Essay on Sam Harris: The End of Faith

Essay on Sam Harris: The End of Faith

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As a result of our global society being manipulated by ancient doctrines Sam Harris argues in The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason the ultimate thesis: religion is the basis for all of human conflict. Because faith bypasses all evidence, Harris feels “we are building a civilization of ignorance” and another direction should be taken lest we desire to meet our doom. It is incredible the amount of detail Harris delves into. Each reference to religion, he notes their various foibles and incorporates well-reasoned arguments, including others, that support his view. Though there are flaws, The End of Faith is a worthy read that explores the idiosyncrasies of all facets of religion.
On a few occasions it seems as if Harris veers off of his intended path and rambles on about extraneous ideas, concepts, or current states that seem to have little to no relevance to the matter presented. In our current state of affairs we have a list of infractions that are dubbed as “victimless crimes.” Crimes such as these bring no significant harm to anybody yet people are still being penalized. According to Harris, “the idea of a victimless crime is nothing more than a judicial reprise of the Christian notion of sin.” (Harris 159) The influence of faith on our laws continues further as Harris goes into detail regarding drugs and alcohol. Any psychotropic drug which has been attributed to, by its users, as having spiritual or religious significance is prohibited. In this instance, Harris proposes a reductio ad absurdum which, in a nutshell, states how something as harmful as alcohol is legal while “ as a drug, marijuana is nearly unique in having several medical applications and no known lethal dosage,” (Harris 161) but is consi...


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...doctrines that are held in such high regard to that of mythical beings and objects.
To disregard reason and to embrace precepts that inspire the worst of atrocities is an absurd and illogical direction mankind has taken. Harris is correct in his analysis of religion stating that it is “nothing more than bad concepts held in place of good ones for all time. It is the denial--at once full of hope and full of fear--of the vastitude of human ignorance.” (Harris 221) Though verbose at times, Harris’ assertions regarding the course of humanity are genuinely eye-opening. We are at the forefront in the development of our society and as each day passes, more is learned and understood about the existing state of affairs. If we want to live in a rational, thinking world we must “bring reason, spirituality, and ethics together...it would also be the end of faith.” (Harris 221)

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