A variety of illogical attacks against atheism are misdirected toward Richard Dawkins and the New Atheist spokespeople.
Dawkins, for example, is a highly visible scientist speaking out in print and in lecture tours for atheism, against religious excesses, and for scientific knowledge. In ignoring the taboo against speaking against religionism by declaring for atheism, Dawkins has willingly upset a large number of theists. Dawkins does not claim that he is founding an alternate religion, does not claim that he is constructing a rigorous philosophical system, and is eminently qualified to speak about science.
I've read some totally irrelevant fallacious arguments directed against the New Atheists:
● unfamiliarity with theistic apologetics
● unfamiliarity with scriptural dogma
● lack of qualifications to express any philosophical viewpoint
● lack of peer-reviewed publication of atheistic philosophy
● atheists have no morality, no sense of purpose, no joy in life, etc
All these accusations are utterly irrelevant to the question of whether or not atheism is a more rational position than accepting theistic claims for the invented supernatural category. Rejection of claims for a position does not require that the rejecter prove his own, negative position. This is a fallacious shift of the burden of proof. Theists make claims, and the burden of proof lies with the theist.
Theists are, of course, totally missing the main point about atheism – atheistic rejection of theistic claims for the supernatural is based on a number of facts:
● history and current affairs provide ample example of the danger presented by religious fundamentalisn
● theists can produce absolutely no empirical support for their position
● all religions, which are human inventions, resulted from a nearly universal manifestation of human psychology combined with ignorance
● theistic apologetics is riddled with artificial arguments and fallacies of logic
● science provides empirically verified explanations for the phenomena that theists have passed off as miracles
● academic philosophers have published scholarly refutations of theistic apologetics
● rejection of the supernatural automatically negates all religious claims to providing explication of the supernatural
Here's a typical, illogical theistic comment:"Richard Dawkins is often accused of being a fundamentalist atheist. He dismisses theism almost without argument. The arguments he gives are often straw men or miss the point in some other way. He shows little familiarity with the best philosophical representatives of theism, and since his work on atheism is actually philosophy he's really dropped the ball in backing up his views. It ends up looking like mere dogmatism without much allowance for dialogue with the other side, i.e. fundamentalism."
"Richard Dawkins is often accused of being a fundamentalist atheist. He dismisses theism almost without argument."
Wrong: Fundamentalism is more correctly applied to religious literalists and anti-modernists. Wrong: Dawkins has many valid observations and arguments about theism.
"The arguments he gives are often straw men or miss the point in some other way."
Wrong: One does not make a straw man argument, one attacks a weakened, straw man misrepresentation of the opponent's positon (just as the t..t whom I have quoted is doing).
"He shows little familiarity with the best philosophical representatives of theism, and since his work on atheism is actually philosophy he's really dropped the ball in backing up his views."
Wrong: There are no convincing philosophical arguments for theism in so far as the arguments would not convince a logical person who lacked an inculcated belief in the conclusions being argued for. Dawkins' stated purpose does not require that he "show familiarity with the best philosophical representatives of theism", merely that he be persuasive about science and about the impacts of religious fundamentalism. Dawkins' atheism is a rejection of an unsupported claim of the supernatural, so his atheism is not technically philosophy in the manner of a professional philosopher. As an expert on evolutionary biology, Dawkins has not dropped any ball in backing up his views.
"It ends up looking like mere dogmatism without much allowance for dialogue with the other side, i.e. fundamentalism."
Now, there's a revealing definition of the tactics of fundamentalists! Wrong: The "other side" has had more than 2,000 years in which to produce dialogue concerning its J-C-I side.
It does not surprise me in the least that theistic arguments against atheism are so often misguided, emotional, and illogical because belief in the unbelievable is itself misguided, emotional, and illogical.
Elsewhere : Bay at Fundies (accusations of 'fundamentalist')
apologeticsatheismChristianityfallacies of logicfundamentalismlogicphilosophyreligionRichard Dawkins