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Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Nov 10, , Martin Lang and others published The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism. In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above. Editorial Reviews. Review. “Frans de Waal's new book carries the important message that human kindness is a biological feature of our species and not.

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The Bonobo and the. Dr. Frans de Waal. C.H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University and Member of the. National Academy of Sciences. The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates by Frans de Waal. Review by: Benjamin Grant Purzycki. The Bonobo and the Atheist this article may not contain all of the images contained in the PDF version of this article, due to copyright issues.

Shelves: non-fiction , sciency-naturish Frans De Waal makes a well researched and eloquent argument about the source of human morality. He is not feverishly opposed to organized religion, though he is an atheist. He is opposed to the kind of violence that any kind of fundamentalist mind-set can bring. He describes empathy, and, by extension, morality as a mammalian and certainly a primate thing. He sees its formulation as a'bottom up' rather than 'top down' approach, arguing that morality doesn't come from religion but from the mammal Frans De Waal makes a well researched and eloquent argument about the source of human morality. He sees its formulation as a'bottom up' rather than 'top down' approach, arguing that morality doesn't come from religion but from the mammalian need and capacity for communal living.

The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates by Frans de Waal

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The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society. Our Inner Ape: Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among Apes. Primates and Philosophers: Read more. Product details Paperback: English ISBN Start reading The Bonobo and the Atheist on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review.

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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Graphic Novels. Paperback Verified download. When de Waal writes about cooperation, empathy, and social regulation among primates, it's fascinating and easy to see how it relates to discussions of how religion may have emerged and the role it plays for us socially. When he writes about modern atheism, he is sometimes on shakier ground.


Although he observes the anger and frustration some prominent atheists have with religion, he seems to chalk it up to bitterness or just random contrariness. He fails to realize that this response is based on the concrete harm atheists attribute to religion.

They aren't "sleeping furiously" because they just woke up hating the idea of a god or because they want to strip comfort from people's lives. Their response is based on looking around and seeing the violence, bigotry, and denial of science that religion has actually brought to the world.

His attempt to present himself as the "moderate atheist" seems to be rooted in a refusal to fully understand the nature of the objections of theism. Kindle Edition Verified download. De Waal is a bit too hard on radical atheists Cut us a break. Our childhood religious indoctrination left permanent psychological scars ; that is the only objection I have to this wonderful explanation of the biological roots of human morality.

We are not slaves to our biology, but to progress as a global civilization, we have to understand biology's determinative role in our ethical and moral behavior.


This was a very educational and eye opening book, in which the author offers examples of the practice of morality, empathy, and sympathy in bonobo chimpanzees and other animals as well and postulates that having a religious perspective is not necessarily a prerequisite for moral behavior, but that moral practices are part of our evolutionary history as evidenced by our closet living relatives, the primates. The book does not denigrate religion though, offering that it is a good in that if offers those who practice it community, fellowship, and social bonding.

There is ample evidence offered in the book though that religious belief is not at all required for morality to be practiced among the "higher primates" i.

Really an enlightening and mind expanding book, recommended. Don't let the title fool you. This book is less about the religious perspective then you think. The author claims to be an atheist, but is quite complimentary to religion and farley chastising of modern atheism. In my opinion, his statements about religion and religious practices is the least interesting part of the book.

Thankfully he doesn't spend a lot of time on the matter. The fascinating part of this book is the authors personal accounts of his work with primate species, the sanctuaries, zoos and other scientists in similar or other animal behavioral fields. The similarities and differences between the primate social societies and our own are truly amazing.

He concentrates mostly on morality, empathy, sympathy, altruism and a few other behaviours that many mistakenly deem as solely human attributes. If you love animals and love to learn about their behaviours. I definitely recommend this. Frans de Waal goes into great depth in his research to put to rest some very disturbing ideas science has been plagued with for a long time.

Animals are automatons, they have no feelings, all their actions are based on instinct, humans are the only being with feelings.

Humans are intrinsically nasty, evil, brutish killers that are only barely restrained my the laws and morality civilization has imposed on us. All of these ideas are being proven very, very wrong in field research everyday. De Waal takes the time to show how our inner nature is shared with other mammals, and how we are not what we have been told.

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He does this in a light hearted and gentle way to not offend, but educate. I recommend this book very highly. This book underlines the fact that humans are not that different from other animals, not even in forming moral values, showing compassion and altruism, and having empathy.

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The author unfortunately makes a few unfair jabs at atheism, as if not aware that you can be both atheist AND humanist. Eye-opening and mind-opening. I'm one of the "neo-atheist" he points a finger at and I took his point. There is much much much more to life than "my opinion" vs "their opinion. Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation.

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