10 January 2011
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
Harris's main premise throughout the entire book is that we do NOT need organized religion or "faith" in order to live ethical lives. The destruction, hate, death that swarms around organized faith causes more problems than it helps. His argument is very well thought and thoroughly backed up. In fact, his case notes and sources take up 1/3 of the book. The fact is that we look at things in this world and we see horrible things, but if someone dares to suggest that what was done was because the person had absolute "faith" in something, we aren't allowed to criticize this. That is not only unreasonable, it's extremely dangerous.
I grew up in an LDS family. My parents were converts to the church actually. However, I have finally moved away from that particular faith. No organized religion is appealing to me. I have absolutely no need whatsoever to believe in some God in order to be a kind, loving, charitable person. I am that way because it makes me happy to be that way. And I hate to tell you, but if you need God's glory or his condemnation as a personal motivator, it's you that need to take a deep look at yourselves. Whether we like to admit it, we are currently at war with the tenets of Islam. We think, oh this is just a minority of fundamentalists. Read the Koran, literally, and tell me that again. Read the Bible literally, and tell me that. Let's face it, if we read the Bible literally, the next time your kid mouths off to you, you are suppose to take them outside and stone them to death.
One of the things that gets me is this "love the sinner, hate the sin." This is total crap. Sorry if that offends you, but it is. To love someone is to not judge them at all. To love them is to allow them to love as well. Homosexual marriage is problem one of the greatest current examples. How on earth does allowing two people to be married, hurt your marriage? It doesn't. It's really that simple. The fight against this is a fight against what some see as sin, nothing else. Large amounts of money and time are wasted on this. If your prophet, God, church leader, Pope, whatever walked into your house tomorrow, declared your spouse a sinner, and told you that your marriage is over, your children are bastards, and if you choose to stay with him/her you will be condemned to Hell for all eternity. How do you think that would make you feel? Is it reasonable? They told you that this is the will of God. We need to stop wasting our time on the "sins" of others, those truly victimless crimes, and pay attention to those things that are truly ruining our world.
Genre: Non Fiction
Grade Level: Adult
Pages: 227 (348 including references)