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Meditation 619
Arrogance and Humility

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The last meditation produced an unprintable message with an accusation of arrogance from a supporter of creationism. Perhaps there is some truth in it; the accusation really irritated me. But still....

Like most atheists and agnostics, I consider myself just one of some six billion people living on our planet, which is just one of millions of objects circulating the sun, which is just one of some 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and we are far from the center.

The Milky Way is just one of perhaps 125 billion galaxies in the universe. The universe has been around for over 12 billion years, and my lifespan is perhaps 6 x 10-7% of that, an insignificant amount.

Of all the knowledge in the world, I possess a small fraction, and what is known worldwide is a small fraction of what is to be learned.

Recognizing these numbers, it is hard to be truly arrogant. Of all that there is, we individually are so insignificant.

On the other hand...

I do not believe in a personal saviour who died for my sins. I do not believe in an all-powerful all-knowing god who makes a point of watching everything I do, of listening to my prayers, who will reward me or punish me in some afterlife for what I did and what I believed in this life. I do not believe that deity created the universe a mere 6,000 years ago (or less than 100 of my lifetimes,) with the earth as its centerpiece, and with humanity an image of that deity. I don't believe that all knowledge is available to me contained in a single book written a couple of thousand years ago at that deity's inspiration.

And those that accuse me of arrogance - well, they call that set of beliefs humility.