Sam Harris: Well, yeah. That’s what’s brilliant about comedy. Yeah.
Joe Rogan: But you do it with comedy. Well, I’ve seen you do it. You know, you compared Elvis being alive.
Sam Harris: uhhmm..
Joe Rogan: Knowing that Elvis is alive. Feeling that he is alive.
Sam Harris: Yeah
Joe Rogan: It was really very funny how you did it. It was the perfect way to do it. Because you did it very politely.
Sam Harris: Right
Joe Rogan: You know there’s no name calling. You didn’t get all shoddy.
Sam Harris: Yeah, yeah. But that is what is brilliant about pure comedy. Because if you make someone laugh at themself or the idea that they would otherwise defend, uhm, you know you’ve, that actually is a visible sign that you’ve made contact.
Joe Rogan: Yeah
Sam Harris: And you don’t get that when you’re playing it totally straight and so comedy’s very powerful.
Joe Rogan: Yeah and also, you’re obviously restricted in the language that you use in these things.
Sam Harris: Right, right.
Joe Rogan: It is a fascinating sort of an exchange. It’s fascinating to watch the psychological wheel spin. You know when people really get behind an idea whether it’s religion or whatever the fuck it is.
When they really get behind to the point where you’re not budging at all. They’re not thinking at all. They’re attached and married to it.
Sam Harris: Yeah
Joe Rogan: It’s very dangerous, right? Isn’t it?
Sam Harris: Well, yeah. In so far as someone really believes something and the beliefs have any point of contact with behavior and the rest of physical reality, I think it’s the most consequential thing.
I think what people believe is, that is the lever that moves most things in our world. You know, it’s politics. It’s public policy. It’s the laws we write and the laws we use to truly defend and there are all those ideas that have a certain number of subscribers.
Joe Rogan: Is it possible that religion in its form is useful for some people because they’re just, whether it’s psychologically they need some scaffolding whether it’s you know, to use it as a tool.
Not to use it to control anyone but to use it like as a personal growth tool. Did you ever look at it like that?
Sam Harris: Well, in so far as it can be taken out of the belief space, so there’s the doctrinal belief base part of religion which is where people are making claims about reality and bad evidence.
And that’s just a problem. I mean as far as you’re pretending to be certain about something you shouldn’t be certain about, and then teaching your kids to do that. That’s just a problem for our conversation with one another as human beings.
There’s always other stuff that people are attached to that isn’t inherently problematic. So they like the music. They like the buildings. They like the style. They like the artwork.
They like the uhm, they like to think about certain historic figures who they have this certain emotional bonding with. They love the stories about Jesus and the New Testament and uhm, all of that is, some of that could be intrinsically good.
I mean you get the right, you get beautiful buildings, beautiful music and reason to come together on holidays and so I think, we actually want something very much like that secular culture.
And we, I think our suffering from the fact that we don’t have the obvious alter, a secular reasonable alternative to that, that we can just point religious people to and say, how come you’re not doing that. This has everything you want without the bullshit.
Joe Rogan: That’s very important and you know, if someone tried to form some sort of secular group like that. It will quickly evolve into being a cult. Most likely.
Sam Harris: Yeah. Depending on
Joe Rogan: It would become someone trying to fuck everybody’s wife. That’s