Some logical issues with not believing you’re right

Lots of non-religious people take offence at religious people (particularly Christians) who believe that their beliefs are true in a way others’ are not. While I understand the natural objections to perceived arrogance, there are a few major logical flaws here.

Firstly, it’s only arrogant to believe your faith is the right one if you take personal credit for the contents and truth of that faith. Unless you are psychotic and/or the leader of a cult, this is extremely unlikely. However, there are those who believe their beliefs to be right because they are theirs and therefore must be. This is equally evidence of mental imbalance, but unfortunately a little more common – although by no means restricted to religious people.

Secondly, and more seriously, who takes on something as big as a religious commitment without significant conviction that it’s the right one? Frankly, if I thought Christianity had no particular edge on any other set of beliefs in truth or value, I would pick something a lot less challenging (and more trendy and socially acceptable) to live by. Hell, without that conviction, I probably wouldn’t have the motivation to get out of bed a bit earlier on a Sunday morning, let alone make major life choices on its basis. What would that be worth?

When people say “You can believe what you like, but don’t be arrogant enough to believe your way is the only right one”, they are essentially saying “You can, but actually you can’t.” Your car can be any colour at all, as long as it’s black. By claiming the standpoint that no-one is more right than anyone else, you are claiming to be more right than the people who believe they are more right than you are. Yes, it really is as silly as it sounds.

Jellyfish are no fun. Disagree with each other, but do it with conviction. And with the rudiments of logic.


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