Does anyone else find this term as annoying as I do? I know there are a few prominent atheists (Stenger for example) who have adopted it but I still find it loaded with ignorance and bias.  It has been bugging me recently since I'm attempting to get through Schaeffer's Patience With God.  A truly horrible book.

By critics it seems to be used synonymously with "Atheist Fundamentalist", "Evangelical Atheist", and "Angry Atheist", among others.

Am I over thinking it or is it really just more self-righteous bigotry dressed up?

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It seems to be the polite version of "Militant Atheist."

By naming something derogatorily, it becomes easier to dismiss because half the strawman has already been set up. [Note: I think this is a general principle, not specific to atheism.]
I agree.

However, it is even more absurd when referring to something like atheism - since it isn't an 'ism.' Usually, these kinds of 'descriptors' are applied to people who follow ideologies or doctrines - and then the 'half strawman' is set up with the label. Atheism is a label entirely based on context. Without the hyper-prevalence of theism, atheism would be an absurd term.

It is reminiscent of the qualities of dark or empty or cold. Initially, these are entirely contextual qualities - they are defined by what is not present - light, matter, or heat. But then, these labels receive a negative connotation that goes beyond this contextual contrast - so that dark is evil, empty is purposeless and cold is heartless. So atheist comes to mean soulless; suggesting something less than human. And attempts to reclaim the denotation from the connotation with what amounts to ad-speak just exacerbates the absurdity.
In a FB discussion about something or other, I responded to some point by saying "If they want to save my soul, they can carry my Motown collection."
I wouldn't mind being called soulless, if it weren't for the connotation that that means I'm a monster of some sort.

I've started using quintessensuality (coined here on a|n - a hybrid that combines 'purest essence', 'sensual', and 'sensibility') instead of spirituality to refer to what I believe is the 'personal experience' people try to attribute to the supernatural that is, instead, more about tapping into the 'sublime bigger than me' thing - such as music helps us do. It's a fact that they haven't found a 'music center' in the brain since many different areas of the brain light up when playing or listening to music. That 'multi-regional neural stimulus' effect is what seems to be what is going on when someone has a quintessensual experience.
I'm honestly still on the fence on this one myself. On the one hand the term "New Atheist" can be used to imply the emerging movement of truly outspoken Atheists (as contrasted by those of past generations who felt the need to keep silent for fear of persecution, "shunning" by the community, etc.). In that respect "New" Atheists are considered more vocal and open about their opposition to religious tampering in society and/or religion in general, much more so than Atheists of the past.

On the other hand, the term also carries the implication that today's Atheism (and by extention reasons for it) is somehow different from the Atheism of the past. I believe this is why the self-righteous religious folks use it. Because to them and the sheeple who follow them, if something is not steeped in at least a few hundred years of "tradition" it must be invalid, or at very least is on questionable ground. Implying that atheism is somehow a "new" concept gives those who do not think, a quick and comfortable reason to dismiss it without, you know... thinking about it.

So I'm still not sure if it does actual harm or not, but I personally do not use it since in my mind Atheism is Atheism, no matter what generation doesn't believe. The basic reasoning and logic hasn't changed much since Epicurus - the only difference is we're continually making the gaps smaller and smaller for "god" to be squeezed into.
Yeah, it's annoying, but I don't let it get to me. I'm just happy that atheists are speaking out. I'd prefer something like "vocal atheism" or "activist atheism".

I've always hated relativist terms like "modernist", "postmodernist", "New Wave", and the like. It doesn't take long before they're no longer positioned at the front edge of history, and then they don't make any sense. I suppose in that sense, "new atheism" will fall out of vogue on its own before too long. But it's a stupid term.
Would the next gneration be the "used Atheists"? or, will they go with the "New Improved Atheist"?
As opposed to Pre-Owned Theists. Guaranteed certifiable.
I don't like labels either. Especially the really sticky ones that won't come off the book without marring the jacket, or off the bottle you want to recycle.

Match the quote to the fictional superbeing:

A. I am that I am.
B. I yam what I yam.
C. Am I to understand that there will be no side dishes?

1. Cartman
2. Jehovah
3. Popeye
LOL! Cartman and Popeye are sooo much more interesting...

As I strained to hear the voice of Jehova, the distant sound of crickets was deafening~Rusty Harrison
Whenever anyone uses the term 'New Atheist' with me, I always ask "What is new about it?" They invariably fumble for an explanation, coming up with something along the lines of "they are more outspoken now". So shouldn't it be 'Demonstrative Atheist'. How about 'Atheist'? Just 'Atheist'. All you need is 'Atheist'. Atheist, Atheist, Atheist. A big dollop of Atheists.

Although I do like the collective noun 'A manifest of Atheists'!!!
"A manifest of atheists." Nice. I propose "A docket of theists."




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