Shortly after I became a Christian I stumbled across Bertrand Russell's book Why I'm Not A Christian. My mentor at the time encouraged me to read it. I did. I was unimpressed even then with his arguments. Now thirty plus years later I'm even less impressed with Russell. I did find this short interview with him interesting. I completely agree with him when he says there "can't be practical reason for believing what isn't true." If something is true you should believe it and if it isn't you shouldn't. It is interesting that the "practical" effect of Russell's atheism allowed him to live a life of immorality. In The Making of an Atheist James Spiegel draws from the work of Paul Johnson's Intellectuals which he says shows that "the philosophical systems and social ideals of many modern intellectuals were decided by their will to be immoral, not their quest for truth." (73-74) (See a review of Spiegel's work by Paul Adams here.) I've not read Johnson but I did read Spiegel and while I was hesitant of his thesis at first the scales were tipping in his favor by the end of the book.