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A startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today’s world, this historical tour of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify atrocities, asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, we can not expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely.
Most controversially, argues that moderate lip service to religion only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism. Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need, and invokes that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world. The end of faith: Toggle Dropdown Advanced Search. Collection Steven Clifford Collection.
Description A startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today’s world, this historical tour of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify atrocities, asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, we can not expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely.
The New York Times. It’s not often that I see my florid strain of atheism expressed in any document this side of the Seine, but ”The End of Faith” articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood. Sam Harris presents major religious systems like Judaism, Christianity and Islam as forms of socially sanctioned lunacy, their fundamental tenets and rituals irrational, archaic and, important when it comes to matters of humanity’s long-term survival, mutually incompatible.
User reviews LibraryThing member LovingLit. This book does not hold back on making its stance blindingly obvious.
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Its whole premise is that religious faith, even of a moderate nature, is an antiquated and baseless notion that must be challenged to see reason.
Until this happens, the author says, the world is headed for not only increased political and social instability, but death by our own making through religious-based war.
Islam is presently seen to be the biggest threat to world peace. This, he says, is because it’s book advocates for either contempt towards or conversion of non-Muslims.
That it promises a place in heaven for those who die in the act of either is the deal-breaker. Many are willing to die a ‘martyr’ for their belief that they are enacting the literal word of god. The author stresses that Muslim extremists are extreme in their religious faith in these situations. He refutes the oft-quoted ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ statement by arguing that there is just too much in the holy books that proves otherwise.
Judaism and Christianity are also critiqued for relying heavily on a book of fiction that has no bearing on or relevance to modern life. Each faith’s superiority in its claim to know the truth, he says, is as meaningless as a school yard squabble. He states unequivocally that people of faith are delusional and that it is a travesty that so much weight is given to religion in political decision-making that affects all our lives.
What I liked about this book is that the author is unafraid to make bold statements about what is essentially a taboo subject. He challenges the notion that religion or faith is not to be questioned. He looks past religion to ethics, morals and the larger philosophy of human interaction which gives a broader framework within which to assess how we all might just get along.
Although I agree wholeheartedly with the Hitchens quote he endorses: And this, I think, was his intention. I found the book rich in quotable sentences, and this review is peppered with them. Perhaps a quarter of the book is devoted to end notes, so the author supports his assertions well, and another quarter is bibliography.
The author is militant in tone, which is off-putting, but rich in ideas, which kept me reading. Much of what he said spoke clearly and directly to me, about the place of reason, about belief in how the world works based on evidence, and about ethics in society.
There are only 7 chapters. And a central tenet of the religions based on these versions, is that all other religions are repositories of error and must be wiped out. He brings the witch trials to life, and sets them in the context of religious-based beliefs in a vast, organized conspiracy of witches throughout Europe. This chapter particularly spoke to me, and clarified some of my thoughts about the fundamental importance of the separation of Church and State in our country.
Since the book was written, we have seen even more of this legislative war on sin. Because we are a people of faith, taught to concern ourselves with the sinfulness of our neighbors, we have grown tolerant of irrational uses of state power. In his repudiation of religion-based ethics, the author spends some time exploring a Muslim practice that makes me shiver.
Isteni téveszme by Richard Dawkins on Apple Books
This would be the beginning of a rational approach to our deepest personal concerns. It would also be the end of faith. But well worth reading, and I particularly recommend the last three chapters. Harris’ first and more grand treatise against religion in general and Islam in particular.
One could quickly review this book by declaring that Harris has deleted “God,” replaced it with isgeni and then goes after anything in the name of “God” with great vitriol while apologizing for “Reason. And, as usual, there is no doubting of doubts.
It must be said that Harris, while normally lumped in with the New Atheists and understandably so, is not a carbon copy of the Dawkins type. He is also not an apologist for Atheism for atheism’s sake but really more of an apologist for what he deems “Reason.
No one really entirely acts according to “Reason,” and, according to Harris, “Reason” must never be charged with the ‘sins’ or “irrationality” of those who claim the mantle tdveszme Reason vide: Tevewzme, in the end, Reason is the emperor without clothes– Reason is taken to be self-evident, and there’s never a justification given for why we should accept reason as understood by many in the twenty-first century as the standard for everything.
It’s assumed to be self-evident. As usual, Harris’ understanding of Christianity is quite distorted. This casts doubt on his understanding of Istehi, Judaism, and a bunch of other belief systems, also. Also present is this pervasive myth circulating around the circles of the New Atheists that it is religion that is the source of all sorts of conflict, as if removing religion will somehow make everyone more rational or less tribal. All evidence against this myth is dismissed as still showing irrationality, but such is beside the point.
Human beings, having religion or not, will still be irrational. Get rid of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and people will still be irrational. Therefore, the entire thesis of the book really falls miserably flat. Sure, militant Islamism is the scourge of the world today– but there’s nothing saying that a group of irrationally tribalistic atheists won’t be the next scourge. There is much to be gained from what is written here, though.
Harris is at least willing to admit the limitations of science and the reality that science cannot really explain origin and purpose of our existence, of consciousness, etc. It is valid to demand some kind of evidence for what one believes. The problem, of course, is that Harris denies the existence or ability of existence of anything beyond the natural realm, and demands that all evidence be “empirical.
This book tells you a lot more about Harris than about anything else– smug arrogance about the supremacy of modern ideology and modern perspectives and a brutishly cavalier attitude toward the competence and understanding tevsszme those before him. Harris may be different from other New Atheists in many ways, but not in his complete acceptance of the Enlightenment ideology of triumphalistic rationalism, something that should have been laid to rest with all the bodies in the Holocaust of which Harris speaks.
The subtitle for this book could be “wherin Sam Harris gets very, very mad, then goes all squishy”. Harris pulls no punches, indeed, the first section of this book reads like tevexzme socio-political rhetorical Normandy beach. This is a strange book that reads well, but seems more like a collection of mini-essays rather than a coherent whole. Working from a polemic about behavior as it relates to faith, and veering wildly into a discussion of torture, he pulls the handbrake and skid-spins into a new agey plea for meditation.
I’d call him provocative to say the least, and enjoyable to read, if you have the stomach for it. As a gadfly against politically correct treatment of extremism and fundamentalism, he’s smart-bomb effective.
As a purveyor of alternative ethics and solutions, not so much. One thing I will say, the book makes you think in different ways about some of the moral and ethical situations we face geopolitically today, and in my book, that makes it worth opening your wallet for. Not for the faint of the heart or the weak of faith, though; and be careful at cocktail parties after reading this one.
I’m an atheist and I’ve istebi a number of other books on atheism and have enjoyed them and learned things. In this book you learn that atheism, just like religions, can be used to justify invasions, wars and torture. This book is atheism for neo-conservatives. The book is largely a prejudiced rant against Islam.
The historical ignorance of Mr Harris is alarming. If, as he believes, muslims are so keen to attack non-muslim countries why don’t they attack Teveszje rather than those countries that drew borders tevfszme the Middle East for their own imperial designs rather than the interests of isten locals, those people who decided land that their forefathers lived in years ago was theirs, and those who invade countries on the other side of the world based on lies?
Then to make things worse, the books goes into praise for mysticism. The whole point of atheism is to believe in as few things as possible and avoid things that cannot be proven. Mr Harris will presumably find some religion in the next few years and renounce atheism and then go on to write a book about it. With arguably no topic in America more contentious and hotly debated than religion oddly enoughit is important to ponder the rationality of stated and unstated religious wars or just one-on-one killings for the same purposes.
Overall, an entertaining read, sure to fuel endless passionate debates in which I have absolutely no intention to partake. We are at war with Islam. There are no atheists in foxholes. Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum. Screw you guys I’m going home. Although I have some reserves regarding some passages about the US’ foreign policy, this book is definitely a keeper.
His demonstration on torture was extremely disturbing, not to my taste since I ended up with the very same conclusion tevezzme his You may not agree with everything, but as a believer here’s an author you’ll have a hard time contradict without absurd reasoning. We certainly need more people like him out there. Please, please read this book. Doesn’t matter if you hate the premise or not, this book is important.
One way or the other, as a species, we’re either going to grow out of ‘revealed religion’ or we’re not This should get high stars for the diatribe nature but low stars for clear philosophically acceptable arguments. Mostly a lot of blowhard rhetoric and usual strawman arguments. Not the best from the “brights”. Sam Harris is angry.