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.