From a review of a book by Peter Williams.
Why is this? Williams claims it is mainly to do with the devastating effect Logical Positivism had in the 20th Century on religious belief. Logical Positivism holds that only statements that can be observed to be true through our senses or otherwise be potentially verified, have any meaning. This leaves the unverifiable God hypothesis meaningless. However, argues Williams, it does the same to the opposite claim too. The atheist declaration ‘there is no God’ is also impossible to scientifically prove. So under Logical Positivism, atheism is also meaningless. As Williams writes in Ch1, “Dawkins’ atheism, no less than the theism he opposes, is built upon Positivism’s grave.” Positivism had to die for atheism to live. However, Williams then moves on to argue that bizarrely, Logical Positivism is historically the main reason atheism has such a grasp on public imagination today. It provided the social credibility for atheism upon which the New Atheists have built.