We have seen that New Atheists are motivated by more than the supposed lack of evidence for the existence of God. In addition, they also perceive God as some type of Evil Monster.
This additional motivation/perspective nicely illustrates that even if a New Atheist were to be convinced there was evidence for God (which would be hard given they will not count anything as such evidence), nothing in the basic New Atheist posture would change, except that the anti-God/anti-Christian essence of New Atheism would become more obvious. Clearly then, the whole issue about whether or not there is “evidence for the existence of God” is not some central fulcrum in the debate.
Yet we need to take the next step and consider the likelihood that the two questions are not independent. Given that the New Atheists view God as some Horrible Cosmic Monster, we must ask a simple question:
Would you want such a being to exist?
Given they perceive God to be so Evil, it would stand to reason that no New Atheist would want such a being to exist. They would want there to be no such being. This is standard human psychology. When humans are faced with catastrophic news, their natural response is to deny the truth of the news. Think, for example, of Kübler-Ross’s study of people with terminal illness.
In other words, give the perspectives of such a Horrid Creator, is it really psychologically possible for the “existence” question to be handled independently from such background perceptions? I propose the answer is no. That is, once the New Atheist has bought into the Evil God perspective (as outlined by Dawkins and Barker), the atheist becomes psychologically invested in denying the existence of God and would thus kick their disconfirmation bias into hyper-drive. Objectivity would become psychologically impossible.
So the Dan Barker book is remarkably useful for understanding the New Atheist movement. Not only does it illustrate the whole “evidence of God’s existence” question is not the central fulcrum of the dispute, but it indicates the New Atheists cannot even address that question fairly and objectively.