146: To Sam Harris: A preface following meeting at the Beacon

March 4, 2019 by Joshua
in Podcast

I recorded a preface to episode 142 because I got the backstage pass, attended the meet and greet, shook Sam’s hand, and asked him if he was open to alternatives to conversation and violence.

I won’t be able to do his answer justice here, but his views of conversation and violence were broader than mine, so if he hears episode 142 without this preface, I suspect he’ll think I don’t understand his views.

In a funny way, I hope he sees I misunderstood what he meant by conversation and violence because, as he’ll recognize, I recorded that episode before his explanation, but more because I hope my being open to his more expansive view will open him to mine.

He asked me about alternatives. I suggested a few, closing my answer with Mandela, Gandhi, King, and Havel. He described, as I recall and my hearing and memory aren’t perfect, nonviolent civil disobedience as a mix of conversation with the people going to do it and violence in the form of disrupting others.

But my not being able to give alternatives in the moment isn’t a statement about there being alternatives, but my talking to him for the first time in a pressured situation, given the dozens of people waiting to talk to him.

Sign up for my weekly newsletter