CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

I have not read Sam Harris' book Letter to a Christian Nation, but what I read from him in interviews tells me that there's little point to doing so. Based upon his interviews, he is simply a modern, lesser version of Thomas Paine whose own book The Age of Reason has made him a champion among skeptics, but whose work is rightfully dismissed by Christians. Still, because he is getting some press, I thought it worthwhile to link to some resources that do respond to Mr. Harris' work.

First, Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason responds to the major claim of Harris' earlier book, The End of Faith by challenging the idea that Christianity has had some pernicious effect on society in his radio program of September 24, 2006. The discussion takes place between approximately the 40 and 50 minute marks.

A bit more thorough, if not more flippant, response can be found with J.P. Holding's Tektonics in his Letter to a Maladjusted Misotheist.

William F. Vallicella, Ph.D., The Maverick Philosopher, has written a critique of Sam Harris' earlier work, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason in a piece entitled Is Religion the Problem? His assessment? "His book is not very good judged by professional standards, but it did make quite a splash."

Chris Lehman of Reason Magazine Online gives a rather entertaining but scathing review of Harris' End of Faith in an article entitled Among the Non-Believers -- The tedium of dogmatic atheism. An extremely amusing line by Mr. Lehman, who says towards the end that he is "far from a believer", is: "Harris' stolid--dare one say dogmatic?--failure to see anything in contemporary religion other than the exclusive, world-conquering fantasizing of monotheism at its worst keeps his book mired squarely in a painfully anachronistic atheist's bill of indictments, cribbed in most particulars from the heyday of Enlightenment skepticism."

Two Christian bloggers have also undertaken the task of responding more systematically to Mr. Harris' claims in Letter to a Christian Nation by way of a series of separate blog entries. The first are being published on The Wittenberg Door by the Catechizer. His first post on the topic is dated November 2, 2006, and entitled Letter to a Christian Nation. The second blog is the cleverly named Blog and Mablog by Douglas Wilson. His first post is dated November 9, 2006, and entitled But I Am The Pastor Guy, and the second post is dated November 10, 2006, and entitled A Trout in the Punchbowl.

Anyone know of any other good reviews of Mr. Harris' swill?

6 comments:

Thanks for the link. I guess I’d better start turning my notes into something productive!

Here is an interview with Doug Geivett on Sam Harris:

Part 1 (begins 35:51) and Part 2

Here is mentioned over at Triablogue a few times.

Since you asked....

I'll throw my posting from April 25, 2006 entitled, "The End of Faith: A Short Response."

Here it is: http://anvilfire.blogspot.com/2006/04/end-of-faith-short-response.html

Here's a part of it:

"If people of faith are to be dismissed because they hold to propositions without evidence, I have to ask the author, “Where is your evidence to validate such a confidence in intuition?” In the immediate context, he says that intuition has helped mathematicians do their work. But this is a circumstantial, experience-based appeal, is it not? Where are the controlled scientific studies that prove intuition exists, and where are the studies that show its measured reliability? This is an honest question..."

I am more than happy to hear of good blog entries about this. Thanks to both John and Jeff.

I read the first few pages of LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION and I wasn't the least impressed. Here's a guy who groups the Jehovah Witness' with mainstream Christianity! Obviously, Mr. Harris hasn't been doing his homework. I figured if he doesn't take Christianity seriously why bother taking him seriously. It's very unfortunate that this book is a best-seller.

I was looking for this information, thanks for put in this easy way, I mean in a easy way to understand it jajaja, well until the next time.

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