There have been ads hawking buying or selling “new gold” or “old gold.” There is no such thing as new gold or old gold. All gold has been here since it was first formed on our planet.
Similarly, there is no such thing as “new atheism.” Atheism means the lack of a belief in a god. That is all it means. There is nothing “new” about it. It has been around as long as there has been a belief in gods.
It is certainly true that language goes through changes. Often, big changes. But that has not yet happened to the English work “atheism,” which means, at present, nothing more than not having a belief in a god or gods. Sorry if you don’t like that—I didn’t make the rules.
We are now experiencing a most divisive phenomenon where some atheists are viciously excoriating other atheists for not embracing loudly enough certain of a list of worthy causes to which they are joined. Different inclinations champion differed lists.
One can be an atheist and like chocolate chip ice cream. This does not mean that it is a good idea to form a club that excludes, and sees as enemies, anyone who does not like chocolate chip ice cream, or who actually prefer some other flavors.
How many bloggers, laid end to end, would it take to bridge the gap between science and religion?
Lord dog, the Religious Right certainly need have no worry over us. We will self-destruct without their help.
A population that eats its own young will probably not long survive.
Maybe years from now your grandchildren will ask “What did you do in the great American Religious Civil War?” Do you suppose the answer, “Well, I got some atheists to condemn other atheists for not thinking the way they should” will be an entirely satisfactorily answer?
© Edwin Kagin, 2012.