Today I began reading perhaps the most unsubstantiated and misinformed commentaries on religion and faith that has ever been written. Just 1 chapter into the book” The end of faith, religion and terror… by Sam Harris, I was struck by the author’s complete ignorance in the subjects that he claims to expertly criticize..
It is always interesting when a person becomes and instant expert in matters which he has very little training. Sam Harris offers more of a metaphysical view of religion than religion itself.
What is very surprising is that so many people have purchased this book with the sincere belief that it is based on facts. When we examine the actual logic that Sam uses to sell his agenda, from the beginning of the book, it appears that this is a work of fiction rather than fact. In reading the claims of Sam Harris, I would imagine that it must have been written while the author was in Switzerland, because like their cheese, this book is full of so many holes.
One of Mr. Harris’ first observations, regarding those who believe in God, leaves the reader scratching their head, trying to understand where this author received his education.
“Let’s say that I believe that God exists, and some impertinent person asks me why. This question invites—indeed, demands— an answer of the form “I believe that God exists because…” I cannot say*, however , “I believe that God exists because it is prudent to do so” (as Pascal would have us do). Of course, I can say this, but I cannot mean by the word “believe” what I mean when I say things like “I believe that water is really two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen because two centuries of physical experiments attest to this” or “I believe there is an oak in my yard because I can see it.”
Notice that Mr. Harris assumes that people of faith, believe—simply because they accept the claims of religion as truth, without any real evidence. Rather insulting to most people, is the fact that a man who writes to a very small majority of grossly misinformed non-theists, about 2.4% of the population, seeks to discredit and assert that the 80% who believe in God, are quite unintelligent.
*Mr. Harris claims that people of faith: “believe God exists because…” well, they really don’t know why they believe, they just do. See the paragraph above, written by Mr. Harris.
In other words, most people, according to Sam Harris, who believe in God, are so stupid that they really have no evidentiary reason for their belief. The author goes on to assert that the reason people believe is because “It makes them feel good,” although there is no rational reason to believe God exists.
Statements such as these are dispersed throughout the entire book. Any intelligent person who has approached the topic of faith in God, understands that the evidence for the existence of God is both empirical and overwhelming. Sam Harris is apparently without knowledge in this regard and has written a bestselling book—convincing his readers that he is an expert in these matters and fully qualified to comment on the lack of evidence for faith.
In order to accept the premise of ignorance as the basis for a majority of people who have faith in God, Sam Harris would have us believe that those who have placed their faith in God—are idiots. Perhaps Mr. Harris should get out into the world a little more and meet a few more people. I can only say that after 40 years of intense research myself, I have found Christians to be some of the best educated and intelligent people—regarding their faith, of any people on the face of the earth.
I am on my way to the Philippines at the moment. This journey will require about 21 hours of travel before I reach my destination. I purchased Mr. Harris book about an hour ago and I will be reading through the entire text, over the next week.
When I began reading the comments which were made regarding this book, I believed that this work by Sam Harris must present some new and compelling reason for the reader to abandon their faith in God—by presenting factual arguments. After reading just the first chapter, I was struck by the compelling lack of any evidence. The entire work appears to be strictly the opinions of Mr. Harris—based on conjecture, inaccurate statements, suppositions, and ignorance.
If this topic is interesting to you and perhaps you have read some of Sam Harris’ books, while asking yourself some of the same questions I presented here, you can follow my commentaries on this book here at this site, as I continue to read and evaluate the author’s inaccurate observations of people who have a sincere faith in God, based on evidence and intelligence.
 Harris, Sam (2005-09-17). The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (Kindle Locations 890-894). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.