Intermittent Tuesday Book Club
Always interested in expanding my mind then boring you all senseless with the details, I've been doing a little reading lately. Based on a recommendation, I started with The World Without Us, a study of what would happen to the world if all humans somehow, someday, were no more. It was thought provoking, if a little confused due to a lack of a central hypothesis.
By far the most profound book I've read in, well, ages, is Letter To A Chrisitan Nation by Sam Harris. It's only a slender volume, under 100 pages, and takes only an hour or so to read. But it's a book that could change the planet. Harris writes directly to the Christians of America, asking in effect, "Are you kidding me?" Some quotes:
“The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”
“It is terrible that we all die and lose everything we love; it is doubly terrible that so many human beings suffer needlessly while alive. That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religion—to religious hatreds, religious wars, religious delusions and religious diversions of scarce resources—is what makes atheism a moral and intellectual necessity.”
87% of Americans say they “never doubt the existence of God.”
“A person who believes that Elvis is still alive is very unlikely to get promoted to a position of great power and responsibility in our society. Neither will a person who believes that the holocaust was a hoax. But people who believe equally irrational things about God and the bible are now running our country. This is genuinely terrifying.”
It's all based on facts and logic, and impossible to dispute in the clear way Harris lays out his arguments. And it's witty. Many people, to take one example, believe they have been cured of disease through the power of prayer. Which begs the question, if God can cure cancer, why has he/she never made a single amputated limb grow back? Why does God hate amputees?
I could talk about this book for longer than it would take you to read this book. So read it, come back and we'll talk about why religion is nonsense and the Bible a load of codswallop.