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Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker Paperback – February 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Only an anthropologist armed with personal experience of the full spectrum of religious behavior ranging from the complex and confusing adumbrations of religiosity seen among the Warlpiri of Australia to the familiar pomp of pontiffs in the Vatican could show so clearly what 'religion' is really all about and why it is so often anti-human and a threat to the survival of our species. Only an Atheist well schooled in the literature of philosophy in general and Atheism in particular could be in a position to see what needs to be done to advance Atheism not only in the theoretical sense but in the political sense as well. Dr. David Eller satisfies both requirements. --Back Cover

About the Author

Prof. David Eller is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted field research among Aboriginal societies in Australia and now teaches anthropology in Denver, Colorado. His recent college textbook Introducing Anthropology of Religion is being hailed as the most significant introduction to the scientific study of religion in a decade. His previous AAP book Natural Atheism showed him to be as good a philosopher as scientist. Now we see he is equally skilled as a linguist and semanticist and can show that for knowledgeable Atheists 'Atheism' means more than the absence of god-beliefs: it is the absence (indeed the rejection) of belief altogether.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: American Atheist Press; 1st edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578840023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578840021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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While Christopher Hitchens', Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins are entertaining the masses with their warranted and timely attacks on religion, Mr. Eller has established a philosophical fortress to deal with the entire religious/atheist debate. I recommend that anyone looking for a serious and intellectually sound discussion of atheism (and religion) read David Eller's Natural Atheism and his follow-up book Atheism Advanced. Mr. Eller gets down to the essential philosophical concepts behind religion and makes you proud to be a free-thinker instead of a moron. Pseudo-philosophy and mass-market diatribes only go so far in advancing understanding and while useful, these are far from complete. Intelligent humans (and the entire human species) deserve better if we hope to maintain any type of intellectual purity. If there's a better dissection of the morass called religion out there somewhere, then please clue me in, because I haven't seen it yet. In this most recent book, Mr. Eller begins by deconstructiong religion, exposing both the positive and negative aspects. Anyone seeking to understand our past attractions to religion, along with our present need to get past it, will do well to immerse themself in Atheism Advanced. However, his previous book is definitely a prerequisite for this one.
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If objective thinking and reading ever become a universal norm, then Eller's two books, Natural Atheism, and Atheism Advanced, would also be considered, historically, two of the greatest achievements of atheist literature. His research and references, both requisites to credibility, are exhaustive and prestigious. However, those are only half as amazing as the insight and clarity by which he presents his findings and conclusions. Eller's genius and hard work have gone into making a combined scientific, anthropologic and philosophic mark on history.Tent Revival For Agnostics
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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