Friday, November 5, 2010

An End to Faith

I'm reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris, and it pushes my buttons. On the one hand, the tone of his anti-religion thesis is very abrasive to me, and I find myself not wanting to read it because he just sounds so, well, Arrogant. It's hard hear anyone say that other people are basically stupid and irrational - that goes against all my ingrained rules of civil discourse.

On the other hand, I do agree with many of the point Harris makes here, and I like passages like this:

The basis of our human spirituality surely consists in this: the range of possible human experience far exceeds the ordinary limits of our subjectivity. Clearly, some experiences can utterly transform a person's vision of the world. ... It is important to note that these changes are not merely emotional but cognitive and conceptual as well. Just as it is possible for us to have insights in fields like mathematics or biology, it is possible for us to have insights about the very nature of our own subjectivity.

I'll keep reading. Sometimes it's good to have an argument, to stretch your perceptions, to be a bit uncomfortable with an idea. It can promote more personal growth than always agreeing with everything, or liking everything.

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice if you could have articulate insights like that without the arrogance. I agree that it's important to explore ideas you're uncomfortable with, though.