As I picked up The God Delusion a few years ago, I have to say I was intimated. Richard Dawkins is well-known and well-established as not only an atheist and intellectual, but he is also a sort of crusader for the cause of New Atheism. While I do not doubt his intellect, his arguments against there being a God (we can’t explain Him, we can’t ascertain His origin, we can’t locate Him) and against religion in general (all religion leads to violence) are laughable at best.
In extremely accessible language, Alister McGrath finds these and other gaping holes in the New Atheist rhetoric. These are not your typical atheists. While classic atheism simply argued against any sort of “higher power” and practiced religious tolerance, often even embracing it for its propagation of morality and community, the New Atheists see religion as only leading us off a cliff.
Taking steam from the rising worries after 9/11, the New Atheist rhetoric argues that the violence committed on that day was the means that all religious people would ultimately resort to if not stopped. In fact, some even go as far as to call the killing of religious people as moral and ethical because it prevents such carnage. Where, may I ask, is the logic in that?
McGrath rightly, I believe, sees the movement losing ground as we move into the new century and as members of the movement are excommunicated or displaced from powerful influence. Regardless, this is an excellent resource to get a taste of the illogical logic of the New Atheist movement and its impact on both atheist and religious thought.