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.
This is a structured indictment of faith and religion in all its forms.
It was thought provoking. While I don't agree with all of his positions Harris' prose style and plethora of sourced information can't help but force you to considered your own principled stances.
Glass blower and computer tech
Yes, this book explains adroitly why religion is such a decisive force within human cultures. With humankind reaching the point where anyone will be able to destroy us all such superstition is anachronistic and potentially a madness that can end all life as we know it.
Please read this!
Everything is subjective.
Sam Harris has always been an idol of mine in terms of his secularism. In this book, he delves into the facts, and doesn't much delude with fiction, as religion apparently does.
Harris explains what happens when you take any holy scripture literally. His focus is typically aimed at Christianity and Islam, but the critical thinking he uses can be applied to any and all religions. In the end, humanity's progression hinders on the supression or elimination of organized religion outright.
If you are interested in a thought-provoking narration of Sam Harris' work, this is a good book to start with.
Definitely. It has some great information that doesn't try to necessarily convince you that there isn't a god but delves more into the nature of how people have faith.
Comparing the different religions and showing that no religion is any better or worse based on their dogma.
Audible Member Since 2003
Sam Harris left no stone unturned explaining his thesis that
The audio by a professional narrator is clear and distinct. But, having heard Sam Harris speak, I was surprised by his stilted and tedious writing style. The subject matter is important, and what he has to say deserves to be heard and considered by all. But Sam Harris could say it all with1/2 the words. The important messages of this book need to be extracted into a more concise and succinct read. Near the end of the book I set the playbook speed to 2x normal just to get it over with. I will continue to seek out Sam Harris' Podcast lectures and debates, but as a writer, he has a style something akin to slow drying paint. Being very pedantic, his writing is not nearly as engrossing as his speaking style.
I think Sam Harris is great. I agree with may of the others about the reader. It would have been much better if Harris had read it himself. I usually don't like books read by the author, but in this case it would have been a better choice. Letter to a christian Nation was a better book.
In general I agree broadly with Harris' views on religion and society.
However, I do not agree with the way he singles out Islam for extensive ridicule. Although religious zealotry is rampant among Islamic fighters and their fellow travelers, let us not forget that our president claims he has a personal contact with Jesus Christ and uses that language to foster support among our home grown zealots.
Moreover the fact is suicide bombs as a tactic of warfare simply work. Typically opponents of American foreign policy have no WMDs and Fighter Jets and ICBMs cannot be defeated with rifles.
If the US military footprint only extended to the US border we (the cannon fodder) would not be terrorist targets.
This is more of a muslim-bashing book than a anti-theist book (half the book is devoted to specifically criticize islam). The author also completely whitewashes the US foreign policy towards the middle east, rationalizes torture, supports the invasion of Iraq, and in general sounds like a neocon. He even advocates killing people for thought crimes (how is that different from what religious nutjobs believe?).
Some good points, but overall it's garbage. I enjoyed Dawkins's books a lot more.
Sam Harris argues that the we cannot afford moderate lip service to religion - and argues it well. Very persuasive and enlightening. I think Sam Harris is brilliant and I love to listen to his arguments. I highly recommend this book. I loved it.
If you like Sam Harris's The End of Faith, be sure to also read/listen to Letter to a Christian Nation.
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