New atheists base their arguments on scientific reason, but scientific reasoning by itself cannot provide a causal explanation for the ultimate cosmological question: why does the world exist? Faced with this impasse or aporia, new atheists tacitly deploy a number of rhetorical tropes to supplement the science proper. The most effective devices include paralepsis, the sarcasm cluster (apodioxis, tapinosis, diasyrmus), pathopoeia, and the linked tropes of catachresis and metalepsis. These tropes bolster the persuasiveness of new atheist arguments by devaluing and ridiculing theist positions, but also by appropriating the pathos and prestige of the religious discourse they hope to supplant.

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