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The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Dec 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (31 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442367881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442367883
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 995,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A bold and exhilarating thesis . . . A brave, pugilistic attempt to demolish the walls that currently insulate religious people from criticism' -- Johann Hari, Independent

'A clever thesis by a clever man . . . Even Harris's critics will have to concede the force of [his] analysis' -- The Economist

'A genuinely frightening book . . . Read Sam Harris and wake up' -- Richard Dawkins, Guardian

'A tour de force' -- Alan Dershowitz

'I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood . . . This is an important book' -- Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review

'Radical . . . An eminently sensible rallying cry for a more ruthless secularisation of society' -- Stephanie Merritt, Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

WINNER OF THE 2005 PEN AWARD FOR FIRST NON-FICTION --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Review: The End of Faith by Sam Harris

Sam Harris book illustrates the irrationality of "religious faith" based on "beliefs" of unsubstantiated facts and yet such myths have been sheltered from criticism from every corner. I have rated it with 5 stars because the book is contemporary, very readable, credible and timely and most of all fearless of "political correctness."

The book illustrates that anti-Semitism is integral to both Christianity and Islam and shows the barbarity of Christian who, butchered thousands in the name of God in the Inquisition and the Holocaust. That tribalism, exclusion, racism and savagery is laced throughout the scriptures of all the Abrahamic faiths.

Fundamentalist Christian scriptures were protected from inquiry with harsh and uncompromising diktats like that from Pope Pius X in 1907 who declared modernism a heresy. In Islam, it is also heretic to question the Quran or the hadiths. Thus intelligent inquiry into both the Bible and the Quran were stifled for many centuries in Christianity and still does in Islam. Hence the rejection of the modern scientific theories and hypothesis of the 20th and 21st centuries into Abrahamic faith considerations. Such stifling of intellectual exegesis from the highest authorities of the Abrahamic religions has prevented the evolution of modern religious doctrines.

Harris' intimate knowledge of Islam also allows him to express his views on the rigidity of the Islamic faith and to express his views on Islam's conflicts with that of Christianity without being hog-bound with `political correctness,' is a bold step in modern 21st century literature.

Harris also openly discusses the political correctness in the assessment of our conflicts with Islam.
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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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