Who's the Arrogant One?

As an atheist one of the most common and tiring accusations I find myself facing from Christians is that of being prideful or arrogant. At times it seems it is impossible to question a person’s faith without them thinking you are hard headed and arrogant. I was talking with an old friend of mine and she was asking me about pride, in particular mine. She asked me if my current disbelief in the Christian god wasn’t simply a matter of being prideful/arrogant? Basically who am I to judge God? Of course that meant her god and her beliefs about him.

Now as always this accusation was annoying but having been a Christian myself I knew why my friend felt this way but let’s look at the accusation a little more closely by examining what I used to believe as a Christian verses what I believe now. Previously I knew why the earth, in fact the entire cosmos, existed and that was for us. Human beings literally were the center of the universe. Currently I believe human beings are only a very tiny speck in the cosmos and its existence has no connection to us. Previously I believed God had placed us as rulers over the earth and everything in it until its eventual destruction by God. Currently I believe human beings are linked and dependent upon the rest of the planet and as the planet goes we go. Previously I knew what happened to everyone after we died. We would either go to heaven or go to hell. Currently I say I do not know what happens after we die but I think we merely cease to exist. Previously I knew not only where we went after we die but I also knew who went where. I knew who (generally speaking) would get into heaven and who would go to hell. Those who believed in Christ (the right way of course) would be allowed into heaven while those who “rejected” him would be sent to hell. Currently I again say I don’t know what happens to us after we die but I believe whatever does happen to us it will likely be the same for all. Previously I believed that there was only one way to truth and that was through God’s special revelation (the bible), which I just happened to have. Currently I believe that no religion has a divinely authored text that everyone else in the world must read and follow but that truth is open to all through reason. Previously I knew that God’s revelation had to be properly understood and interpreted otherwise it would lead to errors and sin and I, of course, knew those proper interpretations, particularly the important ones. Currently I believe that through the use of our reason and experience we can all move towards a better understanding of the world we live in. Previously I always adapted any new information I learned to fit into the conclusions I had already made (Christianity was true). If something did not fit into the Christian framework properly then it must either be wrong or simply a mystery but either way I knew I still held the truth. Currently I allow the evidence to speak for itself. I am no longer afraid to change my beliefs based on what I learn and to openly admit that I was wrong.

So I would ask anyone looking at this list, which set of beliefs, is in fact the more arrogant one? I think it’s pretty obvious that it is in fact the Christian set of beliefs that is the more arrogant and self-important set of beliefs.

Written by Zach Dills