canada goose coats A scurrilous attack on Sam Harris Why Evolution Is True canada goose coats
cheap Canada Goose Jackson Lears, a professor of history at Rutgers and editor of The Raritan Review). Sam has taken a lot canada goose outlet belgium of knocks lately, centered mostly on the neo utilitarianism he espoused in The Moral Landscape. But this is a broad based attack on all three of his books, and contains a number of serious (and largely inaccurate) canada goose outlet in montreal charges. cheap Canada Goose
uk canada goose Before getting down to Harris, Lears makes a general attack on positivism (a view whose virtues seem self evident to me) and on science in general, canada goose outlet england blaming it for all the ills of the twentieth century, including eugenics, racism and war: uk canada goose
Every schoolkid knows about what happened next: the catastrophic twentieth century. Two world wars, the systematic slaughter of innocents on an unprecedented scale, the canada goose outlet toronto location proliferation of unimaginably destructive weapons, brushfire wars on the periphery of empire all these events involved, in various degrees, the application of scientific research to advanced technology. All showed that science canada goose outlet woodbury could not be elevated above the agendas of canada goose outlet london the nation state: the best scientists were as corruptible by money, power or ideology as anyone else, and their research could as canada goose outlet reviews easily be bent toward mass murder as toward the progress of humankind. Science was not merely science. The crowning irony was that eugenics, far from “perfecting the race,” as some American progressives had hoped early in the twentieth century, was used by the Nazis to eliminate those they deemed undesirable.
Sociologists of knowledge, along with historians and philosophers of science (including Karl Mannheim, Peter Berger and Thomas Kuhn), all emphasized the provisionality of scientific truth, its dependence on a shifting expert consensus that could change or even dissolve outright in light of new evidence. Reality or at least our apprehension of it could be said to be socially canada goose outlet niagara falls constructed.
buy canada goose jacket What does this have to do with Harris? Simply that he advocates positivism, Enlightenment values, and science as tools for moving our world forward. Lear beef with Harris is multifarious, including the following accusations: buy canada goose jacket
canada goose uk black friday Harris neglects the good side of religion: canada goose uk black friday
Sometimes religion has bolstered the forces of political sanctimony and persecution, as with Prohibition in the 1920s and anticommunism during the cold war; but it has also encouraged dissenters to speak truth to power to abolish slavery, to canada goose outlet ontario regulate capitalism, to end the Vietnam War.
Canada Goose Jackets These claims about the net power of religion in regulating capitalism, and in ending war and slavery, are of course disputable. Some churches did have these aims; others were on the opposite side. Canada Goose Jackets
canada goose uk outlet The depredations Harris imputes to religion aren really due to faith: canada goose uk outlet
Still, it remains an open question how much this ideological offensive depended on religious dogma, and how much it was the work of seasoned political players, such as plutocrats bent on deregulating business and dismantling progressive taxation, corporate sponsored media eager to curry favor with the powerful and military contractors hoping to sup at the public trough. Even the rhetoric of Providential mission owed more canada goose outlet toronto factory to romantic nationalism than to orthodox Christianity, canada goose outlet near me which has long challenged the cult of the nation state as a form of idolatry.
Canada Goose online What Lear is really on about is capitalism, and he sees Harris indeed, all the New Atheists as having an agenda to serve capitalism and the political status quo, using science as a canada goose discount uk tool: Canada Goose online
canada goose black friday sale To define science as the source of absolute truth, Harris must first ignore the messy realities of power in the world of Big Science. In his books there is no discussion of the involvement canada goose outlet factory of scientists in the military industrial complex or in the pharmacological pursuit of profit. Nor is any attention paid to the ways that chance, careerism and intellectual fashion can shape research: how they can skew data, promote the publication of some results and consign others to obscurity, channel financial support or choke it off… canada goose black friday sale
Despite their disdain for public piety, canada goose outlet the New Atheists provided little in their critique to disturb the architects and proselytizers of American empire: indeed, Hitchens and Harris asserted a fervent rationale for it. Since 9/11, both men have canada goose outlet trillium parka black made careers of posing as heroic outsiders while serving the interests of the powerful…
uk canada goose outlet If we evaluate those arguments according to their resonance with public policy debates, the results are sobering. Harris’s convictions reveal his comfortable cohabitation with imperial power. uk canada goose outlet
I speechless. Yes, Hitchens supported our incursion into Iraq, and yes, Harris has said that we might want to rethink our policy (either official or unofficial) on torture more on that in the coming days. But the blanket accusation that both of these men are dedicated to serving imperialism and capitalism bespeaks a complete ignorance of their work.
Harris and the New Atheists lack a sophisticated and view of canada goose uk site religion:
But Harris is not interested in religious experience. He displays an astonishing lack of knowledge or even curiosity about the actual content of religious belief or practice, announcing that “most religions have merely canonized a few products of ancient ignorance and derangement and passed them down to us as though they were primordial truths.”… Harris espouses the canada goose outlet 2015 Enlightenment master narrative of progress, celebrating humans’ steady ascent from superstition to science; no http://www.mycanadagoosejacket.org other sort of knowledge, still less wisdom, will do.
canada goose uk shop Lears, who is remarkably sympathetic to faith, doesn consider whether religion actually provides any sort of knowledge or Lears takes out after Harris views on morality. He makes some points that other critics have made as well, but infuses his critique with a vicious anti scientism, citing Jonah Lehrer misguided canada goose outlet uk interpretation of decline effect as evidence that something is badly wrong with the scientific process itself: canada goose uk shop
canada goose coats on sale These sorts of problems make replicating results more difficult, and the difficulties are compounded by canada goose outlet winnipeg address the standard practices of professional science. Initial research success is written up for scientific journals, rewarded with grants and promotions, and reported to credulous nonscientists; subsequent failures to replicate results remain largely invisible canada goose outlet store uk except to the researchers, who, if they are honest in their appraisal of the evidence, find it hard to accept simple minded notions of statistically based certainty. The search for scientific truth is not as straightforward as Harris would like to believe. canada goose coats on sale
If you think that Lears is treading on the ground of postmodernism here, you would not be far afield. And that confirmed when he starts espousing moral relativism. He first defends the burqa:
canada goose factory sale As the anthropologist Lila Abu Lughod writes, the burqa is a “mobile home” in patriarchal societies where women are otherwise confined to domestic space. Harris cannot imagine that Islamic women might actually choose to wear one; but some do. canada goose factory sale
Yes, and many others don and how many of the ones who do have been forced or taught or indoctrinated to do so? Things get even stickier when we come to the indefensible practice of female genital mutilation. According to canada goose outlet store quebec Lears, who comes very close to defending it, Harris simply doesn appreciate its cultural significance:
buy canada goose jacket cheap Nor is he aware of the pioneering work of Christine Walley on female genital mutilation in Africa. Walley illuminates the complex significance of the practice without ever expressing tolerance for it, and she uses cross cultural understanding as a means of connecting with local African women seeking to put an end to it. buy canada goose jacket cheap
Canada Goose sale Well, this morning I spent some time reading the work of Christine Walley (another postmodernist and moral relativist), and I couldn find any intolerance for genital canada goose outlet black friday mutilation. All she talks about is how the West should not impose its cultural hegemony and moral values on Africans who choose canada goose factory outlet to mutilate their daughters (granted, I not read everything she written on the topic). Here the peroration from p. 430 of her major paper on what she calls cutting, for Feminism, Anthropology, and the Global Debate over Female Genital Operations (Cultural Anthropology, 1997, Vol. 12, pp. 405 438.) Canada Goose sale
Ultimately, however, the theoretical separation canada goose jacket outlet uk between clitoridectomy in Kikhome as ritual practice and the international controversy surrounding female genital operations as discourse is untenable. Discourse is also practice; it is not simply a canada goose outlet sale way of understanding or thinking about the world, it is also a way of acting in it. Given that our discourse also signals a form of intervention, I would like to encourage feminists of whatever national origins, race, or gender to work against those assumptions being made in Western oriented media accounts of female genital operations that reproduce colonial and neocolonial ideologies. Feminist anthropologists can also make a productive contribution by canada goose outlet germany examining the social contexts of both ritual practices and international controversies and by exploring the power dynamics surrounding support and opposition to such practices, whether in rural African villages or urban canada goose outlet parka France. For those interested in more hands on styles of activism, critics of identity politics and hardened notions of culture are also pointing us in the direction of a feminist politics based on alliances and coalitions (Butler 1990; Haraway 1989; Mohanty 1991); hopefully, this brand of feminist politics will also be capable of critiquing practices such as clitoridectomy and infibulation without resorting to neocolonial ideologies of gender or denigrating the choices of women who support such practices.
canada goose Note that there nothing here about stopping the practice: the closest Walley comes is the mention of it, although she doesn want people it. The vast bulk of her article criticizes Westerners who attack genital mutilation from their privileged colonialist position. Both Walley and Lears pieces are steeped in postmodernism, with Lears additionally infested with anti science bigotry. canada goose
canada goose store Actually, Lears piece is much worse than I made out here. It largely a tirade, winding up with these words: canada goose store.