Screwtape, I've felt the same way and come to the somewhat same conclusion. It seems that new theists come and go with the same reworded, futile attempts to try and reason with them to no end. Having said that, Ive learned a lot not only from others on this forum, including you - but I learned a lot about myself as well - good and bad
My wife and I watched a series of documentaries on the history channel on the 'dark ages' and the few centuries afterwords. The common theme of course - the church blocking reason, science, common sense, and committing horrific acts all in the name of god. My wife wasn't raised with any religious deities whatsoever (maybe thats why i married her
) where I was raised with a very Christian mother but was able to start critically think in my teenage years thankfully. None of what we watched was news to me but she couldn't understand how these atrocities of ignorance could have happened and she didn't understand how anyone could still think and believe these stories were truth.
It's innocence like this that always reminds me why sites like this really are good. It brings people who would have never thought about things otherwise gone unmentioned or discussed regardless of the motive. I really believe this site is one of the best sources of not only truth, but open honest discussion and debate with very knowledgable people.
The one most important aspect of being an atheist I keep reminding my wife (she doesn't understand why I read and/or post on this forum... She's already neutral, a clean slate, an atheist who doesn't know it really) is that "atheists can be reasoned with".
This is an incredibly powerful notion that Christians just don't understand or comprehend. They believe a world view where they think they have interpreted all the answers - They simply cannot be reasoned with whatsoever. We may not be in the dark ages but it's nice to be reminded with political discussions about gay marriage,evolution, separation of church and state... The subtleties of the dark ages are still here to be sure (especially on fox news).
As we and our knowledge evolve, our understanding of our place in the universe, our societies become more civil and technological, its nice to know that at the very least - I can hopefully be reasoned with.
The bottom line - this site is one of the best no matter how déjà vu the conversation!