Books for November
I read three books during november- The End of Faith by Sam Harris, Running away from Safety by Richerd Bach and Don Brown's The Davinci Code. Of these Sam Harris's End of Faith is an interesting book.
After 9/11 disaster westerners have turned their attention more and more towards the cause of such diabolical behaviour. The suicide bombers with such tenacity with out any care about their lives caused such catrosopic death of innocent civilians and others in the name of religion. THe knoweledge of why it happened rather than how it happened is more useful in preventing such disasters in future. Sam Harris turned his thoughts on religion. He has rightly pointed out that almost all our problems in our world have their roots in religion. We have too many gods and too many Scriptures. Most of the people that read the sciptures believe that these were the works of Creator itself. Unfornutely those who read a particular holy book believe that those who don't read their books are not true believer of god. He has rightly observed, " Criticising a person's faith is currently taboo in every corner of our culture. On this subject, liberals and conservatives have reached a rare consenses; religious beliefs are simply beyond the scope of rational discourse. Criticising a person's ideas about god and the afterlife is thought to be impolite in a way that criticising his ideas about physics or history is not."
Freedom of belief is a myth. Scientific truths are immensly fought over the validity of its statment. Religious ideas are never put into debate. An enquiry in to true meaning of religion, be it christanity, judaism, islam, hinduism or buddihism is the need of the hour.
It is high time that we recognize our " an enemy so near to us and so deceptive, that we keep its council even as it threatened to destroy the very possiblity of human happiness. Our enemy is nothing other than faith itself." says Sam Harris.
He correctly pointed that Mysticism and religion are different. Those who tries to evalute the true meaning of consciousness is also spiritual. Spiritual experience is different from the religious experience . If one tried to look inward and interospect himself moral values would be known to him. One need not be religious. It is enough if one is spiritual to lead a moral and just life.
He ends the book as " No personal god need be worshipped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation. No tribal fictions need be rehearsed for us to realize, one fine day, that we do, infact love our neighbour, that our happiness is inextricable from their own, and that our interdependence demands that people every where be given the oppurnuity to flourish. The days of our religious identites are clearly numbered would soon to depend, rather too much on how soon we ralize this". Human civilization, rather future of our cosmos, depend on this.
According to one critic, every one should read this; they don't. But they must.
" Sam Harris' elegent little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctorine. Yet I have some sympathy also with those who might be worried by his uncompromising stance. Read it and form your view, but do not ignore its message."
Sir Roger Penrose- emeritus professor of mathamatics at oxford.