The inclusive face of New Atheism, and dispelling the myth of “one-dimensional rabidly anti-religious Dawkinsians”


The Irish Times, in a feature article last Friday on the Atheist Ireland AGM, asked whether we were seeking a softening of what it called a Dawkinsian attitude to religion in favour of a more inclusive approach.

Actually, the inclusive approach of Atheist Ireland to charitable and social justice and gender and disability issues, sits quite comfortably alongside our promotion of reason and science and our strong rejection of the silly and harmful impact of religion on society.

It is all part of the evolving ‘New Atheism’ project, as promoted by Richard Dawkins and many others with a variety of nuances in recent years, and not a deviation from it.

The myth outlined in the Irish Times article that we are “one-dimensional, rabidly anti-religious Dawkinsians” rests on the underlying myth of a one-dimensional, rabidly anti-religious Richard Dawkins.

In reality, Richard Dawkins is a sensitive, caring man who does more to promote science, reason, truth and atheism than anybody else I know. He uses ridicule and wit as well as reason to expose bad ideas, but he is the opposite of the uncaring dogmatist that his critics unfairly caricature him as.

We need to dispel both of these myths, and this Irish Times feature has helped to further that important conversation.

Written By: Michael Nugent
continue to source article at


  1. I enjoyed reading this article very much, and wish every bit of success for the movement in our neighbouring country.  Dispelling the myth around “New Atheists” is what we need, not people playing up to it for the sake of a juicy press release.  The manifesto in the letter to the Irish Times was pure Enlightenment.

    More power to the Atheist Ireland, I say.

  2. All too often we encounter the rabid “strawkins”  image put about by disparaging ignorant anti-science preachers of mysticism and mysticism!

  3. This strikes as a subtle introduction this side of the pond of a Atheist + agenda seemingly gaining ground in the new world!
    Personally I am quite happy and comfortable as a“one-dimensional rabidly anti-religious Dawkinsians” bunny!
    But that is because I hates ’em precious…simply hatses ’em!

    I really do not see the religious refining their attitude towards atheism, certainly not to except it as a more intellectual  and patently rational world view which they deny emphatically and always have.
    When you have their woomeisters spout bollix and toxic bile at atheists and atheism every week that is hardly likely they will suddenly change their attitude.
    No they really hate the concept with a vengeance, because that is the central message of the rants and splutterings of the rabid mouthpieces and has been for over 2000yrs.
    They have no intention of giving that position up, especially when their delusion is under such a downward and chaotic spiral to implosion and fragmentation.
    They always thought Atheism was the devil in their midst…they never expected that folks would grow up and see the puppet strings that work the illusion.

  4. I find Dawkins to be very soft spoken; its why i admire him. he can politely dismantle someone argument  then throw it right back in there face.

  5. a one-dimensional, rabidly anti-religious Richard Dawkins.

    Where does this view of Richard come from? It certainly doesn’t describe the gentleman that I have had the pleasure of meeting. 

    A wonderful post by Michael, He certainly has a way with words.

  6.  and I’m a proud cath a holic.

    that Irish Times article now has 346 comments below it.
    Irish atheism is making waves.

  7. Michael Nugent is a very gifted & honest speaker.He has help me greatly in my discovery of atheism. Im very proud of the fact that he is held in high regard & the fact that he is a fellow Irishman.Many people in Ireland like myself are discovering atheism & embracing it & Michael Nugent & people like him are making it easy to promote.

Leave a Reply