There's a fascinating article in the latest WIRED magazine entitled "The New Atheism".
At the risk of oversimplifying, the article is about a fervant new 'crusade against religion' (WIRED's phrase). It outlines the works and thoughts of several scientists/authors who are taking the belief of atheism to the next level - evangelism.
The new atheists, taking an aggressive stance at rediculing religion and even agnosticism, are led by those like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. You may remember me mentioning Dennett who utilized his lecture time at the TED conference to take a few whacks at Rick Warren, who spoke immediately prior.
The New Atheists are those who are longer content to sit back and 'not believe', but want to push the buttons of agnostics and liberal Christians, forcing them to intellectual honesty and the congruency of speaking what they really believe - that God is a fabrication. It speaks of leveraging outrage at fundamental Islam and it's terrorist activities into a similar outrage against Christianity and other organized religions. By the end of the article, you've got a whole new appreciation for the possibility of an apocolyptic un-religion.
I've only read the article through once, and rather quickly, but I look forward to digging into it further. My initial reaction is that the movement may actually help us. For all it's intellectual bravado, atheism is not unlike eating a bag of cheese puffs. Once you get down to the crumbs, you're not sure you really ate anything at all. It somehow leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth and still hungry.... I say let atheism be tested as a way to console the human heart. Allow the masses to test drive it for real - not flirt with it by proposing belief in a supreme being while refusing to bend a knee. While it may appeal to everyones' inner anarchist, it does nothing to answer the questions of life or provide a way forward to one's spirit. It turns the souls of men into echo chambers.
At the end of the day, or one's life, there are few true atheists. Even the incredulous want to believe. Atheism may live and lecture well, but it dies poorly.