Sam Harris vs. Dan Carlin on Extremist Islam

Listen to the whole podcast here.


Hey guys this is Spenser Gabin with "Notes from the Jungle". I'm going to call it that for now, I might change my mind, when and if I decide to leave the Costa Rican jungle, but for now, it will be, "Notes from the Jungle". Today I just wanted to pop in a little segment from, "Waking Up" with Sam Harris, which is a podcast that I just kind of found out about and I really really like.

For those of you who don't know Sam Harris, he is one of the "New Atheists", who aren't really so new anymore, their books started coming out around 9-10 years ago when I was going through high school, and getting into atheism and secularism and rationality and all that fun stuff. Harris, recently, has been renown for speaking out against extremist Islam, and calling out liberals for being afraid to call out extreme Islam and Islamists who want to impose their beliefs on all of civilization.

He's been criticized along the left for being Islamophobic, which is total bullshit, he is just calling something for what it is. He calls this new Left, which is extremely concerned with political correctness, the "Regressive Left", which I think is an appropriate name, but anyway, in this segment, Harris is having a conversation with Dan Carlin, who is a history buff and has his own podcast called, "Hardcore History", which I have not listened to that much, but so far sounds really good, and really in depth, and he sounds like an interesting guy.

The reason I wanted to share this segment in particular, the entire podcast is about 2 hours, and I recommend listening to the whole thing, but I just thought it was representative of a sophisticated conversation between two intelligent people, who just happen to come at things from different points of view and disagree.

But, instead of how you typically see on TV and other podcasts, people talking past each other, or, people just kind of kissing each other's ass and not really saying anything, you have an interesting debate, with of course, some overlapping agreement and then some areas of disagreement or at least different areas of emphasis. Specifically here, they're talking about relative frequency of extremist Islam within Muslim communities.

I happen to side a little bit more with Harris on this one, in terms of underestimating the degree to which conservative Islamist beliefs influence people and their relative frequency overall. However, I thought Carlin was really smart and incisive throughout the podcast. They do agree that the War on Terror, really ought to be a war for hearts and minds rather than a war where we just drop bombs on people and hope that we kill them off, which I of course agree with.

Anyway, without further adieu, this is Sam Harris and Dan Carlin talking about these issues, I hope you enjoy it. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.


So there you have it guys, I really encourage you to listen to the whole podcast to get the context and everything of course, that was taken out of context. For that reason, I recommend you listen to the whole thing. It is a bit long but if you put it on in a long car ride, or something like that, I think you'll find it really, really enjoyable, I definitely did.