Sam Harris, renowned as one of the leading intellectuals of the ‘New Atheist Movement’ and a self-professed ‘rationalist’, said during the 30th October, 2020 edition of his Making Sense podcast that notorious Islamic terrorist Osama bin Laden appears less reprehensible to him than US President Donald Trump. The section of the podcast where he said it is available only to subscribers and was shared by popular political commentator Mike Cernovich.
In the audio clip shared by Cernovich, Sam Harris can be heard saying, “Osama bin Laden, as a person, is far more understandable to me and far less reprehensible, personally, psychologically, than Trump.” The entire context of the conversation is not yet known but that is not entirely necessary as the atheist has said the same thing in the past as well.
In an audio clip uploaded to his Facebook account on the 19th of February, he explains his position in detail. Sam Harris says, “I find Trump more despicable than I found Osama bin Laden… With Osama bin Laden, it’s just obvious to me that he could have been a mensch in some sense, right? He’s making serious sacrifices for ideas that he deeply believes in. He’s committed to a cause greater than himself.”
The deluded atheist continued, “I don’t doubt he had real ethical connections to the people in his life that he cared about. He’s a real person, right? And in some ways, he is kind of a moral hero in a very bad game. And so therefore, he’s kind of prototypically evil when viewed from my game. he’s a person of actual substance- he’s just committed to the wrong ends, whereas Trump is the negation of all those things.”
It is bizarre for Sam Harris to claim that Donald Trump does not have ‘real ethical connections’ with the people in his life. It only reveals the extent of dehumanization of Donald Trump that dominates liberal discourse in the United States. Liberals appear to genuinely believe that Trump is not even human and is not a ‘real person’ in some sense.
It is thus quite clear that ‘peak rational atheist’ Sam Harris believes that Donald Trump, under whose administration historic peace deals were signed between sworn enemies in the Middle East, is more reprehensible than the Islamic terrorist who brought down the Twin Towers and unleashed death, destruction and carnage across the world.
The dehumanization of Donald Trump has subsequently been used as a justification to justify all sorts of brutality against his supporters. Sam Harris surely does not personally endorse physical assault on Trump supporters but it has to be acknowledged that he engages in the same dehumanizing rhetoric that has led to an epidemic of attacks on Trump supporters.
When people are led to believe that their political adversaries are worse than Osama bin Laden, then it appears inevitable that the supporters will suffer the consequences for backing the said adversary. Sam Harris may not believe in Gods but if someone asked him to describe Satan, it can be safely said that he will draw a portrait of Donald Trump.
Sam Harris is recognised across the ‘atheist community’ as someone who oozes intellect and rationality. However, quite clearly, he is further evidence of the fact a lack of religious faith does not automatically translate into a more rational worldview or more rational opinions. In this particular instance, the atheist has clearly been consumed by the Trump Derangement Syndrome which has led him to conclude that a democratically elected president of the United States is worse than a sworn enemy of the civilized world.
The trademark of the ‘New Atheist Movement’ has been the arrogance with which they carry themselves and the disdain they reserve for religious people in general. They pretend to have a monopoly over rational discourse. Hopefully, this occasion, where Sam Harris has revealed himself to be a lunatic and utterly deluded individual, would implore at least some of them to learn some humility.