These are not your father's atheists either. They are articulate, impassioned, and effective at the use of the media, and the internet. The "new Atheists" believe that the old atheists were too tolerant of religion, and not aggressive enough in their attacks upon it. To them, religion is not benign it is a retrograde evil which society can no longer afford to tolerate.
They also insist that one doesn't need God to be moral, and in fact they posit that morality without a fear of punishment or hope of reward is purer and more virtuous than that which is motivated by religion. "Be good for goodness sake" was the slogan put on atheistic advertising on public transport in London England.
The danger to beware of is not their arguments, which are not much different from the worn out , long discredited talking points Ã‚Â of everyone from Voltaire, Hume, Nietzsche, down to the bitter village atheist of Ã‚Â yesteryear. All have been and hopefully will be rebutted by Christian apologists for this generation.
The reason I say we should beware of them, is twofold; first because of their suave packaging and sophisticated use of multi media and internet. These people come across like they know what they are talking about.
Secondly, Ã‚Â to put it bluntly, the youth for the most part, are all too ill-equipped to think through these specious arguments, and are proving to be vulnerable to these modern sophists. Frankly, the decay in standards of education, the shift from Logos centered thought, antithesis,logic, facts and reason, to consensus and image based education has left many open to these attacks at the University.
Shockingly it is almost a fad for young people raised in traditional christian homes to "come out as atheists" at university, and there are websites and you tube videos that teach them how best to "break it to their parents".
There are popular you tube videos such as "What if I'm Wrong", in which young people rationalise that if their choice to become an Atheist turns out to be wrong, they would still reject the christian God on philosophical and moral grounds, marshalling accusations against the God of the Bible, such as His command to slaughter Canaanites, or his statutes against homosexuality.
More shockingly, there is a video "blasphemy challenge" , in which students are offered a DVD of the Atheistic 'documentary', called THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE, to anyone who makes a DVD of themselves "deconverting"- specifically calling upon them to "renounce the Holy Spirit!
Here is the challenge from the website :
The Rational Response Squad is giving awayÃ‚Â 1001 DVDs of Ã‚Â "The God Who Wasn't There"Ã‚Â the hit documentary that theÃ‚Â Los Angeles Times calls "provocative -- to put it mildly."
There's only one catch: We want your soul.
It's simple. You record a short message damning yourself to Hell, you upload it to YouTube, and then the Rational Response Squad will send you aÃ‚Â free The God Who Wasn't There DVD. It's that easy.
INSTRUCTIONS:You may damn yourself to Hell however you would like, but somewhere in your video you must say this phrase: "I deny the Holy Spirit."
Shocking, isn't it? I am showing you this not to shock you but to alert you to the reality of the assault upon your children and the naive.
But furthermore I show this to also pull back the covers on the underlying spiritual essence of this movement. There is something more going on here tan just "free thought" and humanism. Here is the given reason for the specific instruction to "deny the Holy Spirit", by the Ã‚Â so-called "Rational Response squad",
Why? Because, according to Mark 3:29 in the Holy Bible, "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Jesus will forgive you for just about anything, but heÃ‚Â won't forgive you for denying the existence of the Holy Spirit. Ever. This is a one-way road you're taking here.
The point is that this movement is spiritual in its essence. This is Ã‚Â Satanic,it is an assault on the faith by the Father of lies, designed to blaspheme God and to damn souls. They have free rein on our campuses and places of higher learning. Unfortunately a good many young people are seeing these New Atheists as rock stars, they are emulating them mimicking their arguments, and renouncing their faith.
Hopefully these reports will strengthen those who are tempted by this phenomenon, giving them arguments and the answers that have stood the test of countless similar attacks and accusations over the centuries. "Always be ready to give a reason for the hope you have in you with respect and gentleness"(I Peter 3:15)
We will be looking next at the so-called "four Horsemen of the Atheistic revival, the Brights" as they call themselves, Christopher HitchensÃ‚Â , Sam Harris,Richard Dawkins, and the lesser knownÃ‚Â Daniel Dennit.