While I’m not too crazy about the arrogance and conceit expressed by the “New Atheist Movement,” as it manifests itself on a regular basis among “militant atheists” who smugly call themselves “brights” and rabidly deem believers “idiots” and so on, I have always been more struck by the arrogance and conceit of believers in whatever religious “delusion,” as atheist scientist Dr. Richard Dawkins calls it.

Over the years, many such believers – mostly Christian, sometimes Muslim, but never Jews, Buddhists or Hindus – have attempted to badger me into their belief system by telling me they “feel sorry for me” because I don’t share the same perspective of reality. Here’s one such example, as concerns a recent interview with Dawkins:

“Being a Christian and knowing the peace, contentment, pleasure and fellowship with other believers, I sincerely feel sorry for Mr. Dawkins. I’m so glad I have Something and Someone to believe in and count on besides myself.”

Helen Allen, Charlotte

Such comments reveal a number of “ego deformities,” as I term them, including the sheer arrogance in believing that her mental state is superior to that of Dawkins. How does she know that Dawkins is missing anything at all?  It is she who has problems, obviously, with loneliness, lack of empowerment and so on – all things caused by religious doctrine in the first place. (E.g., we are all “born in sin” pieces of crap.) We could compare her and all the rest to children in desperate need of an imaginary friend because they cannot find social support and desirable friendship with real people.

If I were to take the same tact, I would have to say I feel sorry for both theists and atheists, because they do not give themselves the liberty to be both and neither of these things in any given moment. As I say in my essay, “Is the Universe Intelligently Designed?“:


Whether you see “God is now here” or “God is nowhere,” or both, is entirely up to you. It all depends on the perspective you are free to choose in any given moment. And to have the choice in that perspective – to believe or not to believe – is the ultimate liberation.

Sources & Further Reading

To believe or not to believe: Dawkins column stirs readers