The End of Faith Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/the-end-of-faith-summary/

Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason


Ever since the beginnings of religion, some people were not entirely taken by it. But as the world evolves, a significant number of people overthrow faith and the worldview it creates.

Who Should Read "The End of Faith"? And Why?

One of his central questions is: if there is God, why does he permit evil. It is an ancient question, but it still does the trick. When confronted by it people are provoked to face their philosophies on life and the world. But, Harris writes in a way that not only is openly against religion but also against everyone that glorifies it.

If provoking believers or tinkering with ancient philosophical questions in modern times is in the domain of your interest.

About Sam Harris

Sam Harris is an author of a handful of books, published in more than 20 languages. Among the titles he penned are the bestsellers The End of Faith, Free Will, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Waking Up, Lying, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue (with eMaajid Nawaz).

He has graduated from Stanford University on the department of Philosophy and did his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UCLA. Time, The New York Times, Nature, Rolling Stone, Scientific American, Newsweek, and many other journals have discussed his works.

"The End of Faith Summary"

One of those people seems to be the author of this book. In this narrative, he presents his opinions on the destructiveness of religion. He claims that religious tolerance as a concept needs we need to destroy since it only harms this world.

In his view, religious faith makes people believe impossible things, and extreme believers are prone to violent behaviors. Although religion can help people reach higher states of mind, the same can be achieved without religion also. He firmly claims that science and reason should guide people, and not premises painted by religion.

Words are just words until you attach emotion to them. And belief and faith are the most potent emotions you can connect to something. The author emphasizes this to explain his view on the ways religion shapes the lives of people.

According to him, faith is not naïve. On the contrary, it is complicated, and it engraves itself deeply in your mind. It has the power to shape our experiences, the picture we have of ourselves and the way we go about living your life.

In the modern world, religion is getting even more dangerous. Most of the wars nowadays start because of religious differences. The author believes that religion provokes violence. If religious faith did not exist, the world would be a safer place.

Although many people think that moderation is the key, the author does not agree. In fact, he does not even accept the notion of religious restraint.

The true religion, he says, lies in fundamentalism, and anyone who is moderate is not religious. And, numbering some real-life examples, he goes on with his thesis that fundamentalism pushes people to war.

Lastly, he underlines the difference between faith and spirituality. He explains the difference between the two based on how rational they are. He defines spirituality as a sensible concept. He states that belief in things that humans cannot explain or see only blocks truth.

He strongly condemns faith as being irrational and unschooled, and truly bad for society.

Key Lessons from “The End of Faith”

1. Religion is bloody and violent 2. Religion and Ethics 3. God the Author

Religion is violent and brutal

Historical events teach us that religion has bloody routes. Christians have burned heretics, who proclaimed the truth about the world that was false according to religious truths. People that could have made an impact on the scientific revolution of the world were tortured and killed for centuries.

Islam is the same. Muslim extremists practice an extreme faith. They take each word of the Koran to heart and follow the directions they believe it gives them. The Koran, according to the author, is not a peaceful book.

He illustrates that it is full of passages on violence and intolerance. The author points out that people that practiced some faith or the other have indeed contributed to society. But, it is important to note that it has nothing to do with their faith. He even claims that if people were not so religious, inventions could happen sooner.

Religion and Ethics

Defendants of religious faith repeatedly insist that humans were able to build the ethical system thanks to religion. Needless to say, they claim this with no sufficient evidence. In reality, the society’s moral system is most probably rooted in our genes.

The image of God has not been invented to help people differentiate between good and evil. Most of the time, they can do so without an external push. It was created by humankind to explain the unexplainable and justify events that are unjustifiable.

If God existed, horrors would not. And yet, we live in a world full of horrors, out of which many started in the name of religion.

God the Author

Religious beliefs can neither be proved nor disproved. But, even without religion, humankind can tell right from wrong and pleasant from unpleasant.

Humans enjoy love, not envy and hatred. People should just move away from doing others well because there is someone bigger than us who is watching, and do good just because it feels nice. In essence, religion will not lead to better humanity. Only higher consciousness can achieve that.

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“The End of Faith” Quotes

[bctt tweet="I pray that we may one day think clearly enough about these matters to render our children incapable of killing themselves over their books." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“It is important to specify the dimension in which Muslim ’extremists’ are actually extreme. They are extreme in their faith.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“It is important to specify the dimension in which Muslim ’extremists’ are actually extreme. They are extreme in their faith.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Religious unreason should acquire an even greater stigma in our discourse, given that it remains among the principal causes of armed conflict in our world.” username=“get12min”]

Our Critical Review

Sam Harris has written a controversial book. "The End of Faith" faults religion for many wrongdoings in the society incited by the nonexistent reconciliation between faith and religion. He presents his thoughts in a wordy, compelling manner, and he pushes readers to examine their own beliefs.