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“The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason”, Sam Harris – Book Review

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The end of Faith, Sam Harris, book cover

“My goal in writing this book has been to help close the door to a certain style of irrationality. While religious faith is the one species of human ignorance that will not admit of even the possibility of correction, it is still sheltered from criticism in every corner of our culture.”

And thus starts the epilogue to Sam Harris’ book. And religious criticism it has on every chapter of it.

“The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason” tries to uncover the bridge between the roles played by religious beliefs and their effects in the rationality of common men. At it’s worse, the abandon of reason for religion clashes with the very future of Men as a species. The main problem, as Harris points out a bit all over the book, is that whatever the religion (Christianism, Judaism, Islamism, etc), the passage of Men through the world is only temporary, and a better life always awaits after death. This dogma justifies every atrocity committed, as long as it is done in the name of religion. A pile of examples cited from any of the “holy books” provides him with enough leverage to go this deep in his criticism (and of course, provides a bit of a laugh to the reader too).

Although in general Harris targets religion as a whole, criticism of Islam is ever present, focusing on it’s demand for violence against infidels while cajolingly promising rewards. But again, every religion suffers in this book. Better, Harris goes after religious thinking.

Of course the book goes much further and tries to argue why religious thinking is still behind some of the decisions taken by policymakers which, again, defy reason, specially in fields like science and ethics.

But Harris doesn’t pull his ideas out of air. 29 pages (in the edition I have) of bibliographic references support his statements all over the book.

On the overall, “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason” is a well written book, pleasurable to read and hard to refute, although sometimes I had the feeling he tries so hard to highlight his ideas that the flow slows so much to the point of despair.

If you like books that challenge the world, this one is for you…

Get it here:

Germany – The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

UK – The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

USA – The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

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