Matt Dillahunty: From Almost Baptist Minister to Atheist Debater

I’m joined today by Matt Dillon hunty he
is host the atheist experience he’s regularly engaging in formal debates
travels the US speaking to local secular organizations and university group as part of the
secular Student Alliance is speaker’s bureau a bunch of our audience actually
suggested that we have met on and interestingly enough Matt it it a
lot of those recommendations are after I had a conversation with the pastor named Carl gallops and I
had ask are all to give me some kind of evidence a
reason why he believes the bible is the word of God that comes from
outside the Bible itself and we basically got to
the point where he was number one talking about Deuteronomy as evidence
from outside the Bible that the Bible is the Word of God but
then he also said that the fact that things that the Bible
predicts have happened would be evidence that the Bible is the Word of God to most have my audience that’s an
argument that didn’t make sense I’m curious how you tackle those
arguments in the debates that you do I think I did and you know very much the
same thing you did I i keep asking for evidence from outside the Bible so that
we’re not in this position it constantly trying to verify could the Bible just
claims it can’t also be the evidence for the claims I’m
this is i think i taken in a similar task actor tacked on that but
it strange that this is what keeps coming up I debate last Friday you with Ray Comfort all the pics wouldn’t
call it a debate where each he just said flatly no. interest in
demonstrating got existed we already know we’re just lying about it and he believes the bible that’s all
there is to it so it’s it’s a very difficult subject to get through because the
beginning with a very different starting point than we are about how you
determine what’s reasonable to believe when you were a thinking up being a
Baptist minister for some time was there a specific
moment you remember where you said not only am I not sure I want to be a Baptist minister I don’t
think I believe in Christianity anymore yeah there was a I can’t pinpoint a
single moment or single event or E or even a single argument I was basically studying with
the goal of eventually come convincing my atheist roommate although
we had had no conversations about this and you this was a fairly long period
study I was between jobs here as I am today
and over body 18 months or so was let me be
the best defender Christianity I can be let me fulfill my obligation under 1st
Peter 3:15 tape to give the reason for the papers
with me and at some point and I don’t remember exactly when or why is just like the the wealth information ages can have worst my belief to collapse to where I
said you know I don’t know what I believe I don’t know
if I believe in a God but I definitely don’t believe what I used to believe so
let me investigate further let me see if there’s some other God or some other God
concept within christiano or outside a bit I’m that could be true or that I that i
think is more reasonable and that led to Canada deeper study of
philosophy logic and skepticism to determine you know how to
direct that search so when that happened was
your initial feeling one love disappointment or or being I kinda been it was a negative emotional
state or was it in a way positive and liberating because I could see it
going either way and I have seen it go either way I get tons an email from
people who are you know elated I’m as I was you know by the time I finally realized
I’m that I could should identify as an atheist is
incredibly liberating it was our you know it’s not so much I didn’t dwell
on the fact that I had believe something that I now thought was incorrect for so
many years I embraced the fact that now I’ve been
corrected I’m its its kinda the the foundation 0 science and and similar thinking that I
E you want to leave as many true things in
a few false things as possible and so when you’re corrected that’s a wonderful
thing cuz now you got reality but I’ve heard from so many people who were just despondent and quite many
of them were upset over this idea that they had lost
an eternal life and that always struck me as strange
because I don’t but can see how you could lose something that you never had that’s interesting and that this idea of
being open to the changing a believes kind of came up in this debate between
Bill Nye and Ken Ham from the creation is a
museum I have a couple a specific questions about the debate for you but what were your thoughts about the debate
happening in general it was very interesting to me but my
concern was that in some way it was legitimizing the views have can
hand as worthy of being debated in this very kinda elaborate way with
the scientist and that that in itself was a was a concern yeah that’s a common objection the
people like Richard Dawkins and others have some reason why Richard doesn’t have a
creationist I’m I wasn’t so much concern for that reason
I was opposed to it in general because my understanding is that the Creation
Museum was in financial trouble and to me this was Bill Nye taking the opportunity to make sure that
they got about your money because no matter how this debate turned
out Ken Ham is going to make money off this if you if you would have done well in one which
I don’t think is the case I’m or even portray to rate really well
he that’s a marketing tool and if he fails
as evidently even Christian website polls show that
ninety-two percent but bill don i won that still becomes a he marketing tool for him because he can
say look we’ve got to do more we need more money to to debate this in Dubai you know bring
more information we’ve got to do a better job all this just kinda funds the Creation
Museum now overall I thought bill did a good job i mean they were mistakes but
Ken Ham was I’m sorry to say such a poor debater
that he just kinda missed them one of the most interesting thing
specifically from the debate was this moment where they were each asked what might change
their minds and can hand essentially said nothing
that it doesn’t matter what could what anybody could tell him a show him
he’s going to believe that the Bible is little literal word of God whereas Bill Nye
said what evidence would change my mind and when people talk to me about this I
say I have no personal interest in there not being a god I have no
personal interest in making those who believe that feel
bad or proving them wrong I have an interest in just believing
what i think is the truth truth based on evidence that has been
presented to me I’m 100 percent open to the idea that there is a higher power of some kind it could be
a god it could be a more advanced civilization that has created the
universe as a simulation as I talk to you astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss about do
you find that most non-believers are in the
camper being open to there being a god or there
in the camp love knowing there is no God it’s really hard to say because I
primarily in Iran in circles as skeptics I’m and in this up those 80 s that are skeptics
in the eighties because a skeptical reasons I think that they’re all open there were
hate should give us the evidence shows you know we would like to believe as
many true things that you’ve all seen as possible we’re not beginning with this
we don’t want to believe in a god thing there are plenty baby is out there who I
just flatly a certain others notice things
God nai I have no interest in you know that even possibly being true and there are
others who say thing similar that are often misrepresented I’m your kitchen’s a it famously said
that unit who this idea the Christian God in
particular he wouldn’t even want it to be true and what he will what he meant I
definitely agree with the you know he was trying but the character this
individual in the model that they’ve created in the univers room but if they’re is gone I’d certainly
like to know about anime not in any way proposing that its
necessarily impossible there’s nothing that qualifies in that
realm it’s just that I haven’t seen the evidence for what gone
and the things that kinda bothers me sometimes when I hear from
people about kind of questioning my my believes is
the idea that what what if I’m wrong type of thing and
again its it’s not one of these things were I
many on any kind of crusade I I was raised Jewish relatively secular had a
couple years at Hebrew school it was never understood within my family
that what I am being tied is literally true but the idea was this kind of
interesting cultural stuff here about Jews as a people that we kinda want you to grow up in and
it was never adversarial for me in anyway and I find that that sometimes
something that comes up very often talking to you those who are very religious that it
seems it has always been an adversarial thing
for them this does God exist or does God not exist were for me it was hey i’m
open to it either way yeah it’s not I don’t like you know I
I’d love to find out whether or not this is actually true this there’s claims that I got this
I find that you know the coming from your background into
primarily cultural judy is in the other conflict a is not as prevalent their in Parker’s have to do
so much work to become a jew love you if you were born one and the in a reformed judaism doesn’t
require that one actually believe in a god but coming from my background there
certainly is a lot more adversarial in to this but my biggest I’m most definitely in Evangelical atheist
re preaching atheist and actually I’m and public preaching on
behalf a skepticism a but unlike some skeptics who would say
that they don’t care what people who believe they care about the methods that
they use to reach those please I actually also care about what people
believe because we what people believe informs their actions and their actions
have consequences for themselves and others so I care that somebody you know believes that their God has
ordained for example marriage is being one man one woman forever the objective that are very real for
people yeah it’s the actions they take on be happy to police and it seems to be kind have
non-productive counterproductive to to say I don’t care a police I only care about
your actions if you really care about the actions you work to educate people so that their
Police change we’ve been speaking with Matt Dillon
hunty he is hosted the Atheist Experience check that out Matt great to
have you on and I’m sure we had plenty of time for more and we’ll definitely
have you back thanks very much they would appreciate


  1. I've been following Matt for a long time now.  From humble beginnings, he has proven that he is a very powerful orator.  He was actually a moving force in my deconversion. I look forward to seeing what he will do in the future. 

  2. Matt Dillahunty almost became a professional hatemonger Baptist Minister but fortunately found reason and logic.

  3. Even when people like Ham, Hinns, Popoff, or even Uri Geller are exposed, those who believe in them rarely change their minds, unfortunately. 
    That's how cults/religions/beliefs work; irrationality and/or dishonesty.

  4. You may not believe in God, but do you believe in Numbers? We use numbers everyday, yet just try to invite the number 1 over for dinner, and ofcourse you can't, because numbers are immaterial, supernatural….  You believe in numbers even though you can't see them, yet you can't believe in God?

  5. there is only one strong enough god to be worthy of my worship and his name is KHORNE blood for the blood god skulls for the skull throne 

  6. Well IMHO the smartest young atheist is the TJ the Amazing Atheist. Tj has more intelligence then any 50 year period that I know and TJ is still in his twenties.

  7. There many great polemicists that have emerged from the secular community, such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Dan Barker, and of course the late Christopher Hitchens. I would include Matt Dillahunty among the illustrious ranks of these men. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible, and has tackled every debate tactic used by the duplicitous Christian apologist. Given that Matt can also speak eloquently and passionately from the emotional perspective of a former believer, he  is a great asset for the secular cause.

  8. What we should be debating for the creatards is, padded rooms or not padded? Its a very large expense, do we do a fund raiser or pass a bill for an extra tax on alcohol or weed?

  9. Matt!! For those of you who don't know Matt, you should check out his debates or watch the Athiest Experience episodes. He is one of the small number of YouTube atheists who I still think is awesome. A lot of them have become just as crazy as theists.

  10. David, I'm in the Camp of "The Lies are Messing up our Educational System."
    Like you, I want the truth, But in addition, It Pisses me off that The stupidity is being Brandished as truth! And worse, Congress is filled with them. 


  12. You should see what Carl has to say about you on PPsimmions David the guys nothing but a dishonest shitbag I enjoyed watching the livingdinosaur tear his ass a new one to.

  13. So, basically, this man is saying that he doesn't wish to coexist with people of faith because they are dangerous. So much for religious freedom. So much for freedom, period.

  14. I'm agnostic, but don't subscribe to the idea "Religion must be proven scientifically." Religion and science have different axioms.

    Science depends on faith in perception.

    Religion denies the necessity of perception. Christianity takes the bible as their "axiom". Everything follows from that.

    One might accept tenants from the other, but only so far as it doesn't conflict with their own faith.

    It's foolish to deny science based on the bible, most would agree.
    It's equally foolish to deny the bible based on science.

  15. im an atheist that believes there no god cause if there was wouldn't the world be full of magical events and in the age of technology we'd see something on the news

  16. At the rate atheism is increasing and Catholicism is decreasing, do we need to even have these discussions? In 1930 Atheism was 2%. 1990 it was at 9%. 2012 it was 20%. With that rate of increase, in 20 years it could become the majority on its own.

  17. I have found that the more conservative a believer is, the more likely that he/she believes that merely tolerating other beliefs in others will cause god to remove his "hand of protection" from the country, thus allowing for floods, fires, tornados, hurricanes, etc..(even thought these thing already exist)!

  18. I hate Hitchens and Harris – bigoted assholes but love Dennett, Dawkins And Matt. Matt is the shining light on the athiest experience (though I really like Tracy too). It would be great if someone came forward to give him his own show. His intelligence, patience and education is really inspiring…

  19. As a theist myself, I can apreciate their open mindedness and willingness to believe in the existence in a god IF THE EVIDENCE was there to prove it. They are not hostile and arrogant such as the many atheists who seem to be as extreme in their behavior as their religious nutjob counterparts. If we create an atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance of each other's personal beliefs, this type of discussion would rarely be of any relevance. Scientific progress would continue on its course, and so would human spirituality. Pakman would also have more actual relevant news to talk about.

  20. So awesome to see two of my favorite social media personalities finally coming together for this interview. Really makes my day.

  21. The God of both Islam and Christianity sounds like a complete psychopathic bigot and even if it was real I agree with Hitchens, I wouldnt want anything to do with it. It creates us one way and expects us to live another way or face eternal suffering and on top of all that expects us to believe its even real when it stays invisible for our entire existence..and then gives us no scientific evidence as to why homosexuality is wrong, why lust is a sin, why you created humans with these flaws if you are perfect….its just a shitfest.  

  22. Nice interview. TAE is a pretty good show (despite some of its hosts' ties with "Atheism plus"). I'd really like to see you host an interview with Matt and some more religious types.

  23. Indeed, when proposing the existence of a god one must be clear of the definition of a god.

    A casual conversation about a god can, and often does, revert to the specific god of the bible.  This god also happens to be the same one in Islam and Judaism.

    As soon as a god becomes that god the conversation is over because there is no evidence for that god.  That isn't to say there is evidence for a god, but the conversation changes to a discussion of that god and those assorted religions instead of a generic casual conversation for a supernatural entity.

  24. I find it sad how Alvin Plantinga got treated here recently, with his actually valid and well studied arguments, and this guy.. who just "picked" religious skepticism as the right and righteous path to follow (but fails to avoid epistemic dogmatism), without even an understanding of the inconsistencies within the Hard Atheism he preaches, he's praised as a venerable debater. 

    It's not a two-way street.  Your only options are not just: Believe there is a god or believe there is no god. You can pretty much be the following:

    Gnostic Atheist – Believes there absolutely is no god
    Gnostic Theist – Believes there absolutely is a god or gods
    Agnostic Athiest – Believes we cannot or don't know, does not favor the possibility of a god
    Agnostic Theist – Believes we cannot or don't know, favors the chance of some god or gods

    I suppose you might also be indifferent, but then you'd be an agnostic atheist.  It's most consistent to choose the Agnostic Atheist or Theist even than to be a Gnostic Atheist or Theist.  It's important to know why you believe something, because it allows you to observe the framework of your own worldview.  Our worldviews shape everything that we are and what we are prone to believing and what we want to believe is true.  We all have one, and they're not all perfect.  It's not good to be a dogmatist about much, including your Hard Atheism.

    Peace ☮,
    -A Jerk

  25. Hells yes! Dillahunty! I recommend his show very strongly. It's called "The Atheist Experience." It's pretty damned entertaining.

  26. By the way… If any of my fellow atheists are reading this: If you ever feel like the  world is against you and you're the only one who believes in logic and not magic, search "The Thinking Atheist" "You Are Not Alone."

  27. Dear Matt, I was raised in Catholicism and was forced to go to church from a really young age. I got my butt beat if I said I didn't want to go. I was told if I did bad things satan would take me over. I was forced to watch the Exercist at five years of age. To this day I have nightmares about demons and satan. When I got older, and upon studying the bible and other religions, I am not so sure I believe anymore. I know the bible was written by imperfect man so how can it be perfect, especially when the Catholic Church left certain things out. I am beginning to think God is not a nice God. I am still in the between stage where science is more compelling than faith yet I still find myself feeling like there has to be some advanced civilization that brought us here.

  28. Preachers and fundamentalist Christians always come off as con-men to me, some more so than others, when they attempt to give you "proof" for the existence of their god.

  29. Fuck dillahunty.

    I went to call his show one day to talk about how likely an atheist is to be President.  Asshole went out of his way to have me hung up on and then I ask for him to say sorry, he calls my house and I don't answer cause I'm out so he calls the cops cause being hung up on by dilladick and not answering my phone when I was out can only mean I wanted to kill myself.  

    fuck dillahunty.

    But I'm worried about matt.  I tried calling the other day and he didn't answer.  I think matt wants to kill himself.  Someone save matt from himself! 

  30. i am so happy i found this, been watching both for a very long time. was hoping this interview existed…

  31. Matt says he felt liberated when he realised Christianity, and all religions, are bs. I didn't, I felt very let down and lied to. I still have issues with the crap.

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