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Atheist bigwig Sam Harris: “If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.”

This has never occurred to Sam Harris

In an interview a few years back with The Sun magazine, atheist bigwig Sam Harris had this to say about the comparable (de)merits of religion and rape:

If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.

You can read the whole interview starting here.

And some people wonder why so many atheists have broken with Harris and the rest of the Old School New Atheist Boys Club to start Atheism Plus.

EDITED TO ADD: Hadn’t noticed that the interview was from 2006, so maybe this is old news to a lot of atheists. Still horrible.

513 replies on “Atheist bigwig Sam Harris: “If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.””

Nope, the Harry Potter review was deliberately chosen by Skyrimjob’s to “prove” that Hitchens was a literary genius.

Apparently atheists never commit rape or abuse women. Someone should tell Michael Shermer’s victims.

There are assholes who abuse and manipulate their victims in every theology, whether religious or not.

To say that ALL religion is the source of ALL the evils of the world is a huge, HUGE exaggeration, and a potentially dangerous one at that.

Religious organizations have contributed to abuse and manipulation of many women and girls, no one’s denying that, but to say that every person in EVERY religion that their belief system is responsible for it while atheists are somehow exempt is bullshit.

To hear that this guy would rather take away everyone’s systems of belief rather than help out a great number of people is selfish and egotistical.

RustyBertrand did not say either of those things. Saying that religion is the cause of horrific abuse of girls and women all over the world is not saying that ALL evils are caused by religion, nor is it saying that there are zero evil atheists.

Technically Rusty didn’t say anything, since the entire comment is a link to an essay by someone else (and yes, I have read it). But the use of “THE cause” rather than “A cause” does in fact imply that there is only one cause (religion, in this case). And there are plenty of people who think all the world’s problems stem from and could be solved by eliminating religion. It’s a fairly common argument, especially from atheist feminists.

I’d agree wholeheartedly that religion has been the cause of and justification for a great deal of oppression, but I’m not convinced it’s the source of it. I think what it’s done in most cases is to lend credence to biases that already existed and codify them, for the benefit of the oppressors.

Yeah, I can see how it could be read that way, and sorry for coming off with that confrontational tone. Like you said, the answer to the chicken and egg question of religion and misogyny is hard to figure out. I don’t even know what kind of studies could be designed to figure it out.

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