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Matt Dillahunty: How I became an Atheist
Click me to read transcript of part 1
My roommate at the time was an Atheist, but we had agreed to not discuss religion, but I kind of was going to violate that truce, because I thought, if I'm going to be best Christian I can be, then I have to be able to lead people to Christ. Who needs it more than my Atheist roommate friend who I'd rather not see in hell; and of course I felt I was going to be held responsible for him going to hell. So, I set on a secret mission to find the best arguments to convince him. In order to do that, I actually went and sought out what Atheists were saying about my beliefs in particular and there were many times where someone would challenge something in the bible and I'd say “that's not right, I read the bible when I was a kid, when I was teenager, I've read again in the last year or so as an adult. Either that's not in there or they're misrepresenting it and invariably, it was in there and it wasn't being misrepresented.” There were no good Christian responses. That the apologetics that people offered to try to explain those things really did have logic flaws. So I spent a great deal of time studying, philosophy of science, philosophy in general, logical argument, Aristotelian logic, syllogisms, etc. Clearly there had to be some argument out there that would hold the God of the bible true. Eventually it became clear that I couldn't call myself a Christian anymore. I considered a number of other religions, just because “oh, well maybe that God is not true, but there might be others.” It quickly became evident that I could be doing this for the rest of my life and get no where. And, I haven't found any kind of God that is useful for anything or meaningful in anyway that could really exist or offer any evidence that it exists.
Click me to read transcript of part 2
What I see amongst the Atheist Community, it would be very easy to say, “by and large, people that are happier.”
That's not completely accurate, and I think its because we really don't define happiness in a way that makes sense of this, because there are clearly Christian, Muslims, and Jews and Hindus who are happy, and their religion gives them something that they identify as happiness, and there are clearly Atheists who are happy and their lack of religion is a large part of why they're happy, but I don't think those two happiness-es are equal.
They are not on equivalent footing. The Atheists that I met who are generally happier, are happy not just because of now we don't have to worry about this hell thing.
It's not a simplistic hedonistic type of happiness. Its really a joy of truly of being free in the best possible since of the word and understanding that one's owns actions have consequences; that you're going to be held responsible for them; that you can impact others for good; that you don't live in a vacuum; that your actions have consequences on everybody around you, and that by working together, we're better off; And the freedom and the joy of realizing there is not somebody watching every little thing you do and taking notes and trying to figure out whether or not you're a bad person, and that you simply by being honest, and thoughtful, and sincere and compassionate are a good person and it doesn't matter if someone else is keeping score.
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