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. Then he took Dawkins’ OUT campaign a little more literally than anyone had expected and outed himself as 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.
But there is no idea so gaseous that its passing does not leave a lingering stench. One seldom hears atheists bring up Sam Harris’ self-contradicting Red State argument these days following its demolition in “The Irrational Atheist” and the historically illiterate Religion Causes War argument is beginning to disappear as well, but these and other New Atheist arguments are still utilized by the most ill-informed and intellectually vacuous segment of the population, which is to say college students.
Since one cannot reasonably expect the average college student to be capable of actually reading a book anymore, much less distinguishing between a logically correct case supported by copious historical evidence and an openly fallacious argument supported by nothing more than the irrational opinion of a credentialed ignoramus, I have created a slideshow which graphically demonstrates the fundamental falsity of seven of the primary New Atheist arguments. The slideshow, titled “Against the New Atheism,” addresses the following contentions:
Religion causes war
Religion inspires violence
Religion inhibits science
Sam Harris’ extinction equation
Sam Harris’ Red State argument
Atheists commit less crime
Richard Dawkins’ improbability of divine complexity
These arguments not only are false, but also can easily be shown to be false through the use of readily available empirical evidence. There is simply no excuse for anyone attempting to defend these arguments except complete ignorance, but with this little slideshow, there is now a free, downloadable tool that can be utilized to roundly defeat the argumentative atheists of your acquaintance. Of course, as their arguments are exploded, it is safe to expect that the self-proclaimed devotees of reason will not surrender to the evidence, but will instead retreat to other, equally spurious arguments. Therefore, the slideshow will be expanded and updated accordingly.
In the 11th canto of his “Inferno,” Dante wrote:
Violence against the Deity may be done
In the heart denying and blaspheming blind;
In Nature too, spurning his benison.
The smallest ring hath therefore sealed and signed
For its own both Sodom and Cahors’ offence
And all who speak with scorn of God in mind.
Dante understood the intrinsic connection between the rejection of God, the rejection of nature and the rejection of the truth. While genuine differences of opinion can always be tolerated, no quarter can be given to the deep intellectual dishonesty that underlies the secular ideology known as the New Atheism.