62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Concise and well put Christian Polemic.,
This review is from: Letter To A Christian Nation (Hardcover)
This book is really suited to someone who wants to get the key arguments against Christianity without having to spend a long time reading something like 'The God Delusion' or 'The End of Faith'. It's very short and could be read in a day or even in a single reading.
Most head-in-the-sand Christians won't read anything that would challenge their faith but I would hope that a simple, short book like this would make that simple task more feasable. By reading this book, a Christians would certainly have some questions and be forced into a bit of thinking. But if their faith is genuine, honest and real why fear this?
Surely they'd come out the other side with a deeper, stronger faith.
I'd certainly applaud Harris for going out of his way for making it as easy as possible for a Christian to challenge their beliefs - a crucial part of any objective thinking.
Harris makes some excellent points. Among them:
1. Four of the most revered Theologians Augustine, Aquainus, Calvin and Luther were mad men who advocated torture and all sorts of hardship.
Does this mean that the Joe average Christian, who one would assume would abhor such perniciousness, can understand scripture better than the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity?
2. Objections to stem cell research from hardline Christians is preventing research into the most promising science that offers hope to so many cruel and life debilitating ailments.
3. The problem of evil - how could a loving God preside over such a cruel world. Theodicy cannot answer this.
4. The number of world conflicts emanating from regions with disparate religious groups:
- Palestine (Jews V Muslims)
- Balkans (Orthodox Serbians V Catholic Croatians V Bosian Muslims)
- Northern Ireland (Protestants V Catholics)
- Kashmir (Muslim V Hindus)
- Sudan (Muslims V Christians and animists)
- Nigeria (Muslims V Christians)
- Ethiopia (Muslims V Christians)
- Ivory Coast (Muslims V Christians)
- Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists V Tamil Hindus)
- Philippines (Muslims V Christians)
- Iran and Iraq (Shiite V Sunni Muslims)
- Caucasus (Orthodox Russians V Chechen Muslins, Muslims Azerbaijanis V Catholic and Orthodix Armenians).
It can't all be a coincidence. Surely there's something dangerous about religion that any rational person should be able to observe.
Is the Bible a fail safe guide to morality? It certainly has some extremely disturbing passages such as stoning your bride to death if she is not a virgin.
Is Christianity the number one religion for love and compassion? Even a cursory examination of Jainism would show that not to be the case.
But why are so many Christians adamant they have the moral highground, the truth and pretty much everything you need unless you are one of them?
It really is a great little book.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Oct 2008 08:41:50 BDT
A Customer says:
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Oct 2008 14:24:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Feb 2009 17:39:04 GMT
Alex Ireland says:
Have you even read the book?
A problem with Religion is there is no agreed way of resolving differences of opinion. It's just dogma versus dogma. Science has the scientific method. How many wars have there been over whether you believe in DNA, relativity or quantum physics?
Another problem with Religion is that indoctrination forces people in tribal groups where they end up becoming suspicious of those not in their tribe. These intrinsic problems with Religion make it pernicious and perhaps one reason why it's hard to find a case where there two competiting religions beside each other that haven't killed each other at some stage.
The Christian religion has done some absolutely awful things. Witch burning only one of many examples. If you even just look at the history of Europe, it is only with the rise of securalism and education of the masses that we have learnt to get on with each other. Christianity was mainly ineffective for alomst 2,000 years in promoting peace.
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 14:34:09 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 6 Apr 2009 14:35:15 BDT]
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2010 12:23:17 BDT
"The head-hunters of Borneo, cannibals, the American Indians were very war like against each other. Certainly in Africa, they did not need the white man with his Christian religion to learn how to fight and kill each other."
- They still had their own religion.
Posted on 6 Oct 2010 20:28:21 BDT
Orchard Gate says:
Perhaps a small point but it's wrong to classify the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians as one between two religions, Judaism and Islam. It's a conflict over land and human rights. 10% of Palestinians are Christians and, indeed, a much greater proportion of the leading figures in the PLO came from the Christian Palestinian community. They're not fighting a religion: they're fighting occupation, dispossession and suppression.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2011 11:33:45 GMT
As it is also wrong to describe the troubles in Northern Ireland as religious. They are essentially about one community who wishes to remain part of Britain and another who see the British prescence as an alien coloniser and who want a united Ireland. It is not a pre-requisite of a being a Republican nationalist that you be Catholic,
In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2011 14:47:53 BDT
Sorry Blofeld - you need to come over here at the beginning of July ("Marching Season") and we'll go and watch an Orange Walk. Only proviso is that you must stand there with a sign around your neck that says "Catholic" . . . how long do you think you will last ?
Sorry, the label Republican/Loyalist bollocks is the usual cover for religious bigotry on both sides
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2012 13:40:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Dec 2012 13:42:39 GMT
Hamas could hardly be considered a secular organisation in fairness. The Isrealis often cite religious justification for stealing Palestinian lands, divinely promised to them in the bible. The state of Israel exists largely because of religious persecution of European Jewry. Whilst it's obvious there are political aspects to the conflict, the dividing line is almost certainly theistic, the only real argument is how much of the entrenched nature of the dispute is directly attributable to religion.
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