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Talk:Sam Harris

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This Atheism related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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Trump[edit]

Added a brief section to clearly explain that Harris is a very vocal Trump opponent. This is important context because there are certain sections of the article which, if read uncharitably, could imply that Harris supports Trump, or is at the very least ambivalent to his Presidency. This couldn't be further from the truth. — Unsigned, by: 217.73.42.10 / talk / contribs

Everyone and their mother, and their mother's mother, knows Sam hates Trump. He bloviates about Trump for hours on his podcast...possibly even days — Unsigned, by: 135.23.63.79 / talk

Blatant lack of neutrality[edit]

The entire "Defense of the right wing" section reads like a poorly written emotional hit piece that comes nowhere near meeting the neutrality guidelines.

Examples: "Milo's infamous anti-trans diatribes" - infamous according to whom? Article is not about Milo. "notorious racist Donald Trump" - notorious according to whom? Stamement of opinion presented as fact. Article is not about Donald Trump. "Let us repeat:" - who is "us"? Blatant opinion. Article is not about "you".

That's just the first paragraph. The rest of the section reads similarly and provides nothing but unsubstantiated opinions presented as facts. Has no academic value whatsoever therefore I am deleting it.— Unsigned, by: 188.232.6.83 / talk

We don't have a neutral point of view (NPOV) here. We have SPOV. Part of that includes blatantly calling out bullshit. —Kazitor, pending 10:52, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

Sorry I came here from, in retrospect, a poorly worded google search and thought I was on the regular wikipedia. That's why I was stunned at the low quality of the article about such a prominent individual. Now I realize my mistake. Obviously you can follow whatever rules you wish on your resource, but in all honestly I would have expected much higher standards from a place called "rationalwiki". To "call out bullshit" it's not sufficient to say that I and "everyone" else disagree therefore bullshit. And word such as infamous, notorious, etc. have no place in a rational, skeptical conversation. But I digress.— Unsigned, by: 188.232.6.83 / talk

Must... resist urge... to transclude... RATIONALwiki... regardless, your concerns are valid and I will admit that not all of our articles are excellent. This one only gets bronze on our rating scale. Don't feel discouraged from making suggestions on how to improve the article, if you wish. —Kazitor, pending 11:29, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Something to add: most of our efforts are spent on debunking nonsense/other "crank" beliefs, so articles like this aren't shining examples of what our content is like. —Kazitor, pending 11:34, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
It appears loads of people think this article is bad so it probably is, try improving it instead of just blanking it though. Christopher (talk) 11:36, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
The article is fine. If anything, it probably is too light on this fraud and intellectual dilettante. Would you like to see it replaced with an article that heaps praise on Harris and dismisses all his critics as "regressive leftists"? Impreza (talk) 07:31, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
People who criticise or acknowledge problems in an article don't necessarily want it to be a hagiography. Assume good faith. CowHouse (talk) 11:35, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Hagiography: The ultimate word - Sincerely, a concerned citizen — Unsigned, by: 135.23.63.79 / talk

/r/samharris is... somewhat pleased?[edit]

https://www.reddit.com/r/samharris/comments/7ywoig/rationalwikis_take_on_sam_harrisis_it_fair/ FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 20:02, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Discussion of Sam Harris' views on 'The Bell Curve'[edit]

Noticed a distinct lack of discussion of Sam Harris' defense of 'The Bell Curve', the heavily debunked racial intelligence book from 1994, wherein Harris accused anyone who dare question it of being "The PC Police" despite the fact that the major sources for The Bell Curve include Richard Lynn and his studies funded by Mankind Quarterly and grants by The Pioneer Fund, known White Supremacy supporters (through the ideal of Race Realism)

https://theoutline.com/post/4024/andrew-sullivan-sam-harris-jordan-peterson-the-bell-curve?zd=2&zi=gc3wesmy — Unsigned, by: CommieGIR / talk / contribs

https://twitter.com/Lowenaffchen, Alex Nichols retweeted "I stand for the flag, I kneel for the cross." Another interesting one is "rip barbara bush. whoever told her it was safe to go down an escalator in a wheelchair should be criminally charged." What a wonderful fellow. Ariel31459 (talk) 13:30, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
I think there's a decent reason for that - The Bell Curve wasn't "debunked" in any scientific sense, since 3 of the 4 key arguments of the book are fully supported by the available data:
  1. - IQ is a valid, informative psychometric
  2. - Current IQ tests do a pretty good job of measuring it
  3. - Different ethnicities have different statistical averages in their IQ scores
The only part of Murray's argument that's really in dispute, scientifically speaking, is #4, which is: If you control for all known environmental factors, there's still a remaining difference that's logically attributable to genetics
1-3 are about as controversial, in terms of the hard data, as the shape of the Earth. Charles Murray claims to have built into his analysis sufficient safeguards to ensure that all environmental impacts on IQ have been fully controlled for (eg. comparing IQs between old-money black kids to old-money white kids, to control for the impact of growing up in poverty), and on that basis argues that #4 is true, i.e. that the ethnic differences he's identified are genetic in origin. He then uses this finding as an argument to cut welfare, restrict immigration, and a bunch of other standard items off the GOP to-do list.
Sam Harris' interest is really not on the political implications, but on whether Murray is factually correct about the underlying data. Sam's worry is that Murray's analysis checks out, but is being suppressed for political reasons, as a sort of left-wing "noble lie".Milesmcstylez (talk) 07:08, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Request of source directly contradicting the notion in this page that Sam Harris defends Lawrence Krauss[edit]

Here is the video discussing Sam's actual take on the matter where he actually condemns Lawrence Krauss and accepts the allegations against him, in contrast to the notion currently displayed on this page, which borders on slander and is using dubious sources.

I will request if not taken down altogether, at least add this additional information to it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vuBhKPy1As — Unsigned, by: 73.202.238.33 / talk

Looking at the tweet and the video references it does not appear that Harris is trying to claim Krauss has been falsely accused. He does claim the article is unclear as to some of its accusations, though he says some are "if true, very serious.". What seems to be causing a spurious problem is his use of "assault" as a synonym for verbal attack. Ariel31459 (talk) 19:58, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

Sam Harris seems like a reactionary[edit]

I thought I'd see some criticisms of Sam's ridiculous beliefs on RW, odd that he's called a "philosopher" on the first line.

Good takedown here: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskPhilosophyFAQ/comments/4i89pc/whats_wrong_with_sam_harris_why_do_philosophers/

If you look up philosopher you'll see one doesn't have to be good at it. Also, "reddit" is not a very academic source. Ariel31459 (talk) 20:43, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

I think as more atheists have flirted with reactionary politics, the news cycles has accelerated and RW has somewhat fallen behind. So I had to update Harris's page to add his latest agnosticism about whether you can know if various alt-righters are racists. It now covers the things Harris has said about Sargon, Stefan Molyneux, and his jaw-dropping comments about how Trump's comments about how Ilhan Omar should go back to her own country wasn't necessarily racist. With this there will be less obfuscation and obscuration. --Hitchensiniraq (talk) 02:55, 8 September 2019 (UTC)