Since you turned me on to this article I know you understand his point which is made in the rest of the article. In his book Sam Harris points out that irrational beliefs are different only in content. They are based on ancient scriptures dictating to modern people things that cannot or have not been proved.
The authority based belief systems all have this flaw. If you had been given the flying sutra blind, without all the hype, would you conclude that you were about to stay in the air? But "Nature Speaking English" (Domash's term for MMY) proclaimed that is shall be so, despite such a dismal track record of anyone actually doing it. He even uses yogic scriptures to back up his claim. So there is no reason to believe, other than his word that it is so, that you will someday float in the air. As far as Sam's other point that amazing claims can and should be tested...MMY has had how many years to put up or shut up with flying? When do we celebrate the 30th year of no one flying? "Now, scientists tend to be dogmatically opposed to > looking at this kind of phenomenon -- at telepathy, for instance, > because there's been so much fraud and wishful thinking." Take your pick. --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "authfriend" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <bikemaster@> wrote: > > > > Very well said. > > > > Have you read Sam Harris' book, "End of Faith," or something like > > that? He says pretty much the same thing. > > Not quite. > > From the recent interview with Harris in Salon.com: > > > S: One thing I find so fascinating about your book is that you're out > there as an atheist. And yet you also say life has a sacred > dimension. You talk about the value of spirituality and mystical > experiences. It's interesting that you put all that in the same pot. > > H: Yeah, many atheists felt it should not have been in the same pot. > But I think it's necessary to just be honest. These are some of the > most beautiful and most profound experiences that human beings can > have. And therefore we're right to want to understand them and to > explore that landscape. > > S: But it does raise the question, what do you mean by spiritual? And > what do you mean by mystical? > > H: By spiritual and mystical -- I use them interchangeably -- I mean > any effort to understand and explore happiness and well-being itself > through deliberate uses of attention. Specifically, to break the > spell of discursive thought. We wake up each morning, and we're > chased out of bed by our thoughts, and then we think, think, think, > think all day long. And very few of us spend any significant amount > of time breaking that train of thought. Meditation is one technique > by which to do that. The sense that you are an ego, busy thinking, > disappears. And its disappearance is quite a relief. > > S: Well, it's interesting to hear this description of mysticism > because I don't think that's how most people would see it. I mean, > most people would play up the more irrational side. Yes, you're > losing yourself, but you're plunged into some larger sea of oneness, > of perhaps transcendent presence. Obviously, you're staying away from > that whole supernatural way of thinking. > > H: Well, it's very Buddhist of me to do that. The Buddhists tend to > talk in terms of what it's not. They talk about it being no self, > they talk in terms of emptiness. But the theistic traditions talk in > terms of what the experience is like. There, you get descriptions of > fullness and rapture and love and oneness. And to some degree, I've > had experiences that can be characterized that way. But there are > pitfalls in using that language. People tend to reify these states > and make metaphysics out of it. It's not like you learn about physics > by being a mystic. > > S: I want to ask you about one sentence from your book "The End of > Faith." You say, "Whatever is true now should be discoverable now." > It sounds like you're putting inordinate faith in science. Are you > willing to acknowledge that there might be plenty of things we still > don't understand scientifically that could very well be true? > > H: There's no scientist who would hesitate to acknowledge that. This > is one of the ironies of religious discourse. Religious people talk > in terms of their own humility and talk of the intellectual arrogance > of science, whereas the situation is totally reversed. Every > scientist worth his Ph.D. will admit that we have no idea how the > universe, or why the universe, came into existence. We have no idea > why there is everything rather than nothing. And most of what is > there to be discovered has not been discovered. > > S: Let me mention one case in point. There is a wealth of > anthropological literature about sorcery in Africa and Latin America, > and there are plenty of personal testimonies about the power of > witchcraft. From the scientific world view, this looks like sheer > nonsense. Yet I'm wondering if it might be possible that science some > day will be able to explain what now seems supernatural. > > H: Oh yeah, I think the only way to explain it is with a scientific > frame of mind. Now, scientists tend to be dogmatically opposed to > looking at this kind of phenomenon -- at telepathy, for instance, > because there's been so much fraud and wishful thinking. Science > generally has been eager to divest itself of the spookiness of this > area. But I think that kind of phenomenon is fascinating and worth > looking into. And it may be that minds have some effect upon the > physical world that we currently can't explain. But the way we will > explain it is scientifically. > > > http://www.salon.com/books/int/2006/07/07/harris/index.html > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Yahoo! Groups gets a make over. 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