The All New New Atheism

This is a nice short article about how New Atheism has made some inroads into undermining religious extremism, but now it has to change its strategy if those gains are to be capitalized on. I especially like the finish:

The way ahead requires being able to speak honestly about religion, and New Atheism has been the most effective cultural effort to broker this conversation. Its endeavors going forward, however, must recognize the humanity in religion while maintaining a candid dialogue about deep-rooted conflicts between reason and faith.

because it speaks of of a way to move toward a future where all are free from superstition, while remembering that those whose are still in thrall to it are people too. Atheists, we have to try not to be divisive, while maintaining that there are divisions to talk about. This is difficult because:

The movement offered a heretofore unwelcomed perspective: That every religion has negative consequences, and that even religious moderates contribute to the problem because, by affirming that faith is a legitimate reason to hold beliefs, they enable religious extremists.

Theists very often don’t accept that a belief in the supernatural can ever lead to negative consequences, and that it has done so often in the past. That’s not to say that theists don’t do good; they do. But we need to show them, without forcing it down their throats, that what they believe in, and I’m not talking just about extremism but moderate views too, very quickly goes to dark places. Also, they need to see that they can live a loving and fulfilling life, a life free of guilt and shame, a life filled with hope and joy, without a god giving them the blessing to do so.

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