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Is Donald Trump a Worse Person Than Osama bin Laden? Sam Harris Thinks So.



New in PJ Media:

Trump Derangement Syndrome has afflicted a great many people over the last seven years, but no one more profoundly than the famous atheist Sam Harris, who recently repeated something he has said before, despite the astonishing intellectual dishonesty and moral myopia it displays. Donald Trump, said the renowned thinker, is “a worse person than Usama bin Laden.”

Fox News reported Wednesday that Harris said this on his popular and ironically titled Making Sense podcast: “I’ve said on several occasions that I think Donald Trump is a worse person than Usama bin Laden. The statement is obviously meant to get your attention. I get that it’s surprising, but it’s not meant to be hyperbolic. I can defend every word of a statement like that. What I can’t defend are people’s misunderstandings and erroneous extrapolations of a statement like that.”

In Sam Harris’ twisted moral universe, the man who masterminded the murder of nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001, was “a more or less normal human being psychologically.” Yes, indeed, it’s perfectly normal psychologically to plot to take down a couple of skyscrapers full of office workers and murder thousands of innocent people because they lived in a nation one considered to be an enemy of the alleged true religion. Happens every day.

Harris claims that “within the framework of his [bin Laden’s] odious beliefs, he demonstrated many virtues.” That is true. Bin Laden adhered, after all, to a religion with a holy book that thrice commands believers to “kill them,” that is, unbelievers, “wherever you find them,” even in the Twin Towers (Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, cf. 9:5).

To Harris, this makes Osama “a man who certainly seemed to be capable of real self-sacrifice and he was committed to ideals beyond his narrow self-interest. He was by all accounts personally quite courageous. I don’t claim to know that much about him, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was generally a person of real integrity and generosity and compassion in his dealings with his fellow Muslims. None of these things can be said about Donald Trump. Trump is without question one of the least honest and malignantly selfish human beings I have ever come across.” How does Harris know both Osama bin Laden’s and Donald Trump’s innermost thoughts, intentions, and beliefs so comprehensively? He doesn’t deign to explain.

“The seeming paradox,” continues the wizardly Harris, is that if Trump, unlike the saintly Osama, did have any virtues, he would be even worse. “If Trump were a better person he would be worse in many ways. If he were brave and self-sacrificing and idealistic, if he were capable of being strongly committed to something beyond his self-interest, he would be capable of creating much greater harm in the world. But he’s not.”

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