Someone used one of Sam Harris’s quotes and turned it into an internet meme:
Aslan and Greenwald—a famous “scholar” and a famous “journalist”—are engaged in a campaign of pure defamation. They are consciously misleading their readers and increasing my security concerns in the process.
The irony. Atheists commonly use this tactic against religious people – take quotes from religious leaders or religious books out of context and makes memes to portray religion in a very bad light. When this happens, atheists respond with laughter and applause. Of course, when the very same tactic is used against atheists, suddenly it becomes bad.
But the hypocrisy runs deeper.
No matter how completely opposed I may have been to another person’s views, I have not behaved like that. I have never knowingly distorted the positions I criticize, whether they are the doctrines of a religion or the personal beliefs of Francis Collins, Eben Alexander, Deepak Chopra, Reza Aslan, Glenn Greenwald, or any other writer or public figure with whom I’ve collided. The crucial boundary between hard-hitting criticism and defamation is knowing that you are misrepresenting your target.
A few years ago, the same Sam Harris used fear-mongering to help orchestrate a smear campaign against Francis Collins. Furthermore, as Tom Gilson noted, Harris willfully misrepresented a portion from Francis Collins book:
It should be obvious that was not what Collins claimed the waterfall did for him. It was just a moment that contributed to his developing view of God, along with many other factors. Harris misrepresented him badly, arguing in obvious bad faith. He is calling Collins irrational, but his proof thereof is seriously lacking.
Surprise. Harris doesn’t like the taste of his own medicine.
As for my opinion about Harris being a “genocidal fascist maniac?” I don’t agree.
He doesn’t have the power.