A highly entertaining atheism vs. theism debate between atheist firebrand Sam Harris and Judaic believer Dennis Prager. I don't think any fair-minded reader can miss the mocking, immature content and tone of much of Harris's statements. Some of the argument centers on the geneticist Francis Collins, who led the team that cracked the human genome and has written a book about how his close study of nature led him to Christian belief. One morning Collins saw a frozen waterfall and was overcome with awe at nature's majesty, and "The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ."
Collins, in Harris's words, "adds a priceless detail: The waterfall was frozen in three streams, and this put the good doctor in mind of the Trinity!. . .
I hope it is immediately obvious to you, and to every one of
our readers, that there is nothing about seeing a frozen waterfall (no
matter how frozen) that offers the slightest corroboration of the
doctrine of Christianity. . . .
Let’s say I saw that same waterfall, and its three streams made me think of Romulus, Remus, and the She-wolf—the mythical founders of Rome. I just knew, from that moment forward, that Italy would one day win the World Cup."
This is a man who has written a highly touted book about why we should dump spirituality, and this is a mindset of a rebellious 17-year-old at best. Obviously, Collins was not saying "The three waterfalls exist, ergo the Christian trinity exists." What Harris is practicing is a form of amputation. Sometimes natural beauty speaks a subtle symbolic language that awakens inner spiritual reality. The Mediterranean Sea is just a lot of water, plants, rocks, and fish (and--the part of it I see every day--pollution), but I wouldn't give up for the world the deep, wonderful, and mysterious feelings the sight of it evokes in me. People like Harris want to amputate our innate spiritual capacities and turn us into sniggering negaters. Quite true, a person might say "I have discovered that the mysterious source of the universe is Allah, and he wants me to spread my Truth by force throughout the world and kill or subjugate all those who have different beliefs." The mature spirituality and faith of Prager and Collins, and people like them, fosters love and tolerance.