While covering much the same ground as Christopher Hitchens in God Is Not Great
, Harris does so with a voice less harsh, one sounding less like a diatribe. He scope is wider than Hitchens allowing him to make points that Hitchens doesn’t as well, e.g. that the tolerant religious are so at the expense of their belief in the dogma of their own faith(s). The 2005 paperback edition includes an Afterword in which the author speaks to some of the earlier criticism of this title, whether the criticism was made correctly or incorrectly: the atrocities of irreligious regimes (which he actually does speak to within the work itself), the need for some kinds of faith, the unique challenge of Islam, and his understanding of what does
constitute a valuable mysticism/spirituality (to the horror of some atheists). I was surprised by the inclusion of the mysticism/spirituality section, and I’m still mulling it over; I think if Harris is granted all his premises, he may be right. The two issues that he doesn’t speak to in the Afterword—the ones that left me rather cold when reading the work itself—are the issues of torture with its appropriate use and his categorical rejection of pacifism. I’m hoping he speaks to these issues again in his newest book.