CNN has a video posted in which Sam Harris, one of the founders of Project Reason and author of “Letter to a Christian Nation,” explains why religion needs to go. It seems he’s arguing that religion is a distraction from, and an insufficient response to, the real problems of the world. The video formulates a caricature from the most fundamentalist and extremist manifestations of religion, and it is this caricature which Harris rather deftly confronts. That caricature, however, is only a caricature. That Islam and Christianity are theologically irreconcilable is not really a valid indictment of theism in general. I also take issue with his assertion that much war is waged because of religion, even when nationalism and political motivations may seem to be the proximate cause (his statement is that “it’s political because it’s religious”). This is a reductive and uninformed assessment of the causes of the wars to which he alludes.
UPDATE: Harris replies to common criticisms of his argument here.