Originally written in October 2012
The following post is not another rant or an attempt to disparage believers but an argument from rational perspective in response to their accusation about me being arrogant for being an atheist.
Even though now I am sympathetic to believers’ position, it fills me with an urge to insult them when they call me arrogant upon knowing that I am atheist. Their timeless complaint is that atheists are ungrateful for the life that has been given to them, supposedly by God. Hence, arrogance. The basis for this is the logic that if something exists it must have a creator. Therefore, the universe must be created by God. This is not to mention various stories around God provided through different religions.
There can be (and there are) N number of explanations for natural phenomena that don’t involve God. Over the history at countless instances we have found explanations for the natural happenings which were earlier attributed to God. It actually takes high intellectual deficiency, or ignorance, to still not want to admit that God explanation is a substitute for the real explanation and is used in absence of good knowledge about the thing in question. If historical trend is anything to learn from, there is always a scientific explanation, it’s just a matter of us finding it.
Some smart ones, mostly when they are in intellectual circles, claim to be agnostics (albeit they are believers most other times). They disdain atheists for not believing in God by arguing that God’s nonexistence is unprovable, and therefore, atheists are arrogant. What they don’t get is, not believing in God’s existence is not the same as rejecting all possibilities of God’s existence. For that matter even being agnostic technically means not believing. You can’t believe in God’s existence and be doubtful about it at the same time. If you are in doubt about God’s existence (agnostic) that means you don’t believe God exists. And when you don’t believe God exists you satisfy the definition of atheist. I might as well say that there is no such position as agnostic. One is either a believer or a non-believer, aka atheist.
The literal meaning of a-theist is: one who does not believe in theistic God. A- is a negative prefix coming from Greek language. Like English un- (as in un-grateful).
When I was unsympathetic to believers I had a thought that those who are agnostic about God are either fools wanting to look intelligent or intelligent cowards. I still think it’s true about many claiming to be agnostics. In case of God there isn’t really a position of agnosticism – or at least not such that they can claim superiority over non-believes.
If one really thinks one is doubtful about God’s existence and still says prayers to God then one just doesn’t get it. The doubt is not coming from a rational place. One is probably tired and bored of God’s inexorable silence and at the same time is having a deep-seated need to believe he exists. It looks to me rather a weak and helpless position since this so-called agnosticism is not a result of rational thought but something else entirely. These people can’t claim to be more intelligent than atheists, nor does it indicate humbleness on their part. They are just a confused bunch.
I don’t reject all possibility of the creator’s existence but I have more reasons to lean towards certainty of God’s nonexistence than the other way. In the ordinary course of life just as I am certain that werewolves don’t exist, and fairy tales are not true, and there is no teapot between the Earth and the Mars orbiting the Sun (even though we can’t really prove any of that) I would say I am certain, too, that God does not exist.
I do know people, both atheists as well as believers, who are cocksure about their beliefs to the point of being arrogant. But being an atheist by itself doesn’t make one arrogant.