“Let me get this straight. You think the Creator of the Universe cares personally about your life, and that you know, with absolute certainty, what he wants for all of humankind. While I think that we’re basically alone, not very special, and are just fumbling through our random existence trying to do the best we can. And I’m the arrogant one?” -Daniel Miessler

Yes I believe all those things. But I don’t believe any of them with absolute certainty (that’s a bit of a straw man / false dichotomy in disguise).

This is a very late reply. But I just noticed this ‘question’ again and thought I’d just address it for kicks.

Now I don’t know personally the guy who composed this quote, so I wouldn’t call him arrogant. But it is interesting that this quote does acknowledge the ubiquity of the accusation towards atheists that they are arrogant. And in my experience, I don’t think this is an unfair accusation. I have met some very humble atheists, but there is no shortage of your good old stereotypical arrogant atheist.

However whenever I find myself thinking that an atheist is arrogant, it is nothing to do with their worldview. Their arrogance is not intrinsic to, or necessitated by, their atheistic beliefs. It’s just something about their personality and the way they argue about things that, regardless of what they believe, comes across as arrogant.

And thus it is fascinating, a very cunning move, that in response to such an accusation, an atheist would turn the charge back on the Christian, but unwittingly, it would seem, retort with a charge of an entirely different breed of arrogance to the one they themselves have been accused of: two kinds of arrogance which are not assessable by the same criteria. That is, while the atheist has been accused of having an arrogant personality, he charges the Christian with having an arrogant world-view; it is claimed that the very beliefs a Christian has make him arrogant. Really, this is quite a different charge to the one given to atheists. The atheist’s personality has been evaluated, and then he responds by evaluating the Christian’s beliefs. This isn’t a very consistent rebuttal.

But apart from that, Christianity is not and arrogant world-view. Yes I believe the creator of the universe cares about me personally, and I have beliefs about his desires for all mankind. But these statements say much more about the character of God than they do about my own character. They are theological claims. I believe God cares about me. I also believe he cares just as much about every other human. I believe God loves every individual personally and deeply.

Now here again comes the inconsistency of the atheist’s argument. I suppose that it is claimed that it is arrogant to think there’s something special about humanity – that we are valuable, even more valuable than rocks and sparrows. This is nothing like the kind of arrogance the atheist has been accused of. While I believe there is something special about humanity, even go so far as to say we are more important than other things in the universe, atheists are being accused of thinking that they are more important, or smarter, or better than other humans. Hopefully we can see the colossal difference between thinking your species is special, and thinking you are special compared to the rest of your species.

On top of that, everything I believe about God loving me and all other people comes with a couple of qualifications. God doesn’t love me because I’m good. He loves me despite the fact that I’m actually evil. God loves all humanity not because of who we are, but despite everything we are, and everything we’ve done. I don’t believe that I’m in any way deserving of God’s love. That God loves me is informative entirely of God’s character, and has nothing to do with my own.

Call this worldview offensive in whatever way, but arrogant is the last thing it is.

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