? No. She wanted to keep her email private and didn’t understand the implications of running stuff on her own server. It was a sloppy, stupid thing to do.

He sounded more like a political hack than a public intellect proving once again Intellect is not wisdom and either he lacks the ability to combine intellect, knowledge, experience, and judgment in a way to produce a coherent understanding or simply catering to his base. Either way most disappointing! Some of his public positions makes his writings about Islam, faith, Islamic threat, and lying a complete sham.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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29 October 2016 11:55
 

I agree that when a public figure is inconsistent it hurts their credibility across their entire career. But actually that’s a fallacy - it’s quite human, but it’s a fallacy. Every individual argument ought to stand or fall on its own merits.

 
 
Celal
 
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29 October 2016 12:28
 

Every individual argument ought to stand or fall on its own merits.

What you said in bold makes sense,  but only the naive follow the message as we too are human and will disregard the message when the source is perceived to be flawed. 

Better example: Do you or anyone else on this board apply that to reports by Fox News?  Why not judge each report on its own merit?

 
Hesperado
 
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Hesperado
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29 October 2016 13:32
 

My opening post implied that Sam Harris is on that SPLC hit lit; but he’s not.  Only two of his close allies are - Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (the former so close as to be practically a partner), so it is relevant to Harris..

 
Jerk
 
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Jerk
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29 October 2016 13:33
 

“He won’t team up with Christians in defense of human rights, but will team up with Maajid Nawaz. This is not rigorous thought, it is failure, intellectual, and moral failure.”

He really thinks he has a great point..  If all Sam had to do was say it, I am sure he would have no problem.  In reality, he just does not think Christianity is that much of a threat or not as big of a threat.  He is also coming from the view, as should we all, that there is no outside force that can join together and overthrow Islam.  Islam changes need to happen from within and no amount of Christian teaming up will work.  So no, his point is pretty much irrelevant in the long run.  I am sure if there is a solid 9 years of Christian suicide bombing he might try to team up with some Christian forces. 

Also, why the fuck are most of the intellectuals from Europe claiming to be Christian, along with people like Milo, Crowder and Gavin McInnes.  There is some mental fuckery beyond belief going on here.

 
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