Tuesday, May 26, 2015

He gets very cross if you criticize him

Great Partially Examined Life podcast from July 2011, a discussion with Patricia Churchland about her book on neuroscience. In the later half of the podcast they discuss a book by Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape.  Churchland criticizes the book for several reasons and says this (at about 1:21:15):
...the idea that neuroscience is going to tell us where well-being lies and what should make us happy and what we ought to choose is kind of what we deal with in Ethics 101, so I was midly surprised to find it in Sam's book... his book has been really criticized in a lot of places... I feel a little bit bad about criticizing him  because and I'm a friend of his and he of course gets very cross if you criticize him. I wish he'd take another couple of years to write that book.
Why am I not surprised that on top of being a torture-supporting Islamaphobe, Harris is also thin-skinned?

I don't know how Churchland could be a friend of somebody so morally repugnant, but then I knew that Churchland is a very different person from me because she claims she never stopped being fond of a high school teacher who offered tutoring on calculus to boys, but not to girls, since girls just can't understand calculus.

I imagine Harris probably believes calculus is harder for girls since he's a devout supporter of evolutionary psychology as are all the New Atheist celebrities, and in the past year said this:
“I think it may have to do with my person slant as an author, being very critical of bad ideas. This can sound very angry to people. People just don’t like to have their ideas criticized. There’s something about that critical posture that is to some degree instrinsically male and more attractive to guys than to women,” he said. “The atheist variable just has this – it doesn’t obviously have this nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe that you would want by default if you wanted to attract as many women as men.”
Notice how he points out other people's displeasure at being criticized. Not only thin-skinned but a raging sexist and a shameless hypocrite. What a guy.