Stan’s Obligatory Blog



Filed under: — stan @ 7:39 pm

I recently read The End of Faith by Sam Harris. This is his 200-mumble-page rant about religion and why it’s the root of all evil in the world.

I think he made some good points. For instance, he said that the core beliefs of a lot of the world’s major religions are actually pretty absurd. If one person believed them and was ranting about it on a street corner, we’d think he was crazy. But because millions of people believe it, we think it’s normal.

Personally, I don’t get worked up about religion. I was raised without it. Like I always say, religion and football were the same in my house. They were both thing that other people did on Sundays. When I see people going to church I tend to think, “look at the natives and their quaint rituals”.

Some choice bits from the book:

How many hours of human labor will be devoured , today, by an imaginary God? Think of it: if a computer virus shuts down a nation’s phone system for firve minutes, the loss in human productivity is measured in billions of dollars. Religious faith has crashed our lines daily, for millenia.

Surely there must come a time when we will acknowledge the obvious: theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings.

Quoting Christopher Hitchens: “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence”

Faith is like a rhinoceros, in fact: it won’t do much in the way of real work for you, and yet at close quarters it will make spectacular claims upon your attention.

Overall, this was a pretty entertaining book. But I don’t think that it’s ultimately going to make any difference in the world.

3 Responses to “Religion”

  1. Dave K. Says:

    “When I see people going to church I tend to think, “look at the natives and their quaint rituals”.

    When I poke my head outside the church window on sundays (thats if I’m not too busy dragging my knuckles someplace else) and see the people rolling by on the multi thousand dollar carbon fiber contraptions all wearing colorful matching jerseys, I think the same exact thing!

  2. Michelle Says:

    I also believe that RELIGION is the root of many evils. God, however, is a different thing altogether, IMHO. Religion, like economic and political systems, is used by individuals for personal gain, rendering it evil. I think that religion pulls a shade over the God that so many might otherwise be able to see.

    And…I wish that people didn’t get so darn defensive when it comes to their RELIGION. Your bike is cool. And…at this point, I would sooner commune with God on a bike (or actually, on a walk) than in a churchhouse.

    A rebuttal–faith can do amazing things, yet he is right, there is no evidence. I have only my own experiences. It is real. I think that is why we keep hearing about it in the absence of that evidence.

    (Stepping down from pulpit….)

  3. Karen Says:

    When ever that silly question of “If you could have one WISH…what it would be…”

    I would Wish for NO religions at ALL – None! And it would be wiped from the collective consciousness of all humans. Anything that was a church or mosque, etc. would merely be a charitable benevolent society for promoting human welfare.

    Somehow I *imagine* the world would be a MUCH better place with a simple moral code of conduct and societal contract for human development absent religious strife and dogma.


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