My prior post bears an additional bit of explanation, as the way in which I came to be atheist is essential in understanding why I think of atheism the way I do and why I cannot easily associate myself with New Atheism (despite the fact that I don’t entirely lack admiration for the scientists and philosophers who are participants in the movement).
Several months ago a friend of mine and I were discussing atheism and I asked him how he came to be atheist. His reply corresponds to what I imagine would be the case with most people who are among the “deconverted”. My friend was raised in a Mormon household and unlike his siblings, he didn’t take to Mormonism particularly well. As my friend passed through adolescence he increasingly questioned Mormon theology, eventually reading material on Mormonism authored by people outside that faith. That lead to his dropping Mormonism entirely, and when he extended his skepticism of Mormonism to other religions, he found the other religions readily accessible in Western society equally wanting when contrasted against an empirical approach to living in the world. He would eventually conclude he was atheist.