To Mr. Harris and others:
I found "The End of Faith" very stimulating and worthy of much discussion. I agreed with much of what was written but I felt Mr. Harris ignored the immense role our (often unspoken and unacknowledged) anxiety about death has in promoting our widespread irrationality. Although he professes in a couple of places that we don't know what happens after death, indeed we do know. We disintegrate as do all forms of life and the atoms and molecules that make up our bodies are recycled in other forms of life. Our anxiety and unwillingness to gracefully accept this fact of nature underlies all our past and present efforts to preserve the dead and separate ourselves from the rest of nature. And it has given religions their "carrot" to enroll converts by promising an afterlife (their "stick" being the threat of Hell - another type of afterlife - should one become a heretic). Yes, there are many unknowns about our mind/brain to be investigated but none require revisions of our knowledge of physics. Recent evidence suggests some animals other than humans also possess a "theory of mind." And we have yet to fully define and understand consciousness but progress is being made. Clearly there are different levels/states of consciousness - witness fugue states, hypnotic states, and the lower level of consciousness of sleep-walkers, as well as the levels reached under the influence of drugs or meditation. But, again, none require we label any of these "spiritual."