I have 2 female friends who are believers and have claimed several times over the years that since I became an atheist, I act like a know-it-all or arrogant. Many times I've seen similar claims made toward other atheists by other theists in chats, message boards etc. So, I know I'm not the only atheist who occasionally gets this label.
What I would like to know is...

Do we atheists subconsciously become this way because we feel superior to theists??

Are theist somehow jealous that we have overcome something that they are afraid to try and overcome??

Is it simply another way for them to try and demean us??

Or do you think it may be something altogether different?? I'd like to hear your ideas on this.

Tags: arrogant, atheist, believers, demeanor, know-it-all

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I don't think there is any way to catagorize people as to whether or not they are arrogant based on beliefs. In general, all people hold fast to their beliefs, and believe themselves to be correct while others are wrong, atheists and theists alike.

I don't go around with a chip on my shoulder always thinking I'm superior to theists, but when you ask me, then I'd say Yes, I do feel superior to them because my beliefs are based on reality, not fantasy. That has to account for something. Theistic beliefs are not based on any quantifiable or provable reality. Atheists simply believe that if you can't prove it, then don't build a belief system and lifestyle around it.

Are theist somehow jealous that we...

I don't think jealousy is the right word.

Is it simply another way for them to try and demean us??

Usually. If they can't win in an argument, they demean you as a person.

Also, they usually only condemn atheists for things which they themselves are guilty of, like then they claim gays are intolerant of their intolerant views on gays.
like then they claim gays are intolerant of their intolerant views on gays.

I love that argument. In the reader's forum of my local paper, someone was commenting on how homosexuals apparently are hypocritical for being, as you said, "intolerant of their intolerant views on gays".

...I hate this state.
I don't like to but for example I just wrote a post contradicting veaganism because it was being promoted with nobody providing scientific reasoning and even now I think I sound like an ass. The way I would reply is ya mabey I am, It's from paying attention in school and not in bible study.

I do it somtimes with out knowing it but from my experience we do. It's the very basis for everyone that I know. They swiched so that could say I think this because of... Instead of I think this because mommy and this shiny book said so. Comes with the territory i guess.
Most of the time when I hear statements like that it makes me flashback to the playground in elementary school.
You think you are so tough don’t you?
You think you are so pretty don’t you?
You think you are so smart don’t you?
I chalk this one up to being the same thing as calling someone a name. If you have to resort to that you have come to the end of your intellectual rope and it is simply one last act of defiance before they run away. I have even been “un-friended” on social networking sites because “You just think you are so smart don’t you.”
I don’t think I am smarter than the next person, I think I may have a better grasp on reality than they do, but I am also educated in the process of logical debate and a very large majority of our society isn’t. (or they have no skill in it)
Conclusion – it is a childish response for someone who cannot adequately communicate their point of view or are strong enough to realize when their point of view cannot withstand logical critique.

Peace
TK
I know you are but what am I?
What am I!!!!!
I believe it's both.

One thing about actively going out and learning more is you realize the absolute dearth of knowledge in other people. Not all atheists go out and do their own research but I would say a significant enough number of us do to give our demographic a slightly larger information index compared against the rest. I myself am never satisfied with what's on the news or what's gleaned from the public square; I know they're good places for discussion but absolutely wretched sources of facts. Should something pique my interest in either of those places I immediately look up the information for myself before forming my own opinions. When I don't feel I have enough information, I withhold; when pressed to give an opinion (as sometimes happens) I premise it by calling it an 'under-informed opine.'

One one point, I do feel superior to other people. I do not feel it undeserved. When I know I have gap in my knowledge, I immediately seek to fill it. When I do not feel an opinion is sufficiently grounded in fact, I immediately seek to fortify it; if an opinion is found to be wrong, I dispose of it. I feel that I have a fairly high degree of intellectual integrity and I don't feel bad for having it.

On the other point, at least in America, there is a serious jealousy of knowledge. People don't like others who are smarter than them. We pick leaders who make us feel good over leaders who are better; if they do both then it's a win/win, but more often than not it's the asshole who 'you can have a drink with' over the asshole who will get the job done. In America 'Elite' is a bad word for reasons I will never understand. Being the best is something to strive for, not something to be counted against another.
Great response Jack. I always love your comments, and I'm glad we have people like you on A|N.
Jack Chow wrote: "In America 'Elite' is a bad word for reasons I will never understand. Being the best is something to strive for, not something to be counted against another."

William A. Henry wrote a book titled "In Defense of Elitism" in which he made the same point you are making.

America is basically an anti-intellectual country; the learned tend to be looked down on by the "common" man. A common comment to a young man, at least when I was growing up, was "well, don't worry about stuff like that until you finish your schooling". This implied that one stopped learning after high school or university and then addressed oneself to more important things such as earning lots of money or growing a pot belly. To me, education is something that is never finished.

I think that anti-intellectualism is one of the major reasons that George W. Bush was elected president; he was someone with whom the "non-elite" could feel comfortable. Bush represented a far more comfortable choice than any of those "pointy-headed intellectuals". We sure as hell don't want to elect someone who knows something; do we?

Personally, I would rather have our country's affairs run by the elite; they would certainly be a better choice than a bunch of folks with the mentality of petty bureaucrats and who haven't changed their minds about anything important since they were toilet-trained
America is basically an anti-intellectual country...I think that anti-intellectualism is one of the major reasons that George W. Bush was elected president; he was someone with whom the "non-elite" could feel comfortable.

Ding, ding, ding! You win the prize for getting the answer right.
WOW!!! Thanks everone!!! Your replys are very indepth. I especially find the points about (anti-intellectual Americans) very interesting, not that I disagree at all, I do very much agree. The U.S. is as much an intellectual country as it is a christian nation but that idea should open a whole new discussion. LOL
To be honest, I'm sure I come across that way, and I really don't care (which probably makes it worse).

Much of it is point of view like some others have said. I'll use the blanket statement that we have little patience with those that think god is a fact like 2+2=4. Very few atheists are that committed to the idea that absolutely no god exists, although most of us are pretty confident. Confidence comes across as arrogance when it clashes with someone else's viewpoint.

And compared to most believers....we do know it all. On average, atheists know WAY more about religion and many other things, it seems, then the average believer, and it typically shows in a debate which makes the religious resent us.
Do we atheists subconsciously become this way because we feel superior to theists??

I don't feel superior to anyone until I get to know them, if they are an absolute pigheaded prick however then I am pretty confident I am superior to them.

Are theist somehow jealous that we have overcome something that they are afraid to try and overcome??

I can't say... I didn't have to overcome theism in myself to the extent that others have.

Is it simply another way for them to try and demean us??

Possibly, though I haven't met someone who was trying to demean me that I just couldn't walk away from (see answer one).

As some people before me have said, sometimes I am arrogant, I have a serious face that I know how to use. Most of the time it is around the horrible public perception of physics and science in general, the stuff people say it drives me batty.

I am solid in my atheism as well these days, I am an atheist just slips off the tongue and sometimes has the serious face attached to it as well. Most of the time not so much, but sometime the woooooooo gets a little deep.

Other then that I think I tend to be pretty easy going on average.

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