Catholic vs. Atheist – 2017-05-13 – Ali Qobadian – Kalhor


I met Ali at one of the monthly Centre for Inquiry (CFI) Skeptics in the Pub meetup events. He is my second Unitarian Universalist (UU) guest. He grew up in Iran in a nominally Shia Muslim culture.

Transcript

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

0:00 hi this is Ali and you’re listening to
0:02 cosmic versus 80s so it’s just tablet
0:09 listen to look at Lana Ali and Persian
0:12 origin and I’m here in Canada over 15
0:17 years and a professional engineer I
0:21 studied philosophy too with an
0:23 philosophy I grew up in the inner
0:27 theocracy food in a sheet Islamic
0:30 theocracy until 29 years old and we had
0:35 extensive education over religion and
0:38 they try to teach us all the arguments
0:42 for and against the religious ideas and
0:46 the God and paradise and hell and etc
0:51 and at the end you know we realize that
0:54 they are just stories so we cannot
0:57 believe in them as facts you and your
1:00 classmates and me and my peers and many
1:02 of my many people in my generation I
1:05 want to ask you a couple of
1:06 philosophical questions if I could about
1:08 atheism
1:09 I think atheism is philosophically
1:11 untenable I think that it is absurd and
1:14 it contains contradictions that’s why
1:16 I’m not already exist I used to be an
1:17 atheist and are no longer in a totally
1:19 displaced so I’m going to ask you a few
1:20 questions about that sure so do you
1:25 believe that the universe we live in has
1:27 a beginning in time I think you want to
1:30 go into the argument of first cause and
1:33 I think that argument is flawed because
1:36 then what the cause of the first cause
1:38 but the very thought is uncaused do you
1:41 believe in the uncaused
1:42 first cause
1:44 it’s just exactly to believe in on cause
1:47 everything else no does your essence you
1:51 personally does your essence include
1:54 existence yes or no but but the even
1:57 with the first cause it doesn’t justify
1:59 believing in all sorts of authority but
2:03 we’ll just start was the first cause and
2:05 we’ll build from there if you don’t
2:07 believe in cause I believe in existence
2:09 are you comfortable with the universe
2:11 that has no beginning in time are you
2:12 comfortable with that philosophically
2:13 yeah you are
2:15 yeah it’s irrational because right the
2:18 second law of thermodynamics but I have
2:21 to tell you something the time has been
2:23 there and will be there
2:24 I mean you I mean the existence and
2:27 non-existence is there you ordered a
2:30 beer okay the waiter went to the bar to
2:33 fill all his order so there was the
2:34 other guy over there the order to beer
2:36 also so before he brought you your beer
2:38 he had to bring that guy’s beer right so
2:40 there was a delay now what if he said
2:44 your beer is coming but I just have one
2:46 more client to serve and then I’m going
2:47 to bring you your beer okay there will
2:49 be a longer delay right that’s cool now
2:51 what if there was always another guy
2:53 ahead of you say that you would never
2:55 get your beer ever that’s why we know
2:58 that the universe had a beginning in
3:00 time because you have your beer okay but
3:02 there was always a guy before me that
3:04 did think it there’s a finite number of
3:06 guys before you and you can go forever
3:08 it has to be final what or you would
3:11 never get your beer but you have your
3:12 beer therefore the universe has now
3:13 beginning I believe within finite you
3:16 believe it’s inside
3:18 then you would never get your beer and
3:20 you might not be here that because
3:21 that’s the heart that that’s a cause and
3:23 effect and it is called on the first
3:25 course infinitely back and goes in
3:28 finance in the future what’s wrong with
3:30 that
3:31 what’s wrong with that is that you are
3:33 the effect of a cause and that causes in
3:36 turn the effect of another cause before
3:38 it and so on and so on and so forth and
3:40 the fact that you’re here now means that
3:44 there’s only a finite number of causes
3:45 and effects between the beginning and
3:47 you because otherwise you’re just
3:48 waiting for your turn why there are
3:51 causes
3:52 infinitely before me and there will be
3:54 in causes infinitely after me but at
3:57 this point I’m here so I exist in these
4:00 are you know continue picture it like a
4:03 chain hanging you’re one of the links on
4:06 the chain hanging it needs a hook to
4:08 hang out I believe this concept is the
4:10 is a little bit more complicated than
4:14 this another argument that I bring
4:16 against atheists which is airtight is
4:18 this supernatural dig Lina supernatural
4:21 no there is nothing supernatural then
4:24 you don’t have to work because what
4:27 you’re saying is a materialist is that
4:29 every thought you have is a physical
4:32 configuration of neurons etc and cells
4:34 in your brain it’s all determined by the
4:37 laws of nature yeah exactly and so there
4:39 there is absolutely no freedom in there
4:41 for you to make a decision because it’s
4:45 every state in your mind is determined
4:49 by the state that preceded it by the
4:51 laws of nature there’s no is determined
4:53 by law there’s no feeler yeah if the
4:55 scientists know you cannot go out of the
4:57 nature it’s not it’s locked it’s locked
5:00 in nature yes there’s no freedom there’s
5:02 only the illusion of freedom but you’re
5:04 not actually free that’s my point
5:06 from your point of view inevitable
5:08 within the laws of nature yes correct
5:11 yeah I agree so there’s no freedom great
5:13 why we need to have make a choice
5:16 because morality if there’s if there’s
5:19 no pretty well then there’s no praise
5:21 and there’s no blame I mean
5:22 I find your argument very flawed because
5:25 all the actual history the that the
5:29 religious for interviewed that denied
5:31 field well no because you don’t have a
5:33 free world because your destiny is
5:36 written by God this may be is one but
5:38 Christianity emphasizes free will if
5:41 there’s no free will there’s no
5:42 possibility of sin and if there’s no
5:44 possibility of sin then you can’t merit
5:46 help right and if there’s no sin there’s
5:49 no point in having a savior so it all it
5:51 all hinges on free will be all our
5:53 things
5:53 same thing your destiny written by God
5:55 and God knows everything so knows what
5:58 your going to be your next move etcetera
6:01 but his knowledge is not the cause now
6:03 but but but this is said that he’s the
6:05 cause of everything I mean I didn’t say
6:07 that
6:07 no so you people cause well what the
6:09 cause of any evil so what you want why
6:12 are you going back to be fair it’s all
6:14 because he is the first cause but he is
6:16 the source of everything that’s good but
6:18 he gave us free will and with our free
6:20 will we can do something other than the
6:22 good which is called evil called evil is
6:25 called thing called mistakes called
6:27 errors I absolutely disagree with you
6:29 because these evil and things and the
6:34 sister are you talking about they are
6:36 all in the human and it’s among the
6:39 humans we cannot find a cow doing the
6:42 same that’s correct because you need
6:45 free will
6:46 exactly because we can be a saint
6:47 because because we are more conscious so
6:50 that shows the human they have choice do
6:53 you have a conscience the conscience is
6:56 a social construct you think so yes of
6:59 course because I eat meat without
7:01 feeling bad but if you do it in India
7:04 for somebody who believes in
7:06 reincarnation and that person is going
7:08 to really feel that is true relative to
7:12 the culture or is truth absolute in
7:14 other words is it absolutely right or
7:17 wrong to eat meat or is it only
7:20 relatively right or wrong the right or
7:23 wrong
7:24 social contract doctor social contract
7:27 so there is no absolute objective truth
7:30 the truth is truth and the right and
7:33 wrong they are moral judgment and has
7:36 nothing to do with true can you make up
7:38 your own morality no because the
7:42 morality is within rational and
7:44 irrational is the universal thing I want
7:50 to ask you about justice do you believe
7:52 that justice is a real thing absolutely
7:57 absolutely
7:58 are you striving for justice and I
8:00 salute it ok if you look at the big
8:02 picture of the universe from the
8:03 beginning to the end or I guess you
8:04 don’t believe there’s a beginning and an
8:06 end right there is no beginning ok so if
8:08 there’s no beginning and no end then
8:11 what does that say about the overall
8:12 average success rate of justice in this
8:16 universe given the fact that there’s no
8:18 beginning on whisper 300-person
8:21 Stockstill
8:22 what it is yeah no one escapes justice I
8:25 don’t want to nothing is good Jonathan
8:28 at the end can you explain that
8:30 mechanism to it yeah because we human we
8:33 think we are so important but it being
8:35 really if you look at the universe as a
8:38 whole
8:39 we are non-existent we are so – kle so
8:43 our action they are that’s so small
8:47 do you think your actions matter and the
8:50 choices you make matter to me it but
8:52 objectively to hold universe know what
8:57 prevents you from indulging and pleasure
9:00 at the expense of other people that’s
9:02 utterly wrong because that opens the
9:06 door for them to induct indulging
9:08 pleasure pleasure in Maya being human
9:13 means that you look up ahead you you
9:16 want you have ideal and you want to
9:19 realize the ideal you want you want to
9:23 have justice among ourselves if we would
9:27 like to have prosperity and happiness
9:33 because you want what is the best case
9:36 scenario for you after that
9:39 the best is just I go away I’m not going
9:41 to come back whatever
9:44 just nothing there’s nothing that would
9:46 be good why why do you think that that’s
9:50 the best thing that can occur there
9:51 won’t be no problem I have to be
9:53 afterwards let’s say you’re going in in
9:59 paradise I mean you know they you
10:03 promise the future
10:05 huge amounts of sexual indulgence there
10:08 it’s just like handling that is
10:10 difficult or like you know going to hell
10:13 anything but like the thing is the thing
10:16 is that the city will have the problem I
10:18 mean the idea will have the problem to
10:20 deal with that’s not what the
10:22 monotheistic religions teach it is not
10:24 you’re telling me I study Dominica I
10:28 have been inclusive like for many many
10:31 years and they told you their problems
10:32 in heaven they didn’t say the problems
10:35 in half your interpretation of my
10:37 interpretation when you when you’re
10:40 going there and you have like a 70
10:43 virgins or like you know stuff like that
10:45 you know just another problem mapping
10:48 and you better not be there hey what if
10:51 I told you that heaven is all good and
10:53 there’s nothing but no problem so it’s a
10:55 very boring play known nothing will
10:57 happen it’s just a no that’s exactly
10:59 like none exists no know that I’ve
11:02 alleviated zoning system
11:05 what’s the best thing you’ve experienced
11:07 in your life ever right now and have
11:10 water here I like it’s a hard life right
11:13 now thing as I like you see everything
11:15 is flat now yes there was never a little
11:19 peak or a little valley like some
11:21 direction the Dro I’m a depression and
11:24 Happiness they all are rooted in in your
11:27 social contrast and biology and physics
11:32 in the future and yeah of course that’s
11:36 what we instruct what we would like to
11:38 have a elevated humanity as well as the
11:44 racial inefficient and to attain the
11:48 higher consciousness and the higher
11:51 consciousness is there you would like to
11:55 be in the higher level of consciousness
11:59 and that we may look for higher
12:04 consciousness from the beginning and
12:06 that’s the most severe it is being it it
12:09 it doesn’t mean that I don’t I don’t
12:12 believe in a higher consciousness I’ve
12:14 live in higher consciousness but I don’t
12:17 believe in the God is portrayed it in
12:20 pts religion which is just about created
12:26 in the face of a human very very lucky
12:30 lucky it was a very human life and you
12:35 know there was this philosophy in
12:37 ancient Greece that he said I mean I
12:40 don’t remember his name but he said that
12:42 if he thank you they had to make a doll
12:46 of God they made because they are
12:49 and that’s what we did with the religion
12:53 like them to this gentleman that was it
12:56 it actually I really pray somebody do
13:00 dike dike script and they have been very
13:04 successful in developing this literature
13:07 and that was very moving them like it
13:10 was it was in stripe for the higher
13:12 consciousness in a point of history but
13:15 at the moment I think is there living
13:17 that was a part of history and and we we
13:21 pass over that what’s the most exciting
13:23 thing taking place philosophically and
13:25 spiritually now today 2013 that the
13:29 getting the consciousness of death of
13:31 getting over the mind I’m is a key
13:34 because we are very much very much
13:40 prisoners of our own mind and mine as it
13:45 can be very constructive can be very
13:47 destructive as well we’re learning how
13:51 to control our mind and I think that’s
13:54 why I think somebody like a card told I
13:58 give him a lot of credit for me is about
14:02 that okay we have other heroes of course
14:06 I do have other could you name some that
14:08 are sort of in that realm of higher
14:09 consciousness I do have for Rajesh the
14:14 Osho I do have
14:18 this idea about Buddha Buddhism is a
14:23 very high place because it didn’t fall
14:27 into the tops of the normal like there
14:31 any other religion the the old or old
14:38 prison put like October grooming they
14:42 are under the tickler to me they are the
14:45 color virtual point so what do you do in
14:54 your day-to-day life that would sort of
14:57 allow you to grow grow I do meditate I
15:04 do participate in spiritual community oh
15:08 yeah as I’m a Unitarian Universalist all
15:12 the way Gemma you you used to be a
15:15 protest on the church and but then the
15:17 point they they decided to not to
15:21 believe in hell and leave that the God
15:25 is more compassionate than to put people
15:29 in the hell so it’s going to forgive
15:32 everybody sixties it became very much
15:35 like kind of a very human
15:38 and I believe in a sort of human sample
15:42 human is the church which is sad food
15:45 justice and God for higher consciousness
15:49 and it’s art for education and
15:53 understanding and feeling good about
15:56 yourself having a balanced life
15:58 psychology as I I really believe in when
16:06 did you discover the Unitarian universal
16:08 or years when I arrived in Canada
16:11 problem to later on I have been member
16:14 of Unitarian Universalist Church in
16:16 California and there are I make a lot of
16:20 long life bonded people and I found it
16:25 very interesting to be a part of that
16:26 company
16:28 so unfortunately skating allowed so I
16:30 ask you now to just give a closing
16:32 thought anyone is listening I would say
16:35 that we have to go beyond this a demand
16:38 atheism we have to go into realism
16:43 accepting nature and universe as it is
16:46 rather than trying to find a construct
16:49 that would work for our psychology I
16:53 mean we have two separate looking for a
16:57 protective father from our beliefs about
17:00 the universe and then maybe we can
17:04 really take responsibility in our own
17:07 lives and the life of humanity as a move
17:10 forward and going beyond beyond
17:13 injustice and ignore if you don’t want
17:22 to do if you got some questions a piano
17:25 tell all you got to do it all you got to
17:29 do

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