My point here is that while I appreciate Haught's efforts in bringing religious belief more in tune with scientific understanding--he was the only theologian to testify in the 2005 Dover, PA case about ID in the schools--he really needs to lay off of us atheists, especially if he's not going to actually address our stances and opinions.
I'd add that when Haught complains that the "new" atheists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are "pale imitations of great atheists like Nietzsche, Camus and Sartre," it strikes me as pretty unfair, like comparing every contemporary playwright to Shakespeare. Those three fellows are giants, but the "new" atheists also have a different focus. They discuss history and philosophy, but they're also examining contemporary figures and politics. It reminded me of the 'dance for me, atheist monkey' sentiment (my characterization) of a piece by Jacques Berlinerblau, and it seems to be a distraction and dodge. I also thought, "Well, Haught, you're no St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas!" Amy (of Incertus) in the comment thread had an intriguing reaction, that Haught was trying to reframe the debate with "new" atheists: "Why can't they be nihilists?! That's so much easier to argue against!!" That's probably the best take.
I'd also say that Haught mischaracterizes Camus' Myth of Sisyphus and existentialism in general, but since it's just an interview, perhaps he's more nuanced and accurate in his book. Very roughly speaking (and I should re-read Myth…), Camus' contention would be that a situation may be objectively hopeless, but we still possess the ability to chose our outlook toward it. That power of choice is extremely powerful, and can be essential. Meanwhile, one of Sartre's key essays remains "Existentialism is a Humanism." Both the "natural law" of Plato and Aristotle and existentialism stress the essential role that choice plays. The difference would be whether one believes there's an inherent morality, order, a god, and so on, or whether we construct such things for ourselves. Personally, I've always been less concerned about the source of a moral system than the system itself, whether it works, where it fails, and how it can be improved. After all, the major Greek philosophers viewed "Ethics" the subject as a practical science, not merely something meant for theoretical fancies. I'd further throw in some thoughts on anthropology and cultural norms, and how the extreme trauma of WWI, physical, cultural, philosophical and psychic, seemed to spur such striking innovations in art and philosophy, from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway to aspects of Sartre's existentialism. Hell, from roughly the same era, throw in Formalism as it relates to Eisenstein's theories of cinematic montage, and we could have ourselves a hardcore, super-cool geekfest. But my apologies; I'm leaving town very shortly, and I'm giving some very heavy stuff a cursory, breezy treatment.
The comment thread for the Incertus post has some great stuff, too. On the "tolerance" issue, I'll simply link this older post.
Update: I've since cross-posted this at Blue Herald.