Archbishop Says “Atheism is Cool?”

Apparently Brittain’s archbishop, Rowan Williams, has said that “atheism is cool,” as an explanation for why the Chuch of England finds it increasingly difficult to convey its message. Books by new atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens “get a high profile,” whereas “books that say Richard Dawkins is wrong don’t get the same kind of publicity because atheism is the new cool thing.”

As a philosophically-inclined atheist, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m glad that the new atheists are apparently so successful in gathering publicity in Brittain and elsewhere. On the other hand, I haven’t been very impressed by the quality of their argumentation. When I have read critiques of the new atheists, I’ve found myself much more in agreement with their critics than with the new atheists. It’s too bad that the work of Oppy, Wielenberg, Martin, Rowe, Fales, Smith, Tooley and others don’t enjoy the same kind of publicity that the new atheists do.

LINK (HT: Doug Geivett)

About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00325742921137661641 joseph

    I'm not sure of what is understood by the term "new atheist". Is it that when an atheist comes out of the closet he suddenly becomes the "new atheist"?Hmmm…

    The success of these "new atheists" might very well hinge on the failings of the church, too numerous to list them all. Or is the awakening of the population at large of the house of cards that all religions have always been but now with the new social networks is impossible to salvage? Too soon to tell.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17801369779625472334 Pete Hoge

    One thing that is lacking are essays and literature which can be understood by some of us who have cognitive issues and need simple
    arguments.

    Most of the material on this blog is way over my head but for some reason I keep coming back.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09565179884099473943 The Uncredible Hallq

    Which "critics" do you find yourself agreeing with? I've read quite a bit of it, maybe more than is healthy, and a lot of it is of pretty poor quality, to say the least. So it would be very interesting to know if there are any specific books or critical reviews that are especially worth looking at.

    Other than that, I wouldn't lament the lack of attention Oppy et al. have gotten. They simply haven't been trying to write popularly accessible books on their area of expertise, in the way that, say, Peter Singer has done with ethics or Dawkins has done with evolutionary biology. The lack of attention to them is unsurprising.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Uncredible Hallq — I agree with Erik Wielenberg's review of The God Delusion. That is the most recent review I agree with, but I've read others, including more than one by theists.


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