The Instigator
OliveJuice
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Lupricona
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Are Atheists More Arrogant and Commanding Than Theists?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
OliveJuice
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 973 times Debate No: 53494
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

OliveJuice

Con

"Pro": Atheists are more arrogant and commanding than theists.
"Con": Atheists are equally as/less arrogant and commanding than theists.
Note that the terms "arrogant" and "commanding" are used loosely; you get the idea.

Debate-Related Definitions and Boundaries
All definitions provided by the Oxford Dictionary.
Atheism: "The belief that God does not exist."
Theism: "Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures."

Argument Time: 72 Hours
Character Max: 8,000
Voting Period: 10 Days
Rounds: 4

Round #1: Claims
Round #2: Warrants
Round #3: Refutations
Round #4: Conclusions

Best of luck,
(:
Lupricona

Pro

Claim: "Atheists are more arrogant and commanding than theists."


I accept the debate and look forward to the arguments. Cheers!
Debate Round No. 1
OliveJuice

Con

The reason that I brought up this debate is because it has been passively mentioned numerous times on DDO which I felt like addressing because it seriously seems like a cop-out. Although this debate in particular is formed around the accusation of atheists being more arrogant than theists, I would like to point out that arrogance, or any personality-centered trait, has nothing to do with factual relevance or logical reasoning.

I believe that non-theists are no more arrogant than people belonging to a religion. First of all, it is obvious that every person stands on his own, regardless of association or belief. Therefore, it is entirely illogical to state that one group of people is more or less arrogant than another group of people. While groups of surrounding people may influence a person, they do not define him. Furthermore, there are extremists in every category of people and all people generally associate with a certain group or cause because of prior opinions, rather than the opposite. For someone to simply make the assumption that all people of a certain group act in the same manner is an obvious stereotype.

'Stereotype,' as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary: "A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing." Surely both sides can agree that not every atheist, or theist, is outspoken or provocative, therefore proving that the definition of a stereotype easily fits the situation. With the majority of the population belonging to one religion or another, it makes sense that there is a passively accepted normality in that religion is not to be publicly questioned and that atheists are haughty. One can publicly say, "god bless," and be respected but it is generally considered obscene and/or rude to refuse to pray along with religious company or to take offense to a religious statement, again, such as 'god bless'. It is also emphasized that theists are usually faithful and optimistic people so that atheists are not to interfere with their comfort or faith whatsoever. Although biased, the Freedom from Religion Foundation makes a valid point; "America is one nation under a Constitution. Although the Constitution sets up a representative democracy, it specifically was amended with the Bill of Rights in 1791 to uphold individual and minority rights. On constitutional matters we do not have majority rule. When the majority in certain localities voted to segregate blacks, this was declared illegal. The majority has no right to tyrannize the minority on matters such as race, gender, or religion. Not only is it unAmerican [sic] for the government to promote religion, it is rude. Whenever a public official uses the office to advance religion, someone is offended. The wisest policy is one of neutrality." To create a stereotypical assumption of a group of people that have different beliefs than you is rather ignorant and publicly acknowledging so is arrogant. Keep in mind that religious advertising through the government and through the public is not uncommon.

When you take into consideration churches with enormous steeples, 'under god' in the Pledge of Allegiance, 'in god we trust' on dollar bills, presidential speeches containing religious phrases, etc., it is crystal clear that theists publicly advertise their beliefs more than atheists ever have. Even with extremists out of the picture, average religious people make it a point to eliminate advertising that does not comply with their own beliefs and keep their own, but get upset when their own rights are on the line. I don"t know about you, but I have never seen an atheistic highway billboard anywhere, yet I see heaps upon heaps of religious ones, namely Christian ones. This is tolerated by most non-theists because of the pressure to respect religious freedom, the realization that there are larger issues at hand, and the lack of energy to deal with a bunch of angry, biased, god-fearing people. On the contrary, there are other religions that refuse to accept any advertising in their country aside from their own religion. This boycott of free thought is highly controlling and isolating, preventing their citizens from exposure to alternative beliefs. This can give the impression that their belief is the only one or the only correct one; what happens when everyone believes that their religion is right?

Here is a simple example: Every Christian believes that Christianity is right. Every Jew believes that Judaism is right. Both believe that the other is wrong (let"s keep out of this that the two religions have some major similarities for the sake of the analogy and because almost any religions could serve as a decent example). Both also believe that atheism is wrong. Atheists believe that both religions are wrong. How does this make any of these groups more arrogant than the rest? Arrogance comes into play when you create propaganda and/or wrap your beliefs around the media or government (as has been done on multiple occasions by Christianity in particular), express blatant ignorance towards another idea simply because it is not the same as yours, or create stereotypical and illogical labels for other groups of people.

Many theists mistake atheist beliefs as ignorance because they are different from their own. This could go both ways, but it is not fair to say that atheists are more arrogant because they have differing opinions than theists. Atheists do not openly preach their beliefs like religious followers do (read above), but tend to object when they feel that something is wrong regardless of religion or a lack of it. This reaction is commonly referred to as arrogance by religious people, or the majority of the population, due to the negative reputation that atheists have been given. Blogger Valerie Tarico provides a simple example; "They [theists] don't understand that atheists frequently see religion as a force that pushes otherwise decent people to have immoral priorities. When, for example, the religious oppose vaccinations, or contraception, or they come to care more about gay marriage than hunger, an atheist is likely to perceive that religion undermines morality. When theism sanctifies terrorism or honor killings, atheists are apalled [sic]." This is a valid point that illustrates how backwards it really is that important issues are paid less attention than secondary issues in many religious environments, yet the same religious contributors claim to be helping the world and accuse atheists of haughtiness and of failing to benefit anyone else.

Another point that has been made prior to my argument has been clarified by another blogger/debater (citations below), "Now, what"s more humble " to study something and come to a conclusion based on facts, or to say, 'I don"t need to study it; I KNOW it happened, and everyone who disagrees with me is going to spend eternity in hell while I go to eternal bliss'? Try to answer that question from an outsider's perspective, and you may see how arrogant the latter option sounds." I have never heard of a legitimate occurrence where an atheistic parent disowned a child for not complying with their beliefs; however, there have been many accounts of children being disowned by Christian parents for not believing what their parents do. Is it not more arrogant and immature to tell your children that your beliefs are right, and if they disagree they will not be treated the same by their parent than it is to nurture freedom of thought and personal development?

http://stateofmyignorance.blogspot.com...
http://barrierbreaker.hubpages.com...
http://soulpancake.com...
http://atheism.about.com...
http://www.patheos.com...
(No room for more sources)
Lupricona

Pro

Oxford dictionary: To be arrogant is "to have or reveal an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities."

Theists make a fact claim- that a Creator exists. This entails a worldview that goes above the natural. Atheists also make a fact claim- that a Creator does not exist. This entails a worldview that is entirely naturalistic/materialistic.

If a Creator exists, then human beings have value that goes beyond the natural world. Humans are created with a purpose. In this paradigm, there is an objective moral standard. Right and wrong exist, and so people ought to act on and believe in certain things.

If a Creator does not exist, then human beings are the result of nature creating itself. There was no purpose behind it. In this paradigm, morality is entirely subjective. There is no real "right" or "wrong", and everyone is entitled to act and believe however they see fit.

If a Creator does exist, then theists are not being arrogant when making a fact claim about reality. It logically follows that if God does exist, then one ought to believe that He exists. So, it is consistent, and not arrogant, for a theist to attempt to convince an atheist that God does exist. The theist is being consistent with their worldview.

If a Creator does not exist, atheists are being arrogant when they make fact claims about reality. It logically follows that if God does not exist, everyone may believe in whatever they please. It is inconsistent, and arrogant, for an atheist to attempt to convince a theist that God does not exist. The atheist is acting in contrast to their worldview.

It is not arrogant to be consistent with a worldview that states that humans have a purpose. It is not arrogant to promote truth and objectivity, because this worldview allows these principles to exist.

It is arrogant to act in contrast of an atheistic paradigm, because the atheist is exaggerating their importance by arguing that humans have value and that people should believe in what is "true."
Debate Round No. 2
OliveJuice

Con

I stated in the opening round that I was using the term "arrogant" loosely, so as to avoid semantics and such; even if you do use the definition, you have yet to make any clear connection between the word and your opinion.

Additionally, you have provided absolutely no proof whatsoever to establish structure for a single one of your claims. For example, you stated that if a creator exists humans have more value than they would if there were not one. While this may be a common religious belief, I do not see the connection; just because a species originates from a single source that happens to be deemed a 'creator,' does not mean that that gives us more value than it would have been if humans had originated from a different source. Where is the correlation between a creator and morals or purpose? You have been using 'creator' and 'god' interchangeably giving the impression that you are failing to recognize that there are more than one or two different opinions on origin and religion, all of which tend to differ in belief systems.

You also stated that nature creating nature is purposeless. This speaks for itself.

Your argument is difficult to follow but so far you are implying that atheists would be arrogant for sharing the truth while theists would not be, regardless of the situation. "If a Creator does exist, then theists are not being arrogant when making a fact claim about reality. It logically follows that if God does exist, then one ought to believe that He exists...If a Creator does not exist, atheists are being arrogant when they make fact claims about reality. It logically follows that if God does not exist, everyone may believe in whatever they please." This pretty much directly states that without morals, atheists must be arrogant for being aware of true information. If anyone may believe as they please and it has been proven that there is no special creator, wouldn't atheists be allowed the same privilege of free thought? If not, theists would have to be regarded as arrogant as well.

Furthermore, you stated that, "It is not arrogant to be consistent with a worldview that states that humans have a purpose. It is not arrogant to promote truth and objectivity, because this worldview allows these principles to exist." The first line of your argument was the Oxford definition of the word 'arrogance.' 'Arrogance,' by definition, is: "To have or reveal an exaggerated sense of one"s own importance or abilities." It contained absolutely nothing in regards to being consistent with a worldview that promotes human purpose, and importance is not the same as purpose. You also said that it is not arrogant to promote truth and objectivity in a worldview that allows for it which directly contradicts your argument that atheists would be arrogant to state true facts in a free-for-all worldview.

You concluded that, "It is arrogant to act in contrast of an atheistic paradigm, because the atheist is exaggerating their importance by arguing that humans have value and that people should believe in what is 'true.'" Did you not just state that it is not arrogant to promote truth and objectivity in a world that allows you to do so? Wouldn't a world where everyone is entitled to act and believe however they see fit allow for this, especially if it has already been proven that there is no existing deity? Everything that you have stated in your argument has ended up supporting my claim that atheists are no more arrogant than theists are.

Atheists believe in no god; however, that does not mean that they do not believe in purpose, hope, fantasy, or anything else since they are all individual people and there are tons of different beliefs and ideas floating around out there. Atheism also does not mean that there cannot be any purpose or importance if theists are wrong. You are claiming that if there is no god, there is no purpose, and that is a completely different topic that we will not be getting into. I am referring to atheists in the current world, running parallel to modern issues of religious uncertainty.
Lupricona

Pro

Refutations

My opponent's first arguent is that "every person stands on his own, regardless of association or belief". While this is true, it is important to recocgnize the worldview that each person has. If a person has a worldview that objective truth exists, then arguing for truth is important. However, atheists cannot believe that objective moral truths exist, so it contradicts their worldview to call somebody arrogant, because moral truths do not exist. It would not be wrong do to what they want.


My opponent makes an argument about the wide array of promotion for religion. Let's use an analogy with fast food restaurants. Imagine that I am a huge health nut, and am strongly opposed to fast food retaurants. However, everywhere I go, I see McDonald's advertisements. Isn't it a bit silly for me to get upset that they are promoting their business? They are reaching out to those who like fast food; I need not be offended.


My opponent also says, "there are extremists in every category of people and all people generally associate with a certain group or cause because of prior opinions, rather than the opposite. For someone to simply make the assumption that all people of a certain group act in the same manner is an obvious stereotype." But then my opponent later argues, "Now, what"s more humble " to study something and come to a conclusion based on facts, or to say, 'I don"t need to study it; I KNOW it happened, and everyone who disagrees with me is going to spend eternity in hell while I go to eternal bliss'?" My opponent is being inconsistent. He acknowledges the irrationaility of using an argument of stereotype, but then later uses a stereotype against religion.


My opponent also makes many more hasty generalizations about the religious population, and does so without providing proof for the claims that these religious people do such things.

I argue that most of my opponent's arguments are addressed out of an emotional appeal to a small minority of religious people that he has come in contact with, but he does not provide any logical reasons as to why his claim that atheists are not more arrogant than theists. As I said with my analogy, and atheist is like a healthy person getting upset at fast food advertisements- it is irrational and arrogant.
Debate Round No. 3
OliveJuice

Con

The fact that you acknowledged each person as an individual capable of their own beliefs and behaviors directly contradicts your claim that atheists are more arrogant than non-atheists. You are also stating that in order to decide whether or not a group of people is arrogant, you must fully understand each person's entire perception of their surroundings. Isn't it just a little bit arrogant to claim that you can better understand someone's worldview than they can and that this is important in order for a group of people with different beliefs to judge whether or not that person has an arrogant personality?

Your analogy is stressing that seemingly militant non-theists are so upset because of religious advertising that they intend to have it eliminated and while some may be this extreme, in context, this is completely off the mark. I aim to make the analogy that you chose into a more accurate comparison: There are a small amount of people in the world in which health is immensely important while to the majority, it is not. People with both opinions may be quiet or outspoken and all of them have differing beliefs. There is an extreme disparity in the amount of advertising for the two; because the majority of people do not regard their health as a important matter, those people would be the target audience of most large companies making large amounts of cash off them. Regardless of whether or not people concerned about their health are upset about the large amount of advertising, the point is that they are being called arrogant while everywhere they go, they are followed by fast-food advertising in order to motivate other people to disregard their opinions and continue consuming unhealthy products.

First of all, the secondary line that you mentioned is not written by me; it is something that I chose to quote. Quoting a line does not mean that I wholeheartedly agree with all of it. In the same paragraph, I asked, "Is it not more arrogant and immature to tell your children that your beliefs are right, and if they disagree they will not be treated the same by their parent than it is to nurture freedom of thought and personal development?" This point illustrates that in some religions, Christianity was my example, it is acceptable to disown your child for having different opinions than you do but not acceptable to raise a child in a home without religion. This extreme upbringing can give children the impression that they are blatantly wrong in their beliefs because other people think differently. You also did not mention how that quote contained a stereotypical reference in regards to religion. Furthermore, belief is not an action as you attempted to state by comparing two lines in my argument, one of which states that labeling people that act in a similar manner is a stereotype, and the other a quote that implies that ignorance is typically arrogant. Finally, you have yet to address any other points that I have made and so I will make the assumption that you have conceded and/or have no legitimate argument to make against them. Although, there is also the possibility of you stirring up as much as you possibly can in the final round because you are afraid that I may be able to refute your argument if given the chance.

As I mentioned earlier, I been consistently making an attempt to avoid extreme situations in all cases. Since this argument is based solely upon societal and personal opinions, there is not much to prove, is there? In order to do so, I must bring about extreme events and I do not plan to do so because this debate is not about extremists, but common people on both sides. Also, I assume that that remark was provoked by my earlier line, "Additionally, you have provided absolutely no proof whatsoever to establish structure for a single one of your claims." However, I do not think that you are fully grasping the fact that I am not asking for literal evidence, but structure. I feel that you are lacking it.

"As I said with my analogy, [an] atheist is like a healthy person getting upset at fast food advertisements- it is irrational and arrogant." Clearly, you are heavily biased since you are openly stating that atheism is irrational and arrogant. Also, the incidence of you accusing me of using emotional appeal as well as making "hasty generalizations" and then stating that atheism is simply irrational as well as arrogant is fairly amusing. Furthermore, I have provided numerous logical reasons as to why atheists are no more arrogant than theists that have been supported without strictly using emotional appeal to theists. For example, I clarified that atheists being deemed arrogant is simply a stereotype and that stereotypes are usually inaccurate, provided a quote that shows evidence of atheists' constitutional rights, addressed obvious public advertising and how it highlights religious arrogance, touched on how calling someone arrogant is also arrogant, noted the hypocrisy of your argument, and more.

Once again, I am not stating that theists are more arrogant than atheists, but that they can be equally as arrogant because all people have different personalities and behave differently.
Lupricona

Pro

In a theistic paradigm, the premise of absolute moral truths exist. So it is not arrogant for a theist to claim that he/she has truth.

In an atheistic paradigm, the premise is that moral truths are relative. Man is the measure of all things. So one person cannot say that anyone else is wrong, lest they be arrogant.

This is why the atheist is arrogant and the theist is not.

My opponent did not show how an atheist can have absolute truth in their paradigm, so my opponent did not prove their claim.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by OliveJuice 3 years ago
OliveJuice
"[and that there symbols are always seen in public places as a form of recruit and advertisement]"

their*

<i> individuals</i>

Grr. Comment HTML. individuals*

My apologies.
Posted by OliveJuice 3 years ago
OliveJuice
I like that argument; thank you for commenting.

While I still think that you are a bit off and are relying on semantics, your reasoning is clear and well-structured. I can definitely see where you are coming from.

I also see your point here; however, I firmly believe that that applies to many more categories of people, aside from just atheists. It's also obvious that not all atheists are extremists or obnoxious people, though some are. This occurs everywhere in society, association or not. That is exactly why I think that it is a cop-out to claim that atheists are arrogant. There are plenty of religious people that have, in the past and now, attacked (both physically and verbally) people that do not belong to their religion. Targeting someone that disagrees with your views for that sole reason is wrong, regardless of your association; the distinction that I make is that<i> individuals</i> do that. If you flip the quote on religious people, it works quite the same; 'what I don't get is why so many theists spend half their lives trying to convince other people they are right to believe in something. I believe in little green men from mars but I wouldn't waste one second of my time trying to change the mind of someone who does not believe in them. This is where the perceived 'arrogance' of theists comes from. Constant droning on, talking down to non-believers, and even filing lawsuits over minor things to make sure no anti-religious symbols are seen anywhere in public places [and that there symbols are always seen in public places as a form of recruit and advertisement]...as if that is going to further their 'cause'. The biggest problem with theists is they largely refuse to live and let live.' Singling out one group of people and labeling them is called stereotyping, and we all know how unreliable and inaccurate that really is, so why should atheists be any different?
Posted by mmadderom 3 years ago
mmadderom
No, we don't both 'believe' in something. One of us believes in something and the other does NOT believe in it. You can't 'believe' something 'doesn't' exist, that's not a belief it's disbelief. It's a contradiction in terms to say you believe something doesn't exist. If something doesn't exist in your mind, then there is no 'belief' involved.

You don't 'believe in atheism' or not believe in it. Atheism is simply a -lack of belief- in a deity. It's not of itself a belief system. Christianity is a belief system. Judaism is a belief system. Islam is a belief system. Atheism is NOT a belief system.

What I don't get is why so many atheists spend half their lives trying to convince other people they are right to not believe in something. I don't believe in little green men from mars but I wouldn't waste one second of my time trying to change the mind of someone who does believe in them. This is where the perceived 'arrogance' of Atheists comes from. Constant droning on, talking down to believers, and even filing lawsuits over minor things to make sure no religious symbol is seen anywhere in public places...as if that is going to further their 'cause'. The biggest problem with atheists is they largely refuse to live and let live.
Posted by OliveJuice 3 years ago
OliveJuice
@mmadderom

First of all, keep in mind that this debate is in regards to whether or not atheists are more arrogant than theists, not whether or not atheism is a belief.

I believe that that is an incorrect statement (^.^). Why is there any reason that someone cannot believe that something does not exist? It has yet to be proven or scientifically contradicted, therefore it is a belief. For example, if you believe that Chupacabras exist and I do not, we both believe in something because technically neither has been proven right or wrong. This is why I could legitimately state that, "I believe that Chupacabras do not exist." I could also say, "I do not believe that Chupacabras exist," but they are interchangeable. You could say, "I believe that Chupacabras exist," or, "I do not believe that Chupacabras do not exist," and they are still interchangeable; one is just grammatically structured simpler than the other. Separating the two seems to be both useless and tedious. Similarly, if I were to ask a devout religious person whether or not he believes in atheism, the answer would probably be a "no." Would this be considered a disbelief system? Sure, but does that make any difference? Personally, I think that the debate regarding whether or not atheism is a belief or lack of belief is pointless and a waste of time.

Again, this is unrelated to the topic but I chose to address it anyways and most likely will not have the time to respond again.

Thank you for the comment.
Posted by mmadderom 3 years ago
mmadderom
Atheism by that definition is a contradiction in terms.

It's not possible to 'believe' something 'doesn't' exist.

You can certainly NOT believe in God. but you can't BELIEVE he DOESN'T exist. There is no belief at all at that point, just a rejection of belief.

Being an atheist isn't a belief system, it's a disbelief system. It's a subtle difference, but a difference all the same.

As far as arrogance...I think anyone of any belief/disbelief system can be arrogant to an incredible degree, especially when religion is concerned. When people are 100% convinced they are right about something, arrogance is a given. When eternity is at stake, folks like to believe they have the correct answer.

While it does seem many atheists are quite arrogant, I think that stems from fear they are wrong. As I tell atheists all the time "If I"m wrong, no harm no foul. I'll die and never realize I was wrong. but if YOU are wrong, there is eternal hell to pay, quite literally". Simply put, there is a LOT more at stake for an atheist hence why they tend to want to sway as many to their disbelief system as possible...security in numbers, as it were.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
OliveJuiceLupriconaTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro came into the debate with no arguments and tried to discredit Con who made logical arguments as well as being respectful The clear winner in this debate is Con and I feel Con deserves conduct points as well as Pro was not very respectful of the way the debate was structured and what was meant to be done.
Vote Placed by Mhykiel 3 years ago
Mhykiel
OliveJuiceLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro's arguments were very stereotypical. I did not see a solid connection between some of his premises. Con spoke of the case not being representative of all theist. Con also gave good rebuttals. Though I think both spoke subjectively and used poor resources I have to give arguments to Con.