What's a "New Atheist"?

And what’s the difference between “regular” atheists?

Best I can tell, and maybe this should go into GD, is that a new atheist is just an atheist no longer afraid to publish and who states why he doesn’t believe instead of trying to avoid the whole issue. I haven’t noticed anything philosophically innovative in the writings of the new atheists versus what I’ve been reading for years.

So, new atheism is old atheism that made it on to the best-seller lists.

I think the new ones are the ones who do things like erect billboards slogans like “Don’t believe in god? You’re not alone”. MILITANT stuff like that!

Tastes great, but less filling.

No, that’s lite atheists

As others have said, there’s not much difference. In terms of beliefs, Bertrand Russell pretty much had things covered nearly a century ago (though I suspect you could go back further).

If there’s any distinction at all, I’d say the new atheists are those invigorated by recent books such as The God Delusion and God is not Great, along with those fighting against creeping nonsense such as Intelligent Design.

New atheists are just like regular atheists except for better marketing.

Christians proselytize and advertise and campaign all the time, with TV shows and sandwich boards and door to door and forcing their will into politics and schools and hotel rooms and changing the pledge of the allegiance and our currency to promote their cause and so forth and so on, but when an atheist group gets a billboard suddenly they are militants. :rolleyes:


They still have their tags and that lovely new atheist smell.

New atheists are the ones who will survive May 21 by having their feet planted firmly on terra firma.

Old atheists aren’t so sure about that.

What is the context? Where are you hearing this term? I’ve never heard it.


It’s just possible that that was sarcasm.

Ah, now I see. New Atheists are going to remain rejected and unloved, regarded as a smear upon an old label. Eventually, the old version will be brought back as Atheism Classic.

Yup. Recalibrate sarcasm detection sensor, Dan.

it’s more progressive than that. you have atheism Mk 1 to V, with special/limited editions like saloon, grand tourer, and convertible (the last one i like.)

Lite atheism is careful to make it clear that it does not positively assert that there are no calories. It is simply an absence of calories.

Old Atheists understand sarcasm. New atheists, unable to recognize a joke, flip out irrationally whenever you mention god.

Or bless them when they sneeze… or use a phrase like “Thank god!”

Lite agnostics, OTOH, say it’s impossible to know whether you can lose weight on a given diet.

There is no such thing as “New Atheism.” It’s just a word that butthurt religionists use to try to label a handful of atheist writers who have had some success with book sales. Not a word in any of those books represents anything “new.” They promote no ideology or philosphy. They aren’t leading any movement. They basically just explain the reasons that atheists lack theistic belief. Atheism is gaining more currency in the last few years, but it still has not acquired any actual beliefs or credos or anything at all that can be called “new.” If anything is new, it’s just that people are less afraid to admit to being atheists now. I think that has more to do with the internet than Dawkins or Hitchins, though.