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The End of Faith 1st (first) edition Text Only [Hardcover]

Sam Harris
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: N/A (2005)
  • ASIN: B004WMCVXG
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,291,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
The young man boards the bus as it leaves the terminal. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
246 of 261 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocative but timely 24 April 2006
Format:Paperback
To call this book provocative is something of an understatement - it's an attack on ideals held very dear by many, from the sanctity of religious faith through to the desirability of religious tolerance. It's also highly persuasive, and a timely wake-up call to anyone who dislikes religion but believes that private beliefs should go unchallenged.

Harris's key concern is pragmatic: there are religious fundamentalists happy to kill both themselves and others on the basis of their faith in particular holy books, and we must find the best way of stopping them. Harris's view is that the way to do so is to undermine all religion, not just that of the fundamentalists.

He notes that "religious tolerance", the liberal consensus which minimises conflict between believers and non-believers, and between moderates and radicals, allows fundamentalism to flourish because it creates a climate where only actions can be challenged, not the beliefs that cause them. Harris (with some tendency to exaggeration) downplays the political causes of terrorism which other writers focus on, and concentrates on the central absurdity that makes acts like suicide bombing possible - belief in reward in the afterlife.

Harris rarely minces words. The book is filled with quotable invective, which depending on your perspective you'll either find inspiring or apalling. As a rant, it's highly articulate and very well-argued.

Harris pours scorn particularly on Islam and Christianity, enumerating the false beliefs to be found in their holy books and devoting a chapter each to their flaws. Judaism gets off more lightly, and he clearly has more sympathy for Israel than its neighbours.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. T. White TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
End of Faith is one of the most important books of the decade. Read this book and start thinking. And please don't stop thinking, otherwise you'll miss the point of it. For this is a book to inspire thought about how the world has come to have so many problems, so many of which are directly or indirectly attributable to religion. Even some laws which make no rational sense are in existence because of a moral tradition which is directly attributable to religious belief. Belief, in other words, which is not based on any scientific proof.

I must echo what another said, as it is totally right to say:

If you have an open, intelligent and enquiring mind - Read it.
If you want a better understanding of why the world is in such a mess - Read it
If you are interested in ethics, moral identity and politics - Read it.
If you are intrigued by the nature of belief - Read it

Harris makes a most brilliant and compelling treatise on why religion is so disturbingly destructive in so many ways; and is all the more so when it is followed with blind allegiance. He also demonstrates with the most logical fluidity and rational reasoning how its effects affect all of us - whether we are religious or not. And he develops, most compellingly, the argument that this is wrong. In short, read this book and wake up! And please give this book to others who are influential in this world, as this book is far too important to ignore. An unquestionable must read, which has divided many people and accordingly does not have the mark of greatness here on Amazon that is so thoroughly deserves.
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92 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incisive, alarming and irrefutable 6 Feb 2006
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
Mum always insisted; "Don't discuss politics or religion!" These days the two are too thoroughly intertwined to avoid discussing one without the other. Sam Harris thinks so, and is emphatic that we need to recognise that. He doesn't like religion - there are too many illogical and inconsistent expressions of it. He's particularly concerned about how religions manifest themselves in politics. In this challenging and provocative book, he urges us all to be aware about what the "faithful" learn about their gods, and how they express that learning. He finds the situation dangerous, threatening enough that immediate action is overdue to correct the peril we face. This cry of alarm must be heeded, and Harris has done a thorough job of explaining why we must act.
In the West, he notes how religious tolerance, after a long struggle to gain acceptance, poses a conundrum. Tolerance means acceptance, but the faithful in the three extensive monotheistic religions, preclude tolerance. "The Book", accepted if not admired universally, demands the diminution, if not the destruction of "heresy". He's particularly scathing of Islam's own "Book", the Qur'an in its insistence on rooting out infidels. Thus, there is no "border" to the Islamic world short of the planet itself. This, he argues, is a tangible threat. We've experienced one of its most diabolically conceived acts in the destruction of the Twin Towers. This, he argues, is but the first of a series of acts that will grow increasingly severe with the passage of time. Those in the West stressing that the suicide bombers are "fanatics" and "fundamentalists" are deluding themselves. It is clear, Harris says, that Islam "must find a way to revise itself".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Articulation and reasoning of author is impeccable.
Published 4 days ago by Siim Salu
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everybody should read this book!
Published 9 days ago by Sunnydaises
4.0 out of 5 stars god
good read
Published 14 days ago by paul baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good analytic treatment of reality
Published 15 days ago by DR M KRISHNATHASAN
1.0 out of 5 stars Tribalism dressed as Sophistication
It was once the case the xenophobia in the US was seen as a religious phenomenon. Now that myth is blown out of the water with this flag-waving table-thumping display of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Thomas
1.0 out of 5 stars Everything that is wrong
Firstly I have to say that I agree with the premise of this book. I have no religious affiliations and wanted to read a book that would tell me more about the end of faith as we... Read more
Published 3 months ago by DM Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake-up call.
An uncompromising assault on religion, with particular emphasis on Islam. Very well argued, and ultimately, a warning about what could happen next in the hotspots where religion... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mark Bracewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality!
When are people going to wake up!.Their is no GOD! Brilliantly written as always by Sam Harris The end of religion is coming!.
Published 6 months ago by charlton rudwick
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book throughout
They won't read this book but every person in the world who claims to hold to an orthodox faith, should do so now, or suffer the consequences of world war and terrorism in years to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr Eric Parsons
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent reading
Well worth reading. Needed to stop a few times to absorb everything and make my own conclusions. However, this book needs to be read by everyone: either religious or not.
Published 8 months ago by Herrala Esko
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