This is a few weeks old, but I intended to come back to it eventually. It's an opinion piece in the LA Times entitled "10 myths and 10 truths about Atheism." The author, Sam Harris, basically lays out his 10 myths and then attempts to counter them.
I can understand the value of such a thing, but I think the myths have to stand. Since atheism isn't a formal religion, there isn't any sort of set doctrine or dogma. Thus, atheism ends up somewhat like Protestantism, with a very diverse spectrum of philosophical beliefs centered around a defining principle.
This isn't to say that there aren't intelligent, rational atheists out there like Harris would have us believe. It's just that they aren't exactly the majority, or at least the vocal majority. The atheists I've met in person have been generally polite if somewhat impatient with religion and the religious. On the internet? Well, let's just say that the worst myths Harris writes about achieve critical mass.
I do wonder, though. Is that an effect of the internet, or does it say something about the progression of modern atheism? I'm not sure Bertrand Russell would find himself welcome amongst most of the atheist blogs and websites today, but why is that?
Then again, I'm still looking for an answer to my question: Why is it wrong to hurt other people? I think issues revolving around atheistic morality have to start there.