I generally spend time with the kids on Fridays in the library where we try to pick up 2-3 books each to read over the next 2-3 weeks. One of the books I picked up this week was "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris. It is clear on preliminary research on Sam Harris that he is a staunch athiest who has a decent webpage (http://www.samharris.org/) and a twitter presence (https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=SamHarrisOrg).
Apparently, Sam wrote his first book "The End of Faith" and received a lot of letters from Christians opposing him for believing in God. In this book he has tried to reason with these people in form of a letter. The book is small -- its less than 100 pages, a 3 by 5 (photo size) hardback. He refutes a lot of fundamental Christian beliefs.
I don't disagree with many of the things he says: he does not believe in a person-like God, a place called heaven, and the questionable divinity of all prophets. In the note to the reader he reminds how dangerous a belief in God is:
Forty-four percent of the American population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next fifty years. According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will return only after things have gone horribly awry here on earth. It is, therefore, not an exaggeration to say that if the city of New York were suddenly replaced by a ball of fire, some significant percentage of the American population would see a silver lining in the subsequent mushroom cloud, as it would suggest to them that the best thing that is ever going to happen was about to happen—the return of Christ. It should be blindingly obvious that beliefs of this sort will do little to help us create a durable future for ourselves—socially, economically, environmentally, or geopolitically. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this, purely on the basis of religious dogma, should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency.The book you are about to read is my response to this emergency...
There are many videos on his website, and I was most interested in his opinion about God as energy or God as consciousness (Deepak Chopra's version of God), and found the following interesting video.
I found that while he makes some good points, he has made the debate of the presence of God the focal point of his life and career. The question I am trying to answer is whether that is the way he sings? I will be reading more and sharing my views on this page.