Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The arrogance fallacy

I'm taking a comparative religion class, and that tempts me to make comments in my blog about things we're covering and discussions that go on in class. Lately, we've been talking about Hinduism. Hinduism is new to most people in the class, so naturally after learning about it, they've all got questions and difficulties with it. I have some difficulties with it, too, but that's not what I'm writing this blog about.

I'm writing this blog because I have a difficulty with one of the student's objections. There was one student in there who claimed that she could never be a Hindu, because there were a couple of things she found in the Hindu worldview to be arrogant. I can't remember what the first one was, but the second one was because of the Hindu view on reincarnation. You see, most people start off as ants or something and advance to higher types of animals automatically. Karma doesn't apply until you reach the human state, and the reason is because only humans have the mental capacity to be morally responsible. The girl in my class thought it was arrogant of us humans to think we're somehow more intelligent than other animals, and she rejected Hinduism for that reason.

This is just one example of why I'm writing this blog. Let me give another example. Last year, I was talking to a guy in my philosophy class about the Jewish worldview, specifically about the idea that YHWH chose them. His objection to the whole view was that it was arrogant.

These sentiments aren't new. I hear them all the time. The objection I have to these kinds of sentiments is that they're irrelevent. The only reason anybody should accept a religious view is because it's true. If it's true, they should accept it, and it's it's false, they should reject it. But whether it's arrogant or not has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not it's true. Why even raise the issue? I could care less if the Jews or the Calvinists are arrogant in thinking God chose them. I'm only interested in whether it's true that God chose them. The same goes with Hinduism. Who cares if humans are arrogant in thinking they are smarter than other animals? I'm only interested to know if it's true.


At 12/19/2008 11:56 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

This is a wonderful observation, and I think it can be applied to other popular perspectives that are often applied in an effort to disqualify truth. The quality of something being apparently ridiculous, for example. Who cares if it appears ridiculous if it is true? Another example is the need to understand. People will reject truth because they personally cannot understand how or why that truth is true.

Naaman's servant used this same line of reasoning when Naaman rejected the idea of bathing in the Jordan river as a means of curing leprosy. What difference did it make if it was seemingly ridiculous, or redered Naaman without understanding? It worked.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home