The End of Faith by Sam Harris
“The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next.”
This is the second book penned by Sam Harris that I have read. When I read Letter to a Christian Nation, I got curious about how religion affects the community. It was an eye opener but it only talked about how Christianity negatively affects the political and scientific decisions made by people and the government.
In this book, the author tackles a broader scope of how religion, as a whole destroys communities and countries. It presents that the governments are still prejudiced and concern themselves with how a particular sect would react on certain bills and regulations imposed which affects what could have been for the betterment of the society. It also discussed how religious beliefs differ from each other and how sometimes, a particular belief/practice clashes with another and causes misunderstandings between groups.
There were a lot of facts narrated in the whole book and reading it was somewhat a glance down history since most given situations were practically what happened during the past. It mostly discussed how religion negatively affects and divides people, also what and why people do in the name of their god. “The contest between our religions is zero-sum. Religious violence is still with us because our religions are intrinsically hostile to one another. Where they appear otherwise, it is because secular knowledge and secular interests are restraining the most lethal improprieties of faith. It is time we acknowledged that no real foundation exists within the canons of Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any other faiths for religious tolerance and religious diversity.” Personally, there is nothing wrong with believing in a god and there is nothing wrong with being atheistic. It’s a personal choice but violence in the name of religion with complete disregard of human rights is wrong.
“religious moderates are themselves bearers of the terrible dogma: they imagine that the path to peace will be paved once each of us has learned to respect the beliefs of others”
“I hope to show that the very ideal of religious tolerance- born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God- is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss.”
I guess there is nothing wrong with being a religious moderate. Respect begets respect and if it’s going to be a long journey toward it, then let it be. One can imagine, dream and do what they can to achieve this so-called peace. There is nothing wrong with being a Christian, Jew, Muslim and Atheist in the modern day but to force your belief and principles on another is.
All in all, the book was thought provoking and encouraged me to think about religious differences and how it can affect a culture.
“As a man believes, so he will act.”