I see where you're coming from. The thing is, these things need to be said. It's important to look at things logically and not let those who believe in angels/spiritual healing/organised religion be treated as if their arguments hold weight. This is particularly true in the US where a lot of Christian nut-jobs are trying to introduce ID/Creationism into science classes. Or in Europe where radical Muslims stabbed a man to death who directed a movie that was critical of Islam, and pinned a note to his chest saying the star of the movie was next. This creates deadly fear. In order to lead any movement for change you have to have a few big-headed leaders, just as any good rock band needs a half-egotistical lead singer. They may be self-righteous, but if they weren't we wouldn't be talking about these ideas.
I agree somewhat, when I watched the first couple of interviews he came across as a bully. But since then I've watched a couple of debates and he performs brilliantly, kind of like the school yard bully but with words. He usually leaves his debating opponents for dead.
I don't agree that Dawkins comes across like this, however. He occasionally gets annoyed and can look a little hot-under-the-collar, but generally his style is factual and more subtle than Hitchens.
Maybe it wasn't Dawkins I saw then... Some interview I saw on YouTube around the time The God Delusion hit in HC though...
I don't have a problem with these high profile atheists putting out what they think the truth is, but (and this goes for the extremely religious as well), a lot of them seem to think they can dictate what everyone should believe in.
Just based on interviews, some seem to believe that they are right, anyone who disagrees is an idiot, and that everyone should believe what they believe in. Which is worrying for me, as an atheist.
Are there religious extremists out there? Certainly. But for every high profile news story I see on TV or read in the paper, I have at least one personal experience with a religious person or group who has housed an unwed teenage mother, or some similar act.
Of course, I could say the same about atheists that have done good things too. For all the interviews I've seen with high profile ones, I've had friends or family members who are good people.
I guess it all balances out someplace.