Atheism was once a practical mindset: living as though God did not exist.
The New Atheism has become very attractive because it appears to be more scientific, speculative, and intellectual, and because it is endorsed by compelling bestselling authors, such as the ones depicted in the picture above, who enjoy rockstar popularity and give conferences around the world.
The problem with the New Atheism, as I see it, is that it preaches that religion by its very nature is intolerant, and should therefore be eradicated from our society. In other words, the one thing they cannot tollerate is religious intolerance.
So why can’t that same logic be leveled against the New Atheists? Why can we not also say that we cannot tolerate atheistic intolerance?
Which intolerance ought to be preferred over the other, if that is your criterion?
You will often hear atheists say, “Religion is the cause of all wars” (Google it and see what you come up with). This has become one of the great mantras of the New Atheism.
Why do they ignore the counterexamples? Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan were not religious leaders. Hitler was not a religious man, and his aim seems similar to what the New Atheists propose; he sought to exterminate a religious people. If they argue that his genocide was aimed at exterminating the Jewish race, not the religion per se, then there goes your argument that the war was about religion (which it wasn’t).
Their proposal is thoroughly unscientific. At least, I don’t see how they can possibly answer the following questions scientifically.
How are we to know for certain that the proposed onslaught of atheism against religion will not also spark wars? Or supposing (hypothetically) that they achieved their aim of ridding the world of religion, why should simply suppose that there will be no more wars? To say that it is because religion is the cause of war begs the question.
Intolerance vs intolerance ought to raise red flags in our minds, a strong point Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) makes in his book Truth and Tolerance. I’d challenge the critical thinking atheist to read this work thoroughly and then try to pick it apart.