David Eller's Book, Atheism Advanced, Looks Like A Superior Book!

Frank Zindler just sent me Dr. Eller's new book Atheism Advanced, and it looks fantastic! [Eller is a cultural anthropologist who wrote the college textbook, Introducing Anthropology of Religion (Routledge, 2007)]. The book is 468 pages long, well documented, and looks very well argued. I rarely recommend a book before actually reading through it, but this one looks like it's good enough to be an exception. I'll try to write more about it later, but read for yourselves the astounding reviews on amazon to see what others are saying about it. Anyone else read it yet?

In the tradition of Frederick Nietzsche, Eller begins in the introduction with a few aphorisms which sum up some of the arguments throughout his book. Here’s a small representative sample of eight pages of them:
An atheist is not a person who knows too little about religion. An atheist is a person who knows too much about religion.

You say your god is unknowable? But the unknowable and the non-existent are indistinguishable.

If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

The best argument against religion is all the other religions.

In the absence of evidence, the scientist says, “I don’t know,” but the religionist says, “I believe.”

One does not have to prove a negative. One must assume a negative.

Old gods don’t get disproved. They get forgotten.


Anonymous said...

On amazon it says it doesn't ship for 1 or 2 months but you can safely ignore that. More books are on the way. If you click on the "new & used" link, David Eller himself is selling some copies on amazon. You can probably get it signed by him!

jUUggernaut said...

I live near Denver where David Eller teaches and had the opportunity to hear him several times. His first book "Natural Atheism" is superb but I have not progressed much beyond the first 50 pages with his latest.
I find his perspective as an anthropologist extremely valuable. As it happens, I just used one of his key arguments in the take-debunking-christianity-challenge thread, namely that other cultures invent theological concepts that correspond to nothing we would recognize as real. For outsiders, it’s just a vacuous uttering, not something intersubjectively communicable and its truth claim is therefore very much in doubt, to put it mildly.

Eller also has a book about the relation between warfare and religion which is not some cliche'd tirade but serious investigative scholarship.

I highly recommend him as a speaker, it's a pity he hasn't gained more prominence yet. I wish he had been able to find a general publisher (with an advertising budget!), not just the laudable but virtually invisible vanity press of American Atheists.

Unknown said...

Hello John: I found Dr. Eller's "Natural Atheism" outstanding. The man's intellect shines. Its good to learn he has a new book. Thanks for the tip.