By Eddie Miles

www.theeverydayskeptic.com

 

I know most of you atheists/baby eaters have heard all about how egotistical you are for just assuming that your "belief" is the correct one. But is there anything to this accusation? Are we really pompous to think that our method of gaining knowledge is the best one?

 

I ran into a really ironic situation recently. My father-in-law came to visit and brought with him a puppy named Allie (short for hallelujah, so I'm not quite sure of the spelling). Allie spent much of the time playing with Katie, my 6 year old dachshund, and thereby keeping the rest of us entertained. Now I admit that Katie isn't the brightest dog the world has ever seen (she sometimes forgets how to poop) and while playing with Allie on the bed, she exhibited some rather curious behavior. When Allie ran toward her, she looked the other way and buried her head into the bed so that she couldn't see the ferocious little thing coming at her. It was as if she thought, "if I can't see her, she can't see me!" Of course, this was cause for further laughter among the bipeds in the room.

 

The ironic thing about this situation was that there we stood, an atheist, an agnostic, and a christian, all laughing at the obvious miscalculations of this poor little misinformed canine, neither of us feeling any reservations about "assuming" that our worldview (the worldview that tells us that because I can't see you doesn't necessarily mean that you can't see me) is the correct one. And why shouldn't we have felt like egomaniacs in this situation?

 

The answer is that we (the humans) were coming to our conclusions based on reason and the philosophy of Foundationalism. In other words, the fact that we could see Katie served as evidence that she was still there and visible and therefore gave a foundation to our worldview, whereas Katie had no such evidence and therefore no such foundation (I realize that I'm over analyzing Katie's beliefs about the situation but it's all for argument's sake anyway. The same kind of situation could occur with young children).

 

This is very similar to the god debate. On average, atheists are more likely to be well educated, not only in philosophy but also in the scientific method. Theists, on the other hand, tend to believe in god based on their emotional needs for comfort in this world and the promise of life after death. Take, for example, all of the common religious rhetoric. Church signs often read things like "Have problems? Let god take care of them" and "Do you want to live forever? Learn how here." After basing their beliefs on their emotional needs, they then discredit the scientific method as an afterthought because their own conclusion cannot be arrived at through logic and reasoning. If they can't simultaneously believe in science and in religion, they would rather choose the more comfortable position.

 

In the god debate, atheists can be seen as the humans in the story that I related or as parents in a discussion with their children in the sense that the atheist's position is the one that is arrived at through the proven method of logic and reasoning while the theist's position is the one that is arrived at through a lack of, or even outright rejection of, that proven method. The only conclusion that I can come to, then, is that one would have to either call the humans egotistical because of our collective assumption that Katie was mistaken in her analysis of the workings of the world around her or admit that atheists are justified (and therefore not egotistical) in making similar assumptions in debates about the existence of god.

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It is, but from the theist's perspective, the atheist is the one who is being arrogant. My point was to show that it isn't just a matter of who's side you're on but that one side (the theist's side) really is the more egotistical viewpoint.

Theists find us arrogant because they have no idea how to defend our logical and rational swordmanship in an argument.  

 

It's like they point their sword towards the sky and hold it there , while we use ours to knock theirs out their hands ... then they start to believe we are being 'arrogant'.  

 

No.  Crushing someone and making them look silly just means we have the intellectual high ground.  

 

They replay it over in their heads and can't for the life of them figure out how we knocked the sword out of their hand.  Thus they come to the conclusion we are just arrogant and we have a large ego.  Instead of maybe considering they just don't know how to use their sword.  

 

(Sword = reason)  

+1  

haha!
It's an ad hominem. By attacking our character and labeling atheists as arrogant theists are attempting to reject our ideas. Of course, when we point out the logical fallacy they become confused and then angry at our arrogance again. Personally, I don't see arrogance in the factual realization that I am smarter than certain others. I am certainly smarter than a puppy/child/theist, but I don't think it is arrogant to think that. It's just true, based on the evidence at hand. It would be arrogant to use the fact that I am smarter than a puppy/child/theist to then presume I am "better" than a puppy/child/theist. Smarter doesn't equal better, just smarter. I've discovered a lot of beautiful things about life from puppies/children/theists that I probably wouldn't have realized on my own. Of course, I've seen a fair amount of shit from puppies/children/theists too.

Smarter doesn't equal better, just smarter. 

 

a) Being an atheïst doesn't equal smarter, just better?

b) Being an atheïst doesn't equal better, just smarter?

c) Being an atheïst doesn't equal better or smarter, just being an atheïst?

 

what's the true answer?  and is it arrogant?

 

 

i never claim that i'm right, or that my lack of belief is the right one. I just simply dont have a reason to believe in anything.

 

not to mention, I have issues with self confidence.

There's only really one type of person I cannot get along with: those who are simultaneously arrogant and ignorant. Think about it, theists are normally ignorant regarding the reasoning behind atheist arguments and also arrogant enough to tell a dissenter they they are arrogant while atheists may be similarly ignorant about theists' beliefs (not often though) and also arrogant enough to yell out to the world how stupid theists are. When a person is ignorant but humble enough to ask for information, motivation, argument etc. regardless of their views, I'm OK with them even if I disagree with their views. In these cases I try to oblige them. Similarly, if a person is arrogant but very knowledgeable, I will listen (mostly patiently) to what they have to say...usually I learn from them....it's the mix of the two that pisses me off!
It's not being egotistical if you have evidence to prove your assertions.
We do.
They don't.
They are being arrogant in their assumption that there is a god without any proof of such...all while saying that everyone MUST live by this unproven deities' laws.
THAT'S arrogance, if I ever did see it.
exactly.  (very generally speaking) we're more educated, more rational and more mature.  That's simply (a very general sweeping) fact.  There's no value in trying to convince ourselves that it's not true when it simply is.

Personally, I think that confidence can be misread as arrogance or egotism.

 

I am confident in the knowledge that  I can back up my claims (evolution for instance) with facts. And facts override opinions.

Any beliefs I have are only held because they have been analyzed over time and I have invested time and intellectual reasoning into acquiring them. They are open to scrutiny by anyone (including me) who wants to challenge them. If they can argue with me using reason then I am open to being persuaded into altering my position.

However I am long enough on the planet to know when a blinkered theist is attacking me and not my views. If they hold beliefs that they have never seriously questioned or refuse to question, then they are not going to have those views respected by me. They also assume that I should respect those views because somehow they deem them to be superior to mine. If they cannot offer evidence I tend to be intellectually dismissive of them. My brain just says “oh not again – just once say something to spark my interest in your belief”

I will not entertain them unless they are being reasonable in their approach. I will not waste my time on the same boring points of faith that I dismissed 25 years ago. So I may appear arrogant to them because I am easily bored listening to the same fallacies over and over again.

So unless a theist can challenge me to a reasoned debate or offer even the slightest shred of evidence I may always appear arrogant to them. If I am in room with 9999 theists I “know” I am right and they are all wrong. There are no gods.

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