Monday column

Against the New Atheism

Now that its moment in the media sun has passed, the New Atheism is fading fast. Richard Dawkins has repeatedly demonstrated why he needs to be put out to intellectual pasture. He published an entire book dedicated to passing off an inference as a fact before belatedly discovering what everyone else knew already; his biggest fans are an unpleasant collection of socially maladjusted losers. Christopher Hitchens was repeatedly beaten up in debates by various Christians before being physically beaten by Syrians he had provoked. He then took Dawkins’s OUT campaign a little more literally than anyone had expected and announced that he was an occasional homosexual. Sam Harris’ two accomplishments have been to create the amusingly misnamed Reason Project, which was founded for much the same reasons and is expected to have about the same success as Air America, and to publish a wildly irrational attack on one of America’s most celebrated and accomplished scientists in the New York Times that was completely disregarded by the Obama administration as well as everyone else.

No one has any idea what Daniel Dennett has been doing, but that’s understandable because no one, including the atheists who claim to be his fans, actually reads his books.

Here is the slideshow addressing the seven New Atheist arguments mentioned in the column.