I think it is important to distinguish atheists from New Atheists (who call themselves Gnus). Atheist literally means “without God.” In my book, an atheist is someone who does not believe God exists and then lives their life as if there was no God. They can get in spirited debates with theists and remain entirely unconvinced of the theist’s arguments. They see no evidence for God, so as far as they can tell, there is no God.
Now, I have no problem with atheists. In fact, I am happy to acknowledge that atheism is a reasonable position to hold. I don’t agree with atheists, but that does not mean I think they are unreasonable or stupid.
But the New Atheist is different.
A New Atheist is an atheist with an anti-religious agenda. They attach so much certainty to their atheism that they think all religious people are either stupid, deluded, mentally ill, and/or dishonest. They adopt a black and white perspective of the world, where religion is purely evil. They claim to champion reason, but instead use propaganda to appeal to the darker side of human nature. And they have become part of a socio-political movement centered around anti-religious bigotry.
The sentence is key. The atheist is someone who does not believe in God and may even think God-belief is nonsense. Fine. We can agree to disagree. But the New Atheist is part of a movement, which brings a whole added dimension. And the agenda of this movement is inherently anti-religious.
So let’s make it clear. I oppose the New Atheists, not the atheists. I can live and let live with atheists. I can’t do this with New Atheists. Because they won’t allow it.