I’ve often wondered how the term “'New Atheism”' gained such currency. It is a misnomer. There is nothing new about nonbelief. All of us, without exception, are born knowing nothing of God or gods, and acquire notions of religion solely through interaction with others – or, most often, indoctrination by others, an indoctrination usually commencing well before we can reason. Our primal state is, thus, one of nonbelief. The New Atheists (most prominently Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens) have, in essence, done nothing more than try to bring us back to our senses, to return us to a pure and innate mental clarity.
"New" atheist is a euphamism used by angry believers for an atheist who will not shut the fuck up no matter how much you want them to.
They no doubt long for the good old days here and current days in Islamic nations, where Atheists and heretics could be publicly executed as a warning to other troublesome free thinkers that using your own brain is NOT a good idea when it stops you from staying quiet, staying obedient, paying up and not killing other atheists.
...I’ve never heard of the term.. and usually perk up to ‘anything atheist.’ Fortunately, I never needed convincing that atheism was necessary, and was ‘born that way.’ I still find it hard to believe anyone would need convincing.. So new terms and definitions are likely lost or wasted on me
Since the advent of this term and the activists you mention, as I call them respectfully, my view has been that while atheism is not new, obviously, going back to ancient times, what is new is the attitude of many modern atheists, and I include myself. New atheists, if you like, have a new attitude; a more assertive, open and confident and critical attitude towards religion and religious claims and practices. This is in contrast with the 20th century where the attitude was more along the lines that progression to secular societies and science and reason was kind of inevitable so we'll show respect to religions and religious belief. Islamic fascism, Christian fundamentalism, evangelical politicisation and reactionary attitudes from Abrahamic religions in the latter 20th end early 21st centuries forced many of us to fundamentally review the atheist attitude and approach. Dawkins et.al gave expression to that, thanks to them. So, the atheism isn't new, but the attitude is, and I share it.