Free Will by Sam Harris is an intense short read leaving us thinking why we do the things we do. I think that as humans, we feel like we are in control of ourselves, we make decisions and our lives are shaped according to the decisions we make. However, as startling as it may sound, I personally think and feel that we don’t have as much free will as we think we do. So I definitely agree with what Harris pointed out: free will is an illusion.
I advise you not to read this book if you’re not ready to entertain new thoughts. 🙂
My acquaintance with Sam Harris just started I think last month when he was introduced to me by a dear friend. I first watched one of his videos on Youtube and then tried reading one of his works, Letter to a Christian Nation. I think it was a good start because it led me to this other work of his, The End of Faith.
The book, the way I understand it, is basically telling us that beliefs with proof must triumph over beliefs based on our religious faith. Sam Harris made some very important points here and it does rather hit hard on the core of religion but definitely worth your time reading.
Quotable Quotes :
“Reason is nothing less than the guardian of love.”
“Nothing is more sacred than the facts.”
“As a man believes, so he will act.”
“Religious faith is the one species of human ignorance that will not admit of even the possibility of correction.”
Rating : 4/5 stars
I was born and baptized as a Catholic but I have always been open-minded about other religions and yes, atheism. This is my first from Sam Harris and the first atheistic book I’ve read. I must say, this book is very thought-provoking. It isn’t something that would convert the reader to become an atheist nor would it shake a devout Christian/Muslim’s faith, but I think it would help us understand what atheists are like.
It would probably be an uncomfortable read but I personally would still recommend it to my Catholic/Christian friends. Aside from a very easy to read writing style, I really find this book very insightful. With that said, I’ll leave you with this:
Clearly, it is time we learned to meet our emotional needs with 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 have a chance of healing the deepest and most dangerous fractures in our world. -Sam Harris
Rating : 4/5