Post Author: Bill Pratt
One of the most common accusations hurled at Christians is arrogance. If Christians believe that only they are right about who God is, that is arrogant.
Usually, but not always, I hear this accusation from atheists. They say something like, “If you think that the Christian God is the only true God, then you are excluding the rest of world who believe in other gods. You are also excluding those who don’t believe in any god. That betrays an incredible arrogance and narrow-mindedness.”
Typically these kinds of statements put Christians on the defensive and a few of us, unfortunately, will even claim that all religious concepts of God are basically the same so as not to seem narrow-minded. After all, who wants to be seen as arrogant?
But there’s a problem with this accusation, especially for atheists. Most religion surveys indicate that there are about 2 billion Christians in the world, which is about 1/3 of the world’s population. That means that about 4 billion people don’t believe in the Christian God, or 66% of the world.
If we look at the number of atheists, those who deny that any kind of god exists, it’s probably around 150 million people, or 2.5% of the world population (see this link for data). Even if we double that number, we get 300 million people. That means that approximately 5.7 billion people are wrong about the existence of god, or 95% of all the people living in the world.
Now who is calling who arrogant? If anybody is exclusive, if anybody is narrow-minded, it is atheists far more so than Christians. As an atheist, you have to believe that 95% of all people alive are wrong about the existence of a higher power, a god or gods. In fact, if numbers are how we determine arrogance, Christians are the least arrogant of any religious group because they have the most adherents!
Do I really believe atheists are arrogant for saying that no gods exist, a belief that contradicts 95% of the rest of the world? No, of course not. Truth claims are narrow, by definition, because they rule out falsehoods. Numbers don’t determine truth, and it’s certainly possible that atheists are right, despite their relatively small numbers. But that means that the accusation that Christians are arrogant also needs to be put to rest. The atheist claiming that Christians are arrogant is sawing off the limb he is sitting on.
Let’s drop these silly accusations of arrogance and get back to reasonable and rational discussions about the existence or non-existence of God. Can I get an atheist “Amen?”