(1) Sam Harris is wrong when he states in The End of Faith (21) that “religious moderation appears to be nothing more than an unwillingness to fully submit to God’s laws.” Harris apparently knows God’s desires as well as any fundamentalist preacher.
*Harris is wrong because he has a preconceived idea that true religion is fundamentalist and that religion that is non-violent and tolerant is an aberration. He has it backwards. The jihadis and the haters within every religion are a small minority.
(2) Sam Harris demonstrates his ignorance when he writes in The End of Faith (94) that “Judaism is …. ridiculous in its literalism.”
* Harris is totally incorrect because Judaism is interpretive and not literal. For two millennia, Jewish scholars have written midrashim (interpretations) of Biblical passages that make the religion meaningful for contemporary issues.
(3) Sam Harris is wrong when he states in The End of Faith (16) that “to come to terms with the sacred dimension of our existence …. requires no faith in untestable propositions.”
* Harris is wrong because no mathematical equations or statistical analyses will determine sacred values. They are developed within ourselves with the aid of mentors and extensive observations. We elect legislators, appoint judges, and empanel juries, all human beings, to make the most important decisions for us in the public sphere.