These two once debated online at a religion site, but I was taken back on encountering this comment in a recent Sullivan column at Daily Beast. I thought Sam had behaved like a prince and that both of them were civil and appeared to have parted on good terms. Yet here is Sullivan: "Sam Harris (e.g.) is a materialist, or physicalist. He believes only in things for which there is an identifiable physical process that can be observed via scientific means. While a materialist will surely be an atheist, an atheist is not necessarily a materialist. Many of us find the smug dogma of Harris' materialism to be just as off-putting as the righteous dogma of biblical literalism."
Golly, one of the points Mr. Harris made in their debate was that jerks like Sullivan are, to use A.A. terminology, enablers for the bull moose loonies, guys like Dr. John Hagee, who claimed that Katrina was God's vengeance on New Orleans for its sinfulness. If anyone smugly pushes dogma it is cop-out believers like Sullivan. Both he and Hagee appear to be followers of the same God. They may never come to terms with the logical impossibility of a good God who is omnipotent.
I've seen Sullivan a couple times on Bill Maher. Put simply, he's a jerk. Or, if you want to get a touch more specific, he's a self-important jerk.
Isn't this the disease of the Catholic apologist intellectuals: he's only a queer version of William F. Buckley, after all. You and I can remember when Sullivan's former employer had his TV convention booth debate ending with Gore Vidal saying something tacky to the effeminate, mannered, totally phony Buckley, and then the latter responding, "Listen you queer, I'll sock you in the face and you'll stay plastered." I saw it as a couple of queens going at each other after falling out over a mutual boyfriend, but then Sullivan wasn't even born when that occurred, was he?