Tonight, we should have a short blog. We’re looking at the Epilogue to Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith” and it’s only a few pages long. To begin with, he states that religious faith is one species of ignorance, but it is the the one that won’t admit the possibility of correction and is also sheltered from criticism in every corner.
Don’t you love a self-refuting statement like that in the context?
Here, we have a whole book criticizing religious faith and then he says at the end that religious faith is still sheltered from criticism in every corner.
Apparently not the corner he’s writing in….
I don’t ever go through my day thinking my religious faith is sheltered. The idea of introducing religion into something like the public school system is anathema. We are told at some places not to say “Merry Christmas” lest we offend someone. The Ten Commandments are no longer allowed to be displayed at many government buildings.
But you can’t do anything about religious faith.
You can make all the remarks you want to on network television that insult religious faith. You can write all the books you want to that argue that religious faith is just a brand of ignorance. You can go to a university classroom and have it be the intent of the professor in that classroom to knock religious faith out of you.
What world is Sam Harris living in?
Harris also makes the statement that we don’t need faith. Well, if he wants to define faith as blind belief in something one has no evidence for and no reason to believe, then sure. We don’t need that. However, if he means trust in something that we can’t prove, then we do. A scientist doing his work everyday has to believe that the universe is orderly and rational for instance. Can he prove that with science? No. He believes it though. Hume was correct in saying we can’t prove the sun will rise again tomorrow. If you told me you were skeptical though, I’d think you were crazy.
However, in the epilogue, there is one sentence that sent chills up my spine. On page 226, he says the following:
“We are the final judges of what is good, just as we remain the final judges of what is logical.”
Rest assured, it won’t be humanity in general that are the final judges. It will be some men. Some men will stand up and tell everyone else what is good and what is true. It is a 1984 type situation. The solution for us is to realize what we as Christian theists should believe. Goodness has a standard outside of us. Truth has a standard outside of us. There is no subjective truth and subjective goodness.
Harris’s statement leads to the kind of evil he thinks religion causes.
Tomorrow, we shall examine his afterword.