Sam Harris: Islam and the Future of Liberalism

The word “liberalism” denotes two almost opposite set of ideas. To distinguish between the two, it has become necessary to qualify the term. “Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets.” In contrast to that, “social liberalism is the belief that liberalism should include social justice. It differs from classical liberalism in that it believes the legitimate role of the state includes addressing economic and social issues such as unemployment, health care, and education while simultaneously expanding civil rights. Under social liberalism, the good of the community is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual.” It is social liberalism that Sam refers to in a piece on his blog. Excerpts below the fold, for the record.
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Go have some of my Soup

Atanu's Soup
Atanu's Soup

If you have not checked out My Soup, it is time you did. It’s a tremendous waste of time but fun. (Most waste of time has to be fun otherwise why would anyone waste time?) While there, you must listen to Maria de Barros singing “Nha Mundo.” Pay attention to the sax in the background.

Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi is #4 “Richest Politicians”

Business Insider has a short feature, “Meet The 23 Richest Politicians In The World“, and Dr Manmohan Singh’s boss, Ms Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi is listed as the 4th richest with wealth estimated between US$2-19 billion. This must have given Kapil Sibal and Digvijaya Singh the conniptions, and I am sure that it lends more weight to Dr Subramanian Swamy’s charges against AM aka SG. I am of course thrilled and here’s why.
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Indian court orders “compulsory license” of Bayer’s cancer drug

This opens up an interesting can of worms. But first, here are some excerpts from the Huffington Post article “India Cancer Ruling Opens Door For Cheaper Drugs”:
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Stealing is a Bad Thing — Part 9

The disparity in the wealth and poverty of nations is starkly evident and has been a perpetual source of puzzlement and inquiry for centuries. Why do some nations languish in heartbreaking poverty while others prosper? Is there a poverty trap that some fall into accidentally and are unable to get out of without external help? Can they be helped, and if so, how?
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Sam Harris on “The Ten Commandments”

“If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.” — Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation