Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-05 - Scott Bower

Author Recorded Tuesday February 5th, 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

Scott Bower is a family man who holds multiple World Championship belts in Taekwondo power-breaking. We met in the comments on Aron Ra's interview on my YouTube channel. We mainly discussed the first-cause argument for God's existence. It was a fun chat. • Support the CVS Podcast: • Be a guest on a livestream:

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hey my name is Bella and you're listening to Catholic versus atheists so if you were just tell the listeners about yourself who you are what you believe and why you believe it well there's nothing really to tell I don't have any major background story as far as the philosophy or my a belief but the rest of my family on dispersion on my mother side is Roman Catholic especially my auntie she staunchly Roman Catholic you know I've had a fair bit of exposure to that side of things having said that I am baptized Presbyterian but again I was never actually practicing presbyterian so I was never really religious in his sense as I attended church on a regular basis I had a regularly I'd say mundane upbringing so it was not very steep in anything spiritual religious it was quite ordinary in fact I went through a public schooling system and of course science was a big part of that but up until about five years ago I was always open to the idea that there is a high power or that there is a spiritual element or an afterlife or or some sort of relevant the supernatural entity that looks after us or began everything in the first instance since then I've become aware and was shocked me but I I was unaware that there was a large portion of the American population which honestly believes that the earth is six to ten thousand years old and that everything was brought into being instantaneously by a supernatural being that type of belief is a bit of a rarity here in Australia and as far as I understand it the idea that everything had been brought into being six to ten thousand years ago is something uniquely American as far as the first world countries go America has probably the least amount of scientific education through the public schooling system and it was something of a surprise to know that that's essentially how many Americans believe their world coming to be I've probably spent an inordinate amount of time since then engaging with many of these people to find out how they came to their beliefs and why in like evenings I mean my own beliefs how I came to re-examine what I believed and and as I said up until then I was very open to the idea that they could there we'll be a god but now I find the reasons behind that just completely with their foundation you for example mentioned entropy therefore God and I guess my question was how would you come to not only say that there is a sentient being that created everything about that sentient being is your particular a god of your particular religion the whole question of entropy leading to my god there are two questions that we need to ask ourselves in order to decide what's going on here metaphysically is there a first cause or not now if we assume that there is no first cause what does that mean well what it means is that this natural world that we live in has always been here there's no beginning because there's no first cause all there is is an infinite chain of cause and effect going back forever that means there's infinite time behind us but because the heat death is approaching and it has not yet arrived we know for a fact that there's only a finite amount of time behind us otherwise the heat death would have already arrived it hasn't arrived therefore there is a first cause now the second question we need to ask now that we've established that there is a first cause is this is that first cause natural or not and if we assume that it is natural then what does that mean there are quite a number of plausible models that give a beginning or the seeming beginning of this presented version of a universe that doesn't necessary nor an eternal immortal being and that's already been posited in there are several models that do that and many physicists have shown Carol Lawrence Krauss what a number of people have spoken about it yeah but they all start from nothing but their definition of nothing is not nothing that's the problem with those models if you look at them if you go and actually look at what they're saying they can say that it's nothing but they're also saying that the reason that there's a quantum fluctuation is because there's a field there right a field is not nothing sure but there's also quite a portable cause to say that time itself so the temporal existence that we now in this universe is a product of this universe of course it is that's a given that's Catholic dogma right there by definition there is no before in time but there is a logical prior it's called an antecedent and it's a logical prior that's a precisely why we pause it a supernatural first cause which is not natural and that is infinite in every perfection this is monotheism it's the first step all of the monotheistic religions acknowledge the first cause as their God now the next step is into Christianity and to make the step from monotheism into Christianity you need to look at history who is Jesus Christ well who do the Jews say he was who did the Muslims say he was and it's very overwhelmingly clear that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah the promised Jewish Messiah then the third and final step is from generic Christianity to the fullness of Christian truth which is the Roman Catholic Church and for that we need to look not at history well we can look at history that does help too but we need to add in this other component of authority what is the Bible what is the Canon of the Bible where did we get the Bible how is it decided which books are in which books are out how do we know what the truth is how do we have access to an infallible set of truths that will guide us reliably to God and to heaven so that's a really really quick overview it's entropy its history and its authority with those three steps I went from solipsism to Roman Catholicism so we can go back and examine any part of that that interests you I think as an atheist the only thing we should be talking about is that first step from atheism to monotheism and all of the monotheistic religions acknowledge this supernatural first cause which is perfectly simple and infinite in every perfection why because an effect cannot be greater than its cause and if we look around this world we do get hints and clues of perfections we can talk about justice we've never seen justice but we talk about justice we can talk about love we've never seen love but we talk about love we haven't seen absolute life but we still pause it ultimate being and so when we look at these perfections in this broken in this finite world it points back to the attributes of the supernatural first cause which is necessarily infinite in all these perfections because only an infinite power can bring about something from nothing and we need a source for all of the perfections that we see here in this finite world you're talking about an all-powerful sentient being that exists outside of time space and everything else for that if you've got evidence for such a being then by all we do know we do have evidence everything is evidence for this God because everything that we know about nature everything that we see in nature is both spatial and temporal and that includes quantum fields and these so-called nothings that are posited by atheist philosophers and scientists and mathematicians who want to at all cost avoid the supernatural first cause right and some of them may just be exploring these ideas for other reasons not necessarily in an antagonism towards theism right but for whatever reason they're exploring these ideas it doesn't really change the fact that everything in nature is spatio-temporal we cannot separate the spatial aspect from the temporal aspect if you're telling me there's a quantum field sitting there forever sitting there for an infinite amount of time until there's a spontaneous quantum fluctuation that is absurd and we have to reject that we have to go to a supernatural first cause logic demands it that's just exactly the same as saying yo God will never come with that because he doesn't come over I agree with you he doesn't come about this one so then why not just skip that step and we're gonna stretch your universe that's itself we are forced by logic to say there must be a being who did not come about that is exactly my whole point well there are quite a lot of cosmologists who don't agree that a universe cannot come about well they posit that it came about from something and if they want to call that something nothing that's just dishonest you know why did I had laurels that that demonstrated that could be a possibility these people obviously are not philosophers if they think that a quantum field is nothing and if they're positing a quantum field as the free cause that's untenable philosophically it just so happens that many scientists are not philosophers and many of them are atheists and their anti-theists and they don't want to acknowledge that God exists the supernatural first cause exists a lot of these people grew up religious and the only reason they fell out of religion is because they now have plausible reasons to explain the beginning of the universe that doesn't necessitate a god it's not that people don't want to believe in you God in fact if there is a God it's the most important thing that we all do want to know there's no sense in denying that so if there was a god then it is in my best interest to know that he exists and to understand what he wants in the how he wants it I would say this is sort of a side note but I would say that the barriers to submitting to God Almighty are not primarily intellectual they are volitional meaning that it's a question of the will it's a question of what do you love what are you attached to what do you love do you love the short term gains of your little favorite hobbies and sins or do you are you willing to detach yourself from the short term gain in order to be religious it's I think that there is a problem with attachment to sin now speaking to an atheist you're not going to understand that obviously well that's right I'm not not even sure what she needs but what if it's not your God that's the real if there is a God what if it's not your God what if it's Allah and he wants us to pray during five times a day Allah is my god well are you praying to him far time today no I pray to him much more than that yeah yeah do you acknowledge Muhammad as as his last and final prophet no of course not I already walked you through why monotheism is truer than atheism and Christianity is truer than the other monotheistic religions and Catholicism is truer than the other forms of Christianity I've walked you through very briefly that but I think we should focus on the step to monotheism and this first cause we will get to that but getting back to it there are quite a number of plausible reasons where a sentient disembodied being is not required for the start of the universe it is it is required absolutely in every case I guarantee you that every model that is proposed for the beginning of the universe from quote-unquote nothing if you read the fine print in these books Lawrence Krauss for example if you read he admits that it's not really nothing he admits that okay it's a popularized notion that's kicking around people like the idea because they think that it can replace the supernatural first cause but it can't and Lawrence Krauss knows that so go read the details you'll find out that it's not creation out of nothing it's not John yep oh no sorry one of the links at I'll give you they stop your black holes where there's an idea that a universe spawning other universes could do it through the mechanism of black holes sure once you have a natural universe it can do all kinds of weird and fantastic stuff I have no argument against that my argument is that a universe cannot create itself because for a universe to create itself the universe must exist in order to create itself and if you're honest I mean I'm not saying that you're being dishonest on purpose but if you honestly search your heart and soul and think about this meditate on it you will admit that something cannot come from nothing we need that supernatural first cause that is omnipotent and omniscient and infinite in every other perfection so all right but in all the conversations that we have before we go to this book today we discussed some idiosyncrasies of quantum mechanics and the unusualness in which like we have the duality of light for example all our particles so the quantum universe so to speak has any number of unusual things that we we don't understand in fact as Richard Feynman used to say if you understand quantum mechanics then you don't understand quantum mechanics so we have this we have this situation where paradoxical things can happen and we know that we know that they do happen so you can't say that a universe can create itself all that there has to be a first course it may well be that there's a paradox that that means we don't need a first course author there wasn't one I have two things to say about that number one quantum mechanics is a science which means that it's producing predictable results independent studies will come up with the same patterns okay it's statistically predictable results it's a science it's a hard science and a lot of our technology the technology that we're speaking on right now depends on the reliability the statistical reliability of quantum science it is a science it's not as magical as you might think it is it is very reliable so it's one of the most well founded Sciences in the hard sciences actually quantum mechanics even though it is paradoxical it is fantastic and wonderful and it does give you a sense of wonder but that doesn't mean that it's somehow more magical than Newtonian mechanics and it doesn't mean that it's not either and this is the point again Sean Carroll speaks about how the universe could create itself based in those Sciences so based on those models there is a plausible situation where our universe could create itself that's exactly my point my second point which is deadly to these models is that quantum physics only happens in nature we need to have the nature therefore the quantum stuff to do its magic right so how do you know because nothing can't do anything so there's always something what they're calling nothing is always something and it's always something that is spatial and temporal that's why we know that there is a first cause and we know that that first cause is not natural that it's supernatural and that's what everyone calls God so there is no way to dance around or to a hope and dream that there might be some sort of hidden corner in the new science that will justify atheism there's absolutely nothing that could ever happen in science it's not so much a justified ism like we're talking about the reality of the universe and again the the people who are in the best position to know how do you need this most at all how about don't agree with you well there are two approaches that they can take one is scientific which limits itself by definition to the natural world of matter energy in space time so they can limit themselves to speaking as scientists or they can speculate and they can become philosophers and then their atheism can shine through or their agnosticism can shine through in their speculative philosophizing but if they're speaking as scientists you and I agree that they're limiting themselves to talking about the configurations no matter how wonderful the configurations of matter energy distributed throughout space-time that's all that they can talk about so if they go beyond that they are speaking not as scientists they are speaking as philosophers and they're speculating and they may be good at it or they may be very very poor philosophers and the Atheist philosophers that I've read have never had anything to offer that makes any sense whatsoever in terms of the first cause but again I'm going to go with the experts on this but are you going with the experts as philosophers or as scientists as philosophers because as you say as I said before these are just ideas either I'm testable ideas but they are based in the mathematical models that they currently use and work yeah I have no doubt that the models work I have no doubt they're wonderful models are very sophisticated and elegant and beautiful but they don't start with nothing they start with quantum fields or they start with something they always start with something I guarantee you that so with the monotheism is it your opinion Leif what about that monotheism is so there's only one God there's no other gods it's not my opinion this is reality because if some other God came along and said well I'm God then we just need to compare that candidate with the infinite perfections of the one true God and if the candidate differs in any way then he's not God and if he's identical in all the infinite perfections then this candidate and my god are not two but one they are one they are identical so when it comes to other religions that are not monotheistic you'll find that they're all either pantheistic or so laps is dick or monastic and what that basically all of those things translate into is everyone goes to heaven the only reality is God separation is an illusion Maya all these things that separate us apparently are just illusions that will fade away eventually we will find ourselves back into this grand unity which is God everyone makes it to heaven there's no basis for morality whatsoever and basically the only reality is God so there aren't that many worldviews really when you get down to it there's monotheism where there's heaven and hell there's pantheism where there's only in heaven and then there's atheism and nihilism and different things like that which sort of just say no to the reality of God the reality of heaven and they say no to the reality of Hell so I see it very simply that there are really only three categories of religion I consider atheism or religion because atheist believe without any warrant whatsoever they believe in the real world the material world there's absolutely no scientific test we could devise that would ever verify that our alleged sense perceptions actually correspond to a real world because those experiments would all necessarily depend on those alleged sense perceptions so there is belief required to be an atheist unless you are a hard salep sister something like that but we literally only have their senses to experience the world or do we well do we have our senses how else would you experience well the reason you think there's worlds because you think you have sense perceptions right mmm anything I have to experience the world is my senses yeah I mean you don't have much choice I mean you could either say we don't have a choice no you do have a choice but it's not much of a choice I mean it's either consider yourself to be self existent that you are God or you can just shrug your shoulders and say well I cannot be the source of my own existence therefore God is God and so I'm gonna submit to his will and I'm gonna try to know him and to love him and to serve him and this life so I can be happy with him forever the next those are really the only two options but why do we have to be gods in the first place what can we just be beings because of the bare fact of existence you don't know that you can trust your senses right but you cannot deny even though you can deny your senses you cannot deny that you exist because when you deny that you exist you're affirming that you exist therefore you're faced with this one bald fact of your existence so you have to ask yourself am i the source of my own existence or not if I am then I've got nothing to worry about because I'm God and if I'm not then that being who is this raw and eternal existence that being is God he created me there's no third option my parents your parents are finite creatures if they exist but when you're confronted with the reality of existence as exist you know intuitively and immediately the existence is not a temporary thing being and life are not a temporary thing you probably as an atheist you probably have this picture of the universe as a cold dead universe and then molecule is randomly collided and eventually life formed so life came from non-life and then eventually with the heat death of this universe you're gonna see another cold dead universe and if you look at that sandwich of life the pieces of bread are called dead universe and there's a very very very thin slice of meat in there which is full of sound and fury signifying nothing it's a completely amoral worldview where there's absolutely nothing and this brings me to another point which I'd like to discuss with you if you don't mind which is free will do you accept free will or not so I'm undecided but before we still have I want to cover on the three points that you brought up just so quick on the monotheism so the history that we have for all four civilization as far back as we can as we can determine starts with the Egyptian pantheon of gods so the the Egyptian gods gave way to what would eventually become the Greek and the Roman gods and then also to the Hindu gods and then also the Norse gods so they all share the parallels and many of the stories which became specific to the area that they they diverged to before Zoroastrianism come about and then Judaism and Christianity and everything so the monotheists so you saw is really essentially was the first monotheistic religion and then the Judaism and then of course you have Catholicism or Christianity let's say and then of course Islam and then you know the unusual ones like Mormonism and so on so you have you have a string of pants and like a pantheon of gods which even in some math in some aspect so even if you were to go back through the first like true Genesis and all rest of it where God would say you know well part of the Ten Commandments he speaks about you know you won't have any other gods before me then even in talks about and battles with other other gods like Baal and all the rest of it so how is it that that they could only be God if all these other gods have somehow come at what if you're in the age wave god regularly was regularly seen and regularly acted how is it that people couldn't leave another gallon yet covered explain to you the sort of philosophical explanation of how there can only be one true God and the other component of my answer is that I see history obviously a lot differently than you do I see you starting at some arbitrary midpoint where everyone's already confused and worshipping demons and multiple gods and ancestors and heroes and legends and all these sort of mythology and stuff like that that's fine but if we go back further my understanding of history even though it's not history in the sense of being recorded history the basic idea is that God created us we fell from grace and then things went to pot you know what I mean so the Catholic understanding is that there was first of all monotheism and then the fall and then came the confusion and all the sin was just propagating confusion and even confusion and languages with the Tower of Babel and all these sort of things but do you do you believe that the Tower of Babel was a real thing it doesn't matter to me because the church does not oblige me to take many passengers of the Bible seriously in terms of literal imagery it needs to have literally happened like that for example with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden there are only a few doctrines in there that we have to say yes to but all the colorful stuff we don't have to believe one way or the other it doesn't matter if Satan took the form of a serpent and if it was a tree with literal fruit and that the guy's name was Adam and the girl's name was Eve none of that is dogmatically imposed on me the only thing I need to know is that God is real Satan is a fallen angel he is real that there is one biological human first pair this first couple we need to know that that is a fact if a scientist can prove that we stem from more than one couple one human pair then I abandon Jesus Christ it's a false religion Christianity is a false religion I'll get you the link we've done Studies on it already so mitochondrial Eve is 160 thousand years in our past and biological atom a y-chromosome Adam was some 250 or thereabouts thousand years ago I will find it out because that study has already been done it's called polygenism if polygenism is true and mono jainism is false then christianity is a false religion false top there is absolutely no way for Christianity to continue if it becomes known reliably that polygenism is the case now are you gonna be able to convince me of that I doubt it but send me links for sure it's a deal breaker it's a deal breaker for me if if we do not descend from one human pair it's game over for Christianity well as you know I know how much you know about dumb devolution but we its population genetic systems there's no no individuals if you had individuals our case in point cheetahs they came from what seemed to be either two mating pairs only two surviving major pairs bottleneck or this same like after six pairs off from the same family so that genetic bottleneck means that pretty much every cheetah can actors of that organ donor for every other cheetah that's alive now and this was an event that happened less than 30,000 years ago so that genetic the genetic makeup of the cheetahs is so so narrow because of this one bottleneck that happened in some 30 odd years ago that there's no there's no discernible difference in their DNA I'll get you that link as well yeah give me all the links for sure I just wanted to mention that when I brought I didn't include it in the interview because Aaron just laughed it off and he didn't bite when I gave him the bait but I basically gave him the challenge I said if he can prove that polygenism is true I'll leave Christianity and he said well there's no he said that's stupid he said no one believes in polygenism it's completely obsolete and mono Jainism is so firmly established nothing could possibly disprove mono gen ism we all come from one human pair that's what aaron ross said he seems to be something of an expert in this field you know taking his next bit as well so he he may have settled that issue for us but you can still send me the links yep sure I like your little frog logo Thanks that's a chilled-out frog that's exactly how I reveal i want to cruise through the night and yeah i don't don't like letting things get to me and i've I kind of do things in my spare time so I i'm actually a take one day master as well no way yeah serious and i've also competed quite a quite often on the international scene so i've been several time world champion no way yeah and i've been a champion of champions as well but I do like I've achieved a lot of my own personal life I've I've got a great job I've got a great career I should say I have the most beautiful kids and and even now I have the family too to savor and I intend to do that you know so like I've achieved if I were to die today I'd be very happy I'd be chuffed that I've achieved what I've been able to achieve and gone places and seen the things I've done and being you know so wow that's amazing can you just tell me some of your favorite mixed martial artists like George st. Pierre maybe you liked some of the Taekwondo guys can't just talk about some of your favorites please I tend not to follow too much in the martial arts scene his like I say I've spent my time in that in that zone and I've achieved the many things that I have achieved and now I'm living life more for the family so I've spent time covering on that having said that though like the general general Chae was a historical figure in the world of check one day he he was a founder of one of the the original organization that brought the tech window into existence in what country in Korea actually South Korea but he wanted to use tech window as as an agent to bring to unify the two careers again and that was one of his lifelong dreams of he passed away not having realized that dream but there are quite a number of us that that are carrying on that which like we've we're working Twitter to that endeavor so were you moved by some of the recent attempts there has been a couple reasons into tense and of all the things that have happened there has been coming together the careers at some of the martial arts games and even the World Championships so they have actually been able to come together and put many of their differences aside cuz there's you know they are technically still war they're just in an armistice at the moment 56 year long armistice but yes so there's still quite a lot of ground that need to be covered but by the same token take one dough is something that has defined the career as a people can you tell me sort of a rival that you were proud to defeat to take one of your championship belts maybe one of the ones you're most proud of can you just talk a little bit about that moment sure I was one of the first gold medalists for my version of tackle day back in 2001 I brought home the gold medal in power breaking which is quite a specific form of competition so that was actually in Italy we did that World Championships in Greece in 2003 the very next World Championships there was an gentlemen from Norway who dropped that title and I only managed to bronze at that exercise so I shared the bronze with Canada at the time surprisingly enough and North Korea won the silver then we hosted the World Championships in 2005 here in Australia and that's where I was able to win one middle back so that was my first retirement I've retired a couple of times now and believe it or not I'm actually competing again at the veterans Division four World Championships in Melbourne Australia so the hosting in here for another organisation and I'm entering that competition so if any luck I'll be able to do it all over again but yes I did come out of retirement and I became a triple world championship in 2013 in the veterans division as well and then didn't injure you three weeks out from 2015 worlds as well so I spent two years recovering from that knee reconstruction and of course now I'm getting back into it again are there weight classes and I've sold which weight classes are you championing there are weight classes I was in the hot weight so that's literally 80 kilos and over now of course that's based on Asian weight divisions so ask Europeans and mango Saxons nineteen ninety percent of us are in the in the hyper weight so it was a very large division so I had to do a lot of a lot of rounds to get to where I was so we managed to do that and of course yes training to do it all over again yeah so you don't need to cut weight it would be nice if I wasn't quite as plump as I am right now but yeah it's a it's non-issue hey do you like food I do it's very unfortunate side-effect but in this model watch especially loves eating out so we did quite a lot of dining fine dining and probably more than I'd really should as far as my training is concerned she is not very happy about that it's it's great that I have to pay someone to hate me yeah she hates me enough to make me hurt so I do at the end of my interviews I asked my guests to give a little closing thought just a little positive message from your own perspective because we all have unique experience and unique history so just to wrap up the show what do you think you might be able to say to someone that might be out there listening now um well I guess it might be a bit pertinent desired I just lost my my uncle the past couple of days and that was actually strongly on my run catholic family side so that's all this is being brought for but like the only thing we have is each other like we have our family we have our friends and to spend time being filthy and other people for ideas that they may have all for a lack of understanding or for any other number of things is detrimental to all of us it's not something that you should allow to fester like we need to be cognizant of our differences and by the same token is supporting you in every other way we are still human we're the one human race and we should be supporting each other exactly you