One refrain I frequently hear from atheists is that arguments used to support the existence of God are ‘old and tired’. This is a bizarre complaint for a couple of reasons.
At first glance this response lacks legitimacy because it says nothing about the truth or accuracy of the arguments. It’s like arguing that certain geometric proofs lack legitimacy because, you know, they were developed a long time ago by ancient Greeks who aren’t nearly as smart as we are, right?
Secondly it is a lame response because almost all arguments for and against the existence of God are ‘old and tired’. There are for example no ‘new’ arguments for atheism – it is to the detriment of atheists that they think Dawkins et. al. have said anything ‘new’ – they haven’t, they have just said it louder. In fact, if an argument was true or accurate, you would expect it to have longevity because it would withstand scrutiny over time. We can have new data that either supports or contradicts an idea or argument, but it is highly unlikely a whole new argument will appear on either side. I of course would argue such data supports the old and tired arguments I accept and articulate.
And finally, being familiar with an argument doesn’t mean you either understand it or have actually articulated a response to it. I am constantly disappointed as a former skeptic and agnostic at how little ability many self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ and atheists have to read, argue, and consistently sustain a line of reasoning. They claim the argument is old and tired, but it quickly becomes evident they don’t really understand or know how to respond to many arguments. They think a few swift ad homs and waving of the hands are a sufficient response. These are only sufficient if your goal is to not think.
Being a true skeptic requires skepticism, not unthinking adherence to the proclamations of others you agree with.