In response to his award-winning best seller The End of Faith, Sam Harris received thousands of letters from Christians excoriating him for not believing in God. Letter to A Christian Nation is his courageous and controversial reply. Using rational argument, Harris offers a measured refutation of the beliefs that form the core of fundamentalist Christianity. Addressing current topics ranging from intelligent design and stem-cell research to the connections between religion and violence, Letter to A Christian Nation boldly challenges the influence that faith has on public life in the United States.
Don't miss Harris' The End of Faith.
©2006 Sam Harris. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
I'm a freethinker with a never ending desire to learn! Born a Texan, a Californian by choice.
Mr. Harris' answers to his critics (Christians) is short concise and to the point. If you choose to live in the real world, you will love this book. On the other hand, if you choose to believe in talking serpents and virgin births this is not a book you will enjoy. The truth will be too painful for you.
Sam Harris poses questions that many Christians cannot answer. He clearly disagrees with all religions and is atheist but that does not take away from his credibility. I am not a christian and still found this book very interesting. I really like his style of writing as well, it's more of a conversation then a letter/book. I suggest everyone read this book, even if you don't agree with it, even if you're a christian, you don't know if your faith is true faith unless you can question it.
Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction audiobook addict.
Letter to a Christian nation, as the title suggests, is written as a letter to a Christian nation i.e. the United States. The reader should not expect to find any original critique. What makes this book special is Sam Harris ability to deliver arguments in an extremely forceful and clear way.
He begins the book with some important premises which many religious people simply do not think about or have repressed. For instance, either God exists or he doesn't. If the Christian God exists (as he is described in the bible) then the Muslims are wrong and the other way around. Indeed if the Christians and the bible is correct then all Muslims (and Hindu, Buddhists, pagans etc) will go to hell.
If you believe that the bible is the word of God then you must believe the above and you must also advocate the stoning of people who work on Sundays etc. Ok, you say, but we shouldn't take it literally, fine, but then how do we interpret it, and how do we know which interpretation is the right one? Also if a divine being wrote the Bible is it too much to expect him to reveal a few secrets about the universe, like how to cure cancer or how electricity work or whatever. It seems that whoever wrote the bible did not know more than the average person at the time the bible was written. It would also have been nice if God or Jesus had said that slavery was wrong instead of letting us reach that interpretation two millennia (and many many slaves) later.
This was just one example out of a dozen or so arguments that Harris brings up suggesting that God does not exist or that if he does he is not a very nice creature. Because it is short, clear and very accessible this ranks among the best books I have read in this category. Highly recommended.
Perhaps some funder can make this available for free. This should be required reading (or listening) for every American. It about time that somenoe exposes religion for what it really is. The Emperor really has NO clothes.
This should be required reading. If I were rich I would pay Audible to make this a free download. At the very least this should accompany any purchase of "A Purpose Driven Life".
A lot of this is speculative and based on perspective as you would think. most of his ideas are extremely pointed. He seems to think that religion is solely responsible for the problems in the world and seems to think everything would be better off without it. I haven't read the original book to this yet as it's very expensive on here and I'm out of credits, but based on this book this man has no clue about how the human mind works nor does he have any perception of people outside of religion.
Speaking about my own personal journey deconverting from Christianity to non-religious, it was this book is what did it for me. I am always impressed by the clarity of thought and communication by Sam Harris. Nice work. Every Christian should read this book.
"The middle ground of the extreme perspective"
The presentation and tone of this book occupies the middle ground between Dawkins at one extreme and Hitchins at the other. Dawkins with his subtle humour and erudite delivery and Hithins with his cut and thrust 'take no prisioners' approach. Harris by contrast exhibits characteristics of both without straying too far into either.
This is the book I would recommend as a concise, compact, accessible demolishion of the religious world view. It touches on all the main points of contention without too much unnecessary digression that might serve to distract from the feeling of momentum that his argument generates.
"Not easy listening for religious types"
...but they probably will not even try, which is the pity with this type of book. Sam Harris is thoughtful, clever, funny and scary. It might seem expensive for only 1 hour 56 mins - but I think you'll want to listen to it twice.
"A useful summation of Bill Hicks position"
The comedian Bill Hicks once said "Folks, it's time to evolve. That's why we're troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything's failing? It's because, um – they're no longer relevant. We're supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?"
Sam Harris presents the reasoning behind Bill's statement. I'm grateful for that. And I miss Bill.
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