Anyone following my blog will already know of the large swath of atheist literature in the intellectual marketplace these days. I personally find that quite exciting because I don't think the Christian life can be lived out without thoughtfully considering philosophies that oppose it. A person who never encounters philosophical objections to their Christian faith does not have a blind faith so much as a blind knowledge and crippled ability to relate to those of different worldviews.
Undertaking to read as much of the New Atheist's literature as I can during the 2009 year has resulted, quite logically, in many difficult challenges to what I believe. In some cases, what I believe has been altered dramatically. For example, I used to believe that a person could not be truly moral in any ontological sense if they lacked belief in God. I don't believe that any longer for the simple reason that it is empirically demonstrable that our social inclinations as a species demands a pre-existing moral framework, belief or not. Hence there are a good many atheists who are morally upstanding individuals, and many Christians with the moral leanings of sociopaths.
If such is the case, Christians do not have an ethical high-ground whereby their religious views trump the moral efforts, reflections, inquiries, and formulations of non-believers and secularists. We're on level ground if we admit that morality is innate to the human species, whether a person believes or not. What a Christian does have is a presupposed grounds for the origins of morality: the Holy Trinity. Whereas the atheist, secularist, or anti-theist may presuppose morality in light of social Darwinism and the organising practices that necessarily come about to maintain a community, or nation; in effect, morality is an accretion of social contracts meant to ensure the survival of the species.
Despite the claims of the New Atheists that faith is a "mind-virus" (a term coined by Richard Dawkins), if we're on level ground to examine moral action, at what point is there any reason why atheists and Christians cannot work together to effect a more harmonious existence with each other? What logical reason is there then for someone like, say, Sam Harris to call for the eradication of religion, to attack it vehemently in an effort to help religion "slide into obsolescence" (The End of Faith, p. 14)? How does the eradication of one spectrum of human existence justify the continuance of another spectrum of human continuance? In other words, how does the destruction of religious worldviews justify the on-going disbelief in atheistic philosophy? What moral harmony is accomplished, what help to the surival of our species is acheived through obliterating faith, and religious hope?
*Thanks to Parenting Beyond Belief for the picture.