Luca @Totti asked
What do new atheists do that atheists don’t? What makes them new?
Yes, the New Atheists are more militant than the old atheists were. But I have noticed another difference. The New Atheism is based on Scientism, while the most prominent old atheist, Bertrand Russell was a prominent philosopher. Dawkins in The River Out of Eden rejects philosophy as does Hawking. Dennett began as a philosopher but seems to have left that calling long ago, although he seems to teach it.
Thus it seems that the New Atheists are not basing their atheism on philosophy, but are rejecting philosophy as a way of understanding reality. They are advocating for a strictly material, physical universe, which means that rationality is a part of the universe because matter/energy does not think!
Thus to maintain their monist materialist ideology they must reject not only theology and meaning, they must also reject philosophy and purpose. The is the message of the 2011 book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions by Alex Rosenberg, which received good reviews.
Of course if philosophy is rejected as a possible mediator between those who are discussing these issues, it is very hard to see how they can be mediated.
There are two “mysteries” in this life: rationality and spirituality. Atheists can deny the fact that humans are spiritual beings, because the spiritual, artistic part of life is hard to pin down. However when one says that humans and reality are rational because humans can understand the universe though science, then it is hard to understand from whence this rational nature comes from if not from God Who created the universe and created humans in God’s own Image.
Sadly there is an “easy” way of a logical dilemma and that is to reject logic.