Book 9 – The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason

Book 9 of 2011 is another non-fiction book on religion and its effect on the world, Sam Harris’ The End of Faith:Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. From the dust jacket:

In The End of Faith, Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. He offers a vivid, historical tour of the 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 cannot expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Most controversially, he argues that “moderation” in religion poses considerable dangers of its own, as the accommodations we have made to religious faith in our society now blinds us to the role that faith plays in human conflict.

Throughout the book Harris explores the beliefs and actions of all the major religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam and discusses their lack of reason. From the Wikipedia: The End of Faith

The book was first published in August 2004, and it was awarded the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction the following year.[2] The paperback edition was published in October 2005. In the same month it entered the New York Times Best Seller list at number four, and remained on the list for a total of 33 weeks.[3] More

I enjoyed the majority book up until the last couple of chapters where he lost me for a while. But his comments on pacifism and the use of torture in those chapters made me rethink some of my beliefs. Finally, he pulled everything together in his conclusion and in the Epilogue.

From the back cover:

Harris’ tour de force demonstrates how faith-blind, deaf, dumb and unreasoned-threatened our very existence. His expose of faith based unreason from the religious fanticiam of Islamic suicide bombers to the secular fanaticism of Moam Chomsky- is a clarion call for reasoned debate in this age of tterrorism. A must read for all rational people” – Alan Dershowitz professor of law at Harvard University.

I think it’s time now to go listen to some blues and maybe watch some basketball!!