New Atheism vs. old atheism

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Richard Dawkins
The new atheist Richard Dawkins declared: "Christianity may actually be our best defence against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world".[1][2] See also: Richard Dawkins and Islam

The term New Atheism, which first appeared in the November 2006 edition of Wired magazine, is frequently applied to a movement spawned by a series of six best-selling books by five authors that appeared in the period between 2004–2008. These authors include Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Victor J. Stenger.[3]

Richard Dawkins said about New Atheism, "[O]ur struggle is not so much an intellectual struggle, as a political one: What are we going to do about it?”.[4]

Commenting on the New Atheism and British/United States politics, Steven Kettell wrote in the journal Secularism and Nonreligion:

...both countries have also experienced a rising influence of religion in the public sphere since the turn of the century. In the U.S this has centered on the role of the Christian Right, especially under the administration of George W. Bush. In Britain, issues of multiculturalism and faith schools have been particularly prominent. In this context, new atheism can be said to represent something of a defensive rear-guard action, an attempt to push back against the encroaching forces of faith, and a response to a world that, as Aronson (2008) observes, “no longer seems to be going our way”.[5]

The four most prominent writers of the New Atheist movement are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett and they have commonly been called "the four horsemen" of New Atheism. PZ Myers dubbed himself the fifth horseman of the New Atheism movement, but the term never caught on and he was mocked by some fellow atheists such as Michael Nugent.[6]

New Atheism vs. old atheism

Below are a number of articles which contrasts New Atheism with "old atheism". A common criticism of New Atheism is that it is not meaningfully different than old atheism (see: history of atheism).

Recommended books

  • True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism, Tom Gilson (Editor), Carson Weitnauer (Editor), Publisher: Kregel Publications; Reprint edition (February 1, 2014). ISBN 0825443385. ISBN 978-0825443381

See also

Notes