Eller ends his book with the following prophecy:
If Atheism ever is allowed to evolve from the lion [i.e., destructive] stage to the child stage…, it will pass into a creative phase the likes of which we have never seen in the history of humankind. (329)
This implausible fantasy reminds me of Mises:
But utopians do not pay heed to human nature and the unalterable conditions of human life.
Godwin thought that man might become immortal after the abolition of private property.
Charles Fourier babbled about the ocean containing lemonade instead of salt water.
Marx’s economic system blithely ignored the fact of the scarcity of material factors of production.
Trotsky revealed that in the proletarian paradise “the average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.” (HA, 70-1)
Does Eller seriously think that the only thing that prevents his Australian Aboriginals from going to the stars, i.e., from creating a super-advanced civilization, is their religious beliefs?
I conclude this live blogging review with a word of caution to Eller: nature, in order to be commanded, must be obeyed. Take care that you do not “create” an atheistic culture that does not work, that collapses, and that in so doing will kill you instead.