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.
Sam Harris has written this short work as a follow-up to his earlier book THE END OF FAITH (also available now from Audible).
Although titled in a way that suggests that christianity is the target of Harris' analyses and arguments (or, of that christian variant that insists the USA is, or should be, a "christian nation") don't let that mislead you.
It is actually a hyper-rationalist critique of religion in general, christianity simply providing the framework for structuring the arguments.
The work is well read and sufficiently short (a bit under two hours) that most would probably benefit from listening two or three times, at least to have given all the arguments a fair hearing.
An enormous amount of material is covered in the book and it would be no surprise to find that one argument or another triggered so emotional a reaction in the listener that portions of subsequent material were missed.
The book is a challenge to the religious, a challenge to apply the same rationality to religion and religious beliefs that we commonly apply to all other aspects of our world and lives.
Give this work a serious listen and you'll never deserve to be targeted by Socrates' "The unexamined life is not worth living"
This is like a "God Delusion" pared down and easy to listen to. It was well written, excellent narration. Cuts to the chase. I've already listened to it twice and will listen to it again from time to time to get a refresher.
This is a great book, but should not have been necessary. The End of Faith should have been sufficient and I recommend starting there. If you are not prepared to put in the extra time, then this is the one for you.
Sam Harris gets my vote for the bravest man in America and the most rational, too.
No body likes athiests; they are reviled by all. Yet Sam Harris has stood up and said enough already with God, with all religions. He poignantly argues his point that religion isn't working so maybe we should try something else...how about reason. He says that no one has ever died from too much knowledge or reason.
This work is concise. He gets straight to the point and doesn't waste your time. I agree with the other reviewers who say that this should be required reading (and thinking) by all. We need a different paradigm in which to see the world if we are going to move forward. Sam Harris provides a new paradigm and is thinking outside the box. Are we going to continue our insane wishful thinking or are we going to make a change in time to save ourselves and to progress?
This book resonated for me as few before, but I've yet to see any comments on the reader, Jordan Bridges. This is among the finest and most engaging readings of a any work I've acquired. While not perfect, Bridges hits Harris' tone and intent time after time, matching him almost note for note. At times angry, sarcastic, witty, emotive and always passionate, this is a very fine effort that deserves recognition and respect. I hope we are lucky enough to hear Harris' next work read by Bridges.
Harris' appeal to the Christian masses is both poignant and respectful. Without using straw men, he clearly articulates some of the major issues with religion and its effects on modern day life. Throughout his letter he remains appropriately considerate of his thoughts' potential shortcomings, which is a refreshing change from the arrogance of some other notable atheist scholars.
This is a very important work and is something everyone should listen to.
In Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris very succintly lays out the dangers of religious dogma. It contained many of the same points as 'The End of Faith,' but is much more focused. I'd recommend that people start with Letter to a Christian Nation and then read End of Faith if they'd like to get deeper on any of the topics.
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.
It's really difficult to argue with Harris in this simple, very compelling essay. Anyone in the secular community would be wise to read/listen to this book, and perhaps more than once.
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.
"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.
"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.
"Analytical and terrifyingly accurate"
Sam really pulls apart our belief systems and our failure to act rationally. Sometimes ear peelingly shocking in his rational and evidence based conversation.
Highly recommend to those interested in philosophy and new ideas.
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