I look forward to reading your future posts on Chomsky's problematic analysis

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Betrayal is in the eye of the beholder. Did the Bani Qurayza Jews betray Mohammad, or did he betray them? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Banu_Qurayza

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Hypocrisy is applying one moral standard to one actor and a different moral standard to another actor. Chomsky is the ultimate hypocrite because he treats the US overly harshly while completely excusing the horrors of the Soviet and Chinese communist mass murderers. What is missing from progressives' criticism of the US is comparison *across space and time*. Zoom out and it is clear that America, warts and all, is a force for good.

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Sep 6, 2023·edited Sep 6, 2023

I think all human beings are hypocrites be it as life, work, politics, etc. We are imperfect. I enjoyed a few years ago listening to the Harris podcast where Sam Harris asked Shadi Hamid as to whether he believes in objective moral truth. I forget Dr. Hamid's answer. We live in a cruel, imperfect and unjust world.

Are their universal standards, objective truths that exist and can be equally and fairly applied? are there any political thinkers in the world that are fair, balanced and objective? For eg, are we going to demand and ask for liberal values like reason, science, rule of law, equal rights, democracy and separation of religion and state for countries like the US, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, France, etc? Why would we demand liberal values in one country but not another country, or as to one political ideology but not another, like Zionism, political Islam, Christian Right, Hindu nationalism, etc? Our disparate and subjective views on politics make us hypocrites and have righteous minds (Jonathan Haidt's book)

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I'm actually genuinely not sure how I would have responded to Sam Harris' question in 2017. In some ways, I'm a post-modernist. In other ways, I really do believe in Truth, I just tend to think that it's often inaccessible in this world. But, yes, in a sense we're all hypocrites. And that's sort of the point.

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Sep 27, 2023·edited Sep 27, 2023

hi Dr. Hamid, thanks so much for the note and excellent insights, that is kind of you. That is exciting you are headed to the Washington Post, congrats on the great work.

Those are great points. I enjoy reading and listening to different perspectives, including Sam Harris (and some of the other old and new atheists), but he is a hypocrite as well. I see him lecturing about the "moral landscape" and being a heavy critic of some of the world's large religions. Yet, he chooses to turn a blind eye to some of his own allegiances like Israel and some of the large historic and ongoing injustices that Palestinians have faced with the Nakba, occupation, refugee crisis, settlements, siege on Gaza, etc. the Harris podcast "Why I don't Criticize Israel" transcript below illustrates this well as to cherry picking his points. So, as you said, we are all hypocrites.

I think it would be interesting to ask Harris some pointed questions as to whether he thinks objective (moral) truth exists concerning mainstream political ideologies and nations, both as to their history and current events, and how he makes such determinations. I think mild liberalism seems to be reasonable and good objective standard .And, exploring questions - socratic method. And, this quote by Steven Pinker resonates:

Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.

― Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined


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