The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Purpose Driven Half-Wit

A quick heads up from From Hemat Mehta.

Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life" was interviewed on Nightline. When asked if he could vote for a non-Christian for president, he answered that he could vote for a Jew, and then followed it up by saying that the only non-Christian he couldn't vote for is an atheist, because "the presidency is to big for one man" and "atheism is arrogant."

Now, Warren is someone that I have always thought was a dick, and I am not too worked up over what he thinks. What bothers me is that the sentiments he expresses are, in my experience, extremely common, and that really irks me.

Okay, first off, it's one man. Even if that man (or woman) believes that they have a god/goddess/fairy/magical huffalump in the sky helping them, they don't. It's simply not true, no matter how they try to rationalize it. So, you're voting for one person, no matter what they believe.

Secondly, how is atheism arrogant? I hear this all of the time. But nobody is ever able to explain to me how it is that saying "hey, there's no evidence to support the claim that a god exists" is somehow more arrogant than "the almighty creator of the universe has a plan for me personally!"

Beyond that - it is supremely arrogant to say "the weird, inconsistent belief system that I subscribe to IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE because I have faith (read - I base this entirely on assumption and have absolutely no rational reason for making this claim)!" To say that the universe is ordered in a particular way because you (or your ancestor) simply said that it was, with no logical support, is astoundingly arrogant.

So, really, it's the theists that Warren and others like him would support who are the arrogant ones - claiming that they know based on nothing more than their own assumptions that the all-powerful force behind everything is looking out for them - not the "arrogant" atheist that he wouldn't vote for.

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