For most of you who have clicked over to this post, I’m sure we don’t have to tell you who Sam Harris is. But for those that don’t know, Sam Harris is a neuroscientist-turned-Internet loudmouth who first came to prominence as part of the New Atheism movement in the early days after 9/11. At first he seemed to give no quarter to any kind of dogma, be it religion, conspiracy theory or any other nonsense belief system for that matter. He went after Christianity, Islam, the 9/11 truth movement, and whatever the fuck it is that Deepak Chopra believes.
Of course, there’s not much money to be made from adhering to principle (or to neuroscience, apparently), so when Harris’ 15 minutes of news cycle fame began to draw to a close, he quickly switched gears from criticizing religion and magical thinking in the broader sense to (not so) soft peddling the idea that all believers are extremists-in-waiting, but this time there was a bit more focus on which believers. Specialization is truly the key to success in the war of fucked up ideas.
It worked like a charm, and he now makes a comfortable living criticizing Islam as the faith of ignorant, bloodthirsty Middle Eastern savages at the expense of nearly everything that made his initial work worthwhile. He’s full of shit, of course, but Heaven forbid you mention it to him or any of his followers.
You see, every time Harris is criticized for what he says, either he or his fanboys (and yeah, it's mostly men, don't kid yourself) will immediately bring up a number of bullshit reasons that your criticism is invalid, usually having to do with inadequate context, political correctness, censorship, or some combination of the three. Hurt feelings are on full display, but in this case it's completely different from the "politically correct" over reactions of so called "social justice warriors" that Mr. Harris rails against regularly. We aren't sure why, but if you repeat something enough times, it becomes true, or something like that.
It’s hard out there on a pimp. So we’ve put together a primer on how to check your criticisms before lobbying them in order to not damage the fee-fees of Harris or his cult of personality. May we present: The Sam Harris Criticism Fairness Doctrine.
The Sam Harris Fairness Doctrine, V 0.9 (Beta)
Make sure to never take anything Harris says out of context. Bear in mind that, for him, “out of context” tends to mean what it needs to mean when it needs to mean it, so your best bet is to just cite his entire work in any given argument. If he sues you for plagiarism, then success! You've provided adequate context. You’ll still be wrong, though.
Perform at least one thought experiment about dropping nuclear bombs on a Muslim nation. I know...it sounds a little strange, but trust us, you won’t be taken seriously unless you strive for a Jihadi war boner at least once.
Understand that if you do not hate Muslim people enough, people like Donald Trump will do it for you; therefore good liberals must hate Muslim people first, because it's first come first serve in the war on ideas. No sense in leaving room for seconds!
Never suggest Harris or anyone associated with him might hold unfounded biases, as he is in fact a completely logical and rational person, and couldn't possibly hold biases unless they were warranted. Which they totally are, because Islam.
Make sure that you listen to at least one of Mr. Harris' pre-accusation of unfair criticism seminars, which you can find at the beginning of every episode of his “Waking Up” podcast. His pre-accusation of your as-yet-unspoken criticism renders said criticism completely invalid, because he has already defended himself against it, and flawlessly.
If you do manage to have any criticisms remaining after the pre-accusation seminar, make sure that criticism does not threaten free speech in any way, shape, or form. Like citing his work out of context, Harris’ definition of free speech may change often, so it’s probably best if you just don’t say anything at all. But if you must, be sure you know precisely whether or not what you're about to say is somehow going to infringe upon the free speech rights of logical thinkers.
When you happen to notice the double standard inherent in Sam Harris criticizing other people’s ideas but getting bent out of shape when people criticize his, know that you are wrong. Mr. Harris criticizes things from a place of logic and reason, while you’re criticizing him from a place of regressive leftism and are probably a cuck.
There you have it, folks: as long as you follow these simple rules, you’ll be able to criticize Sam Harris without the slightest trace of unfairness. The Echoplex Media staff will periodically update this list as goal posts move and regulations change, in order to best serve and not offend Harris or the cult of personality that surrounds him. After all, nobody has decided yet who gets the "safe space", but we're pulling for you Mr. Harris.