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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2006
This little book is a gem of its kind. It is an argument with a literal minded Christian (fundamentalist, evangelical, etc) in the form of a letter. Harris's arguments are mostly not original - some previous versions of them date back more than a century in the skeptical literature - but his concise and hard-hitting presentation of them is. He is almost unique for his honest and, one must say, sometimes blunt treatment of religion. Some readers will find this offensive and won't pay his arguments the attention they deserve. I can only ask them to persevere and see if they can find a problem with Harris's reasons. The challenge for the committed Christian is to meet him on the plane of reason; and if you think that you don't have to, because faith prevails even where reason fails, I must ask, why your faith rather than any other? As Harris points out, many Muslims have exactly as much devout belief as you do and yet you are not troubled by this; can't you see that to an outsider, this is a reason to doubt all faiths? But I am paraphrasing Harris here, and poorly. I refer you to his forceful eloquence instead.

One more thought. Where does this book leave the moderate or liberal Christian? What does it say to them? While ostensibly not aimed at them, some challenges are obvious. If you are not a literal-minded Christian, then what exactly do you believe? Why are the literal-minded Christians not just simply more consistent (less politely: less hypocritical) than you are? Are there resources within Christianity that can justify your liberal stance, or are you really compromising with outside standards and motivated by outside factors? And the final question is last, and this is treated more fully in Harris' other book, The End of Faith: to what extent are moderate religious people responsible for enabling religious extremists to thrive and thereby threaten civil society? Harris is saying that religion is false and dangerous, even in its moderate forms, and he is saying that the polite silence rational people maintain about it is morally and intellectually unconscionable. Even if you are sure that he is wrong - especially so - you owe it to yourself to read this book.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 7, 2006
Sam Harris says what a lot of us have been thinking, but have been afraid to say in public. In this concise book, Harris directly attacks the very foundation of religious faith.

One might expect such a book to be either mean-spirited or intentionally provacative. Christian Nation is neither, although some will experience it that way. Harris sticks to the facts. He does not believe that religious faith, including but certainly not limited to Christianity, is good for people.

Harris is concerned with reducing human suffering and increasing human happiness. He agrees that many of the things that Jesus about love and kindness are indeed valuable and wise. He points out, however, that the bible contains much, much more than love and kindness. It contains cruelty, such as slavery, and pointless rules, such as the ban on graven images.

In the end, Harris argues, religious faith, or any belief that is not based on evidence and reason, does not make sense and will ultimately lead to unnecessary suffering.

No doubt, many good and loving people would be offended or hurt if they read this book. But that simply proves Harris' point. These people have been so blinded by faith that they cannot even consider the possibility they have been led astray. Hopefully, a good number of religious people will muster the courage to read the book anyway.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 20, 2014
Sam Harris is one of the most approachable of the 'new atheists' and delivers a hard hitting, no frills, rational refutation of ancient beliefs. In this small book, he gives ammunition to atheists to help clarify and defend their own views, and perhaps a boost to the fence sitters that are having trouble giving themselves a final push. His reductionist arguments, his insistence that you make a stand, and his barrage against the airy-fairy, are refreshing and freeing. He exposes all myth based dogma as inherently false and ultimately dangerous. A great push for humanism with its ultimate concern for societal well-being and progress...Full of absolute gems..."Our country now appears, as at no other time in her history, like a lumbering, bellicose, dim-witted giant." and "The process of scientific conquest and religious forfeiture has been relentless, one directional, and utterly predictable." Sam Harris is never, as some accuse atheists of being, strident. He lets the facts speak for themselves. And at the end you feel his deep concern for a world who puts ancient, divisive, cruel nonsense above rational enquiry on how best to live moral, healthy, happy lives...
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on March 25, 2013
un très bon livre pour qui veut comprendre la situation actuelle de ce qui mène le monde. attire notre attention sur la bêtise humaine, sur l'aspect déraisonnable de la foi, sur le refus de certaines gens de se servir de leur intelligence quand les grandes questions existentielles sont en jeu......aide à réaliser que l'athéisme est la seule position qui peut intellectuellement se défendre et aboutir à un véritable humanisme, à donner enfin l'importance qu'elle mérite à la position qui prône que le seul bonheur possible pour l'Homme doit être cherché sur terre, et que, en conséquence on n'a pas besoin d'un dieu pour être convaincu qu' une morale strictement naturelle est la seule nécessaire pour nous guider et faire de nous des Humains travaillant à effacer les inégalités tant biologiques, innées , que sociales pour arriver à créer un monde terrestre où le bonheur peut être l'apanage de tous
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2006
The basic premise of the book is that there are many contradictions with Christianity especially with how it is practiced in the United States. The assertion is that nothing has to be "believed" on insufficient evidence. This book is a great source for a logical retort to many religious claims. Read this book and pass it along to your friends. It is worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2011
I love the reading of the book, I also ordered the CD-audio of it.
Great many points and powerful reasoning that demands thinking.
Requires a serious listener, open to rational reasoning.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2006
Sam Harris has written a shorter version of his thought provoking book "End of Faith". The premise is similar, that all religions are based on outdated irrational ideas which are all too often used to justify incredible acts of inhumanity. Harris' writing continues to be witty and hard hitting. The points he makes are so compelling that I suspect any religious person would drop the book after the first few pages and collapse from embarrassment. In fact most of the readers of this book will already be converts to Harris' point of view. Unfortunately the people who really need to read this book (as well as the End of Faith and the God Delusion) have already buried their heads too deeply in the sand to be "saved".
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on July 21, 2015
It should be mandatory reading in all schools and by every Christian in the world. Concise, easy read filled with common sense. A must!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
Sam Harris writes a great easy read book. As a 70 year old brought up Catholic, I have always questioned the faith and many other different aspects of all religions especially from the so called beginning with Adam & Eve and so on. While reading the book, every once on a while I would say to myself, right on, exactly what I was thinking. Great book for people who have doubts!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2014
Interesting arguments.
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