Regular price: $24.49
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $24.49
This book helped to change the way I think about religion as a secular/atheist activist and change it for the better.
In The End of Faith, (also available here on Audible ;-) Sam Harris wrote,
"...one of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty-first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns—about ethics, spiritual experience, and the inevitability of human suffering—in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. Nothing stands in the way of this project more than the respect we accord religious faith."
As an atheist I simply took this statement as if it were saying, "religion deserves no respect at all if we wish to have a rational discussion." The Faith Instinct brought it home to me that religion (and by association religious faith) when put under rational scientific scrutiny should be respected but not in the/a way we traditionally accord them respect. My only qualm with the book is that the author makes little distinction between morality and moral value and their association to religion. However, since I cannot address that in 2000 characters I'll simply leave it at this: A must read for any person into religion whether they're religious or not.
21 of 24 people found this review helpful
than the other reviewer concerning what this book is--and isn't about. Just to start, it is NOT a book about religion, so interest in religion is not a prerequisite. It is a book about genetic inheritance. (I read this book on the heels of Wade's very compelling A Troublesome Inheritance, in which he discusses race/society and genetics.) Taking up the work up Pinker, Newberg and other neo-Darwinians with a neurological bent, Wade explores the biological tendencies toward religious and philosophical thought. Brain science has shown that those with greater right temporal lobe development tend to have greater religious tendencies than others and that those with right temporal lobe epilepsy tend to experience great flights of fancy, philosophical and artistic insights--and religious visions (think Van Gogh). Now, does this mean religion is the representation of an empirical reality? Of course not! It simply means humans are evolutionarily geared for ideas about philosophical and religious principles, and, for that, reason (sorry Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins!) religion, for good or for bad, is probably not going away any time soon. But there is no value judgment here, simply a description of the tendency in humans for religion. As I said of Newberg's The Spiritual Brain: there are two groups of people who will misunderstand this book--the religious...and the non-religious.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful