Generalization and Comm. #2

Here’s a much more refined conversation about the issue: Starting at ~50 seconds, Cenk raises the fulcrum issue … at least the one I care about and raised in the previous post: “it’s complicated”. Again, the claim that liberals or liberalism is the failure is simply false. Liberals and liberalism tend toward “it’s complicated”, mostly antithetic to a crisp rule-based analysis of any given situation. Cenk is being a liberal, here, asserting that, yes, Muslims commit doctrinally justified/induced behaviors. But so does everyone else who subscribes to any religious beliefs. (I would go further and assert that everyone, regardless of religious belief, commit doctrinally justified/induced behaviors, which is the genesis of why “militant” atheists irritate me.)

It is the abstracted, detail-free application of predicates, rules, that distinguish liberalism from … conservatism, for lack of a better dichotomy.

And this is where Harris allows his liberal personality to show. But like all of us, Harris is complicated and, while sometimes he thinks like a liberal, sometimes he thinks like a conservative. When he claims liberalism has failed us with respect to radical Islam, he’s thinking conservatively, not liberally. Whether you agree or disagree with the point is irrelevant. Harris (and those who agree with him at this point in the rhetoric) are not liberals, or holding to liberalism, when they make these arguments because liberalism is not rule-based.

But the more interesting points of this conversation come later. Here is a brief transcript (because I can’t spend all day doing this sort of thing):

Sam: So there are circumstances where you can say “Oh yeah, there’s a massive political, economic contribution to this problem”, right? Then there are circumstances where you can say “There is zero political economic contribution to this problem and it’s pure ideology.” When someone in Marin county or Orange county, some white guy who is raised christian or jewish, wakes up and gets really into Islam and starts reading all the books and goes to the local mosque and gets “radicalized”, right? And he decides to go fight for ISIS. That’s not economics. it’s not politics.

Cenk: No, I disagree with you.

They get into it later and it’s good to listen to. But my 2 cents is simply that Harris does not know why that “white guy” decides to go fight for ISIS. He may think he knows. But I assert he does not. Harris is bright. But I’m hard pressed to think he’s solved every aspect of sociology and psychology already and is simply enlightening us morons. What he’s doing is assuming he knows and is thereby justified in applying his precompiled rule. And if I’m right and Harris really doesn’t understand “white guys” in Marin/Orange county as well as he thinks he does, then should I take him at his word and believe he understands your typical Muslim as well as he thinks he does?

I’ll repeat, though. Harris is a treasure! We need him and his deontological advocacy. But don’t buy into his mistaken concept of liberalism.


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