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“Bad People” ???

Posted by Rex Alexander on Sat 15 Feb 20 in Emotions, Mindfulness, Rating, REBT & Other therapies compared |
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Most people think here are a lot of bad people running around in the world . . . 
                ~Sam Harris

Most people think here are a lot of bad people running around in the world. There aren’t a lot of bad people, there are a lot of bad ideas, and bad ideas are worse than bad people because bad ideas are contagious–bad ideas get good people to do horrible things.
     ~Sam Harris

 

Sam has got it half-right. Actually, I suspect he knows the other half but does not emphasize it. Bad ideas are bad BECAUSE they inflame us emotionally and justify acting out destructively and anti-socially, and with these, bad, inflammatory ideas, we not only inflame ourselves, but inflame others as well, hence the “contagious” part. I would go further than Sam has, however. It is not that bad ideas are worse than bad people. rather there are no such things as “bad people,” only bad-inflammatory ideas.

   
   
Waking Up  Needless to say, this book works the mindfulness side of the street more than the REBT side. However, it is fascinating, involving, and insightful and introduces a very important dimension to REBT that some of us leave out.  
 
Free Will : I love   Sam, and this is an important book, but, personally, I have some issues with his thesis, or if not his thesis, with the “semantic environment” in which he frames his argument. Dealing with the problem of free will, as he does, by claiming that it is an illusion is convenient-but-insulting to the serious debate that has been ongoing among serious and seriously smart people for millennia. Still, I wish everyone would read and discuss and learn from it. Warning! It may shake you up a little!  
   
  Rex gives 4 out of 5 hearts
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted 2017-08-15 21:53:26.

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