Recently the website Alternet.org published a story on one of the leading ‘new Atheists’ Sam Harris, author of the best-selling The End of Faith (Amazon US and UK). The story went on the attack on numerous fronts, attacking Harris firstly for his supposed support of torture, and secondly for his openness to parapsychology and reincarnation research (in particular, citing books by Dean Radin and Ian Stevenson) and also Eastern metaphysical concepts. Harris has posted a response to the article on his website, explaining his position(s):
My position on the paranormal is this: While there have been many frauds in the history of parapsychology, I believe that this field of study has been unfairly stigmatized. If some experimental psychologists want to spend their days studying telepathy, or the effects of prayer, I will be interested to know what they find out. And if it is true that toddlers occasionally start speaking in ancient languages (as Ian Stevenson alleges), I would like to know about it…
Interesting comments from Harris. The Skeptical Investigations website has reproduced both the original Alternet article and Harris’s response in full for those that want to read it.
Update: As commenter ‘Kamarling’ points out, Dean Radin has responded to the Alternet article as well on his blog, in a post titled “On Militant Atheism“.