What's New About the New Atheism?

I’ve been reading a number of books by and about the New Atheists: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. What makes the New Atheism new is not its arguments so much as its hysterics. For the new atheists, everything that’s wrong with the world is traceable to the presence of so many people who believe in God. The new atheists are not content to simply give reasoned arguments for their position, they feel compelled to mock and vilify their opponents. It’s not simply a matter of, “I don’t believe God exists,” but rather, “The God portrayed in the Bible is wicked and those who believe in him are fools.”

Richard Dawkins, for instance, in The God Delusion, says, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” He has also said that teaching religion to children is a form of child abuse.

Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, likens religion to a form of mental illness which, he says, “allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy.”

Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, says religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.”

The game’s afoot! The battle is joined! A number of Christian leaders have seen to it that the New Atheists’ belief-less babblings don’t go unchallenged. Doug Wilson has answered Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation point by point with his Letter from a Christian Citizen. I recommend that you read Harris’ book one section at a time, followed by Wilson’s rebuttal of the points raised in the section. When you’re done with both books, read Joel McDurmon’s, The Return of the Village Atheist. It will be very clear that Harris isn’t at all the paragon of reason he fancies himself.

Alister McGrath, professor of history at Oxford University (and a former atheist himself), along with his wife Joanna, have answered Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion with The Dawkins Delusion: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine. Philosopher Michael Ruse says of Dawkins, “The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGrath’s show why.”

Perhaps the most powerful blow to the atheist triumvirate is The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day, an instructive and very entertaining no-holds barred approach to dealing with their folly.
This trio of New Atheists, this Unholy Trinity, are a collection of faux-intellectual frauds utilizing pseudo-scientific sleight of hand in order to falsely claim that religious faith is inherently dangerous and has no place in the modern world… I’m saying that they are wrong, they are reliably, verifiably, and factually incorrect. Richard Dawkins is wrong. Daniel C. Dennett is wrong. Christopher Hitchens is drunk, and he’s wrong. Michel Onfray is French, and he’s wrong. Sam Harris is so superlatively wrong that it will require the development of esoteric mathematics operating simultaneously in multiple dimensions to fully comprehend the orders of magnitude of his wrongness.
Day musters an impressive collection of historical and statistical facts to put the lie to the New Atheists’ claims. His incisive thinking and razor sharp wit make the book a delight to read. He doesn’t just answer their arguments, he demolishes them. I’m glad he’s on our side!


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