Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192


Uhm, it’s only fair to be blind to those uh, otherwise salient differences between them. Uhm, but it’s stupid too, when you know that the person who’s going to blow himself up on the plane is a Jihadi and not a, an ordinary looking old woman.


Uhm, so, again, so, what are the consequences of being starkly unfair? You know where you know you just profile nakedly and say yes, without apology we profile. If you’re a Muslim, we’re gonna subject you to a heroin search at the airport because we’re worried about your brothers.


Uhm, we have to find a balance. We’re struggling to find a balance between those 2 things. And uhm, I think we, we’re in… in the current environment, it’s wise to err on the side of being fair and, and, I think you would want us to err in that direction.


To be fair and to be transparent and to be, but…That’s what’s so scary about something like nuclear terrorism. One thing has to happen. And all of a sudden, we’ll all be desperate for a level of security that will radically transform our lives.


And it’s so… again it’ll be completely out of scale with the actual damage. So if a nuke went off in Los Angeles and killed a hundred thousand people, right.


So if a small nuke kill a hundred thousand people and rendered some area uninhabitable for a while, that would be such a rattling event that  we would all be demanding huge changes and we would be forfeiting our civil liberties happily with both hands.


Joe Rogan: As was clearly evident after 9/11. After 9/11


Sam Harris: Right. But this would be worse, magnitude worse. And yet, it would be rational to say well, listen, 400,000 people died of heart disease last year. No one is forfeiting their civil liberties or going nuts over that figure.


We’re talking about a hundred thousand people who you know, what is the real risk that we’re talking about?

Joe Rogan: Well, it’s a sudden death over


Sam Harris: Yeah and there’d be no way even


Joe Rogan: a long slow, self-administered death


Sam Harris: Even if that would be, even if we.. uhm, I’m not saying that’s the right way to look at it. But even if you could show a commeasured body count from some other source, uhm.


Actually Bill Morrow, once made this point. Where uhm, he’s talking about Hurricane Katrina. Well, he said, look at what happened with Hurricane Katrina. The billions of dollars in cost. A thousand lives lost.


If a terrorist have done this, we would, we would completely freak out as a nation because it’s the weather we basically, can’t get our act together and don’t really worry abou it.


Uhm, that difference in response is, uhm, something we have to be cognizant of, and so one reason, one rational reason to be, to want to protect against certain especially salient events, like nuclear terrorism is because we’re guaranteed to overreact in such a way that, I mean the consequences will be horrendous. Which is economic consequences.


Joe Rogan: That’s a very good point. So your point is, cut back on civil liberties so that we don’t have to cut back on them in the future when the shit hits the fan.


Sam Harris: Well, to some degree that’s


Joe Rogan: It’s an argument. You’re gonna admit it too, but


Sam Harris: Yeah, yeah. No, but cut back on them and again I wouldn’t phrase it in terms of cutting back on civil liberties but, but I, it comes back to moments like airport security.

How much security do I want when I get on an airplane? I want intelligent security. Now intel– and I also want fairness. But and I’m willing to put up with a certain level of uhm, inconvenience to, to know that basically it’s being done sanely.


Now, do I want huge inconvenience? Do I want to be bombard with x-rays? Do I want to take my clothes off every time I get on a plane? No. But, uhm, it’s just, you just, we have as a society, there’s something very corrosive about the signs that these efforts are in effectual and not being done intelligently.

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