The video and the interview highlighted here aren’t new, but I wanted to put them up them because of the recurring accusation that New Atheists aren’t “serious” enough (I believe Terry Eagleton and R. Joseph Hoffmann have said this recently). In a nutshell, the criticism is that New Atheists don’t follow their beliefs to the logical conclusion—the despair and nihilism that supposedly emerges when we realize that there is no God, no afterlife, and no supernatural basis for morality. When we see that, we lose all hope—or should lose all hope.
In other words, we’re not lugubrious enough. We should be existentialists like Sartre or even Camus, who said, in The Myth of Sisyphus, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” Why not bump ourselves off when we realize that life is meaningless?
Let us ignore Barron’s jab at the so called New Atheists. This has become quite the issue and I’ve come across it on my blog. Theists do have an issue with the fact that I don’t subscribe to Nihilism or Absurdism. They don’t usually mention Existentialism. It is as if they consider it a victory to get one of us to confess our realization of a meaningless life due to the nonexistence of god(s) — more specifically, their god. However, I’m not willing to make such a confession because it would be equivalent to lying. I don’t feel that way about my life and I don’t feel that way about the universe. For the record, I addressed the thrust of Barron’s argument, namely the Argument from Desire. It is undoubtedly a futile argument.