Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Is new atheism dead and is it even a term worth saving?"

The so called "new atheism" never had any merit to begin with. I have never understood why any atheist would view this term as anything more than yet another attempt to pigeon-hole and dismiss atheists. In most instances when it has been used by theists it has served as a smear and a way to maintain and spread a wide variety of myths and stereotypes about us. Dan Arel doesn't seem to get it. His use of the "Four Horsemen" is another example of this mindless crap. Just because the media and hostile critics insist that guys like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett are the spokesmen of atheism doesn't mean the really are. There are plenty of other publicly vocal atheists who could be said to be leaders, again, not that that makes them our official spokespeople. How often does the media pay attention to individuals like Ophelia Benson, S.T. Joshi, A.C. Grayling, Greta Christina, Steve Novella, Anni Laurie Gaylor.....?

To be clear, the only thing "new" about the supposed new atheists was that they were able to get mainstream publishers. In the past, no mainstream publisher would touch works by or about (unless they were negative) atheists. Basically, it can't be said to be dead since it was a fabrication to begin with. The label is definitely not worth saving. The momentum that this media attention has helped to spur is worth keeping, however.

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