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Letter To A Christian Nation
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on 15 August 2017
Letter to a Christian Nation is a good and thought provoking introduction to the main arguments in favour of atheism. It is worth reading for any agnostic, atheist or for any theist wishing to consider alternative points of view. It is a short overview so anybody wishing to see more flesh on the bones should read the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins too.
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on 4 January 2010
At barely 90 pages, this book may be no physical heavyweight, but Harris has managed to assemble a cast iron rebuttal to the arguments from Christians that followed the publication of his first book, The End of Faith. Like that one, this hopes to inspire theists to subject their beliefs to rigorous analysis and ultimately leave behind their imaginary friend. Unlike that one, the principal focus here is the Christian majority of the United States, where, to quote Harris, "44 percent of the population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next 50 years".

Delivered in the form of a one-to-one letter, Harris highlights the many inconsistencies from both the Old and New Testament that point to a man-made origin for Christianity, and presents solid arguments against the Christian position on real life issues such as abortion, war, stem cell research, cervical cancer vaccines, and so on. As you might expect, the arguments are difficult to refute - but whether logic alone is sufficient to break through the emotional resistance of the religious mindset (where retention of faith is deemed a virtue, even in the face of intellectual defeat) is another matter. Many will no doubt have already been placed on the defensive following Harris' previous book. This time around though, the tone is less caustic, less openly scathing - and Harris appears to be going out of his way to sound more objective.

In theory, this should receive a positive response from any theist open-minded enough to engage in honest dialogue. (Its brevity should also help in this respect.) In practice, it strikes me that the real battle is not so much one of logic and reason as one of emotional strength and intellectual honesty; there are a great many believers for whom a book of this kind, no matter how diplomatic and well-crafted, will always be met with refusal. (One rare exception that deserves mentioning here is Guy Harrison's 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God which I recommend you check out.) Nevertheless, Letter to a Christian Nation is an admirable attempt at reaching over to the more thoughtful Christians - even if the bulk of its readers will already be non-religious.
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on 30 July 2016
Even if you've read Sam Harris' other books on (the need for emancipation from) religion, this older one might still bring some added value. Very well written too, as practically each and every single piece of non-fiction that I've read by Sam Harris.
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on 14 January 2013
I found this rather more enjoyable, to the point, and persuasive than 'The End of Faith,' Sam Harris's previous book.

Quote:
"The biologist J. B. S. Haldane is reported to have said that, if there is a God, He has "an inordinate fondness for beetles." One would have hoped that an observation this devastating would have closed the book on creationism for all time. The truth is that, while there are now around three hundred and fifty thousand known species of beetles, God appears to have an even greater fondness for viruses."

^ ^ ^ That.

Natasha Holme
Author of 'Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder'
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on 4 August 2015
Good little book that gives some compelling reasons to distrust just about any religion. Another reviewer critisised Harris for cherry picking his quotes from the bible. At least he doesn't cherry pick his quotes in order to justify murdering someone who is different like faithful delusional true believers do.
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on 15 August 2013
A definite must read in my opinion for any non-believer (or believer for that matter). Harris does a fantastic job of getting so many persuasive and essential points across in such a clear and concise way. Perfect for anybody who perhaps doesn't want to indulge in a larger book such as 'The God Delusion' or 'God Is Not Great' to name only a couple. Can easily be read in one sitting (although doesn't have to be. However once you have read the first chapter I can't imagine you'll want to stop reading). After completing this book I imagine many people will be drawn to diving straight into the works of Dawkins, Hitchens, Mills and Stenger if you already haven't done!
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on 6 May 2014
I read this book in under 2 hours in one sitting and I believe it to be an essential read amongst a host of excellent atheist titles that have been published in the past decade or so. As someone who has recently lost their faith I would suggest that Harris has dealt a killer blow to the validity of Christianity and faith in general. I live in hope that my parents will someday spare a small amount of time to read his irresistible arguments.
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on 10 April 2013
This book must shock believers to their very core. Harris takes religious dogma, submits it to rational argument and eviscerates it. How any reasonable person with the slightest ability to hold open views could believe in theology after reading this book escapes me. It should be required reading in all schools - if necessary along with all of the religious malarkey which is taught to pupils, rendering the problem of religiosity more difficult to resolve in future years.
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on 6 January 2008
For me, Sam Harris' direct writing style in addressing a specific `type' of Christian throughout the book helped make his arguments more real and more urgent. It helped to hit home the point that what was being discussed wasn't just an argument against loosely held theories but instead a powerful criticism of strongly held beliefs across modern day America. Both the brevity of the book together with the style make it a considerably easier read than the God Delusion whilst hitting on a great number of similar themes. Harris' criticisms are well developed and easy to follow whilst the numerous passages he cites from scriptures just add to the weight of his arguments. An existing Atheist will find little to disagree with here (and will probably enjoy the validation that the read provides) and the `undecideds' amongst us will certainly be given a whole lot to think about at the very least. As for the `believers' (I can't think of a better word) out there, be prepared for the book to attack the very core of your beliefs from the outset and it doesn't let up from there. A great read!
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on 12 January 2015
Brief, sharp, clear - an short. Short, which is a very, very good thing. You can challenge faith now in the course of a few hours, and I think the very neat length of this book (or letter) helps to make it a reading easily accessible by everyone. And I seriously think you should try getting access to it.
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