Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-10-02 - Nick Stumphauzer Part 4

Author Recorded Wednesday October 2nd, 2019

There are 47 episodes in the Versus:Atheist series.

Recorded February 9th, 2019

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

Recorded September 11th, 2016

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

Nick interviewed Aron Ra for his Prodigal Podcast and so I reached out to him to see how the conversation went. We didn't talk long but it was a powerful conversation and I'm glad I recorded the call for posterity. God is good.


Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-10-02 - Nick Stumphauzer Part 4

Author Recorded July 30th, 2016

audio


video

transcript
These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
Nik some Howser parts for so the other day Nick's dump also reached out to me by Facebook and he told me that he had successfully interviewed Aaron raw I know it was probably quite an ordeal so I asked if I could give him a call and chat with him about how the interview went so what you're about to hear is that short conversation enjoy Lulu hey David how'd it go I'm just existentially exhausted what was his attitude like you know he he's got a good heart you're right but he's got to lay off the ad homonyms like all he can do is just tear into Christianity and you've got to believe he's been burned at some point in time he had a hard time answering the questions that I asked him not because he was avoiding them but he just goes off on these tangents and gets into really specific detail about stuff and doesn't quite answer the question beyond just saying oh that's not true which isn't exactly a rebuttal but he did have some really interesting responses a few different times and whereas Sanford pulled me from all the way from evolution to almost intelligent design you know young Earth Creationism I feel like Aaron pulled me more toward the center and so now I'm just floating in the Cygnus t'k world and I just I don't know what the didn't work place to be I don't like that I mean I don't like that blackness and the question marks it's horrible so what's your sense like in terms of like Aaron rollick he might be misguided he might be hurt and wounded by religion and it's Mormonism which is not even Christianity it's some weird strange religion but he's on fire for his faith obviously I mean he's really passionate about what he believes but his beliefs are bleak like there's no free will there's no afterlife basically you can just do whatever you want here and now because that's all there is you know does that enter into your equation when you want to crawl back on the fence and sit on the fence somewhere no and here's why here's the crazy thing so after my interview with Sanford and a few other things I don't know if you know Michael Jones from inspiring philosophy but I'm going to be doing an interview with him tomorrow he's got a few things on proving the soul the you know the meta ethics and the metaphysics of a soul and that combined with my interview with Sanford gave me such peace I was like wow you know there's there's a soul all this life was created everything I felt like I finally had that the Shire that I described in my podcast that I really desired and then the other day I was driving and I was a sort of running through the implications of this in my head and I'm you know my ego has just been so abused so beaten up so badly that it's so little part of the equation anymore that I'm able to do these sort of thought experiments it's like okay so Nick let's say Nick believes in God and the Bible is true and and Jesus is Lord and all these implications what then and I was astonished to realize that my nihilism was still there somehow the belief that there's a God didn't fix it for me and I realized I was like I'm still empty and that was still is kind of freaking me out a little bit I'm chasing so hard David I am I am pursuing truth and God and certitude and and faith and foundation harder than truly anyone that I've ever run across and I feel like I'm moving backward well I mean I just want to mention that feeling of emptiness might not be a bad thing I mean that's what I'm striving for I was never a nihilist but it you know it was a hard sell business but I want I want to have that emptiness that emptying is the sort of necessary component that dry lonely emptying is a necessary component to be a true Saint a true mystic and to allow space for God to enter in and of course you're gonna if that happens you're gonna have a real wild ecstasy but that's not the point I mean I'm reading a lot the lives of the saints and many of them that have mystical experiences talk about the indescribable joy and ecstasy of letting God in making that space to let God in and dying to self and letting God in and then just the sheer torture when he withdraws again and it's just like a hellish nihilistic nightmare but they have the faith and they cling to that faith in the darkness in the blackness and then you know God comes and visits once in a while and you get that consolation and it sounds like torture it does sound like torture but they always emphasize the same story which is that look we've got limited time here on this pilgrimage that we're on we fell from grace in the Garden of Eden now we're in this hellish fallen world I'm a fallen sinner and by the grace of god I've got this faith I'm gonna cling to this faith and when this short life is over I will have wished that I had had more suffering more desolation more trials more tribulation more more emptiness more of that blackness and that nihilism because when I combined that blackness with my faith my god-given faith and I unite it to Jesus Christ and the sufferings of Jesus Christ even Jesus on the cross said why hast thou abandoned me God you know this is the height of mysticism to unite yourself to that and to experience that blackness and that emptiness and that nihilism that Christian nihilism and every Christian mystic that I've read always says this is the point of this pilgrimage here is to unite your sufferings with the sufferings of Christ so that you can save souls so you can save your friends and your relatives and your enemies and your acquaintances and everyone you know and those souls that are suffering in purgatory this is a very very very short life you may think it's long now but wait till you get to purgatory you're gonna wish that you'd suffered more nobly and more worthily and that you'd united your sufferings to God given faith so on the one hand I envy you or I am jealous of this blackness that you able to experience but on the other hand it's a pity that it's going to waste because you don't have the faith yet which is necessary to give it such spiritual power ya know everything you said makes sense and you're right it's like I get all the all the downside there's no upside and worst of both worlds yeah the and that the use of faith also makes sense - it's like if you did have that truly extraordinary connection with God that ex stasis then I think it would be reasonable and beautiful to endure the blackness the void clinging to that faith yeah that makes sense to me and I think that would be I'm probably using the word wrong but sanctifying yeah yeah for sure but yeah I don't have that it's kind of just like I'm I'm truly ready to give up the search and and just sort of live first of all Aaron Raw is a good example of someone who has given up so his daily quest for pleasure involves food sex but the stuff that the lower beasts get up to and you can join him there you will be like Aaron raw you will be enjoying your life you'll be laughing and having a lot of fun making fun of everybody that doesn't agree with you and living life to the fullest you can do that you can go that route but that's not the way to go I can tell you that's not the way to go and if you if you listen to someone like Sandford he's in touch with the fate he may not be a saint but he's in touch with the faith he's got the faith and he's willing to make self-sacrifice and to suffer and you're clearly called to a higher calling than just mucking about in the sensual pleasures of an animalistic life you are you have to admit that well perhaps I was not clear about what I meant when I said giving up I guess I would just say that I would focus on living instead of thinking I'm sure that there would be some amount of hedonism that would creep in but that would that that wouldn't be the goal that I think the goal would just be to be in tune with my experience as opposed to stuck in my brain trying to reason so hard you know yeah there's some wisdom that comes from my grandpa and actually I'm hoping to have my grandpa on the show and then the next episode or two here because he has some really extraordinary bits of wisdom when it comes to empiricism he's told me multiple times empiricism is not the only way to find truth and he doesn't say that as a religious man he says that as a grandpa and I've never really understood what what is meant so I want to have him on the show and I kind of understand that from him but he really advocates more for a holistic approach to just experiencing the wonders of life as opposed to trying to intellectualize the out of it so you can be like I've got it yeah yeah yeah yeah I'm all in favor of letting go of the mental masturbation that's for sure I'm all in favor of letting that go I don't think that comes from God that's if anything that's the tricks of the evil one you know just luring you into a labyrinth and there's no way out there is no way out there's no satisfaction there so I mean I you know I joke about my slow Paulo Jetix I've got the sloppy apologetics that I engage in it's because I'm like a little child I love God and I sincerely believe that the Holy Roman Catholic Church is the true Church founded by the god man Jesus Christ do I lose sleep about the fact that I might be wrong no I don't because I'm a little child I know that if I had a hundred lifetimes to study all of the intricate questions of theology and philosophy and scriptures and translation and the original languages and the culture and all the archaeology and everything a hundred lifetimes with a genius 200 IQ would not suffice to make my needle move one smidgen on that gradient you know it's not an intellectual pursuit it's not if you think it is then you're wrong it's a question of the will do you love God you love your Creator yes or no if you do it's win-win-win I mean which religion do you think is the one true religion if you think it's Buddhism go for it if you think it's Hinduism go for it if you think it's Southern Baptist denomination go for it whatever you think it is just be sincere and authentic that's why I'm happy that's why I'm carefree that's why I don't lose I sleep very well at night even though I might be wrong do I think that I'm wrong no I don't so I mean I think that once you take that initial leap of faith into God the Father all the questions about which religion and what are the details and what are the holy books say and what does this sect say and what about these practices and those practices all of that nonsense will become crystal clear to you because you love God and you're striving to follow God and it's just natural you you will know for yourself what you're comfortable with what you're not comfortable with what is authentic what's fake are you just submitting to some kind of weird peer pressure because your family's Catholic is that why you're Catholic or is it sincere and authentic you know you know but without that first step of taking a leap of faith into God you're screwed because then it becomes an intellectual project again you know yeah and so olive oil you said made perfect sense my question is and I know you've listened to my episode on the wager how do you decide how do you make that first step without it being some form of self-deception well I mean your path and mine are quite different I came through heart solipsism and I was God and it just sucked being God so it just as soon as I had Rene Descartes point me a sort of an easy leap of faith like a short and quick little hop on to monotheism I just took it you know but you're not in that you're not in that privileged position you're in a year in a quagmire of question marks and darkness and existential angst that's much more profound and horrifying than where I was even though it was not fun being God but at least I was God you know at least I had eternal life it was like how did I fool myself so thoroughly how did I make myself seem finite and contingent and stupid and stinky and ignorant you know how did I do that oh I must be I must be pretty clever God it's a better place to be it really is a better place to be but you it's too late for you you're already in nihilism so you can't get there you know you'd have to fake it that's the problem is that for the nihilist you pretty much feel like you have to fake everything but I never had to fake anything you know I really thought I was God and then when I realized I wasn't it was just like Oh good praise God I'm not God so for you I mean I think it's I think your grandfather probably would have some good advice like meet a woman check out the sunset once in a while but a lot of your problem is just stem from the fact that you're young I don't you probably don't like to hear that but a lot of it is just that growing up you know my early 20s were a nightmare a bloody nightmare I was having anxiety attacks I was questioning everything I was paranoid I was you know experimenting with sex drugs and rock and roll and I know you're much more moderate and all that stuff but still I mean it's it's just the the growing the spiritual growth that you're going through is painful and I can tell you one thing I can tell you that'll make you feel good is it as you get older you stabilize and now so I would encourage you to stabilize in a direction that is sane and stabilize in a worldview that at least has free will and if you can't stabilize into a worldview that at least has free will then you may end up going through a very prolonged adolescence like I did like I was a hard determinist and I was an atheist or whatever for all of 25 years of my adult life I feel like I wasted a quarter of a century I don't want you to and I think you're a brighter person than I ever was and so I think your your investigations here gonna are going to bear fruit so I'm not really worried about you so I would encourage you to continue climbing the mountain of truth and this is an image that you like to use it's a little bit of an elitist image I don't agree with you that you can't be brothers and sisters with those the find at the top because no one is sitting at the top without having struggled everyone at the top of that mountain is has gone through a lot of struggles it just might not be publicized on a podcast but I can guarantee you that they're going through a dark night of their soul for different periods in their life they will have gone through very trying experiences and ordeals and they've been tested and they've been tempted and if they've overcome then there's merit in that you know even though it's by the grace of God that they were able to overcome but yeah I would not judge those who look on the surface to have coasted into heaven I would not judge them because no one ghosts into heaven yeah it's definitely my bitterness in my ego it's and I think that's because you know from my minut perspective I see the religious that I'm surrounded by as mostly uninitiated people and I guess it just frustrates me and probably I'm also jealous it's in in some form as well but I think it frustrates me when there's the expectation of belief on me and I feel like saying you know have you even examined what you believe and typically the answer is no and that's where I get that bitterness yeah well it ain't over till the fat lady sings right there are two final destinations heaven in hell and those who make it to heaven will have examined themselves you can rest assured about that you're not gonna find any lazy stupid people in heaven okay yeah they will all have examined themselves and so yeah you don't need to worry about that and you don't need to keep track of other people's sins and laziness and all that sort of thing you're not going to be held accountable for any of that so that's another thing to lighten your load a bit and just focus have that laser focus on on yourself and on your own weaknesses and growing in virtue speaking of virtues I you said recently that you started praying is that true have you continued with that how's it been going I think it's still on that very infantile type of Prayer where I just sort of shoot up some smoke every once in a while where my ego has subsided enough where it's no longer offensive to me to reach out and ask God for X Y or Z can you give you an example sure you're not allowed to laugh but the one that I have in my should I'm gonna cry the one from the one that I have in my journal right now is that God make of me a king that David and Solomon would be jealous of and this is something that I really have not told I don't know if I've told I think I'm a king I am saying this with a small part of myself that believes it I think God is gonna make of me a king and so I just wrote it down and I said do it give me your give me your best I feel that greatness within me I do feel like I'm an extraordinary person and I and I don't say that in the the narcissistic way I just I have a sense of greatness within me and so my request to God is to just manifest that well I don't know if you know but the Catholic Church teaches dogmatically that we are all by a virtue of our baptism priest prophet and King did you know that I do remember learning that in theology but I don't know that I have ever actually applied that what does that mean the answer to every question is Jesus Christ so Jesus Christ is the prophet the priest and the King right so we don't need to search too far to try to unravel this mystery how can I be priest prophet and King well by being Jesus Christ I mean this is the goal the mystical goal of religion is to unite ourselves with God and in particular with the god man Jesus Christ who is God made flesh and we are made in His image and likeness so we have to be prophet priest and King if we're going to go to heaven it's pathetic to see how few of us live up to that and so you're right to sneer and cajole the limp noodles that claim to be religious because it is pathetic I'm pathetic you're pathetic and those religious fanatics everywhere are pathetic it's only the Saints where we can see a glimpse of that heroism that true heroic virtue they love completely they love without reservation and they give their lives and they've got this energy that comes from God and they are clearly prophet priest and King and you can see it in their lives but the rest of us are just muddling along and we're watching our favorite shows at night and eating our favorite snacks and getting fat it's pathetic but that's the way it is so I hope you'll get inspired by the saints we are not living but they are living an example we have to look to them we have to be inspired by them and maybe God willing one day we'll take that little step in another step and we will end up being like them we'll be Saints we'll live courageously and virtuously and will inspire others and you can be that king that you want to be but it's only through Jesus Christ that you will be king so if you're serious about being a king and I believe that you are look to the Saints that's my advice alright I'll look into it I so don't despair don't give up hope and did Aaron have anything positive to say I mean in terms of you and your quest for God or were you open about that or no no I think if I did open up about my religion let alone my politics it would be a very short conversation but he was nice to he he ended the conversation cordially oh yeah yeah we talked for a few minutes afterward and and he was very kind but I think intellectual masturbation is sort of his drug of choice he can't get enough of that and I totally empathize with it for sure but there's only so many times you can master it before you just like me and this sucks I need a real relationship and that's kind of well said my friend well said excellent so I get I gotta get back to the wife here but thanks for taking the time I know you're exhausted but thanks for talking to me and I'm praying for you I hope you'll pray for me that's something maybe you could do is pray for my mom because she's suicidal a depressed she just wants to die she's like really really in a nasty place so even if you don't believe there's God even if you think that life is meaningless do me a favor pray for my mom who knows maybe your prayers work maybe they'll have an effect and you'll find out that the final judgement if I'm right well I have not done this in a very long time but as my friend I'd be happy to get on my knees and shoot up so smoke for you wow this could be your road to Damascus man whatever whatever it takes I needed a friend tonight and I'm sincerely grateful that you reached out I love you lots Nick and I'm thinking about you and praying for you and you've got some good friends that are backing you up whichever way you end up going just stay strong keep your head up okay much love David you have a great night if you want to learn more about Nick's Tom Hauser and his podcast and his journey back to God just go to Nick's Tannhauser comm that's ni ck s tu mPHA you said er calm and there's a link there to his podcast called the prodigal so that's it take care we'll talk soon god bless

transcript2
These ReWatch transcripts are also generated automatically and are therefore sometimes improperly unformatted and replete with errors.