According to these soldiers of reason, the time for religion is over. It clings like a bad gene replicating in the population, but its usefulness is played out. Sam Harris's most recent book, The Moral Landscape (Free Press, 2010), is the latest in the continuing battle. As an agnostic, I find much of the horsemen's critiques to be healthy.
But most friends and even enemies of the new atheism have not yet noticed the provincialism of the current debate. If the horsemen left their world of books, conferences, classrooms, and computers to travel more in the developing world for a year, they would find some unfamiliar religious arenas.
Having lived in Cambodia and China, and traveled in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Africa, I have come to appreciate how religion functions quite differently in the developing world—where the majority of believers actually live. The Four Horsemen, their fans, and their enemies all fail to factor in their own prosperity when they think about the uses and abuses of religion.