Arrogance and Closed Mindedness

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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.

Further reading:

Are atheists closed minded? Debate.org

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13 thoughts on “Arrogance and Closed Mindedness

  1. “a lot all over the place”, “a few”, “most”, “many”, “usually”, “quite a few”…
    Got data, or are you just playing ‘am not/are too’?

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    • I can only speak from my experience, and the experiences other people have told me of.
      Furthermore, I do not want to make too many ‘bold’ statements, there are (almost) always exceptions to every rule.

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  2. Well, I once believed in God completely. And then, in spite of my best efforts I stopped believing. If I am not open minded when it comes to religion, then who is? I also think I was more arrogant when I thought only my religion had the right answers. Now I don’t really know anything. It is interesting that in spite of this truth about me, it is still easy for a Christian to accuse me of being both close minded and arrogant simply because I do not believe what they believe. The irony is painful, but I suppose it comes from assumptions they make about atheists. And yes, some atheists are very close minded and arrogant. Which is worse? To be arrogant and close minded by nature, or to be arrogant and close minded by means of cult brainwashing? Hmmm. I know what I think, but I’ll keep it to myself. I wouldn’t want to sound arrogant.

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    • The assumption that you are superior to everyone else and that your views are correct is definitely more arrogant than being an atheist. (unless you hold the anti-theistic view that no god exists)
      “Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.
      Metaphysics is like being in a dark room, looking for a black cat that doesn’t exist.
      Theology is like being in a dark room, looking for a black cat that doesn’t exist, claiming that you have found it.
      Science is like being in a dark room and inventing a light source to find out if a black cat is in there.”
      – unknown

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  3. I don’t know about atheists being arrogant and close-minded, but I have a question…. who has radoi stations, radio programs, who own so many TV networks that espouse their religion ? Atheists don’t advertise themselves .

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    • So true. And despite the lack of atheism advertising, and the fact that we don’t have an appealing afterlife or the concept of a loving creator to lure people in, atheism continues to grow.

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  4. In the movie “the ledge” there is a line between a very theistic man and an atheist. The Theist gets upset and says ” dont be so close-minded” in which the atheist replies “Are you willing to admit god might not exist?” When the theist says no, the atheist says ” So who’s being close-minded here?’

    Personally, i think its arrogant to state (as fact) that there absolutely is a god or isnt a god. Its one thing to believe one way or another, but to say youre 100% right IS close-minded and arrogant.

    A saying i enjoy is “Do you believe aliens exist?” “no” “Do you believe some people believe they truly exist?” “yes” “Does that make it a fact?”

    Just because you or someone else truly believe something does not make it a fact.

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