The New Argument of the New Atheists
by Anthony Horvath
I don’t hate atheists. I don’t like arguing for the sake of arguing and don’t have a ‘thing’ about winning a debate. I discourse with atheists because I love them, and because I believe that I am right in my belief that God is going to call this world to account and if we do not have Christ as our advocate, we’re toast (And Christ stands ready to be our advocate the moment we’ll let him).
But I admit, the ‘new atheists’ get under my skin. Fortunately, not every atheist I interact with fits that characterization. Indeed, even some who would describe themselves as ‘new atheists’ lack some of the defining characteristics of the ‘new atheists.’ They are better than their worldview. Some times you just get lucky, I guess.
For years, I’ve interacted with both sorts and I think I’ve put my finger on one of the main differences.
Let’s put it this way. Important new developments in human history (Darwinism, the Holocaust, etc) only serve as new illustrations to old arguments. The skirmish line between atheism and everything else was established thousands of years ago and hasn’t really changed much. That’s why you can have someone like Francis Collins, who in the face of such faith-killing notions such as unguided naturalistic macroevolutionary theory, can nonetheless become a Christian. Strictly speaking, neither real and pseudoscience can obliterate the important and unavoidable facts of human existence which are arranged on the ‘religious’ side of the skirmish line. What argument(s) do the New Atheists present?
They have none. What they actually have is a little different. It is the belief that the truth of atheism is self-evidently true to any and all reasonable people. Not an atheist? Then the New Atheist knows what sort of person he’s talking to- an unreasonable, irrational person. The New Atheist thinks the skirmish line is an illusion, the squishy line of demarcation for those cowards afraid to embrace the hard-nosed truth that we are alone in the universe. The really brave, sane, and reasonable person knows this on first glance, and need not trouble himself with any of the old and enduring arguments- or the people who make them…
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