Atheism Advanced – Further Thoughts of a Freethinker
On April 13, 2009 At 6:30 am
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Atheism Advanced answers many questions, including: Why must Atheists stop 'speaking Christian?' — not only to prevent religionists from setting the terms of debate but also to prevent them from determining the very thoughts we think? Are there any religions without gods? How are gods created, and are they being manufactured today? Why is science necessarily atheistic? Why must Atheists advance from being simply 'without gods' to being 'Discredists,' thinkers who reject belief-based reasoning altogether? Includes an anthropology of comparative religion.
User Ratings and Reviews
5 Stars Stands on own as a classic
No one should think this a mere addendum to "Natural Atheism." This is a sharply argued, deeply researched classic that points to the territory of where the recent fad of "atheist" bestsellers must head. With the ivory tower academy all but defunct because of its corporate, anti-intellectual credentialing function, Eller rescues the notion of sustained, accessible scholarship. There will need to be debate about his dramatic points, and though he calls for an end to atheist manifestos, given the unimaginably strong calculus of religious power, both he and the under-appreciated Michel Onfray need to keep their quills sharp and ready. Forgo the case of Busch and buy the damn book – you're not going to find this at your local Patriot-Act library.
5 Stars Better than the first
Eller's first book was very well written this one is even better. For those who want to better their language and stop speaking christian and move forward in a more secular culture this will help get you in the right path of reason. For those who are beyond religion and and want to move in a more progressive future this is the book for you.
5 Stars Sure to be a Classic!
Eller's book "Atheism Advanced" should be in every atheist library. I thought I had read up on most every issue concerning the philosophy of religion before reading his book, but I was wrong, dead wrong. His passionate analysis is significant and thought provoking in every single chapter I've read so far (thru chapter six). I think Eller should be the new spokesman for atheism and invited to speak at every atheist conference. I think Christians need to deal with the power of his arguments.
In my book I argue against a specific religious viewpoint likened to a small limb growing out of the very large tree of religion. I'm not arguing against animism, animatism, nor ancestor worship, ethical non-theism (like Buddhism) nor the many polytheistic gods and goddesses, nor do I argue against other monotheisms like the several branches of Judaism or Islam, nor do I argue against whatever original Christianities believed, nor liberalism, nor deism. No. I'm arguing against a small sect in time, evangelical Christianity. And among evangelicals themselves there is no consensus about true Christianity, relegating certain other branches as "cults." Christianity is best understood as a "local Christianity," one situated in a particular time and place held by particular localized people. What a particular Christian believes is a hybrid coming from schism after schism and the conclusions of hindsight through the process of syncretism. Eller effectively argues that Christians believe in a local Christianity or no Christianity at all.
While I argue specifically about the dominant American fundamentalist or evangelical view in my book, Dr. Eller argues against religion itself. Along the way Eller advances (or promotes) our understanding of just what atheism is. [Hint, atheism is not just a view that stands in contrast with the dominant religious view of any particular society. Atheism in Hindu countries would be a-Hinduist, while atheism in Christian countries would be considered a-Christian. But this cannot be what atheism is about!] We atheists have allowed the dominant religious view of our societies to set the definition for what atheism is, and even the language we use to debate the issues, Eller argues. Why is it that most debates in western cultures are debates on such topics as "Christianity vs. Atheism"? Eller wants us to think in larger terms than that. From reading what Eller says the real debate should be set in terms of "Christianity vs. Itself," since there are so many branches of it, or "Christianity vs. All Other Religions," since that's the proper way to think about religion (can you imagine a Christian wanting to debate that topic with an atheist??). Eller writes: "Nothing is more destructive to religion than other religions; it is like meeting one's own anti-matter twin." (p. 233).
Eller also argues that there is no specific "Science vs. Religion" problem either, since some religions do not believe in any personal god, and because religious believers are not against most scientific disciplines. Believers are only opposed to those scientific disciplines that come into direct conflict with their own specific religious claims. Some religions don't even have a creation theory! Surely religious believers are not opposed to quantum theory or gravitational theory or meteorology or botany of gemology (the study of gems), for starters. They are only opposed to specific claims within physics and biology when science crosses over into the arbitrary and sacred/profane boundary of specific religious claims. Religious believers are not opposed to science as a whole, just some aspects of it! So the debate is not about science vs. religion but rather against specific local religions vs specific scientific claims.
There is much more to his book. Every person interested in these issues (both believer and non-believer) should get and read and discuss it. I consider his book essential for understanding these issues. Eller writes well, is passionate, intelligent, and offers very powerful arguments against religion as a whole. In the process he more than adequately advances atheism. This book is destined to be a classic work.
John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity
5 Stars The best gift I could get for my son
I got a copy that was signed by the author – freaked me out.
My son freaked too. He has just started reading it but I'm told already that it is the best of Eller's books.
5 Stars The Only Book On Atheism You'll Need
Atheism has become a hot item in book sales in the last few years, thank to the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. But, David Eller really puts them all to shame with this fantastic exploration of the subject. Instead of just railing against religion, he explains it; in depth and with great expertise. There is almost too much information to take in on each page.