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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2017
So elegantly writtern. This book is riveting.
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on 30 March 2017
Great read...Really opens one mind to think differently. A long way to go after many years of brainwashing. More please.
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on 6 June 2017
This essential reading for school age kids. brilliant.
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on 8 May 2017
A concise antidote to the liberal ideal of acceptance and tolerance of deluded ideologies. I hope one day it will be on the national curriculum.
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on 18 October 2015
This slim tome (just less than 100 pages) is Sam Harris's follow up to his anti-religious polemic book The End Of Faith. Written in the form of a letter addressed to the Christian majority of the USA it is a clear and concise rebuttal of the Christian faith. It addresses many of the themes which came up time and again in letters received from Christians following the publication of the earlier book, and demolishes them with simplistic ease. Tackled are such issues as religion and morality, women and religion, the origins and contradictions of the bible, and issues of fanaticism in Christianity and Islam.

It is a very well constructed argument based on common sense and scientific fact, and in my opinion demonstrates perfectly that those less schooled in the origins and doctrines of their own faith are most often the most fanatical believers. If you are a person of faith then you owe it to yourself to read this book with an honest and open mind to at least see the other side of the argument in order to have a balanced view.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 August 2013
Sam Harris' letter to the Christian people in his own country of America covers the main logical arguments for rational thinking, and dispels many of the leading 'arguments' as to why Christians consider their religion true and the best way of living.

There is nothing new here for a long-standing atheist but it's well-expressed and flows quite well, even between unconnected arguments.

For a Christian, I can imagine this might make uncomfortable reading. And the only reason I haven't given this 5 stars is the fact that I felt uncomfortable with Harris' last minute diatribe against the Muslim world, some of which felt over-the-top and unnecessary to the point of the letter.

For the most part, an excellent introduction to Christians as to what atheists think about their religion and why we can't believe what they believe.
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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 7 September 2008
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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on 19 June 2008
Speaking as a former Christian (and now an ardent secularist), I can say without hesitation that this book should be read by EVERY person who considers themself to be a Christian.

I have bought more copies of this book than any other as I regularly give copies to friends and family members, as I am that confident that their lives would be bettered by considering the issues it raises.

A copy of this book should reside in every hotel room across the Western world.
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on 14 June 2008
Harris had written this book primarily for secularists so as to defend against the threats posed in the U.S. by the Christian Right. Unlike "The End of Faith", he says little about other religions, in particular Islam. This book was shorter and more about what I am familiar with.

Preaching to the choir? Undoubtedly to large extent but unlike "The End of Faith" I do not expect many secularists will feel he is unfairly extreme: this time he seems to be speaking well to address the concerns of many of us including those liberal and moderate Christians (and even conservative Christians) who do not feel well served by the political activities of the Christian Right.

Harris comments that "atheism" isn't any more necessary as a label than having to have "words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive...". Anti-Elvisians? But would it be rude to the memory of Elvis, who, despite reported problems, was indeed a great performer? I did see and enjoy his movies. Perhaps Elvisism deserves founding, perhaps it already has been. Perhaps I could become a Elvisian apologist. Just show one of the movies or concerts and I'd have no trouble finding believers? Would you join? Pledge? Agree with me that Elvis not only lived but that I could speak for him. And that Elvis did not want your children learning about evolution in public schools. Or maybe gravity.

Foolish? Harris writes toward the end of this book "Clearly, it is time we learned to meet our emotional needs without embracing the preposterous". Harris expresses understanding: he writes that he does not "doubt that your acceptance of Christ may have coincided with positive changes in your life". He expresses no wish to discount those experiences but points out that many people now and before have had what seemed to him similar experiences in many ways, religious and otherwise. But he also believes that such experiences can be misinterpreted as one may do for those of other faiths. Claims that one's own religion is that different seems extraordinary and, as Carl Sagan popularized, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

I, for one, can see no good reason why I would deny that Elvis lives if credible existence of that existed, especially if it promised me some life after death in Blue Hawaii, an opportunity to frolic with a youthful Ann-Margaret for eternity. I would gladly read the books of Elvisian apologists if I felt uncertain. It would all seem silly if there were not efforts underway at this moment in the U.S. to discredit evolution in public school science textbooks and even to establish a Christian nation with Old Testament laws.

Harris says it far better than I can, he's forceful but succinct (less than 100 pages). He concludes with a list of ten recommended book (I've only read five of them to date) that would make for good next reading steps. You may also consider registering with the Brights' Network (see their web site).
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