A Good Analogy to Use in Conversation: The Remote Island


In a long conversation on the Young Turks (which you can watch here), Sam Harris was making the point that Islam is not like other religions in important ways. He said if we put a group of people on a remote island and gave them the Koran and said "this is the way you should live," and we came back in a thousand years and they lived like ISIS, it would not be a surprise.

But if you gave them the Pali Canon (Buddhist doctrine) and came back in a thousand years and they lived like ISIS, it would be a big surprise because there is nothing in the Pali Canon that would lead to you expect to find sex slaves or beheadings or forced conversions or any of the rest of the things ISIS is doing.

But there is quite a bit in the doctrines of Islam that would lead you to expect those things. The doctrine is different. What it says its followers should do is different.

This point is sometimes difficult to get through to people. Using this analogy might help to make it clearer.


Myrtle Pearl 1:26 PM  

Good point. A pastor who calls himself Brother Andrew, who smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain into the USSR, is now focused on the Muslim world. Similar to your illustration, he asks a very good question, "What kind of man does YOUR book produce?"

~~Just Me in T~~ 2:39 PM  

But Islam is not on an isolated island where there are / is no other worldly influences. One cannot say that for (?how many thousands of years) Islam has been isolate that just does not ring true. Today ISIS /Islam/Muslims freely and openly ,make use of all forms of modern technology, yet refuse to become part of the real modern world (when it suits their needs) and adhere to edicts made by a sexually depraved dessert warrior!

Citizen Warrior 3:32 PM  

Just Me in T:

The point Sam Harris was making is that the doctrine makes a difference. What is written makes a difference. People follow what is written to some degree or another, if they believe it is divinely inspired.

The guy who was arguing with Harris was suggesting that the reason Muslims are doing what they're doing is because of real world circumstances: The existence of Israel, the presence of American troops in "Islamic" lands, etc.

But similar people of different religious faiths under the same kind of circumstances choose to respond differently. Why? Because of their beliefs.

Harris is saying that it really makes a difference what it says in the doctrine.

Anonymous 6:40 AM  

All this issues of fighting due to troops in Mus lim lands shows that,
Their loyalty is with Is lam and not with the country where they are born with.

Basically, they identify themselves as mus lim first, sun-ni or shi-ate second, there is no concept of patriotism or loyalty to their country.

Due to the prevention of their female members from education and from interacting to other males that are not family members, their female members are normally not employable, definitely not contributing to the economy.

The history of their founder can be found here,

Anonymous 3:22 AM  

Sam Harris did well not to punch Cenk Uygur in the nose. Cenk really ought to read "The Third Choice" by Mark Durie. Living under Islam as a nonMuslim was far from wonderful.


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