In his Sept. column at Scientific American, Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, echoes the very same warnings about the Dawkins-Hitchens PR campaign emphasized here at Framing Science and in our articles at Science and the Washington Post. He argues against the irrational exuberance of the New Atheist Noise Machine for the following three main reasons:
1. Anti-something movements by themselves will fail.
2. A positive message about what it means to live life without religion is absolutely critical. Other than selling books and further polarizing the public, where is at all going? To what end?
3. It is irrational to take a hostile or condescending attitude toward religion because by doing so we virtually guarantee that religious people will respond in kind. Most importantly we alienate many moderately religious Americans who otherwise agree with us on most social and scientific topics.