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on March 3, 2016
How I wish that this book had been available 40 years ago when I was having doubts about my faith in middle school. To have known that there were so many others like myself who did not put constraints upon their questioning would have been so incredibly liberating and saved me from an additional 10 years of slipping, sliding and unguided pointless research. To be sure, the search continues, but on far sturdier ground.

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!
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on December 13, 2016
As the author so vividly points out, it's not religion, but FAITH which is the most dangerous component in society. His diatribes are meaty and relentless, yet the juggernaut slows towards the end where he explores mysticism as a viable alternative to dogma. It seemed as if an all-out frontal assault dug in for a holding action. Nonetheless, he scores a number of impressive points whilst examining the retardant effects religion has on knowledge & culture throughout history--and especially TODAY.
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on October 19, 2014
It is a bold approach to tackling the issue of religious doctrines and how they affect their followers beliefs and actions. Sam Harris puts it all on the table and pulls no punches as he compares modern educated reasoning to the thoughts and philosophies of the authors of such doctrines espoused thousands of years ago and still blindly followed today. A person who is a firm believer of their doctrine of choice will not find this book comforting and will most likey call Dr. Harris the devil. A person who has serious concerns about following any of these doctrines will most likely come away from this book with further insight and common sense information to objectively look at the subject with a descerning eye. As Dr. Harris so clearly points out, we demand objective proof in almost anything we do or accept in our lives before we take action on it, except when it comes to religious faith... there it seems people are willing to follow their doctrine off the proverbial cliff with no questions asked. I commend Dr. Harris on his work and gumption to put it out there. I would highly recommend the book to anyone with a penchant for learning and truth when it comes how they should live their life.
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on November 23, 2017
Sam Harris's brilliant argument against dogmatism and religious moderates isn't only effective regarding religion, it's effective regarding any issue in life. Follow the evidence, use the methods of science to find what is objectively true, and make your decision based on what is true. Giving credence and respect to beliefs with no evidence is something that our society needs to do away with. Feelings aren't facts and Sam makes that point in a calm yet forceful argument.
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on May 3, 2017
True to his reputation, Sam Harris is extremely well thought out, speaks vividly but clearly, and takes a controversial stance but offers evidence and logic difficult to argue with. I will admit, while tolerance is a valuable moral undertaking, this book will not provide any effort in that direction. In fact, while Harris is completely void of any racial or religious hate, his stance is such that tolerance may no longer be the very best option-too much tolerance can act against us and may even be at the root of a global problem
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on February 8, 2015
This is a good book, but understand the author spends a good amount of time trying to find a substitute for spirituality and appears to rank one religion against another in terms of aggression. I don't take issue with either of these things, but many have taken Harris to task on that last part. Harris also doesn't really get into explaining or defending why religion is unnecessary, only that it has the capability to make otherwise rational people behave irrationally. The book is otherwise well-cited, and can get pretty wonky. If you're looking for several books to read regarding religion, evolution etc, this should be one of them, but I wouldn't make it your sole entree.
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It is great to see this book has sold and continues to sell many copies. It is vital information: the history of religious insanity, the current religious fanaticism that threatens to destroy civilization, rational warnings and workable suggestions to the wise, the way out of our self-made destructive traps, the nature of the mind, the way the brain works, the real nature of who and what we are i.e. Consciousness itself.

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!
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on September 7, 2014
Maybe should be required reading for every person who thinks that somewhere in that religion from the middle east, there is going to be a reckoning that compassion, love, education, and logical thinking which the west, or more specifically the Christian world will be able to find a way to reason with the Islam radicals through the Islam moderates.

Harris shows us that there is little hope of finding an Islamic moderate.

Chapter Six is particularly interesting and informative, especially if you take the time to Wiki many of the Muslim names for parts of books and kinds of belief systems and the many sects which cannot agree any more than the J. Witnesses can agree with the Mormons or the evangelical Christians can agree with anybody.

A very well written, extremely carefully researched work of non-fiction which kicked of the Letter to a Christian Nation buzz. Sam's good!
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on March 5, 2018
Sam Harris does a superb job of showing how blind faith is destroying people and civilization. From suicide bombers to American theocrats spouting hatred of anyone who dares to disagree with their Iron Age view, this lack of critical thinking is dangerous to our existence.
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on October 5, 2017
The most important book of our time. It is a MUST READ for anyone, believer or not, who wants to honestly think seriously about why we believe the things we believe and if it is good to do so. Sam Harris is one of the most clear thinkers, writers, speakers of our generation. If you appreciate thoughtful conversation or writing and are at all considering reading this, DO IT!
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