Friday, December 07, 2012
Why God Won't Go Away
The book is short and easy to read. In addition to describing the New Atheist movement, it also points out its weaknesses, and makes the claim that at the time of writing, 2010, the movement was in decline. Although I think the book does a good job of pointing out the problems of the New Atheist, it never goes deep into any of the arguments. It's informative for someone who is already a believer, but it is not likely to be persuasive for an unbeliever.
Another issue I have with the book is its optimism. Even if the New Atheism is failing among intellectuals, I think it has had an impact on the greater culture at large, which may not examine the arguments too carefully. Through rhetoric and ridicule, the message is getting out that religion is irrational and dangerous.
So although McGrath is correct that the New Atheists will not eradicate religion, it's provided plenty of material to confuse people and provide excuses for those who want to reject God.