What I like about Sam Harris’s is his calm and hyperrational approach, and that he always cuts to the chase without niceties.
One other thing i like about it, and wholeheartedly agree with, is that he addresses the human need for, and the wide variety of, transcendence and transcendent experience. Which, as he sees it, should be wrested from the hands of religions who’ve held transcendent experiences hostage for far too long.
This rather smallish book is not chock-full of psychologically, socially, and historically informed arguments, as was Harris’s first book The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. But it isn’t supposed to be. Letter to a Christian Nation briefly sketches the situation we’re facing, sums up the consequences we have to expect if we just sit tight, and addresses the criticism The End of Faith has drawn. And since it does so in the form of an open letter, his arguments are as straightforward as they can be and his rhetoric is much more accessible than in The End of Faith.
Sam Harris, it should be noted, is also a skillful speaker. Please watch his presentation “Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash Between Faith and Reason in the Modern World” at the Aspen Ideas Festival, 2007. The first seven minutes of his presentation from the first clip will already give you an idea, but there’s a good chance you will want to listen to the second part after that (which I can particularly recommend).
Aspen Ideas Festival 2007—Sam Harris (Part I) (from 2:58 on)
Aspen Ideas Festival 2007—Sam Harris (Part II)
Aspen Ideas Festival 2007—Sam Harris (Part III)
Aspen Ideas Festival 2007—Sam Harris (Part IV)
Aspen Ideas Festival 2007—Sam Harris (Part V)
If you have something valuable to add or some interesting point to discuss, I’ll be looking forward to meeting you on Twitter!