In the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, it became fashionable to view religion primarily as a source of strife. Future historians may view the rise of an intolerant new antireligious movement, New Atheism, as part of the generalized overreaction to the horror of September 11 — an overreaction that also included the use of torture and mass detention, the abandonment of trial by jury, and the misguided American invasion of Iraq.

Like other atheists, the so-called New Atheists believe that there is no supernatural reality or God. But the more combative New Atheists go beyond this in claiming 1) that the religious impulse is always irrational and in opposition to reason; 2) that there is an objective secular moral standard that reason or science can apprehend; and 3) that the application of this standard leads to the conclusion that religion itself (rather...

You do not currently have access to this content.