Not my view by the way, but I seem to pick up this feeling from many open, and closet atheists and agnostics, (many who were once believers.) The general feeling seems to be this…
The concept of religion works out perfectly. Those who are inclined to believe in such things, are the same people who need “guidance” in a form they can comprehend, with consequences that get their attention.
This is not nearly as condecending as it sounds, because if they become conscious enough and they should ever realize the truth, then they are ready to no longer need religion, and they are free to walk away. The fact that they continue to believe is proof they still need to be led.
I would say thats a bit arrogant. They would probably say, the fact that people fall for it proves it’s not arrogant, just realistic.
While I certainly understand their arguments, I just can’t help thinking that using religion in this way, especially at very young ages,is a bit cruel, and makes it harder to escape and be fully rational by a reasonable age. And that if you can’t break free of that mind set by a certain age, it becomes less and less likely you ever will.
And even if it were a reasonble way to “control” people, or to help them control themselves, as some would say, there is still the question of just who the hell should be in charge of running the religion!
Indeed, I have a friend who firmly believes that parents should not be allowed to indoctrinate their children in religion until they reach a certain age (he is unmarried and without kids). He knows it’s totally unworkable, but I think he’d like to see it in his version of a perfect world.
Maybe what you described (which is not held by all nonbelievers) is a bit arrogant. But certainly not as arrogant as the believers who proclaim that they have The Truth and all who don’t believe will go to hell, or whatever (a view not held by all believers).
Oddly enough, that was how I was raising my children, until my divorce, and then the ex got religion and the desire to cram it down their throats. Along with some ritilin. Haven’t decided which is the cruelest control mechanism.
Lib, you’ve never struck me as someone who thinks belief in God is evil. I must assume you mean organized religion, yes? That those in positions of authority will inherently abuse it?
As far as the OP–arrogance… it would probably depend upon how the person presented these convictions. Just because one is certain of one’s beliefs does not make him/her arrogant. Arrogance is proclaiming you are right as if everyone else is stupid for disagreeing with you.
I don’t think many ideas are inherently arrogant; it’s generally the presentation of the idea that denotes arrogance.
“That humans evolved from lower creatures is indisputable fact.”
“Scientific evidence leads us to believe humans evolved from lower creatures.”
“God will send all you heathens to hell.”
“I sincerely believe God will punish those who do evil.”
“People who believe in God are simply sheep who need a master.”
“People who believe in God might be deceiving themselves because they need to believe in something greater.”
I dunno. Religion, culture and tradition tend to be one in the same. What’s wrong with culture and tradition? It’s only when you take your religion too seriously that things get bad. Religion and rational thought aren’t mutually exclusive unless you take it too far. In the hands of the wrong people religion can be just an avenue to preach xenophobia and prejudice. Need I break out the, “Religion doesn’t kill people, gun-toting-hatemongering-hypocrites use religion as an excuse to kill people.” argument?