Sam Harris - Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Review : Lutch)
Atheism and atheists are all too often painted as nihilists, believing that life is meaningless and void of purpose, but this of course is not true often the opposite is. Harris, a neuroscientist and prominent athiest, but has collectively spent years on meditation retreats and studying with the world's leading monks and contemplatives that has given him a unique perspective on the thin line between religion and spirituality. This book is great for people who want to get more in touch with the scientific side of spirituality, and the spiritual side of themselves, and makes a great bridge for those questioning their faith while still being confident in their personal spiritual fulfillment
Sam Harris - Letter to a Christian Nation (Review : Lutch)
What started out as just an essay became a short book. As the title suggests, this is an open letter to Christians, particularly in America, that aims to outline the logical fallacies of looking to the Bible for moral guidance and the influence of Christianity as a lifestyle. He handles the topic as delicately as such a volatile topic can be handled, though Christians may disagree. Either way, this is a perfect introduction to what some deem the "New Atheism" position and a great starting point for those who may have just begun questioning religious beliefs and rituals. If you are a Christian but you're experiencing some doubt and do not know where to turn this book is specifically for you. Any believer, however, would benefit from reading this, especially if they have never questioned their beliefs before.
Sam Harris - The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (Review : Lutch)
In his first book inspired by the events on 9/11/01 was a harsh but fair critique of faith itself and religion on the whole. An impassioned response, it is an in-depth analysis from the neuroscientist and philosopher of the problems with organized religion and specifically how it can lead to events like the one that inspired him to write the book in the first place. Though widely criticized itself, as far as I can see from multiple readings, along with the series of Harris' podcast episodes of him reading the book while offering side-commentary notes, the logic holds up. You may not agree with every word of the book, but you can not deny the validity of its conclusions. This should be a cornerstone on the bookshelf of any secular person.
Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (Review : Lutch)
One of the biggest arguments against atheism and secularism is about morality. So many believers claim their holy book to be a source - sometimes the only source - of morality. They believe the old adage that science can tell us the why we behave the way we do, but can never tell us how we ought to behave. This book directly refutes that claim by defining evil and proposing a theory of how morality needn't be absolute, but can still be determined by areas of scientific competence such as neuroscience, psychology, evolutionary biology, and more. While some argue that the claims of this book are semantic in nature, I think it is a perfect explanaition of how to derive morality from empirical evidence and without any faith.