Philosopher Edward Feser breaks down the varieties of atheism and explains why New Atheists are irrational

Some varieties of atheism

I find that atheists who fall on the most negative ends of these scales — A1 territory — are invariably the ones who are the least well-informed about what the religions they criticize actually believe, and the least rational when one tries to discuss the subject with them . . .

If there is anything new about the New Atheism, it is the greater prominence of atheists who at least approximate the A1 [negative, implausible, smug, irrational, emotional] stripe.  In Walter Kaufmann’s day, A1 atheism was represented by marginal, vulgar cranks like Madalyn Murray O’Hair.  Now, equally vulgar cranks like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Myers, and Coyne are by no means marginal, but widely regarded as Serious Thinkers.  This is the reverse of intellectual progress.

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