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Letter to a Christian Nation Paperback – January 8, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
It is not supposed to be a compliment.
Harris replied that "atheist fundamentalist" was ''a silly play upon words,'' noting that "when it comes to the ancient Greek gods, everyone is an atheist and no one is asked to justify that to pagans who want to believe in Zeus."
Epstein sees Harris as too rigid and too confrontational.
Harris says "In our next presidential election, an actor who reads his Bible would almost certainly defeat a rocket scientist who does not. Could there be any clearer indication that we are allowing unreason and otherworldliness to govern our affairs" (p. 39, The End of Faith)?
I guess Epstein is right. Harris IS confrontational. BUT... does the world need more Epsteins, or Harrises?
I vote for Harris.
Letter to a Christian Nation is Sam Harris' rebuttal to the arguments from Christians to his viewpoints in The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. It's a slim book, barely over 100 pages.
What does he say?
"People have been cherry-picking the Bible for millennia to justify their every impulse, moral and otherwise" (p. 18).
"If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures" (p. 22).Read more ›
I'm glad Harris has taken a public stand beyond those worthy yet weightier books likely to be read by only a few. "Letter..." is an inexpensive booklet, scarcely 100 pages with an introduction and wide spacing. It's not a work of depth or intricate argument, but then neither depth nor complexity is necessary for dispelling many popular myths surrounding a "godless world". Rather the book is written for the occasional thoughtful Christian in accessible prose with a revealing perspective on aspects that the ordinary believer may not have considered. And though the author assails Christian moderates for providing cover to the literalists, the material appears directed almost exclusively toward debunking the latter.
The text revolves mainly around the question of morality, a traditional foundation of religious belief. Specifically, the concern is with such key aspects as -- Can there be morality without religion?-- Is the Bible a source of moral wisdom?Read more ›
Harris presents concise arguments with lucidity, brevity and impact. If you haven't read his prior book "The End of Faith" the thesis of "Letter to a Christian Nation" will be startling and new. If you have, this worthy distillate of his prior work specifically focuses on the fundamentalist follies and foibles of America's cleverly marketed McJesus movement. With deft strokes Harris pens a number of reasons not to be a Christian - or religious at all. He exposes the unreasonableness of faith, explaining with clarity and philosophical rigor why there is no real justification for believing in God, and how the notion of "faith" does little to justify any unfounded belief, or merit respect for same.
Moral arguments come next as Harris, using examples ranging from Mother Teresa to the hatred of homosexuals, demonstrates that the Christian value system easily leads to ethically repugnant behavior - despicable in principal and practice because of the widespread and very real human suffering it creates. Christianity's maniacal obsession with people having sex is revealed as morally destitute - religious right political mandates that keep condoms out of Africa only increase the staggering AIDS death toll. Earlier this year Christian luddites unsuccessfully attempted to block the life saving Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, which will prevent many cases of cervical cancer because - in their twisted moral calculus - it might lead to teenagers having a little more sex.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clear thinker and writer. Presents the facts and it's hard to argue with them.Published 11 days ago by Marc J. Fine
It's fascinating to follow this great intellect around! Sam Harris, I think, takes you down paths you may never have explored before intellectually. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Denys
Read a few of his other books and this is just as good. Straight and to the point. Read it whether you're an atheist or a christian.Published 16 days ago by Joe Hasse
Even if you've read Sam Harris' other books on (the need for emancipation from) religion, this older one might still bring some added value. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Popescu
A must-have for those who no longer (or never did) believe in God. Buy several, and hand them out to your incredulous friends and relatives who think you are off your rocker. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tessa's Mom
This book will stop you short in your process of magical thinking! I highly recommend anyone to read this with an open mind and find an argument that works.Published 1 month ago by Gabrielle Barry
I read A Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris for a course book review assignment. I went into this text reading from the perspective of a Christian woman who has been... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer