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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Sam Harris: What Martial Arts has to do with Atheism


    No one's ever accused me of being an optimist, but I think reason and intellectual honesty will win. They're just too useful. -Sam Harris

    Skeptic and Rationalist, Sam Harris, is also a Martial Artist. He shared some of his thoughts on the arts, knife fighting, and a certain Japanese Ki "Master" getting punched in the face, in an interview for The Atlantic.

    On knife fighting:

    The reality of a knife attack is that even if you stop 50% of the thrusts and slashes, you will be taking damage with every other move. And getting cut with a knife of any size is physiologically horrible in a way that few people realize. It is arguably worse than getting shot.


    On self defense:

    Once you go down the rabbit-hole and admit that certain self-defense skills are worth having, you discover that it can be immensely fun to acquire them. The reality of what you're learning is pretty grim when you look at its possible application in the real world, and a person can certainly become slightly aberrated by spending too much time thinking about violence. But there's nothing morbid about training in the martial arts--or even with guns, knives, and other weapons.

    And on this guy, and the relation to religion:



    ...what's amazing--and this should really worry people of faith--is that, even in the martial arts, a person can persist in delusion for decades, gather students, and become a famous master of his fake discipline without knowing that he has wandered completely out of contact with reality. This madman can't even begin to do what he thinks he can do--and what he is apparently renowned for doing--because the skill he is displaying and that his students are striving to emulate doesn't exist. The whole thing is a collective delusion.

    You can read the full interview on The Atlantic here.

  2. DimmedSum is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 8:34am


     Style: Lung Ying Kung Fu

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    Sam Harris is my hero... this was seriously good stuff. The best (and worst) part about the video was home boy rocking the Gi Shorts!
  3. ermghoti is online now
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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 8:45am

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     Style: BJJ+Sanda

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Is that the same magic kung fu douche that got his ass beat by a different MMA guy? He does the same grab-my-face-and-look-at-the-blood-with-incredulity bit. And, you know, the KTFOing.
    Quote Originally Posted by strikistanian View Post
    DROP SEIONAGI ************! Except I don't know Judo, so it doesn't work, and he takes my back.
  4. jitschix is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 9:11am

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I love Sam Harris. That he loves BJJ only adds to his charm.
  5. Resonance10 is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 10:46am

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     Style: Taiji/Hsingyi

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    Great stuff, was gna post it earlier but got distracted..this related article from a link in the OP is also good. HA he used to NINJA!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...led-me/309292/
  6. Gluckmann is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 11:38am


     Style: Taekwondo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Never liked Sam Harris, but the dude makes a good point.
    Also, I never knew that the "Kiai master vs MMA fighter" fight was recorded in another angle.
  7. ermghoti is online now
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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 12:27pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gluckmann View Post
    Never liked Sam Harris, but the dude makes a good point.
    Also, I never knew that the "Kiai master vs MMA fighter" fight was recorded in another angle.
    LOL. I'm stupid. Same fight. Looks much rougher on the Kiballer from that angle.
    Quote Originally Posted by strikistanian View Post
    DROP SEIONAGI ************! Except I don't know Judo, so it doesn't work, and he takes my back.
  8. ChuckWepner is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 1:29pm


     

    6
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Harris is a bright guy and has offered some sharp criticisms of organized religion. Despite his having an undergrad background in philosophy, though, his work suffers from some pretty serious philosophical errors, in his discussions of morality, metaphysics, and religion.

    He tends, for example, to rely on false dichotomies in which the alternatives are a caricature of a "religious" worldview on the one hand or Sam Harris's particular version of reductionist, determinist materialism (which is rejected by many materialist and atheist scientists and philosophers in favor of non-reductionist models) on the other. The fact that there are a wide range of other views held by thinkers just as bright as he is and often more expert on the issues he is discussing does not seem to interest Harris. He is a zealous advocate and rhetorician in his popular work, seeking to convert, not to proceed by careful, rational analysis or on the model of a scientific investigation.

    There are of course many zealous advocates of many religions trying to convert readers and listeners to their sides. I just think that it is important that we recognize who is doing what, whichever position they promote. Harris's views may coincide with those of people who identify themselves as skeptics, but he engages in about as much skeptical self-examination as Pat Robertson.

    Rather than trying to lay out an elaborate discussion of Harris's bad philosophical tendencies here, I recommend this review of one of Harris's recent books by H. Allen Orr, a philosophically astute Professor at the University of Rochester specializing in evolutionary biology who lays out some of the errors that Harris typically falls into in a pretty accessible way. In particular, sections 3 & 4 do a good job of this.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...gination=false
  9. atheistmantis is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 2:30pm

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     Style: Tang Soo Don't Retired

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Pat Robertson. Wow! That is a comparison to beat the band. I'll certainly research this guys story. Thanks.
  10. atheistmantis is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2013 3:11pm

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     Style: Tang Soo Don't Retired

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks Chuck. Read the review and found Orr's response quite enlightening. I applaud Harris on his efforts and one day perhaps someone with more talent will use scientific method properly and get some real answers.
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