Does Religion Equal Morality?

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Nathan Anderson
04/06/2010

For Sam Harris, everything we experience, including spiritual experiences, should be approached from the angle of reason. Harris is a neuroscientist, and The End of Faith attempts to use natural reason to attempt to debunk the common held basis of the western-rooted basis of God.

Harris quickly connects belief to action. The fact that most people in the world believe that God exists, and has actually wrote a book, guides Harris’s core argument that belief stakes a claim – both benignin and not - on the lives of the people that have them and that texts written by superstitious, violent men are dictating the behavior of its adherents. The one thing all religions have in common is intolerance, and promise of a better life. While Harris admits that desperate people will always do desperate things, this is compounded by religion, and argues that with the introduction of new war technology, religion has become antithetical to our survival.

Harris has a thesis and a main idea that should by analyzed with the understanding that Harris basically believes that if society were to be wiped clean, having to re-learn everything, modern religion – unnecessary for survival – would be placed in the same historical context of Zeus or Odin. Furthermore, Harris suggests that no society has ever suffered from being too reasonable, equating the blind allegiance of the Nazis and Communists to the faithful. The act of blind allegiance, Harris argues, is required to commit evil, and society has found in religion a “career opportunity”, as he calls it – and he is especially harsh on the Islamic faith.

The New Atheism movement is led by a new understanding of Atheism that rejects and condemns moderates and all forms of religion. In short, Harris believes that all religion is dangerous and argues that moderates are betraying both the reasonable and the faithful by neglecting the aspects of religion that are antithetical to society today while...
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