I found this article on the USAToday website. It's written by Nica Lalli and is a thoughtful piece that makes the very valid counter-point to all of the people who carelessly lob the accusation at us (or others, such as Christopher Hitchens here) that "You guys are bad representatives of atheism!" Since this is so frequently used as an argument against us, I thought I would re-post it here.
Atheists don't speak with just one voice
All religions have richly diverse histories and equally diverse believers. Yet why are non-believers treated as a monolith? Equal treatment might lead to greater understanding.
Here is a post from the Dawkins' forums that essentially credits us, and specifically the Nightline debacle with Cameron/Comfort, for his deconversion from christianity. I find this terribly ironic since some of the regulars at the RDF site are extremely critical of us and our methods, some even going so far as saying that we will never affect anybody's beliefs and that we somehow harm atheism. I find it telling that when this was posted on their boards, nobody had anything to say. Why didn't they explain to this person that they shouldn't have been persuaded by our juvenile, offensive argumentation? Why was the typical response to anything having to do with us not represented in this thread? Go ahead and explain to this poster all the reasons why we are ineffective and pedantic stupid morons. I triple-dog dare you.
Hello everyone, and thanks in advance for your warm welcomes. I suppose it is necessary to go into the obligatory story of my personal journey, but I promise to be as brief as I can. (Disclaimer: I am not capable of being very brief)
From: The Ages, Australia
Apr. 15, 2007
In this article, apparently a few months old, the author reviews some of the current books and trends in this "New Atheism" thing we keep hearing about. He seems to maintain journalistic integrity and doesn't appear particularly biased--until you get to the last sentence:
And that’s the main problem for atheist evangelisers: just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Huh? Could you repeat that? O_O