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Atheists Of The World Unite! Sam Harris and Bill Maher Discuss Things

August 24, 2009

Let me first set the record straight for myself – I am not an atheist. But I’m also not very religious, either (well not in the dogmatic, hellfire, paradise, accept Jesus as your personal savior, we’re right, they’re screwed sort of way). I believe in God, Creator, Something Greater (unintentional rhyme there).

But I delve into the Atheist view as much as I do the religious view. They are the alter-egos of each other. Both with seeds of truth, failing in the revelation that one will need the other to grow to fruition.

And then I see, with the light of Hallelujah, this tidbit from an exchange between two of the worlds most renowned Atheists – Bill Maher (who I love to watch) and Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation – on the most recent edition of Real Time with Bill Maher:

And there’s this fact that there is a core of truth to religion that we should be interested in. There’s the fact that people do have transformative experiences. If Jesus really was who they said he was or Buddha likewise, it’s possible perhaps to be the Tiger Woods of compassion. It’s possible to really be someone who has transformed himself. And we should be interested in that, we should want to actualize that and understand it scientifically. But the problem is it’s so mired in religious mumbo jumbo and superstition and taboo and religion has seemed to be the only game in town in talking about that possibility and we need to overcome that.

– Sam Harris, Author and Founder of The Reason Project

Note: To see the full interview click here.

It is this transformative experience that we are focusing on. The transformation (awakening, etc.) that will not come through science or religion, but comes from the truth, from that place where science and religion marry and that true self, the I Am is born. Sam Harris, I salute you, for that little tidbit is one of the most enlightened things I’ve heard come out of the battle between Atheists and Believers.

I see the debate (the battle) between faith and reason, Atheist and Believer, Science and Religion as another in the long line of wars of division, of us versus them, of good versus bad, right versus wrong…separation, separation, separation. They are adversaries in the world of the adversary, roles in the drama on the screen of “life” (while real life is going on outside of that cinema). Two sides of the same coin, unable to see the other, because the other one is wrong, crazy, and/or juvenile. It is the perpetuation of the battle that cannot be won…because that battle takes place in culture of the ego. It is through the transformative experience, that gives up that fight, that we move further into the truth – that place where the ego, that fights to survive, no longer exists in falsehood.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. woodywisdom permalink
    August 24, 2009 12:41 pm

    Well, I think this separation between science and religion should persist because they are totally different things. Religions try to answer the big questions of life. That is something science cannot! See for example “Science as Vocation” by Max Weber (http://www.ne.jp/asahi/moriyuki/abukuma/weber/lecture/science_frame.html). Don’t get me wrong: Science is a great thing – maybe one of the greatest things we have. However, science gives no answers as it only tells you what is (or what is likely). You won’t find the enlightenment through science and a science and religion can’t marry.

  2. August 24, 2009 2:01 pm

    I don’t know if I agree that science cannot answer the big questions of life, or at least shed light on those questions and help arrive at greater answers.
    In the current world condition, science and religion can’t marry, because many in the prospective camps see themselves as incompatible. I agree with Einstein when he said that “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. Together they can bridge the gap between faith and reason, contributing to the how and why.
    Until the intellectual and scientific side comes together with the emotional and faith based side, the product will be the barren insanity of the concentration camp of reason and the fear-based prison of religion.
    I think where science falters is in the purely rationalistic mindset, in looking at things from a “building blocks” viewpoint, yet failing to embrace what those building blocks do and mean for the bigger viewpoint of life as a whole.
    The deeper science delves into the material world, the more strange and mysterious it becomes. By learning to embrace that mystery, the evolution and growth of what we “know” will continue.
    And it seems that religion is so afraid of being “found out” that it sets science up with the great evils of the world. It is no wonder that so many in the “reason” camp look upon the religions of the world as the place of fools, when some think the world is 4,000 years old, despite profound evidence to the contrary.
    Both have great gifts to give to each other and the world if they put down their weapons and take the ego out of it.
    When it comes to science, religion, and the big questions of life, it would be like if enlightenment/awakening/truth was water. Science has taken water, broken it down into its components, understood some of things it can be used for and how it works, and marveled at its own genius in doing so. And religion has taken that water, placed it on this pedestal of reverence, bowing down to its life giving nature, consumed in its mysterious sustaining and destroying ways. While everybody is dying of thirst because they forget to drink the frickin’ water!
    Until we move beyond the division, beginning to fully understand and utilize the nature of energy, realizing the true power of our place in the world, awakening to the fact that, though things might be different, ultimately they are part of the same whole, our divisions as a people, as a world, as a group of “incompatible” ideologies will continue. And in that enlightenment will not be found.

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