I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is not really about the end of faith, but the author’s post 9-11 justification for the preemptive destruction of those he fears.
I agree with much, if not most, (actually almost everything) of what is presented in The End of Faith, nevertheless I was uncomfortable with a few of the author’s blind spots, allowing him to seriously justify preemptive violence against his “enemies”.
This is not rationalism, not an author searching for truth, but instead a long rationalization for violence born of fear. The author’s fear is palpable on nearly every page. This may not be noticeable to many just now, as fear saturates much of west post 9-11. This book seems to be a visceral (and understandably human) reaction to 9-11. While it does address the obvious historical atrocities perpetrated by western religions, much of the book explains why we should fear Islam and might need to kill them for their dangerous beliefs.
The author seems to show no interest in understanding the nature of his enemy, merely repeatedly justifying his fear of them. Harris indicates he does not know how we might win the war on terrorism. The answer is simple to anyone who has studied military history, you win when your advisory loses the will to fight. Loses the will to fight. This seems to be the bases of his fear. That his enemy will never lose the will to fight.
The author fails address some key questions:
If religion is such a hindrance to human happiness, why is it ubiquitous in successful societies? I am not at all religious, but, without fully understanding the purpose of religion I hesitate to declare the end of faith.
The author spends much of the book pointing out the violence intrinsic to Islam, yet he clearly knows western religious underpinnings are every bit as violent. This raises another question; why have western religions recently become less overtly violent? The author seems to claim western societies are “ahead of” (more civilized than, more advanced than, better than) Islamic societies. But the author does not seem to seriously consider why this is the case.
This is not a bad book, but the best parts have been done better elsewhere, and the fear based parts are sad.
The narration is not at all bad, but the emphasis seemed a bit exaggerated for the material.
A great read. Still relevant 10 years later. A fair, measured approach to a sensitive topic. Sam Harris is quickly becoming one if my favorite authors.
Books on tape are awesome! Audible sometimes sucks because it won't let you purchase Audiobooks after you already ordered them!
This is a must read for anyone looking to get to the bottom of spiritual dogma. The examples sited in this book in conjunction with the confidence in which it is presented makes this an instant classic and a great guide to non faith based life. Thank you again Sam.
Could not make it through a few minutes of this book. Sounded like captain kirk (star trek) was the inspiration for the narrator. Maybe will try reading instead of listening to this book.
I enjoyed this book very much but I have to say I liked The god Delusion and God is not great much more...I guess it really depends on what style you like more...Over all I think it makes a good addition to any library and I would highly recommend it.
Billy Dennis Jr
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
It's a very provocative read. If you question your faith, this book may help you understand why. The dogma associated with faith extracts a price. Should you continue to pay that price in hopes you will avoid the fires of hell? Or should you just chuck it, and do the best you can without buying into the religious stories that defy common knowledge. Those who blandly accept faith will cringe when the author confronts religion. And even those who are open minded will be shocked at the price we often pay for clinging to faith.
As technology advances and provides weapons of mass destruction to more and more people, we can find ourselves at the mercy of a religious group whose religion requires them to kill anyone who doesn't choose to respect their religion. Sound familiar?
Just as other ancient practices (e.g. alchemy) have been abandoned...modern day religions may suffer the same fate as modernity begins to overtake the old religious books that many quote, few read and most don't understand.
No one knows if anything happens after death. But a lot of people are willing to do some pretty awful things in an effort to avoid what they think might happen.
I enjoyed it for the most part, although I thought Hitchens' "God Is Not Great" was better. He lost lost me with some of his philosophical wanderings, but did a good overall job of making his case. I'm still on the fence concerning faith...