"Letter to a Christian Nation"

This is the conclusion of the short book by Sam Harris “Letter to a Christian Nation”. The book is a response to the responses that he got from his #1 seller “The End of Faith”. Read through this conclusion and if it interests you, I strongly recommend reading both books.

One of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns—about ethics, spiritual experience, and the inevitability of human suffering—in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. We desperately need a public discourse that encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty. Nothing
stands in the way of this project more than the respect we accord religious faith.

I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not seem good. Still, the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of the eighteenth century. Anyone who spoke with confidence about eradicating slavery in the United States in the year 1775 surely appeared to be wasting his time, and wasting it dangerously.
The analogy is not perfect, but it is suggestive. If we ever do transcend our religious bewilderment, we will look back upon this period in human history with horror and amazement. How could it have been possible for people to believe such things in the twenty first century? How could it be that they allowed their societies to become so dangerously fragmented by empty notions about God and Paradise? The truth is, some of your most cherished beliefs are as embarrassing as those that sent the last slave ship sailing to America as late as 1859 (the same year that Darwin published The Origin of Species).

Clearly, it is time we learned to meet our emotional needs without embracing the preposterous. We must find ways to invoke the power of ritual and to mark those transitions in every human life that demand profundity— birth, marriage, death—without lying to ourselves about the nature of reality. Only then will the practice of raising our children to believe that they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish be widely recognized as the ludicrous obscenity that it is. And only then will we stand a chance of healing the deepest and most dangerous fractures in our world.

I have no doubt that your acceptance of Christ coincided with some very positive changes in your life. Perhaps you now love other people in a way that you never imagined possible. You may even experience feelings of bliss while praying. I do not wish to denigrate any of these experiences. I would point out, however, that billions of other human beings, in every time and place, have had similar experiences—but they had them while thinking about Krishna, or Allah, or the Buddha, while making art or music, or while contemplating the beauty of Nature. There is no question that it is possible for people to have profoundly transformative experiences. And there is no question that it is possible for them to misinterpret these experiences, and to further delude themselves about the nature of reality.

You are, of course, right to believe that there is more to life than simply understanding the structure and contents of the universe. But this does not make unjustified (and unjustifiable) claims about its structure and contents any more respectable.

It is important to realize that the distinction between science and religion is not a matter of excluding our ethical intuitions and spiritual experiences from our conversation about the world; it is a matter of our being honest about what we can reasonably conclude on their basis. There are good reasons to believe that people like Jesus and the Buddha weren’t talking nonsense when they spoke about our capacity as human beings to transform our lives in rare and beautiful ways. But any genuine exploration of ethics or the contemplative life demands the same standards of reasonableness and self-criticism that animate all intellectual discourse. As a biological phenomenon, religion is the product of cognitive processes that have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Some researchers have speculated that religion itself may have played an important role in getting large groups of prehistoric humans to socially cohere. If this is true, we can say that religion has served an important purpose. This does not suggest, however, that it serves an important purpose now. There is, after all, nothing more natural than rape. But no one would argue that rape is good, or compatible with a civil society, because it may have had evolutionary advantages for our ancestors. That religion may have served some necessary function for us in the past does not preclude the possibility that it is now the greatest impediment
to our building a global civilization.

This letter is the product of failure—the failure of the many brilliant attacks upon religion that preceded it, the failure of our schools to announce the death of God in a way that each generation can understand, the failure of the media to criticize the abject religious certainties of our public figures—failures great and small that have kept almost every society on this earth muddling over God and despising those who muddle differently.

Nonbelievers like myself stand beside you, dumbstruck by the Muslim hordes who chant death to whole nations of the living. But we stand dumbstruck by you as well—by your denial of tangible reality, by the suffering you create in service to your religious myths, and by your attachment to an imaginary God. This letter has been an expression of that amazement—and, perhaps, of a little hope.

Kevin, you are the best living reason for Mercy Killing. You have been asked to keep this in the, “Not for everyone” forum. But you are on a quest to eradicate God from society. Give it up, you are not near as bright as you think, your Father has been trying for thousands of years, to no avail! This is an inspection association, I suggest you learn how to inspect, so you can charge more than $99. Sincerely, one who knows the truth.

Thanks for your comment Kenneth. Good to see you’ve made it another day.

That is it Kenny, I’m asking that something be done about your threat of killing someone over a post on a message board.


I have been reading your posts in the background for sometime now and I really have to thank you and Joey. You both have claimed many times over that you have read the Bible, so it should be well known to the both of you that God has told us that many will fall away, which you, and many have proven by your words. In essence, regardless if you realize it or not, you both have proven that God exists and his words are fact. Please continue to help as often as possible.

You’re very welcome! I’m glad that I could help with your self fulfilling prophecy.

Yeah, whatever hare krishna!

If you have read the Bible as you have stated, you would know there is nothing self fulfilling about it. the only other explanation for making such a statement is your a liar, which is it?

“In other words, a prophecy declared as truth when it is actually false may sufficiently influence people, either through fear or logical confusion, so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.”

What’s not understood about that in relation to the Bible and it’s followers?

Simple, your moving away from post 5 which is nothing more than deflecting my statements. typical atheist ploy

Ok, your right, I proved it. Shouldn’t I get an award or something?

Yea, ask Joey about his golden award, he has been looking to give it to someone for awhile now. poor little fella :smiley:

Kiss my atheist ***, on your knees & pucker up big fella

And you call Ken strange

Thanks for playing… loser. :mrgreen:


Isn’t that par for the course with religion? Although it’s ridiculous and could be cause for your expulsion from the MB, you’re only following what your taught in the Bible right? Kill those that don’t believe.

Tell god I think she is doing a great job. :smiley:

There’s Joey again!! Any time he’s stuck for an answer, out comes the foul language and name calling.

Joey, you do that everytime. You are so predictable in your inability to conduct a civil conversation.

My, my, my…

(Now I’m gonna get mine–keeps Joey happy, I guess):roll::roll::roll:

I see you didn’t say a damn thing about Kenny’s murder threat to Kevin on post #2 of this thread, what a friggin’ hypocrites you and your Bag-O-Jesus people really are. :roll: