Atheist Debates – Interview: Anthony Pinn, PhD

Atheist Debates – Interview: Anthony Pinn, PhD

Part of the Atheist Debates Patreon project: Dr. Anthony Pinn is a prolific author and the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professo…



Lady Cheyne says:

Thank you for this! People need to see how the Black community is
unfortunately rooted in church. It’s so hard for black people to make the
declaration of non belief because you often get shunned by the church as
well as the community.

Tom Bailey says:

At 21:57 Pinn says that by developing critical thinkers the problem
disappears. How does this not imply that theists are not critical
thinkers? 29:52 – How is saying that and then saying the biggest mistake
that atheists make is implying that theists are stupid? How is this not
presented in a way that implies a lack of critical thinking on the part of

Branding? Comparing atheists to hip-hop to learn from hip hop? Pinn,
sounds like he is interested in becoming a atheist money maker and that
impacted his disbelief. He saw a money making situation by heading towards
atheism early and that gives him a chance to be on the ground floor of the
next hip hop movement. 

WessCNY says:

Black Americans have more of a reason to reject Christianity than any other
group in this country. The bible was used to condone slavery and treat
blacks as sub human.

drstrangelove09 says:

How should have atheists and humanists have responded about Ferguson?

TennisShoes says:

Hip hop usually can be very homophobic, anti atheist/pro-theist and
generally very low brow. I’m not sure how it can be taken very seriously
these days Or in the past for that matter.

That aside, i really enjoy the guest. Really fantastic guy.

Pasxali K says:

I like the comparison during the end of the video how Hip-Hop culture has
gained a world-wide audience and acceptance, despite the fact that it has
originated from a socially despised, deprived and even abandoned minority
group… and how Atheism didn’t. Wow – that was strong.

David Straub says:

I believe I will need to watch this video a few more times – the reason
being that I need to tone down my own atheistic rhetoric. It is maddening
at times to see an otherwise intelligent person default to faith, and not
question their mental capacity. I guess it bothers me to see people
throwing away their lives and resources on what I consider to be utter
nonsense. I’m not very PC or diplomatic about the subject of gods and
religion, but I find my attitude to be harming me more than helping them. I
don’t like being mean.

Matt Dillahunty says:
John Cashin says:

Interesting interview, I can relate to it up to a point although unlike Dr
Anthony Pinn I wasn’t born and raised into the church I got ‘born again’ in
and I wasn’t a part of the Ministry for as long as yourself Matt although I
had entertained the notion of being a Pastor like you and he did, it was
something I got talked into for a relatively short time of my life when I
was in my teens and I then changed my mind because I decided that I had no
logical reason to believe in it and had no personal experience unlike many
other Christians I went to church with that claimed they saw visions of
God, Angels etc, all I had was friends telling me this is the right thing
to do, seems as though I wasn’t good enough for Gods personal attention so
he had to call me through my best friends Lol.

So I was expected to just believe for the sake of just believing which I
was no longer prepared to do, if there’s one thing that shows up this God
of the Bible (if he exists) to be incredibly unreasonable, it’s his seeming
insistence on faith and subsequent condemnation of anyone who doesn’t have
it, eg, Hebrews 11:6 ‘without faith it is impossible to please God’, now
isn’t that just totally ridiculous and absurd?, surely a being of the kind
of supreme intelligence that such an ultimate creator ought to be would
understand that if he created us with highly developed mental abilities
curtsy of the brain he gave us then surely asking us to switch that off and
just believe irrespective of it making no logic would cause a conflict in
us?, if he wanted us to just do as he says and trust him regardless then he
should have just made us all less intelligent and able to think…oh…and
also it would help if he didn’t set us up with silly pointless tests like
telling us not to eat from a certain tree and then allowing a being that
seems like him in the form of a talking snake to override this original
instruction to cause confusion Lol

RE:Think says:

Totally relate to that part about people treating you as if you were losing
your blackness. 

4tech69 says:

It’s not the Hip Hop. It’s music. All people are effected in deep ways
throw music. It’s not the message either. It’s again the music. Hip Hop
generally is the most basic form of music. I.E it uses the most basic and
natural form of sound. This is very attractive to people in general. 

Walter Paul says:

“Logic and reason are not a prophylactic against stupid shit.”


Randy Savage says:

Thats pretty embarrassing to invoke ferguson. The justice department just
relased yesterday that everything Officer Wilson said and did aligned with
the truth. Michael Brown attacked the him and tried to steal his gun, so is
own demise was completely his own fault. Sad, but TRUE. Anytime you hear
someone say “hands up dont shoot” they are either knowingly perpetuating a
lie, or too dumb to know the facts of the case they are trying to exploit.

Ryan Bell says:

So many great insights here! I especially appreciated his comment that
rational people can hold destructive idea and engage in destructive
practices. “Logic and reason is not a prophylactic against stupid shit,” I
think was his exact quote! Also, his thoughts on what religion is and does
in communities were spot on! Thank you!

Damien Zellers says:

I’m interested if there are any books/videos on the psychology of why
Christians get angry when they hear that someone is an atheist. I think
it’s more than a Christian feeling indignant that someone has denied the
existence of their god.

Andres64B says:

Hip hop is catering to the lowest element. That’s why it is so popular.
There is a video of a five year old creating a hip hop record on the
keyboard in 30 seconds. If a five year-old can do it on a keyboard, without
being able to read or write music. Without playing an instrument. And
without singing, in 30 seconds. Then count me as unimpressed.

bearwoodcarpentry says:

This is music to my atheist ears, more of these discussions please Matt.

NicosMind says:

Theres a lot of great black thinkers out there. People who should be held
up as heroes rather than these “gangsters”. After all what truly makes man
great is his mind. Not his body by any means. People need to de-thrown
thuglife and realise what truly makes us great

cocoajo says:

Wow! What an insightful informative interview! All the likes!

Shinoda: The Chick Magnet says:

This guy said something i’ve been saying for years.

“Why would you embrace the religion that enslaved you?!” but he makes a
good point about it.

Bill Garthright says:

This is superb, Matt. It’s a fascinating interview! I think I’ve learned
something here. Thank-you.

MackeyDeez says:

I’m sorry but I know some theist who are stupid and gullible. They refuse
to listen to reason and sometimes common sense.

Sean Armstrong says:

i can’t believe there is an entire field dedicated to the study of black
people and religion….LOL

Playzon says:

The video was great with content, but the audio quality was frustrating.
Was this all done on one mic?

Eradicus says:

Really great interview – thanks Matt & AE

Self-replicating whatnot says:

Wait wut? This guy is black? If he didn’t tell i wouln’t have guessed.

Hiway says:

wonderful interview- I learned a lot.

Andres Villarreal says:

The argument that stuck with me is that Deists and Agnostics also held

Logically, this argument is totally lame. While a perfect, unique god has a
very high bar to jump because of his omniscient nature, a Deist
intellectual only has to be better than the average for his society and
times. The American Forefathers and the Encyclopedians in France, and
others, gave a necessary step towards universal prohibition of slavery,
even if they did not walk the whole mile themselves. But every day that
“god” did not write “No More Slavery” in the sky made him a willing

But Sociologically, there are unsettling aspects in the argument. We, the
humans, are not logical machines by nature. We are survival machines. And
one tool of this survival imperative is that we have a creed. We do not
arrive at our creed by logical inference or deduction. We receive it from
our parents or society. When we even admit the need to question our creed
we are not making a logical argument, we are attacking the creed and
therefore we are attacking the most elementary building blocks of our

Going back to the Deists and the slaves, we have to show that there is a
place for the better logical argument without shaking the foundations of
our society and without having to enter survival mode. We have to show that
religion is not a required block of the foundation. I can only imagine that
a solid black community somewhere that prospers and has some prominent
atheists is the only way to get there.

Tim Claason says:

I’d never really thought about the African American community in terms of a
resistance to the enlightenment the way Dr Pinn put it. The philosophical
stuff that underlies the way people are seems both important and, in a lot
of ways, invisible. For instance, Plato left a legacy on religion,
especially during Medieval times; yet, most medieval European citizens
wouldn’t have known much (if anything) about Plato or his philosophy. I
suspect similar stuff is going on with Dr Pinn’s reference of the
enlightenment, as is the case with how westerners currently consume

Angus Trout says:

Very interesting, I like this guy.

NicosMind says:

Loved it. Thought this was a great wee interview. Have been loving this
series :)

Marcus Goodwin says:

I could be wrong here, but isn’t an African American church-goer saying
that non-belief isn’t “black” a racist statement? If so, then how is it
acceptable for this to be the prevailing attitude?

Nicolette Orgel says:

How did hiphop become so well-received? I might argue that the sexist
lyrics and archaic ideas about women’s roles in society played a large
role. This is a huge problem in hiphop music, and it is not okay to trade
one form of bigotry for another.

Mario Pendic says:

I wish he didn’t bring up Ferguson. Ugh, no evidence of sexism. And It is
shown that atheists tend to have a higher IQ but other than that grear
interview!. Gave good analogies as well

Comments are disabled for this post.