Matt Nisbet is at it again. His particular
Of course Matt doesn't recognize that this is just his personal opinion. Oh no, that wouldn't be right, would it? If you are going to attack Dawkins, Hitchins, and Harris then you'd better
Everything we know from social science research on attitude formation and beliefs predicts that the communication strategy of the New Atheist noise machine will only further alienate moderately religious Americans, the very same publics who might otherwise agree with secularists on many social issues.Everything we know from history predicts that social change is often stimulated and led by vocal "extremists" who dare to speak out even if it offends those who prefer the status quo. This was true of the women's movement, the civil rights movement, and the gay rights movement. In those cases it was the moderate male chauvinists, the moderate racists, and the moderate homophobes who were initially offended. They didn't like being told that their long-held beliefs were wrong. In all those cases I suspect there were Matt Nisbets who tried to silence the outspoken leaders because they were offending the average moderate citizen.
If social science "research" says that the cause of outspoken individuals always fails then that says a lot more about the so-called "research" of social scientists than it does about reality.
The Dawkins/Hitchens PR campaign provides emotional sustenance and talking points for many atheists, but when it comes to selling the public on either non-belief or science, the campaign is likely to boomerang in disastrous ways.The experiment is under way. Up until 2005, atheism was pretty much hidden under a bushel and religious superstition was rarely confronted in public. The result is that America is the most religious country in the industrialized world and evolution isn't taught in schools. Let's see if there's any change in the status quo over the next decade as the Dawkins/Hitchens
There are times when I wonder which side Nisbet is on. It sounds to me like he's perfectly happy with the way things have been for the past several decades.