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Chomsky the clown

dylancatlow
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5/2/2015 9:38:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A correspondence between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org...

tl;dr

1. Harris begins by making a moral distinction between the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant and September 11th on the basis of intentions.

2. Chomsky insists that Harris answer the the irrelevant question "What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them?"

3. Harris responds by pointing out that the answer to his question entirely depends on what the aim of the attack was. He describes a situation in which Al Qaeda destroys half the pharmaceutical supplies in order to save millions of lives, claiming that in such an example, the proper reaction wouldn't be to blame them. (Obviously, Chomsky wanted Harris to say that Al Qaeda would be blamed for such an attack so that he could claim there was a double standard.)

4. Chomsky throws a hissy fit and insists that Harris' example is irrelevant.

5. Harris acknowledges it is irrelevant, pointing out that it was only meant as a thought experiment designed to demonstrate the importance of intentions in the clearest terms possible (and thus showing why Chomsky's original question was a loaded one).

6. Chomsky insists that Harris is avoiding the question, claiming "Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I"m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won"t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that."

7. Harris ignores Chomsky's tantrums, and asks Chomsky to explain why he believes the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant was meant as a malicious (or at the very least callous) attack.

8. Chomsky responds by saying "The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation. It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons factory, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing."

9. Sam Harris asks "Is it really 'inconceivable' that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?)"

10. Chomsky replies with "You may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory " which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences."

11. Sam Harris says he has lost hope that they can communicate effectively in this medium, and ends the exchange, and asks Chomsky if he would be okay if Harris made the correspodnece public.

12. Chomsky reluctantly agrees, saying "The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism " whatever the content. Personally, I can"t imagine doing it."
ShabShoral
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5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.
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16kadams
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5/3/2015 5:37:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 5:23:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.

He's the worst kind of person.

That is a bit harsh but ok, lol
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dylancatlow
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5/3/2015 5:38:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 5:37:45 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:23:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.

He's the worst kind of person.

That is a bit harsh but ok, lol

If I could, I would assassinate him.
ShabShoral
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5/3/2015 5:41:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 5:37:45 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:23:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.

He's the worst kind of person.

That is a bit harsh but ok, lol

He makes his living venerating murderers. He deserves no respect.
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"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

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"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

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HououinKyouma
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5/3/2015 6:58:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 9:38:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A correspondence between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org...

tl;dr

1. Harris begins by making a moral distinction between the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant and September 11th on the basis of intentions.

2. Chomsky insists that Harris answer the the irrelevant question "What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them?"

3. Harris responds by pointing out that the answer to his question entirely depends on what the aim of the attack was. He describes a situation in which Al Qaeda destroys half the pharmaceutical supplies in order to save millions of lives, claiming that in such an example, the proper reaction wouldn't be to blame them. (Obviously, Chomsky wanted Harris to say that Al Qaeda would be blamed for such an attack so that he could claim there was a double standard.)

4. Chomsky throws a hissy fit and insists that Harris' example is irrelevant.

5. Harris acknowledges it is irrelevant, pointing out that it was only meant as a thought experiment designed to demonstrate the importance of intentions in the clearest terms possible (and thus showing why Chomsky's original question was a loaded one).

6. Chomsky insists that Harris is avoiding the question, claiming "Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I"m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won"t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that."

7. Harris ignores Chomsky's tantrums, and asks Chomsky to explain why he believes the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant was meant as a malicious (or at the very least callous) attack.

8. Chomsky responds by saying "The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation. It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons factory, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing."

9. Sam Harris asks "Is it really 'inconceivable' that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?)"

10. Chomsky replies with "You may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory " which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences."

11. Sam Harris says he has lost hope that they can communicate effectively in this medium, and ends the exchange, and asks Chomsky if he would be okay if Harris made the correspodnece public.

12. Chomsky reluctantly agrees, saying "The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism " whatever the content. Personally, I can"t imagine doing it."

I had thought about starting a thread like this, but it seems that you've preempted me. This sort of correspondence between the rabid sage of MIT and some perfectly sensible fellow, can be replicated ad infinitum.

Here's another gem: http://www.monbiot.com...
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dylancatlow
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5/3/2015 7:41:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I like how when Harris brought up the fact that Chomsky had called him a "religious fanatic" Chomsky was like "interesting that you have no source", even though it takes like 2 seconds to verify it.
Skepsikyma
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5/3/2015 9:33:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I like Chomsky more on domestic politics, especially his views on the nature of news media, than I do his views on international politics. I think that he simplifies and moralizes international politics in a way that isn't really tenable, and that is often bizarrely binary. If you want to read something better by Chomsky, I recommend Manufacturing Consent, which he co-authored. It tackles crony capitalization and the role that it plays in corrupting media which is, essentially, subsidized through privileged access to information.
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dylancatlow
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5/3/2015 9:47:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 9:33:32 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I like Chomsky more on domestic politics, especially his views on the nature of news media, than I do his views on international politics. I think that he simplifies and moralizes international politics in a way that isn't really tenable, and that is often bizarrely binary. If you want to read something better by Chomsky, I recommend Manufacturing Consent, which he co-authored. It tackles crony capitalization and the role that it plays in corrupting media which is, essentially, subsidized through privileged access to information.

Yeah, I was actually planning on reading that. But first I have to finish my current book, and then get through Godel, Escher and Bach =/
dylancatlow
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5/3/2015 11:28:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Even if hunter-gatherer societies were more peaceful than we are today (which I highly doubt) that doesn't prove anything about anarchism per se (as Chomsky seems to imply). Hunter-gatherer societies were constantly on the move trying to find food, had no permanent residence and very possessions to defend, consisted of groups rarely exceeding 150 people, existed at a time when the population density was incredibly low and competition over resources was rare, and had very primitive weapons and limited knowledge in general. None of those are feasible today, nor are they desirable. If hunter-gatherer societies were peaceful, it's only because they didn't have time for violence given that they were always on the verge of death.
1Historygenius
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5/3/2015 11:53:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
But all the leftists have come to Chomsky's aid on their websites! http://www.rawstory.com...
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ShabShoral
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5/4/2015 3:02:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 9:47:02 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/3/2015 9:33:32 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I like Chomsky more on domestic politics, especially his views on the nature of news media, than I do his views on international politics. I think that he simplifies and moralizes international politics in a way that isn't really tenable, and that is often bizarrely binary. If you want to read something better by Chomsky, I recommend Manufacturing Consent, which he co-authored. It tackles crony capitalization and the role that it plays in corrupting media which is, essentially, subsidized through privileged access to information.

Yeah, I was actually planning on reading that. But first I have to finish my current book, and then get through Godel, Escher and Bach =/

Oh god, you're actually going to try to read GEB? Good luck... it's indecipherable.
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slo1
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5/4/2015 9:43:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 9:38:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A correspondence between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org...

tl;dr

1. Harris begins by making a moral distinction between the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant and September 11th on the basis of intentions.

2. Chomsky insists that Harris answer the the irrelevant question "What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them?"

3. Harris responds by pointing out that the answer to his question entirely depends on what the aim of the attack was. He describes a situation in which Al Qaeda destroys half the pharmaceutical supplies in order to save millions of lives, claiming that in such an example, the proper reaction wouldn't be to blame them. (Obviously, Chomsky wanted Harris to say that Al Qaeda would be blamed for such an attack so that he could claim there was a double standard.)

4. Chomsky throws a hissy fit and insists that Harris' example is irrelevant.

5. Harris acknowledges it is irrelevant, pointing out that it was only meant as a thought experiment designed to demonstrate the importance of intentions in the clearest terms possible (and thus showing why Chomsky's original question was a loaded one).

6. Chomsky insists that Harris is avoiding the question, claiming "Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I"m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won"t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that."

7. Harris ignores Chomsky's tantrums, and asks Chomsky to explain why he believes the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant was meant as a malicious (or at the very least callous) attack.

8. Chomsky responds by saying "The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation. It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons factory, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing."

9. Sam Harris asks "Is it really 'inconceivable' that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?)"

10. Chomsky replies with "You may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory " which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences."

11. Sam Harris says he has lost hope that they can communicate effectively in this medium, and ends the exchange, and asks Chomsky if he would be okay if Harris made the correspodnece public.

12. Chomsky reluctantly agrees, saying "The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism " whatever the content. Personally, I can"t imagine doing it."

I have not really read through it all, but I am not satisfied with the argument that intent makes it all better. Even our justice system is not built upon forgiveness due to intent. All 3rd degree (manslaughter) convictions are built upon the premise that while intent matters in severity of punishment it does not eliminate punishment.

Arguing that our government has the right to commit 3rd degree murder with zero repercussions because our intent is in the right place goes counter of that which we have defined as just when it comes to individual citizen behavior.
ben2974
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5/4/2015 12:30:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I read the whole thing while at work just now. I must say that Harris didn't score much, if any, points on Chomsky, regardless of Chomsky's demeanor.

They just need to battle it out live on t.v or something.

", as you know." lolololol
dylancatlow
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5/4/2015 12:51:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 9:43:00 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 5/2/2015 9:38:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A correspondence between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org...

tl;dr

1. Harris begins by making a moral distinction between the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant and September 11th on the basis of intentions.

2. Chomsky insists that Harris answer the the irrelevant question "What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them?"

3. Harris responds by pointing out that the answer to his question entirely depends on what the aim of the attack was. He describes a situation in which Al Qaeda destroys half the pharmaceutical supplies in order to save millions of lives, claiming that in such an example, the proper reaction wouldn't be to blame them. (Obviously, Chomsky wanted Harris to say that Al Qaeda would be blamed for such an attack so that he could claim there was a double standard.)

4. Chomsky throws a hissy fit and insists that Harris' example is irrelevant.

5. Harris acknowledges it is irrelevant, pointing out that it was only meant as a thought experiment designed to demonstrate the importance of intentions in the clearest terms possible (and thus showing why Chomsky's original question was a loaded one).

6. Chomsky insists that Harris is avoiding the question, claiming "Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I"m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won"t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that."

7. Harris ignores Chomsky's tantrums, and asks Chomsky to explain why he believes the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant was meant as a malicious (or at the very least callous) attack.

8. Chomsky responds by saying "The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation. It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons factory, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing."

9. Sam Harris asks "Is it really 'inconceivable' that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?)"

10. Chomsky replies with "You may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory " which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences."

11. Sam Harris says he has lost hope that they can communicate effectively in this medium, and ends the exchange, and asks Chomsky if he would be okay if Harris made the correspodnece public.

12. Chomsky reluctantly agrees, saying "The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism " whatever the content. Personally, I can"t imagine doing it."

I have not really read through it all, but I am not satisfied with the argument that intent makes it all better. Even our justice system is not built upon forgiveness due to intent. All 3rd degree (manslaughter) convictions are built upon the premise that while intent matters in severity of punishment it does not eliminate punishment.

Arguing that our government has the right to commit 3rd degree murder with zero repercussions because our intent is in the right place goes counter of that which we have defined as just when it comes to individual citizen behavior.

That's not what Sam Harris is saying at all. He's only arguing that people with good intentions who end up doing bad are not morally comparable to people who do bad consciously.
dylancatlow
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5/4/2015 12:57:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 12:30:15 PM, ben2974 wrote:
I read the whole thing while at work just now. I must say that Harris didn't score much, if any, points on Chomsky, regardless of Chomsky's demeanor.

I wouldn't say regardless of Chomsky's demeanor, I'd say because of Chomsky's demeanor. The debate didn't even really get started because Chomsky was being dishonest and hostile from the start.


They just need to battle it out live on t.v or something.


", as you know." lolololol
slo1
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5/4/2015 1:10:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 12:51:54 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/4/2015 9:43:00 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 5/2/2015 9:38:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A correspondence between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org...

tl;dr

1. Harris begins by making a moral distinction between the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant and September 11th on the basis of intentions.

2. Chomsky insists that Harris answer the the irrelevant question "What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them?"

3. Harris responds by pointing out that the answer to his question entirely depends on what the aim of the attack was. He describes a situation in which Al Qaeda destroys half the pharmaceutical supplies in order to save millions of lives, claiming that in such an example, the proper reaction wouldn't be to blame them. (Obviously, Chomsky wanted Harris to say that Al Qaeda would be blamed for such an attack so that he could claim there was a double standard.)

4. Chomsky throws a hissy fit and insists that Harris' example is irrelevant.

5. Harris acknowledges it is irrelevant, pointing out that it was only meant as a thought experiment designed to demonstrate the importance of intentions in the clearest terms possible (and thus showing why Chomsky's original question was a loaded one).

6. Chomsky insists that Harris is avoiding the question, claiming "Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I"m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won"t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that."

7. Harris ignores Chomsky's tantrums, and asks Chomsky to explain why he believes the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant was meant as a malicious (or at the very least callous) attack.

8. Chomsky responds by saying "The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation. It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons factory, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing."

9. Sam Harris asks "Is it really 'inconceivable' that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?)"

10. Chomsky replies with "You may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory " which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences."

11. Sam Harris says he has lost hope that they can communicate effectively in this medium, and ends the exchange, and asks Chomsky if he would be okay if Harris made the correspodnece public.

12. Chomsky reluctantly agrees, saying "The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism " whatever the content. Personally, I can"t imagine doing it."

I have not really read through it all, but I am not satisfied with the argument that intent makes it all better. Even our justice system is not built upon forgiveness due to intent. All 3rd degree (manslaughter) convictions are built upon the premise that while intent matters in severity of punishment it does not eliminate punishment.

Arguing that our government has the right to commit 3rd degree murder with zero repercussions because our intent is in the right place goes counter of that which we have defined as just when it comes to individual citizen behavior.

That's not what Sam Harris is saying at all. He's only arguing that people with good intentions who end up doing bad are not morally comparable to people who do bad consciously.

No he is not. He is arguing that "collateral damage" is exactly that "collateral damage" as long as intention are morally justified. He would agree it is an unfortunate thing, but it is a reality because our technology is not perfect.

I'm sorry, but me running a stop sign and killing another person in the other car because I had good intentions of getting my wife to the hospital for an emergency is still manslaughter charge. For the government to be responsible such an unintended death it would be a $2,500 payment to the surviving family if in Afghanistan.

Believe me I understand the argument because we do use intent in our justice system. It however does not allow complete absolution of most crimes. What was the repercussion to the US or her leaders for bombing a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan? Was it treated the same as the time we bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade?

Fundamentally, he is arguing Chomsky is too far left, but in doing so he completely white washes collateral damages due to "intentions" and moves too far to the right.

The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle of these two.
ben2974
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5/4/2015 1:18:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 12:57:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/4/2015 12:30:15 PM, ben2974 wrote:
I read the whole thing while at work just now. I must say that Harris didn't score much, if any, points on Chomsky, regardless of Chomsky's demeanor.

I wouldn't say regardless of Chomsky's demeanor, I'd say because of Chomsky's demeanor. The debate didn't even really get started because Chomsky was being dishonest and hostile from the start.


They just need to battle it out live on t.v or something.


", as you know." lolololol

To me it looked like Harris was too concerned with trying to prove that Chomsky was being a jerk. Chomsky did have arguments and it looked like Harris was using the tone with which he gave his arguments as a means to circumvent his arguments.

Some things that Harris deemed unclear on the part of Chomsky I thought were clear enough... He was too afraid to look dumb in front Chomsky to commit to an argument whilst being "unsure" of what Chomsky was advocating/going against. I say Harris should have just ignored Chomsky's ambiguities and gone on with his points.
unitedandy
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5/4/2015 8:13:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 9:38:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A correspondence between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org...

tl;dr

1. Harris begins by making a moral distinction between the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant and September 11th on the basis of intentions.

Problem is, as Chomsky points out, Harris accuses Chomsky of being morally blind and refusing to take intentions into account without actually reading Chomsky seriously. As Chomsky points out, he does deal with intentions explicitly, which Harris should have known prior to labelling Chomsky as such, if he were serious about addressing Chomsky.

Surprisingly, Harris himself even admits his approach is rhetorically charged and so forth.

2. Chomsky insists that Harris answer the the irrelevant question "What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them?"

Isn't this moral double-think what Chomsky was referring to in the first place? The fact that we judge actions completely differently, depending on who perpetrates them. As such, it seems strange for Harris to pluck this example from its context and then for you to complain that the original intent is somehow irrelevant.

3. Harris responds by pointing out that the answer to his question entirely depends on what the aim of the attack was. He describes a situation in which Al Qaeda destroys half the pharmaceutical supplies in order to save millions of lives, claiming that in such an example, the proper reaction wouldn't be to blame them. (Obviously, Chomsky wanted Harris to say that Al Qaeda would be blamed for such an attack so that he could claim there was a double standard.)

Again, Chomsky points out that he has dealt with intent and criticises Harris for a) failing to check this accusation before he published it and b) to retract it when Chomsky quotes this passage directly.

4. Chomsky throws a hissy fit and insists that Harris' example is irrelevant.

5. Harris acknowledges it is irrelevant, pointing out that it was only meant as a thought experiment designed to demonstrate the importance of intentions in the clearest terms possible (and thus showing why Chomsky's original question was a loaded one).

And as Chomsky points out, not only is there circumstantial evidence for bad intentions (retaliation), but that any intent has to include patently foreseeable consequences. If you were to conduct an operation completely drunk, for example, are you criminally negligent in a very serious way if the patient dies as a result? Of course, and it's that kind of knowable action Chomsky is addressing.

6. Chomsky insists that Harris is avoiding the question, claiming "Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I"m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won"t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that."

7. Harris ignores Chomsky's tantrums, and asks Chomsky to explain why he believes the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant was meant as a malicious (or at the very least callous) attack.

8. Chomsky responds by saying "The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation. It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons factory, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing."

9. Sam Harris asks "Is it really 'inconceivable' that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?)"

10. Chomsky replies with "You may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory " which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences."

11. Sam Harris says he has lost hope that they can communicate effectively in this medium, and ends the exchange, and asks Chomsky if he would be okay if Harris made the correspodnece public.

12. Chomsky reluctantly agrees, saying "The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism " whatever the content. Personally, I can"t imagine doing it."

All in all, it's pretty much what you'd expect when a scholar debates a (albeit powerful) polemicist. It seems ridiculous to class Chomsky as a clown by referring to evidence where even Harris admits both to being somewhat ignorant of Chomsky's views (when criticising him) and overly rhetorical.
unitedandy
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5/4/2015 8:16:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 5:41:29 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:37:45 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:23:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.

He's the worst kind of person.

That is a bit harsh but ok, lol

He makes his living venerating murderers. He deserves no respect.

I detect bs. Examples?
ShabShoral
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5/4/2015 8:22:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 8:16:58 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:41:29 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:37:45 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:23:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.

He's the worst kind of person.

That is a bit harsh but ok, lol

He makes his living venerating murderers. He deserves no respect.

I detect bs. Examples?

http://en.wikipedia.org...
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unitedandy
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5/4/2015 8:24:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 12:57:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/4/2015 12:30:15 PM, ben2974 wrote:
I read the whole thing while at work just now. I must say that Harris didn't score much, if any, points on Chomsky, regardless of Chomsky's demeanor.

I wouldn't say regardless of Chomsky's demeanor, I'd say because of Chomsky's demeanor. The debate didn't even really get started because Chomsky was being dishonest and hostile from the start.

??? The debate began because Harris published an accusation that Chomsky did not addressing something by reading a tiny sample of his work (one very small book, which IIRC is an interview book). It would be a bit like accusing JK Rowling of never writing books for children on the basis of reading The Casual Vacancy.


They just need to battle it out live on t.v or something.


", as you know." lolololol
unitedandy
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5/4/2015 9:36:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 8:22:39 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 5/4/2015 8:16:58 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:41:29 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:37:45 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 5/3/2015 5:23:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:37:38 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
"Clown" is too generous a term for Chomsky.

He's the worst kind of person.

That is a bit harsh but ok, lol

He makes his living venerating murderers. He deserves no respect.

I detect bs. Examples?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

It's been admittedly been a while since I've read about this claim but from what I can remember it amounts to half-truths, misquotations and falsehoods. This includes and characterises genocide denial as, for example, Chomsky criticising the most prominent literature on Cambodia at the time. Problem is, none of that criticism amounts to denying the brutality of the Khmer Rouge without distorting it. So, for example, Chomsky's criticism of such works because of their lack of engagement with the American role, the comparison with East Timor and the terrible reporting of the facts are represented as 'denying genocide'.

Statements like this, for example, are also usually offered as evidence for dowplaying genocide

"Refugees are frightened and defenseless, at the mercy of alien forces. They naturally tend to report what they believe their interlocuters wish to hear. While these reports must be considered seriously, care and caution are necessary. Specifically, refugees questioned by Westerners or Thais have a vested interest in reporting atrocities on the part of Cambodian revolutionaries, an obvious fact that no serious reporter will fail to take into account."

Whereas if you actually read it in context, it is eminently clear this is not the case.

http://www.chomsky.info...
Floid
Posts: 751
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5/5/2015 12:48:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The whole thing is a face palm. The problem is Harris was interested in having something to put on his website and Chomsky really was interested in talking about it at all but decided to respond anyway. What you are left with is Chomsky uninterested in engaging in a conversation beside just stating a few examples and Harris deciding to publish that discussion when it really didn't go anywhere.

I think both of them have some valid points: Harris is right in that Chomsky is too cynical and assumes intentions to fit his views and Chomsky is right in that often the US doesn't bother considering the end results of its actions or giving equal weight to US/European versus other casualties.

I did find Harris' intro suggesting writing style to Chomsky (who has written dozens or more books, professor for some 50 years, etc) funny though.