A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

A Philosopher and a Philosopher Ruin Your Theology: Interview with Nick Oschman

May 05, 2021 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 23
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
A Philosopher and a Philosopher Ruin Your Theology: Interview with Nick Oschman
Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Nicholas Oschman joins us for a free-flowing and almost totally unscripted conversation about certainty, deception, whether religious people really believe what they say, orthodoxy, cynicism, charismatic experience, Islamic philosophy, and more. The conversation is raw, honest, and iconoclastic, but also gentle, humble, and hilarious. Whoever you are, we guarantee there's something to challenge you here.

The whiskey featured in this episode is Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition.

If you're local to Milwaukee, check out our friends at Story Hill BKC.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

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a pastor a philosopher you

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00:27

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00:51

well friends welcome to a pastor and a

00:52

philosopher walking to a bar

00:54

we're so excited to share some time with

00:57

you community

00:58

and and be together we've got a fun

01:00

guest to share with you

01:02

today and we've got also a fun beverage

01:05

to share with you today today we are

01:07

drinking

01:08

jameson irish whiskey cask mates the

01:11

stout edition

01:12

how do you know anything about this so

01:14

before you judge us for drinking

01:16

jameson this is an interesting jameson

01:18

uh no i had never heard of this before

01:20

today i had no idea jameson did anything

01:22

like this

01:23

yep and for all you whiskey snobs out

01:25

there who are judging us

01:26

like good for you that's fine you can do

01:28

that but i hope to have

01:30

more like you know lowbrow and jameson's

01:34

not lowbrow but it's just not

01:36

awesome you know people do shots with

01:37

jameson but i hope to have more not

01:40

awesome whiskeys just to see what we

01:42

think about them and see i've never said

01:43

that since

01:45

i think it'd be fun more not awesome

01:47

things so break this down like piece by

01:49

piece like an irish whiskey what's the

01:53

well it's definition in ireland

01:56

well no yeah i mean it's made in ireland

01:58

it does have its own

02:00

flavor to it now you whiskey snobs write

02:03

us in

02:03

email us and tell us all about why irish

02:05

whiskey is unique but

02:07

i'm sure it has to do with the grains

02:09

that are used in the grain

02:11

the the mash bill is what they call it i

02:13

believe where how much

02:14

how much how much wheat how much barley

02:16

how much corn

02:17

bourbon's heavy corn i don't think irish

02:20

whiskey is

02:20

and it probably has to do something with

02:22

what they're aged in now this is a fun

02:24

unique irish whiskey because it's been

02:27

aged

02:27

in stout barrels they're finished i

02:30

would say in stout barrels and that

02:31

is at a distillery in cork ireland

02:35

called franciscan well i believe right

02:37

huh

02:38

yeah i think that's right i couldn't

02:39

find any information about how long it's

02:41

spent in the stout barrels but

02:42

finished is probably a good way to think

02:44

about it so can i take a drink yet

02:46

go for it yeah i mean i'm interested to

02:48

see how different it is than regular

02:49

jamison which

02:50

yeah i mean or irish risky in general

02:52

that's probably of the the class of

02:54

world whiskies that's the one i'm

02:55

probably the least familiar with see now

02:57

this smells more like a bourbon than a

02:59

irish or some more similar to a bourbon

03:01

than irish whiskey to me because

03:02

perhaps because of the stout finish even

03:05

for a bourbon this would be sweet though

03:06

this is really sweet

03:08

i should have googled irish whiskey

03:10

before i did this so i could sound smart

03:11

and tell you what makes it different

03:12

from all the other ones

03:14

i seem to remember hearing something

03:15

about there being like a double

03:16

distillation method that is unique to

03:18

ireland

03:19

okay but i could be totally wrong about

03:20

it so this bottle says triple distilled

03:22

maybe it's that they distill more than

03:24

other places yeah triple distilled

03:26

i had the pleasure of being in dublin

03:28

ireland this last october

03:30

and everything is jamison around there

03:32

but i this is by far i would say

03:34

actually the most pleasant irish whiskey

03:36

i've ever had um meaning all the other

03:39

ones were actively unpleasant

03:41

no no no i'm i mean i like this is what

03:43

i'm saying

03:44

irish whiskey i'll drink like when i was

03:46

in ireland i drank irish whiskey because

03:48

that's all they've got that's well

03:49

that's

03:50

not all they got but i did find myself

03:52

drinking some makers when i was in

03:53

belfast but

03:55

when in when in ireland drink some irish

03:57

whiskey so i did that

03:58

sure this is better than the irish

04:00

whiskey i had there including jameson or

04:02

pow powers or tell them or do sure yeah

04:05

interesting

04:05

i've got some pretty good ones uh for

04:07

maybe future podcasts

04:08

i'll introduce you to i do um so this

04:11

one

04:11

the the stout is like a punch in the

04:14

face it's way more present than i

04:15

expected it's delicious

04:16

actually i like that i don't have guess

04:19

this was an irish whiskey at all

04:21

yeah me neither i i don't like stouts

04:25

and the overly sweet

04:26

stouts but it works with whiskey

04:30

that's nice yeah it just gives it kind

04:32

of a chocolate finish

04:34

it's about all but it's very very

04:36

present yeah and i would say irish

04:38

whiskey in general

04:39

isn't as complex in my in my estimation

04:42

as a bourbon or a scotch for sure yeah

04:46

yeah i mean there are you know there are

04:47

some exceptions to that but you have to

04:49

pay for them yeah i just realized that

04:51

my for sure

04:53

showed highlighted my wisconsin you know

04:56

imaginative yeah oh yeah so

05:00

jameson irish whiskey cast mates this

05:02

stout edition

05:03

i would say pastor and philosopher walk

05:05

into a bar recommended

05:06

yeah yeah thumbs up

05:12

our guest today is dr nicholas

05:15

oshman i'm going to just call him nick

05:17

if that's all right

05:18

nick and i go way back he's a good

05:20

friend of mine we started the phd

05:22

program at marquette university together

05:24

at the same time

05:25

so nick is a great friend but he's also

05:26

a great scholar he is a specialist in

05:28

medieval islamic

05:30

philosophy specializing in a guy named

05:32

alfa robbie

05:34

maybe he'll come up later i don't know

05:36

but the book he's working on

05:38

is a little bit broader than that so

05:40

it's it's rooted in medieval islamic

05:41

philosophy but also has

05:43

uh sort of some connections some really

05:45

interesting and relevant connections i

05:47

think

05:48

to politics and even to religion

05:51

and to some of the stuff that we care

05:52

about on this podcast so we've invited

05:54

him here to talk to us about

05:56

certainty and what you might call

05:59

intellectual humility

06:01

and i know you've got a lot of thoughts

06:02

on that because we've talked about it a

06:03

lot

06:04

so we're really glad to have you here

06:05

nick thanks for thanks for joining us

06:07

thanks for having me i'm excited to be

06:09

talking with you guys

06:10

in now what should i call you dr nick

06:13

nick dr

06:14

ashman nick is preferable thank you

06:17

i like dr nick a lot though it's yeah

06:19

it's two simpsons

06:21

it kind of has a sensual vibe though i

06:23

don't know it is kind of like an after

06:25

hours

06:26

kind of doctor you know what i mean if

06:27

if anyone has met me you know that i do

06:29

not have a sensual vibe so it does not

06:31

fit at all

06:33

all right nick you got it by the way uh

06:36

i just want to warn you i'm pretty sure

06:38

kyle invited me on the podcast

06:40

just that way he can start being meaner

06:42

on the podcast

06:43

and it will look less mean in comparison

06:46

so yeah

06:48

forgive me i like it no i could just by

06:51

kyle's

06:52

like description of you nick i just had

06:54

this feeling like i

06:56

i think i could easily take an angle

06:58

that will just make it very contrarian

07:00

and in in kyle was like yeah that

07:03

probably wouldn't be too hard

07:04

we could do that yeah i'm joking i don't

07:06

want to do that

07:08

i'm not sure if i've met someone that's

07:09

taken an angle around me that isn't

07:11

contrarian so i think

07:12

you're going to slide into it it's fine

07:15

i'll find my spot

07:16

good so

07:19

i feel like certainty is probably going

07:21

to be a recurring theme on this podcast

07:23

given i think all of our backgrounds and

07:26

a kind of religious fundamentalism

07:27

certainty is something that we've all

07:29

struggled with and tried to come to

07:30

grips with can i be certain about this

07:33

this being god and faith and all of that

07:35

stuff

07:36

um so if you wouldn't mind telling us a

07:37

bit about your background

07:39

and how you became interested in that

07:40

topic you can make that as religious or

07:43

as secular

07:44

as you want yeah so um i kind of came at

07:48

this

07:48

from or at least my research i came at

07:50

from from two different

07:52

strains i i had i grew up in a

07:54

fundamentalist background as you

07:55

mentioned i

07:56

uh grew up southern baptist i've been

07:58

part of a variety of fundamentalist

08:00

churches over the years

08:02

and even as a child i remember being 10

08:04

11 12.

08:05

i had this kind of religious impetus

08:07

toward

08:08

understanding why god would choose

08:11

prophets it seemed very odd to me

08:13

that god would choose people for special

08:15

revelation it seemed unjust

08:17

i what what echoed was always that story

08:20

that we have about saul

08:21

where where uh you have israel and

08:23

they're demanding that they have a king

08:25

and and god says why and then samuel

08:27

before him

08:28

and in fact i know jason upton will be

08:29

on the podcast uh

08:31

in the future at least you're planning

08:32

on it when i was a teenager i heard

08:34

jason upton

08:35

preach about this uh about samuel and

08:38

the 400 years of waiting

08:39

uh to hear god's voice before that and

08:42

that seemed right to me right right it

08:43

seems odd that all of a sudden god is

08:44

speaking to one person

08:46

if god wants to have a relationship with

08:48

people then he should have relationship

08:49

with all people it should be universally

08:52

accessible and this is a thought process

08:55

that i later found out was uh

08:57

reminiscent to an islamic philosopher

08:59

named abu bakr al-razi

09:01

who basically said there are no prophets

09:04

this is entirely ridiculous

09:05

if you believe in prophecy then you

09:07

believe that god is not just

09:09

he actually calls the the prophets uh uh

09:11

tious billy goats because they have the

09:13

long beards

09:14

and so they put on an affectation of

09:16

being impressive but but in fact

09:18

uh really they have no more access to

09:21

certainty than anyone else does because

09:22

the way that you get certainty is

09:24

through philosophy through reason

09:26

so so i had this kind of inclination

09:28

yeah

09:29

so i had this kind of inclination when i

09:31

was younger that there had to be a kind

09:32

of

09:33

egalitarian notion to why god speaks to

09:36

certain people

09:37

and i wasn't able to find it

09:39

particularly in the southern baptist

09:41

church

09:42

and the reason why is because they're

09:43

not just fundamentalists they're kind of

09:45

closed off in terms of the way

09:47

revelation unfolds i

09:48

i have a kind of a not the historical

09:51

idiosyncrasies but i have a kind of

09:52

mountainous bent

09:53

uh the the idea that that uh

09:56

everything's unfolding religiously

09:58

uh it doesn't ever end the bible's not

10:00

the capstone or something like this

10:02

and so that was one thing that was

10:04

happening for me religiously

10:06

for a long time but then there was this

10:08

other just purely intellectual thing

10:10

that i was going through and it became a

10:12

huge crisis for me during high school

10:14

which was i had no harmonics to read the

10:17

bible i

10:18

grew up in a fundamentalist church and i

10:21

was taught that

10:22

absolute inerrancy the the literal the

10:24

the understood literal

10:26

uh meaning of the text was the important

10:28

meaning and

10:30

i just got obsessed with the problem of

10:32

evolution and i

10:34

god bless him my ap biology teacher mr

10:37

wagner who is an atheist

10:38

and was so kind to me because i know i

10:40

was so obnoxious

10:42

but i was i was being intellectually

10:44

honest it wasn't i wasn't

10:45

i wasn't into any of these uh

10:47

apologetics movements or anything like

10:49

this i i know kyle has a history of kind

10:51

of

10:52

being part of a school that's teaching

10:53

you certain strategies that's not what i

10:55

was doing i was just

10:56

desperately going through the process

11:00

of trying to understand evolution

11:01

honestly and understand why i was wrong

11:03

and mr wagner was so nice he would tell

11:05

me oh yeah actually

11:06

scientists haven't figured out that part

11:07

yet uh that's a really good question

11:10

and and i would go and i was i was

11:12

encouraged and i thought i was making

11:13

progress bit by bit by bit

11:14

and then i had a friend that asked me a

11:16

question about how something in the

11:18

world worked

11:18

and i gave him a perfectly cogent and

11:20

coherent evolutionary answer

11:22

and at that moment i realized ah oh i do

11:25

believe this

11:26

i believe this and so that was the uh

11:30

the moment when i realized to be

11:32

intellectually honest i was going to

11:34

have to

11:36

change my hermeneutics and uh i

11:39

want to define hermeneutics for us yeah

11:41

yeah so

11:42

in a narrow sense hermeneutics is the

11:44

way we read the bible

11:46

in a broader sense it's the way you read

11:47

anything it could be the way you read

11:48

experience it could be the

11:50

way you read historical texts it becomes

11:52

very important for someone who does the

11:53

history of philosophy

11:54

and what your hermeneutics are but in

11:56

this case i i was worried about how i

11:58

can read the bible how can the bible be

12:00

true and

12:02

the first two chapters of genesis not be

12:04

the way i always understood them to be

12:07

and so i went to i went to vanderbilt

12:10

which is where i did my undergrad

12:12

and i was a religious studies and

12:14

philosophy major i was a philosophy

12:15

major

12:15

just for the kicks and i was sure that

12:19

that by doing these history and critical

12:21

theory of religion courses i was going

12:22

to find an answer

12:23

i was going to find some kind of

12:24

harmonics that was going to allow me to

12:27

read the bible

12:28

and not to denigrate anyone that is in

12:31

history and critical theory of religion

12:33

but i just found more confusion there

12:35

and and i found a lot of people that

12:36

were dissatisfied with their own

12:38

hermeneutics

12:39

and i wasn't getting the answers i was

12:40

expected and then i walked into

12:42

a medieval philosophy class and it was

12:45

being taught by len goodman

12:46

and i was introduced to my monadise and

12:50

in this entirely different field where i

12:51

never expected it to show up

12:53

i found something that kind of answered

12:54

all my all my questions

12:56

okay so nick uh i've got a number of

12:59

questions already first one

13:00

what's my monitors okay so so my monity

13:04

is uh

13:05

rabbi moses ben mayman rambam in

13:09

in the jewish uh in the jewish orthodox

13:11

community he he's a great codifier

13:13

of jewish law he's this wonderful 13th

13:17

century

13:18

uh jewish philosopher who actually is

13:20

living in the muslim world

13:21

and so he's receiving all the richness

13:23

of muslim philosophy

13:25

and using it for his own ends and he's

13:28

someone that's very very concerned i

13:29

have a very different understanding of

13:30

him now than i did then

13:32

but he's someone that's very very

13:33

concerned with the question of how

13:35

reason

13:36

and religion can fit together which is

13:37

really where the heart of my research

13:39

lies

13:40

well that's super fun kyle skipped to

13:43

business right away but i would like to

13:44

know what you're drinking because

13:47

obviously a pastor and a philosopher

13:49

walk into a bar

13:50

i was told that you have something

13:51

special oh yeah so

13:53

so what i'm actually drinking is uh um

13:57

blackberry spindrift because i'm a dad

14:00

and i don't have time to do these things

14:02

um but for the sake of the podcast what

14:04

i'm drinking

14:05

is uh my gifting whiskey which is a a

14:08

bell mead single barrel

14:09

uh this is actually aged in uh olarosa

14:11

sherry casks

14:12

and so it's a it's a single barrel it's

14:14

number it's cast number

14:16

uh three two five eight it's uh 110

14:19

proof so it's strong stuff

14:20

and uh it's delicious wow so is that a

14:23

scotch or a bourbon

14:24

it's a bourbon okay and he's

14:28

semi-promised me a bottle i'm gonna hold

14:31

him to it yeah

14:33

every season it's a limited edition so i

14:35

said the next time that i saw him i was

14:36

going to get it for him

14:38

as a dissertation defense

14:39

congratulations but uh

14:41

who knows when that's going to be now um

14:43

and so so who knows

14:45

how many bottles they'll have left at

14:46

that point in time yeah

14:48

they'll need is good stuff it's it's

14:50

local i i'm in nashville so

14:52

so i i came back to to live with my wife

14:54

in nashville vanderbilt's obviously here

14:56

so this is where we met as undergraduate

14:57

students and so

14:58

i'm representing local i know you guys

15:00

like to represent the milwaukee area but

15:02

uh my wife was always here and so i

15:04

never quite felt like milwaukee was home

15:06

nashville's home for me love it so i'd

15:09

like to know if we could get you

15:10

nick to promise to give a gift of belle

15:13

meade to kyle and then can we get kyle

15:14

to promise

15:15

does it bring some to sample on this

15:18

podcast

15:19

yes i'm happy with that whatever makes

15:21

it more likely that i get it

15:22

so so i'm unwilling to make that promise

15:24

because i'm not certain that i can

15:26

fulfill it

15:27

here we go certainty such a [ __ ]

15:32

so nick you you jumped into you grew up

15:35

southern baptist do you

15:37

sounded like you had the had the mind of

15:39

a scholar from a young age on

15:41

and by that i mean you were just curious

15:43

it sounds like would you say yeah

15:45

yeah so um

15:48

when i say this i i want to be clear i i

15:50

think this is a

15:52

systemic problem it's not something any

15:53

individual did but but i wouldn't say it

15:55

was the mind of a scholar

15:56

i i felt like i had the mind of a weapon

15:59

in the sense that

16:00

the the people around me saw that i was

16:03

clever

16:04

and they thought that they could put

16:05

that to good use and and

16:07

and again i i am not suggesting at all

16:09

any malicious intent by any of

16:11

any of the people that i'm talking about

16:12

because in their heads this was

16:14

something that was

16:16

apparently true that this was obviously

16:18

for the good of the faith these kinds of

16:20

things

16:21

and and so i was encouraged to to

16:24

challenge myself intellectually

16:25

because i was going to be a defender of

16:27

the faith or something along these lines

16:28

i was always encouraged in that kind of

16:30

way

16:32

but there was this kind of pressure

16:34

toward

16:35

being able to defend the truth and

16:38

luckily

16:39

i was also around a lot of people that

16:41

were at least 100 sincere

16:44

right there there's nothing malicious or

16:45

underhanded about it and so

16:47

so when they encouraged me to pursue the

16:49

truth they were doing it fearlessly

16:51

and and so i internalized it in a way

16:53

that i wasn't worried about

16:55

finding a truth that was uncomfortable

16:57

because the truth

16:59

is comfortable the truth is what we're

17:01

seeking and so so so because of that i

17:03

did feel a little bit of a permission

17:05

structure to

17:06

to think weird thoughts and and

17:08

eventually i ended up

17:09

leaving the southern baptist church and

17:11

and going to some more charismatic

17:12

churches where they thought

17:13

very weird thoughts i thought very weird

17:15

thoughts at the time but

17:17

uh in in the midst of all of that it

17:19

created a kind of permission structure

17:21

for me to

17:22

follow arguments where they lead which

17:23

is the philosophical mindset

17:26

got it you went from charismatic to

17:28

where then i hope i'm a christian

17:30

every single day i hope i'm a christian

17:31

i i in in the in the in the common

17:34

vernacular of the word i'm a christian i

17:36

pray

17:36

i i engage with people in the church um

17:39

i care about the church

17:41

quite deeply i'm annoyed with the church

17:43

quite deeply at times

17:44

uh the way that i'm annoyed with friends

17:46

and family because this is what it is to

17:48

love something

17:49

but the idea of defining it or or

17:51

pigeonholing or anything like this

17:53

i find all of this very destructive

17:54

because i find orthodoxy destructive and

17:56

so

17:56

i'm not going to uh i'm not going to put

17:58

a label yeah but also i'm not going to

18:00

put a like oh i'm non-denominational

18:02

which is like this other label right no

18:04

no i don't know it but i also don't want

18:06

to not label it

18:08

yeah i i'm a person and i i care about

18:11

the truth

18:11

and um i i firmly believe

18:14

that one of the central promises of the

18:16

gospel is is the idea of asking seeking

18:19

and finding

18:19

and so so i'm not really worried about

18:22

any of that because

18:23

i know what i'm asking for i know what

18:25

i'm seeking and i know what eventually

18:26

i'll find

18:27

or it won't and that's

18:30

that's the way life is it's fascinating

18:32

so can you tell us why

18:34

uh you think orthodoxy is destructive

18:36

dangerous

18:38

yeah so this gets back to maimonides so

18:41

maimonides is a recipient of alfa robbie

18:43

the guy that i that i focus on

18:45

and the entire premise of what religion

18:48

is for alfa robbie and then

18:50

later for maimonides is that religion is

18:52

a poetic expression

18:54

of philosophical truths religion has no

18:56

special access to truth whatsoever

18:58

it's it's just making images that people

19:00

that can't understand philosophy

19:02

are able to engage with and so when that

19:05

happens the role of the prophet changes

19:07

and it stops being about

19:09

i'm expressing truth in a kind of

19:12

axiomatic way

19:13

and it becomes about i am functioning in

19:17

a certain kind of role in society in a

19:18

political role

19:20

to allow people to live good lives

19:22

because if you make certain kind of good

19:24

association

19:25

images then people pursue certain kinds

19:27

of goods right

19:28

temperance the virtues and so the goal

19:31

in that entire process is ultimately

19:34

truth for those that are

19:36

able to gain access to truth but more

19:38

importantly it's habituation

19:40

it's it's orthopraxy and something i

19:43

found and

19:43

perhaps if if you were going to label

19:45

any of my experience with fundamentalism

19:47

as a trauma i think it's this

19:49

the the idea that in fundamentalism your

19:52

beliefs can be weaponized against you

19:53

which is a peculiar thing because you

19:55

can't choose what you believe

19:56

right right this idea that faith is

19:58

something that that we will

20:00

ourselves toward is ludicrous right

20:02

that's that's not what belief is

20:03

belief is something that you need to be

20:05

comfortable being honest about

20:07

and so other religions i think do this

20:09

better than christianity does frankly

20:11

the idea that you can be part of a

20:13

community and again

20:15

i'm not trying to suggest that that

20:16

either judaism or islam don't have

20:18

their own versions of of orthodoxy that

20:21

are every bit as

20:22

as pernicious and constraining as

20:25

as fundamentalism and christianity is

20:27

but quite often you can see expressions

20:30

of

20:30

communities where here are our two

20:33

members of a jewish congregation

20:35

that feel that they're in community with

20:37

one another one of them believes in god

20:39

one of them doesn't

20:40

they are still part of the same

20:42

community they're still both jewish

20:44

according to one another's definition

20:46

they still both follow torah

20:48

and so they're part of a community

20:50

because they're part of a certain kind

20:51

of orthopraxy

20:52

there's a certain kind of way of being

20:54

of doing

20:56

life of of of being in the world and and

20:59

so that doesn't break your community

21:02

there's something really weird

21:03

about the idea of who's your family the

21:05

church is my family

21:06

what happens once you believe in

21:08

evolution you are no longer part of the

21:09

church

21:11

that's weird the idea that if you

21:14

think something different all of a

21:16

sudden

21:17

you are going to be broken off from your

21:19

family that's abuse

21:22

so this is fascinating in it these

21:25

questions aren't on the

21:26

list that we sent you obviously that's

21:28

fine you just said you you can't

21:30

choose your beliefs that's fascinating

21:32

can you can you flesh that out a little

21:34

bit

21:35

yeah i mean people do what they believe

21:39

kyle and i were actually having a

21:40

conversation about this a few weeks ago

21:41

i i think i was annoying him because

21:43

because i i rejected the distinction

21:45

between believing and acting

21:48

right so because at the end of the day a

21:50

lot of people say that they believe in

21:51

things

21:52

but then they don't do anything about it

21:53

yeah and that's not a belief right right

21:55

you say oh oh i believe that racism is

21:57

bad and then i keep voting for racists

22:00

right you don't believe that racism is

22:01

bad you believe that it's permissible

22:04

right right you don't actually hold that

22:05

belief just because you have the thought

22:06

in your head occasionally

22:08

that that oh i'm considering this

22:11

proposition

22:11

i consider a lot of ludicrous

22:13

propositions i have a three-year-old and

22:15

so every single time we imagine

22:16

i consider ludicrous propositions i

22:18

never believe i'm a unicorn

22:20

right right i consider it but then at

22:23

the end of the day i act like a human

22:24

being so that's clearly the

22:26

the the firmer underlying belief and so

22:29

when it gets back to the story that i

22:30

was talking about in terms of me having

22:32

that realization about intellectual

22:34

honesty and in the issue of evolution

22:36

well i knew i didn't actually believe

22:39

fundamentalism

22:40

anymore because when i tried to process

22:42

the world

22:43

my actions belied the fact that i cared

22:46

about

22:48

the truth and the truth was that i

22:49

thought in an evolutionary mindset

22:52

and and so i i think sometimes we we

22:54

want to make these distinctions

22:56

and and i don't think they're helpful

22:57

right this distinction between

22:59

belief and action right this is the

23:00

entire uh argument about faith and works

23:03

and right jesus rejects as distinction

23:04

over and over and over again right

23:06

a tree bears fruit what comes out of

23:08

your mouth that's that's what's in your

23:10

heart right

23:10

right over and over again we we have

23:12

this rejection of the distinction

23:14

between this kind of feigning of a

23:16

belief

23:17

and your actual being and so i'm just

23:20

not

23:21

i'm not particularly interested in in

23:24

belief that's not tethered to action

23:26

yeah and i i think so often

23:29

that allows it to be an excuse right you

23:31

you believe certain

23:32

you say you believe a certain thing and

23:34

now all of a sudden

23:35

it's used as a kind of permission

23:37

structure for you not to do anything

23:39

and so as a result of that it it kind of

23:43

separates you from what's going on in

23:45

your belief but but when belief is

23:47

something embodied

23:48

there's no separation any longer and so

23:51

and so there is no there is no

23:55

ability for you to

23:58

say that oh well well i believe this

24:01

thing because i want to believe this

24:02

thing

24:03

well if you want to believe that thing

24:05

you'll be doing that thing and if you're

24:06

not doing that thing you don't believe

24:07

that thing

24:08

and and so you can't choose

24:12

who you are in the core of who you are

24:14

other than by a

24:15

very long process of habituation right i

24:18

i'm not saying there's not any kind of

24:20

choosing that goes on in faith i

24:21

i i don't want to push that radically

24:24

but

24:25

it's not something that you just flip on

24:27

right it's not something that like

24:29

like oh yeah uh someone dies

24:32

and you have a moment of of crisis in

24:35

your faith

24:36

and then you just flip a switch it's

24:38

like oh but i believe

24:40

because i say that i believe well maybe

24:42

you'll habituate yourself and you'll

24:43

keep going to church and you'll keep

24:44

doing these things and then you'll get

24:45

back into a position of belief

24:47

but quite often in those moments it's

24:50

revealed by our actions

24:51

by the way that we mourn by the way that

24:52

we act that we don't

24:54

and that's okay it's better to honestly

24:56

reflect on that and and decide whether

24:58

or not that's something you want to keep

24:59

pursuing

25:00

rather than pretending like oh i'm

25:02

already arrived at this other place

25:05

that's fascinating i was just i mean

25:08

this is just taking it down to the jesus

25:10

level now where i was just preaching

25:11

from first john last week where

25:12

the apostle john talks about living out

25:15

the truth and living you know

25:16

uh this in chapter two he talks about

25:18

living out the way of jesus and that's

25:20

how you can actually tell if

25:21

if if you claim to know the truth and

25:23

walk into light but you actually don't

25:25

act

25:25

in a certain way that is christ-like

25:27

you're actually walking in the darkness

25:28

it doesn't

25:29

it doesn't compute it doesn't make sense

25:30

the apostle john is

25:32

you know high-fiving you from 2000 years

25:35

of

25:36

you know being dead but um i i i doubt

25:38

that

25:39

he doesn't know the other stuff that i'm

25:40

willing to say

25:43

it's we're not done yet exactly no

25:45

that's great this is a good segue so

25:48

the topic as build of the podcast

25:50

episode is certainty

25:52

so even though that kind of

25:53

overconfidence and that kind of you know

25:55

trying to convince yourself into a

25:56

belief even though that's obviously not

25:58

peculiar to religious people

26:00

often in my experience it seems like

26:02

certain religious structures really lend

26:04

themselves

26:04

to that kind of practice they really

26:06

lend themselves to a sense of

26:08

feigned certainty it's not exclusive to

26:10

them but but my god it's common

26:13

um so so in your view what is that

26:15

relationship

26:16

between certainty and religious belief

26:20

yeah so so the problem is if you build

26:22

any

26:23

if you build anything or you look let me

26:26

rephrase it this way

26:27

if you bill anything as the truth you've

26:29

set yourself up

26:30

to fail in your humility

26:34

right once you start selling yourself as

26:37

being the the people that have access to

26:40

you or

26:41

or the the people that have a certain

26:42

kind of privileged um

26:44

way of understanding the truth already

26:46

you've ended the conversation

26:48

and so and by the way this analogy

26:51

obviously we can use religion right

26:53

right the the entire

26:55

pastoral structure is often built around

26:57

this not only by the way

26:58

in denominations that i'm uncomfortable

27:00

with right this this is what happens you

27:02

go into a place

27:04

and the place is oriented in a certain

27:05

direction and there is a

27:07

physical space in that direction with a

27:09

spotlight pointing at the

27:11

that direction and a book that's open

27:13

for someone to speak

27:14

and when they do so they are feigning

27:18

that they have some kind of privileged

27:19

access to the truth to teach

27:21

more than the people that are below

27:22

which might be true but very rarely

27:25

are the caveats being put beforehand hey

27:27

i'm going to preach

27:28

and i'm going to preach about this

27:30

particular topic because i focus on this

27:32

particular topic in my research

27:35

same thing happens in a classroom though

27:37

right i i know i know plenty of

27:39

philosophy professors

27:40

that are going to insist on people

27:42

calling them doctor

27:44

and there are some reasons why right

27:46

right if if you're

27:47

a member of a community that that is

27:49

historically disenfranchised in the

27:50

academy

27:51

sometimes wearing that doctor moniker is

27:53

really helpful right

27:54

if if you're a person of color or if

27:56

you're a woman who who is the professor

27:58

and might deal with students not not

28:00

recognizing you as the voice of reason

28:02

in the room

28:03

sometimes that's a really really helpful

28:04

thing to have i'm not denigrating this

28:06

practice entirely

28:07

but i know some people that use it

28:09

purely as a whip it's purely to to

28:11

prevent

28:13

students from engaging with the research

28:16

in a way

28:17

that questions in a way that that is not

28:20

satisfying to the professor at the

28:21

moment

28:22

and at the end of the day expertise

28:23

shows out right if you genuinely have

28:26

expertise

28:26

you don't really have to use any of

28:29

these

28:30

tools which which gets back to the the

28:32

the notion that we find in alfa robbie

28:34

and maimonides right the idea of

28:36

truth as being expressed as poetic

28:39

symbols someone else

28:41

wrote about this and did not come to the

28:43

conclusion that alfa robbie and

28:44

maimonides did

28:45

which is plato and plato kicks out the

28:47

poets from the city

28:48

why because what do the poets do they

28:50

lead the people astray

28:51

because all they do is they give images

28:54

they basically give

28:56

these things that are pleasant for

28:58

people but

29:00

they're not backed by anything and he

29:01

does consider at one point in time in

29:03

the republic he says

29:04

perhaps we could consider a more austere

29:06

and less pleasure giving poet

29:08

and this could be useful for the

29:10

communication of philosophy and this is

29:11

where the

29:12

the phoenician tale the noble lie comes

29:13

from for those of you that are familiar

29:15

with the republic

29:16

and that's what alfa robbie is building

29:18

off of in his philosophy is this idea

29:20

that

29:21

well we can use images in a useful way

29:23

to train people

29:24

toward truth but the first thing is that

29:27

you need to know the truth

29:28

and then you can get images that link up

29:30

to the truth in a proper way

29:32

but i mean i've walked into lots of

29:34

churches and almost all of them have

29:35

smoke machines and pleasant music

29:37

and very few of them are concerned about

29:39

truth

29:40

i should tell you elliott used to be the

29:41

guy that ran the smoke machines in the

29:43

pleasant music

29:45

maybe i should have announced that no

29:46

that's that's that's fine

29:48

i i again i'm i'm ornery and willing to

29:51

offend this is the philosophical

29:52

tradition right

29:53

we model our behavior after a guy who is

29:56

so insufferable

29:57

that more people voted to kill him than

30:00

people that thought he was guilty

30:01

literally the jury barely said that he

30:04

was guilty

30:05

and then a vast majority said that he

30:07

should die

30:08

that's how annoying socrates is i

30:11

personally one of my favorite

30:12

philosophical quotes is from kierkegaard

30:14

and i don't remember the exact reference

30:16

but he describes himself

30:18

in his his mission as making things more

30:20

difficult

30:21

yeah it is my job as a religious person

30:24

as a christian he would say to make this

30:26

harder for you

30:27

yeah so so i i i don't know where we are

30:30

in time i know that eventually you want

30:31

to

30:32

uh ask some questions about evangel

30:34

evangelism

30:35

but but i think this is precisely the

30:37

problem with evangelism right

30:38

you you have this uh you have this

30:40

structure that shows up in the new

30:41

testament and again i

30:42

i want a caveat right we're talking

30:44

about certainty here we're talking about

30:45

epistemic humility

30:46

when i'm talking about scriptural

30:48

interpretation here i'm providing

30:50

uh hermeneutic that i know quite well

30:52

but i

30:53

very few biblical scholars are going to

30:55

be okay with the way that i'm using any

30:56

of these scriptures so

30:57

so so ignore it at your leisure that's

30:59

fine time off for a second dr nick

31:01

epistemic humility epistemic humility

31:04

can you describe that for our

31:05

non-philosophical yeah so so all i mean

31:08

by that

31:09

is episteme what you believe what you

31:12

know

31:13

right so so epistemic is just talking

31:15

about knowledge and so being humble

31:16

about that right

31:17

so so so one of the things that happens

31:20

with the issue of certainty

31:21

is that people think certainty means

31:23

conviction

31:25

and certainty has nothing to do with

31:26

conviction so so

31:28

many people really believe in something

31:31

firmly 100

31:32

the whole way down but they're wrong

31:35

and the reason why they're wrong is

31:37

because they're they're not equipped

31:38

with the methods that are reliable

31:41

that allow them to know right one of the

31:43

principles that shows up in plato and

31:45

then

31:45

shows up in alpha robbie it shows up in

31:47

the pro pro clean tradition proclass the

31:49

arabic proclasm shows up in aquinas

31:51

actually

31:51

and in the latin uh it it's uh quid quid

31:54

recipitor

31:55

uh ad modem uh recipientius recipiter

31:59

right i think we just found our episode

32:01

title there yeah

32:03

so so the latin is is uh that which is

32:06

received is received according to the

32:07

mode of the receiver

32:08

and so one of the things aerosol talks

32:10

about in topics one

32:12

one of the things that that alfa robbie

32:14

is absolutely obsessed with

32:15

is that the mode by which you know

32:17

matters

32:18

right the way that you know matters and

32:21

and

32:21

certainty isn't just about examining

32:23

what you believe and have conviction of

32:26

it's examining the method that you

32:28

gained that knowledge through

32:30

it it's examining is this a

32:32

universalizable doctrine that other

32:34

people can have access to this truth as

32:36

well

32:37

is this testable in in a kind of way of

32:40

experiencing the world and

32:42

most people's conception of certainty

32:43

doesn't involve any of that and so

32:46

epistemic humility is recognizing that

32:48

when you receive something you're

32:49

receiving it

32:50

in the mode of the receiver and in this

32:52

case for all of us the receiver

32:54

is an ape-like creature that walks

32:57

around and we have no reason to believe

32:58

uh is oriented toward finding the truth

33:02

all the time

33:03

right human beings are fallible we make

33:05

mistakes so no one should ever presume

33:07

even though afarabi does even though

33:09

maimonides does no one should ever

33:10

presume

33:11

that we have access to absolute certain

33:14

knowledge

33:14

and so when someone presents

33:18

their images as being certain they

33:21

present the images as the truth

33:22

wholesale

33:24

is a kind of deception which is why my

33:26

work focuses on political deception and

33:28

by political i just mean

33:30

the kind of deception that happens in

33:31

groups

33:34

i mean i think a lot of which you

33:35

articulated right there so

33:38

you know on such a high level i i was

33:40

i'm listening and i'm just

33:42

as a pastor walking with people who've

33:45

put together or had this world view and

33:47

and faith journey that's been put

33:49

together and given to them by

33:51

you know their family and by their

33:52

church by all that stuff and they've

33:54

realized they've gotten to the point

33:55

where you just articulated

33:57

where um this wasn't a reliable way that

34:00

um that my faith was constructed that

34:03

what i believe actually

34:04

was put together it was it was in a

34:06

faulty method

34:08

and and now all of a sudden it's all

34:10

falling apart and i don't know what to

34:11

do

34:11

or it's actually a freeing thing but for

34:14

most people it's actually a scary thing

34:15

to realize that

34:16

all of what i've believed for the last

34:18

you know the first 20 years of my life

34:20

first 30 years of my life

34:21

the foundation's rotten yeah one of the

34:24

things that plato says

34:25

in book two of the republic which i

34:27

think is really helpful to think about

34:28

is he talks about what he calls true

34:31

lies and

34:32

and this isn't the noble lie this isn't

34:34

a lie that somehow

34:35

is able to imbue truth at least

34:37

according to plato he thinks that the

34:38

noble eye does this

34:39

uh what he means is a real lie a lie

34:42

that is damaging

34:43

and what a true lie is is a lie in the

34:46

place of your soul

34:48

that is involving the highest things

34:51

because when it comes to the highest

34:53

things no one wants to be wrong

34:55

in that place most of all and he says

34:57

that it's hated by gods and men

34:59

and i think something that's happened

35:03

i i think something that is true about

35:05

human nature

35:06

but but but i i see it as being

35:08

pernicious and kind of the

35:10

the structure of the way some of the

35:12

american

35:13

white christian church i want to clarify

35:15

who i'm talking about here

35:16

is that the fear of being wrong

35:20

in that part of the soul is so

35:23

strong that it's more important not to

35:26

find out that you're wrong

35:27

than to actually be right right you care

35:30

more about the appearance

35:32

of being settled in that place than

35:35

caring about whether you are

35:36

authentically engaging in the truth in

35:38

that place because you're right it's

35:39

terrifying it's terrifying not to know

35:40

the truth

35:41

right all of us want to know the truth

35:42

there's nothing wrong with being scared

35:45

about the prospect of holding falsehood

35:48

in oneself

35:49

but there's something liberating and

35:52

freeing about

35:53

recognizing where falsehood exists

35:54

because at least at that moment you have

35:56

a little truth

35:57

right when you get refuted you you have

36:00

this liberating feeling

36:01

you might not know uh in the refutation

36:04

if the person that refuted you if their

36:05

position is right

36:06

but you do know that your old position

36:08

was wrong that's a true proposition you

36:10

can build off of

36:11

and that's helpful but most most people

36:13

don't like being wrong

36:14

they'd rather seem to be right than

36:16

actually be right

36:18

i'm having a fun time okay just just let

36:21

it be known

36:23

i i i i meant to be much more uh

36:26

obstinate than this

36:29

so nick two questions one personal one

36:31

not the personal one being i'm impressed

36:34

by your

36:35

passion for the truth and your

36:37

unwillingness to

36:38

compromise what's true for the sake of

36:41

what you believe

36:42

and yet you say i still hope i'm a

36:45

christian

36:45

how did you get there how do you how do

36:47

you still say i hope i'm a christian

36:49

while saying

36:49

i really have this high value of truth

36:51

it's encouraging to me

36:52

as a pastor and as a christian but yeah

36:54

so i mean

36:56

i'm not going to give you a

36:57

sophisticated philosophical answer here

36:59

i i'm a christian because i keep

37:02

doing christian things right i

37:06

like i i remember so so after my mom

37:08

died

37:09

i remember i i had this this kind of

37:11

crisis of faith this was shortly after i

37:14

found my hermeneutics but it still

37:15

wasn't perfectly satisfying to me

37:17

because

37:17

i was trained to what to believe what i

37:19

was supposed to believe

37:20

and i remember i was sitting as an

37:22

undergraduate

37:24

out in one of the common areas of

37:26

vanderbilt's campus

37:27

and i remember i was telling god

37:31

how much i didn't believe in him anymore

37:34

and someone who tells god they don't

37:36

believe in him believes in god

37:38

one of two things is true and and i i

37:41

don't deign to know which one it is

37:44

either i am so habituated to

37:46

christianity

37:48

that christianity is meaningful to me uh

37:51

there's a medieval work called the

37:52

khazari that uh uh it talks about the

37:55

the conversion of the king of the

37:57

kazaars to

37:58

to judaism but before he does this he

38:00

gets a dream from god and god tells him

38:02

to convert to the true religion so he

38:03

has to find out which one it is

38:04

and all these people make speeches a

38:06

philosopher makes a speech a christian

38:07

makes a speech

38:08

my favorite one though is when when the

38:10

um when the muslim comes in to make the

38:12

speech

38:13

one of the things that the the muslim

38:15

speaker says is

38:16

proof of the truth of islam is the

38:18

beauty of the quran

38:20

there has been no book that is more

38:21

beautiful than the quran and so you must

38:23

know this is the truth

38:24

and the king of the khazars which

38:26

obviously this is being written by judah

38:28

hallelujah jewish author right so this

38:30

is tongue-in-cheek by the author put

38:31

into the king of the

38:32

kazaar's mouth he says this wonderful

38:34

line where he says

38:36

my friend i believe that the quran is

38:39

the most beautiful book

38:40

to you and perhaps if i was raised on

38:42

its images i too would agree

38:45

but basically what what he's saying

38:46

telling cheek there is like no it's not

38:49

but but he's not saying he's saying it

38:50

in this polite way and it's entirely

38:52

possible that the reason why

38:54

i find this idea of the infinite

38:58

becoming finite because that's the

39:00

that's the hook for me right the idea

39:02

that that

39:03

what love is what goodness is is not

39:06

mere benevolence

39:07

it's not that god created a good world

39:09

and then kind of let it hang out it's

39:10

not deism

39:12

the hook is this kind of super

39:13

derogatory story this idea of

39:15

of a love that overcomes

39:18

what its own limits are right the

39:20

infinite as being not just a

39:22

large number but the infinite as being

39:24

something that

39:25

overcomes even the limitations it sets

39:27

for itself and then by doing that

39:29

becomes finite

39:29

that's a really interesting idea to me

39:31

but

39:32

i was raised on this idea i i find the

39:36

images of it beautiful

39:37

and so it might be that i'm just hooked

39:38

on the images and and i i have to

39:40

acknowledge that that's a possibility

39:42

it's also possible that the reason why i

39:44

keep getting drawn to it is because

39:46

some part of me some some intuition

39:48

within me

39:49

thinks it's really true and i i can't

39:52

say that maybe there's not some hook

39:53

there

39:54

right that that something keeps pulling

39:56

me back that's external to me

39:57

i don't know which it is i don't think

39:59

i'll ever know which it is

40:01

yeah i love it nick would as a

40:03

philosopher who

40:04

really would you say loves reason and

40:07

truth

40:08

in reality perhaps am i still still on

40:11

the right track yeah

40:12

so so i wouldn't use the word love right

40:13

right

40:16

no no not even that there's an itch

40:18

right okay i i i

40:19

am a compulsive truth teller okay i i

40:23

it's i i really don't feel there's a

40:26

choice about it

40:27

i i maybe cal can speak to this more but

40:29

but but it's

40:31

like when you see me engage with other

40:34

people's philosophical work which most

40:36

fosters are like this so luckily we have

40:37

grace for one another

40:38

but like kyle has presented papers in

40:41

front of me

40:42

and i'm sure it's miserable because my

40:44

face is scrunching up and i'm like

40:46

wiggling in my chair and i want to

40:47

object and it's like it's just

40:50

it's just bursting out of me and it's

40:51

not something i'm doing willfully i

40:53

like really i mean my poor family right

40:56

if i could choose to be otherwise i

40:58

would

41:00

but i can't it's it's just

41:03

to the souls of my feet this is this is

41:05

the thing that drives me

41:07

it's it's it's a compulsion and so one

41:10

of two things is true

41:11

uh again i keep doing this right i kind

41:14

of give these probabilistic ways of

41:15

viewing the world because i'm not

41:16

certain

41:17

either philosophy is the method by which

41:19

we attain the truth in the best manner

41:21

we get closest

41:22

or socrates is someone that had

41:26

some fascinating mental illness

41:29

and got a lot of people on board and

41:34

i mean from the inside of what it's like

41:36

to do philosophy

41:38

the latter seems a little bit more

41:39

probable to me honestly

41:44

nice good let me i was asking i started

41:47

down that route

41:48

because i'm interested to know you you

41:50

had your time in the charismatic crew

41:51

for a while and and i enjoy a good

41:53

charismatic experience and

41:55

the feel of the spirit of god the

41:57

supernatural and i'm sure

41:58

i'm sure you have a fun and uh you know

42:02

worth hearing take on uh how reliable

42:05

or how do you fit that into your

42:06

experience things that you felt

42:08

that were outside of your own body

42:10

perhaps

42:11

there's a uh there's a 20th century

42:14

pragmatist

42:15

who i think deals with this nicely

42:17

william james

42:18

who who talks about the varieties of

42:20

religious experience and he deals with

42:21

this as a philosopher and ultimately

42:23

argues that religious experience is

42:26

authoritative

42:28

for the person that experiences it

42:30

because they've experienced it it's it's

42:32

direct

42:33

but that doesn't mean it's authoritative

42:35

for people outside

42:36

and that that's kind of my inclination

42:39

about these kinds of things

42:41

i i honestly don't know i i am

42:43

simultaneously

42:45

drawn to that community in certain kinds

42:47

of ways i

42:48

i still am there there's a certain kind

42:50

of certainty that that allows right

42:51

direct experience

42:53

that that i'm not sure i believe in but

42:56

but that's satisfying right i mean the

42:58

idea that that

42:59

oh yeah i've experienced god's presence

43:00

and therefore i i do it

43:02

i also can look at a lot of the people

43:05

that are in that community and i'm not

43:06

gonna name any names in particular

43:08

but but a lot of people that i found

43:10

reputable that i bought into when i was

43:12

a much younger person

43:13

that i think are charlatans like i i i

43:18

think that they

43:18

they are not not mistaken i'm not

43:20

talking about people that

43:21

that are sincere and just don't believe

43:24

the right thing which i think everyone

43:25

should have the freedom to do

43:27

but but these are people that know they

43:29

are deceiving other people

43:31

and and actively choose to deceive other

43:32

people and again i'm not going to name

43:34

names because i also think that there

43:35

are a lot of

43:35

genuinely sincere people that are not

43:37

doing that i also know about some of the

43:39

psychological tricks that you can

43:41

imitate these things in other religions

43:43

you can imitate these things with with

43:45

other rituals because it's the images

43:46

that are so important

43:47

if you notice the reason why a lot of

43:49

these these

43:50

uh faith healings and things like this

43:52

they work they work in very particular

43:54

contexts

43:55

right they they there's a specific tone

43:57

of voice that is affected

43:59

there's a specific type of music that

44:00

goes on in the background there's a

44:02

specific number of people that happen

44:04

and and there is this kind of

44:06

psychological effect that is very very

44:08

powerful now maybe that's powerful

44:09

because as they would say

44:13

worship brings the presence of god and

44:15

does this

44:16

really miraculous thing or

44:20

maybe the reason why this can be found

44:21

in other places is because

44:23

human beings care about ritual and care

44:25

about images and so

44:27

there's there's a very very strong um

44:30

effect of of willing it into existence

44:34

almost like a sugar pill would be right

44:37

that you can you can heal yourself by

44:39

believing you're taking proper

44:40

medication

44:41

i don't know which it is i i mean i i'm

44:43

inclined toward

44:45

being very skeptical of this community

44:46

but i also

44:48

i almost feel perhaps this community has

44:51

has

44:52

a stronger hold on me because i have

44:53

very very dear friends who are still

44:55

all in on it and i i value them i value

44:59

their voices but

45:00

i mean as a philosopher i'm very very

45:02

skeptical okay two follow-up questions

45:04

one for both of you

45:05

well actually both for both of you is

45:08

that okay

45:08

so as a philosopher then as philosophers

45:12

when we think about how to build our

45:13

faith and how to how to how to

45:15

coherently think about it in a

45:17

reasonable fashion

45:19

basing our faith 100

45:22

or a majority of it off of supernatural

45:26

experience you know in

45:27

in quotes seems like a pretty unhealthy

45:30

thing to do

45:31

to me even but using supernatural

45:33

experience

45:34

as a piece of the reason why i still

45:37

follow

45:37

this certain faith tradition that seems

45:40

that seems like intellectually that it

45:44

has some integrity to it would you say

45:45

or

45:46

should we throw out experience

45:47

altogether

45:49

can i ask a follow-up before you you

45:50

answer i'll i'll let you answer this

45:52

first but

45:52

what do you mean by faith by faith what

45:55

i believe in my set of beliefs about

45:57

life reality and a higher power okay

46:00

so but

46:04

okay i'll let cal answer and then

46:08

so let me make sure i understand the

46:10

question 100

46:11

experience or vast majority partially

46:14

experience

46:15

good yeah it's it's it's one of the

46:17

pieces

46:18

yeah you and by experience you mean

46:20

supernatural experience

46:21

experiencing somehow the presence of god

46:23

seeing a miracle happen

46:25

having it happen to me getting the

46:27

shivers get it you know having hands

46:28

warm

46:29

you know there's a million things that

46:30

you could say okay good that helps so i

46:32

want to draw a line between

46:34

experience and uh what you might call

46:38

uh manifestations of the holy spirit

46:40

okay as described in the new testament

46:42

that seems to be what you're focused on

46:44

because if we mean just experience

46:45

generally my view is that there isn't

46:48

anything else

46:49

so 100 percent of my religion is

46:51

experienced okay but but not a hundred

46:53

percent of it is

46:54

manifestations of what the holy spirit

46:56

is okay

46:57

so i'll just tell you in my own

46:58

experience when it gets down to brass

47:01

tacks why

47:02

am i a christian to use nick's

47:04

vernacular why do i keep acting in this

47:06

way

47:07

it's big it's almost entirely at this

47:10

point

47:11

but let's say 75 because of

47:15

experiences that i had where i felt like

47:17

jesus was present in the room

47:19

and and you know i i have really really

47:22

good friends who i trust and i know

47:24

they're not making it up

47:25

who tell me about some really crazy [ __ ]

47:27

that's happened to them

47:28

and you know maybe at one point in my

47:31

life that was part of it but like

47:32

at least 75 percent of my religious

47:34

faith right now

47:36

is because of particular experiences of

47:38

god's presence

47:39

that i've had and the rest of it is just

47:42

because it kind of makes sense of the

47:43

world to me

47:44

we've talked about that before and you'd

47:45

love it that is my that is my experience

47:48

and

47:48

obviously i think that's healthy or i

47:51

wouldn't because

47:52

that's something you can trust is that

47:54

that's something that's sexual

47:56

felt and experience well as nick

47:57

described talking about william james

47:59

it's something unavoidable to me

48:01

the question of whether or not i can

48:02

trust it doesn't even come in

48:04

if it came in then i would have to be a

48:06

skeptic about everything okay

48:08

because i trusted in the same way that i

48:09

trust that i see you right now

48:11

my perceptual experience is just as true

48:14

to me as that experiences

48:15

that i had which is why a lot of

48:17

calvinists describe it as a separate

48:18

sense

48:19

by the way god's presence is just like

48:21

the other senses that you have

48:22

physically i think they're right about

48:24

that

48:24

if i doubt that i doubt everything okay

48:27

fun fact a post kantian named rudolph

48:29

otto

48:30

wrote a way that had holiness as a

48:33

separate category of the understandings

48:35

in a kantian framework

48:37

and i presented a paper on this at the

48:40

very first time i met kyle as

48:41

undergrads

48:44

and we bumped into each other and then

48:47

we met again in grad school

48:48

and we didn't know that we had met until

48:51

probably a year into our friendship

48:52

and then we remembered each other's

48:54

papers and how bad we thought

48:55

each other one each other's papers were

48:59

this separate sense of excitement i

49:00

actually went and found a notebook where

49:02

i was taking notes at that conference

49:03

and i got to your paper and it was just

49:05

blank

49:07

because i checked out right at the

49:08

beginning

49:11

so i i think there might be some

49:13

confusion between

49:15

what should orient our lives right right

49:17

what what should be a constitutive

49:19

factor of the way that we

49:20

act and truth right i think

49:24

that things that you find beautiful

49:28

should affect the way that you behave

49:31

but they

49:31

don't give you access to the truth right

49:34

the fact that you have certain kind of

49:36

aesthetic tastes

49:38

doesn't actually give you a kind of

49:39

privileged access so so let's say

49:41

you uh you really enjoy being on top of

49:44

a mountain and enjoying a sunset

49:47

okay great do that but that doesn't mean

49:51

that you

49:52

somehow have found the meaning of other

49:54

people's lives in that process

49:56

you haven't found the the nature of what

49:58

it is to be a human being or something

49:59

like this that you have to stand on a

50:01

mountain

50:01

you have to face west and you have to

50:03

enjoy the sunset

50:04

right no that's not what that's not what

50:07

the human life is about

50:08

and the reason why we can't trust i at

50:11

least i don't think that we can trust

50:12

these kinds of religious experiences as

50:15

religious experience in this very

50:16

particular way right because i

50:18

i as kyle said i think this is a nice

50:20

way of rejecting a distinction that i

50:21

don't think is appropriate

50:22

right we always every single time we do

50:24

something religiously which i would say

50:26

is always

50:27

we're always being religious every

50:28

person is always being religious and

50:30

every person is always being political

50:32

but but every single time that you're

50:34

doing one of these activities

50:37

and now we've gone into this kind of

50:39

mystical mode

50:40

well it might be true but if it is true

50:44

it's true accidentally

50:45

and and what i mean by this is a very

50:47

technical sense of the term

50:48

which is you don't know the method by

50:50

which you feel that thing

50:52

and if you don't know the method by

50:53

which you feel that thing you can't be

50:55

certain

50:55

in your feeling of that thing and in

50:56

fact in a lot of charismatic communities

50:58

they acknowledge this

51:00

because they're very worried about

51:01

demons

51:03

because they understand that okay even

51:06

even though they affirm

51:08

miraculous experience all the time they

51:10

recognize that

51:11

they don't know where it's coming from

51:13

and so you have to be very hesitant and

51:15

put put tests to it and these kinds of

51:16

things

51:17

you see this in the bible as well about

51:18

prophecy right the idea of testing

51:20

prophets

51:21

because there's something going on there

51:26

who knows what that is but you don't

51:28

know where it's coming from

51:29

why it's happening and what kind of

51:32

truth value it has

51:33

and so the idea of basing your life in

51:36

terms of

51:37

the way that you know the world on

51:39

something that you don't know where it's

51:41

coming from

51:42

well that's that's dubious

51:44

philosophically but saying something

51:45

along the lines of

51:46

oh well when i go to worship at this

51:48

particular place

51:50

i i enjoy it quite a bit i have this

51:52

kind of sensation

51:54

assuming that it's not not in line with

51:56

the values that you're getting

51:58

from other more reliable sources i don't

52:01

think there's a harm in that right there

52:02

are lots of things that we as humans do

52:04

that aren't they're not based off of any

52:07

rational activity

52:08

other than their other than pleasure and

52:10

so far as pleasure is a rational

52:11

activity but

52:12

but but it's just it's aesthetically

52:14

nice to us and and i think that's fine

52:16

i i know i know that charismatics are

52:18

going to be very upset with that answer

52:19

i

52:20

i i don't mean to i don't mean to

52:22

belittle their experience

52:23

i would have been upset about that

52:24

answer at a previous point in time in my

52:26

life

52:26

but any time that that someone is

52:30

vying for power because that's what it

52:33

is that's what truth is all the time

52:34

anytime you're conveying truth

52:36

you're basically asserting power anytime

52:38

someone is

52:39

vying for power and you can't see the

52:41

mechanisms by which they're worthy of

52:43

that power

52:44

you should be skeptical

52:48

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storyhillbkc.com

53:27

there's a really common example when

53:29

people are talking about

53:30

the context of your belief and how it

53:32

can affect the justifiability

53:34

or the reasonableness of holding that

53:36

belief let's say you're in a strange

53:38

town and you don't know how to get

53:39

around and you need to find the bank

53:41

and so you approach a stranger on the

53:43

street and you ask

53:44

can you tell me where the bank is and

53:46

this person says yeah you should go up a

53:48

couple blocks

53:49

take a left bank right there and you

53:51

form the belief that the bank is where

53:53

that person said

53:54

okay unbeknownst to you you're in a town

53:56

where everybody lies

53:58

now under normal circumstances wouldn't

54:01

be anything strange about this belief at

54:02

all you'd form the belief that the bank

54:04

is over there it'd be totally justified

54:05

because

54:06

given your past experience that's how

54:07

beliefs work people don't lie about that

54:09

stuff

54:10

but then you find out that this is a

54:11

town of liars

54:13

now let's assume for the sake of

54:15

argument that this person was the one

54:17

honest person in that town

54:19

is your belief justified the answer of

54:22

contemporary epistemology is

54:23

no even if that person happens to be

54:26

telling the truth you form a belief that

54:28

is true and under normal circumstances

54:29

would be justified

54:31

in this case it's not because of the

54:33

context

54:34

or another simpler example you have a

54:37

watch that's been really successful the

54:38

whole time you've had it

54:40

you look at the time it says it's 12 30.

54:42

it really is 12 30

54:44

you form the belief that it is 12 30 but

54:46

unbeknownst to you your watch died 12

54:48

hours ago

54:49

is that a justified belief no because

54:52

the method

54:52

by which it was formed is no longer

54:55

reliable

54:56

so even if in this particular case that

54:58

was a genuine word from god

55:01

me as a spectator my epistemic

55:03

responsibility

55:05

is to not believe it or to be very very

55:09

suspicious of it

55:10

okay so that's a similar answer from a

55:13

very different context yeah yeah

55:14

chiming in for philosophers uh listening

55:17

i

55:18

i actually like this example and aerosol

55:20

would be fine with the two so so i know

55:21

it's contemporary

55:22

i i know the examples are contemporary

55:24

give them credit but but but this

55:26

this caring about method is right there

55:28

in topics one it's

55:29

this is this is a foundational

55:32

philosophical principle i have a good

55:33

friend who got

55:34

saved because he was sitting in a

55:36

worship service

55:37

repeating a phrase to himself someone at

55:41

a different part of the room stands up

55:42

and speaks in tongues

55:44

someone from the other side of the room

55:45

stands up and translates

55:47

and it's the exact phrase he was

55:48

repeating to him

55:50

i've seen really crazy stuff yep and for

55:53

all of that

55:54

my responsibility both as a philosopher

55:57

and also as an individual

55:59

is to ask does believing that that was

56:03

what it was claimed to be is that

56:05

reasonable for me

56:07

given the evidence that i possess and

56:09

the answer

56:10

almost always is no now

56:14

if that thing was really meaningful to

56:16

me and that thing changed my life and

56:18

i've had words that changed my life

56:20

frankly

56:20

and it plays a really good role in my

56:22

life and there's no

56:24

negative uh there's no harm done by

56:26

assuming that it was true

56:27

fine i'm fine with letting that play a

56:30

positive role i'm even fine

56:32

saying that god spoke to me totally fine

56:35

with that

56:35

but as a third party and as a

56:38

philosopher i have to ask

56:39

well what is the evidence support and in

56:42

the overwhelming majority of cases and

56:44

this is why i'm a really bad pentecostal

56:46

in the overwhelming majority of cases

56:48

the work is just not

56:50

done to figure out what the evidence

56:52

supports

56:53

i've been at benny hinn gatherings where

56:55

people

56:56

are slayed in the spirit and you know

56:59

the they

57:00

are immediately healed of cancer and

57:01

they get out of the drop their crutches

57:03

and run around the room and whatever

57:05

and nobody ever follows up with those

57:07

people no but nobody ever tries to find

57:09

out scientifically if they were actually

57:11

healed of course

57:13

in fact there's a specific structure

57:15

that is built into this community

57:17

to prevent that from occurring so so for

57:20

example if i as an outsider make the

57:21

claim

57:22

okay fine you say you're a prophet great

57:26

i'm thinking of a number 1 to 1 million

57:28

pray to god

57:30

tell me what the number i'm thinking of

57:31

is and then the person says wait

57:33

wait you're testing god here god god's

57:36

not some monkey that performs tricks for

57:38

you

57:38

but that itself is a kind of a

57:40

justification that allows for these to

57:42

never be testable claims

57:43

there's no falsifiability here so

57:45

there's not any kind of reliable method

57:47

that's provided

57:48

the idea of a truth that is only

57:50

accessible in one moment in one instance

57:52

there's no way that it's

57:53

testable and it's intermingled with a

57:56

bunch of falsehoods all the time

57:58

that's that's not a method that you

58:01

should orient your entire life around

58:02

sure no i hear you two follow-up

58:04

questions sorry we're going down a

58:05

rabbit hole here but

58:06

i'm thinking of these questions i'm

58:08

wondering if the listeners are um kyle

58:10

you

58:10

you just spent you know a few minutes

58:12

talking about how

58:14

you shouldn't trust supernatural

58:16

occurrences

58:17

let's say but then you also just said 10

58:20

minutes ago

58:21

that 75 of the reason that you believe

58:24

in

58:24

the god that you do is because of those

58:26

experiences that you've experienced

58:28

that seems contradictory i shouldn't

58:30

trust them as a third party

58:32

if i'm looking out a window with my

58:34

friend standing next to me we're looking

58:36

out the same window and my friend says

58:37

hey isn't that joe over there and i said

58:40

what are you talking about

58:41

there's no one out there he's like look

58:43

and he guides my eyes right there that's

58:45

joe we just talked to him a couple hours

58:47

ago he's right there

58:48

and i say i legitimately don't see

58:49

anyone standing out this window

58:51

now what are what are my

58:53

responsibilities towards his belief and

58:55

what are his responsibilities towards

58:56

mine

58:57

seems obvious to me that we should both

58:59

stick to our beliefs

59:01

i have no no epistemic responsibility

59:03

whatsoever

59:04

to consider his belief as stated to me

59:07

to be more strong than the evidence of

59:09

my senses

59:10

and same thing is true for him he sees

59:12

him i don't

59:13

uh he should absolutely conclude that

59:15

he's standing out there and that

59:16

something has gone wrong in me

59:18

something similar is happening here it's

59:19

similar to what nick said earlier about

59:21

william james

59:22

it is absolutely authoritative for the

59:24

person having the experience

59:26

and i've had the experience okay and it

59:28

is authoritative to me in the same way

59:30

my perceptual

59:31

is but when it's happening to somebody

59:33

else and when

59:35

the circumstances of that happening are

59:37

easily explainable

59:38

by other means and when i know no one is

59:41

actually doing the work to make those

59:43

methods reliable

59:45

and and and and i can keep adding to

59:47

that list

59:48

then it becomes unreasonable for me to

59:50

believe what is absolutely reasonable

59:51

for someone else to believe

59:53

so so one of the things that happens in

59:55

these kinds of discussions

59:57

the only people that are interested in

59:59

religious experiences like this

60:01

are people that have religious

60:03

experiences like this

60:04

so so the questions very rarely go the

60:06

other way or when they do it it's about

60:08

the falsifiability of the claims and

60:09

like

60:09

like like you have people that go in and

60:12

do documentaries and things about

60:13

showing people or charlatans and these

60:15

kinds of things

60:17

which every pentecostal should watch by

60:18

the way absolutely google

60:20

google the four effect and look up some

60:23

videos of some talented

60:24

mediums and cold readers don't read

60:26

about jim james james james

60:28

yeah yeah is it no what's what's his

60:30

name the

60:31

kool-aid guy oh jim jones

60:35

kim jones yeah jim james is a great

60:37

artist

60:38

musician but uh jim jones but but i i

60:42

want to just step back for a second and

60:43

think about this in terms of the context

60:45

of

60:45

of what i would call i mean this is

60:48

theology but

60:49

but this is firmly in in the field of

60:50

philosophy and in terms of

60:52

the nature of the divine attributes

60:55

think about what you're

60:56

saying in your theology if you're saying

60:59

that this is the way that god

61:00

speaks to people if god speaks to people

61:04

via this method in his unreliable way

61:07

that anyone that has been part of the

61:08

pentecostal movement knows that it is

61:10

unreliable

61:11

that you get all these words of people

61:13

that sometimes are giving words that

61:15

enable their abuse of other people

61:18

that says something very odd about the

61:21

nature of god if this is his chosen

61:23

method

61:24

right this gets back to abu bakr al-razi

61:26

right the idea

61:27

of special revelation oh him of course

61:31

i mentioned him about the beginning i

61:32

mentioned him once this is

61:39

the the guy they call the prophets billy

61:41

goats jackasses right the tears because

61:43

they have the long

61:44

long beards because there's something

61:47

weird if you want to say that god loves

61:49

people

61:49

and then you say oh god loves all people

61:52

but he privileges certain people

61:53

and those people are responsible for

61:56

telling the truth to these people

61:58

and that's the way they access the truth

61:59

of god's word

62:01

and along with those people they're

62:03

going to be a bunch of false people

62:05

right next to them and those people are

62:07

going to be imitating the true people

62:10

in a way that allows them to

62:13

enable abuse or accumulate power

62:16

and you could say i i understand the

62:18

justifications that some of the the

62:20

listeners might be having they say well

62:21

this is a question about

62:23

man's fallen nature and blah blah blah

62:25

and they justify it this way

62:27

but it kind of makes god a luddite

62:30

right like like as if he hasn't adapted

62:33

to the circumstances

62:34

as if he doesn't recognize that this is

62:36

going on or he he lacks

62:38

omniscience or lacks omni benevolence

62:42

because he allows it to continue over

62:44

and over and over again it's a profound

62:46

problem of evil that you're pushing

62:47

yourself into by affirming this

62:50

okay here's here's my perspective on you

62:53

guys

62:54

talking about this in the last couple of

62:55

minutes it seems and i i'm guessing you

62:58

don't think

62:59

you wouldn't agree that this is a

63:00

cynical way of looking at the world but

63:02

it sounds cynical to me

63:03

um it sounds like your everything that

63:06

you see needs to be broken down and

63:08

torn apart to see if it's true which as

63:11

as i say that that's healthy that sounds

63:12

that sounds reasonable

63:13

but it also sounds like you could easily

63:16

be given as philosophers to cynicism

63:19

is that just a comfortable place for you

63:21

or do you not see it as cynicism do you

63:23

see it as logic and reasonable

63:25

kyle you wanna go well cynicism is named

63:28

after a school of philosophy that nick

63:29

probably knows more about than i do

63:31

i'm sure you're going to hear all about

63:32

that in a second i'm okay being

63:35

a little bit cynical i guess in this in

63:37

the sense of

63:38

if if by cynical you just mean

63:40

suspicious

63:42

then you can't you can't be a

63:44

philosopher and maybe even known as an

63:46

honest person and not be a little bit

63:48

suspicious

63:49

and if you mean more more than that then

63:51

i'm not sure what you mean by

63:53

yes okay so let's say suspicious is a

63:54

good word suspicious

63:56

overly suspicious could be a thing or

63:58

where does

63:59

where does the hope hopeful and

64:01

suspicious

64:02

posture where's the healthy balance

64:05

there would you say then

64:06

yeah so good question so i would see the

64:09

balance between

64:10

hope and something like suspicion maybe

64:12

that's not the best word but let's go

64:14

with it

64:14

as similar to the balance between faith

64:17

and doubt

64:18

so you cannot have the one unless you

64:21

have the other

64:22

it is impossible to have faith without

64:24

some doubt otherwise it would just be

64:26

belief or knowledge or certainty or

64:28

something like that

64:29

similarly it would be impossible for me

64:30

to have hope in anything if i wasn't

64:32

also

64:33

questioning if i wasn't also suspicious

64:35

about it either i have certainty about

64:37

it or i don't and if i don't then i

64:39

either view it as something good

64:41

or i don't and if i do then i hope for

64:43

it

64:44

i want it to be the case even if my

64:47

evidence suggests that it's not

64:50

and and that that kind of describes my

64:51

relationship to a lot of core christian

64:54

doctrines at this point in my life my

64:56

evidence strongly suggests to me

64:58

that resurrection is metaphysically

65:00

impossible

65:01

that it's actually a kind of nonsense

65:04

but

65:04

man i hope for it i'm suspicious

65:08

of it but i hope that it is true and i

65:10

think that's a reasonable position to

65:11

hold

65:12

and i also think it's an unavoidable

65:13

position to hold for an honest

65:15

person yeah i i think part of this is

65:19

and this this again this goes beyond

65:21

christianity this is this is not

65:22

something that's

65:23

specific to religious people people are

65:26

invested

65:28

in pretending that they know things

65:32

and there's very little reason to do

65:36

that when you don't know something right

65:38

it's a it's a dishonest activity

65:41

to puff your chest and pretend you have

65:44

knowledge where you don't

65:46

you can act without knowledge in fact we

65:48

do all the time

65:49

you do things because you want to you do

65:52

things because you hoped

65:53

to you do things because you're

65:55

intrigued by something or

65:57

curious right you don't have to know to

66:00

to act to habituate yourself to live

66:04

the danger of the kinds of things that

66:05

you're talking about is that people

66:09

are pretending like they have a certain

66:11

kind of epistemic

66:12

access to the truth that they don't and

66:15

i know that they don't

66:16

because if they did have epidemic access

66:19

to that they would be able to tell me

66:20

the method by which they gained that

66:22

epidemic access

66:23

certainty means not just knowing

66:26

but knowing that you know and knowing

66:29

how you

66:30

and so many people pretend oh i've

66:32

reached certainty why well because i've

66:34

had a religious experience

66:35

or every certainty why because i've been

66:36

convinced of this argument or i

66:39

there are ways to convince yourself that

66:42

you've reached

66:43

a certain kind of level of certainty but

66:45

you haven't actually

66:46

examined it the whole way down and

66:49

pretending like you have

66:50

is lying right by the way this is a

66:53

controversial claim that i

66:54

i'm making here i also make it in my

66:56

research this is

66:58

my entire point the entire point of my

67:00

dissertation and

67:01

the conversion of it into a book that

67:03

i'm i'm trying to make

67:04

is that there is no such thing as a

67:06

noble lie

67:08

there is no such thing as a lie that is

67:10

for someone's benefit politically

67:12

and the reason why is the only way you

67:14

can construct a noble lie

67:15

the only way you can construct an image

67:17

for someone's sake

67:18

that is noble presented not as an image

67:21

but as the truth as it is

67:23

is if you have certainty that justifies

67:26

this nobility

67:28

because if not you're gambling with

67:29

someone else's life

67:31

and so if if you were to ask me the

67:34

question in a different way

67:36

are you intrigued by the idea of

67:39

mystical experience

67:41

yeah of course it's fascinating

67:44

i i think it's interesting uh i i think

67:47

i'm probably more in kind of a william

67:49

james camp now than

67:50

than i was in my younger life where

67:52

where i'm really fascinated by it but

67:54

but i'm not necessarily

67:56

even close to endorsing it but like i

67:58

like the idea

68:00

i like it quite a bit it's aesthetically

68:02

very pleasing to me i

68:03

have these problems when it comes to the

68:05

theology behind it and all these kinds

68:06

of things

68:07

but but yeah it's intriguing but but

68:09

that's not what people want to claim

68:11

not that it's intriguing or that it had

68:14

good

68:14

practical ramifications for their lives

68:17

no no no

68:18

god says

68:21

the lord speaks they put on this

68:24

air of authority that they now have a

68:27

certain kind of privilege

68:28

access to the truth and i mean frankly

68:31

if we're going to

68:31

talk about in the christian context if

68:34

we're reading the old testament the

68:36

the response to this every single time

68:37

someone's wrong is that they get stoned

68:40

right the the scriptures recognize the

68:43

danger of the idea of someone puffing

68:45

themselves up and presenting themselves

68:46

as an authority to the mouth of god

68:49

and yet the charismatic movement

68:50

movement doesn't engage with the

68:52

negative side of things right they

68:54

most most often they engage with the

68:55

prosperity gospel side of things

68:58

right always be skeptical of someone

69:00

that's selling you something sweet

69:03

this is this is a key philosophical

69:05

principle so so the person that goes to

69:07

the doctor

69:08

and the doctor says hey you need to lose

69:10

50 pounds

69:11

i'm sorry this is not a healthy weight

69:13

for you you are going to have problems

69:15

unless you lose this weight well that's

69:18

an uncomfortable thing to believe and

69:20

they say i don't like that doctor

69:22

i like the other person that's telling

69:25

me that i'm

69:26

okay at exactly this weight why because

69:28

it's it's more comfortable

69:30

it's more satisfying and so you could

69:33

say

69:33

man those doctors they're so

69:37

mean they're so skeptical

69:41

they're saying just because i'm at high

69:43

risk of a heart attack or whatever it

69:45

happens to be

69:46

they're saying i need to change my

69:47

entire life well i don't want to change

69:49

my entire life

69:50

and right there you've inverted the

69:52

epistemology and you've

69:53

made once more important than knowledge

69:57

which is okay if you're doing it

70:00

knowingly

70:01

if you're saying i don't have reason to

70:03

believe this thing fully

70:05

right i don't have certainty about this

70:06

thing but i like it and i'm going to do

70:08

it that's a choice

70:10

but if you pretend that you have

70:12

knowledge and it's just the knowledge of

70:13

it that's driving you

70:14

you're being dishonest with yourself and

70:15

with others

70:17

and so so part of the problem with all

70:19

of this is that

70:23

people that present images or

70:26

accidents or laws or whatever it happens

70:30

to be

70:31

out of some kind of method that isn't

70:33

grounded in anything that they can share

70:35

with other people

70:37

are saying just trust me

70:44

i'm making a cringy face for those those

70:46

of you that are at home

70:47

i traditionally

70:50

people that say just trust me rather

70:53

than your own reason

70:54

don't do good things in the world yes

70:56

yep and

70:58

let me just say it to bookend this this

71:00

whole little section

71:01

for for the pastor in philosophy

71:03

community

71:04

that's listening and maybe bent on more

71:07

of the religious end

71:08

that's probably me i'm doing what you're

71:11

doing which is

71:12

having all sorts of biblical quotes that

71:14

refute what these guys are saying in

71:15

some way shape or form or make ourselves

71:17

feel better about it whether it's

71:19

test the prophets test the prophecies at

71:21

all time and blah blah there's all sorts

71:23

of scriptures that all of us are

71:24

thinking of right now that could we

71:25

could actually sling back at these guys

71:26

and say you know we could get into a

71:28

debate

71:29

i want to encourage you to just turn

71:31

that down

71:32

and listen this is what i'm trying to do

71:35

i don't

71:36

agree with every single thing that's

71:37

been said in the last 15 minutes but i

71:40

sure do respect where these guys are

71:42

coming from

71:42

and i sure do want to hold my faith

71:45

in a place where i can i can receive

71:48

some criticism and i can receive some

71:49

challenges

71:50

and just still breathe in and out and

71:52

have the world be okay

71:54

and actually have that be a healthy

71:55

thing that we're actually

71:57

submitting our faith submitting our

71:59

beliefs submitting what we think is true

72:02

to the light of day and that's okay

72:05

basically what i'm hearing from you what

72:08

i'm taking away

72:09

is pastors need a whole lot more

72:11

humility

72:12

pastors need a whole lot more honesty so

72:15

i would 100

72:16

agree with you on that and you're

72:17

actually then when you do that when you

72:19

come from a place of epistemological

72:20

humility

72:21

you're building a culture that is

72:24

actually a little bit

72:25

quite a bit more mature and quite a bit

72:28

more

72:28

i don't think you're going to have all

72:29

the faith crises that you see in the

72:31

church right now when you have a little

72:32

bit

72:32

of epistemological humility and you hold

72:35

your faith with open hands knowing that

72:37

doubts

72:37

and uncertainty is just part of the

72:39

thing because we're operating in

72:41

faith not certainty and i would also say

72:44

this the word pastor you know our

72:46

podcast is called pastor and philosopher

72:47

walking to a bar

72:48

but i think actually i think the word

72:49

pastor is way

72:52

too far stretched in our church world

72:55

that like for me being i'm not a very

72:57

good pastor to be honest with you and i

72:58

don't even look at my

72:59

if i could change my title i would i

73:01

don't see myself as a pastor

73:02

because i see pastors as shepherds of

73:04

people's souls who

73:06

the people who are uniquely equipped or

73:08

have that in them to walk with people

73:10

and care for their souls and to hear

73:12

about

73:12

all of their world that's pastoral to me

73:15

that's not so much me

73:16

i'm more of a church leader i'm more of

73:18

a preacher i'm more of

73:20

a a leader and i leave the pastoring to

73:23

people who are really good at that

73:24

around us but we take

73:26

all of those things and we lump them

73:28

into this one role this one title called

73:29

pastor and

73:30

give that man usually all the power and

73:33

all the authority

73:34

and what he says goes and that's a super

73:36

unhealthy dynamic so

73:38

i'm i'm with you nick hey i know the the

73:41

book is still

73:42

in progress but is there a way that

73:43

people can follow i didn't see on

73:44

twitter or anything like that but is

73:46

there is there a way that we could

73:48

have have people aware of when no

73:52

no i you i have a website i uh i

73:55

so so so i am very much of the mindset

73:58

that the uh that the artists that create

74:01

work and then burn it immediately

74:02

afterward are

74:03

are right um

74:06

like i i don't have anything to promote

74:08

nor am i interested in promoting

74:10

uh i

74:16

so you don't want me to put your website

74:18

in the show notes no

74:20

no of course not because then people

74:21

will go to my website my website

74:23

has one function for listeners

74:26

that i will absolutely not put nicholas

74:28

oshman's

74:29

website in the show notes no really

74:31

really do not see

74:32

that m-a-m

74:37

self-promotion is such an odd thing to

74:38

me and and i

74:40

i would quite like to die in obscurity

74:43

frankly like the idea of doing a podcast

74:45

is

74:46

is something that i would only do as as

74:48

a deep

74:49

obligation i have to my friend

74:53

i was shocked you said yes i

74:56

uh if you would have sent me the

74:57

questions first and especially if it

74:59

would have been the questions

75:00

about me just conjecturing about

75:02

charisma for

75:04

45 minutes um then

75:07

i would not have but

75:10

here's what it is well i'm i'm glad that

75:13

i can make you uncomfortable you are

75:14

very gracious with me nick

75:16

i appreciate it so what i will say is uh

75:18

i hope i wasn't uh

75:19

too frustrating and and one of the

75:21

things i told kyle was and

75:23

everything i've seen evidenced obviously

75:24

i don't know you well randy but

75:26

the title isn't the thing that matters

75:28

for you and so

75:29

that i'm critical of the structure i'm

75:31

even critical of you

75:32

in the structure because it's the

75:33

structure itself that i'm critical of i

75:35

don't want you to take that

75:36

uh as me being critical of you and your

75:39

activities

75:40

which i appreciate that is something

75:41

really worthwhile i appreciate it elliot

75:43

i don't know you so i

75:45

you seem like a good sound designer

75:46

don't don't uh do don't put any nice

75:48

music behind anything i say or they say

75:51

except the moment when i am uh

75:54

pretending to be saying something

75:56

meaningful then you can really lay it on

75:58

it's happening right now it's it's

75:59

already too late

76:02

nick nick really thanks for thanks for

76:05

being here it's my pleasure thank you

76:18

guys

76:22

thanks for spending this time with us we

76:24

really hope that you're enjoying these

76:25

conversations as much as we are

76:28

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76:30

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76:32

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76:34

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76:35

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76:37

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76:38

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76:39

this has been a pastor and a philosopher

76:42

walk into a bar