The New Atheism

Kevin Drum raised a good point the other day. There have long been atheists in the West, especially among the intellentsia, but lately there seem to be an awful lot of what you might call evangelizing atheists who want to publish books about how awful religion is. Kevin names Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens and I was also add Daniel Dennett into the mix. What's going on?

It seems especially odd to me because it's so contrary to the spirit of non-theism to go around writing books like this. The whole strength of the non-theistic intellectual enterprise over the years has simply been to go about our business without talking about God. Talk about the origins of the universe. Talk about human history. Talk about ethics and politics. Talk about the nature of truth. Talk about the origin of species. And do it without talking about God. That's atheism -- just doing the intellectual work of explaining and debating things without reference to the supernatural -- not devising ever-more-intricate proofs that there is no God.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In