Sunday, April 17, 2011
Book Review: Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
It does, of course, bear mentioning that atheism isn't monolithic. There's no dogma, no creed, no hard-and-fast rules of what all atheists must think, believe, and say to be considered atheists apart from the obvious lack of a belief in any deity. We run the gamut from Buddhists and other non-theistic religions to Ayn Randian Libertarians to the more stereotypical bleeding heart secular humanists to raging antitheists to militant apatheists and, of course, the whole range of agnostics who, despite their official ambiguous stance, live their lives in the same way that atheists do.
Nevertheless, Harris does a really good job of explaining why many choose to reject Christianity (also briefly touching on Judaism and Islam) as well as why it's possible to not be religious and still be a decent human being. His arguments are clear and easy to understand, and he doesn't bog himself down waxing pedantic or over-philosophizing.
Though I didn't find it especially enlightening, given that I'd already had many of these thoughts myself, I still consider it a valuable tool in explaining atheism to more religiously-inclined people. 4 out of 5 stars.