|Atheist Richard Dawkins with comedian Ariane Sherine|
To the extent that the so-called "new atheism" is in decline, that is not a bad thing. Their discourse has been so largely angry, dismissive, and superficial that they are hard to take seriously, and as I've mentioned more than once in Rom Phra Khun the new atheists in many ways are a mirror image of their arch-enemy, religious fundamentalism. This is not to dismiss the growing importance of "non-theism" as a faith choice. It is also not to dismiss the importance of finding ways to engage in thoughtful, mutually beneficial dialogue with those who do not consider themselves theists. It is to say that it is a waste of time to try to dialogue with fundamentalists be they of the theistic or the atheistic varieties. We should be thankful, I suppose, that atheistic fundamentalism is but a weak caricature of the far more potent and dangerous religious fundamentalism.