Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book #2

This is the latest book I finished reading. I skipped a couple postings of the last two or three I finished because I simply got lazy. Not solely because I was lazy though, partly because the books weren't that good to begin with. This one was different though.


I had to post it because I really enjoyed this book. Basically it's a fairly blunt case for why faith itself is dangerous in modern life. Harris gives many well written and well explained reasons why blind faith is dangerous in a modern world of weapons of mass destruction. Sadly the book wasn't quite long enough to explain the need for reason over faith to those who follow faith and therefore fail to reason.

Harris makes references to several different world religions in this book though the prime players are Islam (rightly deserved these days) and Christianity. I'm fairly confident that this book isn't going to sway the minds of the hardcore members of any religion and the author knows that as well. This book should absolutely be read by anybody who's questioning their faith or that of others. This book should also be read by anybody who is willing to take a neutral stance of modern religion and thinks this is an acceptable alternative to knowledge and conflict that comes with it when speaking of this subject.

Harris makes the case, and does so effectively, that a passive stance on religion is not acceptable. I believe he uses the analogy something along these lines, A single knife wielding sociopath can effectively eliminate an entire city full of pacifists without opposition if given the time to do so and many of todays sociopaths (replace with religious fundamentalists) are much better armed).

It's time that we as a society grow up and put away our overactive religious imaginations before more people get hurt. If some people can't play in a moderate manner with their religions on their own it is going to fall on the rest of us to either fall prey or to moderate. The choice is ours and the decision we're thus far making is going to turn out with a very unpleasant end.

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