As every atheist knows, or at least all the ones that I’ve spoken to, it is common to hear people say “you atheists are all arrogant.” I’ve been told that I’m arrogant because I don’t think that Christians should be aloud to discriminate against others based on their religious beliefs. I’ve been told that I’m arrogant because I’ve dared to use the Bible against Christians. I’ve been told that I’m arrogant for thinking that the universe was not created by a god. Sometimes it feels as though I’d be called arrogant if I said “I love kittens.” It seems as though a lot of people assume that to be an atheist is to be arrogant and to be religious is to be void of arrogance.
This is not the case. It is true that there are arrogant atheists. I find a lot of the most well-known atheists arrogant. But I also find most of the well-known apologists arrogant. I find anybody who says “I have the truth” arrogant, I don’t care what they believe. I find anybody who says “no true x believes y” to be arrogant. Anybody who proclaims themselves to be more intelligent than those who disagree with them, anybody who claims to be more moral on principal, is arrogant.
So yes, there are arrogant atheists. Many of the best known atheists are arrogant. But many of the best known religious leaders are also arrogant. This is not a personality flaw found in atheism, it is a personality flaw found in those who are willing to lead movements. The people who are willing to write books, head groups, and do interviews on behalf of a particular cause are going to be the people who are confident in their intelligence and the truth of their movement. They are likely to be arrogant. This is also a flaw in people who are told that they are intelligent and right too often. It is a flaw that plagues the intellectual communities. A flaw found in children that aren’t told no and are always complimented. And it is a flaw found in anybody who has a large following. It is easy to become arrogant when we are always being told that you are wonderful.
So no, arrogance in not an atheist flaw. It is a human flaw. There are arrogant atheists. There are arrogant people in any group. But it is much easier to see arrogance outside of your group than within it. If you are not an atheist, look at your own group’s celebrities. The ones who write books and get on TV. Do they do or say things that are arrogant? Do they claim to have the truth? Do they say things that could be interpreted as an insult towards those who disagree with their truth? Do they claim that all x’s should believe/do y?