Interesting quote on “new atheists” in the U.S., Britain

January 7, 2008

the_god_delusion_2.jpgHere’s an interesting quote on the “new atheists” and their popularity in Britain and the United States from Andrew Brown’s review of religion reporting in 2007 for the London Anglican weekly Church Times:

The backlash against Richard Dawkins and his chums, already detectable last Christmas, is coming along more strongly in this country now, even though the New Atheist movement seems to be doing very well in the United States, and will, I predict, continue to do so. Dawkins-type atheism has a distinct social role over there. It is fundamentalism for the college- educated, offering the same kind of certainties, and a similar range of enemies, in a world that has grown threatening, impersonal, and insecure for everyone.

Do you think the “new atheist” wave has peaked? Or will it keep on going?

4 comments

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It will absolutely continue to grow.

Faced with prima facie, de facto evidence of bigotry, hypocrisy and child abuse cover-ups, more and more people are realising that the extremism that religion breeds is both anathema and poison to any democratic country.

I would go as far as saying, with maybe the exception of the Greek Orthodox Church – which sets a fairly good example on some issues, that atheism is increasingly seen as a way out of any religion that seems more and more to champion persecution and condemnation.

Posted by Keith M Warwick | Report as abusive

it will continue to grow as satan has his way in
turning the created from the creator.
people dont need religon to do evil acts against
each other,people need religion (or should i say
a personal relationship with their saviour jesus
to avoid falling into sin and lead a good life.)

Posted by joseph | Report as abusive

The number of people sensible enough not to believe in any god will, I hope, continue to grow. I don’t like the sound of the term “New Atheism” at all, though – it suggests to me a bunch of self-righteous proselytising busy-bodies almost as bad as evangelical christians. For me, atheism is simply an absence of belief in any god. I doubt if I have anything else in common with 99.99% of all atheists, and I have no desire to associate with anybody merely because they are atheist. We’re not a club, we’re not an association, and we certainly ain’t a religion!

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Matthew, critics of the “new atheists” say they ARE “self-righteous proselytising busy-bodies.” They would also consider real atheism a kind of faith, since it is an empirically unprovable belief that there is no God. The simple absence of belief comes closer to agnosticism, since it seems to be weaker than an atheist’s conviction there is no God. Maybe this linguistic spectrum of only three terms (atheist-agnostic-believer) is too simple and we need two more to describe the views between them. I don’t know of any other terms in this spectrum in other western languages. Does anybody out there have any suggestions?

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive