Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm right and you're wrong.

"Christians are arrogant, because they think they're right and everybody else is wrong." --the generic non-Christian

Really? It seems to me that Christians aren't being arrogant; they're being logical. Not only that, but they're also being honest. Lemme explain.

You see, everybody has a point of view. That is, they have certain beliefs about the way things are. They hold certain things to be true about the world. To believe something merely means to think that something is true. If I believe that my cat is pregnant, that means I think it's true that my cat is pregnant. I hold that "Sam's cat is pregnant" is a true and accurate description of reality.

By the law of non-contradiction, if one thing is true, then it's opposite is false. If it's true that my cat is pregnant, then it's false to say my cat is not pregnant. Naturally then, if I really believe that my cat is pregnant, and somebody else comes along who thinks my cat is not pregant, I'm going to think they're mistaken. My cat can't be both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time and in the same sense. The law of non-contradiction would have to be violated before that could happen.

Since everybody has certain beliefs about reality, and to believe something is to think it's true, then everybody thinks they are right. Think about. Imagine the idea of having a belief you think is wrong. Well, if you thought it was wrong, it wouldn't really be your belief, would it? It's only your belief if you think it's right. So everybody thinks their beliefs are right.

And if they are logical, they are going to think those who disagree with them are wrong. And they do, too. Even people who object to Christians for thinking they are right and everybody else is wrong are of the opinion that Christians are wrong. That's why they have this disagreement with them. By its very nature, to disagree with somebody is to think they are wrong, and to hold an opinion contrary to their's which they think is right.

At least Christians are honest about this. Christians, if they have not been shamed into silence, will admit that they think they are right, and those who disagree with them are wrong. That's because Christianity is a rational religion. The laws of logic are an essential aspect of the Christian worldview. If Christians are arrogant merely for thinking they are right and thinking others are wrong, then everybody is arrogant who believes in logic.

Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying anything about the certainty with which Christians hold their views. As I said in an earlier blog, there are only a handful of things I claim to know with absolute certainty, and the truth of Christianity is not one of them. Most things I believe, I believe them with varying degrees of certainty. That means as strongly as I may believe something, I will acknowledge the possibility that I may be wrong, and that includes my belief in Christianity. Saying, "I'm right and you're wrong," does not negate my lack of absolute certainty; it only expresses my belief. Obviously, if I believe something, then I think it's right, and logic forces me to think dissenters are wrong.

Frankly, I think people who stick their noses up at Christians merely for thinking their religion is true while everybody else's is wrong are just being hypocritical. A hypocrit is somebody who does the very thing they object to everybody else doing. People who object to Christians just because Christians think they're right and everybody else is wrong are doing the very same thing. They think the Christians are wrong and they are right. That's why they take issue with the Christians. They wouldn't be objecting unless they thought the Christians were wrong.

Why can't we all just be honest? We all have a point of view, and often, our viewpoints differ. That means we have disagreements. We think we're right and those who differ with us are wrong. Let's just admit it. Only by facing this fact can we enter into meanful dialogue about our differences. If we keep throwing up the arrogant mantra, all we're going to accomplish is stopping all conversation. If it offends you that other people think you're wrong, you just need to get a grip.

9 Comments:

At 2/03/2005 10:45 AM , Blogger Kelley Bell said...

I fully support and defend your right to believe that my cat is pregnant, but that does not mean that I will surrender the authority for you to make decisions for me regarding my ol' Tom cat.

 
At 2/03/2005 12:17 PM , Blogger ephphatha said...

LOL And if I insist that your ole Tom cat is pregnant, I fully support your right to think I'm loopy.

 
At 2/03/2005 1:40 PM , Blogger Alison said...

Good point. I have thought about this too, but haven't really articulated it that well :).

 
At 2/04/2005 6:17 AM , Blogger Safiyyah said...

I fully agree with you on this point. Mind you, you have more allies than you think. This is not a purely Christian phenomenon. People of all faiths are criticised by those who push for relativism - often hypocritically, as you point out.

 
At 2/04/2005 6:30 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

Great post, very well articulated. I laugh at people who criticize Christianity for that reason. If I didn't think Christianity was true, what reason would I have for believing it?

 
At 2/04/2005 6:50 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Kelly, I guess it's okay to believe whatever you want as long as you don't think it's true, because that would be arrogant. ;-)

 
At 2/04/2005 6:54 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Safiyyah, I think Judaism, Christianity, and Islam face this accusation more than other religions. Right now I'm reading Huston Smith's chapter on Hinduism in The World's Religions. In the section titled "Many Paths to the Same Summit," Smith explains that in Hinduism all religions are basically saying the same thing only in different languages, so they're all essentially true. But then they turn right around and say that those who think their religion is the only true one are wrong. If that isn't a glaring contradiction, I don't know what is.

 
At 8/11/2006 10:23 PM , Blogger Genecks said...

Wrong. If you think your cat is pregnant, then you have made an assumption about you reality. That doesn't mean you can be absolutly certain that your cat is pregant.

You seemed to have dismiss philosophical skepticism within this article.

My interpretation and assumptions of the Christian world is that they not only 'think' they're "right," but they are arrogant enough to 'think' they're "right."

In other words, they are having absolute certainty in their God, which could be metaphysical, without doubting its existence. They have taken this belief and so fully, with arrogance, tried to convert others.

Although a relgion must be based on belief in order for it to maintain shape, these people have decided to change the thoughts of others. And who are they to change the thoughts of others? Upon introspection of one's self, only one can believe in God if he or she believes so. One cannot merely change another to believe.

Doing so would belittle God. When a Christian decides to create this personified version of God, they begin to belittle God. For, no Christian could ever understand the ultimate power of God. Therefore, they would be rude to assume they know anything of God to even describe God or get others to believe in God. One can only tell of their thoughts, while belittling God, to have others think about God.

Now, then, please stop being a fool.

 
At 11/24/2007 1:03 AM , Blogger andre said...

Whenever someone says "Christians are arrogant, because they think they're right and everybody else is wrong."

Call out their hypocrisy for doing exactly the same thing. They are saying the Christian way of thinking is wrong and their's is right.

 

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