Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-03 - Ady the Armoured Penguin

Author Recorded Sunday February 3rd, 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

Ady runs a YouTube channel called Antarctic Dissuasion Force which debunks Flat Earth notions. He is an atheist who finds religion curious and baffling. He found me on the Aron Ra interview and reached out by email. He is a very friendly chap, and I enjoyed our chat.Ady's Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyyQ4Z-26CwJWBaJ8Smjv0Q


Catholic vs. Atheist - 2019-02-03 - Ady the Armoured Penguin

Author Recorded July 30th, 2016

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hi my name is Aidy I'm your favorite armored penguin and you're listening to Catholic versus atheist so tell the little listeners a little bit about yourself if you would please who you are what you believe and how you came to believe what you believe okay well I didn't really believe anything I've actually been raised an atheist I've never really come into contact with any any kind of religion or anything like that up until fairly recently really I was baptized as Church of England and because of that a lot of you know sort of weddings and other christenings and such I have been to church but it's never really been anything for me more than just an impressive building and I've never really really understood any you know all of the words that were being said they were largely irrelevant and boring as far as I was concerned I was always there were always things that I would rather be doing than sitting in church if you're not I mean and I guess my first real experience of any kind of religious stories I guess would be in school where they tried to teach me the story of creation and that was it was never anything more than just a story to me it was always just a well you know some people used to believe this sort of thing it never occurred to me that there were actually people who genuinely believed it even today now I haven't actually spoken to her in quite a few years but one of my exes was a devout Catholic and that's probably that she would probably be the most developed person I knew but as I say I haven't spoken to her in a few years now so so what do you believe if you don't believe in their religious fairy tales what do you believe I'd like to think that I don't believe anything and when I do I believe it based on evidence and rational thought or I feel there's absolutely no reason for me to think that there's any kind of guiding force in my life apart from my own and it's it's kind of an act of pragmatism as much as anything else you did mention pragmatism sort of an offhand way it does bring to mind philosophy generally have you read a lot are you interested have you studied formally or just as a hobby I mean it's not something that I've studied a massive amount I mean I have my own sort of philosophies and generally I tend to live by if you're nice to other people other people are nice to you and that's generally you know that that would be generally my philosophy and how I would live my life I try to be as honest as I possibly can whenever I'm talking to people because I appreciate when they're honest back to me what do you think of the Hindu concept of Karma it sounds like something you'd be into it is and actually I've had I've had a few moments that I've jokingly called Instant Karma happened to me over the last couple of days you know from living in the UK yourself snow isn't exactly a common occurrence here and when you live on the top of a hill and you've got idiots who don't know how to drive then you see an awful lot of wrecks an awful lot of people losing control rolling cars all sorts of things it turns into a bit of a mess and as I as I also mentioned over email I've also had mine car hits by such a driver who's lost control in the ice in the snow and and so at the moment I have been given a four word 4x4 to sort of deal with the deal with the weather but Sam as I was coming home on Friday from work a woman in a van a white van driver they they have a tendency of tailgating they have a tendency of overtaking on unsafe bends and all you know they've got a bit of a reputation and it's an ashen wide reputation too and I had one such driver overtake me and no sooner did he get in front of my car and he lost control of it and ended up parking in the ditch on the side of the road and I just pulled around him it was like just like yeah all right Instant Karma can you just tell the listeners a little bit about your experience with rally racing or whatever it is that you said that you do oh yeah of course basically back in the 90s and when I was I was a teenager I actually started off as a co-driver so I was the one they're writing down on the pace notes and reading the back out 100 feet right six 100 feet right for you know that sort of thing and so that was my that was my sort of introduction to it and and I moved on to to actually racing them as well which which is great because he can start doing that in the UK before he can pass the driver's test as long as the road is closed and there are no public members on that road then you're allowed to race on at a younger age so my first my first introduction to driving was driving high powered vehicles on loose terrain competitively and it was great fun absolutely great fun and you know I've been I've been around the world now I've been lived in various places around the world and I've got back to the UK and I'm hoping to to get back into it at some point I really want to build another rally car and do it again but I've actually got permanent damage to my shoulder my left shoulder due to a a rally accident I wasn't driving at the time I'd just like to point that out I was Co driving at the time but basically travelling at about 70 or 80 miles an hour we clipped a tree roots and barreling through the air rolled several times and when we came to rest it was against a tree trunk on my side of the car so and as I sat back down in my seat I sat on a load of glass and it called some fairly nasty muscle and tendon damage to my shoulder apparently my shoulder had popped out as well so it was all dislocated I'd lost three and a half pints of blood at that point at the ambulance as soon as it got to to the the crash site they started the blood transfusion there and then what do you think happens to you at death or after death I I don't believe there's an afterlife once you there did they head and that's it you've gone for that reason I've actually got a bit of a joke going on with with sort of family members and friends of mine and there's been a massive massive increase in sort of funeral prices and things like that over here especially if you want you know sort of any kind of ceremony attached to it or anything like that and I always joke I sort of say to my friends look when I die put me on ebay see if anyone's to buy my body and if they don't just throw me in the wheel bin I really there's there's no you know once I'm dead I'm dead I won't be there that's it you know I see a contradiction in the atheist who says we all have the exactly the same outcome annihilation total annihilation and yet we're supposed to be altruistic make self-sacrifice and do the right thing even though it's a pain in the butt to do the right thing whereas in my worldview there are lasting consequences if you make bad choices you better be careful because you could end up paying forever whereas if you strive to be good then we can hope for an eternal fulfillment and happiness and pleasure and joy and in life so how do you defend your morality you obviously you are a moral a very moral person everyone I've met is but how do you defend that or what sort of basis do you have for morality given the fact that you admit that everyone has exactly the same outcome it doesn't matter it literally does not matter what you do and what choices you make how do you defend that honestly being nice to people makes me feel good that's it if I go around stealing things from people and committing murder and heinous crimes then I'm going to prison and I'd rather not spend time in prison seeing as this is the only life I've got you know but but on top of that I actually don't want to be nasty to people I want to be nice to people and I like it when other people are nice back to me and going back to my my ex my Catholic ex we didn't split on good terms she treated me quite badly and when she tried to get back in touch with me I wasn't the nicest person to her I'll be honest and that's the main reason we we haven't kept in touch is because I just don't want it I don't want to be nice to her so for me it's easier just to not be but generally whenever I'm talking to two friends of mine or even strangers you know I've been giving advice to strangers all day who are trying to drive in the snow you know give advice about no don't go down that road someone's someone stuck down there you know though various information like that and it comes down to I hope given the situation was turned the other way around they would do the same for me and that generally seems to be the way I mean I'm not one of the reasons that that I was raised sort of in this sort of atheist mindset it's because actually most people around here probably are are atheist in the South of England here but I did did definitely have some questions for for you and it's something that actually I did ask my ex as well and that is why are you Catholic I lost my faith at age 14 25 years of atheism which started out as sort of nice guy agnosticism and ended up being a theistic satanism and hardcore anti-catholic militant atheism and finally Hertz ellipse ISM and having been reading and studying philosophy for like more than a decade I entered into some this hard solipsism and it was philosophy that brought me out of Solace ISM into monotheism and once I was a monotheists I could care less which of the three monotheistic religions was the true religion I did not care I just wanted to worship God I wanted to worship my God publicly I wanted to shout it from the rooftops that I'm in love with this God that created me out of nothing and I didn't really care which religion was the true religion and my anti-catholic sentiment was still sort of there I did not want to be Catholic I did not want to be Christian even I really wanted to be Jewish because I always loved the Jews but I didn't think that it could be Jewish so because there's that sort of that family ethnic lineage that you have to be part of although some people do convert into Judaism but it just didn't seem like the right thing to do so I just by default thought that I was a Muslim but it just so happens that I met a Catholic monk who was on his way to becoming a priest and I asked him about God and he agreed to give me instruction and he took me to a mass and I said I want to join the Catholic Church I don't know if it's true I don't believe it's true and I have all this anti-catholic baggage but I said I want to join and find out so I took the instruction for six months one-on-one private tutoring and I read a lot really dove into it because I'm in love with God and I came to believe and accept all the doctrines all the teachings of the Catholic Church and I already knew as an enemy of the church that Christianity was historically speaking was Catholicism it wasn't one of these later developments that branched away from Catholicism I knew that historically the church was Catholic because I'd read early church stuff as an enemy of the church so that's basically the short story you've admitted there though that you don't actually care whether it's true or not well I do now I do now my attitude was right now I just have to express my love for this God and later I can do the intellectual work to figure out which of the three religions the monotheistic religions is the true one is the Judaism is it Christianity or is it Islam and it turns out it's not that hard to figure out that it's Christianity it really is not that hard because it all comes down to the question who is Jesus Christ all three religions talk about who Jesus Christ is just look with a historical eye at each of the three stories the Jews say there's a messiah coming there's a messiah coming is gonna come at this time and at this place and then Jesus Christ comes fulfilling all the prophecies and the Jews say no it wasn't him and then Judaism collapses and then Islam says oh Jesus is a prophet he was the second greatest prophet of all time and the early church movement is a Muslim movement it's a monotheistic movement which is Unitarian meaning it was not Trinitarian it was a Unitarian movement and Jesus was a good Muslim prophet and all of the apostles were good Muslims and it's not a Christian movement well you just look at the historical record and it's clear that that is not true it's not the case it's a Trinitarian church that is worshiping the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and it's a very very Catholic Christian Trinitarian religion so Judaism is gone Islam is gone I'm left with Christianity and for me Christianity is Catholic so it is really really not that hard to come to Catholicism once you're a monotheists if you're willing to look at the data so you actually believe that Jesus Christ was an actual physical figure okay and he believed that he turned what was it water into wine yeah all the miracles that every once you what you need to understand psychologically about conversion once you have a conversion once you meet God once you understand that you yourself are not God that God is God and you understand that relationship of the infinite to the finite your relationship as a finite creature your relationship to the Infinite Creator once you've really tangibly encountered that in an existential and experiencial way then every other miracle just becomes very easy to swallow there's nothing that's too wacky or weird to accept I mean I read the Old Testament I read the New Testament there's lots of weird stuff in there okay none of it is hard for me to believe now my guiding principle is God is good God is infinite in every perfection even though we abuse our freewill and things go awry God allows it because he can bring a higher good out of this mess that we create with our freewill well that makes it seem like you do actually have free will for sure for sure for sure no free will no morality and what's even more shocking if there's no free will there is no ability to reason reason itself has no meaning without free will if reasoning is hard determined 100% constrained then it has no meaning there is no justification to say that one configuration of matter energy and space-time is superior in any way whatsoever to any other configuration of matter energy in space-time it's just completely absurd we have to acknowledge freewill we have to acknowledge reason that we can weigh our options we can make it free decision if we throw out god we're throwing up freewill and we're throwing out reason we're throwing out science we're throwing out morality we're throwing out everything that makes human life human I'm not sure I would agree with you on the reasoning side of things but I certainly welcome when it comes to if you go down the sort of The Naturalist route than you do start getting rid of things such as freewill and I do actually have some some experience with this I'm bipolar type 1 bipolar and if I'm not medicated then I go from having months on end where I can't get out of bed and just want to die two months on ends where I am so high on life I'm almost killing myself with all the stupid I'm doing and and that's that's that is the the the honest truth that's exactly how I am when I'm not when I'm not looking after myself when I'm not keeping an eye on what I'm doing and I'm not keeping an eye on what I'm taking and you know making sure that I'm I'm on a level and those changes those changes that may that take me from that that's teetering on the edge of falling off a cliff to wanting to leap off the edge of that cliff to being normal comes down to chemicals that I ingest purely to get me back to that position where I can acts for lack of a better word like a normal human being so having been through that process I sincerely doubt that free will is as free as people like to think and I can even give an example of how that takes place so I assume as you have a wife you're not gay can you change yourself to be gay it's I think it's a choice yeah I think it's a choice I think you can dabble with all kinds of different perversions and acquire tastes and you can get accustomed to that and then want something a little bit more racy I've met people that have told me that they didn't start out gay they just went from one thing to the other thing to the other thing kept pushing and pushing and pushing and then it was more than one person in the bed and so on and so forth I'm a firm believer that we do make choices in those choices have consequences and that we can end up somewhere really strange you know do you prefer chocolate or banana it depends on the context but if you're just offering me like a chocolate bar or a banana I'll always go for the chocolate bar and do you think that you could change yourself so that you would always choose the banana rather than always choosing the chocolate let's just say that there's a lot that's hard determined in us there are many many many many constraints on us and I think that a lot of us will be surprised when we discover just how limited our freedom was in many ways that we took for granted that we were free but turns out we were not free but that doesn't negate my thesis that we have free will my thesis that we have free will only requires that not everything we think say and do is hard determined so it doesn't really make a lot of sense for you to impress me with how often we are constrained and how often things are determined what you need to do is make a case that there's not even one area of life where we can have freedom and that that would be hard for you to do I think I think it would be impossible for me to show that there is no possibility however I would be impressed if he could find one case where it wasn't where you picked something you didn't want but not because you didn't have to yeah yeah oh yeah no no no no I can give you examples of that all the time for example in Canada the Conference of Catholic Bishops decided some years ago that we no longer have to abstain from meat on Fridays it used to be that you could not eat meat on Fridays the Canadian Catholic Bishops got together some years ago and said that is no longer an obligation in Canada okay but I freely decide to not eat meat on Fridays so I don't have to not eat meat on Fridays I voluntarily said I want to do a little something for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ since he suffered and died for me so I could be happy forever so I make a voluntary sacrifice it's not easy sometimes I make an excuse like last Friday I said well I forgot to make myself a veggie lunch on Friday so I'm just gonna eat the meat I'll just do some other sacrifice for Jesus right I I had to weigh the option I had to say am I gonna eat this meat sandwich that I made or am I gonna just skip lunch and I had to weigh the options and I made a free choice that was really free what do you think is really happening in that moment you're weighing up whether you want to or whether you have to and I don't know how you can see that as anything anything else and you know I did the same I didn't say myself all the time at not not I don't not eat meat on a Friday I I actually genuinely don't think about eating meats as being a big deal neither did I until I imposed this rule I've sold grown up in in rural in the rural areas of Britain and I lived in rural areas of violent and Germany and so I've I've been around I've been around a lot of sort of pastoral farmers and I hold my hand up I have actually killed an animal for food and and I generally you know I I hate to sound like a psychopath but I had no problems with doing it absolutely no problem doing it and I think that's because I've been all I've always been raised to know that meat comes from animals and that's that's raised me with a level of respect for those animals that States right well actually if I'm going to kill an animal I'm going to make sure none of it gets wasted but no when it comes to making decisions I'm constantly making decisions and they ultimately come down to do I have to do this or do I want to do this and and and it comes up to a weighing up of the two of them mate sometimes it's something that sort of sits between the two and it's something that I sort of have to do but I can do it in a different way that'll make it easy for me so I want to do it in that way most of the time I do what I want rather than doing what I need to yeah I want to ask you I've been playing with this thought experiment recently where you have what looks like a human being making decisions okay so it is indistinguishable in terms of its biochemistry and all that sort of thing and it has all the sophistication so it can be elegant and it can be charming and all that sort of thing and it's doing some sort of tasks let's say it's doing a crossword puzzle or something like that okay and then there beside it is a real human doing the same new work times or whatever your London newspaper is crossword puzzle so what makes the human human and what makes it better than or more than this really really really sophisticated artificial intelligence biochemical machine beside it what makes the difference or is there a difference well what makes the difference ultimately comes down to my level of empathy towards it so if it's able to empathize with me and me empathize with it in such a way that we have a relationship in similar way that we would with with other human beings then it would become human to me that's fundamentally where it where it stands and I think we're gonna see that in the next certainly the next 20 years but possibly the next 10 years we're going to see that happen I mean one of the one of the annoying things about artificial intelligence is as soon as it becomes possible it stops being called artificial intelligence we have self-driving cars which 10 years ago would have been called intelligent these days it's no it's just self-driving cars they're out there all over the place they're not intelligent and and each with each step and we see we see exactly the same thing every time it becomes possible it's no longer AI is no longer important and I think that's going to be the case until we get to this point where we can empathize with these intelligences and I know you do get people I mean this is gonna sound silly but sir I somewhat empathize with my cars and and I have pet dogs and I empathize with those and actually even when I was raising pigs I still empathize with them even though I ate them at the end of it but it's a different level of empathy and it's not until we got that level of empathy where it that we see them as another human being that they will then take on that that mantle mm-hmm so there's nothing that makes the human human other than behavior and if we can have a machine that emulates the behavior then we have a human that's what you would say yes yeah I mean if we created a super intelligence robot the behave like a spider we would have no problems we're switching it off whereas if we produced a machine a super intelligent machine that a vly k human that would be really difficult to turn off hell even a super intelligent machine that acted like a dog would be this very difficult to turn off for most people in the world and I I've never had a noisy dog I'll be I was talking about the human oh oh yes well at the end of my episodes I do ask my guests just to give a little positive message of hope so just to wrap up the show what do you think you might be able to say to someone that's out there listening now don't waste your time spend as much time as you possibly can doing things that make you happy and make other people happy because ultimately when it comes down to it you know nobody on their deathbed says oh I wish I'd worked harder you know they always say oh I wish I'd gone and done the things that make me happy I wish I'd gone swimming with dolphins I wish I'd gone skydiving I wish I'd done you know it's it's those sorts of things that people miss out on and having had a few close runs with death I appreciate being happy ball now

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