The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine - Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath
Like the most anxious religious fundamentalist preacher out to protect his turf, atheism Richard Dawkins aggressively attacks theism with unmitigated fury.
For Dawkins, religion is all bad, with no positive benefits whatsoever. On the other hand, atheism is all good - he insists that there is "not the smallest evidence" that atheism influences people to do bad things. Never mind reality - Dawkins has a theory, or better, a dogma, to defend. Dawkins has no use for law, economics, sociology, philosophy, or religion. Why? Because science explains everything. There are no limits or boundaries to it. All other disciplines are inferior to or dependent on the natural sciences.
Having established that no other criteria really matters, he spews the gospel of the new secular atheism with "the high degree of dogmatism" and "aggressive rhetorical style" that has come to characterize this movement. Like fundamentalist preachers, the method of the new atheism is to "ridicule, distort, belittle, and demonize" its enemy (85). They resemble the old preacher who looked at his sermon manuscript: "Weak point... speak louder!"
McGrath notes that "[f]undamentalism arises when a worldview feels it is in danger, lashing out at its enemies when it fears its own future is threatened" (96). The new atheism needs the balance that the skeptic Michael Shermer displays: "However, for every one of these grand tragedies there are ten thousand acts of personal kindness and social good that go unreported. ... Religion, like all social institutions of such historical depth and cultural impact, cannot be reduced to an unambiguous good or evil" (94).
If the new atheists do not recover this balance, they run the risk of turning people away from any legitimate insights and criticisms atheism offers. As McGrath notes, ""Might The God Delusion actually backfire and end up persuading people that atheism is just as intolerant, doctrinaire and disagreeable as the worst that religion can offer?" (97)