Eradicating Religion


‘One of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns—about ethics, spiritual experience, and the inevitability of human suffering—in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. We desperately need a public discourse that encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty. Nothing stands in the way of this project more than the respect we accord religious faith.

I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not seem good. Still, the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of the eighteenth century. Anyone who spoke with confidence about eradicating slavery in the United States in the year 1775 surely appeared to be wasting his time, and wasting it dangerously.

The analogy is not perfect, but it is suggestive. If we ever do transcend our religious bewilderment, we will look back upon this period in human history with horror and amazement. How could it have been possible for people to believe such things in the twenty first century? How could it be that they allowed their societies to become so dangerously fragmented by empty notions about God and Paradise? The truth is, some of your most cherished beliefs are as embarrassing as those that sent the last slave ship sailing to America as late as 1859 (the same year that Darwin published The Origin of Species).’

Harris. S. 2006. Letter To A Christian Nation p. 28

On The Quran


“The idea that this is the best book ever written – on any subject – can only be maintained in an enormous intellectual isolation.”[1]

– Sam Harris


[1] Consider: the country of Spain translates more of the world’s literature and learning into Spanish every year than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the 9th century.

Ten Thousand Years


The following events make up a very brief overview of the next 10,000 years:

  • [+1,000] Most Words Extinct: Due to the rapid evolution of words, a thousand years from now, probably no single present day word will be used.
  • [+1,000] Carbon Dioxide: 29% of the carbon dioxide released before 2100 will still be in the atmosphere.
  • [+1,000] New North Star: Gamma Cephei will replace Polaris.
  • [+2,000] Greenland Ice Melted: The ice sheet will have melted completely; the Earth will be 8 degrees Celsius warmer on average; sea levels will be about 6 metres higher.
  • [+2,372] Hale-Bopp Returns: The comet that was last seen in 1997 is due to return around 4385 CE.
  • [+3,200] New North Star #2: Iota Cephei wins the top spot.
  • [+10,000] Carbon Dioxide: 14% of the carbon dioxide that has been released will still be present in the atmosphere – presuming no solution has been found.

See other: Events of the Far Future

On Consciousness


“Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.”

– Stuart Sutherland

Christians Considering Islam


‘Consider: every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you have for being a Christian. And yet you do not find their reasons compelling. The Koran repeatedly declares that it is the perfect word of the creator of the universe. Muslims believe this as fully as you believe the Bible’s account of itself. There is a vast literature describing the life of Muhammad that, from the point of view of Islam, proves that he was the most recent Prophet of God. Muhammad also assured his followers that Jesus was not divine (Koran 5:71-75; 19:30-38) and that anyone who believes otherwise will spend eternity in hell. Muslims are certain that Muhammad’s opinion on this subject, as on all others, is infallible.

Why don’t you lose any sleep over whether to convert to Islam? Can you prove that Allah is not the one, true God? Can you prove that the archangel Gabriel did not visit Muhammad in his cave? Of course not. But you need not prove any of these things to reject the beliefs of Muslims as absurd. The burden is upon them to prove that their beliefs about God and Muhammad are valid. They have not done this. They cannot do this. Muslims are simply not making claims about reality that can be corroborated. This is perfectly apparent to anyone who has not anesthetized himself with the dogma of Islam.

The truth is, you know exactly what it is like to be an atheist with respect to the beliefs of Muslims. Isn’t it obvious that Muslims are fooling themselves? Isn’t it obvious that anyone who thinks that the Koran is the perfect word of the creator of the universe has not read the book critically? Isn’t it obvious that the doctrine of Islam represents a near perfect barrier to honest inquiry? Yes, these things are obvious. Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way devout Muslims view Christianity. And it is the way I view all religions.’

Harris. S. 2006. Letter To A Christian Nation p. 4-5

Uncertainty‏


When contemplating the property uncertainty‏, as with knowledge, it turns out to be very difficult to provide an uncontentious analysis. Because of its many different conceptions and dimensions, the full value of uncertainty‏ is surprisingly hard to capture. To that end, below is a list of quotations to help sketch a definition of the property uncertainty‏.

“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”
– Douglas Adams

“Il n’est pas certain que tout soit incertain.”
(It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)
– Blaise Pascal

“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.”
– David Levithan

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
– Albert Einstein

“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of not knowing.”
– Mark Z. Danielewski

“In these times I don’t, in a manner of speaking, know what I want; perhaps I don’t want what I know and want what I don’t know.”
– Marsilio Ficino

“When in doubt, be ridiculous.”
– Sherwood Smith

“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.”
– Blaise Pascal

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”
– Richard Feynman

See more: Approximations