Witch: A Tale of Terror (Unabridged)
by Charles Mackay & Sam Harris - introduction
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For centuries in Europe, innocent men and women were murdered for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. This was a mass delusion and moral panic, driven by pious superstition and a deadly commitment to religious conformity. In Witch: A Tale of Terror, best-selling author Sam Harris introduces and reads from Charles Mackay's beloved book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
5.0 out of 5 starsInsane history of what religious belief can lead to
Sam refers to the events in the opening of this book being comedic. In a very twisted way they are. The craziest story in the book to me (if I can remember it right) was when a man was going to show another man the paw of an animal he hunted but when it went to pull it out he pulled out a woman's hand instead. Recognizing the wedding ring as belonging to his wife the two men promptly went to his home to find his wife hiding her arm. When it was discovered that her arm had been severed she was put to death. The rest of this book is story after story like this. Sam touched on history like this in his other books (particularity The End of Faith) but spending an entire book on it in depth was certainly needed. The more benign version of religion we often have today comes about by ignoring absurd parts of the Bible like witchcraft.