The phrases ‘you’re arrogant’ and ‘you’re closed minded’ come up quite a lot all over the place, especially when discussing religion. I have heard a few people say that atheists are closed minded because they don’t believe in a god, or that they are arrogant for pointing out the flaws of Christianity, but is this claim true?
For the most part, no. Of course, everyone is different, and every group has its members or followers that are slightly outspoken and over-the-top about things, but mostly, the phrases are incorrect. Arrogance is usually defined as ‘having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities’, however these days all you have to do is state your opinion to be called arrogant, among other things.
If someone says to me that I am closed minded for not believing in a god, I will point out that they don’t believe in every other god except their own. Furthermore, they actively hold the position that every single one of the thousands of gods that they don’t believe in are false and non-existent, while I admit that any god existing is a possibility, no matter how small that possibility is. Who is more arrogant and closed minded here?
If anything, atheists can be more open minded than theists. Firstly, most of us, if not all of us, are willing to change our minds if actual, convincing evidence for a god’s existence is brought forward. On one hand it is easier to convert an atheist, because we do not stubbornly hold onto our beliefs and make constant rationalizations like some theists, but on the other hand it is much harder, because the evidence necessary to convince us (such as God actually appearing, something that can only be explained by the supernatural, etc.) has never been brought forward. Secondly, many atheists do not make the bold assumption that gods don’t exist. Of course, atheists as a group are extremely diverse, so everyone has a different opinion on the matter, but quite a few atheists do not claim to know that gods don’t exist.
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