Arrogant Atheists

I realize this is a blog about Humanism, and Atheism isn’t part of my normal repertoire. But trust me, there is a point to all this. This post is actually written for people of faith trying to make sense of the apparent arrogance of “new” atheists, meaning people who have only recently come to their atheism as opposed to old hands like me. What you need to know is that most of them aren’t trying to be arrogant. What they are trying to be, believe it or not, is helpful.

I think we can all agree that the closer your understanding of how the universe works is to how it actually works the easier the time you will have navigating your way through it. What is happening with the “new” atheists is that they have recently experienced a dramatic change in how they think the universe works and this change in understanding has made their lives not just easier, but A LOT easier. And when you experience something that is not only that dramatic, but that is also incredibly effective at improving your life in general, well, it’s REALLY hard to keep that new knowledge to yourself.

One of the powerful new techniques that “new” Atheists learned on their journey was the discipline of Freethought. Humanists also practice Freethought and regardless of belief or unbelief, there is no reason you shouldn’t as well. I have an entire chapter dedicated to this topic in my book. Here’s part of the concluding paragraph of that chapter:
“A word of warning: once you begin to practice Freethought, you will wonder how you ever made reasonable decisions before. …This newfound knowledge of the tangible benefits of Freethought will probably make you less patient with those who do not practice the technique. Just remember, a little compassion goes a long way."
Conclusion: Most “new” atheists aren’t being arrogant; they are just being a bit inarticulate in their excitement. Be patient with them.

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