Who are you?
My name is Luke Muehlhauser.
I grew up an evangelical Christian in Minnesota, USA. At age 21, I began to study the Historical Jesus and the philosophy of religion. I lost my faith in January 2008. Now, I’m an outspoken advocate of rational thinking and naturalism.
I try not to have “heroes,” but here are some people I admire:
Why did you become an atheist?
The short story is that when I actually studied the historical evidence for Jesus and the arguments for and against God’s existence, I had to admit to myself that even though I thought I had experienced God many times, I really had no better reason to believe in God than to believe in Zeus or Allah or fairies or Santa Claus. So I admitted I couldn’t believe, and that was the saddest and hardest day of my life. I felt like I had lost everything that mattered to me.
Later, I realized I had only lost something that never existed in the first place. In fact, I was now free to discover what really existed, and how the world I found myself really worked. It turned out I could have purpose, meaning, morality, and joy without God. So now I’m living a life of passion and joy without my childhood invisible friend.
Do you really think atheism is just “common sense”?
No, not if you mean that the way most people think confirms atheism. I have little respect for that kind of “common sense,” which has resulted in millions of false and silly beliefs throughout history.
What I mean by “common sense” is that if people apply the same kind of reasoning they do in many other areas of life (their “common sense”) to their religious beliefs, they will realize that their religious beliefs are false. Belief in God, I contend, requires that you use double standards in your thinking. It’s the goal of this blog to expose those double standards.
What are your moral views?
I do not respect hocus pocus morality that tells you to close your eyes and ask your “conscience” what is right and wrong. This moral system – which most people follow – is merely an unconscious attempt to justify your own moral prejudices as if they were moral facts, and it has led to every kind of immorality and bigotry ever encountered. There is no reason to think we have evolved an accurate “morality detector” in the brain, and there are lots of reasons to think that we do not directly perceive moral values. So moral facts (if they exist) should be – like everything else - discovered only through our most reliable methods of truth-finding: logic and evidence.
What are your political views?
I don’t trust any politicians. All political systems devised so far are necessarily corrupting.
I advocate an empirical politics, an anti-ideological politics. We should find the right questions, then gather the data, then structure society based on what works, according to the data.
So of course the Bush presidency – which stubbornly and self-righteously contradicted the available data as often as possible – badly upset me. But so has the Obama presidency, which has tried to solve the economic crisis by (1) relying on the crooks and idiots who created the financial crisis in the first place, by (2) ignoring the experts who got it right, and by (3) ignoring the data at every turn.
Education: 3 years university, no degree.
Employment: IT consultant.
Location: Los Angeles, California.
Do I make money off this site? No.
What do my friends believe? All types of things.
Does my atheism infringe on my social life? No.
Everything I write for this site is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license, meaning you can share it and modify it any way you like, as long as you (1) link back to my site, and (2) don’t charge money for derivative works.