Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:26 am

<< Week of August 25, 2016 >>
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
25 Day Month

26 Day Month

27 Day Month

28 Day Month

29 Day Month

30 Day Month

31 Day Month





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Overall impression 
Author Message
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Masters


Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 450
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Thanks: 5
Thanked: 43 times in 34 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Overall impression
It might be helpful to have a separate topic to discuss the book as a whole.

After finishing Chapter 4, I'm disappointed in the book. As an atheist who sees religion as a net negative, my views aren't they far from Harris's. However, he oversimplifies things and distorts the facts.

I'm puzzling over why the book received such positive reviews, such as this one in the New York Times. Perhaps other atheists are just pleased that someone is speaking out. However, The End of Faith isn't accurate or nuanced enough for my taste.

As one analogy, I'm strongly anti-Bush, whose Presidency has been a complete disaster for the nation and who has caused immense suffering. I often read the liberal blogs, since it's comforting to be exposed to people whose attitudes mirror my own. However, I didn't care for Michael Moore's last movie, since it was inaccurate and misleading at points.

Perhaps the fans of The End of Faith view it the same way I view the liberal blogs, while in my mind it's more akin to Fahrenheit 9/11.




Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:49 am
Profile


Post Re: Overall impression
I thought the endnotes were too long. His writing style is acceptable, though. Harris knows a lot but lacks focus in the book. I would have liked to see what those two chapters (that didn't make publication) about the brain were about.




Sun May 14, 2006 2:55 am
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Senior


Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 373
Location: Ashland, NH
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Overall impression
Great idea! Here is something I typed up for my book blog:

Sam Harris presents a deeply flawed argument based on a shaky premise in The End of Faith. The book starts off with a bang but quickly degrades into bad logic before finally going from suck to blow near the end. Before beginning this reading, I already foresaw my disagreement with Harris that an end to all faith is important for the future of the human race. The ironic aspect of my disagreement? I am an Atheist. Despite not believing in a deity or other religious dogma, I believe we have the right to satisfy our desire to understand the world in which ever means we deem most interesting. I choose science; other people choose faith. Live and let live so long as you don't get violent based on your faith. Which is Harris' argument as to why Faith is such a problem: in the age of global terrorism, religious extremists such as Islamic Fundamentalists desire to harm other people based on their faith. Harris comes back to this opinion to the exclusion of all other factors including socio-economic status, satisfaction with life (assuming suicide bombing), political and economic instability, and fanatical leaders. While certain religious dogma may be at issue (such as religious clerics determining that suicide to kill an enemy is considered "Martyrdom," a word normally reserved for dieing at the hands of an enemy unjustly), it is the leaders manipulating the dogma and interpreting ancient sacred texts that are more at issue. Harris fails to make his case in a logical manner that Faith, in exclusion to all other variables, is the most important aspect in pointing potential suicide bombers towards terrorism.

Harris goes on to dis Noam Chomsky and attempt to defend torture and "collateral damage" before ending the book with a chapter concerning mysticism of all things. His diversions in support of his central thesis only further detract from the argument and continue a long string of logical errors. I am no fan of organized religion. Organized religion has done many evil things in this world and continues to advocate policies that limit freedom, detract from legitimate science, and cause other wise normal people to deal with many psychological issues and hurdles in regards to their self concept and definition. Harris does a great job of exposing religiously influenced crimes against humanity in the past. Harris also does an admirable job sticking it to various sacred texts and asking how religious doctrine can be based on books with conflicting and often inaccurate stories told by fallible men. Also the issue of changing doctrine because of inaccuracies and scientific achievement is addressed as well. The great documentation and research on these issues saves the book from being a total waste of time, but Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" would be sufficient reading if you wish to consider the ridiculous aspects of the bible as anything other than fable or parable. In the end, Harris grasps too far without support and utilizing poor logic. A much simpler text could have laid out issues regarding organized religion and its attacks on science and reason and how unquestioned dogma can produce very bad things in this world. But Harris goes to far in suggesting there is no place in this world for Faith (which Harris seems to use interchangeable with religion despite their being a BIG difference between the two words). Despite my belief system, Harris has failed to convince me that the modern world's somewhat civil society and faith are incompatible with each other.




Sun May 14, 2006 7:41 pm
Profile YIM
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

Featured Books

Books by New Authors


*

FACTS is a select group of active BookTalk.org members passionate about promoting Freethought, Atheism, Critical Thinking and Science.

Apply to join FACTS
See who else is in FACTS







BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.



Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2016. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank