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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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my first book by Sam Harris

This book was very well thought out and conveyed almost perfectly. It's clear Sam has done his research and holds no quarter when it comes to explaining the absurdity of religion and the future it will have upon all of us. It's explained respectfully, and shows the reader that even though it's taboo to question a person's religion, that an examination needs to be and should be done by all thinking people.

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Not for the faint of ear or heart

Although I was not personally offended by Harris's words in this book, I can definitely see how many people would be! Harris spares no blunt criticisms of traditional religiosity, and shares little to no charitable words whatsoever regarding ALL of Islam. However, his brutally honest delivery is the only fault I find in his book, if that even is something to be criticized... and even that is delivered with an articulate tactfulness that is hard not admire.

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great book, terrible voice

It took 4 months to get through this book. The book itself is phenomenal. however, the person hired to read it is clearly from the wrong genre. I dislike hearing intellectual , thought provoking , factual material from someone who sounds like he is reading a suspenseful murder mystery. It was irritating and dramatically detracted from the book.

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Common sense

I will preface by saying I am a fan of Sam Harris. This book only reaffirmed that notion. He is absolutely on point when it comes to religious hypocrisy. I take away from his book this ancient line of thinking has no place in the 21st century. Allowing believers and pious thinkers to hold positions of power while others spread the word through ideas, violence, and suicidal action, it is time to stop enabling. We must use science and common sense to combat the forces of religious dogma in our conversations and in our questions. It is then we can properly place religion amongst the false hoods of so many other beliefs i.e., the Greek gods, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. If not our future just may repeat our past.

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rational, reasoned and focused.

Harris is not afraid to share what he's learned of the world and of faith. He's not afraid to share his opinions. I found this books edifying and instructive, a good primer for modern atheism.

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Flawed but worthy perspective

While Sam is too quick to blame faith for all that ails us, and too quick to found his own approach to the world on faith (say, in defining “good”) without realizing it, he formulates a very carefully argued starting point for life’s most important discussion.

The biggest thing I believe he misses is that we are not any of us fundamentally rational agents...to control our own behavior we must deal with an irrational agent within us, from which we evolved, that is powerfully drawn to decision-making like a lizard. Simply deciding to behave rationally has little impact on this agent.

The reader’s careful and clear articulation of this difficult material is much appreciated, but in the end the lack of meaningful enunciation left the reading entirely too dry and unnecessarily boring.

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Masterpiece

Masterpiece is the only word that can sum up this book! It's must read for anyone looking for answers to life's questions.

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The narration is almost comically bad.

The message comes across well supported. "I wish Harris would read it himself" is an understatment

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Sing Song Narration

.The narration was extremely sing song and I could not listen to much of the book because of this.

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Words put to what I am thinking.

Words put to what I am thinking.
Words put to what I am thinking.