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The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Paperback – 6 Feb 2006
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'A bold and exhilarating thesis . . . A brave, pugilistic attempt to demolish the walls that currently insulate religious people from criticism' -- Independent
'A genuinely frightening book about terrorism, and the central role played by religion in justifying and rewarding it' -- Richard Dawkins, Guardian
'An eminently sensible rallying cry for a more ruthless secularisation of society' -- Observer
'I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood . . . This is an important book' -- Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review
This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Sam Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favour of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behaviour and sometimes heinous crimes. He asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer tolerate views that pit one true god against another. Most controversially, he argues that we cannot afford moderate lip service to religion - an accommodation that only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism. While warning against the encroachment of organised religion into world politics, Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need. He calls on us to invoke that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world.See all Product description
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It is gratifying in a way that, at last, public opinion is turning away for the mindless political correctness which has made any criticism of religious faith and religion (particularly Islam) inadmissible, and becoming conscious of the threat that Islam poses to Western civilisation, even to its very existence.
Thanks, Sam Harris. May you be more widely heard.
This book is not easy bedtime reading and goes deep into the threat that organised, or indeed any religion poses to and inhibts our civilisation. It's not likely that you'll pick this book up if you're a head-banging bible or koran thumper, you're already most probably a lost cause but if your on the cusp of questioning your own faith or would enjoy to have your atheism or secularism reinforced with stinging logic then read it. I've given this only four stars simply because in one or two areas, for me at least, he goes a bit too far into the fringes of what makes religion tick in the human psyche but there's some profound stuff in here that badly needed to be said and it's well worth delving into.
Over one hundred pages of the three hundred and thirty-seven are devoted to supportive footnotes and other references.
Harris always writes fascinating texts which make one think. Under a provocative title, he has done the same here.