Sam Harris on the Israel/Palestine conflict

Why Evolution Is True

If there are two hot-button topics in the liberal atheist community, they would be Sam Harris and Israel. For reasons I have yet to fathom, Sam evokes an extraordinary amount of rancor among atheists. I’m not sure why, but sometimes I think that some Harris-haters resent his goal of making them think about hard questions. (Really, is it that hateful to ask people to think about whether torture or ethnic profiling might be justified?). Too, he and the late Christopher Hitchens were the biggest atheist critics of Islam, and for reasons that are not as obscure (a double standard applied to non-Westerners), liberals tend to give Muslims a pass that they wouldn’t give to, say, Catholics or Jews.

I don’t always agree with Sam—I take issue with his stand on guns and on the existence of objective morality, for instance—but he’s always thoughtful, eloquent, and amiable. He doesn’t condescend to or sneer at…

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