What is the New Atheism?

New atheism is a more aggressive and anti-religious form of atheism that presupposes the validity of scientific theories and reason and applies them to religious phenomena in an attempt to disprove that God exists and that religion is dangerous.  Some of the best known "new atheists" are Sam Harris, who published a book called "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason."  He also wrote "Letter to a Christian Nation" in 2006 which was an attack on Christianity specifically.  Another popular writer in the new atheism movement is Richard Dawkins, who published the bestseller "The God Delusion."  Another avid and vocal anti-theist is Christopher Hitchens, wrote "God is Not Great" in 2007. He does debates and gives lectures against religion--Christianity in particular.  There are others who write against the existence of God on a popular level, but these are the ones who've become most recognized.

The new atheists promote rationality and science over belief.  They seek to elevate science as the final determiner of truth and see religion as being harmful and dangerous.  They subject the idea of God, Biblical claims, etc., to the scientific method and reason and seek to demonstrate that God cannot exist.

I have read "The God Delusion" and "A Letter to a Christian Nation."  Both books, though popular, were not very well written.  In each case, the view of the Christian God was a misrepresentation.  Very often a single attribute of the Christian God would be elevated as a representation of God and then that representation was attacked.  This is an invalid way of discussing any topic.  Many things were attributed to the God of Christianity that were not biblical. Invalid inferences were drawn, and conclusions were made that did not follow the logic presented.

I remember very clearly my opinion of the book, "The God Delusion," by Dawkins.  It was obvious to me that Mr. Dawkins had not done his homework concerning Christian theology.  It was quite evident that he consulted no Christian experts and did little research on the topic.  To my dismay I concluded that those who do not understand Christianity might consider Dawkins work to be competent.  I found it to be anything but competent.




CARM ison