Catholic vs. Other - 2018-12-22 - Steve McRae

Author Recorded Saturday December 22nd, 2018

There are 41 episodes in the Versus:Other series.

Recorded September 21st, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-21 - Tino

Recorded September 10th, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-10 - Judah

Recorded September 2nd, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-02 - William

Recorded October 21st, 2016

Catholic vs. Other - 2016-10-21 - Ben

I met Steve McRae on YouTube when I was looking for videos with Graham Oppy. Steve considers himself an agnostic, but he does not consider himself an atheist. We discuss science, philosophy, and religion. It was a lot of fun.

Catholic vs. Other - 2018-12-22 - Steve McRae

Author Recorded September 24th, 2016



These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi my name is Steve McCray and you're listening to Catholic versus other so just tell the 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 well I started off pretty much a non-believer way back in the day I don't come a very religious family I was baptized Mormon one of seventeen but wasn't a member for the church for very long and then over period of several decades kind of developed my position to being philosophical agnostic where as somebody who doesn't take a position whether there is a God or is not a God and that holds that nobody really has any knowledge either way if God exists or not these things are to me are mostly belief positions and people that believe that there are gods I prefer to mysterious people that believe there were no gods those would be atheist and I don't fall into either category can you talk about the little smatterings of religious influence that you would have had as a very very young child like I'm talking about when you reach the age of reason where you know that you're that you're alive that that kind of very early childhood thing I think early on maybe about the age of seven or eight I was involved with things relating into a church function such as like Boy Scouts and to me it was more of a social event going to church talking to people and this was for my friends church not nothing that I was raised that way my mom was Jewish my dad had Protestant but to me at the time from I would say age to seventeen whenever I attended any church related function it was primarily for the social aspect of it rather than any kind of religious overtones to it and was it always absurd and ridiculous to you this notion that people would submit to one religious view over another or did you have sympathy for certain aspects of religiosity as you saw it I was never like against the notion of there being a god right so even you have what's called friendly atheism people that are atheist that are friendly to theists that you know have a God believe I never took it as something to be completely out of the possibility I never said to myself that is logically impossible because I see no logical possibility of there being a deity the people that propose that aren't our deities usually do so for physical or ontological reasons rather than logical reasons but I never took the concept of a deity to be something that should be a trivially just dismissed by Fiat because to me the fact is whether you agree with a theist or not God or the concept of God has at least played a huge effect on society for thousands of years all right I mean so the concept of a deity in many different cultures has shaped awake society cultures humanity has has progressed over thousands of years and whether that is something that is actually true and I'm not saying because people believe this this makes it true that's not the argument that would be obviously a fallacy but it's something that has to be noted that these things do have influence and because they have influence I think they are worthy of discussion I guess that I don't come from a religious family and the only times I ever went to church was because of the social aspect until I was 17 I had what I perceived to be somewhat of a religious experience and I decided to join the church because of that but later on a life I had a revaluation s-- because I couldn't relate it to the conclusion that that led to a deity okay what church did you join that 17 Mormon oh oh you independently joined it yes I was outraged I was not raised Mormon oh okay yeah Wow what did your friends and family think about that move well my family wasn't too thrilled or they're all you know they weren't gonna prevent me from doing what I wanted but I did have a lot of friends at the time that were in the church know that they thought it was great now I still keep in touch with a few of those friends in fact I ran into my best friend who paid me a visit that I've known since I was six and you know we had a lot of discussion about this he's known for very long time that I fell away from the church but he recognizes that I have my reasons and he even has said he's more of a moderate believer now and that even if the church is a true he likes the lifestyle but he recognizes the fact that I have legitimate reasons why I no longer belong to the church and I was even specs me for it I belonged to a religion in the Catholic Church that teaches that all Jews go to heaven I'm very excited whenever I meet a Jew or when I think about the Jews it seems like you take it for granted that your mother has Jewish roots why aren't you more excited about Judaism uh I mean I'm fascinated by the tradition I eat been to bar mitzvahs and things of that nature but that's about it I wasn't like I said we weren't raised Jewish my mom just comes from a Jewish line and of course you know that if your mother is Jewish and in the eyes of the temple the children are Jewish that's how it works but that to me is just a cultural belief so I mean wow culturally I am Jewish if you take Judaism to be a culturally related thing then yes absolutely but I'm not Jewish by faith now we're gonna focus on your present passion in life what do you do for a living what education do you have do you have any philosophical training or education what's your background you have science background I know you were in the military but just flesh out for my listeners a little bit more about who you are today and how you got to be here well I always was interested in science growing up my passion was actually astronomy or astrophysics but I realized that that required a lot of math and I was never gonna be able to do so I joined the military I became a nuclear propulsion engineer that went through what's called the naval nuclear power program which is probably the most difficult academic program in any military so I got my qualifications to train people how to operate nuclear power plants but I got out and I went to college I almost got my degree in nuclear technologies but didn't finished have enough credits for one but I only recently I'd say about five years ago got interested in philosophy I never really had much of an experience with philosophy up to that point and then being in the great big community and being online I realized that if you're going to have any real ability to converse in these types of conversations you you're going to have to know a little bit about philosophy and so I dived into it and I found that I actually enjoyed it I actually found that it really taught somebody how to think critically how to be rational how to think logically and I just immersed myself in it for several years and again I am complete still a layperson I tell people all the time don't take what I say has some kind of authority because I'm certainly not by any stretch of the imagination but I do know authorities and they do check me so I make sure that what I put out at least is reasonable do you think that some people love the truth more than others or do you think that everyone loves the truth equally you know I Oh usually approach a conversation that somebody has what's called the principle of rationality and that basically this means that when you have these dialogues I assume I in a locker wants to be reasonable I don't think that they're going to be going out of the way to be cheap elicits us it's something called Greece's Maxim's where you approach it with the principle of cooperation such that the person you're talking to you're actually trying to have a dialogue with and so I like to believe that they really are trying to be rational I don't think many people go to other way to not be rational have I seen it yes I know people that have gone out of the way not to be irrational to be movie troll ish perhaps maybe we possibly be in the POE but it does happen but those are not the people that I tend to have the conversations with because I'm not interested in somebody who doesn't hold irrational thoughts because if you if you want to hold it irrationality people can do that but then what's the point of having a conversation with them what are you trying to accomplish if they don't have any guiding principles to try to want to learn things or to know what is true or to have a cogent framework then I think you're just spinning your wheels with them how do you navigate nice worlds like science and philosophy and truth while at the same time dealing with a human being who's very complex and may have baggage may have been abused I mean you know you could I could be talking to someone who's anti-catholic and they may have been traumatized by a so-called Catholic priest how do you navigate that how do you include that into the whole package deal in your pursuit this cooperative pursuit of truth where does psychology fit in there for you you have to take certain things during account when you're in any discussion I realized that people come to the table with baggage unfortunately there's only so much to be done to tailor a conversation around that emotional response that people have when it comes to things like the Catholic abuse cases which I've discussed numerous times on air on both my channel and on social media there have been people that have had been victims of this and of course you have to have your your heart go out to them right and even if they still members of the Catholic Church I am compassion for them I realized that something horrific has happened to them however I'm not a person to go out and advocate to go join the Catholic Church obviously I do think there's issues there my very strong stance against what's happened with the Catholic Church but I have to emphasize it is not because of their religion right when people say we'll see why why are you against the Catholic Church I mean that's antitheism it's really not I'm not against the religion or the aspect of belief for the Catholic Church what I'm against is what the Catholic Church has done when it comes to things like promoting not using condoms especially in Africa promoting things like having more kids and you can financially support promoting things like covering up child abuse cases those things I'm against and unfortunately if the Catholic Church was any other organization or some some secular organization they've already would have been shut down what is your day-to-day work why do you wake up in the morning excited to do what you do and what is it that you do day to day well on the co-host of the non sequiturs show I also have my own channel on YouTube but the non sequitur show is on pretty much every day sometimes even twice a day we very rarely take any time off and our discussions range from everything from having people come on to try to convince people that the moon landing was a hoax or the earth is flat or two people that believe for some reason that peeing on your leg will heal it kind of thing now we don't advocate these positions don't get me wrong I'm a very staunch anti-creationist of a very staunch advocate of things like the theory of evolution but we are an entertainment show and if people want to come on and have a platform where they can at least be fairly moderated if they think they have a good argument we're willing to listen out do we think that's gonna change our minds well probably not obviously but there's a difference preen a good argument and a really really bad argument right so we've had a mixture of both but that's what I do full time literally is do that show and if it's not too personal or do you have a significant other or anything like that not that I'm aware of yeah no I've been single for a while now I have a 13 year old daughter that is the love of my life I'm still really good friends with her mom we were together five years but we separated about four years ago now I'm very content in my single lifestyle what's your daughter's world view currently uh I would say she's probably a lot like me more along the lines of agnostic we've had that discussion before she vacillates between a theist and atheist sometimes it depends on the dama day but she's 13 right but her mom is not a real believer I'm not a real believer and so she's been exposed to it because her grandma's a believer but you know we told her whatever she decides and if she wants to ask me about these things - you know one day in any more detail I'm gonna give her my opinion on it you strike me we've only just met but you strike me as someone very natural very down-to-earth very reasonable very kind very patient that's the impression that you're giving me very real there is a tendency on YouTube to have a channel and to crank up the personality like remember when I asked you to do the intro I said use your morning radio voice there's a tendency in entertainment to say hey let's be full-on all the time yeah do people make a conscious choice like I'm going to have this sort of amped up personality and another person might say I'm just gonna be very natural can you talk a little bit about those choices surrounding entertainment on YouTube and in social media and stuff like that yeah I think I really depends on the person to me I have a very limited range this is what you see is what you get kind of thing I am this way in real life there are people that know me in real life that have been on my shows that I go visit they can basically say yeah that's pretty much Steve now when you do have a show that you've got to be entertaining right but I try to be that way in real life too so if the question is are you any different on air than you are in real life not really I mean there's a very small range to be had there but I do know people that are completely opposite of that I mean for example I know person that in real life very reserved very sweet and then on air very outgoing I'm still sweet but just a completely different type of person as far as being manic kind of thing right and so it really depends on the individual I think but no I'm the same either way I don't think that I have to do anything different when I'm on air than I do in real life because what would I do anything that I don't have any skill set like that I'm not an actor but you you did admit to me that you're on pee Eadie's right now Oh oh yeah well I do like my coffee yeah no I I got a minute I do some shows better with coffee than without because not to make this as an excuse but I took speech therapy for many many years growing up I had a very difficult time financing certain words I was a horrible speller still AM to some degree but I always hated the way I spoke I always hated the things that I said it just never came out right and especially what I could have pronounce certain words I couldn't grow my arse I can't say certain words with s's so I would go to speech class I'm actually physically taken out of class and that had to go to speech classes and that carries over even to this day because I'm very self aware of these things but when I find that I have coffee it doesn't really bother me as much it still happens but it just doesn't bother me as much my elocution is a little bit better on coffee sure yeah I have a problem with R's and ends and M's they kind of get stuck and muddled for me well your words are very clear though I usually get people thinking that I'm mumbling for some reason because I don't you done see it fully enough in which case then I go overboard like I'm doing now to make sure that every word is very crisp you see I messed up right there even when I try to write it just doesn't work so I do have in my own sense of speech impediments but I deal with them but you know what I noticed people really don't notice them that much I really don't care good I think everybody does at some degree and we're not professionals when it comes to that we're not people like Joe Rogan who has 3 million 5 million 10 million whatever freedom element subs he has were he's on the radio all the time and this is what he does and he's very good at speaking alright do you listen to a lot of talking heads on YouTube or podcasters online you listen to the big guys the small guys that everyone in between or do you have a preference what's your consumption like yeah I do I listen to to quite a few different people on YouTube there are a few big names I do like started over cod I will admit that maybe it's more of a guilty pleasure I'm not always saying that I'm agreeing with them but he is very interesting to listen to I'll listen to Joe Rogan a lot of smaller names of course I'll listen to my friends like cirrhosis skeptic has a great show Thomas Westbrook from holy kool-aid has a great channel a lot of people that we know have just a lot of great stuff they put out so I will watch those unfortunately I can't watch them all but I do have a bucket list and I try to get to as many as possible but more likely is the case that somebody will say to me Steven somebody made this video we go watch it give me what you think of it and that's when I usually will go watch the video or if they for some reason mentioned my name or they talked about the non-sequitur show then I will probably go watch it as well but there's a lot of people that are still detractors that go out of their way to troll and if they just kind of makes a video that's taking potshots at me I'm not gonna bother oh and I tell me of the same thing don't bother with those people this is just my hobby but I've been doing it for about two years now what I've noticed just recently is that anyone that is a philosophy professor or that is interested in philosophy will always say yes to an interview and they'll always come on my show whereas normal people or those that aren't into philosophy they hesitate or maybe they're asking why do you want to interview me you know I've never had a philosopher or anyone that's interested in philosophy say why do you want to interview me they seem very open and they seem very willing to talk about themselves about their worldview and to discuss openly have you noticed a similar pattern or it might completely off-base here no I think you're absolutely right and one of the reasons being is though I think because I do know a lot of philosophers I just had dr. Graham Opie dr. alchemy I'll pass ramses ii and so yeah every philosopher that I've talked to as I don't think anyone has ever turned me down I know dr. Malik he's in the philosophy he's gonna be coming on to talk about atheism in the bird in the proof hopefully one time but ya know the people that inner philosophy they understand a dialectic and they understand that in dialectics there is a way to approach conversations usually you have a person with a thesis and a person with that antithesis and then you have this meeting of the two - yeah there's a synthesis that's why it's called dialectic synthesis and they like to have conversations they like exploring other people's positions and that helps temper their own the only reasons I have the positions I do is because I've had conversations with people that really know these things and it's allowed me to be formulate my own positions and I think that philosophers recognize that and they're more willing to have these types of dialogues and more willing to have discussions and more likely to be interviewed because they like the conversations mm-hmm when is the last time where you said oh I've got to re-evaluate everything because the set of assumptions that I brought just got enlightened by something I've discovered through a conversation or through reading when is the last time there was a significant shift in you in your perspective in your worldview and and a bunch of assumptions that you brought to the table my last paradigm shift was when I got to youtube about 5 years ago I generally referred to myself as a NAPA theistic theological not cognitivist you should send that to your speech therapist they'd be so proud of you but theistic theological economist the reason why I took that position is I still feel like an apathetic right I don't really care that much ontologically if there's a god or not I rather discuss people's beliefs I'd rather discuss why they think there's a god or why they think there isn't a God but whether God exists or not I have no way to determine it and therefore I really don't invest too much time really see for myself at least worrying if there is one or not because it's just stress in that case right so I'm kind of apathy istic in that regard but at the time right I label myself that theologically cognitivist released a kind of a semi theological economist because I didn't think that the proposition made any sense does God exist what does that mean right is there something that you can actually assign a truth value to is it true or false a theologian economist would say what's not even a proposition right because what is the concept of God what does that even mean right there's no definitive thing and what a God would be so it's a very ambiguous term that's people used very selectively and very stipulative Lee but over time I've changed my position on that I think that it is completely a proposition I think it is a valid proposition to ask it can have a truth value it could be true or false and so I definitely change my position on that and I think down that the Allah cognitivist are kind of a kind of little out to lunch on that now do you member what prompted that a lot of discussions with people with okay with expertise in this area okay have you ever interviewed what you probably have but do you remember any significant interviews with Catholics well the only experience I have with Catholics like I'll give you two different experiences I had and they're diametrically opposite from each other okay the one experience I have of Catholics are from a group that's out there called the red-tail religion led by a man named Ian Esme also known as max Colby he's a Catholic and he's a very vitriolic bitter just not a good representation of any type of religion right he's a very horrible human being but on the flip side I had a very dear friend by the name of Jade who was the quintessential Catholic I mean she was sweetest person I've ever known very erudite very educated very articulate and just knowledge about everything and she was a theist but she had aware of really expressing her beliefs well enough to justify them and nobody that I know would ever fault her for her beliefs because she was a very scientifically minded person but she still was able to justify her faith and she was just a wonderful human being right in fact there are people in the community that was actually telling her that she was damned to hell because he was Catholic right and this is like why would you say something so vitriolic to somebody who's so sweet and so nice that is not promoting religion that is not promoting what Christ would even wanted right I mean even if that's the case that you believe that somebody wasn't saved to condemn them it sets a public venue is just not appropriate and unfortunately when you have these types of discussions that are so they're very divisive to say the least right I get that but there's just certain lies you don't cross since my conversion ten years ago I haven't strayed but prior to that I was just going with whatever I read and I was entering into the worldview are you susceptible to influence based on ideas when you read something are you sucked in the way that I was prior to my conversion no not really they were I look at things from a very rational type of position right I and I hate the word skeptic right people throw that word or I'm a skeptic no you're really not okay they confuse ordinary skepticism with things like academic skepticism right or these are actually a philosophical position that's actually a school of thought or huronian skepticism but they just throw it out there is like oh I'm just gonna not gonna believe anything at face value but isn't that pretty much everybody nobody believes anything at face value people have a reason why they believe certain things even if it's wacky you know rule kind of stuff they have a reason for most people just don't hear you're something and hold a belief that is true right I mean yes I'm a disaster can voluntarily switch means I do not believe we choose our beliefs but beliefs kind of choose us but they still have it adjust for Kayson for why they believe that things they do well at least they should have a justification they have a reason at least the very least maybe a bad reason but they have a reason I remember the the moment I lost my faith at age 14 and I remember the exact moment I regained my faith at age 13 I and I was reading Rene de cartes discourse on method I came to monotheism through radical skepticism and I'm still consider myself a skeptic I'm ready to leave the Catholic Church right now if I have good reason to leave right but I want to talk to you as an agnostic about the radical doubt of Rene Descartes I think therefore I am there is no reason to posit the existence of the external world or the other or even of your own physical body have you gone down that rabbit hole into solipsism like I did well and the problem with Descartes is its twofold one when you say I think therefore I am or cognate or or assume the problem with that is you're presupposing the word I write so you're already assuming that you exist by presupposing that pronoun of I and that's one of the things that people have leveled against that particular adage of I think therefore I am NOT saying this does have an a utility it does but it just does it doesn't really give you a good proof that you do exist and a current came from the perspective that God exists you gotta remember his skepticism was was predicated on the belief that God existed no but he put that aside and he he had to take a leap of faith from the position of hard solipsism where the only thing he could be certain of was his own existence it's just a leap of faith that's all that was more kirkegaard right no but I wasn't talking about career lika faith i'm talking about the fact that Rene decart knew that he hadn't proved the existence of God in this context he took a pre-sub positionally yeah exactly yeah yeah he took it presumptive with that but that's a big difference right yeah but I was going to a video on this one of these days and I need to get around to it because it's a fascinating topic about can we say for certain that we are not a brain-in-a-vat what depends on what presuppositions you start with I think it's kind of a novel approach to anything now could we ever have Cartesian certainty no but it depends on what framework we're using and if you allow for what's called epistemic closure or not I believe in God because I'm not the source of my own existence either I'm God or God is God so if God is not God then I am God so if I'm wrong that I'm not God then I'm not wrong because I'm God and God it's not wrong well you're presupposing that there's something has to be out there that's called God we can be an emergent phenomenon consciousness could be an emergent phenomenon emerging from what its contingent on the things that it's emerging from that's the whole point well of course but there's there's three possibilities it's called a grip as trilemma or Munchausen trilemma right and you're always going to end up in any axiomatic system with one of these possibilities you can end up with circularity axiomatic assumption or infinite regress and there's a very something similar to this which call the argument from contingency and I'm sure you're familiar with that from Quietus so the thing with the argument from contingency boils down to three possible things okay one an infinite regression of causal relationships right so we are contingent beings right there's no matter physical necessity for us to exist I think that's not even contingent right so we're contingent being so we are contingent upon something else and that's contingent upon something else and you can have an in theory have an infinite regress of that there's nothing illogical about that would you agree well I disagree with Aquinas on that I think that we cannot have an infinite regress because of the second law of thermodynamics why not entropy but that's a physical limitation I'm talking about logically we're not talking about things that are constrained by rules of physics we're talking about things constrained by ontological okay well I'll grant you that the number line is infinite but I'm not a number but you agree that logically there's nothing illogical while saying that there could be an infinite of contingency I believe I fully believe in infinite series yes okay the other option would be a finite regress of contingency that ends it's something that is contingent we would call that a brute fact I don't believe in that okay but but it's logically possible it may affect it's kind of the foundationalism approach right yeah the whole number series four is one example of that but I'm not a number I'm body and soul I'm not just soul and body and soul okay so that is a possibility right the other possibility is a finite regression with something that is metaphysically necessity yeah that's my god that's what - actually argued it but the biggest problem with that is when he argued this he was arguing with the stipulation was called the principle of sufficient reason yeah and when I don't hold that oh but we if you posit a deity for that metaphysical necessity that must exist that's in all possible ontological worlds or that is not contingent upon anything else then what does it explain because if you're gonna say that the argument resolves the question of principle sufficient reason it has an explanation for the universe then God had two choices one he produced this world because of necessity and they had no other choice to do so he was constrained to produce this world out of all possible worlds the other option would be that he just had his reasons for picking this particular world and of all possible roles he picked this one and he had reasons to do so but if that's the case without knowing those reasons it doesn't satisfy the PSR so the whole argument kind of fails at that regard but I think what happens is people just place that benefits a necessity as God rather than something else no but listen you don't need to know why I chose to do what I did in order to acknowledge the fact that there was a good reason at least from my subjective perspective but what what is the explanation of God actually explained then if somebody says God explains this particular phenomenon it doesn't give me any explanation it's a very vacuous explanation he never explains anything there's a difference between mansplaining and God's planning mansplaining is the primitive sort of dialectical method that you and I are resorting to because of our limited two likes God doesn't resort to that he doesn't need that when you go to heaven God willing you're just gonna say ah okay I see because God will show you God willing if you make it to heaven there's no there's no explanation even in my Catholic faith there's never an infallibility on the explanations or the reasonings behind the dogmas we are presented with dogmas we have to submit to them and all the argumentation all the political nonsense that surrounds that all of the science that surrounds it all of that is not protected by the infallibility of the church there are only proclamations there are no explanations the explanations are sort of icing on the cake so it's the same thing with God himself but people do pause a god for explanations are they not well I posit God as the explanation for everything he is he is the source of everything that it's good everything that he is is good to the extent that it is and God supremely is and everything's flowing from that everything is flowing from that if we want to think about the evil side the dark side of humanity for example a pedophile priest touching a child everything about that is good to the extent that it is but he's doing it wrong evil it's not a thing it's a way so this philosophical approach will necessitate full submission to God's will and it won't put us in a dilemma where we have to say well hold on now if you're telling me that God must be good then he's under constraint therefore he's not free we don't put the cart before the ox what we do is we say that God is infinite in every perfection and everything good flows from that and we just have to orient ourselves towards that it's very very very simple and a lot of the sophistry and complicated arguments that atheists come up with I'm not saying that you're an atheist but a lot of the arguments they come up with are really missing the point okay but you've got had to create this universe he didn't have to do anything okay so if you didn't have to create this universe there has to be reasons of course her PSR for him to create this possible world out of all others of course so what were they you'll find out God willing if you kept you know what I mean you're see but we don't know now I don't even know why I choose to do what I do but you can't comprehend it you can apprehend it okay it's like if you're thirsty and I have water I'm not gonna ask you to explain what water is I'm just gonna give you water okay you don't need to understand what water is in order to be thirsty and in order to gulp it down when I offer it to you generously it's the same thing with our relationship with God we don't comprehend him we never will in all eternity but we apprehend him it's like going to the ocean you don't put the ocean into a thimble you can dive into the ocean and that's what you're invited to do I invite you to do that and gods inviting you to do that but um I'm not here to preach to you but that's basically the the sort of point of view no I understand you're saying but the thing is is if you're gonna posit something as a metaphysical necessity you have to give a reason to do so and so again we decided there's only three options for the most part I can't think of any other options in those three he was a Jair who said that every statement is either nonsense or it's a tautology I firmly believe that every good argument is a circular argument how could it be otherwise III get that it was a precursor to science right and I think that had valid reasons why people held to logical positivism and verification ISM but those are antiquated things just like a lot these arguments on these ontological arguments and cosmological arguments all right hand equated and I think the same thing with logical positivism it makes no sense although I tell you what I still see people using logical positivism I reject it but they don't call it that because they don't know what it is but their mindset is coming from that position what do you think about scientism because that's sort of what you're bringing to mind now scientist and this sort of new fad do you think it's running amuck a bit well this is how I look at it science came from natural theology right and one of the stipulations of science that it must hold to what's called methodological naturalism it doesn't allow for certain supernatural causations you can't have a natural phenomenon and then conclude that you had a supernatural causation in science now that you can in philosophy right but you can't in science and that's one of the reasons that makes science so powerful is because we don't want to say okay well this is caused by a demon this is caused by a ghost we want to find naturalistic explanations the whole point is to find a natural explanation and at the worst case up for science it's a remains unknown if they can't write so it can never determine that something is a supernatural causation and I think that has to be that way for science but that scientific method only applies when you're trying to devise a hypothesis experiment and a theory and I want to be able to test that explanation and have repeatable and predictive but that doesn't apply in philosophy at all why and how do you reject the principle of sufficient reason and are you alone or is there a whole pack of you wandering around I think most scientists reject principle of sufficient reason nowadays because of quantum mechanics you believe in indeterminacy and randomness no no I'm a determinist okay you are a determinist yeah well I mean the one thing I hate about that particular argument is because all the positions have problems but I mean if I had a blame on myself I'd go compatibilist but it has it has issues let's be realistic it's having your cake and eating it too yeah yeah yeah yeah but again there's no really good position when it comes to you know terminator determinacy we can't comprehend freedom we can only apprehend freedom and if there's no freedom there's no morality I think things are deterministic in nature the way they look at an indeterminate thing would be looking if there's no external influence to our decision-making right if we're free to make a choice without any undue influence whatsoever then we would have what's called a Batarian freewill which I don't think exists I think it's even possible but a deterministic position would be I'm going to make the same decision every time given the exact same conditions and I think that is the case so I don't think we have freewill I think we have will which is the ability to make a decision right don't confuse determinism with fatalism fatalism is a redeemed to whatever it is what we're going to be doing I don't believe in fatalism at all but when you asked me about principle supposes a reason there is nothing in physics that says you have a cause you must have an effect it's just we thought we had observed that to be the case right we observed an effect there had to be a cause right but we know now when it comes to things like spontaneous fission weak nuclear decay modes that doesn't apply because in one way of looking at quantum mechanics call the Copenhagen method there is no information in that system prior to the event there is no hidden local variable they call it that satisfies what's called the bell inequality and because of that these models that says okay there might be information in there that we just don't have access to right we're not privy to that information that's impossible they've proven this many times over an experimentation it's not proven it's it wouldn't be a philosophical interpretation if it were proven scientifically well a Copenhagen interpretation is a philosophical position it's not a scientific fact right but they what I'm saying is they proven that there is no local hidden variable model that could ever satisfy the belly of quality I think mathematically that is proven yeah okay there are hard limitations but there are other philosophical interpretations of that reality that we're bumping up against in terms of our limitations there is that interpretation of Schrodinger's cat where the cat really is in one state or the other before we lift the lid and look inside there is that school of interpretation the realist school which I firmly believe the Copenhagen interpretation I think the best way to look at it is as a nominalist look at what is actually the case in each and every moment of each and every physics experiment that's ever been done on the quantum level look at the reality of that and then look at the statistical graphs that people are charting out and matching the statistics themselves are not the driving factor the statistics themselves are simply a reflection of what we've observed their reflection of our observance they are not some high-and-mighty reality that transcends the reality of that cat that may or may not have been killed in the box do you understand I do but I have to disagree in there let me tell you why there are different models out there you're right I mean they're gonna have the multi world and hypothesis you can also have Bomi mechanics which is complex form of wave functions that exist that are part of space-time itself and it deals with path integral formula but the thing with the Copenhagen interpretation we notice there's an effect right we noticed there's something like a decay mode a weak nuclear decay that happens and as we know it's random right we understand that that decay happens at random if you buy random you mean not predictable with our limited capable and sure I believe what's stochastic you can call it what you want but it's a limitation on our ability to access the information it doesn't mean there's no information yeah I totally disagree with that if that was the case if there was a something in that system that we are not privy to for example a caesium will decay and I think it's cesium 133 but something I look it up but ceasing like will decay and you have one particle going up one particle going down so spin up spin down ones always 180 degrees opposite the other so by doing measurements with these spins if the model was the case where there'd be information in that system it should be five over nine it should be fifty five percent of time we should see this happen in the experiment we don't we see at fifty percent of time which is consistent of a model that doesn't have a local hidden variable that's why it's called a bail inequality and if I remember correctly the bail inequality is something on the lines of there is no local hidden very model that could satisfy all states of the system and they prove this mathematically if shown it by countless experiments that there is no mathematical possibility that there's something in that system that we're missing now there are other theories out there using global hidden variables but local realism is dead in my opinion yeah I could care less about all the fancy details I'm willing to accept everything that you said about the hidden variables and that local realism I'm willing to accept all that I don't have good reason to because I've looked into it deeply okay but I'm willing to for the sake of argument grant you everything that you want in that to justify your position but I would counter with a devastating counter-argument which is namely that quantum physics is science guess what that means predictability that means that these outcomes are conforming to our expectations the expectations that we have based on what Newtonian physics no based on quantum physics based on the science of quantum physics we have these expectations these statistical expectations and guess what reality is conforming to them why not because we are imposing on reality but because we are observing reality reality is doing its thing and we can do quantum physics which is a science because it is conforming to these patterns now if you use science before the 20th century you may be very perplexed and very confused about what's going on with some of the subtle stuff but doesn't change the fact that it's a science that it's conforming there are no wacky and weird things we may be delighted by the by the subtlety and the nuance of these strange behaviors at the quantum level so what it's reality it's conforming it's a science it's a science no I think it's not SIA I think it's more philosophy there's a couple of way to looking at realism right the scientific approach could be the models we have are just that they're just models that don't actually represent reality that's I'd be an instrumentalist type approach right and there's a scientific realism approach that it says that these models actually do describe reality and one of the specific models is that they do describe reality but the main thing about them is they have utility you have some kind of usefulness to them that we can use to make predictions that's very fundamental and model dependent realism but when it comes to cope with having interpretation we've done the experience to show that that does work now any of these models do work you're right in this regard if you accept Copenhagen if you accept that philosophy there cannot be local hidden variables there is no information in the system there is cause without effect if you accept that interpretation but then if you want to go to a different interpretation then that's a different story so why are you happy with a natural uncaused cause why are you happy with that well he's only certain there's only I mean I only think of a handful positions ago you could be a foundationist you'd be coherent issed you could be a found here in Tisch you have infinite issed you'll be reformed epistemology there's only a handful of different positions that I know of you can even pick sounds to me you're probably more aligned with reformed epistemology starting with a presupposition or at least that God exists yeah so you know that paradigm I just I can't take God as a properly basic belief but the foundation this would say okay reality exists and I accepted axiomatically and it's probably basic because we all have to make that leap of faith determination call it a leap of faith it's just for me to get out of bed I have to make certain presuppositions that one does a floor for me to put my feet on that reality has to exist hasn't be the very first thing if I don't accept reality exists I cannot then formulate any other epistemic framework from that right can we talk about morality what is the basis of your morality you know when we talk about morality it's complex subject I mean I was a first instill morality with my parents right and I know people have laughed at that but I think that's a perfectly reasonable position to take we do instill as parents to our children morality there's nothing wrong with that my basis for morality is I tend to virtue ethics I turn to virtue or epistemology however I see benefits to appealing to other things as being the pragmatist I get to appeal to anything I want you know I'm pragmatic whatever works for me in the moment kind of thing and there are reasons why I might appeal to consequence ilysm there might be reasons why I peeled to utilitarianism I'm reading up on contractual ISM what we owe to each other never heard of that what we owe to each others by scallion TM scallion this is the catholic notion of justice giving everyone who's do including God of course yeah well I mean what determines right or wrong is if it doesn't really make a difference to Meade for me to go out of my way to help somebody isn't a morally appropriate thing to do do we have a duty or obligation to do it right is there a contract in society that we have a moral obligation to do what is best for somebody else or do we have an obligation by which is best for society as a whole right utilitarian type concept I'm not gonna say which one's better than another but if anything I'm gonna go to more particular ISM that things that are specific to each instance and they have to be evaluated individually because if anything I tend to moral error theory for my meta ethics right and there's a huge difference we met in ethics a normative ethics but I tend to error theory that there are moral facts but they're all wrong they're all false they're all false because an instantiation problem I wanted to talk about the dark side of the church and so I could have a chance to defend my god in my church but we'll do that another time I hope you'll come back because it was so much fun absolutely we have so much more to talk about but I do at the end of my interviews I do ask my guests to close the show with a nice little thought something positive what could you say to someone that's out there listening now just a little message of hope you know what I'll tell them from my personal experience don't get locked into ideology don't get locked into groupthink don't get locked into a hive mind is never going to lead you to knowledge it's never gonna do the things that are true that's always gonna be splintering a faction avaria scroop s-- learn how to reason learn how to have simple rules of inference understand the difference between knowledge and belief but the bigger bigger picture is don't believe something just because you're in a group I see a lot of atheists who watch these things on YouTube and just because some influential atheist says something they take it by Fiat that it must be the case and unfortunately a lot of those people are never exposed the actual academics the actual papers the actual studies and so when they're informed by somebody who does have a little bit of background adore or is erudite in this particular topic there's a lot of entrenchment effect because they've been indoctrinated and I use that word indoctrinated for a specific reason because anybody can be indoctrinated it doesn't have to be a theist doesn't have to be an atheist so when they say to a theist oh you're indoctrinated in religion where I've seen just as many indoctrinated atheist and I know that sounds controversial it sounds counterintuitive but it's not because they do hold to tropes they've hold to platitudes they hold you these models that just don't make sense and they just rely on parroting what they've heard from somebody else and the biggest advice that gives somebody is go read these things for yourself the names that we mentioned go read they're this stuff you know go read Williams or Mills or Hume I mean unless you actually read these things for yourself a lot of stuff that's not gonna make any sense and I got to tell you five years ago I had a friend who was a PhD in philosophy who ran circles around me and I didn't like it and now I know why he was able to do that because philosophy really does teach you how to think he teaches you how to reason it teaches you how to have a very good dialectic like we had we may not agree on certain things but we had an actual dialectic we had a conversation and that's important I'll tell all you got to do is all you got to do is got to do is

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