Catholic vs. Atheist – 2016-09-11 – Renaud

This is my first interview. John actually responded to a kijiji ad in which I was seeking non-Catholics to interview. It was a great way to start. He is a physics guy, too. Quite rational. He asked some good questions.


Please excuse any errors as these captions were automatically generated by YouTube.

0:00 hi I’m Alan oh and you’re listening to
0:01 Catholic versus areas the way I like to
0:08 start is just have you introduce
0:09 yourself talk a little bit about who you
0:11 are what you believe and why you believe
0:12 it sure I my name is van oh I don’t
0:15 really believe anything supernatural I
0:17 think the way that we know things is by
0:19 studying a real world in general it has
0:22 to go through our senses or two machines
0:25 that we use to measure the real world
0:27 and then we see the measurements with
0:29 our senses you know that’s what science
0:30 is about science is about studying the
0:33 real world in a methodical way it’s not
0:35 always possible to do it in general like
0:37 in your everyday life you’re going to
0:39 want to just observe the real world and
0:41 try to deduce what the real world is
0:44 like do you know the difference between
0:45 deduction and induction shoots deduction
0:49 is a top-down logical cartoon where we
0:51 use pure reason right in induction we
0:53 observe patterns and we impose a rule or
0:57 a conclusion on the pattern and the
0:59 philosopher David Hume said that there’s
1:00 a problem with induction which is they
1:02 can never know with absolute certainty
1:04 yeah and I don’t pretend to know
1:06 anything with absolute certainty when we
1:09 make decisions we don’t wait until we
1:12 have absolute certainty about the state
1:14 of things we make decisions based on the
1:17 best information that we have so you may
1:19 try to get more information if it’s
1:21 possible sometimes we just don’t have
1:23 enough information to make an informed
1:25 decision but the earth is bigger than my
1:28 head do you have absolute confidence in
1:31 those sorts of statements about relation
1:33 the earth is bigger than your head
1:35 according to everything I couldn’t
1:38 observe I can look at your head directly
1:40 I can look at the urge and you know I
1:42 can observe directly that the earth is
1:44 bigger than your head but I don’t know
1:46 maybe I’m in the matrix and yeah you
1:48 know and like it’s all Venusian or
1:50 something like that there’s no
1:51 scientific basis for positing the
1:54 existence of reality or of the alarm
1:55 what are we all in the matrix or
1:57 whatever it’s real I don’t see the
1:59 difference because it’s their world that
2:01 I experience right the difference is
2:03 that if the world is your creation and
2:06 only you exist then you don’t need to
2:08 worry about heaven and hell because you
2:10 are God Almighty and you have nothing
2:11 that can ever hurt you well
2:13 I mean I can try it for my will alone to
2:16 change the world but that doesn’t seem
2:17 to work so you would conclude that the
2:20 real world is real and that you are not
2:22 according to everything again I can
2:25 observe yeah it seems to me the case
2:27 yeah how do you feel about deism there’s
2:31 a first cause there’s a prime mover he
2:33 got the whole shebang going he created
2:35 the universe I’m not convinced you not
2:38 gonna know I wouldn’t claim that it’s
2:41 false okay but I like what we need
2:43 evidence like why I posit that there was
2:46 a being there do you believe that the
2:50 universe is undergoing dissipation and
2:54 approaching a heat death that’s the
2:56 current scientific world yeah explore
2:58 the expansion of bird and university
3:00 sure slowly slowly dying if time in the
3:05 past is infinite the heat death would
3:07 have already arrived it hasn’t arrived
3:09 there photos from mad necessary you know
3:13 if there’s infinite time behind us would
3:17 enough time of elapsed for this heat
3:18 death that’s impending to arrive no yes
3:23 no that’s not how it works we need a
3:25 beginning mathematically know
3:28 mathematically yes because if you
3:30 acknowledge now that this universe will
3:33 dissipate such that life is not tenable
3:36 human life and malaria sure is untenable
3:39 as is in translational sure put it from
3:41 the laws of physics that crab served
3:43 that’s what we can predict but we don’t
3:45 know if like maybe the Big Bang was the
3:48 result of a prior state of the universe
3:51 which is what you believe right because
3:52 you believe in God so we call I noting
3:54 like that I know I could I don’t believe
3:56 that so according to you the prior state
3:57 of the universe was God no there was no
3:59 universe before God created but God
4:02 existed right but it was not the
4:04 universe okay it’s not a creation so how
4:07 do you define universe creation so you
4:11 inject a being to your definition of the
4:15 you know the greater injects a creation
4:18 I’m a creature I don’t inject God God
4:20 indexing when we talk about creation we
4:23 imply that someone
4:25 yeah so you’re kind of begging the
4:27 question when you call the universe
4:29 creation you’re like you’re not saying
4:31 by definition it was treated because
4:33 it’s a creation so I could define it
4:36 like the universe as the result of the
4:39 pre universe or something alike which is
4:41 what you believe you believe there was
4:42 something before the universe because
4:44 you but if it was good before the
4:45 universe right we don’t believe there’s
4:47 time for matter before you but if only
4:51 cuz there’s only got the being whose
4:53 essences existence so so so it’s not a
4:56 block of wood he’s not a stone he’s not
4:58 a human is since his existence in
5:00 essence is existence he just exists okay
5:03 without a cause he is uncaused because
5:06 you know I could posit for example a
5:08 unicorn that is pink a phaser horn and
5:12 that exists and by definition it exists
5:15 therefore it exists no but we are
5:17 contingent beings we depend on our
5:19 existence depends on something else
5:21 other things the fact that you exist and
5:24 the fact that you acknowledge that
5:25 eventually human life will be untenable
5:28 in the universe because he bets entropy
5:30 okay sure and there is a certain number
5:32 of years or a certain amount of time
5:35 that is finite which will accomplish
5:38 that completion of life and the fact
5:42 that that amount of time has not yet
5:43 passed and your your your means there
5:46 isn’t against your kind of suggesting
5:48 there’s a certain amount of time from
5:51 the beginning but let’s talk about
5:52 Matt’s now there’s a finite number of
5:56 whole numbers between 0 & 3 right that
6:00 doesn’t mean that there isn’t any pinche
6:03 are whole numbers below 0 there’s still
6:06 an affinity a whole numbers below 0 what
6:10 tells you that the universe is not
6:11 doesn’t have a cause other than God that
6:13 is not an infinity of causes other than
6:17 God let’s explore this idea of
6:19 multiverses okay when I talk about the
6:21 universe yeah as a Catholic if there are
6:25 multiverses those multiverses are part
6:28 of my universe the whole reason that we
6:31 talk about a universe is because we’re
6:33 uniting everything into soup when when
6:35 we talk about their heat death of the
6:37 universe
6:37 it concentrates on the laws that we
6:40 observe here but if there is a kind of
6:42 super universe in which has different
6:44 laws it it might not have those laws it
6:48 might be again that the Big Bang was the
6:51 beginning it might be that there was a
6:52 beginning prior to that which is also 49
6:55 or there might be no begin it might be
6:58 caused by a multiverse switches itself
7:00 infinite we can rule out the possibility
7:02 that the super-universe as you would
7:04 call it has no beginning in time we can
7:06 rule that out why because we’re still
7:08 here given the fact that things are
7:13 unraveling if you want to put it again
7:15 if you talk about it again if you talk
7:16 about numbers you know before zero
7:20 there’s an infinity of numbers you know
7:22 an affinity and yet we still haven’t
7:24 gotten to tree right I want to ask you
7:28 about cause and effect how important is
7:30 that to science my understanding my
7:33 Leman understanding of quantum physics
7:36 is that there’s phenomenon that are
7:39 purely random if you’re willing to
7:41 accept randomness true randomness that
7:44 to me is more absurd than my acceptance
7:46 of God the first okay you don’t see a
7:49 problem with embracing an uncaused
7:52 effect no although I couldn’t prove that
7:55 that isn’t some kind of hidden cost to
7:58 them okay the statistical approach is
8:01 only a tool that we use because of our
8:02 ignorance let’s imagine that your work
8:04 as a scientist as we tell yo sure would
8:06 you find it useful to adopt what we call
8:09 God’s point of view the gods idea it
8:12 eliminates things like the Copenhagen
8:16 interpretation in Schrodinger’s cat
8:18 there’s a philosophical interpretation
8:20 of that whereby they say the cat is
8:21 neither alive nor dead until we observe
8:24 it when we observe it then that
8:26 probability function collapses into one
8:28 state or the other but if we adopt God’s
8:31 point of view he sees if the cat is
8:33 alive or dead he sees if that poisonous
8:36 bomb has exploded or not and he sees
8:39 through that black box that we humans
8:42 can’t see through so he doesn’t need
8:45 probability waves which collapse upon
8:47 observation because he’s
8:48 we observing everything Einstein had
8:50 this worldview Einstein said God does
8:52 not play dice seeing God doesn’t play
8:54 dice you know that’s just making a
8:56 statement you’re actually prove there’s
8:58 no proof it’s a philosophical question
9:00 it’s a worldview I don’t have a prob you
9:04 your way well if you’re if you’re
9:06 willing to say in principle that
9:08 probability is only a tool because of
9:10 our ignorance and you do have a
9:11 worldview you have a rational sane world
9:13 view I tear about what works if you have
9:16 a model that allows you to make
9:17 predictions and you make prediction and
9:19 they come true that’s the model that
9:21 works scientist science it works but
9:24 what this podcast is about is about
9:26 philosophy and slowed ideas and it’s
9:28 about ultimate reality and does God
9:31 exist or not and your interpretation of
9:34 the philosophy of science will
9:36 predispose you to moving towards or away
9:40 from God because you know from my point
9:43 of view it’s not a problem at all
9:44 question is there good or not their aim
9:47 it is for you well I’m sure there’s for
9:49 you it is for you to be just don’t know
9:51 it you don’t wreck a you don’t recognize
9:53 it because either God is God or you or
9:56 god it’s a major difference two major
9:58 difference how about the hypothesis of
10:00 this such a thing as karma advisor I
10:04 believe in karma karma just means cause
10:08 effect so I believe in cause and effect
10:11 but let’s talk a little bit about this
10:14 unicorn okay or the spaghetti monster or
10:17 the things that the hardcore atheist
10:19 like to put in place of God okay like
10:21 Santa Claus Easter Bunny whatever it is
10:23 or the Greek gods are Apollo or whatever
10:25 you want to talk about just pick some
10:27 stupid thing and replace God’s good
10:29 thing oh yeah that’s me relative to god
10:32 it’s stupid okay it’s just so everything
10:35 is stupid relative to go so let’s go
10:38 with unicorns what would it take for you
10:40 to believe in unicorns I it’s not that
10:43 freaky actually it’s not that weird it’s
10:44 true it’s actually not that weird I mean
10:47 different claims cannot have you know we
10:49 did we don’t necessarily meet me that I
10:51 as much evidence to prove them like if
10:54 you tell again if you if you tell me
10:56 yesterday you you you you were wearing a
10:58 red
10:59 t-shirt and you show me a picture you
11:03 yesterday with a red t-shirt and I’m
11:05 definitely gonna believe in Photoshop I
11:07 actually actually if you if you just
11:09 tell me where wearing a t-shirt
11:11 yesterday that’s pretty gonna be good
11:13 enough for me but if you if you tell me
11:15 that you can you say ports I’m not gonna
11:18 believe you so like they’re you know the
11:20 ordinary claims extraordinary exactly
11:23 exactly the claim that you exist give me
11:27 evidence proportional to that there are
11:31 two possibilities you are self existent
11:33 I know um I don’t see how you can go
11:37 from exists to therefore god exists with
11:41 a leap of faith I don’t do that yes you
11:44 do or at least I try not you do that you
11:46 take the leap of faith that I exist I
11:49 don’t take your leader paper I see you
11:52 but you know that you exist right yeah
11:56 sure that trumps any sensory data that’s
12:00 coming into you you have to be alive to
12:03 see me the central fact for you is that
12:08 you are that you’re alive that is the
12:10 there again again that’s that I mean
12:12 it’s it’s hard to argue with the cards
12:15 on that but I don’t see where to go from
12:17 there they’re usually it’s kind of a
12:19 dead then from there you’re stuck there
12:22 yeah you have to take you have to take a
12:24 leap of faith and say reality is real
12:26 well I can’t walk I just deal with what
12:29 I have like I experience the world I
12:34 expand my own thoughts and I make sense
12:38 all of them because that’s all but how
12:40 you can throw away century data you
12:42 can’t throw away your own existence I
12:44 catch really true web sensory data
12:46 actually you can deny them I can’t
12:49 ignite some of them but I can’t really
12:51 deny them as a block and go somewhere
12:54 from there have you met a Buddhist do
12:56 you know that the Buddhist denies his
12:58 only distance I know I didn’t know that
13:01 and the reason they do that is because
13:04 they are confronted with the sensory
13:06 data that you and I are confronted with
13:08 and instead of taking a leap of faith
13:10 into reality and saying that reality is
13:12 real let’s get on with science they say
13:16 it’s just the dream of the one mind
13:19 that’s what Buddhism is so if you look
13:23 at the Buddhists on the one end of the
13:24 spectrum and you look at me a Catholic
13:27 on the other end of the spectrum the
13:29 Buddhist denies his senses and says only
13:32 God is real mm-hmm I say that God is
13:35 real the real world is real science is
13:37 good and we can’t just pretend like the
13:41 world doesn’t exist right so there are
13:43 two extremes they’re both weird but on
13:46 that spectrum where would you place
13:47 yourself you as an individual where
13:49 would you place yourself closer to the
13:50 Catholic or closer to the Buddhist
13:52 you’re closer to the Catholic your
13:54 nozzles right up against us
13:55 indistinguishable basically ah on that
13:59 point I’m not sure on the point of
14:02 acknowledging that reality is real you
14:04 are indistinguishable from whatever
14:06 they’re better you don’t deny reality
14:10 what does science say about the Mayan
14:12 not the brain the mind the mind that is
14:15 really much very much linked to the
14:17 brain in the sense that if you if you if
14:20 you damage the brain it might change the
14:25 mind change your mind that’s pretty
14:28 clear that whenever we talk about
14:29 anything related to the mind it’s all
14:32 about neurology yeah now do you think
14:35 that brain activity follows cause and
14:38 effects yeah yeah from the most part I
14:42 mean there might be some random and I
14:44 may not give you a hint okay if you say
14:46 that it’s not determined one hundred
14:49 percent by causing effect then you are
14:51 irrationally embracing the supernatural
14:53 I don’t see that randomness you admitted
14:56 to me earlier has to be an admission of
14:58 ignorance we need statistical methods
14:59 because we’re ignorant even though we
15:01 can’t see the cause for every effect in
15:03 principle every effect does have a cause
15:05 that’s what I would say and for you to
15:07 say something different would mean that
15:08 you’re embracing an irrational
15:11 supernatural I don’t see why every
15:13 should
15:14 this principle because your reject God
15:16 you reject the supernatural I don’t see
15:19 how in principle we could we should
15:21 reject the possibility that are things
15:23 that are absolutely random that are that
15:26 they just don’t have any i know i don’t
15:28 know kasi yeah i don’t see why we should
15:30 check that is i mean it might be a name
15:33 for that it’s called a miracle right
15:36 where there’s no natural cause there’s a
15:38 supernatural cause it’s called a miracle
15:40 so if you say so are you open to the
15:43 possibility of the supernatural if
15:46 nobody can study it it’s kind of a just
15:49 an idea but if the scientists are
15:52 speculating that there may be an
15:54 uncaused affect us miss randomness that
15:56 you talked about it’s not subject to
15:58 sinus why not because oh you’re Noble as
16:01 an effect i Jes okay so they are
16:05 acknowledging something that is beyond
16:08 nature his nature works with cause and
16:10 effect do you understand this is this is
16:13 the whole point yeah but but but I don’t
16:16 see why we should bust late one world
16:18 order I think what really counts in
16:21 science is really like what you can
16:24 observe what predictions you can make
16:26 one principle that’s often used in
16:28 science is when you have two models that
16:31 are exactly as prediction and one is
16:34 more complex than the other you’re going
16:35 to use the simpler one is Newtonian
16:38 physics obsolete now that we have the
16:41 new physics not completely because it
16:42 can fill be used in many situations the
16:44 reason that we have quantum physics even
16:46 though Newtonian physics works is
16:49 because we need that complex system to
16:52 explain the data right but it’s not more
16:54 complex than necessary it’s complex
16:58 because the observation is coming what I
17:00 would say to you is that the Catholic
17:03 world view with all its theology all of
17:05 its dogmas all of its rules and
17:06 regulations everything that the Catholic
17:08 Church gives the faithful is falling
17:12 Occam’s razor it is the simplest
17:14 explanation for the data given the data
17:16 or 10
17:18 me that’s why you’re not a Catholic
17:19 obviously now talk to me a little bit
17:23 about my faith any questions you have
17:26 when you talk about Georgian you talk
17:28 about all kind of things that are
17:30 outside of what we can work with do you
17:33 think I use reason in my faith do you
17:38 yeah well the do you you you postulate
17:41 the premise that there is no uncaused
17:43 cause and my it’s a premise but I don’t
17:46 really see you know I don’t say there’s
17:48 no one to ask cause I say that there is
17:50 an uncaused cause that’s my god the
17:53 uncaused cause is my god that’s why I
17:56 mean you still postulate something and I
17:58 don’t see why you would was sleep I
18:00 didn’t work postulate that then I will
18:02 exact relates to what what you know what
18:04 what I have what can we use or what what
18:07 it can deliver let’s make it very
18:08 concrete and real for you I want you to
18:10 picture for me if you will some relative
18:13 that you love and cherish but who has
18:15 passed away from my perspective reality
18:18 is that your beloved is destined for a
18:21 really horrible outcome are really
18:23 wonderful out so it is ultimately the
18:28 most real thing the most real thing you
18:33 mean it would be the biggest concern
18:35 yeah if you believe it no not if you
18:39 believe it if it’s reality if it’s
18:41 really better if you believe it mm-hmm
18:44 funny people in hell didn’t believe in
18:46 turn if it’s real if he’ll is real okay
18:49 let’s post it an alternative hypothesis
18:51 maybe it is really that after to die if
18:54 you’re a Christian you go to inhale and
18:56 if you’re not good question you go to
18:58 paralyze does that make sense well well
19:02 we apply reason to that we can apply it
19:05 just as much as your hypothesis that a
19:08 good Christian girl I see the difference
19:10 between worshipping a unicorn and
19:12 worshiping God Almighty because God
19:13 Almighty is the only necessary being he
19:17 is the first cause but the unicorn isn’t
19:19 and this is the same thing with positing
19:20 that Christians go to hell and
19:22 non-christians go to heaven it’s like
19:24 saying that the Unicorn is God but he’s
19:27 not the first cause and he’s not on
19:29 again you’re describing a lot of things
19:32 that are outside of everything and I can
19:34 observe anything again test anything I
19:36 can you know it’s interesting that tell
19:38 in heaven are placed after a tie in a
19:41 time are they I cannot observe are their
19:44 way which is that give testimony are
19:47 there witnesses that give testimony that
19:48 hell is real heaven is real yeah and
19:50 also witnesses that give incompatible
19:53 testimonies there’s no end to the lies
19:57 right and the delusions there’s no into
20:00 Marcus sure principle we could create a
20:02 legend right now well yeah sure get rich
20:05 I’m your God give me your money we could
20:11 do that but what we’re examining is the
20:14 evidence is there evidence do people
20:16 talk about God they talk about heaven do
20:18 they talk about how do they talk about
20:19 what it’s like do they talk about how to
20:21 get there do they talk about how to
20:23 avoid hell do they talk about sin and
20:24 they talk about virtue and vice and the
20:27 people of different religions that talk
20:29 about everything that are part of their
20:32 region but if we look at the mainstream
20:34 of monotheism Christianity Judaism and
20:37 Islam hmm why would I focus on that I
20:39 focus on that because that is the
20:42 dominant and predominant trend of
20:45 religion if we look at that do you not
20:48 see major trend lines reinforcing each
20:51 other talking about basic truths of
20:54 monotheistic religious people were not
20:57 for the most part haven’t been
20:59 completely isolated so like people have
21:02 traveled from region to region since the
21:06 beginning of history mean people shared
21:08 ideas and stories so the fact that some
21:11 ideas could be in one religion and also
21:14 in another is not necessary that
21:16 surprising if it’s true I mean yeah it
21:20 makes a lot of sense but if it’s
21:22 positive also makes sense sense ideas
21:25 travel is it worth risking you’re gonna
21:28 you’re gonna ask us later yeah
21:30 yeah is it worth the risk to you too
21:33 amateur it’s really that much of a risk
21:36 I mean maybe maybe if I believe in god
21:38 I’m gonna get punished forever and how
21:40 and you know do you see why I reject
21:44 that you know what it’s if someone comes
21:46 to me and I can say you have a rich
21:49 family member in Kenya and it just
21:51 passed away and you can be kind of
21:53 millionaire if you just give me a
21:55 thousand-dollar of them I don’t buy it
21:57 more if it’s more money like if they see
22:00 oh but it’s not a million it’s a
22:02 billion-dollar I’m not gonna give them
22:04 money more the fact that they promise a
22:06 bigger reward doesn’t make it more
22:08 convincing do you not see through that
22:11 ruse and see that they just want to get
22:12 your thousand dollars uh yeah and i see
22:14 that you want to convince me that that
22:16 that God exists what would I get out of
22:18 that it’s kind of part of your religion
22:20 to convince people but even if it’s not
22:22 it I see that people in general tend to
22:25 like convincing others that they are
22:26 right so obviously most people feel that
22:29 they did get something out of convincing
22:32 others that they are right about what do
22:34 you think that I think my motivation is
22:37 I think that you think your motivation
22:40 is to save me from hell do you believe
22:42 that if you convince me to join your
22:45 religion you might say veep on how we
22:47 have to be humble as humans like we can
22:50 plant a seed but only God can make it
22:53 grow I know so I could be at the very
22:56 best I could be instrumental in your
22:58 conversion but it’s between you and God
22:59 put me a big part of what it is to be
23:02 humble is to admit when we don’t know
23:05 something and like what are the things
23:07 that you think that I should admit I
23:09 don’t know that I claim that I do know
23:11 some of the big things okay whatever the
23:15 universe is eternal or whether it has a
23:17 beginning that’s a big one uh I’m
23:21 willing to admit in principle that I may
23:23 be wrong about that Richard I maybe God
23:26 you may be good all right
23:29 do you think in principle I could beat
23:31 god no no why not it’s gonna be me it’s
23:36 not my point of view I can deny your
23:40 existence I cannot deny my existence
23:42 that’s what solid season is you from
23:45 your if you exist if you really exist
23:47 you can deny my existence right okay
23:51 yeah if I deny my senses and yeah so
23:56 from your perspective you might be gone
23:57 but is it possible in principle for you
23:59 to deny that you exist I’m not sure I
0:03 don’t think it is it it kind of doesn’t
0:07 really make sense it’s kind of what
0:10 Descartes said is that in denying it
0:12 you’re asserting it there for you just
0:14 if someone why’d you say I can formulate
0:17 a way in which I could think we’re all
0:20 existing and I would be open-minded and
0:22 listen to what you have to say and if
0:25 you’re right it’s kind of weird what are
0:30 some of the things that you find weird
0:31 and unusual about Catholicism do you
0:33 think that the cracker literally becomes
0:35 a buddy of prize yes you do yes why
0:37 because the church tells me so that’s
0:41 the only also i mean if you were to
0:42 convince me to believe in Catholicism
0:46 then you would have to convince me to
0:48 believe everything the church so yes
0:49 yeah good luck with that baby steps
0:55 finish the first cause cause and effect
0:58 3 well this is so so if you can get me
1:02 into drugs maybe it would be easier yeah
1:08 a brain damage that would work too I
1:11 don’t have a lot of hope that I’m gonna
1:13 convert anybody I don’t have a lot of
1:17 hope that I’m gonna decon virtue either
1:20 so what the conversation was fun if you
1:28 like it will do if you think it’s got
1:31 some questions as piano tell all you
1:33 gotta do it
1:35 all you got to do is

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