Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-06 - Tom Jump

Author Recorded Wednesday February 6th, 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

Tom Jump emailed me to invite me onto his YouTube live-stream to talk about my faith in God. On his TJump channel Tom describes himself as an Atheist, a Philosopher, and an aspiring potus. He enjoys debate, and has a calm and pleasant demeanor. I really enjoyed meeting him.Tom's channel:

Under Construction

Under Construction

These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
alright looks like we're on air so David you run the CVS YouTube channel and you have a website Christian vs. would you like to talk a little bit about that sure yeah it's called Catholic versus oh sorry about that it's okay Catholics are Christian and Catholicism is the fullness of Christianity that's the way that Catholic Church puts it the channel is basically a podcast it's audio only for the moment but the basic idea is to talk to people with different worldviews to see if I've got any blind spots to be challenged in my faith because I don't want to believe a lie and to meet people I love and respect all people and I'm interested in philosophy and religion so that that's basically what the podcast is all about cool well I'm an atheist and I've noticed you had several conversations with atheists like Aaron draw and Graham Opie so I define atheism as the position that there are no reasons to believe in a God and I'd like to know what reasons you believe there are for belief in a God that I'd like to tell you my position on those reasons and I'd like to hear your thoughts on my position sure sounds good the way that I came to understand that God exists is through solipsism just through an existential encounter with the bear fact of existence I had through studying Western philosophy come to believe that I am is the only reality that I'm the only being and essentially that I am God and it was through reading Rene Descartes that I came out of my solipsism and the way that he does it is he just shrugs his shoulders and says well of course God is God so that that will not satisfy any atheist ever until that atheist is confronted with the existential encounter with the brute fact of eternal life when you are when you are a true solipsistic life as an atheist and naive realist atheist would view life meaning that there is a material world and then molecules bump into each other and life comes from non-life when you're a solipsistic on fronted with the the bald fact of existence itself you have a direct encounter a direct intuition with the fact that life is eternal and you might think that that's a nice Pleasant encounter but it's frightening the existentialist philosophers talk about the absurdity of it the abyss of being and how do we grapple with that and so as a hard solipsistic grapple with that and it wasn't very pleasant it was very lonely as you can imagine being the only being is a very lonely place to be but I had the grace of God to take a leap of faith into monotheism meaning that I acknowledge that I am NOT a God that his drunk or lost or confused or dreaming or deluded or playing a game with himself I'm not God God is God and I took a leap of faith into the real world that the other exists other Minds exist and that the material world is real and their science and their history and everything else so that's one way of looking at my conversion because I was atheist for 25 years only few know that but I was I lost my faith at age 14 so that's sort of the short version of how philosophy took me in to hurt solipsism and then thank God I was able to escape from hearts ellipse but there's there's nothing very convincing therefore the Atheist the only thing I could say to the atheist is that if you want to go with the way that I went which is a shortcut to monotheism then you're gonna have to really question everything you're gonna have to doubt everything you have to be hyper skeptical about everything absolutely everything and then you're left with the one fact that you cannot deny which is I am so I can talk about other approaches how to come through empirical means using arguments from entropy and sort of work your way backwards to the first cause which is necessarily a supernatural first cause and we can we can know with 100% certainty that there is a supernatural first cause which created everything out of nothing if you want to pursue that we can talk about that that's my favorite way of proving the existence of God theoretically or intellectually but experientially I was confronted with the fact of eternal life alright so I am a epistemic solace so I think that the starting point for knowledge is I think therefore I am and then from that I go to there is some difference between my imagination and my experience we need some methodology to differentiate between those two and the methodology I use is science so I agree that there has to be some necessary thing to ground the existence of everything but I see no reason to believe that's supernatural or a being of any kind it could just be pantheism an eternal all powerful nature of some kind that we don't know about with laws and parts of nature that we just haven't discovered yet so I see no reason to jump from the conclusion that there must be some necessary thing to that that necessary thing is supernatural or being in any sense I would just ask you why you posit the existence of the material world and other beings in the first place it seems to me like an unjustified leap of faith I took the leap of faith because I accepted that I am NOT God that God is God but if I had not taken that leap of faith to say that I am NOT God that God is God then I would have just remained God a disembodied intelligence do you understand there is absolutely no justification whatsoever to be provided by the sciences or even by philosophy or a pure reason that the other exists or that the real so-called real world or material world exists because these alleged sense perceptions that we seem to have in order to validate these alleged sense perceptions we would need to do some sort of experiment and those experiments rely on the very sense perceptions that we're trying to test and validate so there is absolutely no way to validate our sense experiences right but that's only if you look at it from a metaphysical perspective I'm only looking at it from an apparent perspective so when I imagine a unicorn I don't see a unicorn would you agree with that you can't picture a unicorn no no when I am imagining a unicorn in my head I do not see one with my sense experience in front of me yeah there's a difference between imagining something that does exist and imagining something that doesn't exist so in the case of a unicorn I don't like that example because I don't see any reason why a unicorn couldn't exist or giving anything there's just random example I picked so there is some difference between my imagination my experience so I just went from solid system to there is some difference between my imagination of my experience now we know there's lots of things that are difference between these the imagination experiences lots of things you can imagine that have nothing to do with your experience like numbers and letters and language and imaginary things and I can imagine myself being ten feet tall there's a big distinction between these two and so we need some kind of methodology to differentiate now the methodology I use that I've come to through a long-long epistemology is science is novel testable prediction so I can use novel testable predictions to differentiate is this object an object in my imagination or an object in the world I'm experience around me now I'm going to label that the internal external distinction there's stuff in my head and there are stuff in my in the world it doesn't prove the external world exists I have no idea I can't prove that but I can prove there is some difference between my imagination of my experience and I can label that experience the external world so I have reason to believe the external world exists because there is some difference between my imagination my experience and using that same methodology of testable predictions I can make testable predictions about if that other person has a mind I will expect them to do this and if those testable predictions are verified to be true then they have met the criteria of what I define is a mind that doesn't prove there a mind that could be a philosophical zombie but they have met the empirical criterion of what I define is a mind so I have reason to justify the external world and other minds methodologically not metaphysically but you do understand that that's an arbitrary distinction you're making between the internal and the external and it's based on an assumption a leap of faith that there is an actual real distinction between your imagination and your experience because your imagination is just one form of experience really no no so I'm not making it a metaphysical distinction I'm not saying these are two different categories of existing things I'm just saying there is some difference between my imagination of my experience what that difference is makes no difference at all so like they could both be a part of my imagination like the external world could it be a deeper part of my imagination but it makes no difference because there's still some difference so I can still differentiate between them do you actually believe in the real world the way that I do because now now that I'm a Catholic I believe that the real world exists and you're real and that we haven't discovered any unicorns but if there are any unicorns they have an objective reality you there with me or you you are you unwilling to commit to that or is it a possibility a probability thing for you it's more of a probability thing for me I look at the world from a bottom up perspective so I start with methodological justifications I don't talk about metaphysics so there could be an external world there may not be I can't prove it one way or the other but my ability to differentiate between the two gives me a probabilistic assessment that there is such a thing okay it's a greater than 50% in your estimation I have no idea the probability that only matters to me is that there is some difference between my imagination my experience and if you have a dream within a dream and everything meets your criteria then you just take it as reality well if I'm in a dream and I'm having a dream where I can do empirical tests in those dreams then those things are still empirical so the fact that it just meets the criteria of empirical means that there is some difference between my imagination in my experience so starting from my experience I can tell that here's my experience and then there's some other thing which is over here which is different which is the external world my appearance of it it doesn't matter if that's a deeper part of a dream or if we're in a matrix or if we're in a theistic universe or pantheistic universe there's still some difference between these two things no matter what you do so if I'm starting from my experience I can build upwards start to add on to external two layers of reality and it doesn't make a difference what they are fundamentally metaphysically made of interesting so my slope my question is still what reason do I have to believe there is a God I still don't see how to get to belief in the God I think you do believe in God I think you do already believe in God I think that you aren't sure who God is the pointed question I would ask you is do you deny that there's a nonzero probability that you are God or you're willing to admit that there is a possibility no matter how slight well I guess there's a possibility no matter how slight but I would say that based on my definition of what qualifies as a God I would not in any sense qualify I do know I'm not all-powerful I can't make things happen just by willing it to happen I'm restricted by some things that I don't understand so I would not qualify as my definition of a god yeah and you think it's laughable to consider the possibility that maybe you just fooled you this is because the Eastern religions talked about this that it's Maya and separation and all this illusion will eventually dissolve the mist of illusion will dissolve and we'll find we'll find that there is just the one unity the one mind of God this is the ultimate reality there is only God there is only heaven and all this separation you over there me over here this is all illusion this will all be dissolved are you sympathetic to that and does it resonate with your worldview yeah it's it's a possibility it's like it's a possibility that I could have been God and I deliberately limited myself to experience something that's but I find it incredibly unlikely just the probabilities of that are too low for it to be as reasonable as the alternatives okay what about the nature of existence itself the nature of being the nature of life I had an existential experience which you can chalk up to insanity or some chemical things something I ate or whatever you know there are there many ways of accounting for why I had a subjective experience right and I think that those are all legitimate concerns and critiques some more legitimate than others obviously but nonetheless I did have a subjective experience with this raw notion of being or life or existence whatever you want to call it this I am and it was no longer subject to don't want to have this encounter that life is not finite life is infinite that means life is unbounded it is eternal it has always been have you had an experience like that and if not what impression do you get when I'm speaking even though I'm speaking and very sloppy in vague terms what impression does it give you no I have not had any of those kinds of experiences so I'm not exactly sure what you mean but my first inclination towards what you're saying is that I start with my epistemology of I think therefore I am and then I need to tell needing some methodology to tell a difference between my imagination of my experience and you said you had this experience so what methodology do you use to differentiate that from just being one of the imaginary things as opposed to some aspect of the world outside of your imagination because as far as I can tell it I don't see a methodology that can identify that a lot of people are aware of the fact that they're gonna die and if you ask them are you going to die one day they will say yes I'm going to die but then there are all kinds of really dramatic experiences that people can have and again you can say it's subjective you can chalk it up to whatever you want but the point is that these people if you talk to them after that experience and you say are you aware of the fact that you're gonna die the yes that they give you now is qualitatively different from the yes they gave you before when they said yeah I'm gonna die whereas now they're like yeah it's like it's heavy the experience enriched them they've come into contact with something something which is deeply mysterious and I would say that what they've come into contact with is life that's what this brush with death put them into contact with it put them in contact with God whether they say that that's what happened or not I would say that that's what happened these are life-changing experiences so everyone knows they're gonna die but some people know it in a qualitatively different way a significantly different way so I would say it's the same thing with the question of life do you know that you're alive everyone says yes but not many people have had the encounter that I've had I definitely think it's a possibility that there could be these other realms of reality or deeper levels of life or the life could be eternal but for my epistemology the first thing we have to establish is how do we tell the difference between that is a part of the world and reality and not just a part of our imagination because there's lots of things a part of our imagination that are not a part of reality and so why would we think that that experience is one of those things that's actually a part of reality and not just a part of our imagination now I used the method a lot or the empirical method to differentiate between these two things and by the empirical method that only seems to qualify as one of the imaginary things now of course there could be other methodologies I don't know about yet but you would have to provide me with that other methodology that we can use to differentiate between imaginary and this other realm and until you provide that then I can't really see any reason to think this isn't just one of those imaginary things yeah I want to try the empirical approach with you I don't think it's gonna work though because you don't have a lot of confidence in the material world but should I try it on you and see how it works sure go for it okay so the easiest approach is to just say there's a heat death coming it hasn't arrived yet therefore God exists and to flesh that out a little bit more we just have to do a reduction to absurdity where we say well maybe there is no first cause right so let's say there is no first cause well that just means that nature matter-energy distributed through a space-time has no beginning it's always been here so that means infinite time behind us but we know that there's not infinite time behind us because of entropy the heat death is coming it hasn't arrived therefore this finite time therefore there is a first cause so then we can I'm losing you a little bit here so entropy says that entropy is increasing so all the energy and the universe is boiling down which means we had a beginning that's you're talking about the Big Bang essentially that there's some some beginning that the universe had so it needs a first mover is that essentially the argument yeah I I don't limit it to any particular model of a single Big Bang universe or multiverse Azure string theory they all have the same property that they are spatial and temporal and we cannot separate this temporal from the spatial so what the natural world is regardless of the model doesn't matter which model you want to use it doesn't matter you can use all the models space and time are united intimately we can't separate them and so what nature is it's matter energy distributed throughout space-time and so if we agree that there's not infinite time behind us even if there multiverses then we have to admit that there's a first cause and now we can ask the second question is the first cause perhaps natural rather than being supernatural because I want to arrive at the supernatural obviously so if we assume the opposite and we say well what if it's natural then we're right back where we started when we said that there was no first cause whatsoever namely we have a situation where there is this natural matter and energy distributed throughout space-time and it has no first cause therefore it has no beginning and if you combine beginning lessness with the attribute of being temporal you have infinite time behind you not only now but at every point in time in that universe that is beginningless so therefore we can reject that well let me were responded the first thing is that just like there could be some supernatural transcendent thing outside of space-time there can be a natural thing outside of space-time that is also in transcendent in some sense for example Nima Akari Hammad emergent space-time where time and space emerge from a more natural fundamental property that is timelessness baseless so yes we can't secondly there are other kinds of time you don't need to have just a continuous stream like a theory of time or B theory of time you can have an incremental kind of time like for example I can count one ten thirty seven forty to five million thirty two there could be some natural property that can skip between times like that increment I take all that into consideration all of that everything you said everything that is a temporal is part of my universe and when I say universe that includes every model and every every wacky theory that you want a co-op with it's all included all of the non temporal parts are included so my conclusion is is that if you assert anything that supernatural transcended like a god I can do it with the natural thing exactly the same no you can't because if you're admitting that it's natural but you're denying that it's temporal then it still fits into my space-time it has a place in space-time you just put it adjacent well no no space-time only applies to our universe vice time is our kind of specific time it is not all kinds of time so that doesn't work no but you what you what you're not understanding is that the only thing that I'm looking for is a beginning so if you want to cram all sorts of non temporal stuff into your model that doesn't bother me in the slightest there's plenty of room for the non temporal natural if you want to pause it a non temporal natural there's all the room you need in my universe my natural universe you can cram it all in there it takes absolutely zero time to get past that so all the time you want to spend suggesting to me that there's this non temporal component of reality I say don't spend time trying to convince me because it takes zero time to traverse that to get from where the universe started to where we are now but the difference between that model of the universe and having a supernatural first cause is that the supernatural is not temporal it's not spatial it's not composed of parts okay we just over there I can say that there is a part of nature we haven't discovered yet which is not special not temporal it is not changeable but all of those parts are number one undetectable all kinds rays we can get rid them right away and they don't interfere even if they're real they don't interfere with the process of getting here like you and I are here now we could not be here now if we had to wait for an infinite number of spatial temporal events to bring us here but that's immediately false so I can say that's wrong immediately cuz that's only if the a theory of time is true and there are many infinitely many other alternatives that is solve that problem so that that immediately is fault no it's not false it is not false you're trying to introduce something which I'm allowing into my model of the universe but it's completely irrelevant because it doesn't take time the stuff that you're introducing is hassle free do you understand like you're introducing completely hassle-free low low maintenance parameters of reality because it's normal it's not temporal let me let me interrupt anything you can insert with Supernatural can be done with an unknown natural that we just haven't discovered yet there's no limitations no so you'd have to prove that there is some way that the unknown natural cannot potentially it is impossible for it to have some feature which is a provable feature of the supernatural no what you're saying is that there's part of nature which is non spatial non-temporal I've got two options on how to deal with that one is to say it's not actually natural it's supernatural that's my god right that's one option the other option is to say if it is natural but not spatial and not temporal all cams razor takes care of it it doesn't interfere with our causality here here in this universe we have causality and it's always spatio-temporal again again that's already been proven wrong because I provided a physics theory that does exactly that so that's wrong so you can't use Occam's razor to rule about non spatial non-physical non-temporal natural thing because that we already have physics models that do that so and the next thing is is that anything again there is you provided no difference between your supernatural thing and my natural if there's no difference then it's gone how's that hey there's no difference in doesn't their consciousness mine has no consciousness it's just some natural phenomena so the unknown you have consciousness yes I have gosh okay can in effect be greater than its cause or more perfect than its cause that is an incoherent question what do you understand it if a billiard ball with a certain amount of momentum hits another billiard ball that is stationary are you arguing that you can't give what you don't have you cannot give what you don't have right that's the composition division fallacy immediately wrong so I can say that hydrogen and oxygen molecules none of them have the property of ocean but if they can find enough of them with enough force they become an ocean no brick has the property of wall if you keep adding bricks together you'll get a wall no hydrogen molecule has the property of Sun if you keep adding together you to Sun so there's no problem with unknown natural process creating consciousness as an emerging problem you're trying to obfuscate by bringing in this idea that we can have an emergent property that's not a strict accounting of one brick plus one brick or one grain of sand plus one grain of sand and when is it a heap we all know these paradoxes but the difference is that God is not just a bigger better thing he's not a thing at all I'm not quite following so my argument is is that consciousness can be an emergent product of other physical things and those other physical things can be created by pantheism so I'm not I'm not following exactly what you record this year well if you're talking about pantheism then you're talking about God you're talking about God is everything no I'm talking about a turtle apart from nature if you like I can pull up the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy on it to show you are you denying that theism is part of Penn theism that is correct one of the versions of pantheism is physicalism and natural pantheism which is just an eternal all-powerful nature okay it started with the Stoics in greece and the more modern version is the scientific naturalistic version that i'm referring to so there's also n Stein Spinoza was a pantheist you're arguing that Spinoza did not believe in the supernatural that were saying no I'm not I don't care about again the history is irrelevant here so you made the argument that the thing cannot give properties that it doesn't have or something along those can't give what you don't have Yeah right and I said consciousness can be an emergent property of physical things which are created by pantheism so it seems like I can solve that problem pretty easily and so it seems like this undiscovered natural pantheism can act as a necessary source of reality just like a supernatural being good but without the consciousness so you don't see any problem with having infinite time behind us in a natural world no there's no problem at all as long as you know how to solve those problems with the other features of nature the other flaws that we can introduce can you explain to me in with a linear infinite past behind us how it came to be your turn to exist how did that come to be exact same way is counting I can count from 1 10 50 million it's 750 million 2 billion and a half you can just you can interval counting you have some metric of time that can interval like we can interval and Counting any independent point in time can be arrived at so there's no problem with that at all but we're not numbers we are in space-time that means that we can say between now and now we could slice and dice that on the number line but we cannot actually slice and dice it in terms of space-time we cannot divide it infinitely right I'm saying we can there could be a fundamental part of nature that we haven't discovered yet which does in fact control time in that sense to be able to divide it infinitely and to be able to iterate it and select a particular point which wants to begin like a Big Bang or something there's like a part of nature that picks a number then picks a different number and starts the universe here or picks this number and starts the universe here just like I can pick a number like three hundred and thirty seven million two hundred twenty-five they're just a part of nature that picks the number there's no even though there's infinitely many numbers prior to that number it still just picked the number but not a sequential number no I did it just picked it at random so it's like it's not sequential just said I'm gonna start at this number done okay okay is there any modification of causality or no I would not say so I just say there's an intermediate causality that causes things in a different realm of time so there's like this a different dimension of time that has an extra layer of causality to it it still causality it still just cause an effect okay but I'm gonna have to go away and think about your I like your random seed idea it's pretty cool is it that's not your idea it is my idea yeah uh-huh copyright see I call it the C theory of time that's pretty cool first time I've encountered that do you have a lot of original ideas yes I do unfortunately Wow what's your IQ I have no idea I haven't had an IQ s take a guess average or above average slightly both probably above I'd say moderately above so do you like playing chess and stuff like that I do you could sometimes do you get emotional I do I'm very competitive I wanted to ask you about hard determinism what do you think of it and what do you think of one of my pet peeves which is compatibilism I really really really despise it and I don't understand why anyone finds it attractive can you talk about hard determinism and then compatibilism please my compatibilism is just a form of hard determinism just relabeled so hard determinism just means there is everything is determined by the previous causes there is no kind of inter determinacy freewill kind of thing and I think that that is the most reasonable conclusion but I can't prove it it's definitely possible there's a free will but I don't have any reason to believe there is and as far as I know freewill doesn't seem coherently possible like that I don't see there's a way to define what freewill could possibly mean it's kind of like saying the square root of a pork chop well there's one thing you're missing I think what's that honey mustard yeah or the log of honey mustard a shooter said would write a better joke yeah but what do you think about reason do you think that reason requires free will because that's my firm conviction and that's the teaching of the Catholic Church that if you do not have free will then you're just like any other calculator or counting machine or a computer right I would agree but I would still classify those as reasoning the forms of reasoning so from my perspective the reason people are compatible list is because if you're defining something from the bottom-up perspective they are free in the sense that there's some difference between a rock and a person and so the rock is not free and the person is free just by the definition of the difference between these two even if metaphysically the person may be just as on free as the rock so if you start from the bottom up perspective and you just define things by their differences you can still have all those meaning and purpose and freedom but not in the metaphysical absolute sense that theists are looking for and I don't think that really exists that metaphysical sense isn't something we really have access to other than just I think therefore idea the reason I don't like the idea of free will is because I can't understand it so from my perspective either everything is done for a reason in which case is determined by the reason or it's done for no reason in which case it's random now I see no way to escape that paradox it seems to me to be a true true dichotomy so how do you define free will or how do you get out of that paradox I say that there are no exceptions ever to the principle of sufficient reason it's universally valid there is no exception there is a perfectly reasonable explanation absolutely everything including our freedom including the finite the mystery of the finite it was so clear to me when I discovered that God is God it was so clear to me that my own finite existence is more astonishing and more miraculous than the existence of God so it's a sort of inversion of what what an atheist would typically think that a theist would experience I think that from the outside looking in on theism you and other atheists would probably say that I live a humdrum life and that I diluted myself with this idea of God a big man in the sky and he's perfect and he's loving and bla bla bla bla bla okay that's not what the experience is like or at least not for me what I experienced is that God is normal God is ordinary I am extraordinary I am mind-boggling I am bewildering and not only that I am paradoxical I should not exist God should exist but I should not exist it really is hard for me to convey this astonishment is role-reversal to you but can you just give me your first sort of impression and then we promise me that you'll go off and think about it well yeah I actually thought a lot about that that seems a lot like the divine to say the argument from either Anselm or Aquinas or they make the same kind of thing that God is perfectly simple and he is the absolute perfect simplicity I don't know exactly how to express it but yeah I definitely heard that before and thought about it but I don't see any reason to believe it's anything more than an idea I don't understand why that would be more reasonable than the inverse why why not just think God is the most complicated thing as opposed to least complicated things definitely either one is possible but I don't see any reason to prefer one over the other I have a view of objective morality I believe in objective morality but one of the reasons I don't believe in the Christian God is because of the problem of suffering and that because of my objective morality the world that it describes is we define the Christian God as objectively immoral so so my defense my definition of objective morality is any and voluntary imposition of will is immoral so the best of all possible worlds the objective moral standard is a world where every being has total freedom over their will and no beam can impose their will on any other with consent so essentially everybody gets thrown universe you can do whatever you want if you want to visit somebody else's they can invite you and you can go to their universe and you can be in a world exactly like this one but you have to volunteer elite ooze to do it and no one who doesn't want to be here would be forced to be here against their will now from my perspective that would be the best of all possible worlds and if there really wasn't all good all-powerful god that's the world that would have created and because we don't live in that world I can I personally rule out the idea of an all-powerful God yeah any God that you are convinced you're superior to in any way is a false god that's one thing that's for sure and the other point I would make is that you might be wrong that's something to bear in mind right oh absolutely you might be wrong about a lot of stuff but would you agree if the world if everyone did get was given the option you could choose to live in this world that we know here with all the pain and suffering or you could choose to go to your own universe wouldn't that way the world could be be a morally superior way just intuitively you could be wrong but intuitively doesn't that seem like a much better moral way the world could could have been no I don't I don't I don't see it that way i see i see risk and danger when we have free will and that risk is the abuse of freewill it's an ugly ugly thing always and to imagine some sort of safe space universe scenario i think is immature childish naive i'm not saying these things about you i'm just saying we're not children you know we we have to take responsibility and we have to make better choices and we find ourselves in a big complicated hot mess and that's reality i think it's better to deal with that reality head-on than to say well if god were nice he would give us all a perfectly safe space to play in you see what I mean absolutely totally agree but I'm not arguing for freedom of choice you should have the right to choose to go to a safe space or you have the right to choose to go to this world of the consequences or you have the right to choose to go to a world that's even more difficult with even more suffering if that's what you want from my perspective morality is the freedom of choice and if you're forced in this world against your will that seems to be the definition of slavery and so if it got did and put us into this world deliberately without our consent that seems to be by definition a Avebury and by definition immoral so we can say there isn't an all good all-powerful God so I totally agree that suffering is fine and responsibility is fine but the only difference is is that those things have to be consensual they can't be forced on you against your will doesn't that seem like a morally better option no I would paint a different picture altogether where instead of a master/slave scenario I would look at it as parent and child so parent brings a child into the world against their will but the child by his very nature owes the parent love and respect and obedience that's it's that simple and of course we have examples sadly of parenting which is subpar to put it mildly and so it's easy to project that onto God the Father but the parent-child relationship is a good analogy and even better analogy is husband and wife you know the magical feeling of seeing a beautiful woman that you're attracted to and I don't know if you're married or what but when you pursue a woman are you being pursued by a woman sometimes that happens there's a whole dance and a ritual and it's all very mesmerizing and you get swept up in it and it there's more to it than emotions I think you'll have to admit there's more to it than just emotions and hormones there's more to it there's something more especially when sex gets involved it's very very powerful it's very spiritual is very mystical so this is how I view religion it's much more a romance than it is about a big alien bully in the sky doing a fun experiment at my expense and laughing at me you know me yeah but romances have to be consensual so again I would say that I think it should be up to the individual to decide for themselves what is valuable I think it's immoral to force upon them a relationship they didn't consent to because that would be more something like what I was saying earlier like slavery you're forced into this relationship we're into this situation where you have to seek that kind of a relationship that seems unconcerned xual and so it's less like a relationship more like a servant master kind of thing and even in the case of the parents you mentioned the the parents I think would also give the freedom of a child to go to a world of their own choice if they could I think most parents would give their child that option instead of forcing them to experience suffering in this world day by day and I think that's what most parents do which factor they try to earn a living so they can give their child's a better life than what they had so it seems like from my perspective that it's more moral that it is morally superior to give people the option to choose for themselves whether or not they would want to experience the positives and negatives of this world as opposed to the positive negatives of a different world the way I would cut through all of this speculation is just by saying that we have a human nature God is not stupid he made us for a reason he made us with the nature and he made us with an end in mind and that end is the same as the source the end is God himself we are made to be eternally happy with God the objective of life is eternal happiness infinite never-ending fulfilment joy bliss pleasure everything if you want to twist that into some sort of big bully in the sky making people do things against their will then you're just wrong we are made by an all good God and we're made to have perfect fulfillment bliss joy peace orgasmic pleasure and every in every capacity that's possible in more ways than we could possibly ever imagine well what I mean even if I made my child eat ice cream or something or play video games if I force them to do it against their will even if it's something joy or happiness that's still slavery for me it seems like the higher moral value isn't the joy and the happiness it's the freedom to choose for yourself because that's what I see is the highest moral standard is the freedom not the joy so even if God created it deliberately for his intention that we didn't have any saying I didn't need to choose this purpose he gave it to me against my will that seems to be immoral compared to just giving us the freedom to choose for ourselves I want to ask you something that's related but obliquely it has to do with the perfections I believe and the ancient philosophers also believed that all of the perfections lie in one in the same direction because they all come from one in the same source which is commonly called God but leaving God out of the question for the moment one of my favorite thought experiments to ask atheists is about the direction of the goods do they all lie in the same direction for example is it possible to move words pleasure and at the same time be moving away from health the obvious answer is yeah if the only jelly doughnuts your health is gonna decline but at a deeper sort of platonic level I think that you will admit that pleasure is good even the Epicureans made distinctions between the higher pleasures and the lower pleasures and so there those distinctions that need to be made if we would pursue the highest good in pleasure and that highest good and pleasure will correspond with the highest good in health and so on and so forth so we're always choosing Goods and when we move towards justice we're moving towards mercy and when we move towards truth we're also moving towards beauty you know we cannot leave behind a perfection when we pursue any of the perfections do you agree with that and if not why not no I would disagree with that I would say like using your jelly doughnut example if I'm in the matrix I can even read a jelly doughnut since I want like an just program it's not making me fat so I can have as much joyous jelly doughnut pleasure without any consequences of fatness or to use a more extreme example in video games there's lots of killing and stuff but no one actually dies so you can do as much murdering as you want into view game with no consequences towards the loss of the other perfections so I would say that they're the really the only standard of morality is freedom and you should be able to free to do anything you want with your universe regardless of whether it's one of the Stoics minimal pleasures or maximal pleasures makes no difference I don't see any scale there at all I just think the standard is freedom and you should be able to free every individual every being should be free to choose for themselves what they do I don't know if you're aware of the fact that God is freedom itself and that that's just one of the many infinite perfections that he is I mean like I said he is identical with his attributes and those attributes are identical among themselves it's only here below in this finite world that that sort of pure white light is put through the spectrum and we see the different colors differentiated right but freedom is if you want to say the goal it is the goal of my life it is the goal of your life and it's all about orientation are you going to orient yourself toward freedom or away from freedom and from my Catholic perspective if you're not orienting yourself toward God then since God is freedom you are orienting yourself away from freedom whether you know it or not the goal shouldn't be freedom freedom should be the starting point it isn't starting it's immoral to take that away from people and to force them to try and strive for it instead of just giving it to them if more the standard of morality is that freedom so it should be what everyone starts with immediately and then all the other perfections can be whatever the goals you define your own goals so for me the taking away of that freedom we're not providing that freedom to each individual is objectively immoral it's slavery as far as I can tell yeah many of my daily prayers involve committing myself to slavery slavery to Jesus Christ slavery to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a way of in chaining myself to the god man Jesus Christ and all of this with a view to being enslaved to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and in a way I'm in chaining myself to the Vicar of Christ the Pope and the bishops and the church at large so there's a lot of talk of slavery every day in my prayers I also pray for happiness every day I also pray for sorrow every day happiness because of the grace I received and sorrow because of the sins that I commit so it's a mixed bag of freedom and slavery joy and sorrow and it's a complex religion and a very complex life with a lot of choices to be made along the way but the ultimate goal is freedom and happiness and joy and fulfillment and pleasure and all the things all the things that I want you want right do you agree with that yeah I totally I see no problem with your way of life if that's something that you choose and you voluntarily if I take in that's no problem at all my problem is with the people who don't voluntarily participate in that who have been forced to against their will that's the only problem I have so I if you wanted to choose to live in this world and be a Christian and the experience about suffering go for it totally within your right you have every right to do that the problem is is that even God does not have the right to force anybody else to do it against their consent that to me is objectively clearly immoral and so why that's why I think that pantheism mr. Minnick theistic God where there's just an impersonal universe who doesn't care about us at all then a person will be being who actually is loving and wants good things yeah it would seem not to denigrate your intellect with who seem that you're either unable or unwilling to hold in tension these sort of paradoxical opposites like freedom and slavery yes or no joy and sorrow and in the in Catholicism there there are a lot of both and solutions to choices where even Protestants would say one way or the other you know like grace or freewill Calvin said well it's got to be Grace and the sacrificed freewill and other people go the other way so there's a lot of tension in Catholic theology and Catholic philosophy that is unresolved but I think you will admit that the beauty of any stringed instrument certainly if not all instruments resides in the tension from which flows the beautiful music but what do you have to say about tension and beauty beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder it should be up to the individual to decide what is a beautiful way to live for them and so they should be given the right to go to their own universe and decide for themselves what they find beautiful and they should not be coerced into a situation where they have to follow someone else's standard of beauty even if that standard is more right or more objectively true like a god standard I see that that is still immoral even if it's true it's still a moral to force them to abide by that against their will and they should be given the freedom to choose their own way of living in their life because I don't see a contradiction between these two things I think that you can give someone their freedom to choose their own view value of beauty even if there is a more objectively better standard of beauty so I don't think that there is a true dichotomy between these standards of like freedom and slavery so I don't see there's any real contradiction between the things that you're presenting I think they're all possible especially if you have the power of a God to make all of those happen voluntarily if you were to come to believe for whatever reason that God is real the God that I worship is real would you choose to love him and to serve Him and to try to get to know him in this life or not if I believed as you did I probably would but with my background knowledge probably not but I would still say he would be moral to force people into that situation to kiss their will mm-hmm you've heard the expression mansplaining have you heard that yes I've come up with this other term called God's blaming do you know what that might be I imagine it's probably the opposite where it's like someone's trying to explain something to a god or something no it's where God just shows you and you go ahead so he doesn't say anything but you see you see that oh boy I was proud and I was rebellious and no you were right god you're amazing I love you thank you that's what God's blaming is it's like just showing you reality the metaphysical ultimate reality and you just going wow thank you amazing I'm sorry please help me I love you thank you it's just it's just you just gush when he shows you even a glimpse of his reality so that's what God's planning is to me this is an idea I've been playing with and how do you normally wrap up your show I just thanks for coming on I really enjoyed our conversation he gave me a lot to think about I'd love to talk with you again sometime sure yeah thanks a lot for having me it's been a lot of fun you're a fun guy to talk to you a lot of fresh ideas and send me some links if there's anything that you want me to follow up on or read sure I will do thanks have a nice day sure I will do thanks have a nice day thank you bye toxins bye