Friday, March 27, 2009

Between Ignorance and Arrogance

I find more and more as I contest the faithful about their world view that one of their favorite arguments to lean on is calling me arrogant. As false as this assertion is, I'm still left wondering what point they've attempted to make, other than conveying the rather trivial fact that I've hurt their feelings. I am usually confronted with this nonsense when they are unable to respond to an argument or have run dry of ways to change the subject.

All I can really do is smirk at this, which unfortunately only emboldens their notion that I'm a smug arrogant prick, but it is humorous to me because it couldn't be any further from the truth. Any standard dictionary will define arrogance as an unwarranted sense of superiority (italics mine). I'll maintain that my anti-religious views are based on the findings of the rich world of scientific endeavor, which has, for millennia, improved living conditions of humanity and indefatigably continues its strive to comprehend the true nature of our existence and origins, and presents its findings with a vast array of demonstrable evidence. From this, I feel no contrition in claiming a warranted sense of accuracy over those who feel they can dismiss science in favor of their scripture. Need I ask who the arrogant one is here?

But it is still the atheists who are considered the arrogant ones, be it on the street, or in much of the media. I am often told by my more pragmatic cohorts that we should make every effort to be nice about our beliefs, and be tactful in our criticisms of other's, to avoid the eventual "arrogance" dismissal. There seems in this to be a creeping assumption that we bludgeon our opponents as much with our fists as with our words, which is certainly not the case. Obviously arguments can get heated (the fun ones usually do), but am I to offer tea and cake to my opponent with some vain hope that they won't feel assaulted? Please.

Those who have a strong point to make should be weary of those who have no better way of dismantling them then by claiming personal offense, which, at the end of it all, is a simple logical fallacy. And to those who seek to employ this defective gimmick, I ask politely that they aspire to not mistake their ignorance for my arrogance.

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