Sam Harris appears to have beat me to the press. I too studied theology and practiced Buddhism and meditation, and determined that religion altogether was a disease. The difference between Sam and I is that I was poor and went to a state university on public grants. How nice it must be to be wealthy enough to go to Stanford and write a book—and to follow your dreams.
Here is a sentence I wrote in my journal in the year 2000:
“No single human invention has ever caused so many wars and deaths as religion.”
I’m jealous of his book—but I’m happy that the message got out in the end. I saw him speak on C-SPAN and I was amazed at his calmness and rationality. When he revealed that he had studied Indian meditation it made sense to me the reason why he was so calm and rational. Buddhist/Hindu meditation teaches you about the reality of void which, when finally understood, changes you forever.
But the title of his book “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason”. Hmm…kind of ambiguous. It should have been “Religious People: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid…”.
I’m joking of course.
But seriously, the title seems a little too “marketing-ish”, like it was designed to throw people off from both sides of the argument in an attempt to get them to pick the thing up off the shelf. Oh well.
I much prefer something along the lines of Al Franken’s books titled “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” and “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations”. You know exactly what you are getting when you pick those books up.
But I know that Harris is trying to establish that he is neither a “liberal” or a “conservative”.
But I also bet that the Republican blogs have already demonized his work to their followers ensuring that not one word of his wisdom enters their ears.