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                   Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 7:00AM CDT

The deliberate ignorance of New Atheism (why New Atheists won't read this)

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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Despite the objections to Christianity/theism having sound answers that are readily available to anyone willing to do a short Google search (or visit sites like reasonablefaith.org, garyhabermas.com and many others), vocal New Atheists plow onward with their blog posts, internet radio shows and social media rants as if that information didn't exist. This blog post is not directed at all atheists, just the "new atheists". Many atheists/agnostics are content to 'agree to disagree' with Christians while having productive dialog that helps both sides understand each other. I actually appreciate that! By contrast, "New Atheism" is the faction which has deemed it their strategy to relentlessly belittle, mock and slander any and all religion, Christianity in particular. Their stated goal is not to find harmony with religion, but to aggressively exterminate it. Unfortunately, the voice of "New Atheism" is rampant in social media, academia, news media and the blogosphere, drowning out their more balanced counterparts.

This strategy leads many new atheists to keep blogging, broadcasting, tweeting and facebooking the common objections or so-called 'gotchas' against Christianity. Never mind that most of these arguments are "softballs" lobbed to anyone who has taken the time to study up on the issues. I can't believe that New Atheists don't know that good answers to their objections are out there! When William Lane Craig visits college campuses, the venues are packed to capacity. Debates between the likes of Craig, Mike Licona, John Lennox and Gary Habermas against the most popular New Atheists like Dawkins, Harris and Humphreys bring huge crowds both in person and via online streaming, and are widely cited and circulated online. The only way I can posit a New Atheist being so involved in propagating their hatred while being so ignorant of the issues, is that they deliberately choose to ignore the answers that are out there.

Furthermore, I'm always puzzled why these otherwise intelligent and educated individuals will listen to and quote someone like Kenneth Humphreys, for example, who is at odds with just about every credentialed ancient historian and Biblical scholar out there (by the way, scholars that run the spectrum from atheist to Christian). Is it really demonstrating 'logic and reason' to ignore the consensus of an entire institution of Biblical scholarship? It's really bad when Bart Ehrman, an *agnostic* Bible scholar, has to write an entire book about how there's no doubt among scholars that Jesus existed.

And then there are the fantasy caricatures of Christians, straw men built for the sole purpose of beating down. Again, never mind that virtually no Christian fits these rediculous descriptions. Is it really a victory to defeat an imaginary caricature?

I'm not writing this to try and convert atheists to Christianity. I can't do that. I can live with people who don't believe what I do. But New Atheist, I know you're smarter than this. If you're so confident in your position, why not expose yourself to the answers to all of your objections? If you put your own beliefs and arguments up to the same level of scrutiny that you direct toward Christianity, maybe your position will be stronger if it turns out that you're correct. Allowing myself to be exposed to anti-Christian arguments has strengthened my faith rather than destroy it. I'm not saying you'll end up becoming a Christian, but just maybe, you'll begin to understand why some of us choose to believe.

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