Re: Epilogue & Afterword: A Discussion
While I really have nothing to add regarding the Epilogue and Afterword that I have not already stated in the Chapter threads, I was reflecting on one of the five major criticisms Harris rebutts during the Afterword. Criticism Point Number 4 reads as follows:
"The End of Faith is not a truly atheistic book. It is really a stalking horse for Buddhism, New-Age mysticism, or some other form of irrationality.
To which Harris responds:"As almost every page of my book is dedicated to exposing the problems of religious faith, it is ironic that some of the harshest criticism has come from atheists who feel that I have betrayed their cause on peripheral issues. If there is a book that takes a harder swing at religion, I'm not aware of it."
Harris REALLY exagerates by stating that almost every page of the book is dedicated to exposing problems with religious faith. The latter chapters of the book; especially the last chapter, stray far and sometimes completely off the topic. That said...
It is ironic that so many Atheists would be offering the harshest criticism, but not entirely unexpected. If Atheists are generally skeptics, then it is no surprise that they should view the book with a skeptical eye even if the book's premise seems to be an attack on faith. However, it is NOT an Atheist point of view to attack religion and that religion needs to be abolished. Atheists simply believe those that believe in deities are incorrect about their beliefs. Why Harris is surprised that Atheists would object to so much of his book is what is surprising. I was not strictly interested in a book that took a hard swing at religion, though I do appreciate learning factual information that rebuts religious claim and contradicts sacred texts and how using such texts as a basis for decision, especially governmental, is dangerous. A "swing at religion" though? Is this a fighting match? Harris seems to think so. Rather than a Swing at Religion, I was hoping for the book to thoughtfully analyze faith's effect on the world, specifically from an angle of terrorism, and how it has effected reason. I feel it fell short and criticism from the Atheist community should not be passed over and dismissed by Harris, but rather reviewed for what he might have done wrong with the book.