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To commemorate the upcoming fortieth anniversary issue of Rolling Stone, the writers interviewed several artists, musicians, thinkers, etc.
One of them was Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation.
You can read the interview here.
A couple excerpts:

What are the most profound changes we will face in the next twenty years?
We’re going to be increasingly confronted by the problems of religion, the most acute being the collision between Islam and the West. Islam is a religion that takes the sting out of death. In personal terms, that may be consoling, but in geopolitical terms, we want death to have a sting. We don’t want societies full of martyrs, armed with twenty-firstcentury destructive technology, who grow dewy-eyed with the thought of paradise. The next twenty years will reveal whether Islam is compatible with modernity. If it’s not, global warming will be the least of our problems.

How do you think this time will be remembered forty years from now?
With any luck, we’ll be embarrassed by the state of our discourse in the same way we’re embarrassed by the way our ancestors treated race during the first part of the twentieth century. We’ll be astonished by the smugness and certitude with which people not only held their religious convictions, but imposed them on others through public policy and the law. We’ll look back in wonder that the Vatican was preaching against the use of condoms in the developing world, and that the United States impeded stem-cell research because some imagined that microscopic cells had human souls. Forty years from now, we’ll realize that taking religion seriously was like taking astrology seriously.

[tags]atheist, atheism, Robert S. Boynton[/tags]