Atheist activist Jerry Coyne gushes about Sam Harris’s spiritual life:
As my blurb notes, it’s a wide journey through the land of spirituality, ranging from the latest findings of neuroscience to a chapter on gurus Sam has known. He recounts his experiences with drugs, and tells us what he’s gained from his own many years of Buddhist study and meditation.
Wow. A a wide journey through the land of spirituality? I thought atheism was nothing more than a lack of belief. It turns out we can’t define Sam’s atheism as just a lack of God belief. His atheism is a spiritual journey. Considering Coyne’s positive reaction, it looks like he too has a spiritual journey to share.
And given the inherent nihilism associated with atheism, it is no surprise that Harris’s spirituality amounts to distractions from reality with the use of drugs or meditation.
The book will surely anger or confuse those people who think Sam has gone soft on religion, but take my word for it, there’s not an iota of sympathy for the divine in the book.
Coyne is confused. “Relgion” and “the divine” are not the same thing. Yes, we know Harris hates God. But he also has clearly gone soft on religion through his attempt to turn atheism into a religion by blending it with a sanitized version of Eastern mysticism. Sorry guys, but when you turn atheism into a religion, you have gone soft on religion.
And, having taken psychedelics in my youth, I have considerable sympathy for trying to understand what the brain is really capable of, and how our perceptions can be altered. (I myself am really glad I tried those consciousness-altering substances, for such experiences are both perceptually stunning and potentially life-changing.)
Is Coyne promoting the use of psychedelics? Perhaps Coyne should share the way these drugs have changed his life?