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The End of Faith | [Sam Harris]

The End of Faith

Here is an impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith. This important and timely work delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes.
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Publisher's Summary

Here is an impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith. This important and timely work delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world.

Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes. He asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, the world can no longer tolerate views that pit one true god against another. Most controversially, he argues that the we cannot afford moderate lip service to religion - an accommodation that only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism.

While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need. He calls on us to invoke that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world.

©2007 Sam Harris; (P)2004 W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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  •  
    Billy mesquite, TX, USA 06-24-08
    Billy mesquite, TX, USA 06-24-08 Member Since 2006
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    "3rd place"

    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

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Los Altos Hills, CA, USA 02-13-09
    Brad Los Altos Hills, CA, USA 02-13-09
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    "Great subject matter"

    Covers subjects well.
    FYI, very high-end reading (big, complicated words).

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Rancho Cordova, CA 03-07-14
    Michael Rancho Cordova, CA 03-07-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Still very relevant."
    Would you listen to The End of Faith again? Why?

    Probably not. This is the foundation Sam set down for future discussions. He came out guns blazing with this compelling, no-holds-barred criticism of irrationality. He has since turned his blunt attack into a irrefutable precision scalpel of truth.


    What other book might you compare The End of Faith to and why?

    I enjoyed this as much as "Disproving Christianity" for its point by point assessments and knock out arguments.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This Audio book moves fast and leaves you wanting more.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a Rosetta stone to today's world. Once you understand the way human tribalism and credulity contribute to the worlds political and social climate, everything tends to make a lot more sense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David APO, AE, United States 12-08-13
    David APO, AE, United States 12-08-13 Member Since 2010

    Clarkplus

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    "Faith No Longer"

    Great book but I am a fan of Sam Harris so I am bias. I don't think this is a book for everyone and would probably discourage the far right Christians from reading or listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Illuminating but not persuasive"
    Any additional comments?

    As an agnostic, I was intrigued by this book and the hype around it. Harris makes many interesting points about the contradictions between faith and reason and it is apparent that this is a treatise against the hyper-religious rhetoric that was apparent post 9/11. At the same time I can't say that it is entirely persuasive because it fails to address the issue that believers are unlikely to en Masse abandon their beliefs by subjecting them to logical reasoning in the same way non-believers are going to accept a deity by giving into faith.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Bouillon Cranston, RI United States 10-10-13
    Robert Bouillon Cranston, RI United States 10-10-13 Member Since 2013

    Robear

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    "Fantastic book, unbearable narrator"

    I love the content in this book: most of what's in here is very thought provoking, so it matters not whether you agree or disagree with the Author's position, you will no doubt walk away feeling wiser than before having read this book.

    I've found myself struggling to continue, though, because the narrator's voice is terribly uncomfortable to listen to for long periods. He has a very "whiney" tone, which can be tolerated with enough desire to listen to the Author's words, but the over-exaggerated expressions used to place emphasis on some parts of the writing often bring me to skip sections or switch to another book entirely.

    I wish there were an alternate narrator available: I wonder if Sam Harris himself would do it. I rather enjoyed his narration of his other work: The Moral Landscape.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 09-24-13
    Jeff Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 09-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Good book, but the narrator didn't do it for me."

    If you've already read Dawkins' The God Delusion and/or Hitchens' God is Not Great, you'll learn nothing new from this book, but it's a good read nonetheless. I am a fan of Sam Harris' style, but the narrator ruins it with long and painful pauses, during which I often found my attention drifting. I recommend listening to it at 1.25x (thank you for that feature, Audible!).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 07-29-13
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 07-29-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A philosopher's book"

    A bit dense, a bit heavy on the philosophy of thought and being, and a bit dry, but the arguments are heavy and thought provoking. If you're looking for an unvarnished argument against religion, an argument made with relish and gusto, then this is the book for you. Be warned, however, it's a bit difficult to keep track of when driving or doing anything else, as the arguments can be a bit high-concept.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 07-14-13
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2001

    Letting the rest of the world go by

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    "Robert Wright covers same stuff but much better"

    The narrative suffers from bias. There are much stronger compelling ways of showing the follies of faith instead of reason based on science then was presented in this book. Robert Wright's book, "The Evolution of God" covers the same kind of material that's in the first half of Harris' book, but he puts the topics in their proper context and makes a much more compelling argument (and doesn't weirdly fixate on Islam as this author does).

    The book's first half seemed to be pre-occupied with Islam and their inconsistencies. The author would have made a better narrative if he didn't focus as strongly on just one religion. The book came out in 2007 (it's now 2013) and suffers from its being a victim of its time period.

    It's low hanging fruit to invoke Noam Chomsky moral equivalence arguments on the Iraqi war and pick them apart and then think you've made valid points about the nature of war against Iraqis.

    A reasonable person can be against torture. The author doesn't seem to to think that can be a reasonable viewpoint. I'm not sure how that fits into his overall theme of the book of the unreasonableness of people with faith in scriptures as opposed to reason based on reality.

    The second half of the book focused on moral relativism and why it's wrong. Once again, I would recommend another Robert Wright book, "The Moral Animal". The same topic is much better covered by Wright than here.

    The narrator does a fantastic job. The writer is actually a good writer. He's weirdly fixated on Islam.

    Overall, I was very disappointed in this book. He has so much to work with and could have told a much more compelling story. He let too many of his own prejudices sneak through and mars the overall narrative. I did read to the end. I skipped one chapter, a bunch of Koranic quotations. I don't listen to religious people when they start quoting their scripture to me in person and I'm not going to waste my time listening to a whole chapter of religious quotes unnecessarily.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross Monson, Massachusetts, United States 04-12-13
    Ross Monson, Massachusetts, United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A great listen"
    Did Brian Emerson do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The only problem is that much of this would have sounded much better in the voice of the author, as he does have a very distinct speaking style; which he translates to text very faithfully (its a pun, get it?)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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