Can Your Life Be Meaningful Without God? | Dave Rubin & John Lennox | SPIRITUALITY | Rubin Report

Posted By on January 3, 2020

– Look what they’re
offering us now? Their answer is, “Okay we’ve
removed God from the equation and what do we get?” We get government. And they now pray
basically to government. (upbeat music) (audience applauding) – Wow, thank you very much. That is a great welcome. Thank you so much. Well welcome tonight’s
“Big Conversation,” filmed live here in
Costa Mesa, California. “The Big Conversation”
is produced by Premier Christian
Radio in partnership with the Templeton
Religion Trust and it’s a series
of video discussions between thinkers across
the religious spectrum, looking at some of the
biggest questions in life. Who are we? What’s it all about? Looking at science,
faith, philosophy, what it means to be human. I’m delighted to
say that tonight we’re going to be sitting down
and hearing from two people I’ve really been looking forward to bringing into
conversation together. We’re gonna be looking at
the question of is God dead? It’s a conversation on faith,
culture and the modern world. Where are the next
generation turning to in an increasingly
post-Christian society? “Is God dead,” as
Nietzsche once declared? Or is there space for a
renaissance of religious belief in the modern world? John Lennox, who is here on my
left, is emeritus professor. Yeah give him a
round of applause. (audience applauding)
(audience cheering) Just to give a brief info, John is emeritus
professor of mathematics and the philosophy of
science at Oxford University. He’s a leading Christian thinker and he’s engaged many of the world’s leading
atheist voices as well. His latest book is called, “Can Science
Explain Everything?” And it is available
as well after. Dave Rubin is my other guest. Let’s have a round
of applause for Dave. (audience applauding) Now Dave hosts the
“Rubin Report.” It’s an online talk show that reaches millions
of people every week. Dave is gonna be telling us
about his religious background and where he’s at now. So I won’t sort of
label him at this point but he regularly
hosts conversations with leading cultural and
religious thinkers on his show. So I’m really looking forward to and he’s going to be bringing
to this conversation today. He has a new book out it’s
available for pre-order, “Don’t Burn This
Book,” is the title. (audience laughing) Thinking for yourself
in an age of unreason. So I do recommend
you go and get that if you can on pre-order as well. So one more time just
please give a warm round of applause to my guests,
John Lennox and Dave Rubin. (audience applauding)
(audience cheering) Well, welcome gentlemen
both tonight’s discussion. I’m really looking forward to what we’re gonna
be covering tonight because I’ve had you on
the show before, John, and very often I’ve
put you in conversation with maybe a quite firm atheist, someone like a Dawkins or
an Atkins or a Michael Ruse. But I think tonight’s gonna
be a little bit different because I’m really
looking forward to hearing your story, Dave. We haven’t met before, in fact,
tonight was the first time but I’ve watched your stuff and
I’ve seen some of the people that you’ve increasingly
been talking to and being influenced yourself and it’ll be fascinating
to hear where you’re at now in terms of both the cultural and religious aspects
of your worldview. – Well, I’ve never had
anyone give me an intro and say we’ll label him later. (audience laughing) So I’m feeling really
undue pressure right now and I’m the only
one here from SoCal, so let’s see what happens. – Well, whatever
those labels may be, I’m really looking forward to what you’re gonna
bring to us tonight. Perhaps we’ll start with
you first of all, Dave. Tell us a little bit about
who you are, growing up. I know that you came from
a pretty religious family. So do you want to tell
a little bit about that and where you found
yourself as you grew up and as regards sort
of faith and so on. – Sure, first off
I just want to say what a pleasure
it is to be here. You know, I’m usually on the
other side of the interview and the reason I’m particularly
excited about tonight is that I don’t talk about
this sort of thing from a personal
perspective that often. You know I’ve sat down
with tons of atheists, Sam Harris and Michael Shermer and Peter Boghossian
and that whole crew. And I’ve talked to
plenty of people of faith like Bishop Aaron
and Rabbi Wolpe and plenty of other
people that come from different
political perspectives and personal perspectives. And I always find that
I go into each interview with no agenda other than
hearing their thoughts and seeing how that shakes
out around my worldview. That being said, I’m
excited to be here because I can sort of
tell you a little bit more about where I come from
and sort of where I’m at. So I grew up in a conservative
Jewish household in New York. We kept kosher. We did Shabbat on Friday
nights, all the big holidays, but there was a strong
secular belief within that. And as I was telling
you sort of backstage, you know there’s an interesting
piece related to Judaism that I think is a little
different than other religions in that the ethnic tie to
it, at least in a modern way, is for most Jews more important than the religious nature
of it, specifically. Let’s say beliefs specifically. Because John, as we
were talking about, there are many, many Jews, especially in sciences
and in mathematics, that aren’t believers per se but have a real
cultural affinity and I would say that
that’s sort of where I’m at or at least where I’ve been
over the last couple years. I actually am now in
the last few years and this has to do a
lot with being on tour with Jordan Peterson for a year. Jordan and I did about 110
stops in one calendar year in about 20 countries. It was pretty amazing. And when you spend that
kind of time listening to a true innovative thinker, I mean truly the
guy that I think is the world’s most important
public philosopher, let’s say. You know, talking about
his biblical lectures and talking about his
perspective on life and that there has to be
a bedrock of something that is real and
true outside of us and then how he relates that
through the biblical stories. it moved me, it moved me
over the course of the year that we did this together. So I would say I’m secular
basically in my life but I definitely in the
last year have found that there has to be
something outside of us. The rest of this makes no sense. I mean the part, very
briefly, the part that you know I’m really known
for is the political part and that I was lefty and the
difference between leftism. – [Justin] You kind of
had a political conversion of sorts, yeah.
– I had, right. So I’m usually much
more comfortable talking about my political conversion
than a religious one. But I would say this. That consistent with me talking about sort of what’s happened
with the postmodern left with the progressives
and we see this now where there’s sort of nothing
that’s empirically true and any given day
you can feel anything about any particular topic,
there’s a reason for that. And the reason is they’ve
disconnected everything. Their whole worldview
is disconnected to anything that
came before them so that that could be God
or a religious set of ideas or something like that. So I’m really, really
fascinated by that at the moment and it’s changing
how I live my life. I just did, it was Yom Kippur, which is the holiest
day in Judaism. I was at a service that
was actually at a church in Pasadena in Los Angeles
hosted by Dennis Prager that I’m sure many of
you guys know about, Dennis Prager, who
many of you know. So I’m sort of, I
would say I’m in it the way you guys are all in it, trying to find some
truth in the madness. – I’ll be interested
to tease that out a little more in due course. I mean one thing I did notice is I have seen just watching
some of your videos that there definitely
been a progression in your thinking on this. And probably if you
go back a few years, I think you had said, along the lines of
you probably thought of yourself as an atheist. But evidently that’s not
quite the case anymore. – Well I had a bunch of
atheists, high-profile atheists, on the show in a row. Starting with Sam Harris, who I admire and he’s
a good friend of mine and Michael Shermer
and Peter Boghossian. And I really love the
intellectual side of that. I really, really do love it and that’s not at the exclusion
of anything else actually. But what I found was that I had had a series
of atheists on in a row and then people online
just kept saying that I was an atheist. – Right. – And then I sort of just
said it one day without, it didn’t mean anything to me
sort of one way or another. It was almost, it
just sort of came, it just sort of came
out of my mouth one day. And then two years ago, you know I do this
off-the-grid August thing where I literally lock
my phone in a safe and I don’t look at
any news or television. I am completely offline
and I really disappear and I try to let my brain reset. And two years ago when I did it, one of the thoughts that
I kept having sort of in my peace was that
I’m not an atheist. And I came back and I said
it in a very casual way. And I just did this live stream where I just sort of
said it very flippantly that I just don’t
like the word atheist, it doesn’t fit what I believe. I do believe in something else even if I can’t completely
articulate what it is. I think Jordan has
gone a long way to articulating the type
of thing that I believe in. And I got a lot of
hate for that one because you know the atheists, they don’t like a
converted person either. So, you gotta watch
out for that too. So you know we all
have our own trappings. But what I’m most interested
in is talking to people from all walks of
life and figuring out what the common stuff is. And what I like to frame
that around is a conversation about freedom and how
do we limit government so we can all believe
what we want to believe and think what we want to think and be part of a society
that’s pluralistic and decent for all of us. – John, let’s have a bit
of an introduction to you for those who aren’t
familiar with you Tell us about your own faith
journey up to this point. You now obviously
speak to many people all over the world
about Christianity. But where did it
all begin for you? – It began for me, and
let me say as well, how delighted I am to
be back in Costa Mesa and I’ve enjoyed in the
past some marvelous shows with Justin and
I’m just fascinated by what’s gonna happen in
the conversation tonight. But I grew up in
Northern Ireland which isn’t always the best
start to discuss religion because it was a
divided community and there was a lot of
terrorism that was connected in a very complex
way to Christianity of both versions,
Protestant and Catholic. But the important thing was that my parents
were very unusual for that kind of
cultural context. They were Christian,
convinced Christians, but they weren’t sectarian
and that was very unusual. My father had a small business. We lived in a small
town, 15,000 or so and he tried to employ people from both sides
of the community. Now why did he do that? I once asked him. I said, “Dad, it’s so risky.” And he was bombed
for doing this. My brother nearly lost his life. And he said, “Look,” he said, “I believe that every person, “whatever they believe,
is of infinite value “because they’re made
in the image of God, “going back to the
Hebrew Scriptures “and therefore I will employ
across the community.” And that has stuck with me. And it’s been very important
when you’re discussing, as I often do, with people
that do not share my worldview, that always comes to my mind. Here’s a person in front of me, and it relates to what you
were saying about freedom. I would connect
with freedom value that here’s something
outside of my parents that gave every human
being dignity and value. That was point number one. The second thing was that
they allowed me to think. Now Northern Ireland’s
often associated with religious bigotry,
extreme fundamentalism, all this kind of thing. And my parents were
not highly educated but they really gave me space. So my first encounter
with Christianity was not mind closing, it
was mind expanding. And I remember when
I was about 13, my father came along, he says, “Here’s a book
you need to read.” It was Marx’s “Das Kapital.” I said, “Dad, have you read it?” He said, “No.” (audience laughing) “So why should I read it?” “You need to know what
other people think.” I never forget that. It was, set a compass bearing. The third point is their
Christianity was credible, morally credible, they actually
lived what they believed. So in that sense I had a
hugely privileged background that didn’t compress me into
a narrow-minded bigoted person and it was noticeable when
I went to Cambridge in 1962. Not 1862, I know I look old. (audience laughing) But when I went to
Cambridge in 1962, many of my contemporaries
from Ireland, the moment they got
out of the country that was the end
of any Christianity because they’d never
made it their own. They’d never thought about it. But I’d been encouraged
to think about. And that sort of set
the compass bearings. There’s one further point
that really shaped my life. I was challenged in
Cambridge, very early on, by student at table at night. And he said, asked, “Do
you believe in God?” And then he said, “Oh
sorry, sorry, sorry. “I shouldn’t have asked
you that, you’re Irish. (audience laughing) “All you Irish believe in
God and you fight about it.” And I’d heard that many times
but somehow it was different. And I thought,
gosh yes, you know, I’ve never really met atheists. You know in Ireland
people divided the Protestant atheist
and Catholic atheists. But they’re not
really real atheists. So I thought, what I’m going
to do is to start today and befriend people, befriend
them that’s important, that do not share my worldview. And I’ve spent my
whole life doing it. So that really sets
the scene I think. – So Nietzsche famously
declared, “God is dead.” Now he may have been a
bit premature in that but maybe he’s
finally, you know, his thoughts are coming
true in 21st century West because we are living in an increasingly
post-Christian age, people say. Increasingly the
number of people who tick the census
box that says none, no religious affiliation
is going up and so on. I mean you’re engaging with
this kind of demographic all the time on your show, Dave. What’s your feeling? Do you do feel like people are
genuinely less religious now? To what extent are
some of those friends that you made early
on in your show, people like Sam Harris and another well-known
atheists responsible for people moving away
from the religious bearings that they once had? – So obviously I don’t
want to speak for Sam or any of those guys. What I have found
in the conversations that I’ve had with non-believers
and with believers is that at a micro level
you can be a non-believer and be absolutely moral
and decent and good and a productive member of
society and all of those things as I believe those couple
people that I mentioned are. What I think is
becoming the problem and I think this was really where Jordan Peterson
hit on something is that societies can’t
organize around that. That it can sort
of work for a while and there’s you know most of
the things that I believe in and I talk about the
individual all the time and why I believe that
classical liberalism is the best sort of framework
for a political system that we should have. They almost can’t exist without
that underlying bedrock. And so your question
sort of gets to what I was saying earlier which is that the reason
that the secular world feels so out of control right
now, I mean just yesterday, I’m sure some of you
guys saw that CNN did this quality Town
Hall last night. And it was like you
know everyone has to mention their gender pronouns and you have to admit that
there are more than two genders and all of these things that we know these
conversations are not being had. There are settled
science debates that went on for a long time
that we know what facts are and yet we find because this
has now become untethered to anything other
than how you feel that now everything
is up for grabs. And that’s why it
sort of feels like that there’s something sort
of godless happening here or something like that. Now trust me that
is a hard thing for someone like me to say. As someone that really my
beliefs really are rooted in the Enlightenment and
the Enlightenment thinkers and this a real
debate amongst people who talk about
the Enlightenment. Could they have done it, could
they have reformed religions and burst liberalism in
a positive way forward without some religious
belief behind it? I don’t know the
answer to that exactly, I don’t know that we’ll ever
really know the answer to that. But I would say that
the reason I first said that I’m happy to be here
with you guys is that in the last year where now
I’ve virtually only get invited to events by conservative groups or libertarian groups for sure but groups on the
right let’s say but I often get
invited to churches. I often get invited
to places of faith. Now I know we can
go through a litany of political disagreements
that we may or may not have and I absolutely
know that everyone in this room would
be happy to do that and there would be
nobody fighting, there would be nobody screaming, we could explore those
ideas as far as we can and then we would
put it down in front and either agree to disagree or maybe we’d move each
other one way or another and that would be wonderful. And I don’t think
that’s a coincidence. I don’t think it’s a
coincidence that you guys here and that generally believers
right now are more tolerant. They are, it’s just the reality. The people, yeah, give
yourselves a round of applause. (audience applauding) I mean that really is true. Who are the most intolerant
people in society right now? It’s the people that are
constantly telling you how tolerant they are. (audience laughing) That’s the irony. It’s the people that tell
you you’re a bunch of racists and bigots and homophobes
and the rest of it. And that’s the real bizarre flip that we have
happening in society. And I think that is
linked to either, however you want to phrase it, either a post-Christian world or a post Judeo-Christian
world or a postmodern world, however you want to define that. – I mean to what
extent do you agree with Dave’s analysis
there of what’s going on especially I suppose
at that academic level and in terms of the kind
of conversations now that you are and aren’t
allowed to have almost when it comes to these issues? – Well, I think it’s a
pretty accurate analysis and that’s what I
experienced right there. I’m always interested in
the phrase “God’s dead,” because it seems to
assume he was alive once. (audience laughing) And of course I hear Richard
Dawkins kind of saying which God and I think that’s
a question worth addressing because the God
that I believe in that is the God of
the Bible is eternal and that raises problems
for the deadness doesn’t it? – [Justin] Sure. – But there’s a sense in which Nietzsche was
a very accurate prophet and what to my mind
is very important with him was that he could see where many contemporary
atheists cannot see that if you abolish God, you wake the ground
under any solidity on which you can base on
morality, human dignity, freedom, all those values. He saw that connection
and he said, if you didn’t bring God you’ve
no right in the end to value. So that you notice where
the values are real out in our society they’re
mostly values that go back to the Judeo-Christian
tradition. And I think, therefore, to bring that back
into the discussion. I like the idea and I think
it’s very important start where there’s something more, there’s something outside of us. That’s the start,
it seems to me, of coming back to something around which society
can be organized because otherwise
everything is subjective. And you mentioned postmodern. And it amuses me that
so many, but it’s sad, that so many of these
people will tell you as an absolute truth
that there is no truth. Now that’s just sheer nonsense. (audience laughing) – [Justin] Yeah because it’s
a contradiction in terms. – Yes. – I mean you you obviously spend quite a lot of time
speaking and especially to actually a lot
of young people. – Yes, I do. – Many of the
events you do, John. Do you find that there’s a kind
of people are looking again for a source of meaning,
for something to hold onto? – Absolutely, I
think that, well we, it’s country-specific because
there are parts of the world, of course and where, for
example Christianity, is growing like wildfire. But in the UK and in the U.S. I find that young
people find the world that is presented
to them by people like the old New Atheists or
the naturalistic philosophy is too small to live in. It doesn’t give them any
kind of solid foundation. So they’re looking again. And just what, last week, I spoke to Central
Hall Westminster, 1,500 young people starting
at the age of 13 to 18. Absolutely fascinating
spending a whole day thinking about these big ideas. That I find
enormously encouraging when young folks start
asking these questions. And I find a huge
response around the world. But it’s self
selecting, you know, it’s very difficult for me to give a global
and fair assessment. – I mean, it strikes me, Dave, that you did this 100 city tour with Jordan Peterson
and it strikes me that the crowds that have
flocked to hear him talk about meaning in a meaningful
way have been quite young. The kind of crowd that you kind
of might have expected more to be turning out to
hear the Sam Harris’s and the Christopher Hitchens
and Richard Dawkins and so on. What’s changed? Why, in a sense, is the
conversation moved on from well we all
know God’s dead to. well what’s gonna
happen next, I suppose? – Well it’s really interesting because if you were
paying attention to the media around
Jordan during the year the implication somehow or
the condemnation I should say, from the media was
that somehow this was for young straight white men. That he’s only talking
to straight white men as if inherently that’s
somehow an evil thing, right? So that was the idea that
somehow he’s really broken that straight white men are
showing up to his events and that’s somehow
inherently evil. Now of course that’s
absurd if, let’s say, he was talking to all
straight young white men, if he happened to have been
giving them something positive that could put a little
order in their life away from the chaos
as he would put it that would actually
be a wonderful thing. Of course the irony is that
actually wasn’t even true at all because the crowds were
wonderfully diverse and I usually thought they
were about 60/40 male to female and age range all over
the place and all that. But to answer your
question specifically, I think that we got, as politics and the media and social media and the fact
that we’re all walking around with a phone in our pocket
that has the world’s knowledge and you can connect
with somebody literally
across the world in a split second, I
think we have no idea how this information
orgy basically, I think we have no idea how
it’s affecting our brains, our ability to think
clearly about things. It’s doing wondrous
things, right? We’re all here because of
this, this a podcast, right? We’re disseminating this
through the digital world, this is incredible but it
also has destabilized sort of basic beliefs and I
think then Jordan stepped in and said we have to be able to
get some meaning out of this. So that’s why he
wrote “12 Rules.” He thought these are 12
rules in a modern sense. He wasn’t handing down
the Ten Commandments again but he was saying
in a modern sense these are 12 things you can do. Stand up straight with
your shoulder back, with your shoulders
back, clean your room, clean your room before
you clean the world. These are basic things
where now we have people that want to fix
the world constantly that can’t fix themselves. They’re doing it backwards. But just very briefly
on the underpinning of some sort of belief
that can lead to freedom and that’s what sort of what I was talking about
about the Enlightenment. Think about, you know, the founding documents
of this country I think are the greatest
man written documents, let’s say, political
documents at least. And what did the Founders say? They said these are God-given
rights, they’re self-evident. We did not give
you these rights, the right of freedom and
of free speech all things. We can protect these things
but we didn’t give them to you because they came
from somewhere else. That is so deeply important and in many ways very
unique to America and that’s why there’s
such a bizarre assault on freedom of speech right now and actually almost everything
in the Bill of Rights and it comes mostly
from the secular world. That is a really sad twist that truly I would not have
expected a couple years ago even as someone that
saw this coming. I mean five years ago I
was waving me the flag, going guys there’s something
happening here on the Left, this progressive
thing, this no good. But even, it’s gotten so crazy, that I’m still a little
surprised myself. – To some extent
it’s almost as though that the meaning crisis has
almost created this vacuum and people are finding all
kinds of crazy things to do. – Oh yeah, they’re looking
anywhere you can look, you can play video
games all day, you can do whatever it
is to fill up that hole if it’s an existential hole or a hole in belief
or whatever it is. But there’s a lot of
ways to fill that hole. I think Jordan, Jordan in my
opinion has given the best set of beliefs that take from
a religious tradition and blend what I would say
our enlightenment values or basically secular values,
Judeo-Christian values and he’s blended them in
the most effective way. – I mean, as we’re
on the subject, talking about Jordan Peterson, I know that you’re
somewhat familiar with some of what he’s
been doing as well, John. What’s your take on what
he’s put his finger on, that obviously so many
people are responding to, and, yeah, well how does
it relate in your view to the Christian
faith that you hold. – I think people are
longing for sense. And you mentioned connectedness. That has almost replaced meaning but it’s not real connectedness. And I was reading a book on artificial
intelligence just recently and it was a warning that people will die if they’re not connected
to the internet because all the meaning
is being placed there. I mean, think what
Jordan Peterson is doing is putting a nuclear bomb
in the middle of that and saying this not good enough. You’ve got to get
outside of that. And you’re right it
is rewiring brains. The psychologists tell us it’s
messing people’s brains up, especially if they try and
use two machines at once. And therefore I just think
that there’s an underlying, and from where I sit,
people are looking for this because although they
often don’t believe it or even have never heard of it, they are made in
the image of God. They’re beings who’ve got
eternity in their hearts. And a kind of
materialist universe without meaning just
won’t satisfy them because they’re actually
made for something bigger. And CS Lewis put it years ago, “If you find a lie in you that’s
not satisfied in this world “maybe there is another world “in which it could
be satisfied.” And I’m gonna play that
to the world of ideas. So I really think
he’s hit a nerve. – And interestingly
if you read his book, “12 Rules For Life,” and he’s done a number of lectures.
– Yes, I have. – Is he’s drawing a
great deal on the Bible especially the Old Testament. – Oh, sure, he is,
especially the Old Testament. And it has intrigued me that he has concentrated
his lectures of the Bible on
the Old Testament. Now that to me
resonates completely because I, as a Christian,
have been for years trying to communicate to people
that they’ve got to begin to take the Jewish
Scriptures seriously because there you’ve
got the foundation, the foundation story and people are looking for
a story that’s big enough to fit their lives into
and there’s the start of the big story, creation, human beings made
in the image of God and what that means
for their dignity and their freedom
and everything else. If we just get that one fact. I remember in Siberia where
I used to go quite a bit and I gave the first lecture
in 75 years on these issues in the University
of Novosibirsk. And I made the point, I said, “Just think of
the one statement. “Human beings made
in the image of God.” And I said, “If I believed
that they wouldn’t murder one “of you let alone the 100
million that Stalin did.” And it absolutely
erupted the place. Of course they’d
never heard it before. It was totally new to them. And I think our society
needs to hear these truths. And Jordan Peterson is
moving into that area because he’s actually
going back to the book and not being ashamed of it. And more power to him, I say. – Yeah, and just very briefly, just from being on
tour with Jordan, I told you this backstage but I never saw the guy
break one of the 12 rules. I mean try to imagine
how chaotic his life was in the course of this,
becoming a massive star, traveling all over the
world, the book sales, the celebrity, the entire thing, and he never broke
one of those 12 rules. Just 20 seconds we
were at a dinner party at Douglas Murray’s house
with Maajid Nawaz and Jordan, you may know those guys. And one of the rules is
that if you see a pet, if you see a cat in the
street you should pet it. And Douglas had a
cat and we’re there for about three or four
hours, we’re having dinner, we’re having a great time and I’m looking at
the cat the whole time and I’m looking at Jordan. And I’m going the guy hasn’t
pet the cat, like you know, what am I on tour
with this guy for? Like, is the whole thing
is it, is he a fraud, what’s going on here? I swear to God I was
thinking it the entire time and then as we were
walking out the door, Jordan literally and you can
sort of picture Jordan’s, he’s very tall and he has
long limbs and he’s slender and he basically sat down in
the cat’s bed with the cat and stroked the cat for
a good five minutes. And I thought all right
he’s the real deal. (audience laughing) – We should probably
talk about someone other than Jordan
Peterson tonight. I mean I’d love to key in a
little bit more on your story Dave–
– Sure. – Because it sounds
like you have been on something of a
journey of discovery over the last year or two and obviously very
much influenced by the way Jordan has
brought that alive in his lectures and so on. So I mean you obviously now
are seeing more and more the value of religion. What does that caused
you personally to do in terms of maybe,
is it causing you to rediscover your own
Jewish roots a bit more and the religious
aspect of that? – Well, I would say
there’s two things here as I said at the beginning. There’s sort of just
the cultural affinity and the understanding of
the history of the people that came before me which
you know unfortunately in the case of the
Jews is a pretty brutal often almost unimaginably
horrific history. And I grew up around Holocaust
survivors and I know that. That, though the pain
of your ancestors or whatever the history of your
people is can’t be the thing that defines you going forward. I would say as I’ve sat down with believers and
non-believers alike, I’ve genuinely found, well I guess sort
of this would get to what you were saying, John. I have generally
found the believers not only more welcoming so
like in a situation like this but more open, actually
happier, less dependent on things outside of themselves,
more self-reliant, let’s say. So I don’t think that means I’m going to be religious
per se tomorrow. That being said, as I said, I went to this Yom
Kippur service that
Dennis Prager hosted and I found it
incredibly moving. And Dennis gave a
sermon that, you know, he talked all about
Judeo-Christian values and sort of what’s happening
in our country right now and how it all seems to
be becoming untethered and he used some
religious backing to
give some value there. And I thought well
this is value, this something in
a real world way that I could come
somewhere once a week or build some community
around or friends that would have value. So I can’t say I’m, you
know it’s like if ultimately I can see in your eye
you want me to be like, yeah, yeah, Jesus let it go. (audience laughing) I can see it. There’s a guy back there
waving a Jesus sign at me. All right, I see you. (audience laughing) – [Justin] Well, if you insist. – Yeah, let’s put it this way. I have no problem with
Jesus, I like the guy. You know what I mean? Like the message of Jesus
that all of the things that we’ve talked about
here on stage and backstage, I love these ideas. I think that if my life becomes
a continuing conversation about these things and I can incorporate
the best parts of that to be a better person? Well, I’ll tell you this. I know for a fact, I am
a better person today than I was before I started
this journey with Jordan. That those things, and that
doesn’t mean I prescribe to the Church of
Jordan Peterson, that is just that this guy who has communicated
the bedrock ideas that we’re talking about here, by me listening to
that and hearing that and incorporating some
of that in my life, I’m a better person. So that means something,
you know what I mean? – Any comments on
Dave’s journey so far? – Feel like “This is My life.” (audience laughing) – You’re on–
– all right. – [Justin] The
psychiatrists couch tonight. – Well I think what
struck me, just listening, was you’re being
moved by Yom Kippur. I’m not Jewish by background but I owe everything to a Jew and the history of
the Jews has been enormously important to me. And when you mention
the Holocaust as you do and I’ve been in
Auschwitz many times. And I’ve wept every time. And I have many Jewish
friends who lost everybody and that raises huge, deep,
existential questions. And therefore just thinking
of the big picture, the big biblical
story and I love it because although
there are all sorts of twists and turns
and difficulties, I see the Jewish history,
the history of Israel, the law, the prophets as
pointing towards something big because at the heart of Judaism and I have many Orthodox friends who still expect Hamashiach,
the Messiah, to come. Now the difference is that
I believe he has come. And Yom Kippur means
a huge amount to me because in those
Jewish festivals, and I’ve been at many of them, I see, I don’t want
to put a crudely but a thought model
that has been fulfilled in what Jesus did. And I find Yom Kippur moving because I see in him
the fulfillment of it and here is a person
who actually died
the Day of Atonement. It’s an atonement to deal with. Now here comes the point. That what happens when you start with a creation
story of people made in the image of God,
that’s wonderful. But we know that
something has happened, a bomb has hit the human race. There are huge problems
and we long for a solution. We long for justice. We long for true freedom. We long for true values. And we’ve got to
therefore face the problem of human rebellion against God. Now the sin word is
not popular these days. But it seems to me that
there’s a fulfillment within what Jesus
did and taught, a fulfillment that everything
that Judaism stood for and stands for powerfully. And therefore I feel
a close affinity here, the whole Judeo tradition
is immensely important to me because there I find
these fundamental values. But they raise a big question and it’s the
fulfillment of that, the whole history of
Israel, its sacrifices, the institutions, the prophets
looking forward to Messiah who will deal with the basic
problem of human rebellion. And so that’s clearly
a difference between
me and Judaism. But I wouldn’t underemphasize
the huge contribution that it has made to the rock on which I believe I stand
today, if that makes sense. – Well it does make sense
and if I could quickly, I actually do want to answer your question a little
more specifically now that I had a moment
to think it through. So this year I went, my
parents live in New York still, in the same family
home that I grew up in. And I went to a temple
on Rosh Hashanah and Rosh Hashanah is the
beginning of the new year and it’s about creation. And then basically you
have the week or so between Rosh Hashanah
and Yom Kippur where you’re supposed to
think about your life, the things that you’ve done, the good things
that you’ve done, the bad things you’ve
done, apologize to people if you’ve done, whoever
you may have done harm. And I really did, so
this is the real answer to your question, I
really did that this year. I really did think about it. Probably didn’t fully
get there on Twitter throughout the week. I probably did drop the ball
a couple times on Twitter. But I really was
very aware of that and I tried, you know, just
a few days ago at services, I really was trying
to be cognizant of it doesn’t necessarily
matter if I believe in all of this, all of it fully. But there is value in this, this story that has
been told by my parents and my grandparents and
my great-grandparents going way back when. There must have been something
that kept this thing alive and there must have been
some reason behind it. And for me to pretend
that I’m so enlightened that I have figured out
something that is so brilliant that I could just
set all that aside that it, to me that strikes
me is the worst sort of like egomaniacal hubris
that you could have. So I would be happy to
do this again next year and we can continue
the conversation. The Jesus guy’s still
waving at me back there. (audience laughing) – Good. I’m finding this fascinating because obviously there
has been something of a spiritual awakening. And I think, yeah it
sounds like you’re saying, I’m not quite sure what
that looks like exactly but I want to start
to investigate and live into this
kind of tradition more that obviously your
forebears have done so. I mean there’s a lot
of people out there who would say, “Come on, wake
up, it’s the 21st century. “We all know that these
are just superstitions “and everything else
and you need to get “on the bandwagon of reason.” You’re about reason, Dave. And if we just think straight, work things out with
science and logic then that’s the way
forward, that’s the way you, religion is kind of the way we used to do
things not anymore. – Yeah, well I think the
counter to that would be that everything that
Jordan has talked about, not to bring this
back to Jordan, but the counter of that
is that we’ll look sort of where the secular world is
at where we can’t figure out whether you’re male
or female anymore we have to now debate that. I don’t it’s sort of like
I don’t like using that one because it’s so easy and
it sounds sort of glib and I don’t mean
it to be that way. But that is where
this all leading. If there is nothing outside
of ourselves then, John, as you said everything
else is subjective and we will debate
every little thing depending on how we feel
about it on any given day. And that will lead,
there is there’s a reason why right now the idea of
socialism is suddenly popping up in America which is the
genuinely the worst set of collectivist ideas that
you could possibly ever have that hundreds of millions of people have died
in history under. And it’s popping up
because if you listen to what’s happening on the
Left right now politically because they’ve outsourced God, imagine if one of those
people on stage said that they were a real believer. Imagine if any of them,
maybe Biden could do it, but really the
rest of them can’t. They would never really say
that they’re a believer. Now I don’t know what they are and I wouldn’t want
them to say anything that’s not true to themselves But they would be mocked
by everything mainstream, everything mainstream
would mock them the way that everything mainstream
mocks any Christian that happens, ’cause they’re
usually on the Right, they happen to be conservatives. But look what they’re
offering us now. Their answer is, okay we’ve
removed God from the equation and what do we get,
we get government. And they now pray
basically to government. They think that they
can figure out somehow by sitting in a room with a
bunch of other politicians and bureaucrats, the worst
sort of people that exist, (audience laughing) I didn’t even mean that
to be funny but actually. I mean, but that’s
what they think. They think that they can
rejigger all of humanity in a way that will
be so much better than everything that
came before them. And not only can’t they, they are going to do
the complete reverse. So that, if for no other reason, if for no grand revelation
or something like that, that would be a reason
to be respectful of people that are believers because they can fight that in
a way that secularists can’t. The good liberals
don’t have enough juice in and of themselves, they don’t have enough
juice to fight that. That’s why liberalism
has collapsed in the name of progressivism. – Yeah, I approach
this in two ways. The first one is your comment
that secularism is collapsing. And one can analyze
the defects of atheism where it leads to and
the millions of people that died in the last century. But coming over
to the other side. What you’re saying, Justin,
you see I am a scientist and one of the
fascinating things is that science is a direct legacy of the Judeo-Christian
tradition. You were saying we’re all
scientists now and all this is, no, it is not. And let’s start
absolutely basic. In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth. Hebrew Bible written
millennia ago knew there was a beginning. It was in the early ’60s before scientists
caught up with that. (audience laughing) And the Bible was right. And Dawkins said, “Well
there was a 50/50 chance,” when I debated him. And I said, “At least
the Bible got it right.” But more seriously
than that, you see, the fact that I’m
a mathematician and
interested in science, all right, just
think about that. The fact that mathematics
can describe what goes on in the universe is a
matter of huge wonder. Einstein once said, “The
only incomprehensible thing “about the universe is
that it’s comprehensible.” And he saw the problem. Why does it work? Well it’s not an
incomprehensible thing if you start from the idea
that there’s an intelligent God who made us in His image and
therefore we can do science. And that’s exactly
what the early pioneers of modern science,
starting with Galileo and Kepler and Newton
and so on and so forth. They were all believers in God. And therefore when I hear
that kind of question I’m not remotely ashamed
of being a scientist and a Christian
because I want to argue that it was Christianity
gave me my subject. And CS Lewis put it brilliantly. (audience applauding)
(audience laughing) I’m glad you understood
it in the end. (audience laughing) CS Lewis said, “Men
became scientific “because they expected
law in nature. “And they expected law nature “because they believed
in a lawgiver.” And I think we’re
getting to the stage now where serious atheist
thinkers are beginning to reexamine the
kind of naturalism that reduces everything
to physics and chemistry. And one of them lives in New
York, his name is Thomas Nagel and he’s a brilliant
philosopher. And he says
something’s going wrong because if everything
is reducible to
physics and chemistry then so is your mind but then
why would you trust your mind? In other words atheism taken
to its logical conclusion undermines the very
rationality you need to trust to do science. And I’m not in for
accepting a worldview that undermines the foundations
of any kind of argument or discussion whatsoever. So I think that in
the 21st century we can push back on
that very naive notion that God’s out,
we do science now. No, science actually
brings God back in. – It’s very interesting, I mean. (audience applauding) All of this leads me to want
to ask you at this point, Dave, you’re sitting down
with John here tonight, obviously a Christian believer, someone who gives
evidences for God. And I know that on your show you’ve had people
like Bishop Barron and I think Ravi Zacharias
is gonna be featured shortly. Where does this leave you on
if you like that God question? Because one level, I can
absolutely see the way in which there’s a
kind of the utility and a kind of sense
in which meaning, we can gather meaning from
doing the religious things, the rituals and so on. But at the end of the day and I asked this of
Jordan Peterson once, it was an interesting answer. Do you believe in God? Do you feel like that’s
where you’ve got to at this point in your life? – You know it’s funny
when we would do the Q&As at the shows with Jordan for the first few we
would let people come up to the microphone. And what usually happens is
that people start telling their life story
and they would want to get a therapy session in
front of 3,000 strangers. And it started
getting very weird so we decided to better rate it. We used an app to do it and
when Jordan was on stage, basically, I would go
through the best ones and I’d find some funny
ones and some serious ones and everything else. But what always came up, no matter how many times
Jordan answered it was, do you believe in God? And he and as I’m sure he
said to you, he finds it to be sort of the most annoying
question possible. So I think I would answer it, I mean I would answer it in a
similar way that Jordan would. That look I think
I’ve sort of laid out a set of beliefs here
that show the utility of believing in something
outside of myself and I do believe in that. So if you want to call that God, that there is something
outside of me, there is something that
is connecting all of us that has nothing to do
with the material world, there is something
that drives us that is the driver of humanity, that is something
good, I believe that. I don’t, I can’t,
yeah I believe that. (audience applauding) – But could you put a name on
that something at this point? (audience laughing) I told you I wanted to label
you by the end of the evening. – Ah, Jesus? (audience laughing)
(audience cheering) – I guess, I mean in a sense
I hear what you’re saying. – Do I get a cookie at least? I mean, come on people
what are you doing here? (audience laughing) – I guess it’s kind of like
what are the particulars though? What would that look, how is
that gonna make a difference, I suppose in your life, is there a sort of sense
in which you feel now any new obligations given
this kind of new sense that there is something
beyond yourself. – You know, I think we’re all sort of wired
differently, right? I think some people can
really, can really flourish just sort of on their
own set of ideas that they create in the world. And I think that can really
work for some people. I think some people need
some order outside of that. Some people need
more of a community, some people are real loners. All of those things. I think perhaps, but I truly
mean what I said before, I’d be happy to do this
every year with you and continue these conversations and I’ll continue them
on my show obviously. I think for me the
adventure of discussing this and seeing what kind of people
that I bring into my studio that interact with
at events like this, what type of people
I want to be around, that really is the proof. That is what, well that’s what
makes this, right? That’s what makes this. So I don’t know, so again
I can’t what you’re, I get the question, I
respect the question truly and it’s the question, right? I mean it’s like saying,
what’s the meaning of life? Right, it’s the big one. I would say I’m on the
adventure to finding that out and I’m really okay with that. I hope that doesn’t
sound dismissive of the question or like
I’m trying to evade it. I’m really not. I like, and maybe
this just a function also of what I do for a living. I mean I get to sit
every week with people that in most cases
are smarter than me, who have spent years working
through all of these issues as you have, John. And that is an incredible
privilege that I have. So I would like to see
how far I can take that. – Sounds like we’re not
gonna convert him tonight. (audience laughing) – You’re doing your best. – Yeah, working overtime over
there, I’ll tell ya that much. – But it’s wonderful to hear an open
description of a journey. And I try to think
my way into this that getting around these
ideas is really big stuff. I mean coming the
way you’ve moved from the little I’ve
understood of it just meeting you
for the first time it’s most interesting
to me the way that movement is going. Now from where I sit there’s
another element comes into it. What I mean by that is this. There’s the things that we
can think about existentially as you’re doing and that’s
vastly important to me as well. The kind of people
you like to be with, the evidence of
that, you like this, if you feel there’s
something outside yourself and so on and so forth. But then it comes to
a couple of questions, One is, could it be that
something is actually personal? Now you’re Jewish Hebrew
Scriptures would say exactly so because that’s how
Bereshit, Genesis, starts with a God who sees,
who blesses, who speaks. And one of the most
interesting things to me, both as a scientist
and a believer in God, is the simple
description of creation. And God said, “Let
there be light.” And God said and God said. There’s a sequence as you know. But the most exciting one
is the one you never hear. It’s the final one
and God said to them. And that opens up a whole
world of possibility. That what is being
claimed at least is that there’s a God that speaks to me and that means that opens up
the possibility of revelation where it’s not simply me
investigating the people I know, the things I hear, the arguments
philosophically and so on. But there’s another side to it. That if this is true then
God is interested in me and he’s wanting me as
a discussion partner. He’s wanting to talk to me. And if one is open
to that possibility it seems to me to open a
huge new dimension to this. And the more I think about that, this a word based
universe scientifically and religiously in that sense. And therefore the idea that there’s something
there, that’s fantastic. There’s more than
the material world. But if that more is
personal and can speak to us it’s worth testing
the claim at least because it runs right
through the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures
and the New Testament. That’s the fundamental thing
is a speaking God, not dead. (audience applauding) – I should say, I
mean we normally never on my show get to this point because most of the
time the person sitting opposite someone like John
is a confirmed atheist. And it’s really, God is
always gonna be debated in the abstract. John you kind of come to
the point we’re saying, well let’s look at where
the God could be personal. – Yes. – Whether God could speak to us. Again I feel like we’re
grilling you tonight but I guess– – No, it’s fine,
it’s interesting. I genuinely I love this there’s
nothing you could ask me I don’t think that would
that would offend me or– – Well, I really I’m grateful for you being an
open book tonight because I suppose my
next is question simply, could it be? Do you think that it’s possible
that there could be a God who is personally
interested in you, who listens to your prayers, who is interested in the
way you live your life, who wants the best for you? Is that something that’s on
the table as a possibility for where your journey
might take you, I suppose. – If he walks out
on stage right now, I would get baptized
tomorrow, okay. (audience laughing) Like if this is
like a Maury Povich and here he is everybody! (audience laughing) Yes, well my basic
answer would be, yes. Why would I rule that out? Why would I rule that out? Why, as you said
that so eloquently, would I be like, no. That just doesn’t
stand to reason. And that again goes
back to why I said I love having these
conversations. And I don’t even, though
this a little different for what you do usually,
I don’t take offense by it or anything like that. Like that’s interesting to me. But and by the way I think
that this sort of where Jews maybe have done something
a little bit differently, where it always has been
about this sort of battle about what God is? You talk about science
and mathematics. You can go to most of
the Jewish hospitals in New York City where
they have the best doctors in the entire world, many
of them are Orthodox Jews who actually won’t press
the elevator on Shabbat because they don’t want to
use electricity on Shabbat. So they have the elevators that go to every
floor on Saturdays. Now from an outsider perspective you weren’t really
thinking about it that way, you’d go well that’s
completely crazy. How are these people of
science and math, doctors, why would they possibly care
in this crazy superstition if you come from that
discipline of science and math. And yet those people don’t
find it to be in conflict. So I don’t see any of
this in conflict actually. If anything, I feel like
this really what it’s about. This ability to play, because
I know that there are plenty of you guys out there
that are at some level of where I’m at with
some of this stuff. It’s not like everyone that
walks in these doors is going this absolutely what I believe
and we believe the same thing and I want to convert everybody to believe in the
same thing I do. I just, I don’t believe that. I’m not gonna poll
you don’t worry. (audience laughing) But I know that’s true. And we’re all on those
journeys together. So of course I don’t dismiss
could God be a personal, you know do we all have
that piece of us behind us that knows what’s right when
you make a bad choice in life. You have those, yeah, I
shouldn’t have that drink or shouldn’t do this
or whatever it is. I don’t know is that a
personal relationship with God when you have that other thing or some would say is that
just the voice in your head, what is that, what
is that thing? I mean philosophers have
been debating this forever. – I think that’s a
really great place just to draw this part of
the conversation to a close. – Thank God. (audience laughing) Whoa, all right, okay. Literally, I mean that. – Let’s give a round of
applause to John and Dave. (audience applauding)
(audience cheering) (upbeat music) (audience applauding) Oh there’s a lot for
you I’m afraid, Dave. (audience laughing) – Can I text in a couple
questions myself right now? – I mean there is
one very obvious one which someone wants to
ask and if you could this could be a whole
evening for you, John, but someone simply asks what for you would be
the key evidences for God if you were in a conversation
with someone about that? – It depends entirely
whom I’m talking to because it seems to me there
are two kinds of evidence. There’s the objective
kind of evidence. That is from the
scientific point of view, looking at the
universe, the beginning, the fine-tuning of the universe
and all those pointers, the very doing of
science that point to an intelligence
behind the universe. That would be one set. The second set would be the
whole revelation through Christ and who he is and what he did
and all that kind of thing. And central to it of
course would be the fact that I believe the death
problem has been solved in the sense that at the
heart of Christianity there’s not only a
death but a resurrection which validates the
significance of the death. So I want to go into the what
I believe are the evidences for the resurrection
historically and so on. And then finally there’s
the existential side. Many people say to me
you can’t be a Christian and a scientist because
Christianity is not testable. And I say of course
it’s testable. And to be blunt about
that, very briefly, Christ makes certain
claims that if we trust him he’ll give us peace
with God, forgiveness, new life, a new par. You can test that. And you know in my life,
which has been quite long, I’ve met many people
and you meet them and there maybe in the midst of a broken relationship,
narcotic dependence, all kinds of stuff and you
meet them six months later and they’re
completely different. And you say, “What’s
happened to you?” Now they may express
it in different terms. They may say, “Well I
became a Christian,” or “I was born again,”
or “I was converted.” But when you see that as I
have done again and again not only in my own life
and those around me but in people around you, you add two and two
and you get four. And I wouldn’t sit here for
a nanosecond as a Christian if I didn’t believe it can
be tested in real experience. If it doesn’t work
then it’s very suspect. So that is the fastest
answer I can give to that. – Thank you very much
ready for the answers. (audience applauding) That’s a lot of
thinking boiled down into a very brief answer. Question for you,
Dave, has come in and it’s what do you find
unbelievable about Christianity? So I guess the question is,
okay you’re on a journey, you’re willing to be open
to that potential answer what are the main
objections at this point that you would have
to kind of embracing that kind of a view? – Well I suppose
it’s a good question because I don’t have a
particularly good answer for it. So I think we could probably
do this one pretty quickly. I mean, I don’t, there’s no… Well other than what
would be a generic answer about any religion. Let’s say some sort of
like true leap of faith to ultimately say this
whether it’s Christianity or Judaism or whatever
you want to say, whatever religion or set of
ideas we’re talking about. Beyond that full jump
I don’t have any, there’s nothing, there’s
nothing that’s been said up here there’s nothing that
John has talked about or than any of the
religious thinkers that I’ve had on recently. The conversation that I
had with Ravi Zacharias, it’s going up next week I think is one of
the best interviews that I’ve ever been part of. There was nothing
that he said there in the course of
that hour and a half that I found objectionable or I found completely
incongruent with my set of
beliefs, let’s say. So I don’t know that I have, there’s no answer for
that in that I’m willing to keep continue
that conversation. – A few people have asked a
follow-up question effectively which is I mean do, it’s
phrased in a few different ways, so I’ll try and– – Is it hot here? (audience laughing) – It kind of goes to the
heart of Christianity though which is what do you think
about the central claim that Jesus rose from the dead. Because that at the
end of the day is at the heart of the
faith John holds. Is that something you would
be open to investigating to kind of you know seeing whether there’s
anything in that claim? – Yeah I, look, I
think I don’t know how many of these types of
questions there’s going to be. – [Justin] I won’t do
too many more of them. – But yes I can’t, I wish I could think of
a better way to say it. But I am completely open
to these discussions as they have, your answer
actually John was perfect. That if these things
weren’t testable in that you did not
see the evidence that people were living better
lives, more fulfilled lives, happier lives, all those things, that you wouldn’t
as a man of science, you could not sit up here. That’s a really beautiful answer that feels to me to be
complete as a person of faith and a person of science, right? And I think that
would be a worldview that I could prescribe to and that is that
actually is a worldview that I prescribe to. And that doesn’t exclude
the fact that very early on I said that at the micro level some of my best
friends are atheists and they are deeply
moral, good, decent people and you’ve debated many of them. so there’s no, there’s nothing that is so separate, let’s say. – I mean, I promise no more
grilling you on faith questions. But for John, kind of the
opposite question coming in. Is there, have you ever
questioned if there is a God? And another person asks, whether
you’ve ever been presented with an objection that
you found difficult? – Oh, can I do that one? (audience laughing) Come on, man. – Of course I have. You see, this interest me
because I spent my whole life not only questioning
myself but exposing myself to some of the most powerful
questioners in the world who are against my viewpoint. And the reason for doing that
is partially the Freudian one. The accusation that was made
against me at Cambridge. You believe because
your parents believe and your grandparents believe and it’s Irish
genetics, end of story. (audience laughing) So I have questioned
everything in that sense and it’s through that
my certainty comes. You see, the word faith
has flicked in there to this conversation and
we need to be careful what we mean by that. By faith I don’t mean
a leap into the dark. I mean a step into the
light that’s evidence-based and it’s exactly the same
kind of commitment in science. We believe certain
things about the universe because we’ve evidence. Now in Christianity it
is exactly parallel. Real faith is a commitment,
a step based on evidence and of course there’s a personal
dimension to Christianity that doesn’t occur when you’re believing Einstein’s
equations for example. It’s not quite the same
as trusting a person. But still it’s got to be
evidence-based or else is blind. And blind faith is
extremely dangerous, particularly in the
sphere of religion. So asking questions all
the time is a process that I discover in
the Bible itself which is one of the things
that makes it credible. Jesus was always
asking questions and he didn’t always answer them and his disciples
were asking questions. My great intellectual
hero was Socrates who was forced to commit suicide because he corrupted
the youth of Athens which meant that he taught
kids to ask questions their parents couldn’t answer. Which is usually what kids do. But it seems to me that
it’s very important. My whole process of relating
to people, as Dave’s is, is asking them questions and getting them
to open themselves. So yes, absolutely this
is the way the thing works and that is where
assurance comes. It’s fear that stops us
questioning the propositions or the commitments
of what we believe. And I want to break
through that fear barrier and get into a proper
public discourse. – There’s a question here which
relates to a story you told on your podcast of being I think at a John
Peterson lecture night and you met a couple who had both been
through a difficult time. Perhaps you can tell the story. I think a miscarriage
is involved and there were
difficulties in the family and the way you responded
was the interesting perhaps part of
that story as well. Do you want to tell the story and just maybe dig
into that a bit because the person asks
that they’d just like to hear a little
bit more about that. – Yeah, you know
it’s so interesting that someone’s asking this because I actually
don’t remember telling this story publicly. But I must have said it
publicly at some point. I don’t remember. We were in the UK, I don’t
remember what city we were in, but a couple came up
to me before the show and they both looked very, they were just
sort of distraught. You know sometimes you
people come up to you and you could just
see it in their face, you could feel in
their body language and they started talking to me. And basically it turned out
that he, oh, it was young couple I mean they were in their
maybe late 20s, early 30s and the guy had just found out that he had like
stage four cancer and didn’t have
much time to live. And then, yeah, I mean
that you can’t believe it is actually real. The woman found out
that she was pregnant, she was a few months pregnant
and the fetus had died and she was gonna have
to have it removed like the next day or
something like that. I mean like unimaginably
horrific circumstances. And they said this
to me and then said that Jordan’s helped
them get a little meaning over the last few weeks as
they’ve been going to doctors and all of these things. And I think the reason that
the person’s mentioning that I bring it up
is the only thing that I could say was, “God
bless you, God bless you, guys.” That’s what I said. I had, there was nothing else, there was just nothing
else I could say. What can I possibly say, “I’m sorry to hear about
what you’re going through.” You know, I hugged them I tried
to just kind of stand there and be with them. But that happened to be
what popped up in my brain. So if that, in a weird way, if that is evidence
of something, if that is that when
faced with unimaginable, I mean no one can possibly
imagine the level of horror of that situation. I hope I’m getting it
fully technically right. That’s what I had
left I would say. – It was the only words
that you felt made sense. – Can I make a comment?
– Yes, please do. – Because I didn’t
answer your question. And one of your
questions to me was do you make objections that
you find difficult to answer. And I do and that’s one. The problem of
moral evil and pain, which is what you talked about, is the hardest question
that any of us face. And it has been a very
important part of my life to try and think that through. I arrived in Christchurch,
New Zealand two days after the earthquake and I
had to cancel all my talks and replace them with
“Earthquake, Why?” Now that’s not
easy to deal with. Now, the atheists say, “Well
it’s just the way the world is. “There is no God, that’s
just what you’d expect.” But you see, if you abolish God and I’m not gonna go
into details in this but it’s hugely important. If you abolish God actually
you can make the problem worse because there’s now no hope. If you bring God
into the equation from the Christian perspective there is the hope
of the Resurrection. And not going into it in detail, I want to say two big
things to this problem. They’re not answers, that would
be simplistic and trivial. But they’re are a window
into a possibility. And the window into the
possibility is this. If it really is true that’s
God incarnate on the cross what does it mean? Well at the very least it means that God has not remained
distant from human suffering. He has become part of it. And so your God bless you,
I think it’s a huge layers of meaning underlying it. That’s the first thing. And the fact that Jesus
rose from the dead means that ultimately
there is real hope. Why, because one of the things the early Christians
preached was that the resurrection
guaranteed a final judgment. And we don’t like that
idea, but think about it. If there’s going to be an
utterly fair assessment, although as I said I’ve been
to Auschwitz many times, if there’s going
to be a judgment that deals with these things
that gives me a window of hope. And so, therefore, I think
this the hardest problem for anybody and any philosophy in any world for you
nobody escapes it. – A question for
you this time, John. And maybe you might want
comment on it as well, Dave. But someone asked what
does it take for a person to move from an abstract
intellectual belief in God to this personal experiential
faith which you talked about. – Well that’s assuming
that they start with an abstract faith. Now people come different ways. Our journeys, and that’s why it’s so interesting
talking about journey and I haven’t finished
my journey yet. There are lots of questions
I’ve got, things unresolved. I started by the existential
side, the personal side, I saw it was real. But then as a child I was
taught to ask the questions, so the intellectual side and the practical side
walked hand in hand throughout my life. And some people come
to faith in Christ because they’ve been
befriended by somebody that shows a real friendship
and it’s existential. Others come because they’ve
been challenged intellectually. I was speaking in
Germany a week ago and speaking with a
very intellectual person and what started him off in
his journey was at school he was grown up in a,
he grew up in a home where all his father
said about everything was everything’s lies, that
was his, everything’s lies. Total skepticism. And he had a school
friend, they sat together and the school friend
said to him one day, he said, “Jesus Christ
rose from the dead.” And this chap thought, “What?” And he started to
investigate it. And that led him to become
an ancient historian. And now in Germany
he’ll fill a hall with 5,000 people talking about how he became a Christian
from skepticism. So the intellectual
side got him first. So you can’t generalize at all. But I think in that sense if a person is just
cerebral about it they haven’t understood it because Christ
does make demands. There’s a relational thing, there are moral
dimensions to it. And so it needs to move,
how shall I put it? I’m worried about
the distinction because even when we’re
emotional about something the emotions are
precipitated by our thoughts. You can’t separate
thought and emotion. But I think the important
thing is that since, let me put it this way. God is not simply a
philosophical theory. He’s a person and
therefore our response to persons is different
from a response to say a mathematical equation. And we need to take
the various dimensions and aspects into account. So I’d simply want to
encourage a person like that to think about, well, what
does Christianity mean that you should be doing. But since it’s an
abstract question, I don’t know the person,
everybody’s different. – I’m tossing it
over to you, Dave. There’s a sense in
which, you know, we’ve talked a lot about
Jordan Peterson this evening. But when I see him on stage, he’s not afraid of
getting emotional. In fact, he quite frequently
is close to tears very often when it’s talking about
the search for meaning, when he’s engaging with
where people are at in their struggles and so on. And in that sense he’s
quite the antidote to the kind of very coldly
rational kind of approach that many sort of big thinkers
often take to these issues. Is that something
that’s attracted you, I don’t know, to the
way in which he engages with that kind of aspect of
reality in a very personal way in a sense in which
he approaches these
kinds of issues? – Yeah, well I can
answer that two ways. First, not specifically
with Jordan, but I think one of the
reasons that the YouTube game and the podcast game and
all of the digital stuff and all of this new
set of personalities that you guys all watch
and consume and listen to, the reason it’s working is because these people
are being people. These are actual people. I mean the person that you see when I’m doing
something on YouTube, that’s this guy that’s right
in front of you right now. I happen to be on
stage with a mic but I’m the same person
when I step down there and talk to you guys. Jordan is the same person. As I said, he lived
those 12 rules. He’s the same exact guy, right? There’s a little something
when there’s a camera there I forget what the sight,
there’s a theory, you know, that you all, when a camera’s on you turn it on like
5% or something. But I think what’s happened
over the last 20 or so years with cable news is that
everyone on television became so incredibly fake
and over prepared and really ridiculously robotic that there is a
breath of fresh air when people just
actually are decent, when people just actually can
look each other in the eye and not pretend that they have every answer to every question. I think that’s a
deeply powerful thing. So when Jordan would go
onstage and he, I kid you not, it’s almost unimaginable but
the guy 110 some-odd shows that we did together, he never
gave the same lecture twice. He would give a different, some nights he would
talk about all 12 rules, some nights he would
talk about one rule, some nights four rules, some nights he would just
talk about the media, some nights he would
talk about YouTube. I mean, it was just
whatever was in his mind. And you know, the book,
he was on a book tour they wanted him to sell a book. Sometimes the book
never came up. I mean, he just didn’t he, but to answer your
question specifically he was being present
as much as possible. That is something that I
really try to do in my life and when you’re doing it right
you don’t really have to try because it just starts happening and you just start being real. And that’s why actually
I’ve thoroughly, as I just said to
you guys at halftime or whatever we’re calling
it the Dave Rubin grilling. I’ve really enjoyed this because
this is real, this is real. And the more that
we can do that, the better we can
understand each other. So there would be nights
where he would be on stage, you know, telling the story that I’m sure many
of you have heard where he talks about Pinocchio. And the reason that you
have to wish upon a star and what that means and
then he would link it to a biblical story
and he would tear up and he would cry and
you could hear the crack in his voice and it was real. We would be backstage
right after the show, just sitting in the greenroom and I would just
kind of sit there and give him his moment
to collect himself. So it was real. And I think all that really
is is being vulnerable, being open, the best way
I could describe it was what I saw the guy do
was that every night that he went onstage
he tried to take as much of his intellect
and his set of beliefs he would take them as far as
he could on any given night and there were nights where I could see him stretch
that a little bit further. That’s a pretty incredible
thing to be around. – On a slightly lighter
note, someone ask, Jordan Peterson versus Ben
Shapiro wrestling match, Who’d win? (audience laughing) – Well Jordan’s tall and
lanky Ben is quick and short. So I feel like he’d take
out the legs, you know? Ben probably, probably,
Ben will start, Ben’s you know about, you
know, 20 years younger, so. – So many of these
questions actually are– – He could actually
use the yarmulke as some kind of
boomerang or something. There’s things, there’s
things the guy can do. – Here’s a serious question. – What am I doing here, exactly? – This is really,
this is a tough one. I mean, I know I’ve heard
this you put this position but as much as you
obviously have a great deal of respect for people
like Ben Shapiro and other religious figures, you disagree with them on some pretty
fundamental things, some ethical issues,
for instance. – Sure. – So, for instance, Ben
Shapiro’s very strongly opposed to abortion and someone
asks you on text here what about you, what would it
take to change your position on that particular ethical issue knowing that you are pro-choice? – So I describe myself as
begrudgingly pro-choice which I take no pleasure in
even discussing abortion. I find this to be the issue, beyond any other
political issue, I find this to be
the most polarizing and almost impossible
to talk about because you’re talking about the most existential
question there is which is the beginning
of life, right? And the way that it gets
framed, unfortunately, through the media is that
if you’re on the right you somehow hate women
and if you’re on the left you somehow hate babies. And that sort of
ridiculous false choice that we’re constantly, basically playing ping-pong
between is insane. My position basically is that, look, I believe
in the individual. Now I get why that
could be messy in a conversation about abortion because I do believe that
a fetus is life, I do. And we can, and it’s up to
ethicists and philosophers and all sorts of
scientific minded people and theologians
actually, as well, to decide is that the moment
the sperm meets the egg or is that two weeks later? And there’s different
religious traditions that can teach you all
sorts of different things. My belief is that
the individual, we as a society cannot
have a perfect system that is perfect for
everyone all the time. What we can try to do is
have some set of rules that can maximize human
flourishing the most it can. What I believe is basically that you have a
couple week window. A few years ago and the
first time I debated this with Ben Shapiro who’s
obviously completely pro-life, so he’s completely
anti-abortion, I used to say 20 weeks because
there was scientific evidence that at 20 weeks the fetus
can actually feel pain. And what Ben said to me, which I think is a completely
legitimate argument, he said, “Well, so you’re saying
you’re admitting it’s a life “and you’re acknowledging,
well, if you’re saying 20 weeks, “well then 18 weeks is
obviously still alive. “Why not 18 weeks?” And I granted him that
inconsistency in this view because I’m not trying to
come up with a perfect system. I’m trying to come
up with some system that would allow the 350
million people that live in this country to
have some guideline that we could most, somewhat
agree on, something like that. The problem right now is that the 12 Democratic
candidates have gone so off the deep end with this
that they’re talking about, I mean they’re literally talking
about post-birth abortions like we have heard some
beyond hysterical crazy stuff. Tulsi Gabbard, who
I had on my show, she said that she would not
want third term abortions which by any measure, even
if it’s not for you guys, let’s say here, because I’m
assuming you’re mostly pro-life that would have been considered
a pretty moderate position for a Democrat 10 years ago. But for her now in that field that is a wildly
out there position because they all
believe basically you can have an
abortion, at any time. I mean this even where Biden, who’s supposed to be the adult in the group is
now kind of, right? He’s supposed, I mean that’s why they dragged him back into this, he didn’t want to do
it they’re, you know, but he was supposed
to be the adult and go guys know
you’re all bananas and you know settle down. But it’s not working. So what was your question? What would get me to
change on that or? – Well I suppose that that would be a really
interesting thing to ask. Would this journey
that you’re going on of being open to potentially
God and to religious answers to things cause you to
reconsider your view on that. – Well, I would say these things don’t have nothing to do
with each other, right? So if we find, if we find a
speck of something on the moon that has some resemblance
of life or a cell or something we say it’s life. So I’m not denying
that from conception. I’m actually not
denying that’s life. What I’m trying to
do just as someone that talks about things
in a public way is to, you’re not gonna satisfy
everybody all the time. And by the way the
most uncomfortable
truth about this is that humans get left with
all sorts of horrific choices that they don’t want
to have to deal with. And if abortion was
completely illegal that actually would
not stop abortion. It would also make it
much more dangerous. There would be access for people that had certain
resources financially, that other people wouldn’t have. – [Justin] It’s very
complex, yes, yes. – There’s just a series
of uncomfortable truths that we would have to
deal with to do that. But I would say I would say
I’m begrudgingly pro-choice and trust me this one
more than a God question because this a sort
of policy issue. I mean up here and now, I find it to be the most
difficult one to answer. – [Justin] I mean John,
I’d just interested in your reflection on this, not necessarily getting to
the bottom of this issue which could take us all evening but to what extent for you
does being a believer in God and specifically
Christianity mean that your views on
that kind of thing have to take a certain
direction in terms of the views of abortion
and the sanctity of life and that kind of thing? – I think the important
thing to realize, and we don’t focus
it sharply enough, is that in part ethics
are worldview dependent. What I mean by that is this. If you think that a fetus is
just simply at the early stage an undifferentiated
block of cells, it’s only matter,
why not deal with it? As has been put to me by a
world-class gynecologist. And I pointed out
to her, I said, “But you come to that
because of your atheism.” Now, I said to her,
“What would you do? “That’s not only life after
conception, it’s human life.” From where I sit it
bears the image of God, what right have I to stop it? So that the ethics are
worldview dependent. And this is one of
the huge problems, way beyond that question. You know, if we
teach kids in school that they are purely
animals, full stop, we’ll see they start
to behave like animals. And that’s exactly what
we see in our society. Knife crime in London has
just gone off the map. But it’s because people
have been taught. And you were talking
about abortion, these killing
infants after birth that’s Peter Singer’s
view and I’ve debated him. And the issue stems
straight from his atheism. And so I think we ought
to be more upfront about the connection
between some of these issues and the worldview of
the society around. – If I could just
add on that quickly. I mentioned this equality forum that the Democrats
had last night. And one of the things
that, it seems to me that they’re always trying
to outdo themselves and who can be the most
Left or the most progressive or the most collectivist. And you may have
heard this last night but Beto O’Rourke
basically said, the churches and
places of worship that aren’t for
same-sex marriage, he would want them to
lose their tax exemption. That’s an absolutely
absurd position. But this why those of
us, we can disagree on these sort of margin issues but we have to come together
around the freedom issue, number one because
will come next is that they’ll say all right, well now if you’re not
completely pro-choice you should lose
your tax exemption. And they will just
keep encroaching on every set of
beliefs you have. So I may not share that
exact belief with you but I would 100% defend your
ability to have that belief in the place that you
worship without question. (audience applauding) – Got one for you here, John. And it’s keeping on a sort of
pretty serious tack as well. This person asks on the premise that we are created
in the image of God and we each have value
how do you respond to the growing rate of
suicide in the West? I think we’re seeing
this especially among men that suicide is increasing
at an alarming rate. Where do you see that coming
from and how do you speak to it as someone who does
believe people are made in the image of God? what does suicide have to,
what’s the response I suppose, to somebody who goes that route? This is very
complicated question because suicides
are all different. I have a colleague who’s one of the world’s
experts on suicide. And just talking to
him makes me realize that this a very complex thing. But just thinking about
it simplistically, people tend to commit suicide when they have
nothing to live for, they’ve got no future
that they can see. And I do believe that the
Christian message addresses that head-on by
giving people that. And I have personally
seen people come from the edge of suicide and become settled,
balanced everything else because they’ve come
to faith in Christ. And they’ve got that meaning that has answered that
need to destroy themselves. And the difficulty
is, I’m too old now to really understand
the vicious effect that Facebook for example,
likes and dislikes, have on young people where
they get bullied in cyberspace and they feel completely awful and they lose all
their self-worth. I mean the cruelty
that people exhibit to one another is unbelievable. And what’s the answer to that? Well the answer, I’ve
got to start with me. I love Jordan’s thing,
“Clean up your own room “before you clean up the world.” And it needs to start with
me, the people I know, looking for the
signs of depression or feeling down or feeling
lonely or feeling meaningless. We can all do a
little something. It may not be much, it
may not hit the headlines but it could take someone
back from the brink. There’s no universal
answer to it. – There is a follow-up
question that this has sparked and has been coming in
which is what about the case of believing Christians
who perhaps commit suicide. And I think that has been
quite a significant case here in Southern California recently. – Well I know of one or
two very significant cases of people I actually knew. And I’m not a doctor,
I’m not a psychologist but we’ve got to realize that our minds can
actually break down. There used to be a time,
fortunately it’s past, where psychiatrists and
psychologists were looked upon by many in the Christian
community with a
lot of suspicion. If you broke your leg,
you went to a doctor and that was fine, everybody
thought that was fine. But if your mind broke
that wasn’t fine. And I think we’ve got to realize that even to believing
Christians, they’re still human. They still have got
flaws and difficulties. Your temperament doesn’t
change overnight, you may have noticed, when
you become a Christian. And if you haven’t noticed that you ought to wake
up and notice it. (audience laughing) And therefore we can break down, the chemical imbalance
in our brain can go and people jump off a
cliff or shoot themselves. We need to be very careful
how we judge those people because we don’t see
inside their mind. And I want to say,
okay this has happened, it’s tragic but don’t judge
what was going on in their mind. You’ve got to leave
it to God ultimately. (audience applauding) – Can I just add to that? I would just add one
thing to that quickly which is there’s a
strange paradox right now because we’re more connected
than we’ve ever been, right? We’re all on Twitter
and Facebook and YouTube and all these things and
we can connect with people. And we can send
pictures to people and do all this stuff, right? And it feels very connected. And then on the other hand
the number one type of email that I get is people that are
afraid to say what they think and they say they watch my show because they’re afraid
to say what they think. And I happen to be having
some of the conversations that are the things that
they’re thinking about. And I suspect that if
you’re walking around, as most of us do
probably everyday, not really saying the
things that you’re thinking the end result of that will be such a
disconnect from reality because all you’ve got
then left is your own mind. And if you do that over and
over and over and over again you got nothing
left and I suspect that would be the type of place where there would be you could
see yourself having to make that horrific choice
because you’re so– – Connected versus
not friendship>- [Dave] Yeah. – Yeah, absolutely,
we’ve gone over some pretty big issues tonight and we’ve had many,
many more questions in than we can answer. There’s just one maybe which
kind of sums up the evening to some extent that we’ve had which is a question for
John referring today which is, John, do you want
Dave to become a Christian? (audience laughing) – I really have to ask my agent
what the original pitch was. (audience laughing) – I don’t choose, well, the questions kind of
choose themselves here. There so many people
are basically asking, hey, what, can you ask Dave this question
about Christianity. So I had very little
choice in the matter. But yeah, I mean, I’m guessing
the answer is yes, John. – You’re not guessing. (audience laughing) Because I’ve experienced a
life which I don’t deserve, which has been full
of profound joy, a journey that has been
deeply meaningful to me and it’s connected with my
relationship with Christ, of course not only
Dave but everybody here because there may be
many skeptics here and people watching online. Of course, my desire
is that they can share that experience that I
share and become Christians. But, but, I’m not
in the business of browbeating people and forcing them
beyond where they are. I feel very strongly and that’s why I believe
in public discussion. Let’s have the
discussion on the table from different points of
view but trust the people to make up their own mind. And so my motivation is
to get the message out and leave the results with God. But my desire is that,
of course it’s that. But don’t specify Dave
alone poor chap. (laughs) – Thank you, John. – Just think of our
neighbors and our friends. Is it our desire? I think, when I’m asked
a question like this I get very slightly nervous because I want to relate
to people as whole persons not just as evangelism fodder. And that’s very important. (audience applauding) Dave, you have been a
tremendous sport tonight and I can only say,
you’ve been so gracious and willing to engage
with you know– – Exactly. – Occasionally being
browbeaten actually on this. But I guess, you
know, if we come to just some final thoughts at the end of our
conversation now, what for you has been the value of having a
conversation like this? What for you, why do you sit
down, week in and week out with people that you may
not necessarily agree with on everything but
you’re interested in finding stuff out from? What’s the value of these kind of big conversations
around culture, faith and God in the end? – Yeah, well first off, it
never struck me as so obvious. You know, Jews don’t
try to convert people. That’s made this doubly
funny for me, I think. No, first off,
just joking aside. This has been an
absolute pleasure. You know, I have found that
when I am having an interview with someone that
is really real, when we’re suddenly hitting
some unchartered territory or I can really see somebody
exploring a new idea or not giving me
the packaged answer and we’ve really
connected in that deep way that I can actually
feel something. And I really mean that. I can feel a physical
reaction to that sort of warm, I can’t really
fully describe it. But it’s not just
something physical. It’s almost like,
truly, it’s almost like I can see almost like
an aura around somebody. And so this sort of
a religious something I guess I’m giving you. But I can feel something
when something is truly real and I think we all
know those moments when you sort of let all
of the other stuff go and you’re just having
something that’s real. There’s something there. However, you want
to describe that. I love being on this
type of adventure, this type of conversation, this is exactly
why I do what I do because we desperately need it. You know, there’s
been a, I think theme throughout all of this beyond
the personal stuff to me but I think theme really was that there is a
crisis of meaning and we’re all sort of realizing that the world is in
complete flux right now. The future feels
like it’s in flux. I’m 43 years old
I was born in ’76. At no point in my life, until the last say two
years or three years, did the world feel
like it was in flux like the future is
actually confused. Will America continue to
exist the way it exists? Will the West continue to
exist the way it exists? The UK, I mean, you
guys have all sorts of crazy things going on.
– Oh yeah, it’s an interesting
adventures for us too. – Yeah, I mean I could
do an hour on Brexit. We’ll let that be. That’s more difficult than God. (audience laughing)
– True. – So many people are
feeling that though that sense of uncertainty. And for the final
Jordan reference that
I’ll make tonight, I mean he has been trying to
hand people a little bit of, not a little bit,
some of the tools to make the world a
little less uncertain because if you can
whole yourself first then you can deal with
the rest of it, right? So this an absolute,
absolute pleasure. And I will gladly have
you both on my show. We can do this together or
we could do it separately and we can continue
these conversations and more than anything
else what I would say is, you know, for you guys here I think there’s a feeling
out there that if you listen to the way the mainstream
frames everything it’s like somehow you
guys are the bad guys or Christians are the bad guys or conservatives
are the bad guys and this just sort of factory
setting boring dribble. I know it’s not true because
I’m in this room with you right and I’m not gonna get
lynched on the way out. (audience laughing) Right, like we know that. There’s, yeah, yeah,
I know I got it, I got like a few
people answer that. He’s not getting lynched, okay! We know that right and I
think take confidence in that and you know start
saying what you think. That’s all that
I’m doing, truly. I’m talking to people
and interviewing people but really all I’m really
doing is saying what I think. And for some reason in
2019 in the freest country in the history of the world
that’s a special thing. I have no idea why. Well, I know why, but I don’t
know why I don’t fear it. I just don’t. But I think if all
of you started saying what you think a
little bit more, you might find out that the
people that are your neighbors and your friends and
even and your co-workers and even your family members who you disagree
with politically, you might actually
start changing them. But you’ll never change them if you don’t say what you think. So that would be my main
message more than anything else. – Well done.
(audience applauding) I think that’s a great
place to draw it to a close. So let me first of all
say thank you to John, thank you to Dave
for a really amazing, very open, very honest
conversation tonight. Thank you all for all
of your interactions. The questions that came in, sorry we couldn’t get
to all of them tonight. I just want to say a
big thank you as well to Calvary Chapel Costa
Mesa who have hosted us. Can we give a big
round of applause? (audience applauding) – If you’re looking
for more honest and thoughtful conversations
about spirituality instead of non-stop yelling, check out our
spirituality playlist. And if you want to
watch full interviews on a variety of topics check
out our full episode playlist. They’re all right over here. And to get notified
of all future videos be sure to subscribe and
click the notification bell.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 100 comments

  1. Maybe we don;t need traditional god – but we need something better than ever increasing amounts of legislation that protects at the expense of taking away basic freedoms.
    Life is risky, and we all die at the end of it. A full life requires a balance of risk and reward, not an overseer government charged with removing all risk. because…
    a) That's not possible
    b) It quickly, as we are seeing, becomes a totalitarian state

  2. It's crucial for people to understand this:

    The word "Logic" comes from the word "Logos" which actually is the Word of God. What it really is is the Source Code behind the structure of Reality – that is the Logos, and Logic is part of that. Essentially, the Logos is Cosmic Logic. Mankind can participate and adhere to the Logos, and that is what Christ was seen as representing. Christ was essentially the Logos incarnate; "… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…" That is the very most central belief that establishes the divinity of Christ. Christ is basically the union of mankind and the Reason behind physical veil of the Universe. These things are already well defined. Both the Greeks and the Jews believed in the Logos, but the Greeks mostly viewed the Logos as impersonal whereas the Jews saw it as personal; Christians took the Hebrew line even further by claiming that it was not only personal but came for a visit, which naturally ended in our attempt to murder it, which is impossible. You can certainly kill people, but you cannot kill the Logos itself because it is the metaphysical substructure of Reality; you can shoot the messenger, but the message remains intact and invincible.

    Truth cannot be defeated. Truth cannot be killed. Long has humanity hated Truth… Never has humanity overcome it, because the Light shall never be overcome.

    Logos (n.)

    1580s, "the divine Word, second person of the Christian Trinity," from Greek logos "word, speech, statement, discourse," also "computation, account," also "reason," from PIE *log-o-, suffixed form of root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak," on notion of "to pick out words." The Greek word was used by Neo-Platonists in metaphysical and theological senses involving notions of both "reason" and "word" and subsequently picked up by New Testament writers.

    Lennox said that people are desperate for sense, and that's exactly correct; we're desperate for connection to the Logos. There is no Reason without the Logos. The Logos is sense-making itself.

  3. (43.20) Would have been nice if you had mentioned the hundreds of millions of people that capitalism has killed while god just sat by twiddling his fucking thumbs… At the base of socialism is sharing and egalitarianism… I don't care much for your bible but I do know that those two principles are writ large in it.

  4. It has to be said. Atheism is evil disorder in the soul. An atheist is, from the outset, evil. Evil is defined as the absence of a good. This is to say that something which should be present, part of and needed is missing. In the case of the atheist this lack or absence is that the acknowledgement of and reciprocal response to God is not found. This defect is fatal to the eternal life because it is a defect of the will; voluntary. This is to say the condition of the soul is by choice rather than by ignorance. It is a voluntary ignorance. This is a sin of malice. The same goes for agnostics.

  5. Such a great talk! One thing I learned from Dave and Jordan Peterson is that, like it or not, our society is so successful in part bc we all act out Christian values every single day. Our laws and customs would not exist if it weren’t for The Bible.

    God bless!!!!!!!!!!

  6. can science explain everything ? eventually yes.

    do we need god ? now ? no. we have come so far both in terms of science and society, that he is no longer needed. he was needed before due to people's dull understanding of the world, but we have enough understanding and philosophy to not need him.

  7. The secret to happiness. All 3 things are required:
    1. Someone to Love.
    2. Something to do(a job, school, or whatever keeps your days busy)
    3. Something to hope for(goals)

  8. "…so if you want to call that God…" Dave Rubin's comment brought this to mind: The Summa Theologica by Saint Thomas Aquinas ( AD 1265 and 1274) regarding the existence of God. An attempt is the big bang, which says a collision brought about the universe, but the big bang fails to show how or why or when these particles that collided life came to be. Aquinas responds to this question by offering the following five proofs (from comment by Aude Sapere):

    1. The Argument from Motion: Our senses can perceive motion by seeing that things act on one another. Whatever moves is moved by something else. Consequently, there must be a First Mover that creates this chain reaction of motions. This we call God. ✅ God sets all things in motion and gives them their potential.

    2. The Argument from Efficient Cause: Because nothing can cause itself, everything must have a cause or something that creates an effect on another thing. Without a first cause, there would be no others. Therefore, the First Cause is God. ✅

    3. The Argument from Necessary Being: Because objects in the world come into existence and pass out of it, it is possible for those objects to exist or not exist at any particular time. However, nothing can come from nothing. This means something must exist at all times. This we call God. ✅

    4. The Argument from Gradation: There are different degrees of goodness in different things. Following the “Great Chain of Being,” which states there is a gradual increase in complexity, created objects move from unformed inorganic matter to biologically complex organisms. Therefore, there must be a being of the highest form of good. This perfect being is what we call God. ✅

    5. The Argument from Design: All things have an order or arrangement that leads them to a particular goal. Because the order of the universe cannot be the result of chance, design and purpose must be at work. This implies intelligence on the part of the designer. This we call God. ✅

    Dear brother Dave, you're well on your way. Godspeed.

  9. Pause. If you’re asking this question you clearly have a bias reliant relationship with a religion or figure. In my opinion I would see this as unhealthy. Anything in your life could be redirected. How dare anyone tell anyone else whether they can or cannot be happy or spiritually accessible. (Agnostic in a Buddhist family, if it matters to you, we love each other here) no thanks to this kind of mind set.

  10. It's sad to see David slip back into unfounded ignorant religious belief and this fool John Lennox is infuriatingly obtuse on almost every question posed to him. I thoroughly enjoyed the times when Hitchens DESTROYED him in debates.

  11. I'm not religious and I feel meaningful lol I believe I exist to pursue happiness and to do everything in my power to help the people I love pursue happiness. I don't need anymore of a purpose than that.

  12. Such a beautiful interview and I'm so in love with Dave's honesty. I'm amazed at his courage and it inspires me! Thank you Christian Radio and Dave for doing this!

  13. If the difference between you behaving like a dick, and not – is dependent upon you being under constant surveillance from an invisible creator/destroyer, with the threat of eternal pain – then please – keep believing.

  14. This topic is ridiculous and extremely sheltered and out of touch. If you need to believe in God in order to act like a good person, you wouldnt go to heaven even if it exhisted.

  15. 36:40 An Irishman 'owes everything to a jew?' Meaning the Christianity that came out of that line. That religion crushed your ancestors, almost destroying completely the native religion of Ireland. Nice man here, don't get me wrong but all the problems that came with Christianity… I find it strange.

  16. I work everyday at Walking The Talk. In regards to what I would question most about Christianity, its not that Christ rose from the dead, its that people can be irrevocably changed for the better. How could anyone be concerned about being "raised from the dead"? Look at how the science of the human body has changed throughout the centuries. We can transplant body organs: whats next? "Raised from the dead" is not that far way. However in my 63 years of life I have seen envy beyond measure; malevolent narcissism that destroys families for no other reason than to be cruel and to flex power. I acceed, some people can change but it is deeply disturbing to me that some people feel absolutely no compulsion to stop preying on others and creating pure chaos. I have turned the other cheek, prayed and still I have been crushed a number of times by people who claim to "love" but who are so consumed by envy and the seizing of power that they have harmed me and others close to me so severely that my health is now in a perilous position. The nuclear fallout of this evil that I have witnessed intimately has spanned five generations. No amount of forgiveness can provide the incentive for people to change their destructive ways. I do see that some people make The Choice to change however there is NOTHING anyone can do to make someone make that choice. The most we can do is to remove the incentives that allow people who are destructive to prey so easily on others. Im not talking about removing freedoms, because then freedoms would be removed from all people. The ultimate gift is the gift of the ability TO MAKE A CHOICE. My kids asked me why is there so much evilness if God made the world? Because when people have a CHOICE there will always be evilness. God would not be GOD if we did not have The Choice to be good or evil. To me, the "test" that God exists is the fact that I have seen the face of pure evilness without seeing a morsel of empathy. Such evilness can only exist in a world where we all have been given a pure gift of making The Choice. Like Jordan Peterson once said, "Some people can be so destroyed by malevolence that they may never recover". So my struggle, especially since I am being faced with the end of my linage due to human malevolence, is to accept that giving The Choice to all is an absolute necessity.

  17. God is a value structure that clarifies the hierarchy of goals and actions. Everyone who is happy with their lives has a God that they're following.

  18. growing up most people who believed in God and were God honoring up until the government got involved and we removed God from the schools now we see the results and consequences. it's called Sodom and Gomorrah!

  19. Dave, when you stand for nothing you fall for everything. Get real mate.

    John, you say it's important to know what other people think and falsely suggest that Richard Dawkins believes there's no basis for morality without god… snake.

  20. I gotta say that my forefathers, being Neteru, are in the king's list for ruling for 13,500 years, peacefully, without even terms for altercation, and without having a religion. They taught astral travel / soul ascension / dimension hopping even in the universities until quite recently, when it was made quite clear to us that we had to involve a new state religion's priests and so on….or die.

  21. Dave: if you don’t believe in god, you’re an atheist. Don’t let these religious nutbags drag you under please. You’re too good for their babbling bullshit.

  22. Accepting Jesus as the ultimate teacher of love is not a race. It’s pressure free and paced varying the individual. But to promote pluralism is unacceptable.

  23. No God no rain. Humans that waste the joy and challenges to discover are a waste upon the land. Smoke and mirrors is purchased time from resources created by…figure it out! i am on my way, are you? Heres a tip just seek diligently and remove the toxic influences like cowards and hypocrites.

  24. Christianity is infiltrated. God is what makes us feel good, money, and judgment. Chaos rules much of this so you are selling yourself short if you expect Christianity to be this escape goat for the world and to not have the rug swept from beneath their feet for doubting Babylon. The major issue is that the FAMILY is how people grow strong and true! And religions and beliefs effects the family. The mystery religions robs its people from clarity/discernment/choice etc when pleasure is the selling point. Its disappointing to hear a discussion on God and not hear the relationship God has with a family when the MAN is the patriarch and the fact that hypocrites lie and steal to appear as a family or attack this.

  25. I really liked this discussion and have watched Dave Rubin's progression from the left and atheism with great anticipation. At 43:49, he is asked directly if he believed in God after all of his interactions and I was uncomfortable at the question solely because it is clear that Dave is in a growth mode and is still working out many things. I feel like the interviewer should have respected Dave's position at this moment in time and allowed him to continue in his progression and not put him on the spot where he clearly did not want to be. A person's conversion is very personal and should be respected. Dave should be applauded for his honesty and encouraged to seek more answers. Being put on the spot like that in front of an audience could be viewed as pushy which is one of the things Christians are accused of.

  26. Rubin has sold out. Nothing wrong with embracing spirituality, but dressing it up in this irrational, supernatural mumbo jumbo is to join the side of the priests, the mullahs and the rabbis; the hand choppers and genital mutilators. You are now promoting their backwardness.

  27. Seems Dave is breaking Rule 7 – 'Do what is meaningful, not what is expedient'. Having principles isn't always easy. Easier to abandon them than have to have a difficult conversation with the Boss (Peterson).

  28. I lament the fact that so many people actually take this Charlatan seriously. I am very curious to know, does anyone know what caused him to do 180 on all his beliefs and principles (if he had any to begin with that is)?

  29. Like most people, Rubin is unable to differentiate the question of whether god exists (the answer is no) and whether religion is in some ways useful to society (it is). Constantly conflating the two causes so much unnecessary confusion.

  30. well so far Im at 20 minutes and I don't agree with much about what is being said. If people are telling you they are tolerant it doesn't mean they are atheist or to make it simpler that leftism (or extreme leftism, whatever you want to use for those pushing morals on you through force and shouting) equals atheism. I firmly believe in science. If you can prove it, I will try to understand it; if its not obvious right away. Those extreme leftist aren't atheists rooted in science, they are atheists rooted in feelings and this is the worst kind of bedrock to construct anything on. Its super shaky cause feelings changes, whiles sciences doesn't move as much and requires a methodology to do so. Its scientists forsaking science for pseudo bullshit that are undermining everything that was built so far. When a doctors tells you something different than another doctor (genders for example), there is something wrong because both of them are supposed to be intellectuals and have studied most of the same principals. There has to be an answer and its the researchers job to find it and the doctors to be humble enough to say the truth. The truth can be : there is not enough facts to make a statement but so far we lean toward … XYZ. There has to be a push on that to make researches on important matters and try to square as many checkboxes as possible. Science can be wrong but its as least a more robust foundation than you feeling something one day an maybe not he same the next. I don't think you need god to have morals at all cause I think any sentient person knows when they are an ass or hurting people. Everything is subjective? I don't think so. Oh well, Ill keep watching to see if it makes me change this view.

  31. "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." – Thomas Jefferson

  32. I had never heard of John Lennox before. I am glad that I got to sit and watch this chat. I mostly disagree with most of his view and his perspective of atheists, probably because I generally more conservative leaning than many of my contemporaries. I still thought that you were both well spoken and bring forth good reasons to question the things around us.

    Cheers !!!

  33. Many of the atheists in this comment thread, do a great job displaying exactly what Dave was saying. Intolerant, smug, selfish, and close minded. Even if you disagree with someone, there is no need to insult or talk down to them. It does nothing for your argument.

    Dave I thank you for your work over the last couple years since I discovered you. It is truly brave to stand on principles these days and ask questions without regard to how the answer might totally change the way you have looked at the world in the past. I appreciate your honesty. It has been a blessing to watch you walk through this journey. Thank you.

  34. I saw Jordan Peterson live and really wanted to ask him about fundamentalism. It is the same with these guys. It is one thing to have ethereal beliefs in a higher power that are difficult to quantify. It is quite another to say the earth is 6,000 years old and "I know how you should live every aspect of your life." What I notice in my world is that these conversations are well attended by fundamentalists who use these arguments to justify a god somewhere and then, without any support, make the giant leap to absolutely believing in talking snakes and the most backward kinds of exclusionary absolutism.

  35. I think the questions: "Can your life be meaningful without God?" and "Do we need God?" are not the appropriate questions when searching for truth. They are subjective questions when an objective question is needed.

  36. For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. – 1 Cor. 1:21

  37. When did Dave Rubin become so stupid? I've been here since day one with Sam and I guess shitting on Cenk was just so easy and so delicious. I dont think I can listen anymore to Rubin be dishonest for $. I never thought I would agree with the disgusting Ana Kasparian but fuck Dave Rubin. He's a little bitch.

  38. Yikes! The Atheists in the comments are rough. I will never understand insulting someone just because they have changed views or have differing views. Thanks for being a human Dave! HAHA Cause ya know, growth and change is like a normal human thing. You would think the atheists would know that.

  39. To the people who say that meaning in life comes from God, I'm curious, what do you think the meaning of God's life is, if he is a living being after all? And once we know the answer to that, ask, who gave God his meaning in life? Did he give meaning to himself? Ahhh, so you admit that meaning can be assigned to oneself. At some point all of us have to admit that living beings have to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps out of nothingness when it comes to finding meaning in life.

  40. Can science answer every for everything. Yes, eventually it will.
    Because it doesn't do what lot IQ people do and make pathetic platitude such as "God works in mysterious ways…"

  41. My problem has always been this: If a god exists, then he has proven himself to be an evil, uncaring, cosmic horror of monster, and is undeserving of our devotion or thoughts.

  42. Can your life be meaningful without God?…is kinda like asking can your life be meaningful without air?…we ALL live and move and have our being IN God…whether we’re aware of this state of being or not. And the absolute truth is that we are ALL, without exception, loved and treasured by our Creator, the One in Whom and through Whom we exist. Having eyes to see and ears to hear the truth of God (and therefore self) is a vital key. ❤️🔥❤️

  43. After 42 years on this earth I've concluded in a greater degree yearly that, there is nothing to really live for but for God. That all is vanity and loss without God.

  44. A wonderful example of diversity of views being expressed and respected, this is how we should deal with a plurality of views, that is what makes us better.
    Et pluribus unum.

  45. Dave well done. You are truly inspiring. I have been following you for over 3 years now and you were probably the least likely person that I would have listened to but the way you engaged in conversations was so fascinating and even though I disagreed with you in almost everything I couldn't help but watch your show. You are honestly one of the most (if not the most) integrity filled and honest people I could name and you have demonstrated that so consistently over the years. It's fascinating watching your journey and truly inspiring. Keep up the awesome work and awesome interviews and questioning. I wish you all the beat this new year and I hope your influence continues to grow.

  46. Dictators ban abortion. Dictators are Pro-life. Everyone who is born under their rule becomes subject of they're isolated conditions. Pro-life under American reglious content is a complete SHAM. If somone takes away the ability of a living wage. denies someone of having proper basic medical care. Takes away ones ablility of making a living honestly. How is this Pro-Life? The British individual belief system's are a complete insult towards humanity. However, I have great respect towards Mr. Dave Rubin with regards towards his tact and rebudle debating a self absorbed bafoon.

  47. I like Rubin, but he is not much of an analyst. Not a very stimulating discussion, though I did enjoy hearing the Professor's insights.

  48. You may not need God while on earth as you worship and kneel at the altar of the things of this world and your own desires. You can get through life in a secularist, relativistic and liberal bubble and virtue signal your way through defining "good" in your own limited understanding and desires. The human life is a term limit and temporal. Many dance down the wide road of destruction. Few enter the narrow gate.

  49. For obvious reasons Christians have a difficult time understanding a solid belief in God (for lack of a better term) outside of the bubble/belief of Christianity. It is paramount if one has left this belief system or another such as Judaism etc to know why they don't believe in the "religion". As brilliant as you, Dave, are it seems you may not know why you believe what you do. This is a shaky foundation that religious people will use to convert or coerce you. Free thinkers such as Thomas Paine, author of the Age of Reason published in 1794, understood this all to well.

  50. = Metaphysics is my Answer – to balance our energetic dynamics to once again be harmonized with Divine vibration Love * a resonance that finds purification through Redemption as to have every thought – every emotion – every word – every action match its original maker * Distillations are essential to reach the purity of * Lightness in Being * !!!

  51. Anti-SJW atheist community: Islam is bad because god is not real.
    Anti-SJW religious community: Islam is bad because god… Oh wait.

  52. Dear Dave, I'm glad I found this. Millions go through this. Meaning their faith journey. We just don't watch it unfold. You started this great YouTube channel and you are open and God put people in you life. It has been fantastic to watch your journey.


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