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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I'd give it the same percentage as right-wing...

perhaps some of the frontline leftwing is egotistical

just like the frontline of the rightwing... thing is the education level, wether it's continued into adulthood and not replaced w/god(s), phobias and such...

if one considers continuing the quest for knowledge...

well, better start learning the languages of the machines that drive influence... UNIX/JAVA/C...

 

gotta look down, up and all around... no egos are worth a damn after all that's happened since , oh say nixon... one should read more than they care too

I'd say yes, at least to some degree. I'm not "in your face" with my atheism but I do feel pretty smug while listening to xians babble on sometimes. I don't let it show to the xian but I enjoy the knowing glances shared with my family during those times.

As an interesting side note, one regarding the education level and such of atheists, I do find myself worrying that when I post in a forum I'll make an error in grammar, etc... Some atheists can be intimidating even to other atheists. Lol ☺

  Egotistical? Do you mean arrogance? Ego is merely our sense of"I". All primates have a healthy dose of this so I don't consider ego a four letter word(?) Arrogance however,among other things presumes to know what it couldn't possibly know.Most atheists stand in awe of the universe and our very small and delicate place in it.

Some things are perceived as egotistical but it is mostly because theists are wounded by the idea that someone doesn't believe in their god and doesn't want to humor them. Yet it isn't considered egotistical when someone of any religion (and I don't just mean Christianity) talks openly about their religious/spiritual experiences.

 

The only thing I really think is egotistical is to think that atheists have a corner on logic, and therefore an atheist government would never oppress people, an atheist wouldn't commit crimes, etc. Also I think the idea that "there's no such thing as an ex-atheist because atheism is based on reason and once a person sees reason they wouldn't go back on it" is pretty egotistical, and about the same as "you can't be an ex-Christian after you've experienced being saved". It is true that most atheists value critical thinking and all that, but as humans we are going to be irrational.

Bill, I think egotistical is right. Or maybe egoist, an ego-ecentric view. Whose opinions aren't though, I wonder? Well, actually, the answer is the theist. Their views, while they swear are their own, aren't. They either believe completely in the Bible, word for word, or they believe it with some extra interpretations. Either way, they're believe exactly and only what they're told to believe. Of course, they will say they choose to believe it, but they don't get to pick and choose the details. It's a package deal they have to buy.
    I see your point.Therefore I will accept egotistical and reject arrogant.
I'm not egotistical. But, then again, I'm better than most people, even other atheists. It amazes me how much better I am. My ego is sooo in check and no one can tell me differently. LOL

No, I don't think we are. We appreciate truth, facts, critical thinking, skepticism, and rationality. That comes off as "arrogance" to those that don't share those traits. Christians would rather called us egotistical and ignore us then enter into a real discussion about faith.

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