Perhaps Richard Dawkins and the “new atheists” are to atheism as young-Earth creationists are to Christianity. Some atheists find the new atheists to be rather embarrassing.
Here are some quotes from a Marxist—and from what I can tell, atheist—literary critic by the name of Terry Eagleton:
“Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.”
“He seems to imagine God, if not exactly with a white beard, then at least as some kind of chap.”
“We have it from the mouth of Mr Public Science himself that aside from a few local, temporary hiccups like ecological disasters, famine, ethnic wars and nuclear wastelands, History is perpetually on the up.”
“Dawkins and Hitchens are equally theologically illiterate in their view of religion as a failed attempt to explain the world.”
The quotes are from an article in New Humanist: The Magazine for Free Thinkers. My take on someone who calls them self a “free thinker” is that they are in an intellectual ghetto without knowing it. They have ideas that they cannot entertain in their worldview; they have walls constructed around themselves that they cannot even see.
As a theist, it is easy to pick on the “new atheists” with their shallow reasoning, just as Dawkins picks on easy targets. But it is also necessary, as it is the new atheists who write the best-sellers.
I’ve quoted from Eagleton before: The new atheists: “primitive opposition to faith and reason”
Grace and Peace, and keep on believing