He was unaccountably surprised when she didn’t immediately concede his points

Adam Lee has some thoughts on Maryam Namazie’s encounter with Sam Harris on his podcast a few weeks ago.

While I agree with Harris on some things, I’ve often criticized his views on Islam – especially his indefensible beliefs about profiling – and I was hoping she’d give him a dose of perspective.

She offered him a dose of perspective, but he’s way too convinced that he already knows everything to listen to other people, especially not women. In short, he rejected her offer. For two hours he rejected it.

I got the impression that Namazie was treating it as a debate, whereas Harris didn’t think of it that way. However, his insistence on “correcting” some allegedly wrong ideas she held made it inevitable that there’d be sharp exchanges, and he was unaccountably surprised when she didn’t immediately concede his points just because he insisted she was mistaken.

That’s so Sam Harris. He’s so imperturbably confident in his own correctness that he seems incapable of listening.

Harris was very invested in getting Namazie to retract some of the critiques she’s made of his ideas, but she was having none of it. He seemed confident that if he just explained himself clearly enough, she’d be certain to come around and agree that he was right, and he was befuddled when she wouldn’t go along. It seems totally outside his sphere of possibility that two atheists might have a genuine difference of views about how to defeat radical Islam, or that ex-Muslims might find his approach unworkable or even counterproductive. He accused her of “starting these fights unnecessarily” (30:30), as if his stance was the default from which all atheist activism should begin – an immensely condescending attitude.

And all too typical of him.

Honestly I think we’d all be better off if Sam Harris had never had that first best-seller. Far too many atheists make a cult of him, and as a cult figure he’s a terrible influence – humorless, charmless, rude, and vastly conceited.

A great many bro-atheists used to admire Maryam and now think she’s just another one of those awful SJW people, because she dared to continue to disagree with Sam Harris even after he told her not to.

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