By Adi Chowdhury
“It is so arrogant to disbelieve in God!” exclaims the invigorated theist. “How can they possibly place themselves over their Creator? Atheists think their own mind is more reliable than the word of God! How deluded can you get?”
Such sentiment is prevalent–and understandably so–among theists, their feet planted in the nefarious conviction that atheism is built upon delusional self-grandeur, narcissism, and arrogance. I myself, when I was a theist in my youth, vehemently contended that atheists suffer from a toxic sense of self-importance, placing their own sense of reason over the Creator who so lovingly produced and sustain them! The dissipation of my theism also decimated such misconceptions.
Strangely but truly, it is understandable for theists to adhere to the idea that atheism is built upon narcissistic and arrogant delusions. A fruit of faith in God is the belief that a divine Creator has benevolently endowed humans with life and existence, and all our spirit and joy and devotion in life is to be dedicated to the Almighty. From this comes the conclusion that skepticism or disbelief in the existence of a Creator is outright and outrageous blasphemy, an insult to the powers that be.
Where does “arrogance” play a role in atheism, at least according to some strident theists? A cornerstone of skepticism and rationalism is, naturally, reliance on one’s own reason and logic, tools utilized to garner the morsels of truth we can extract from the information and evidence within our grasp. When this analysis yields no support for the existence of God–and atheism arises as a logical conclusion–the practice of skepticism is branded as “corrupted” and “arrogant” and “conceited” and such. Theists suffer from the misconception that atheists are “too narcissistic” for God. According to many religious believers, atheism is simply a way to place yourselves above holy beings and regarding yourself to be too high-and-mighty to bow down to the Creator who crafted you out of love and mercy.
Such sentiment is of course misplaced. Atheists are not nonbelievers because they consider themselves “too good” for God. Nor are they atheists because they are too proud to worship a holy being. Most atheists lack faith in Gods because the evidence for the existence of one is sparse. Some have directly suffered at the hands of the superstitious dogma suffusing society and poisoning mindsets.
On a more personal note, one of the dominant reasons I discarded my previous religious faith is because it struck me as elitist and baselessly arrogant. I cannot believe that I deserve eternal Paradise after death simply because I believe in a particular religion–while Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and others who have lived even better lives than me, and been better people, suffer in the trenches of Hell. This belief is among the most reprehensible–that you deserve infinite bliss and blessings while innocent others suffer, simply because they believed something different.