Critical Theory, “Sam Harris Awkwardly Debates with Noam Chomsky,” May 2, 2015

Sam Harris Awkwardly Debates with Noam Chomsky
Eugene Wolters, Critical Theory, May 2, 2015

Sam Harris, the New Atheist philosopher who, with his colleagues, managed to artfully package trendy atheism with old-school Islamophobic bigotry is now trying to publicly debate anarchist intellectual Noam Chomsky.

The topic at hand: is the United States as evil as Islamic terrorism? Harris, for his part, has previously criticized Chomsky’s argument that the United States is the world’s largest terrorist. Chomsky, for his part, is really not interested in a debate, because it would imply that Harris understands Chomsky’s argument in the first place.

On April 26 of this year, Harris reached out to Chomsky over some comments he had made referring to Harris as a “religious fanatic who worships the state.” Except, well, Chomsky didn’t directly call him that, he was speaking of New Atheists writ large, and arguably Christopher Hitchens specifically. Either way, Harris took to defending his comrades and reached out to Chomsky to clarify their respective positions in a public dialogue.

Harris, to his credit, maintained an impressive civility in the face of pure, unadulterated contempt from Chomsky.

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