You don’t have to go down in my basement (lecture by Dan Barker)

March 9, 2013

Dan Barker, ex-evangelical priest and now outspoken atheist and secularization-activist begins his lecture for the 4th Skepticon, the annual skeptics convention set in Springfield, Missouri, with the following words:

If I wasn’t a true Christian, nobody is. I felt it, I believed it, I prayed, I read the Bible, I dedicated my life, I lived by faith, I was preaching for 19 years, and also when I prayed I got these feelings, all these amazing goosebumps, and I knew God was real. It’s a real thing that is happening in the brain, in fact I can still do it now.

In other words, contrary to well-known new atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, or Christopher Hitchens, Dan Barker did not start out as an atheist. He wasn’t raised in a secular household, nor was intuitively skeptical toward religious teachings during his teenage years.  On the contrary, he was completely convinced he could feel God’s presence and talk to him. He was absolutely sure of his faith and believed with all of his heart. Precisely because he was such a strong believer, he has a credibility that many other athiests lack. His lecture is well worth watching. 

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