Marlowe's Shade

Monday, December 19, 2005

The War on the Soul

I was flipping through channels this weekend and came across a neurologist named Sam Harris on C-SPAN. He was speaking at the NY Society for Ethical Culture on his new book The End of Faith.

In a few sentences he managed to cause an epiphany of how far radical secularism has advanced and how very close this movement is to effecting an eradication of any belief in the supernatural.

His arguments are firmly rooted in the scientific bigotry that anything that hasn't been accepted by the modern empirical canon is not open for discussion. The statements that caught my attention were embedded in what seemed to be a longer general diatribe against the concept of the soul. To paraphrase he stated that the idea of the sanctity of the life of an embryo was absurd because of the fact that an embryo could divide and then represent two souls or two embryos could combine to form what is called a chimera, raising the question of what happened to the other soul? The upshot was that these puzzling questions made the notion of the soul absurd. There are many points that could be discussed here, especially since this argument is loaded with assumptions. But the simplest flaw is that because the possibility of a soul doesn't fit Harris' materialistic model, it is discarded without at least questioning if the model is wrong.

From what I've read Mr Harris' arguments based on reviews of his book, interviews and his website, he doesn't concede that faith has contributed one single good thing to humanity, yet fails to explain how the human race managed to survive the insidious delusion of faith for so many millenia. One would also think that a cataloger of the evils of religion would have a better response to the charge that the greatest secular challenger to faith, Communist, was quantifiably much more destructive than any faith it supplanted.

Communism was not an attempt to erase faith. It was a new faith, albeit one that did not look beyond this life. Communism was shot through with irrationality.

I have no argument that Communism was irrational, but it was the product of the Age of Reason, and the "logical" conclusion of the secular thought life of the time. It grew out of the same soil of materialism in which Harris' arguments are rooted. For someone who would enforce thought life based entirely on this conception of human reason, Mr Harris has a poor grasp of logic, as illustrated in a second point he made. Again, arguing against the idea of a soul being associated with embryonic human life, he postulated that with "advancing technology" the genetic material of of any cell could be cloned into an adult organism. Therefore when the President scratches his nose he commits a Holocaust. The entire room broke up with that punchline.

Setting aside the same ghastly moral equivalency we've come to expect from kindred groups like PETA, and overlooking the rhetorical cheat of basing his argument on technology that has yet to be developed, his comparison of two different types of cells that have no relation to each other for the purpose of this argument reveals what is so irrational and prejudicial about radical secular agendas. The logical flaw of comparing a single embryo which has the potential to grow into a unique human being, and a single specialized cell in the human body itself should be evident to anyone with out this anti-faith ax to grind.

Materialists will no doubt continue to deny the existence of anything their five senses don't preceive. This would include their own emotional and thought lives and perhaps this is why they can't attain the objectivity that they claim like a birthright. But what shocks me is the call to eradicate faith, as if soon kangaroo court of secularists have been given jurisdiction over faith and that the verdict has a already been declared and sentence passed. Read these reviews of Harris' book and you will see that the secular elite in our media are ready to roll in their campaign to exterminate any manifestation of faith in our culture. They have their causa belli, now all they need is someone in office to carry out the Final Solution to the faith question. Secularists have thrown down the gauntlet and we can't pretend that the challenge isn't out in the open now.
papijoe 7:37 AM