Jazzns, I look forward to getting into this, but cannot do so this afternoon yet. However, reading your initial OP, I think a few comments might be helpful.
In other words, this is meant to be an assault on the stereotypical Christian. Hopefully this will temper any complaint from randman that the book is biased or has any other purpose such as rigorous defense of secularism.
Rather than go off on tangential claims of equivalence of some of Samâ€™s arguments against dogma, I would like as much as possible to focus on the particular claims and whether they are true on their own. You may be able to mount an equally damning case against atheism or secularism on its own but that cannot logically negate any analogous claims against religion.
Not having read the book yet, I cannot address if this is necessary or not, but imo, whatever the book says is fair game here. I am a little concerned about trying to limit the discussion up-front just because there is a stated purpose. For example, you mention that you quote him here to avoid the idea there is bias, but imo, the stated purpose seems rife with the potential for bias rather than cancelling it out. Keep in mind I haven't read the book, but starting out with a statement the book is about attacking Christians, and this makes the guy immune to charges of bias seems a bit off.
Maybe I am missing something?
Also, attacking religion is in itself a de facto defense of atheism or secularism, is it not? So that concept seems to be advanced in the stated purpose of the book as well. Of course, it may not be a "rigorous defense", but more of defense versus offense.
You may be able to mount an equally damning case against atheism or secularism on its own but that cannot logically negate any analogous claims against religion.
That is true, but it could make Harris or anyone hypocritical if they critique a belief systems by standards their belief system cannot uphold, and they insinuate or suggest otherwise, and that's a fair area of exploration, imo.
Btw, I appreciate your first point, and I'll take some time when I can to read this, and jump in. Thanks for the invite.
If dogmatism in religion leads to negative consequences, these are not negated by showing that science is ALSO dogmatic. If both are dogmatic, that just means we have a larger problem on our hands as a whole.
Does that make sense?
Sure. Let's don't sweat it too much. I haven't read the book yet, and I think we'll have a fruitful discussion.....maybe as much as discussion as debate, but we'll see. That's how I am approaching it, at least.
Jazzns, just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten but some pressing business matters have taken up a lot of energy the past week and may do so for the next few days. Hopefully this weekend or before, I can jump into this.
I am, believe it or not, but a ton of things have occurred necessitating my attention: business litigation which is fairly serious; my wife's sister in a very bad accident so I am Mr Mom sometimes; getting the flu; and also some positive things such as some very good business opportunities, and this time of year, watching the Heels in post-season play.
I've just got to get around to getting and reading the book, and the debate should be fairly easy to do, even with all this stuff going on.