- Sam Harris discusses his controversial book in depth in our exclusive interview.
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The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Paperback – September 17, 2005
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“A genuinely frightening book.... Read Sam Harris and wake up.”
- Richard Dawkins, The Guardian
“Sam Harris launches a sustained nuclear assault.... A brave, pugilistic attempt to demolish the walls that currently insulate religious people from criticism.... Badly needed.”
- Johann Hari, The Independent
“A radical attack on the most sacred of liberal precepts―the notion of tolerance.... An eminently sensible rallying cry for a more ruthless secularisation of society.”
- Stephanie Merritt, The Observer
“Shows how the perfect tyranny of religious and secular totalitarianism demonizes imperfect democracies such as the United States and Israel. A must read for all rational people.”
- Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard University and author of America on Trial
About the Author
Sam Harris is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University.
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It cannot be overstated the liberating effect of Harris' constant calling out of the incredulousness of the magical and completely unverifiable claims of millennia old religions. Also refreshing is to bring in some history about how those claims have been used to justify some of humanity's most problematic traits like racism, mob violence, misogyny and the like. He makes the important observation that in no other spheres of life do we rely on millennia old knowledge. To truly live as Jesus would have, try using 2000 year old medicine, or dress in the same cloth, or grow your food the same way, or travel the same way, (we could go on).
Once, in a family discussion (argument) about the merits of allowing the teaching of 'intelligent design' in public schools on the basis of being 'fair and balanced', I allowed that would be acceptable when Sunday schools, in the spirit of reciprocity, would be mandated to also teach evolution. I now have another book I'd like to bring to both classes - The End of Faith!! May I live so long to see the day (sigh).
In a different direction, an eye opener for me was Harris' pointed confrontation of the Islamic faith. On that score, he almost becomes an ally of my, mostly right-wing - gun friendly - soldiers for the Christian faith - friends and family. I wouldn't be surprised if some would complain by claiming that he is in some way possibly racially or tribally prejudiced, but it seems to me that this is simply going after the 'low hanging fruit' that is in our headlines almost daily. He makes a telling point that we don't see many Christian suicide bombers. And so, rather than relying on dusty history to make the point of how religious faith might have been abused in the, possibly irrelevant past, he brings it into the present day where it can't be as easily denied. (I wish he would have turned his sharp mind against the modern day faith healers like Benny Hinn and his ilk.)
Highly stimulating and highly recommended!
Buy it. Read it. Buy another copy and pass it on to your best friend [or your worst enemy]. The book is among my favorites to have and to read. Thanks, Sam Harris, for this treasure!