Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192


There’s not actually a moral parody between the two sides in these conflicts. I think that’s still true. Guantanamo Bay can be… make it as bad as you want it. It’s still true that we’re the good guys in this particular conflict.


And uhm, now I wish we were better than we are. And there’s obviously some bad guys on our side in any given moment. But I think, the one, the one thing that we have get behi, past is this… the kind of moral relativism that you tend to hear from the left.


And I’m very much on the left in almost every respect. But this empowering idea that we, so for instance, talk about nuclear bombs.


We should, what gives us the right to have nuclear bombs? If you know, if we’re gonna have them, Iran they should have them. We have no argument to keep Iran nuclear-free, if we keep bombs ourselves. We’re very different from Iran at this moment.


Our president doesn’t get in front of the microphone and say he’s gonna wipe out and turn a country into a lake of fire. And he’s not waiting for the Messiah to come back and rapture everybody.


Now if we had, a sufficiently crazy president, well, then all of a sudden, we would have a similar liability. But we’re not using, we’re not prone to use nuclear bombs in a flagrantly crazy apocalyptic way.


And we don’t, from everything Iran says, they certainly seem capable of being just as crazy as we could fear. And so, uhm, that’s a difference that we have to just acknowledge and so it matters who gets the bombs and if, if people who are quite zealous to die.


People who are literally happy to set off the bomb in their laps, just for the pleasure of setting it off, uh, that’s a very different kind of mind to be engaged with. And it races the stakes. These people are not rational.


I’m not saying the entire Muslim world fits this description but… But there are people who are not rational actors based on their ideology. I mean they want to get paradise. I think you win if you blow the place up at the right moment.


And the moment you take on board that certain people actually believe that, then you have to play a different game with respect to the risk of appose. Uh, so what we should do I think is, I think we need to want to acknowledge their very different moments of tension in this world.


Those where we’re dealing with rational actors and those where we’re dealing with completely irrational actors or actors where they have an ideology that’s motivating them to do things that should be unthinkable.


Joe Rogan: Well, I completely agree with you that we have to be aware of the religious zealot and we have to be aware of the crazy people willing to blow themselves up.


But you got to wonder why they’re mad at us in the first place. And I agree that for the most part, I mean I think our idea still sort of holds that we’re the good guy comparison to the rest of the world.


Does that mean that you have to be a certain amount of evil just to keep up? You know just to compete. I mean is that what’s fucked up in our foreign policy?

Is that why we’re going to places like Iraq with false information about weapons of mass destruction where there’s a clear motivation to get in there?


Sam Harris: Right. Why I think Iraq. I’m not gonna defend Iraq. You know that I think was a stupid war to fight.


Joe Rogan: But that’s just


Sam Harris:  But going to Afghanistan


Joe Rogan: But that’s just ended. You know what I’m saying. That still..


Sam Harris: Looking at Afghanistan, that’s the clearer case. Because we really, I think had to go in after September 11th and…


Joe Rogan: So you think we had to go in to control al-Qaeda?

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