Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-15 - Geoff Cooper

Author Recorded Friday February 15th, 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

Geoff is a very jovial fellow, so we chatted for two full hours. We mainly spoke about his work and hobbies, so in the end there wasn't much content for my podcast. Perhaps we can do part 2 some day.


Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-15 - Geoff Cooper

Author Recorded July 30th, 2016

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hey this is Jeff Cooper and you're listening to Catholic versus atheist so if you would just tell us a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and how you came to believe what you believe sure sure right yeah I'm Jeff Cooper I'm a father of two I'm a paramedic and I've been in that field 10 or 11 years as a medic I was an EMT for five or six years before that many many moons before that I was a volunteer firefighter when I was much much younger as far as what I believe I really don't believe much you know I have I have never met a god that I had you know that could be shown to be true it all seems like bunk and culture myths to me and you know the reason I came to believe that is because of the failure of the religious to prove their case what kind of family were you raised in was there any exposure to God or religion can you just talk a little bit about the atmosphere growing up yeah yeah sure I grew up in in the suburbs in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s my parents both identified as Methodist but didn't really I remember when we started going to church and that was as a condition of a loan that she received from my great grandparents so you know it was like yeah I know we'll give you the money so that you can keep the house but you gotta take those kids to church so and it just so happened to be the church where the al-anon meetings were held so we got dragged into that in the standard attire of the decade a lot of vomit brown green and corduroy like on purpose and you know we went from the time I was about six or seven maybe eight to time I was maybe 13 or 14 and that was about that it was interesting to me to go to church and to hear the because the kids they don't get they don't get the real deal you know with capital letters and everything you know what I mean I mean they have like the sunday-school indoctrination centers for the munchkins you know they tell the stories and know the story of the Baptist dude the the story of the the Easter story and all that you know in that and that was interesting to me because you know at the time that we got there we're gonna have to back up a little bit I mean I was I was very very sick as a child I was often in hospital and part of the reason that we got the loan in the first place was to get into a new house because the apartment that we grew up in it was like an old farmhouse that was converted into apartments and it was kind of shady and kind of had a lot of mold and it sent me into a lot of asthma attacks and things like that so I spent a lot of time in hospital as a kid and in hospital there's really not all that much to do when you're sitting in an oxygen tent which was a thing back then rather than do crossword puzzles build models and read and the thing is is I had already learned how to read by the time I got dragged to church and I'd already read the culture myths of other culture you know I liked the stories of the Greeks and the Norse mythos I thought that the silver had tear I thought he was really cool I thought Loki was kind of cool so when we got to church it was like ah well here's the Jewish culture myths yeah and that's really what I looked at him as I was very surprised to find out you know as I was growing up I was very surprised to find out that people actually thought that was real though that was very confusing to me my best friends now I understand you're Catholic I mean that's the title of the channel and all that my best friend Bobby you know I would sleep over at his house sometimes and I like to sleep over on Friday nights because then we could wake up Saturday and then we can go you know play army men and you know go running around and doing young boy stuff but sometimes I had to sleep over on Saturday nights and sometimes when I slept over on Saturday nights his family would drag me to church with them you know and that that was always interesting because I never understood what the hell I was supposed to be doing there cuz the Catholics I mean it was like it was like going to gym class man you gotta stand up sit that hill you know clap your hands twice Simon didn't say you know whoops Simon say you're going to hell you know I mean it was it was confusing to me it was very confusing so when I found out that actual grown up people that could you know drive cars and buy beer and vote and were in charge of you know classrooms and stuff like that actually believed these culture myths to be true that was that was mind blowing for me that was absolutely mind blowing still is are you one of the people that commented on aaron ross video and if so what sort of comments did you make and what sort of silly reply did I give you do you remember yeah I I remember when you called in to the Atheist experience I remember that distinctly because that was the episode that aired on my birthday and you posted a video from that and then you posted the worm with foreign and you know the discussion that you and I had on there was somewhat antagonistic because you were saying that you unlike atheists affirm that you have both free will and reason even though the type of libertarian free will that you were advocating for in your video with Aaron had bit and quite easily refuted and you didn't really have responses to that and I called you on on it and we had a kind of back and forth on that and my main sticking point was you know your definition of what humanity is does not comport with reality when it comes to the concept of free will what is your take on that how does it work not 100 percent hard determined that's my definition of free will so some things that you think say and do are not 100 percent hard determined by the laws of nature that's all that I mean okay and how does that track with your deity because my understanding of your daddy and correct me if I'm wrong it's like call Sagan's view of the cosmos all that is was and ever shall be he already knows is that is that that about right I mean I can't do anything that's gonna surprise your God right yeah just because God knows what I'm going to do doesn't mean that he is the cause of what I'm going to do just like I know what you're going to do when I'm done speaking you're gonna speak but I'm not causing you to speak so can there be moral agency and personal responsibility if hard determinism is the case if our determinism is true then it would stand to reason that what I choose to say in response to this I really could not say otherwise because of an infinite number of factors that went into that decision being made I do however think that there is a threshold where it can be overridden where you would be normally compelled to do something but choose to do otherwise or not even so much choose to do otherwise but not choose to do that which I think there's two different things I mean you would agree that that's two different things right yeah it doesn't really matter because that's just a different set of constraints it's it's but you're still stuck with constraints no you you have the option to exert that or not I know that your choice to exert it is determined no it has been shown through these studies that their threshold I want to save less than 200 milliseconds so you have about you know point two of a second to to override that you know that split decision you know where you have the choice to swerve left to avoid the accident or jam on the brakes yeah but when you make that what you would consider a free choice to go left or to go right if you have the technology to zoom in on that free choice the mechanism of that free choice what you're calling a free choice if you were to zoom in on it do you think that you would find a violation of any of the laws of physics or biochemistry or any other natural laws or do you think that this mechanism of so-called free will obeys the laws of nature I don't see any circumstance where the laws of physics or biology could be violated because if the world around us suddenly stops acting like the world around us okay then we have a new phenomenon that we don't understand so we would have to go in and analyze that and look at that and figure out what it is how it does what it does what is the mechanism by which this occurs what is the cause what is the effect falls into what you were calling determinism is completely antithetical to what you were calling freewill so be it I'm okay with that because I don't see how you were going to reasonably appeal to anything to refute this well the refutation is in the fact that you're free and you've just admitted that the mechanism behind your so-called freewill is 100% heard determined by the laws of nature nothing escapes so if the scientist were to zoom in on that point two-second freedom mechanism we know with 100% certainty that the scientist as a scientist will never ever stop and just say there is no cause for this effect they will always always assume that there is a sufficient reason for every effect that they see in the laboratory as our technology improves we are able to go deeper and deeper and deeper into finer and finer resolution to examine these mechanisms in neuroscience or in any other science so if you take two ingredients that you are very comfortable with one ingredient is science where we always say there's a sufficient reason for everything that we observe and maybe we haven't discovered it yet but we know it's there that's what motivates us to keep looking for and that's why we have science in the first place so when we combine that with the other principle which is that everything is natural we are left with hard determinism and there is no free will and therefore there is no possibility of morality or personal responsibility or of love or of beauty or of justice or anything else nope stop we are an evolved social species and it is in the species best interest to reward moral behavior in punish immoral behavior beauty is entirely subjective upon the individual it is indeed in the eye of the beholder so your assertion that there is no beauty if everything is cause an effect is nonsensical that there is no responsibility well again I think that ties into morality and ties into the social aspect of the species into which we have evolved you know we need other humans to survive we have needed other humans to survive we have created cultures and those cultures have created great works of art great works of literature and great stories and some of those stories like religions are ones that you know we value very very much so you can still find beauty you can still find morality and you can still find these things even though it is as it appears to be a completely natural world in which we live so to answer my question can there be moral responsibility moral agency if there is no freedom if everything is hard to termined can you be responsible can you be moral if you're not free just now that we've talked about it what's your answer if an individual engages in behaviors that detract from the overall societal health then you know society is going to ostracize and punish and there will be consequences for that so they're going to be punished right but that's just the Machine doing the Machine thing every every part of the Machine is doing exactly what it has to do there's no value to anything because everything is exactly what it has to be all the time if you go to a vending machine and it takes your money and it doesn't give you the candy bar you don't send the vending machine to prison and you don't send it to see a psychologist you just bring in a mechanic to repair it it's just a machine and it's the same thing from your naturalistic atheistic worldview everything is just a machine it's a very delicate machine you said that everything is natural yes you said that everything is natural and that there's a sufficient reason for everything that happens right correct that means there's no freedom and I said that we have great works of art of beauty of litter and these would be of moral worth where does the morality come in why do human machines go to prison and vending machines that are out of order get treated by a mechanic technician because we have developed the sufficient means to repair vending machines and place them back in service we have not developed the sufficient you know mechanics if you will to go into a human psyche and repair it to the point where it can be integrated in society we have been working toward that but we are not there yet the fact that you are so excited about art and culture and morality and responsibility and love and justice and beauty is because you live in a world that has the supernatural it has God it has angels all right please demonstrate where this naturalist show me where your freewill no it is nonsense because we have just determined that free will is not a thing because it is a natural world according to what we had just said before there is a natural world and everything is cause and effect and it is cause and effect then there is no free will so you don't believe in free will but do you sometimes fantasize that it might be nice to have free will and what would free will be like I don't know I don't know what it would be like I mean I that isn't something that I fantasize about you know I fantasize like is there like a free will pornhub no you're gonna see make it good so so listen I do have to wrap things up but at the end of my interviews I asked my guests to give a little closing thought so just to wrap up the show what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening now be who you are do what you can and you know get through your life the only one you got all you gotta do is all you got to do is all you gotta do is all you got to do is

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