Impact of the New Atheism
The "New Atheism" has not had much of an impact in terms of gaining new adherents to atheism. In a March 10, 2008 USA Today article Stephen Prothero stated the following regarding the impact of the "New Atheism":
|“|| Numbers lie, but they also tell tales untrustworthy and otherwise. So the key question stirring around the much discussed U.S Religious Landscape Survey released in late February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is what tale does it state about the state of the union.
For some, the story of this survey, based on interviews in multiple languages with more than 35,000 adults, is the strength of American Religion.
Not too long ago, I wrote that American atheism was going the way of the freak show. As books by Christopher Hitchens and other "new atheists" climbed the best seller lists, I caught a lot of flak for that prophecy. But atheist make up only 1.6% of respondents to this survey....
A prime reason for the ineffectiveness of the "New Atheism" is the shallowness of its material. For example, as noted earlier even atheist philosopher Michael Ruse stated that Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion made him "embarrassed to be an atheist".
|“|| Anti-faith proselytizing is a growth industry. But its increasingly hysterical flag-bearers are heading for a spectacular failure...
These increasingly hysterical books may boost the pension, they may be morale boosters for a particular kind of American atheism that feels victimized - the latest candidate in a flourishing American tradition - but one suspects that they are going to do very little to challenge the appeal of a phenomenon they loathe too much to understand.
- ↑ American Faith: A Work In Progress by Stephen Prothero, USA Today, March 10, 2008, page 11A
- ↑ http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/47052/?page=3
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2074076,00.html