Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-02 - Joel Pearson

Author Recorded Saturday February 2nd, 2019

There are 47 episodes in the Versus:Atheist series.

Recorded February 9th, 2019

Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-09 - Greg

Recorded September 11th, 2016

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

Alan Kinsey invited me to discuss my God with Joel Pearson on their 'Religious Debate' YouTube channel. I met them both in the comments section of my own channel's Aron Ra episode. They were friendly and courteous hosts and I really enjoyed the exchange.


Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-02 - Joel Pearson

Author Recorded July 30th, 2016

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transcript
These transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
good evening all welcome to this debate my name is Alan Kinsey I will be your moderator this evening we have Joe who is a atheist and we have Dave also known as Catholic versus a bit of a discussion on the Catholic God I think first off we need just need to get the guys to introduce themselves dad would you like to go first and just to us a bit about yourself sure Catholic convert from atheism 2009 I converted suddenly I'd been atheist for 25 years more and more hardcore atheist anti-catholic anti-religious in general and just suddenly converted and it was Western philosophy that converted me or ostensibly that's what converted me it's hard to know really what's going on psychologically I mean I just might be insane that's to be determined but I had the conversion experience I remember the exact moment I lost my faith at age 14 and I remember the exact moment I regained my faith in God at age 39 so I'm happily married but I can't talk about my wife because she's anti-catholic and she doesn't want to be dragged into my insanity so we'll leave her out of it other than that you know I come from a family that's ostensibly Protestant Christian there's a church in Canada called the United Church of Canada they've got atheist ministers now suffice it to say that it was sort of a liberal Protestant denomination that I ostensibly grew up with and when I lost my faith I just became more more atheist then I converted through Western philosophy that's sort of the short version of the story thanks ed that's an interesting story we'll have to delve more into that well my background is I was a missionary kid it's Protestant Christianity I grew up in Africa I moved back to England when I was 16 and we came very active in the church I was a worship leader for a while played in the work group for a long time and it was when I was 31 I read about evolution and I'd been lied to by the schools I've gone through faith schools where they talk creationism so then I realized if they lied to me about that what else had they been lying to me about and it was The Selfish Gene that I read by Dawkins so I decided to pick up another Dawkins book which was the god delusion and that led to me leaving Christianity in becoming an atheist so that's been nearly three years now right I'm myself I was brought up Catholic became a reborn Christian in 82 I studied to become a pastor and that's when I actually started reading the Bible properly and decided that it was too many ifs and buts and I became an atheist after much studying and that's the a lot of soul-searching to get a lot of hard times you know missing missing God in fact somebody something that I loved and realized was just ingrained in me so yeah that's that's about my my little bit so I think if you guys are ready to go on with the discussion about the Catholic God as such but I would if you'd like to you go ahead and tell us what the Catholic God is actually because look there's a lot of God's I mean even even the Christian God's the Catholic God is probably the oldest Christian God that everybody knows of so if you'd like to go ahead God is that then which nothing greater can be conceived this is an Psalms definition it's st. Anselm that actually was instrumental in converting me from atheism I chewed on that one definition of God for eight years and it was actually Rene decart who tipped me over the edge into monotheism from atheism because my atheism had sort of degraded into heard solipsism where I thought I was the only being because I was reading an overview of Western philosophy so I entered into all kinds of worldviews into of Western philosophy different forms of German idealism and I started out with the pre-socratics and then Socrates Plato and so on and so forth always within the Western tradition but I came upon an some late and when I read his so-called proof of the existence of God I didn't understand it I still don't but I chewed on it it was like a seed planted in my heart and in my soul in my brain in my mind and I I just chewed on it I don't think I'm familiar with that what's it's the definition that I gave you God is that then which nothing greater can be conceived right that it's deceptive in its simplicity and to this day there are many many contentions in the world of philosophy where is the loophole where is the contradiction where is it begging the question where is the circular reasoning or is it a valid argument people argue back and forth about it but my point is that that is maybe not a good way to convert someone that's an atheist into monotheism it just so happens that my particular predisposition is really cerebral and intellectual and I just chewed on it and chewed on it and chewed on it and chewed on it and I still don't believe that it's necessarily an airtight proof of the existence of God but somehow by chewing on that I came to believe and I was while I was studying Western philosophy as an atheist as an anti-catholic anti-christian atheist I was also reading the Bible Old Testament and knew in order to mock and ridicule Christianity and so that may have in combination with Western philosophy which is very very heavily influenced by Catholic philosophy and theology those two things combined may have been what pulled me in to monotheism but your question was who and what is the Catholic God the Catholic God is the first cause it's the uncaused first cause of everything that is in creation in the natural world the universe my body my soul he is the uncaused first cause of it all and he is the only necessary being he is the only being whose essence is existence so my journey to maan theism was really easy because I went through salep season I was confronted with my own existence and I had to either take ownership of that and say that I am or acknowledge that I am but that I am only by participation but that my essence is not existence that there's there is an eternal existence of which I partake so I consider my approach to be sort of going in through the back door using philosophy and not just any philosophy about solipsism which I consider the most radical form of atheism and the most radical form of skepticism so I think you have a lot to talk about there in response I will turn it over to you unless you want to prompt me with more follow-up questions I'm sure we'll come up with some follow-up questions let me just make sure I've got it right so I've just basically taken down a short form notes that saying God is the greatest conceivable being goes the first cause and his essence is existence is it enough of a summary is there anything he needed to add to that as well well he's infinite in every perfection this is connected with both definitions the definition events on that than which nothing greater can be conceived and the other sort of empirical approach where we can come to God through the first cause arguments which are arrived at through causality we can also know with 100% rational certainty that God is infinite in every perfection why because of the principle that an effect cannot be greater than its cause the first cause is immaterial it's not spatial it's not temporal it's not composed of parts it's not contingent it is the uncaused cause of everything that is and we see perfections in this world we at least catch glimpses or hints of perfection love justice beauty goodness and so on and so forth and we are able to know with certainty that the source the first cause the supernatural first cause is perfectly simple and is infinite in every perfection and he is identical with all of his attributes love justice peace goodness and so on and those attributes are actually identical among them even though we tend to categorize things here below we see the spectrum of the rainbow but it all comes from that one point of white light so it's sort of a mystical image but here in this material finite created world we can talk about pursuing justice and we can talk about pursuing truth and some people think that when you're pursuing one it might be leaving the other behind but that's not true if you read even if you read Socrates and Plato even though Socrates didn't write but if you read the writings of Plato they understood that when you pursue the good you're pursuing every good because they're all united together in the sense of a celestial ideal yes you said you were 100 percent certain is that 100 percent a certain of the existence of the God or is that a hundred percent certain that if it exists then it is perfect I'm a hundred percent certain that God exists the question is is God who and what I think he is in many other peripheral ways I don't really entertain the possibility that I am God even though like that's where I come from I come from heart solipsism what I thought that I was the only being and there's a small part of me that thinks that maybe I could be drawn back into that but for the sake of argument we could say that either God is God or I am God and so if God is not God then I am God and if I'm not God then God is God it's really a binary situation but either way you've got God right it's just a my that God or is a my a creature of that God I know it sounds insane it is insane but if I am God then I've really fooled myself well but I don't want to be God because when I was a herd solipsist it was very lonely very very lonely I don't know if you've experienced it not many people that I've met have actually experienced it it's just it's not a nice place to be I'm not entirely sure I understand solipsism because the thing that always goes through my mind is a book by nm banks called against the dark background where there's an entire army of solipsists so every time one of them dies the rest of them think they're getting stronger because they're becoming closed the only physical being in the universe yeah I was not a physical being when I was a hurt solipsistic was just disembodied intelligence you know it's I mean it's embarrassing to talk about it but I mean it is I think it is a good exercise for any person to go through I mean I just I I do I mentioned before the show that I do think it is possible that I'm just insane because there's a lot of mental illness in my family so I'm hoping about that I might just be crazy okay but there is something about insanity and genius there are some gray areas where you can play there and if you look at the great artists and this sort of thing I'm not comparing myself with them I'm not saying I'm a genius but I'm saying that even if I am insane and my Catholic Church teaches me that I am there's still value to exist central experiences that we have subjective experiences we have mystical experiences we can have but all of this to say that the mystical the psychological the religious and the intellectual and the philosophical to me it's all just a wonderful realm of discovery and possibility it's like an adventure now that I'm RELIGIOUS obviously there's a slight change in my outlook before I was to call myself a Satanist an atheistic Satanist just before my conversion and it's a playful approach and the one law of the lemma was do what thou wilt I don't you've heard of this but Alastair probably talked about it probably actually borrowed the law of Leymah from Santa Gustin st. Agustin's version was very very very similar it was love God and do what thou wilt so they're very very similar and I do believe that Satanism is a really really really good gateway into monotheism I think it's a shortcut that's the way I went I recommend it for all atheists to go deeper into their atheism dive into it you will end up in some sort of form of what looks like a really dark world view but I don't see it as dark I don't see Satanism or solipsism as dark I see them as just shortcuts to God really so he said you're 1% confidence that God exists but you also said that you could be that God where you want answered that I'm 99.99 repeated it's as close as you want to get 200% that the physical world is real you are real my physical body is real and that I'm not God that God is God okay but there's that negligible but nonzero possibility that I am God but for all intents and purposes we can neglect it I'm willing to neglect it that the only two options yeah those are the only two options yeah God is God or I am God okay so this God being first cause and so on I noticed you didn't include intelligence agency or anything right and it's attributes sure did I said he's infinite in every perfection perfection means intelligence whatever it's better to have than to not have so circles are perfect but it's not better to be a circle than to not be a circle therefore God isn't a circle this is literally straight out of an Psalm I recommend you read it it's very short pithy and to the point and it answers a lot of questions that atheists have in a straightforward and colorful manner and it's pretty much irrefutable and if we acknowledge in ourselves the capacity to reason and freewill and love and justice and mercy and all these perfections we can dismiss it as some sort of Darwinian survival mechanism but I don't think that's honest I think that we have to meditate on the reality of these perfections the inaccessibility of their achievement in this finite world why is it that people are comfortable saying the word justice when justice is never completely meted out in this world we know that people get away with that stuff and that the good suffer in a way that doesn't seem to be in keeping with their goodness we know that there are lots of apparent in justices and that the accounts don't seem to be reckoned here below and yet everyone I meet and especially the atheists that I meet online anyway are very self-righteous they're very moralizing there they take the moral high ground how dare you this how dare God that and their conceptions of perfection are my god their standard by which they judge me and my religion and the pedophile priests that standard is my god so they're bowing and worshiping my God all the time 24/7 and so that's what astounds me and this is all to answer your question about why did I not mention intelligence well because it's obvious that you have intelligence but your intelligence is not the ultimate supreme intelligence you're participating in intelligence you can see in yourself and in your friends and family smart smarter and smartest if they're ten people in the room you can point to the smartest guy in the room but you can also take that smartest guy in this room and compare them with the smartest guy in the room next door and so on and so forth it's always a trajectory we're always going to look at the looking along that line where does it point it's the same thing with being if we look at vegetative life compared to rocks if we look at animal life compared to vegetative life or if we look at humans who have free will and reason and we compare them with the beasts the brute animals we see a trajectory what does that point to it points to Supreme Being it points to God this again is straight out of st. and so I encourage you and everyone listening to read st. Anselm yeah I think he's gonna go on my reading list so I'm curious as to how you judge what is more perfect than something else is this your personal opinion as to what is more perfect I think we need to look at the nature of things what is what is human nature what is the nature of an apple what is the nature of a tree what is the nature of water what is the nature of wood what is the nature of an iPhone what it what it what is it well these are all physical things you're talking about what is the nature of intelligence what is the nature of freewill what is the nature of reason what is the nature of justice what is the nature of beauty we can talk about intangibles and transcendence if you want it's just easier to talk about the worm-eaten Apple compared to the one that's fresh and wholesome and tastes good I can see right away which one's more perfect so you can see perfection in one sense and I may well see perfection in another sense how do you determine which is more objectively perfect it's all about the the final and the final cause it's called what is the purpose what you and I can sit down in the tool shed and put together a shelf okay but your shelf you take the screws and you pound them in with a hammer and I take the perfect screwdriver that was made for that particular screw and I screw it into the wood it does the same job but you're kind of stripping the wood you're not getting quite the same teeth into your screw because you're pounding it in with a hammer you haven't respected the nature of the screw the nature of the hammer the nature of the wood you need to understand what is the end what is the purpose what is the goal this is called the final cause and we need to know what is the nature of what we're dealing with here whether it's a tangible thing or whether it's intangible we need to know what is it what is its nature what is it designed for so it sounds like you're saying that objective perfection is teleologically determined yeah it's the end it's about the end what is the end so whose ends I was asking about objectivity and you're talking about subjective determination well objectively you're I am not you right let's I don't want for the sake of argument let's just agree that I am NOT you so your end for me is not subjective its objective your objective end from your perspective is subjective but from my perspective I'm looking at you across the ocean over the airwaves on this camera and I can say that objectively your end is to know God to love God and to serve God so that you can be happy with God forever in the next life that is your end its objective so purpose is objective for everything how do you know that that's true walk through the implications the logical implications of the negation of what I'm asserting just for fun just walk through it and see what yeah let's let's take an example let's say somebody designs a tool which has two purposes let's say like a hammer for example which can use two hammer and nail and pull a nail out that has two different purposes how do you determine objectively the more the purpose is well you determined by the person designing it yes well if I'm hammering nails into my shelf then I'll use the blunt side to hammer the nail in and if I'm pulling apart a crate I'll use the claw end and I'll pull the nails out I mean every situation has its unique needs and you need to use the tool in the appropriate way for those needs does that answer the question or am I completely missed your point it's hard to say because it's it's complex thing maybe taking it back to basics II sense the reason you know the God exists is because it's perfect and that's the logical extension of perfection and the way you tell how something is perfect is based on its purpose its end but then you said that that is different for different people no no no no I I would never say that two people have different and no I would never say that I would say two people give some something different ends so the purpose comes from a mind would you say for sure so our mind assigns purpose and mind assigns perfection there because it sets the scale there's not everything even the very bare existence of grain of sand in this material universe the only reason that exists is because it is in the mind the mind of God so the mind is everything and if you think in platonic terms there's some modifications they would need to be made to the Platonic worldview the world of forms and ideas but there's a lot in common and if you read st. Augusta me you'll see that there's a lot borrowed from Plato and from the neoplatonist it was quite influential yes yeah but that idea of the mind I mean it's it's so broad that you brought up this idea of the mind and intention and the final cause of things being dependent on a mind everything is everything is so to me a mind is something that it physically exists this is something where it's a pattern in time housed within some material so for example our only examples of minds come from brains from computer substrates and so on so how do you know that this mind can exist without matter the minds are supernatural minds are not natural can you define supernatural not natural it's not for a definition do you know what natural is so I would say what existing within the spatio-temporal matter energy matter and energy are one thing this is Einstein's principle of equivalence equals MC squared in space-time the fabric of space-time space and time cannot be separated so master energy and space-time is natural yeah yeah and you know natural causality and supernatural is anything that doesn't exist within based on I don't say it doesn't exist my mind interacts with my brain we are immaterial supernatural soul and we are also a natural body but even the natural body is sustained by the supernatural if you want to use an analogy with computer software if there's no hardware there can be no software and God is the hardware and the material universe and the natural is the software there's a logical dependence there so if the supernatural is timeless then no time has anything supernatural happened no grace does not destroy nature it perfects nature and it created and sustains nature so when God wanted to create nature this is st. Thomas Aquinas now when God in His infinite wisdom created nature he was not frustrated in his design he wanted to create nature to be natural and guess what it's natural hey he created he succeeded he made nature natural so how do you know that minds are supernatural and not natural well I have first-hand experience with solipsism which like I said might just be a mental aberration but it's also an article of faith that the mind and the soul are not material and it's something that we can know philosophically because if the mind or if the soul are composed of parts and are subject to change then they can't we can't have the identity this is something that I brought up with Graham I'll be when I interviewed him I don't if you know him he's a famous atheist philosopher in Australia but I I gave him a paradox I'd like to try it out on you too it is relevant do you mind oh yeah go for it it has to do with like a duplication machine where your name is jewel right yes so Joel gets into the duplication machine and now there are two configurations of Matt energy which are identical or at least identical for that moment where the transaction was made and so from that point forward the clone version of you or your twin or whatever you want to call him ol number two right away starts diverging from you because he like as your audience coordinate in space-time and his thoughts probably will diverge from yours and his history and your history will start to diverge from that moment in this duplication machine but my point here with his thought experiment I'd like to get your thoughts on it is that if there is no supernatural then you would have to admit that you are nothing more than that particular configuration of matter energy in space-time and not only that it gets even worse because you are also you are also that is I go that human single cell that was fertilized in your mother's womb assuming your mother was impregnated the old-fashioned way but that is also you so your physical configuration has been changing it's much like that paradox of the ship that's being repaired one plank at a time until there no original planks left in the ship I don't if you know about that one the one I know is the the ax where the head has been replaced in the shaft has been replaced but it's still the ancient I yeah yeah so all kinds of paradoxes like that but I'd like you to talk to me about this configuration of matter energy in space-time and what makes you you especially given the fact that you were that single-cell humans I go back in your mother's may yet yeah I agree I'm people configurations of matter and energy in space-time that's what you are is the pattern that's just the name you give to a pattern which is a person body and mind moving through space-time I mean if you would duplicate somebody they would start out as an identical replica and let's say step it up one way you say you take the original person I need you placate them I don't know if this is what you originally meant you get them into two identical positions then where they're three people two people one person and like you know the the idea of the Star Trek a teleporter where they die every time they transmit and then there's a potential series of ghosts behind them or all the people who were destroyed at the point where they were disintegrated there's a really good book called crack him about that mentions that but yeah so I would say you are a pattern I'm not sure I'd go with the zygote thing because usually you think of yourself as your MA and which is something that develops gradually as you as you grow so you wouldn't have any subjectivity a certain point and then it's something that gradually builds is your brain increases in complexity because what you are is sort of layers of subroutines that work against each other and build on each other mm-hmm yeah there's so many directions I'd love to go in but I don't want to dominate so yeah I was asking about supernaturalism how you know the difference between something that is than isn't supernatural you mentioned a few different things philosophy one of the things he said was face I'm curious about how that works so you you have faith that something is supernatural and that makes it supernatural you know the first leap of faith that we all have to make whether were conscious of it or not and sadly most atheists I interact with are not conscious of having made the leap of faith is out of solipsism into the material world that it really does exist because there is absolutely no scientific or even philosophical basis for positing the existence of the material universe or the existence of the other there is absolutely no basis for it it has to be a leap of faith it has to be there's absolutely nothing we could do to verify these alleged sense perceptions that we have because every empirical test involves those very sense perceptions that we're trying to establish can you run define faith in the sense that you're using it though and what exactly do you mean when you say that faith is believing things without having certainty you mentioned faith as a reason for belief but then you said faith means belief how does that work well let's use example of the naive realist a theist who says well of course I believe the real world is real let's get on with it right maybe you've thought about it maybe you haven't thought about it either way you have committed you have committed yourself to belief in the real world correct me if I'm wrong well circle it required 100% certain see the absence of ability to change your mind is that what you mean by commitment no no no no no no no of course not no as I told you at the outset there is a negligible but nonzero probability that I would assign to the fact that I am in fact God my apologetics approach is quite different from anyone else I've met in as much as I use radical doubt always to go with my opponent my intellectual opponent those who are challenging my faith I don't want to defend when someone attacks with introducing doubt I want to go with them and go further and doubt everything that can be doubted right back to the point where I'm all alone and I have to start from scratch because that to me is the only way to build a solid foundation of faith is by acknowledging that I took that very first leap of faith that I'm not God that God is God and that every atheist that I talked to takes that same leap - one key ingredient they don't address the issue of God that being whose essence is existence they don't acknowledge it it's just like the Buddhists the Buddhists don't acknowledge that they say don't ask that question it's a stupid question and the atheists do the same thing but I think that's the most important question because if you're putting your faith which you are in the real world it seems completely absurd to not ask the question about existence itself well so I think we might have to go back to face later because the definition doesn't really fit the usage if you see what I mean where people give faith is a reason for belief but you're effectively saying the faith is a belief and but and we can go back to that how do you know that those are the only two options that there is the Catholic God or you're the only person in the universe oh because if there's a second candidate for God then I just have to compare him with the real God and if they're infinite perfections all match then they're not two but one and if the candidate for God lacks any of the perfections or differs from God in any way then it's not God it's very very simple this was resolved early in the church there aren't two options there's more than two that you seem to be stuck on only two options so you were saying that you should have as much doubt as possible but it seems that you're missing out on that piece of doubt there no we need to doubt everything in the one thing we can't doubt is I am because when I deny that I am affirm that I am therefore I am I am and that experience of confronting the fact of your existence it's an apprehension it's not a comprehension because we can't comprehend eternity or God but it's an apprehension with the mystery of existence and I can tell you like Spinoza set off you're a fan of Spinoza but he said we feel and know that we are eternal this is the sort I you know I was a pantheist for a while so I can connect it with that or I can connect it with Buddhism or it can connect it with monotheism I can connect it with anything you know it's the bear fact of our existence if you haven't been impressed by it it's because your mind is distracted you need to settle your mind and be confronted by the fact of your existence and no amount of talking about this or asking me for definitions will substitute for the direct experience of confronting the bear fact of existence so we won't get much progress here I know I've done that plenty of times it's fine I have no problem with my existence especially the knowledge that the universe existed before I did and will continue on after me that's fine that's plenty of evidence supporting that but you're saying it's either you that's a god or there's another god but you're missing the third option where there are no gods how do you know that that's not happening no because what I've experienced which you have apparently not experienced not to denigrate your journey in any way shape or form but what I've experienced that you have not experienced apparently because you're not a monotheists where you know the hurts all exist apparently you have not encountered this brute fact of existence because you know when you're confronted in that way you know that life is eternal and this it sounds like you're talking about fear the fear of death and then you believes that you're gonna carry on because you're scared no the confrontation with the raw fact of eternal existence which you participate in whether you're the source of it or not it is frightening it's more frightening than living in the naive realist worldview where your biggest concern is physical pleasure and advancing in the social ladder whatever it is it occupies people I'm not sure we getting a turtle from how do you know that existence is eternal as I've said before and we probably should move on to other topics unless you've had the existential experiential confrontation with the fact of your own existence you just won't get it so your worldview is driven by the fear of death you can say that it's not my that's not my experience it's is that a good reason to believe that something is objectively true the subjective experience of well I don't accept your claim that my confrontation with experience is the jumping-off point based on fear into some of the irrational belief life is eternal if you haven't seen that so you can't have experienced eternity right why not because you're still here within time so you clearly you cannot have an experienced all of time well that's like saying you can't have gone to the ocean because you didn't put all the ocean into a thimble now you can go to the ocean I don't think you understand what eternity is no you don't understand the difference between apprehending and comprehending I can apprehend the ocean I can't comprehend it I can apprehend a grain of sand I will never comprehend it it's the same thing with eternity when we apprehend and experience come into contact with life itself as eternal you know I suppose I said we know and feel that we are eternal this is an experiential existential thing so an experience is something that takes time so you cannot have experience descendancy that's not physically possible I can tell you the exact moment in time well I don't know exactly when it was because in market calendar but I have in my memory the exact moment where I apprehended eternity and I apprehended God and I apprehended the mystery that is life eternal I mean we can keep dwelling on this if you want to just poke fun and make fun of an experience that you never had that's fine I don't mind but we could probably pursue other aspects of this well it's just that you saying that the god objectively exists but then when we come down to it it's a subjective experience that you personally have had well let's use the reduction to absurdity what if I'm wrong what if I'm just insane and I think that life is eternal based on some feelings and some arbitrary decisions I made okay let's assume that I'm wrong and you're right and there is no God what would that mean what does that say about life what does that say about justice what does that say about truth it reduces everything to a very very thin sandwich where the slices of bread are a cold dead universe right and it's completely and utterly meaningless there's no value there's nothing so you think that meaning can only come from a goal of course life has to be eternal for morality to have any meaning for anything we do to have meaning uni this is an argument from consequences rather than actually true I'm not making an argument I'm just trying to ask you what would happen if we denied my experience all apprehension of the fact that life is eternal what would that look like well you say facts but facts are objectively verifiable and you're talking about a subjective experience I am 100% convinced that life is eternal if I'm wrong it doesn't matter because what is a godless world like well let's say if you were wrong then it would matter because it would mean that you only have this short time you have here which means that life would be more precious as a result the things that have meaning have value meaning specifically because they're not eternal because transit yeah I agree with you that things have value and meaning by virtue of the fact that they're fleeting they're fragile they're not God these things have value and meaning because of that it's part of the beauty of being a creature right but I would challenge you to look at the life of an anonymous ancestor of yours and tell me how much value you see what your great-great-great great-great-great great-grandfather is to you you are to future generations and what that is is a big fat zero there's nothing there there's absolutely no value that you can derive from that absolutely none and it's the same you are innate exactly the same situation with respect to the people fifteen hundred years from now your life that you think is so valuable and meaningful is not it's nothing so let's let's try reframing this this way of thinking let's say that person who's peasants and farmer and so on is living and they think my life wouldn't have any meaning won't have any objective meaning unless I'm the king therefore I must be the king is this fear and projection the real way of telling what's true and what's really there do you acknowledge first of all that what you are to the person in the past the person fifteen hundred years in the future is to you it can only mean so much to people who haven't personally met you although you have read Plato for example so you do know that certain people their ideas travel on through Humanity I specified it pick an anonymous one right I specified that for a reason so this flips your argument around on you now where you want to be a king you want to be remembered you want to make a mark you want to be in the history book so you want to leave a trace like Plato did otherwise you're just one of these anonymous peasants so you you think that you have to be a king to make your life meaningful I don't because life is eternal now that's I was explaining how your your reasoning is working where if fear drives you to believe something then you will end up believing things that don't necessarily actually exist you you will end up believe your things that aren't true but what's good for the goose is good for the gander is it fear that drives you to want to leave a mark so that people can read about you in the future I suspect fear is a fair motivation I think it's the most base motivation in humanity actually it's one of those things that drives everyone fear is the strongest motivator right so how much effort do you put into leaving a mark in this world for future generations now that's significant to be understood I don't think that I personally am going to make a huge difference but then that's the point you don't have to be single-handedly driving humanity forward we do it collectively humans they're social species we work together yeah but it's all for naught that's the point it will all according to you according to according to you according to your worldview there is no trace that would be according to you because you're saying if humanity dies out which all the evidence says it will eventually then you have decided that that means there's no meaning it's a very pessimistic view no in your worldview when the heat death arrives there are no YouTube videos to look at grandma's touching life story there are no books to read about Plato your worldview is bleak I would call it nihilism because there is absolutely no morality there's no meaning and there's no lasting trace of anything having happened at all so if you don't personally like something does that mean it doesn't exist of course not so this is irrelevant it's all irrelevant as soon as you started accusing me of having my whole worldview based on fear it became irrelevant that's well that's I was just bouncing off what you've been saying and I was just bouncing off what you're saying so you're going on your personal experiences your fear of death just like you are just like you are and this means that therefore something exists to make you have meaning I'm happy to go with your worldview let's say that you're right okay that doesn't remove my fear does it remove your fear oh you can't remove fear I mean Buddhists have given it a go but no it's it's something ingrained into you because if you didn't fear death you wouldn't eat for example so fear is something that you will have for your entire life so you said that morality comes from the God presumably you said that nihilistic or you know humanist worldview and so on has no basis for morality can I ask you to define what morality actually is lasting consequences for choices really made so there's no difference between morality and immorality 'ln immorality leads you to hell and morality leads you to heaven so a morality relies on supernatural everything does so that would mean only humans can have morality and that worldview only humans and angels so an animal that murders other animals and so on would just go to animal heaven there's no murder in the animal kingdom chimpanzees actually conduct warfare for example they'll go off and murder the rest of the tribe and take the women and kill their babies and so on this this is something that doesn't just happen in heat and human Apes happens in other Apes as well your interpretation of the behavior of animals the lower animals is different from my interpretation I see animals as having as Aristotle said they do have a soul it's just not a rational soul there's no free will so what's the difference between a moral acts and an immoral act to understand morality we need to some basic definitions first of all we'll start with good and evil good is that which has being as we move up on the scale of being we're also moving up on the scale of goodness you understand so for example would you put a human is having more being than dog yes so any given human is better than any given dog yes so like the most immoral human would be better than the most moral dog well there is no morality among dogs it's the morality that makes the human more real and therefore more good can you give me an example of a moral human and an immoral human and tell me the difference if we participate willingly in all the perfections we strive for the perfections health justice beauty and goodness itself that's moral and when we do the opposite when we choose lesser Goods for example if there are two children with two cookies the cookie is good eating the cookie is good maybe we should use broccoli instead Ballentine kids will fight over broccoli but if the one child took both cookies for himself that is good everything about it is good but it's even better to share you understand I mean it sounds like a really corny Mary Poppins lesson I just gave you but it's better I think you'll agree it's better to share right yeah so cooperation will be a moral thing for example because it increases well-being as a whole I don't think that you and I disagree with morality but the problem is that your morality doesn't have any philosophical basis that's the problem what would you consider a philosophical basis a difference between the best case scenario and the worst case scenario for any given human being based on the choices he makes so the worst human that ever lived that made the worst set of possible choices in terms of morality has exactly the same outcome as the best saint that ever lived and made all the best possible choices morally speaking his whole life so there is absolutely no difference in outcome in your worldview therefore there's no basis for morality if I live in your world I'm just gonna try to get away with whatever I can maximize my own benefit my own pleasure my own well-being and that includes sophisticated things like having a good reputation and having everyone think that I'm an upstanding citizen and that I'm moral and that I'm not kidnapping girls and raping them and killing them in my basement right say you're saying you want to rape girls I'm saying there's absolutely no deterrent philosophically there is absolutely no basis for morality because it actually doesn't matter what you do and as I told you in the Catholic definition of the good everything that happens in the for example abduction torture rape and murder of let's say it everything about that is good it's just done in a way that is evil evil is not a thing it's a way everything we choose is by nature if it's a thing it's a good thing so the pleasure I derive the strength I get from drinking her blood whatever it is it's all good everything about it is good that's the difference between Catholic morality and atheist morality atheist morality tends to classify people as some people are monsters and and there are Untouchables like the pedophile priests and other people are more acceptable they seem to be like different classes of human beings for the Catholic we're all in the same boat we're all choosing goods but some of us choose goods in a way that is evil and that's that is damnable when you willingly choose a lesser good over a higher good that is a diamond Abul sin and you are in danger of eternal damnation whereas in your worldview if someone's a sophisticated sick pedophile pervert as long as he can get away with it he is getting more pleasure and a better reputation and everything else then just the regular schmuck who's trying to do the right thing yep some people do get away with it that's why we try and improve on the justice system I would argue with the idea that there is a atheist morality it's there isn't it's just atheism it's just not believing in gods there's no inherent morality with that people take up their own worldviews and so I think secular humanism has a reasonable and there's a lot of vesical a philosophy out there as well but atheism by definition doesn't have any morality associated with it well if you're into seeing patterns in reality I think you will see a pattern that it all has to do with the quality of life and it all has to do with a social contract we will curb your behavior if we think that your behavior is harmful we will curb your behavior this is the dominant morality of the atheist I've never encountered anything but that it's all based on might makes right finally right Oh in the sense that the majority tends to take precedence over you know the individuals so in the sense that if everyone was a pacifist in one cycle basket murder the entire world yeah obviously try and keep people in check it's just that I'm not sure I understand punishment system of hell so the idea is that you do whatever you want in life and then you pay for it after you die the basic idea is that some people love themselves unto contempt of God whereas we're supposed to love God unto contempt of self so those who love self unto contempt of God are oriented away from the fire that is God's love and that orientation does get the label hell it's an orientation away from God where the fire in the afterlife is unpleasant to put it mildly and whereas my orientation as someone that fears God and loves God and is striving to serve God my orientation makes my relationship with that fire which is the love of God a pleasant one orgasmic ecstatic infinitely fulfilling and joyful and pleasurable eternity with God because I'm oriented in the proper way this again comes back to human nature what we are designed for what our final end is and all this sort of things so hell is a merciful falling away from the fire of heaven the last thing that people burning in hell would want is to turn around face God and go up towards heaven and when I say up I'm just speaking metaphorically but the last thing they would want is to be closer to that fire to be in heaven it's a mercy for those who hate God to be able to run away from God or to fall away from God and in God's mercy they are able to flee from heaven flee from God because heaven just is the presence of God there's only one reality it's fire it's the fire of God's love so heaven is that fire hell is that fire and purgatory is that fire too so there's this idea of a big bully in the sky torturing people that's just childish it's completely misses the point I'll get different answers from different people none of them can tell me how they know that very mysterious yeah you flashed your Anton LaVey there can you just talk a little bit about your involvement in that or your interest in that I was just on my reading list I read it recently it was an interesting book but I consider the I think of the psychology and it is a little bit outdated some of the mysticism in its I don't really agree with so the idea of letting your your emotions run wild sort of having a release in terms of the satanic rituals and so on I can see why some people that would appeal to them but I think it's based on outdated psychology the idea that you can release all your energies and then walk out into life just you know free and and feeling less concerned about things so it's akin to having punching dummies for children the idea that it does actually make them more aggressive and it makes them turn towards violence more quickly so I don't think I agree with that approach but I would have to ask psychologists before going any further into that but yeah so some of the you make some really good points about the manipulation tactics used by priests and people from various religions trying to get money out of people and all that and I'm sure you've seen that in many religions and so I think it was worth a read but I think it was quite simplistic in terms of the world view and I don't think it's for me yeah I didn't take it too seriously but I don't think that Anton LaVey himself took it seriously all right there no it says there are several caveats within the book where it says some of this is fiction and some of this is real and you fun stuff so thank you so much for having me coming it's been so thanks very much for being with us thank you in this one wolf thanks very much everybody this one wolf thanks very much everybody Cheers bye