Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sam Harris - Letter to a Christian Nation

Although I am agnostic, I have no issues with religion and people having their own set of beliefs. However, fundamentalists (regardless of religion) just amaze me with their intolerance of anything that doesn’t gel with them and their behaviour leaves me dumbfounded. A recent example was when so-called Christians declared they were going to picket at Heath Ledger’s memorial service and the hateful things that were spewing out of their mouths – just absolutely shocking. It’s such behaviour that gets me so frustrated about religion; although I try to remember it’s not religion itself, but the people that get carried away.

Anyway, I digress. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the book, Harris does make some compelling arguments. However, he’s merely preaching to the choir and I’m not sure if he will get through to the religious – that is if they even pick up this book. My personal opinion is that this world is big enough for all kinds of people and their differences, and that it should be possible for us to agree to disagree and still get along. I feel dead-set, one-track ways of thinking should change -- single-minded atheist ideologies included -- which the end of Harris’s book smacks a little of. Letter to a Christian Nation is still worth a read if you’re interested in the counter argument to religion, but be sure to keep an open mind.