Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-05-08 - Ozymandias Ramses II

Author Recorded Wednesday May 8th, 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

A listener suggested that I interview a friendly Atheist YouTuber who goes by the name of Ozymandias Ramses II. He was very friendly and I enjoyed our chat.


Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-05-08 - Ozymandias Ramses II

Author Recorded July 30th, 2016

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi I'm Ozymandias ramses ii and you're listening to catholic versus atheist tell us a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and why you believe it okay well let's see I go by the YouTube handle Ozymandias ramses ii i'm a youtuber i make content primarily about the subject of the great debate of God's existence and related topics my background is in contemporary analytic philosophy specialized in epistemology and the philosophy of language in university I'm not a professional philosopher although I am interested in philosophy I was an aspiring philosopher in grad school and I got the privilege of teaching undergraduates while I was pursuing a graduate degree but I never completed my doctorate so I'm not a practicing or published philosopher but I'm interested in philosophical apologetics and counter apologetics and for the most part my channel has been devoted to addressing a lot of apologetics coming from presuppositionalist apologetics and I've also done a fair bit of debunking of what I think are bad atheistic arguments or bad approaches with an atheist on my movement what sort of atmosphere was in the home in terms of ideas philosophy religion and talk of God no real talk of philosophy of religion I grew up in a fundamentalist household my mother was enamored with Jehovah's Witnesses she was never herself baptized as a choas witness but she believed in that faith and Jehovah's Witnesses were always sort of in in orbit around our home they were always coming by and my mother was always involved in that kind of religious instruction and so that was the religious instruction then that I grew up with so I grew up reading the the new world translations of the Holy Scriptures which is the civil was witnessed version of the Bible or translation of the Bible that was theology in which I was reared I tumbled out of my faith around the age of 15 or 16 it might have started a little earlier than that I had questions before that but before that I never really doubted it I grew up in rural Quebec which was predominantly French Catholic so I sort of had strong so being on the outside looking in and came to religion in between of course we didn't go to church or anything like that so my religious upbringing was that of a Jehovah's Witness - having to go around knocking on doors because my mother was never baptized my parents were separated for truth the whole of my life growing up my father was an agnostic I think who leaned towards some vague theistic or a religion but nothing more specific than that I usually ask my guests whether they're religious or not to talk about rebellion puberty did you have any sort of rebellious behavior sex drugs rock and roll that sort of thing I was a pretty clean living kid one of the things about being rear Joe as witness is you take certain notions of sacredness and purity pretty seriously so I didn't smoke and I didn't drink throughout my teen years I didn't start drinking until very very late in my teen years in adolescence when I was moved away from home I had tasted beer and wine of course but didn't drink it never to drunk I didn't have a girlfriend well I was in my second year of university so really very really start no sexual experience except solitary masturbation in my teens about which I was wracked with guilt and no so I had a fairly pure Unruh belly 'us childhood and adolescence I suppose I was rebellious and in other ways and I suppose my parents would not say that I was completely unravel yes but I mean I never got in trouble with the law I would sometimes cut classes in school and getting thrown into detention hall and stuff like that but that was more or less the extent of my rebellious mmm can you talk in a general way about the faith journey if any of any siblings you might have and then of your wife just to the level you're comfortable with sure well have two older siblings they're much older than I was an unexpected child when your sibling is 14 years older than me my oldest sibling is 16 years older tonight and in their teens they were weird as jokes witnesses and they practiced but when they moved away and got married they fell out of their faith they I think are both believer is still but not into Christianity I don't think HAP's my sister is I don't think my brother is if anything they're probably more inclined towards some kind of big theism my wife is also an atheist though she is culturally and ethnically Jewish she grew up in fairly irreligious household although she has relatives who are Jewish Orthodox now can you just sort of paint a little picture of the journey that you've been on take us up until the present moment please okay well in my middle teen years I was still maybe a believer in the faith of the journalist witnesses sort of humbled out of that around the age of 15 or 16 I moved away from home and run with college and at that time because my parents were not around I'm sort of free to explore ideas without having to argue with anybody about it except academic arguments with my peers and professors and so forth so in college and I went to school and in Montreal all the time so it was Asia at the time so I went to a seda and a good fortunate falling into a program it's kind of a great books program and I was introduced to the works of Homer and Aristotle and Plato a lot of psychology and of course on existentialism and I would say through my first intellectual passion was existentialism which was about as far away from the kind of based films leanness upbringing that I had it felt enormous ly liberating as you can imagine so I became enamored of the works of jean-paul Sartre and the like with a lot of what's called existentialist fiction but I was never very strongly politically motivated with Marxism or anything like that later I adopt a liberal feminist because I think I believe that feminism was simply to be understood merely as the quest for equality between the sexes and feminism entails a bit more than that nowadays that's not lately what now but I was never activist I was never politically engaged in anything I did a few marches and protests in my time you know marched against the invasion of Iraq years ago and finally wasn't a couple of gay pride rates and margins but that's about it does for the the extent of my my political engagement so now I never fell in with any movement and I certainly didn't fall in with movement atheism the online atheist movement my interest in the online atheist movement is sort of orthogonal I'm more interested in skepticism rationality critical thinking and the embracing of scientific values that I think is what is best within the atheist movement to the extent that it is there it's not always there's plenty of dog neck atheist out there so my interest in great debate and participating it on YouTube has more to do with the fact that I am an amateur of philosophy and epistemology and I wanted to inject what I thought who were concepts that were relevant to the whole great debate and would be advantageous to people who are in the atheist movement that come from philosophy for time I wore the label of anti theist and by anti theist I mean anti theism like he is in general unbalance it's not a good thing it offers many good things but on balance it we'd be better off without it but unfortunately the word anti Thea's only out is has been adopted by people who are really just anti theist in the sense that they hate theists not so much ISM as they just hate the religious I hate the religious I I used to be religious myself I don't you religiosity as species of stupidity I think it's just an error but it's not a species of stupidity and I don't think that the religious are mentally addled or mentally ill or anything like that I've actually made a video arguing against that trope that I hear within movement atheism sometimes so I'm sort of trying to do what little I can to nudge the online atheist movement in what I think is a healthier and better direction so just for fun can you sort of paint a picture of the spectrum in the non-theist online community today well it certainly ranges so there are people that will in the new atheist movement for instance you might find very well I think Daniel Dennett is quite commendable i think sam harris is and of course they pull no punches against religion in velocity but at the same time they don't malign believers to their credit and then there are other people who are i think just a little bit below that someone like not Delonte for instance is someone who would think i'm gonna consider him a friend they know him personally i think he is someone who's really upped his game over the years he's a fellow of who I think he's increasingly trying to be philosophically precise and accurate and more more charitable it's easy to think that he's not charitable because because it's calling show where he gets annoyed irritated and hangs up on people but I think that is as much a function of trying to get through calls and his only irritability over having to revisit the same arguments over and over and over again so that's I don't know that I would do any better in in that situation but I I see him as someone who had fairly humble beginnings until actually in this area I think it was always a very intelligent fellow but I think he's been trying to up his game trying to read more learn more and I see him sort of improving in the direction that I think everyone needs to in this discourse then there are people who I think sort of bend towards the more dogmatic it's funny I was just having a conversation with someone but or in raw iron is someone who I admire in many ways because he's made important contributions in debunking certain kinds of what I view as one headed species of creationism fundamentalism but he's unfortunately not very informed in philosophical apologetics and counter apologetics and I think he tends to fall down on those and and sounds rather ignorant and dogmatic on those points so I think you feel equipped to address for instance presuppositional apologetics for instance or something like my favorite on sound ontological argument my favorite so-called proofs of God and then there are people who I think are just a little bit too rabid someone like David Silverman who I think pays an awful lot of lip service to not having any animus towards the religious but I think he's just too politically motivated in fact it seems to me he holds the religious in contempt and then there are other figures I'm in minor figures who just speak ill of liberal you know that they insist that it's perform of mental illness to be religious and so forth then I think that's just ridiculous yeah I did recently come out of the closet as a young earth creationist I have come to believe that all Catholics are obliged to believe in special creation and we are forbidden from believing in any form of evolution including theistic evolution so we can talk about that that's maybe a good place to start you know I came to it through a one theological argument which is the Immaculate Conception it is a dogma of the church that Mary is the Immaculate Conception and she is the one and only Immaculate Conception and for those who don't know the Immaculate Conception means that she was conceived without original sin without the stain of any sin in her mother Anna's womb st. Anne's womb she is the one and only which means that Adam was not conceived in the womb of a lower nonhuman animal because before the fall he was without sin so if he had been conceived in the womb of any animal he would have been immaculately conceived because he would have been conceived without the stain of sin original or actual obviously that's really clever every theological argument I've heard for special creation is more Catholic than the attempts to have a theistic evolution for example I believe I firmly believe and the church teaches that God created a perfect universe without disease without death this is a dogma of the church we cannot doubt that and so how does a theistic evolutionist square that with theistic evolution I don't think you can do it I agree I think theistic evolution is is a kind of covered middle position it's a way of trying to reconcile an ancient doctrine with modern scientific discoveries and what ends up paying the price here is your theology whether you realize it or not I mean if story of the fall is supposed to be closed to literally true where there was there's no doubt no no disease just all perfections in the garden and when did that take place when exactly did that happen right and evolution is true there has been death disease in formerly dictations through the very the beginning so yeah I agree that that is my mean there's a kind of moderation in the religious that I I don't admire I'm sort of on board with someone like Sam Harris here I think that Christian moderates like Muslim moderates for instance end up providing an awful lot of cover for the strike fundamentalists out there but ultimately this is just such an example a lot of these moderate positions are theologically it's not just that they're inconsistent with science they're trying to be consistent with the science but they do so by sacrificing something integral to their own theology so I think there's any way to make sense into the fall unless you read that completely figuratively yeah that's a slippery slope it's almost like what Jesus said I didn't come to bring peace I came to bring the sword to divide you know the more seriously I take my faith the more alienated I have to be from the world from my mother from my brothers from my sisters from my very self and from science and from or at least the consensus of science because my religion teaches me that God is science he is wisdom he is knowledge he is truth and that he wrote the book of nature which we examine in the Natural Sciences but in terms of my confidence in the consensus of the scientific community I have a very skeptical approach I came to God as a skeptic I was a radical skeptic I was an atheist an anti-catholic atheist for 25 years and my anti-catholicism manifested more and more and more the more I read philosophy as an amateur and I ended up being an explicit Satanist and a theistic Satanist but a Satanist nonetheless and very anti-catholic and I had actually ended up being a hard salep sister I really thought I was the only being and it was Rene Descartes of all people who's not exactly a poster child for Orthodox Catholicism but he helped me out of my heart solipsism and he launched me into faith in God the Father and I still hated the Catholic Church so I thought it was de facto Muslim but I just happened to read Saint Augustine's Confessions and then I fell in love with the Catholic Church so skepticism is a big part of my journey and I don't trust the consensus of the masses I don't trust any human being I trust God so this is something to take into consideration when you're scratching your head wondering why I don't get in line with the consensus in terms of the story that's being told about evolution yeah well I think that being wary of a consensus is actually quite healthy I think that doubt is just a feeling I don't think it's it's a virtue it sometimes word out through valorized in the Atheist movement in a way that I think is actually unhealthy I think that certainty is vilified as I think it should be because I make certain is just a feeling it is just you know the degree of confidence that you feeling something it is not something measure of the degree of veracity of your beliefs that but doubts can be unwarranted to just says you can have unwarranted confidence in the ability you can have unwarranted doubts so I think it is actually healthy to doubt consensus and there's a good reason to doubt a consensus that is to hold it some skepticism simply because there's a long history of consensus being wrong you know the history of science is filled with that there being a consensus that gets overturned so that's a reason to not throw in your lawn just because there's a consensus however there are different kinds of consensus there's consensus that is very strongly evidence-based and then there is consensus that is just kind of focused these are not the same kinds of consensus they are both consensus but they're different species at consensus and so there's such a thing as warranted consensus and unwarranted consensus and I think we need to be highly skeptical of an unwarranted consensus where the evidence just isn't there but everyone goes around assuming that the evidence is there and repeating that the evidence is there you know think about dietary fats or something like that so I I'm with you when you say that you are skeptical about what a really common question that was what he said about you only trust God you don't trust any human it seems to me that everything that we know about God comes to us by way you mean your say and even if you believe in something like the self attesting and character of the Holy Spirit acting on you or something like that everything that you believe about the Holy Spirit even you thinking that something is the Holy Spirit and is called over the Holy Spirit or correctly identified as always even that is something that you have heard so everything every attribute that we have about God for instance that he is true that is that he is all merciful that he is all just that he is all loving means omni-benevolent his omnipotence omniscient none of these things in my view are discovered all of these things are really stipulated your toll is reported to us that God has these attributes and the stories in the Bible where at least some of this can be borne out I think there are also contradictions in its behavior that violate some of those attributes but but even to the extent that things are worn out and holy books it seems to me that that too is a form of PSA and coming from people not from God himself so what would you say that well my I don't know if you caught it but I said that I came to God through solipsism hard solipsism where I was the only being in that's what I thought that I was the only being and so if I'm wrong when I say that I'm not God then I'm not wrong because I'm God and God cannot be wrong so this is sort of my reduction to absurdity proof that of course God exists of course God is good so this brings us I think to presuppositionalist apologetics can you just sort of introduce the pros and the cons the pros from their perspective and then the cons from your perspective sure okay well let's distinguish presupposition ISM from other types of apologetics so someone like Thomas Aquinas produced five proofs of God you know their contingency Cosmo argument and so forth or someone like sitting on some who produces an ontological proof of God these are all arguments that are based on the world around us they point to facts of the world right these are evidential apologetics so you're looking at the world and the nature of it and you try to infer something try to write its own benefits conclusion I don't think the ants Amazon to logical argument is a posteriori I think it's a priori it's you know it is it is a a priori but it yeah you're right that but it's still that's not an attentional response but it's a classical apology so yeah I'm getting ahead of myself here you're quite right on Sal's ontological argument is not an a posterior I argument it looks at the world and then tries to in or something like that it's a priori okay but so these are all classical apologetics so evidentialism is a form of classic apologetics if I wear AI arguments like on Psalms are also tired of their classical repertoire of classical apologetics but the idea is we're gonna exercise our argument reason and we're looking out at the world we've been trying to figure out a way of proving God this is a very traditional Catholic approach Protestant supports took this up as well but more recently primarily in the Calvinists camp people like Olympia spent ill and its protege very Bahnson John frame and others have taken a different line and the idea is this you can't actually prove God by looking at anything in the world or by considering a particular concept rather you have to understand that everything that exists in the world exists because of God God is sort of the ground of all being is the substrate of everything he's the cause of all causes and nothing would exist but for God and they take from that that nothing would be intelligible without God in fact the intelligibility of the universe is itself a mystery that needs to be explained I mean why is it okay so the world is intelligible to us now why should our brains are you know chimp like brains why should they be able to apprehend reality and actually discover truths about the physical world that's kind of interesting yeah we are all of us walking around with concepts like truth falsity logic mathematics that the world is apprehended that there are laws of nature for instance but there's such a thing as beauty for instance that there is such a thing as morality these are all concepts that we employ every day of our lives but according to the presuppositionalist you are not entitled to utilize those concepts rationally speaking unless you can discharge those there's no way to directly discharge those no way to make sense of that talk yet we all make sense of this off so the idea is that if you're an atheist there is missing from your conceptual apparatus the way of making sense of all of it these kinds of talk all of these areas of human discourse and therefore there must be a bill that's how the argument goes yeah it's kind of like two fish are floating in the water looking at each other having a conversation and one of them wants to prove to the other that this thing called water exists it's kind of a ridiculous conversation it is a little bit mysterious if you don't have a relationship with God you don't know who God is it's a little bit mysterious when I talk about loving this God and how you have to love God it's the only way to have lasting happiness but that really is the bottom line it's not about the intellect it's about the will yeah what's really presuppositionalist would it would be inclined to agree I mean they believe that there's no such a they tend to be Calvinists right so part of Calvinist doctrine is that no free will that yeah and also that there's no such thing as a genuine atheist they believe that the evidence of God is everywhere and consequently people such as myself are merely professing to be atheists and we're doing so because we're in love with our our sin but we don't in fact don't believe God be in our heart of hearts no there's a God we're just being hypocrites all I could try to do is assure you that I it's not the case with me but I don't know if you'll make an exception in my case it seems to me from the inside it seems to me like I genuinely don't believe in their God the reason is they laugh when I say that because it's easy for me to say it and the reason is easy for me to say this because I can remember fairly vividly what it was like to actually believe in the God and to think that it was ridiculous to imagine that there wasn't a god man I said that could not understand I could not when I mean I was a theist I could not put myself in the shoes of an atheist and imagine what it was like to not believe it just seemed to me preposterous and how could it be so foolish believe such a thing is this is one of those things that really makes a lot of people in the online atheist movement committed to being in the online atheist movement and to being anti theist it makes people bristle to be told you actually do believe in your heart of hearts you do believe you're just a liar you're just a hypocrite and you're just in love with your sin and you're either doing this self-consciously or you're just oblivious to your own motivation and the the allegation of being oblivious is actually but sort of the milder more charitable arm what do you is rath calling so i find myself laughing what I hear it because I like it I can well remember what it was like when I when I thought that way myself but all I can do is assure you that I genuinely don't believe that there's a god there's no pool of me that is afraid that I'm gonna go to hell or that imagines some surveillance system in the sky that sees all the actions and they's judging me or anything like that no no there now that all seems surplus to requirements there was a time in my life where I thought I was absolutely necessary to have a coherent view of life to have a view of life that was infusing meaning to be a moral person and to be motivated to be a moral person and so forth all of that seemed absolutely necessary but now all of that just seems like that weird metaphysical Google machine is completely metaphysically extravagant and hey look can I try a thought experiment on you just briefly yeah I don't mean I don't know if you're familiar with the famous story of the Titanic yeah yeah as far as I understand and for the sake of the thought experiment let's just go with it even if it's not historically accurate as far as I've understood a lot of people died that could have been saved but they just didn't take the tragedy seriously at the time because they were living it up in the first-class lounge eating drinking dancing and the band played on so whether that's historically accurate or not is not really my main point let's just go with that image and this will be a thought experiment where you are eating and drinking and it's late at night and the band is playing and you're hypnotized by all the pleasures of the flesh that are around you the beautiful women in their nice dresses and the music and the food and the drink and everything else and this ship was billed as unsinkable and the pamphlet is there in your hand and you can see it the Titanic is unsinkable and so on and so forth and I break in because I've been told by the captains stewards that we've hit an iceberg we have to get into the lifeboats and get off the ship so this is the image I like to use I do love you I do respect you but I most of all express this love and respect by urging you to get off the sinking ship and to get into the lifeboats you do sympathize with theists that take that charitable approach right yeah oh absolutely I mean I mean I used to be one of those people and I would hope that you would sort of assume I'm being charitable to when I when I say listen I try to - views people of their religious views I mean I don't ruin Thanksgiving dinner by saying you know there's no God right but I mean if the subject comes up I'm happy to have a conversation of why I think there isn't God and why Christianity it's just you know another false religion and so forth the one last issue I really wanted to touch on with you was the question of free will I think that the main reason that a theism is absurd is because it forces the thinking atheist or what I would call the pious and devout atheist to abandon freewill and thereby abandon reason science justice love morality and everything else what do you say about that well it certainly is a tendency or atheist to embrace our determinism and I'm sort of in the majority camp here most philosophy of that is that the majority can't belong philosophers I I'm a compatible list so I don't believe in libertarian free will I don't think that that makes any sense so the idea of compatibilism is look we're gonna grab the physical causal determinism seems to be true based on all the evidence is as far as we can tell all the physical stuff in the world operates or district causal principles we are physical systems including our brains and our brains appear to cause minds so presumably our mental lives are similarly caught up in this causal matrix and so everything that we think can feel them say and do is itself the result of physical causes nevertheless we can maintain non-deterministic talk and talk about free will because we can distinguish between different kinds of variables that control those variables are outside of us which is variables that are with enough so so on the compatibilist what that means is I think that determinism is true but we can still talk about decisions and voluntary versus involuntary actions constrained versus unconstrained actions thoughts that issue from our personality for instance as opposed to thoughts that issue from a pharmacological cause or something like that so in other words all my thoughts and actions and feelings and so forth are caused but the nature of the cause the specific character of the constant distinguishes when we would say that an action has been voluntarily or voluntarily and that's what we mean by free will is that this tension really and so the whole idea of holding people responsible we all know that if you if you tell a person you know tell a child I'm gonna punish you if you do this chances are that'll affect that you the likelihood of the child doing or not doing something and if you promise that if they behave while they're in the restaurant or while they're in the store you'll put in a good word to Santa so that they get the present they want increases the likelihood of the child complying with with your command so any talk of responsibility and accountability I think is really just exploiting the fact that the incentive structure that we provide for people and modify a person's behavior in very very predictable ways it's how we train animals it's how we rear our children and it's how we get people to be polite and civil and how we have a civil society yeah but in principle if we were to examine this mechanism of compatibilist freedom would we find that there are uncaused natural causes there or do you think that it is all 100% heard determined and if it is 100 percent heard determined this mechanism of free will then you've got her determined free will know which is a contradiction no no it's not a contradiction it's just that free will is being redefined here so to answer your question there's no mechanism going along in the brain where freewill decisions or voluntary decisions are going on that is different than the others ontologically speaking it's all just going along in the hardware it's all going on in the plumbing of our brains happening in the wetware ok and we don't get to control that but there are things that happen in our brains that we associate with ourselves that is that we identify as expressions of our personality of what we're like of our character for instance and then sometimes something happens where it's completely out of character not even out of character you didn't even deliberate about it no part of you that you identify as any part of you was the cause of a certain action so you are an apple tree let's say that you're not a human you're an apple tree when your apples become ripe certain level of ripeness you let them fall to the ground of your own free will but when little Johnny comes and picks one of your apples that's not your own free will is that the sort of definition of compatibilism you make that distinction between the natural internal mechanism by which you let your Apple fall to the ground versus the outsider that comes and forcibly picks one of your apples is that a good analogy for compatibilism that distinction between inner world outer world yeah I mean it doesn't fully capture it but yeah that's actually as a first approximation that's that's not a bad analogy but let's let's sharpen it up a bit let's imagine that you have a person who looks at young children with lust four-year-olds or something and then that person is very unfortunate the person does not decide what they find aroused none of us decide I mean I'm not attracted to men I don't look at man and build out what a hunk like to sleep late but I look at women with plenty of lust and desire and I have no control that I didn't decide to be this way this is just how I and similarly a person who looks with sexual longing upon a child does so equally helplessly but now let's imagine that this person has decided that they want to act on this right they cultivate this desire surfing the internet looking at kiddie porn and stuff like that they're frequenting playgrounds and stuff like that and they are sort of cultivating this but they recognize into being themselves an unwholesome attraction right and they know which direction they're going in they're feeding this right well that's where their realism gets there they are clearly decided to do this right nevertheless they don't they are not deciding to have that longing and there are even causes of their momentary decisions when they decide to surf the internet for kiddie porn or something like that even that is not something that they have decided to do it didn't decide to decide it they decided it but they you don't decide to decide and that's the paradox for some people is you can decide something but you don't decide to decide it you just it's you who's deciding you have to understand it you deciding something doesn't mean that you could have done otherwise and that's that's the the what I think is incoherent about libertarian free will is it's this idea that you could have done otherwise but the problem with was talking of you could have done otherwise is there is no way you could ever know that that's the case you can't rewind the tape of life play it again keep every molecule in place on the same trajectory and and and and imagine that all the causes are exactly the same the outcome would be different this is called contra causal freewill and that's that's part of what's wrong with this idea of libertarian free will is you we have a tendency to imagine that all of the causal variables could be exactly the same and yet you could decide otherwise but wait a minute what would account for the decision otherwise and you'll say well the agent and but what is it about the agent what's going on in the agent that causes less in the moment with free will is that it is in fact not an explanation pseudo explanation it's not even a mystery because if it imagines this problem of comprar causal three will that you could do something that literally violates the laws of physics if we were to replay the tape of life and it was a different outcome you'd say wait a second something's gone wrong here we've got you know identical causes should produce identical effects and that is why people are our work towards our determinism so I'm a hard determinist but in the sense that I think that all causes have it and rather all effects haven't see the causes but that doesn't mean that there isn't a category of causes that we associate with the person as stable features of the person and are the result of mechanisms within the person that allowed to govern itself and are not they're not constrained they're not there there's no there's no external constraint on person it's all happening internally and those are the ones that we call your deliberate actions your voluntary actions just think of the difference between voluntary and involuntary actions just imagine the difference between lifting your leg and having your leg kick off because a doctor has tapped you right below your kneecap with a rubber mallet right there's that there's a distinction there that that is genuine yeah yeah when you were talking about the pedophile it was 100 percent Catholic everything you were saying was 100 percent Catholic it is not a sin to be a homosexual it is only a sin to cultivate that disordered proclivity I just want to mention that so at the end of my interviews I do ask my guests to close the show something positive a message of hope so just to wrap up what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening now well I feel really put on the spot ok well I guess it's going to sound a little trite but honestly what I'm most interested in in the great debate is having civil conversations of the sort that we Pat and I think that really the one of the best things that a person can do is try to put some distance between themselves and their most cherished beliefs I think that sacredness is important I think we all have sacred values we all have things that we value most highly higher than anything else those are our sacred values they are inescapable everyone has never the last one that one of the most pernicious things that happens with people is that they they surrender to how much they value these sacred things and they simply are uncharted and how they approach these conversations and how they approach other people so when you are charitable with other people in discussions when you just don't fly off the handle when you don't vilify and demonize other people when you try to be empathetic and understanding them it actually feels good to have such conversations even with people where you hated everything that they said and they might have mistreated you right but here's some of the wisdom of turning the other cheek it is in fact restored it makes you feel better about yourself you don't go away seething and inner rage so I think that courtesy civility there are not just epistemological norms that they're norms of civil discourse but they exist not just to smooth relations between people they actually will sort of calm your soul so I really enjoyed this conversation I enjoyed conversations of this type I would encourage other people to fight with themselves and make themselves be civil in these conversations even when you can't stand what the other person is saying just just resist the urge to be censorious and to vilify them and demonize them and be uncharitable and assume the worst about them we'll assume that they know what their motivations are and just try to be apply the principle of intellectual charity assuming the other person has good motivations and the other person is at least as intelligent as you are I think that the benefits that it will bring to you are enormous that it will bring to you are enormous

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