Yes, according to Damon Linker who recently reviewed a book by A.C. Grayling [Where are the honest atheists? ]. The subtitle is: "That godlessness might be both true and terrible is something that the new atheists refuse to entertain."
Hmmm ... he's right about that. I haven't entertained the notion that not believing in imaginary beings might be "terrible." Why should I? Here's his answer ...
If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we're alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.Now I get it. If you've been brought up to believe that someone actually hears and answers your prayers then it can be quite a shock to learn that this is a delusion. It's probably as traumatic as learning that there's no Santa Claus and no tooth fairy.
Honest atheists understand this. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God, but he called it an "awe-inspiring catastrophe" for humanity, which now faced the monumental task of avoiding a descent into nihilism. Essayist Albert Camus likewise recognized that when the longing for a satisfying answer to the question of "why?" confronts the "unreasonable silence of the world," the goodness of human life appears to dissolve and must be reconstructed from the ground up.
Not to worry. You get over it soon enough. Millions of people do every year without descending into nihilism, or worse.
Jerry Coyne has a much longer answer to the nonsense that Damon Linker (and Ed West) spout. You should read it here: New Atheism once again pronounced dead, still refuses to lie down. Why is it that religious apologists always seem to be so deficient in basic common sense?
In case you've never heard of Damon Linker, you should visit his website where you will learn that "Damon Linker is one of the most arresting and honest writers of his generation on the subjects of faith and politics." He's written a book called The Religious Test described as ...
The Constitution states that “no religious test” may keep a candidate from aspiring to political office. Yet since John F. Kennedy used the phrase to deflect concerns about his Catholicism, the public has largely avoided probing candidates’ religious beliefs. Is it true, however, that a candidate’s religious convictions should be off-limits to public scrutiny? Damon Linker doesn’t think so, and in this book, he outlines the various elements of religious belief—including radical atheism—that are simply incompatible with high office, and sometimes even active citizenship, in a democracy. In six forceful chapters, he enlightens us to the complicated interrelations between churches and states, consistently applying a political litmus test to a range of theological views. Along the way, he clearly explains, among other topics, why the government in a religiously tolerant society must not promote a uniform, absolute code of ethics and behavior, why the conviction that America is worthy of divine attention is dangerous, and why the liberal position on the political deregulation of sex is our nation’s only hope for conciliation. In this provocative, hard-hitting manifesto, Damon Linker exhorts both believers and atheists to behave better in the public sphere, and offers a carefully charted roadmap for doing so.I like the part about radical atheists who shouldn't hold high public office. I assume that's because they will have difficulty getting along with the Christian fundamentalists who already occupy far too many of those positions.
1. "Typical" doesn't imply that a majority of citizens are atheists.