Tulpesh Patel's Reviews > The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

The End of Faith by Sam Harris
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Feb 14, 2010

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Read from February 19 to 25, 2010

In the End of Faith Sam Harries argues that we are reaching a point where essentially religion will be the end of us all, unless secular atheists stand up to fundamentalist and moderate religionists alike.

This book, literally, starts with bang, and Harris doesn't really let up for the rest of the book in an almost relentless barrage of arguments and ideas laying pretty much all the world's ills at the doorstep of religion, and in a post 9/11 world, Islam in particular - an entire chapter is devoted to The Problem with Islam, and 4 pages to quotes from the Koran advocating violence against unbelievers.

There is definitely a need for this kind of book, which is not afraid to skirt around difficult issues, and ignores the trend for diffidence in the majority of books dealing with the problems faced in a world where religious proponents hold a great deal of sway over the lives of many.

Harris certainly has the courage of his convictions; the book is very strongly worded and definitely falls into the 'militant atheist' camp (although I really hate that phrase). Whilst, largely, well argued, some of the book will not sit well with some, particularly the advocacy of torture, futility of pacifism and essentially fighting fire with fire.

I enjoyed the section on the empiricism of Mysticism and the need and justification for claiming spirituality as something which is compatible with a rational, atheistic outlook, but found the majority of the book a little scatter-gun in its approach.

The End of Faith is full of great pithy, quotable one liners, but I found it lacking as a cohesive argument, however forcefully it was argued.
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02/24/2010 page 168
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