There is a common meme in the theistic communities in this country: it is arrogant to assert a lack of belief in god, the internal contradictions of theistic hypotheses, or the simple lack of a need for such a hypothesis. And there is a common meme among atheists and agnostics: there is no point to debate. Nobody changes their mind because of evidence. You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.
I disagree. Emphatically. It is certainly not arrogant to point out a lack of evidence, but it is arrogant to assume that other people can’t see that there is a lack. How much more arrogant can you get than thinking that other people can’t see the issue with the First Cause Argument? What is more arrogant than thinking that you and your friends happen to be special enough or intelligent enough or educated enough to see through various theodicies, and then expect that their faults won’t bother anyone else?
I’m going to point out something that tends to get papered over: accommodationism isn’t just insulting to the Gnu Atheists; It is insulting to believers, on a profound level. Oh sure, accommodationism will call out Gnus for being jerks (because of honest engagement with ideas)- but then it will ask for us to understand that even if something isn’t true, maybe those weak minded saps over there need that mental crutch, we don’t, of course, but no need to make others miserable with difficult thoughts and logical discussion, and we should understand that all it will result in is stripped internal gears and headaches. Bull and shite.
If a belief is true, those who believe in it have nothing to fear from it being subjected to a free marketplace of ideas. No argument, no logical or empirical process will show a true belief to be false. And if a belief is false, how can you -without arrogance- claim it is better for others to believe it?
(Edited for spelling: Thank you, Jerry Coyne.)