joeybass, July 6, 2006 (view all comments by joeybass)
In an era when too many weapons are controlled by people too ready to kill and die for their beliefs, this book is a welcome and important reminder of the absolute necessity to restore a foundation of rationality to our actions before it's too late. Yes, it is anti-Islam. And anti-Christian and anti-Jewish, too. I salute Mr. Harris for having the courage to speak his truth.
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CMSchaefer, May 4, 2006 (view all comments by CMSchaefer)
This is not what I was hoping for. Rather than a well-founded argument against irrational faith, it is a fear-mongering anti-Islamic screed. Filled with misinformation, it goes so far as to say that some people belive such horrible things that we are morally compelled to kill them (pg 53, paper edition). How this is rational is beyond me.
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The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
0 stars -
R.S. Means Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this sometimes simplistic and misguided book, Harris calls for the end of religious faith in the modern world. Not only does such faith lack a rational base, he argues, but even the urge for religious toleration allows a too-easy acceptance of the motives of religious fundamentalists. Religious faith, according to Harris, requires its adherents to cling irrationally to mythic stories of ideal paradisiacal worlds (heaven and hell) that provide alternatives to their own everyday worlds. Moreover, innumerable acts of violence, he argues, can be attributed to a religious faith that clings uncritically to one set of dogmas or another. Very simply, religion is a form of terrorism for Harris. Predictably, he argues that a rational and scientific view — one that relies on the power of empirical evidence to support knowledge and understanding — should replace religious faith. We no longer need gods to make laws for us when we can sensibly make them for ourselves. But Harris overstates his case by misunderstanding religious faith, as when he makes the audaciously naïve statement that 'mysticism is a rational enterprise; religion is not.' As William James ably demonstrated, mysticism is far from a rational enterprise, while religion might often require rationality in order to function properly. On balance, Harris's book generalizes so much about both religion and reason that it is ineffectual. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"[I]t is rare in this postmodern age to read a book by someone so vigorously defending rational thought, especially from a unique neuroscientific perspective. Recommended."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[A] courageous analysis whose theses will deeply trouble readers who choose to think about them rather than summarily reject them....Provocative is too pale a word."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"Harris is obviously tickled by his own intelligence — and he writes with such verve and frequent insight that even skeptical readers will find it hard to put down. Besides, we might all check our belief systems for deadwood. Because it touches a nerve, The End of Faith is a good place to begin."
by Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review,
"The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood....This is an important book, on a topic that, for all its inherent difficulty and divisiveness, should not be shielded from the crucible of human reason."
An impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith.
by Hold All,
Natalie Angier wrote in The New York Times:"The End of Faitharticulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated....Harris writes what a sizable number of us think, but few are willing to say."
Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes.
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