HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the…
Loading...

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004)

by Sam Harris

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,861811,338 (3.82)75
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 75 mentions

English (78)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I'm going to be brief. The End of Faith by Sam Harris is a landmark book for me. It blew my mind when I first read it. Now, it doesn't feel as good as the short and sharp Letter To A Christian Nation, and has less great moments than the slow starting and uneven The Moral Landscape. The End Of Faith opened my eyes to reviews and reviewing possibilities. It gave me an insight into writing quickly, with as much original thought and fluidity of prose as I am able to muster. It influenced my writing most of all books and for that I'm glad. I couldn't, however read the parts about meditation and Sam Harris's take on mysticism is too contemporary and he doesn't look at the subject through history. I think whatever the imagined or concrete benefits of meditation are, they take up a lot of time, and should only be attempted by people who really need them. I also didn't get the bits about relativism and pragmatism. Harris's writing was surprisingly muted there and he didn't give any example to clarify his vague texts. Nitpicking apart, this book is still meaningful although now a tad dated by what now, ten years? Seemed that I was reading it for the first time quite recently. Sam Harris should go back to discussing Christianity as that is his forte and he should update his work. I'd gladly read about the recent events and a revised view and vision of what the present means for the future. ( )
  Jiraiya | Mar 29, 2015 |
How necessary is religious faith in our world? Are there questions only faith can answer? Can someone live happily without the need to believe supernatural claims? How are religions affecting our world today? If you've ever asked any of these questions you should read this book. ( )
  JorgeCarvajal | Feb 13, 2015 |
Wow. This book does not hold back on making its stance blindingly obvious. Its whole premise is that religious faith, even of a moderate nature, is an antiquated and baseless notion that must be challenged to see reason. Until this happens, the author says, the world is headed for not only increased political and social instability, but death by our own making through religious-based war.

Islam is presently seen to be the biggest threat to world peace. This, he says, is because it's book advocates for either contempt towards or conversion of non-Muslims. That it promises a place in heaven for those who die in the act of either is the deal-breaker. Many are willing to die a 'martyr' for their belief that they are enacting the literal word of god. The author stresses that Muslim extremists are extreme in their religious faith in these situations. He refutes the oft-quoted 'Islam is a religion of peace' statement by arguing that there is just too much in the holy books that proves otherwise. Judaism and Christianity are also critiqued for relying heavily on a book of fiction that has no bearing on or relevance to modern life. Each faith's superiority in its claim to know the truth, he says, is as meaningless as a school yard squabble. He states unequivocally that people of faith are delusional and that it is a travesty that so much weight is given to religion in political decision-making that affects all our lives.

What I liked about this book is that the author is unafraid to make bold statements about what is essentially a taboo subject. He challenges the notion that religion or faith is not to be questioned. He looks past religion to ethics, morals and the larger philosophy of human interaction which gives a broader framework within which to assess how we all might just get along. Although I agree wholeheartedly with the Hitchens quote he endorses: "what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence" (p176), this author took me to a place that was too far from my comfort zone in terms of respect for other people and their way of living. And this, I think, was his intention. ( )
3 vote Ireadthereforeiam | Feb 3, 2015 |
Really excellent. I could have used 80% of this book as quotable material. It's just incredible how precisely and thoughtfully he puts things. ( )
  aketzle | Dec 28, 2014 |
Harris's cogent attack on religious belief would be more effective if his anger, especially his extreme post-9/11 Islamophobia, were not so constantly evident. For a book on this subject, he relies surprisingly little on theological or philosophical arguments and depends on informal logic and emotional response. The final chapters take a decidedly odd turn with their discussion of a kind of non-theistic metaphysics , which oddly includes a rather weird defense of the use of torture. If you are a non-believer you will find much to enjoy here. If you are a believer you will not be dissuaded from your belief. ( )
1 vote sjnorquist | May 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
It's not often that I see my florid strain of atheism expressed in any document this side of the Seine, but ''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. Sam Harris presents major religious systems like Judaism, Christianity and Islam as forms of socially sanctioned lunacy, their fundamental tenets and rituals irrational, archaic and, important when it comes to matters of humanity's long-term survival, mutually incompatible.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother
First words
The young man boards the bus as it leaves the terminal.
Quotations
Our situation is this: most of the people in this world believe that the Creator of the universe has written a book.
The very ideal of religious tolerance, born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about god, is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss.
The idea of a victimless crime is nothing more than a judicial reprise of the Christian notion of sin…. Because we are a people of faith, taught to concern ourselves with the sinfulness of our neighbors, we have grown tolerant of irrational uses of state power.
Given the requisite beliefs about ‘honor,’ a man will be desperate to kill his daughter upon learning she was raped.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in the modern world. The End of Faith provides a harrowing glimpse of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities. Harris argues that in the presence of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Most controversially, he maintains that "moderation" in religion poses considerable dangers of its own: as the accommodation we have made to religious faith in our society now blinds us to the role that faith plays in perpetuating human conflict. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism in an attempt to provide a truly modern foundation for our ethics and our search for spiritual experience.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393327655, Paperback)

Sam Harris cranks out blunt, hard-hitting chapters to make his case for why faith itself is the most dangerous element of modern life. And if the devil's in the details, then you'll find Satan waiting at the back of the book in the very substantial notes section where Harris saves his more esoteric discussions to avoid sidetracking the urgency of his message.

Interestingly, Harris is not just focused on debunking religious faith, though he makes his compelling arguments with verve and intellectual clarity. The End of Faith is also a bit of a philosophical Swiss Army knife. Once he has presented his arguments on why, in an age of Weapons of Mass Destruction, belief is now a hazard of great proportions, he focuses on proposing alternate approaches to the mysteries of life. Harris recognizes the truth of the human condition, that we fear death, and we often crave "something more" we cannot easily define, and which is not met by accumulating more material possessions. But by attempting to provide the cure for the ills it defines, the book bites off a bit more than it can comfortably chew in its modest page count (however the rich Bibliography provides more than enough background for an intrigued reader to follow up for months on any particular strand of the author' musings.)

Harris' heart is not as much in the latter chapters, though, but in presenting his main premise. Simply stated, any belief system that speaks with assurance about the hereafter has the potential to place far less value on the here and now. And thus the corollary -- when death is simply a door translating us from one existence to another, it loses its sting and finality. Harris pointedly asks us to consider that those who do not fear death for themselves, and who also revere ancient scriptures instructing them to mete it out generously to others, may soon have these weapons in their own hands. If thoughts along the same line haunt you, this is your book.--Ed Dobeas

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world, this historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify atrocities, asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, we can not expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Most controversially, argues that moderate lip service to religion only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism. Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need, and invokes that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
251 wanted
2 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.82)
0.5 4
1 22
1.5 5
2 48
2.5 23
3 175
3.5 49
4 312
4.5 44
5 239

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393327655, 0393035158

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,936,122 books! | Top bar: Always visible