Skip to main content

Who is Arrogant?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

It appears to be fashionable these days to call atheists arrogant. Over and over we read how Dawkins is arrogant, Hitchens perhaps even more so, and Sam Harris is clearly just a “know-it-all” with an attitude problem. In fact, if you read the postings on this site for a bit, you will “learn” that we un-famous atheists are arrogant, too.

Now, if expressing an unpopular opinion means that one is arrogant, then we have no defense. But, let’s look at a typical dictionary definition of the word: “Arrogant; having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance, merit, ability, etc.; conceited; overbearingly proud.”

That part about “having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance, merit, ability,” catches my eye. Isn’t it Christians who claim they are god’s “saved?” Talk about “one’s own importance!” Isn’t it Christians who claim they KNOW which is the real god and what he wants from us? Mightn’t that be an exaggerated opinion of one’s abilities? I certainly wouldn’t claim the ability to identify a real god, with any certainty. So who is the arrogant one, here?

While the Christian claims he KNOWS with certainty that Bible-god is the one true god, I humbly submit that different people have claimed thousands of different gods to be the one true god, we know for certain that thousands of those were false gods, and so I have no confidence that I could do any better spotting the real god than those people did. Do you not see the difference here? The very fact that men have followed thousands of false gods convinces me that we humans are hopeless when it comes to identifying which gods are real and which are false.

But the Christian brushes all that aside, because he knows. And how does he know? Because people told him so, or he feels it, or both. The Bible tells him which is the real god, though how the Christian can tell the Bible is the real “holy” book and not one of the others, like the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, etc., he seems unable to explain. But, generally this doesn’t trouble him because he feels the presence of the one true god within himself. How he knows which god it is that he feels must remain a mystery.

William Lane Craig speaks of the “self-verification” of the Holy Ghost within himself being sufficient proof of god for him, and most Christians would buy this. Call me a nit picker, but I have a problem with anyone claiming they can feel the truth. I have first-hand experience on this issue which convinces me that these people are just fooling themselves. I once felt the presence of a god, and constantly “conversed” with this god inside my head. I no longer feel that presence. Obviously, god either exists or he doesn’t, and my feelings have never been able to prove it either way because my feelings have been on both sides of the issue. In other words, my feelings failed to prove anything. Now, who is the arrogant one? Is it Craig, who claims he can feel truth, or me, who has no confidence in his feelings as a test of truth? It seems that old adage applies here: Faith means never having to say you’re wrong.

Many Christians are so arrogantly certain that they have the truth that they have no interest in studying further. Many will deny evolution, although they obviously have never read anything on evolution that wasn’t written by creationists.

Also, home schooling is apparently on the rise in America today. Why? Because many Christian parents don’t want their children exposed to unapproved information. Christian parents and preachers seem to be insisting that what people “knew” 2,000 years ago is more important than anything man has learned since. Most Christian congregations encourage their members to avoid marrying outside the faith, and some even frown on members even mingling with non-Christians. There is a pattern here. It appears that Christians are so sure they have the truth that they often actively avoid gaining further information. It seems to me that if one truly wants to find the truth, the real truth, then he should follow the path containing the MOST information. Isn’t this obvious?

I find that most of the atheists I know are hungry for information. A great many are science enthusiasts and are well read in world history. Tellingly, many atheists are also surprisingly conversant in theology. Now who are the arrogant ones? Are those who are constantly seeking more information and revising their opinions really the arrogant ones? That was a rhetorical question – no answer necessary.

So, Christians are convinced they have the truth because they have been told this (by the Bible, preachers, parents, etc.), or they feel it, or both, while atheists suspect there is no god. Now, I don’t know of any atheists who think they can prove there is no god. They merely believe that gods are extremely unlikely, like dragons are unlikely, and so they don’t believe in them.

For myself, I don’t believe in gods because I know I cannot trust my feelings to identify the truth, and I don’t know why I should be able to tell a real god when I see one, any more than those millions throughout history who have worshipped thousands of false gods. Did I say, “when I see one?” Yes, and I meant to say that, for that is exactly the problem, you see. All gods are invisible. How convenient.

As Discordia recently pointed out on this site, the Christian god is all-powerful and can do anything, anything at all, it appears, except prove that he exists. Well, he either can’t or won’t prove it, and it really doesn’t much matter which it is. For thousands of years we humans have been fighting over which is the real god, or which sect has the real truth. We have mistreated each other horribly over these questions, from the Crusades through the Inquisitions, to fighting over abortion and gay marriage. Given this history, I think we humans have a right - and maybe even a moral obligation to each other - to refuse acceptance of the claims pertaining to any god until that god proves his or her existence. If there’s a real god, then he/she surely would understand this position.

It is because I am NOT arrogant that I make this proposal. It is because I recognize that I cannot prove whether there is or isn’t a god. Think about it: why in hell should we humans suffer, generation after generation, for our gullibility - simply because some god can’t or won’t prove that he exists such that we can all agree on it? This is a lousy, unfair deal, and we should simply refuse it. And what kind of perverse, arrogant god would fault us for refusing to beat each other up over gods any longer, while he refuses to prove decisively that he exists?


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro