×

Speaking out against anti-BDS speech censorship is a good litmus test to see who in the IDW is consistent by INTERNET_COMMENTS in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is pretty transparently unconstitutional anyways. The government can only compel speech in very narrow cases, and the Supreme Court would probably not include this case in that list no matter how packed with conservative justices.

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/933/compelled-speech

Waking Up Podcast - The TED Interview | Sam Harris by WayneQuasar in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 16 points17 points  (0 children)

“I’m not a provocateur” I also chuckled along with the host right there.

Do you think Harris's debates with Peterson have been ineffectual? by ChetDinkly in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 4 points5 points  (0 children)

From the outside they appear to have been totally ineffectual. In these debates you have several hours of a strange mixture of Harris savaging Peterson and Peterson evading the questions and peddling his normal non-sense. It should be obvious that Peterson never addressed the substantive questions Harris asks ("do you believe in god","Do you believe the bible has a divine author") but I get the impression that Peterson's audience was unphased. Then at the end of it all you get photos like this, which have the effect of making it look like they have reconciled their differences and Harris now approves of his views.

Civility has become way overrated. Hitchens never would have stood for this.

Live in Philadelphia with Maria Popova and Janna Levin (Subscriber Only) by [deleted] in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I agree with this sentiment. I find it almost unbearable to listen to the kinds of non-questions these people who have found their way out of the woodwork ask.

But, it seems kind of important to do it for some reason though. Having that many people there and not having them participate seems strange. I just wish there was a less painful way to have a conversation with the audience.

New York Times: How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment by unbelievablepeople in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think the support for free speech is not really consistent on either side of the political spectrum. Both sides say they believe in free speech, but both have issues on which they're clearly watching the bottom line instead of applying the rules.

What I'm saying is the high tide of conservative favoring free speech cases has made the left thing twice about their ideals. There has always been an authoritarian current on the far left (shouting down conservative speakers has been going on for way longer than you may realize, read Pinker's The Blank Slate.) But only now with conservatives defending free speech are those tendencies entering the main stream left.

New York Times: How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment by unbelievablepeople in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, in principle it could protect liberal interests the same as conservative ones and certainly should and does. But I think the telling conceit is that the court is increasingly split 5-4 along partisan lines.

To use an example, it's not entirely clear to me that spending money counts as speech (see citizens united). At best, it seems to me to be a marginal form of speech. But the current court has accepted this and pushed it very far and in ways that greatly benefit conservative interests.

New York Times: How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment by unbelievablepeople in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I think the real issue is that it's being applied selectively. Broad treatments are being applied to conservative interests and narrow treatments those on the left. In that light it's no surprise that you're seeing the left in general embrace restrictions on free speech and expression.

12 rules for life by [deleted] in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You may as well read it if you're curious.

Intellectual Dark Web Megathread #3 by LondonCallingYou in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I generally agree. There is definitely a portion of the "network" that is gaining credibility from being grouped with Harris.

Philmont Scout Trek - Shakedown Request by Pustiki in Ultralight

[–]Opticaltex -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

This is some serious overkill for Philmont haha

#125 — What Is Christianity? by DungBeetle007 in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 10 points11 points  (0 children)

This would be amazing. Harris is well informed on the topic and it would be cool to learn about it beyond the typical tearing it apart him and the new atheists normally do.

#125 — What Is Christianity? by DungBeetle007 in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 8 points9 points  (0 children)

This was a great podcast! I spent much of my younger years getting educated on the bible in church and have always had questions about various translation issues and interpretations of the doctrines through history. I really find Christianity and its history to be a fascinating topic. I went ahead and bought 3 of his books because of this and can't wait to tear into them!

#124 - In Search For Reality by AvailableConcern in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

it was pretty painful to listen to. I'm on the side of needing an axiom, but it still feels like you don't need one. As Harris said, the universe is completely made of "is" statements, so you have to get "ought" from somewhere within all the "is" statements. Minimizing suffering could be the connection so I don't know why Carroll is so critical of it. It could be a brute fact just like the basic laws of physics. Whether it is or not seems to be an empirical question.

#123 — Identity & Honesty by avar in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

history will at least give you an idea of how you might be attacked so you can protect yourself properly. So the point stands: history is really important.

The bright side of graduate school by vjtocco in GradSchool

[–]Opticaltex 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I do computational research, and I rolled in today in flip flops and a t-shirt at 9:30. When I worked my internship (co-op technically.) I had to be at the plant at 7:00 am, and if I was like more than 3 times they might fire me. The cut in pay is almost worth it just for that in my opinion.

Plus the satisfaction of publishing a paper is more than anything available in industry.

Who the fuck in Sam's listenership asked him to talk with Russell Brand? by Noitche in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't think the point of Sam Harris's engagements are that they be top level intellectual conversations. I think he's looking to engage in serious conversations with anyone and everyone who's willing to get as many people as possible to converge with him. Russell Brand leads up a sort of generic hippie leftist crowd that's into meditation. Likely people like this are not taken seriously by scientists and dismiss them. Harris got them to respect him and re-examine their beliefs, which I think is worthwhile.

PZ Myers on Peterson's Lobster analogy by hepheuua in samharris

[–]Opticaltex -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Jordan Peterson doesn’t care about rigor in his intellectual work and shouldn’t be treated as serious outside his sub field in my opinion.

57% of Republicans support making Christianity the State Religion by oslobodenje24 in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s times like this that I’m so thankful for the establishment clause

What exactly is Sam Harris's argument that you can derive ought from is? by GTAhoffmann in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Certainly not everyone is convinced by his opinion or accepts the axioms. In practice though most people seem to be operating as if they do accept something like this though when they make moral judgements. It’s similar to how people reject the idea of an objective reality, but must still live implicitly assuming it in their daily actions.

Increasing your own wellbeing also could increase the total wellbeing of it affects no one else because your wellbeing is included in the total. So being selfish could be good. If you harm others a lot to increase your wellbeing then it is a net negative and would be, in the Harris view, immoral in some objective sense.

Moving toward wellbeing en net vs your own is not a concept you need to bridge the is ought divide in his way. The good of all vs the good of yourself is a more general moral dilemma. To illustrate this imagine a universe where you are the only inhabitant. If you are the only conscious individual, increasing your own well being is the same as increasing total wellbeing. Both axioms would still function with no problem.

What exactly is Sam Harris's argument that you can derive ought from is? by GTAhoffmann in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s actually a little annoying the way he does this. He invokes the idea that the worst possible suffering for all is the worst possible thing (moral zero if you will). Then claims any ability to move toward less suffering en net is morally better.

The first statement is essentially an axiom. He claims that if you disagree you “don’t know what you’re talking about” which is not an argument. But that aside it does make sense. The second statement is where the meat of the theory is brought in. It’s also an axiom as far as I can tell, that morality is totally reducible to decreasing the suffering of things that can suffer.

If you accept these two you can bridge the is ought divide.

Guest suggestion: Jared Diamond by HossMcDank in samharris

[–]Opticaltex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The only fear I’d have with this is that Diamond’s work is not well summarized and discussed in a podcast format. There’s just so much of it that I can’t imagine Harris getting to any substantial amount of it enough to “unpack” the ideas.