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Customer Review

1,554 of 1,781 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DESPITE WISHING AND WANTING, August 26, 2004
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This review is from: The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (Hardcover)
It is both odd and a mistake to refer to this book as "ineffectual". Mr. Harris points out something which, one hopes, we all already know. And that is, despite its ability to blind us emotionally, despite the fact that in most cases people come to embrace religion through some form of indoctrination, or in the case of President Bush, come to it as a substitute for other forms of intoxication, religion as an artifact of human thought has long outlived its usefulness. We are no longer tribes squatting in huts teaching our children that the world is flat and if the weather turns it's because some god is angry about the clothes we wear. Problem being that today, in place of sticks and rocks we have big, powerful and easily portable weapons.

What is effective about this book is that it finally opens the door to this virtually taboo observation: Middle east or West, by being treated as infallible and unquestionable, religion quantifiably does more harm than good. Mr. Harris points out just how utterly antiquated and basically wrong so many religious tracts are by using the tracts themselves. Proof enough that religions no longer hold the key to human happiness is demonstrated by the convenient "editing" of some tenets of faith by none other than the faithful who, in our culture, get closer to god by picking and choosing those aspects of the word of god which best suits the starkly more secular and practical aspects of their lives. Is everybody comfy? Good.

It is even more important and highly effective to point out how faith continues to divert our society from coming to terms with the objective facts which define the issues facing us today in favor of consistently relying on belief. The dangers of this practice in our daily social and political life are being felt in innumerable ways, and the danger continues to grow. By connecting the way in which religious beliefs affect our world, our interaction with others and with a more objective reality, Mr. Harris has helped begin the only conversation that really matters.
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Showing 1-10 of 65 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 19, 2006 9:32:27 PM PDT
P. Pickren says:
"substitute for other forms of intoxication" -- Love It!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2006 8:59:06 AM PDT
great review and loved the bush jab

Posted on Nov 18, 2006 1:55:51 PM PST
John Condron says:
Excellent review. Much better than that of Publishers Weekly. What's with the pro-religion / anto-science bias in that partioular "business" publicaiton?
John

Posted on Nov 23, 2006 12:28:15 PM PST
James Morris says:
Brilliant, brilliant review. Thanks.

Posted on Mar 26, 2007 6:55:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2007 10:48:52 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2007 2:47:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2008 1:27:39 PM PST
Hank Napkin says:
Bruce! Thanks for your comment. Considering the overall tone of the review, you might also cast the use of "hope" in this context as somewhat ironic. Or even sarcastic? Not that the word "hope" infers anything beyond a preferred outcome...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2007 11:04:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2007 8:19:51 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2007 11:15:40 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 30, 2007 11:20:59 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 23, 2007 9:40:09 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 6, 2011 12:02:25 PM PDT]

Posted on May 6, 2007 5:19:23 PM PDT
Rick Sievers says:
The main problem I had with Mr.Harris' argument is he presents a case for reason over faith. And then later undermines his whole argument by embracing the subjective nature of Eastern mysticism. By contrast, at least the Judeo/Christian concept of the divine is rooted within the context of an objective historical framework, while Eastern beliefs are purely subjective with no point of historical reference. The texts of Eastern belief systems are highly mythologized, while the Western canon has historical footprints that can be substantiated by archaeology. And then Mr. Harris under the guise of embracing reason and objectivity, does an 180 degree turn and trips out on "boogie-woogie" subjectivism. What's next with Mr.Harris, floatation tanks and astral projection? UFO's and crop circles? Mr. Harris should go back to Haight-Ashbury with Timothy Leary, and leave the arguments to the true proponents of reason.
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