Are We Special? A Response to Certain Atheists

There is a common idea that human beings are not really special, valuable, or important. We know that we do not live at the center of the universe but in a fairly random place three quarters of the way out in an average spiral galaxy which itself is just one of billions.  We occupy an inconceivably small part of the universe.  With this discovery we have learned that we are not actually special.  We are just a small and insignificant species.  We really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  I have heard versions of this argument from almost every thoughtful atheist with whom I have had the pleasure to speak about such things.

This problem is that this argument includes a hidden assumption which is almost certainly false.  The assumption is that the value of something is directly proportional to its size and location.  The larger the amount of space something takes up, the more valuable it is.  The closer something is located to the center of the universe, the more valuable it is.  (Though my physics friends tell me that the center of the universe itself is growing along with space-time, so perhaps this should read the center of the center.)  But why do they think so?  Why can’t something be small or rare and valuable?  In fact, one might think that the rarity of something increases rather than decreases its value.  Similarly, why do they believe that the most valuable things exist at the center of the center of the universe?  I see this assumption as utterly unjustified.  But once we reject this assumption, it is hard to see how to draw any inferences at all concerning our value from our physical size and location.

You can see that the borderline of this discussion is quite simple: atheists deny the value and unique characteristics of our civilization and use this argument in order to prove that God doesn’t exist while we claim that the location of our planet shouldn’t be taken into consideration when we discuss matters which have nothing to do with physics, they are all about faith.