Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192


They are what they are and there’s nothing we can do about them now. But what’s important is we keep these crazy people from developing nuclear bombs and from attacking us.


Because the a very real possibility of nuclear terrorism to you is far more important than whatever mistakes or corruption has been in you know, has..
That we’ve put out as a country that have gotten these people to sort of have a perception of us.


Sam Harris: I think we’re well


Joe Rogan: <inaudible>Should we be pragmatic


Sam Harris: I can’t sign on to all of that because I think our screw-ups have been huge and, and I think we have a huge moral debt to all the people we have accidentally blown up.


Obviously, collateral damage is a huge problem. And I think we are, uhm that has been a problem with every war we ever fought. One of the things, we’ve now, which is an advantage on the one hand but also a disadvantage is that, there’s so much more transparency.


We know so much more about the bad stuff we do, whether inadvertent or not that, we didn’t know this in World War II. More bombing dressed in, incernerating hundreds of thousands of people.


Uhm, innocent bystanders for the most part, uhm, non-military targets. And we could ne– Arguably, we should never have done that. But arguably, we cannot do that now.


Given how much infor–given what the images it would do to us on the nightly news. And so, uhm, and I think that’s also the good. I think we should understand the cost of war more than we do.


And we should understand how horrible collateral damage is, more than we do. Uhm,


Joe Rogan: How do you feel about Wikileaks?


Sam Harris: Why I think, I think… Assange is just… He’s a cultic personality.


Joe Rogan: <inaudible>


Sam Harris: He’s a very creepy bastard.


Joe Rogan: <laughing>


Sam Harris: It’s hard so, so.. I mean I like transparency. But I think the journalistic aspect of it, to some degree was legitimate. But I think it’s also, if you’re gonna release uh, certain secret shouldn’t be released.


Certain secrets are there because they’re keeping people safe. And to release those secrets irresponsibly is to put people in harm’s way. So, it’s a very mixed..


Joe Rogan: How do you feel about the initial video that he released? Collateral murder, the one that showed the guys in helicopters shooting people on the ground


Sam Harris: Yeah


Joe Rogan: car full of children, and them caught saying they shouldn’t have brought their kids.


Sam Harris: Right, right. Well, the thing that’s horrible about that is.. the uhm, horrible but maybe inevitable is that we are just not wired to and understand the consequences of our actions once we can fight the war remotely.


You know it’s. I mean, if you have, if we were just fighting every, if it were all just bayonets, there’s a… there’s inescapability of the horror of war.


But the moment that you can fly something and you’re sitting in your office park in outside of Las Vegas and you’re flying a predator drone 13,000 miles away, uhm, it’s uh..


I’m not suggesting those guys don’t have a hard time sleeping at night, some of them, but it’s a very different kind of violence. And, one of the scariest things is about technology is it uncouples us from our emotions from the reality of the consequences of our actions.


So that the most harmful things aren’t actually the most disturbing things. You know, so if you… Just an example I actually used in uhm, I think in The End of Faith.


Now if you hear that your grandfather fought in World War II and he dropped  bombs. He was a bomber pilot, he dropped bombs over Dresden. That’s one kind of level abstraction of his actions that doesn’t really disturb you about him and need not disturb him that’s he’s 30,000 feet dropping bombs, not really getting what he’s doing.

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