Many new atheists are proud of their achievement, and they should be. It takes a powerful iconoclastic and renegade mind to dispel the insidious mass delusion of theistic belief. It also takes years to leave a philosophical record of how exactly one arrived at it.
There are some, as Sam Harris, who were raised in a secular family, so there was no great “break from the spell” to contend with. We do see a lot of social atheists in various internet forums today. Men, women, boys, girls who call themselves atheists because it’s trendy, rebellious, edgy, or just plain “gangsta”. We can guess these types will be the ones who hit middle age and backslide into the faith of their forefathers or some other branch of new age woo woo ism down the line. And that’s okay, too!
Lawrence Krauss recently said, “it’s the job of educators not just to educate, but to eliminate ignorance”. I’ve come to the realization there is probably no more worthless or futile discussion than debating whether there is a god or not. Or, as Sartre once remarked (paraphrasing) “it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference one way or the other”. Sure, it makes a big difference in politics, legislation, school curriculums, women’s reproductive and gay rights. When people go around citing god, or the Bible, or whomever as justification to deprive others of their inalienable rights they need to be theologically, scientifically and resoundingly crushed, shamed and exposed for the ignoramuses they are.
My overall sense is that the god issue is a non starter, a ruse, a distraction, because the idea itself is obsolete and irrelevant. Since we know atheism to be irrefutably, scientifically, historically, anthropologically, sociologically, linguistically true, and out of the ten thousand deities of our human past not one has escaped the ideological dung heap, the likelihood of any one religion in the world today escaping the same fate is ludicrous. It would be like betting against the sun rising tomorrow after studying its past performance.
The reason theism or atheism per se is pointless is because people really don’t worship a god, they only worship their god, and when it comes to worshipping their god, the only access to IT is in their head alone. And what is in their head is a quagmire and melange of half truths, prejudices, parental issues, delusion, some mental illness, and a rather jaundiced world view supported by a hodge podge of urban legends, fairy tale boons, fulminations, and loads of confirmation bias. To argue against this is like trying to explain aviation to South American pygmies. Their only reference can be to an “Iron Bird”.
Similarly, it is not sufficient to simply debate the god question anymore. Atheists would do better to direct their attention and effort away from that meaningless abstraction and go after the religionists on their own ground i.e. theologically, historically, linguistically from the “factual” records. We have all the evidence we need. It is out there. The only reason any religion today has a history is because it has been falsified, bastardized, plagiarized, extrapolated and expropriated over hundreds, if not, thousands of years, from other historical records –nevertheless, the other records are out there for all to read and discover.
As much as I appreciate Dr. Richard Carrier’s effort to defeat Christianity through the Bible, it seems a bit like trying to prove Frodo and Gandalf fictitious by citing The Lord of the Rings. My advice to “new atheists” is congratulations, you’ve made it! Now move on, and get busy, there’s real and more important work to do, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster thing ain’t cutting it anymore.