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Letter to a Christian Nation Paperback – January 8, 2008
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"A breath of fresh fire." —Wall Street Journal“I dare you to read this book...it will not leave you unchanged. Read it if it is the last thing you do.” —Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion“It’s a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris’ marvelous little book Letter to a Christian Nation. They won’t but they should.” —Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics, Stanford University
About the Author
Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times best seller, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, which won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. He is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University and has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of contemplative disciplines, for twenty years. Mr. Harris is now completing a doctorate in neuroscience, studying the neural basis of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). His work has been discussed in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Economist, and New Scientist, among many other journals, and he has made television appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, Scarborough Country, Faith Under Fire, and Book TV.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author directs his rhetoric towards a Christian individual, seemingly because, as he points out, Christianity has been unquestionably responsible for more bloodshed throughout the ages than any other religion. The author points out that morality is quite possible without the fear of God, and to a great extent, nations fare better with a lesser involvement
in religious matters.. Statics show relations between degree of religious adherence and crime, infant mortality, educational performance of its children and several other indices. The skeptics come out on top in all sociological matters..Doesn't it seem outlandish that in order to run for a political office in the United States, one must profess a deep religious sentiment,.. ..truthful or not? A person of sterling qualities, honest, caring for his fellow human being, moral in every way, does not stand a chance if he would claim to be an atheist. Something is terribly wrong with this. We could take a lesson from Western Europe, where religious practice is at a bare minimum,, but their kids do better in school than our kids do, they live longer than we do, and more newborns make it to adulthood than ours do.
This book must be read in a calm and sober way. The author is not attacking the religious individual; just questioning the true validity of all these man made concepts and gods.
I would own it JUST for the erudite introduction. Sam Harris is reliably and consistently judgmental of all beliefs that intrinsically support division and violence. His tone is steady and rational. Reading his book is like listening to him speak in an interview or debate or even on his Waking Up podcast. I wonder at people who think him to be shrill and combative; perhaps they are going into it on the defense and find every disagreement to instead be an angry tirade.
Whatever the case, I think people can really benefit from reading this and understanding Sam's point of view on the subject. Great, brief and accessible book.
Although the prospect of waking the world up from this nightmare appears daunting at the least and impossible at the most, he provides hope that in time, the world will see the light that the atrocities attributed to continued religious belief are no different today than the atrocities of human slavery 200 years ago. If you need to build your arsenal in order to better arm yourself for this difficult but essential battle, this is a book you should read.