Matt Dillahunty – Part 1 | The Preaching Humanist 01.44.1


Welcome back to the Preaching Humanist
with Dave Oliverio that is I well know God is required for a life of love joy
peace fulfillment meaning and purpose in life and the good life is long guided by
raisin and motivated by the special day here for me and my grass roots show
called to preach and humanist I have Mac Delahunty with me today map welcome good
to hear Happy Easter yeah I get that alot I’m
sure matt has got that had that said to him for many many years so I’m gonna
interview met today and before has cam questions let him take off long give you
a quick bio for Matt definitely a bigger name in the eighties community so those
he watching watch my show before you know the objectives of my show and tell
me I’m just gonna pick Matt Treanor gonna see what he says about the group
basic questions that Christians may have and also going to talk to your fellow a
curious about such things as well so for those of you that do not know Matt when
we get there quick little bio and that said these are all good gonna do it is
or has been the president of ACA which is the atheist community of Austin from
2006 alway 2 2013 he’s a host of the very famous experience cable access show
since 2005 recording right here in the studio he’s the founder and contributor
on the counter apologetics encyclopedia iron chariots formerly hosted a live
internet radio show non-profits wrangling regularly engaged in formal
debates and he travels from urs speaking to secular organizations and
universities groups I’m actually very glad that the other side I don’t think
I’ve wanted to date that Delonte very good player so Matt welcome and I’m
gonna start right into it and we are going to discuss your religious
background and you’re just kind of tell us your background how you were raised
and so forth yes how my my dad’s family was southern baptist my mom’s family was
kind of a mix of catholics on that side but a handful presence around the trucks
race in the church I mean I was in Sunday school from probably before I
could walk and I i was active but at the age of fiber so I walked down the aisle
at the revival and you know accepted Jesus into my heart and a lot of this
story I didn’t even find out until many years later and that’s that my parents
had concerns you know kind of five-year-old actually understand this
as a preacher basically said well you know you’ll find out we’ll see if this
sticks essentially and it did to the extent that I was still active in the
church my my mom actually converted most of her immediate family from catholicism
to being southern baptists and I was active in the church through my teen
years I was never really forced to go to church except Sunday mornings and I’m
not a morning person and John that and I didn’t like going to church Sunday
morning but I was there the rest of the time Sunday night Monday night
visitation Wednesday night service Thursday night and Friday Night Music
Group things and weekends and summer camps and all kinds of stuff in my teen
years I kind of started to become more involved in realized I’m just now
beginning to understand this that I certainly could have understood when I
was five so have I just not been saved all these
years you know if I thought wrongly that I had you know a proper relationship
guys and so my teen years I did it again saved again rededicated my life however
you want to look at it and this is something I saw in hindsight among my
peers at church to where at least within our charge there is almost a cycle of
guilt you never you can’t ever live up to the expectations you know you’re
human being you’re gonna failure and i have you know your thoughts your gonna
do something wrong you’re not going to be living every second of your life in
accordance with what at least the church thinks that you should to be a good
Christian and so you constantly this they make you feel guilty and then you
rededicate you live in the car on fire for Christ for a little while and then
you fly back which I get the back button thing and my was convinced that God one
may be a preacher as was my family but I was terrified of public speaking I
didn’t want to do that and see when I was 18 I having very few other options
left Missouri and joined the Navy and I did eight years in the military little over eight years and then got out
and worked in the tech industry for a few years through all of this I believed
but it wasn’t particularly important to me and then around 2000 2001 or so I
lost my job and it was to me God was punishing me and he was basically saying
you know I wanted you to do this and you said no and you ran off and you toured
the world in the Navy and you you know engaged in all sorts of
simple activity and yeah you believed in you knew the whole time but you weren’t
doing what you’re supposed to do when you focused on your career and you build
your career up and now I’m gonna take it all away from you and that’s kind of a
mindset I was in and it was ok got if you want me to do this then I will be
there was this period of surrender and a lot of study with the only goal is to be
a better Christian to be a better representative in particular cause I had
a rich in a theist and the process of trying to find a way to rationally
justified my faith to others I wound up not believing and and kind of becoming
an outspoken atheist that was my next question what changed your mind about
Christianity like to talk about with other people interview in 10 debate or
talk to Christians which I do much like you do wherever we go if there’s an open
door and they always want to know what was it that changed her mind was it some
traumatic terrible event life for you guys come to that logic your epiphany or
logical to see your logical fallacy I wish there was one moment I wish there
was some anything like that it was a gradual period finding out that I didn’t have good
reasons to believe that things that I thought I did and once I i reached a
certain point it was very rapid after that everything fell away and so I set
out to find what would convince an atheist you know how do you convince an
atheist of that Jesus is real because I gotta believe then was real and obvious
as obvious as you look at the trees I definitely fell into that camp and
what I found was that the things that I thought were supportive of in obviously
existing gone wrong they were all there was no good reason to think that any of
this was true and then I began to consider ok well maybe I believe me
there’s a God but I just can’t buy into this Christianity thing you know I know
too much now about how the Bible came together about the moral teachings that
are in there is supported from slavery and other things and I have a lot of
problems with his idea you know salvation punishment send will happen
you want to god you know how can you defend and if God is the creator create
everything and he has a plan and he knows what’s gonna happen then that he
picked the world in which my roommate became an atheist and damned to hell or
is there a hell and I went through all this became I couldn’t identify as
Christian but maybe some other religion was correct and so I wanted to go and
explore other religions to see maybe I found the wrong one and I had to realize
I came to realize very quickly that it’s possible that they’re all wrong and
there’s too much to research you I joke that I after I left Christianity I
started researching autism and other religions that every incarnation to find
out if I would have multiple lifetimes to do this research and and but
eventually went back in and asked ok let’s try to direct this surge let’s dig
into philosophy let’s dig into logical reasoning what kind of God could possibly exist to
help me figure out which of these religions to focus on cuz he cant
research them all in depth and let’s also take a look at what sort of things
should be convincing you know I wanna believe as many true things in a tree
falls things as possible so I need standards that allow me to determine
whether or not my belief is reasonable so let’s use this to figure out which
category of religion could possibly be reasonable and as it turns out there
wasn’t any path to confront the supernatural in any way and Intel that
exists no religion that makes it appealing supernatural can have a sound
justification for belief and they can’t damaged thats y a greater powers like
first kings 18 worry largest against the 450 profit I just spoken this couple had
to say and how they use demonstrated power to prove that there existed tell
Kristen matter anyway it’s amazing how demonstrations of the power of the gods
has declined directly in opposition to our ability to investigate and confirm
them you know back when they when there wasn’t video cameras when everything was
word of mouth stories of the sudden you had the firepower to cloud manna from
heaven people rising from the dead the lame can
walk and now it’s Jesus help me find my car keys you know like transformation and you
creation try something different person but were they thinking because people
change their life should transform based on whatever philosophy getting to
conform that that transformation is probably one of the cats come up several
times in recent shows where somebody will say the reason I believe is because
there are so many people who after giving their life to Christ have become
different people are you really saying is after people
made a decision to change to be somebody else they became somebody else and that
is true whether it was trying to be more Christlike or adhering to the Qur’an or
scientology or anything else or just deciding I want to live my life
differently this is now important to me and you know we hear a lot about
sobriety all these people they were they were incapable of handling this
themselves into one of the reasons why I have such a huge problem with the
twelve-step program because they begin with an acknowledgement that you are
powerless we are not powerless and I don’t buy into this idea that we should
reinforce powerlessness instead what we find in secular sobriety organizations
is that if you begin by empowering people and letting them know that yes
you can change it like you don’t have to do it on your own you have support
networks you have people that care that is as effective or more effective yeah
very good change of topic here let’s discuss and tie and ocean view my
viewers remember the episode a few months ago I spoke on anti-semitism why
I oppose religions and supernatural belief system so I guess a good
definition would be an active or conscious opposition to theater and I
will say is I was great redundancy that I’m not anti people and tie Christian
I’m anti christianity is the religion actually care for people we have a lot
of empathy sympathy or just trying to help people didn’t care for people why
would bother trying to change your mind if I thought that a particular religious
group that the people we’re stupid and beyond hope and I didn’t care about them
I would spend 0 time trying to convince them of why I don’t think we should I don’t
think they should believe what they believe and it’s because I care about
people because I have enough respect for you know how they think or how they can
think people ask me early on are you mad at your parents and your printers for
know they were as much a victim of this religious indoctrination and flawed
thinking is anybody else and it’s not you know I am careful to say that I
don’t make it look like I pity them in the sense of all you poor thing I don’t
become something about it but when I see religions have poison people’s mind
where the they haven’t been given the tools to think rationally about
something that is payable and I mean it in the sense so let’s see if we can’t
change that because I think I think people are better than their God they
believe in people generally don’t support the things that are in the Bible
or Quran in many cases so I think they’re more moral I also think there
are more intelligent because if you look at the character of these ancient gods
are not reasonable they are megalomaniacal you know it’s the the
story of the Exodus which didn’t happen and then there is no not only other no
good reasons they did there are good reasons to take it did but you have a
God who pay for my people from slavery and payroll is ready to let them go
after a demonstration power and garden Jardin stores cuz he’s not done showing
off yeah I know you want to let him go now I’ve got nine more plagues to do
that and does this after each of the plagues this is not a demonstration of
compassion is no demonstration of reasonableness and and then they be the
great irony is that he’s not opposed to slavery the fundamental problem of
enslaving human beings he just doesn’t want his chosen people to be enslaved
its ok for them outside it’s just not okay for them to
be slaves and when you start looking through all this the god that people
believe in isn’t the one that’s described in the book and the people who
do believe in the goddess described the book tend to be extremists that
everybody else wants to reject you know Jesus lol belongs and give the money to
the poor who does that that’s socialism yeah we can say is that
this labels got a couple different uses the way you’re using it is closer to
Hitchens did when he referred anti-vietnam as an opposition to
religion I i tend to use it much more literally or entity is a MS in
opposition to theism an anti-religion -ism anti-religion is an opposition to
the religions and I only make that not everybody agrees that User just so you
have to do with anything you have soft atheism weak and strong and weak is I
don’t believe in God exists and strong is I believe there are no gods and so I
tend to use atheists for the weak position and anti theist for the strong
position because I can actively believe that God’s don’t exist and that still
doesn’t tell you what I think about particular religious doctrines because
there are aspects of different religious doctrines that I’m still flying with hey
don’t kill people tell me that and i wish you’d get a lot more specific then
you know that I shall not kill which is kind of a look at like the USPTO code
for the different ways that somebody to kill somebody in and how they fit within
the law to little more robust than these Bronze Age miss but there are plenty of
things within religion that religions that I think are good when I am opposed
to is unsupported claims superstation and supernatural claims
they can’t meet the burden of proof and the use of those to encourage divisive
notice and anything that would be in opposition to humanism I said before
that if there is a God is not a humanist I don’t want anything to do with them
and why would anybody else if if he’s actively if he’s not actively working in
your best interest and it does no good to say it may not seem like it is
working for your good but he is you can’t see that cause you can’t see as
far as God in you know I was in Australia and I gave a talk about that’s
like being dragged through the forest by giant the giant can see where he wants
you to go and so he’s dragging the forest meanwhile you’re getting banged
up on all these trees and everything else and just to say don’t worry I’m
taking you to safety doesn’t do anything if you’re bloodied and battered and dead
when you actually get there would it be better to pick me up on your shoulder so
that I can see where you want me to go and I can say yeah let’s go there or I
don’t think that’s where I want to go why do you get to decide what’s best for
me and the toll way that I get from A to B could take some of the opposition that
I get mad you probably get this to there’s some debate within our community
of his community whether or not to use the term APS secularist humanist so I
call my show that pretty humorous even though I guess you not talkin scale of
the 127 those are you watching have talked about this before dark and scale
Richard Dawkins abhors a 1 p.m. absolutely sure there’s a God and a
seven on the scale but you’re absolutely sure there is no God I guess I would say
at least a six point eight to six point nine wanna talk and share his people
like mad and I have pretty much been there done that in the ministry before
he’s in front most christiana involved in these things but yeah strong
eight years but also a human errors I build upon what do we do with it it’s
eighty years so we built into that progressive philosophy of life by being
good without God so why don’t you talk about that discussed the importance of
humanism as well as as a yeah I’m probably we’re here on a dock and skill
to although I have strong objections to the doc and scale not because its name
but not because named after Dawkins but because it makes a mistake of trying to
assess two different positions there is a God there is not a god there’s a
different proposition so you don’t believe ya and then the rest is a
confidence level and you might be incredibly not confident that there is a
God but that doesn’t mean that you’re incredibly confident that there is not
one but on the human strength I’m I’m a skeptic first because skepticism
critical thinking and problem how I go about evaluating things to determine
whether or not a claim it whether it’s reasonable for me to accept a claim
because of that they got claims don’t meet their burden of proof in many cases
they can be disproved violate the a logical reasoning with circular
arguments and claims we’re at what they claim about God is inconsistent with
what we observe my humanism is more important to me than my atheist I don’t
know that it’s more important to me than my skepticism I probably put them on a
far on par one is about maybe skepticism slightly more important because one is
about how you make decisions about everything and my humanism is an
ideology about how what I think about human interactions about what’s in our
best interest and I think the reason skepticism has to take priority over
that even is because we have to acknowledge it we may have things that
we put into the humanist category positions which could be wrong there are
things we could be wrong about and so skepticism is that the foundation
humanism is a secondary think this is more of the ideology and then atheism is
just a simple conclusion that I reached on the existence of God and and it is in
the opposition to religion as you’re using it is another conclusion average
that actually couples my lack of belief and my humanism and the reason it is
derived from those two is because as a humanist I am interested in things that
benefit humans to create a better world that allow us to make decisions that are
in our home best centers and you know anybody confuse him with hedonism is now
like we’re just let’s run around because we can understand that that’s probably
not our best interest in many cases and so that is kind of the past skepticism
humanism atheism because of a God shows up tomorrow and demonstrates
conclusively that exists I believe and i stopping an atheist but that doesn’t
mean all worship their god or anything else that depends on what his views are
on humanism convince me that wrong about those things and my my human
shoes aren’t something that I think you could really show are wrong I don’t
suspect that there is any good way to do that the idea that individual autonomy
freedom and liberty and the sanctity of each individual’s mind the process of
using the best evidence and arguments to reach the conclusions that are most
rational there are some simple things like for example the question comes up
if you had cancer would you want to know about it it’s clearly a personal thing
and there are people who would say Happy yes absolutely I wanna know I’m one of
those people I want to know as much as I can about everything because I think
that’s how I make better decisions knowing that I have cancer and you know
ok that helps me get the best treatment to perhaps live the longest but it also
changes now I’m gonna view each coming day and there are other people who would
rather not know and I don’t necessarily have a problem with that because the
aspects that they’ve chosen is most important for their life that’s there
they’re free to do that and so when I stand in our positions to religions it’s
quite often when they begin to encroach on individual liberty is fundamental the idea of sin and bought crime that
you could think something that would be evil is kind of bizarre to me because
it’s the actions and the consequences of the actions that we evaluate and so when
I hear God only once what’s best for you like we were talking about earlier ok I heard you say that I don’t know that
you’re right and where is this guide coming to tell me that he wants what’s
best for me and where the demonstration that what he wants is in fact what’s
best for me right now there’s no pretension that we now have the answers
to everything and we’re going to get everything right because we’re humanists
it’s just a recognition that as far as we can tell we’re in this together and
without any justification to appeal the supernatural help or guidance and so the
best thing that you and I can do is say okay these are the things that I like
these are things that you like and where they don’t overlap at all maybe find you
know we don’t have to live the same interest but where we do overlap that’s
where humanism really takes charge because we’re sharing space and what
people believe informs their actions and their actions don’t have their
consequences for themselves and empty homes so when people say well that’s
just your opinion or you don’t you don’t get to influence he push your views on
anybody else I agree that I don’t get to push my views anybody else but it’s not
just a matter of opinion about what is right for us when we’re sharing space we
we get a voice in that

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