245 episodes

Join me in the Conversation of Our Generation as we solve the problems of today with the wisdom of the past. We will look at politics, news, religion, philosophy and more with the hope of diving below partisanship and bias to understand the Truth better. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support

Conversation of Our Generation Nick Jamell

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 9 Ratings

Join me in the Conversation of Our Generation as we solve the problems of today with the wisdom of the past. We will look at politics, news, religion, philosophy and more with the hope of diving below partisanship and bias to understand the Truth better. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support

    240. What happened to yesterday's episode?

    240. What happened to yesterday's episode?

    So sorry to miss the episode yesterday! Here's an update on what's going on with me, and an apology for not keeping my schedule.


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    • 10 min
    239. Neo-paganism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    239. Neo-paganism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    I've noticed a revival of pagan ideas and rituals that have caught on in numerous movements. The climate movement, racial movements (on both the right and the left), and other ostensibly secular movements have neo-pagan elements. In order to discuss this, I want to offer a definition for neo-paganism.

    I'd define neo-paganism is an explicit or implicit belief that misattributes spiritual significance. These beliefs, coupled with a set of rituals, are what I call neo-pagan movements, even if the practitioners may think they're merely secular.

    Merits of Neo-paganism

    While I do not find these new pagan ideas convincing, I do understand where they're coming from. So, I want to be fair and offer my thoughts about what they get right.


    Neo-pagans recognize the spiritual and moral
    Often, they speak and frame the world in moral terms
    They incorporate metaphysical realism into their worldview, even if implicitly
    And, they often include rituals

    Errors of Neo-paganism
    Although I understand the motivations and think they're a step in the right direction, I think many have missed the truth that they seek. With that in mind, here are some of the errors I find the neo-pagans of today falling into.


    Neo-pagans misattribute spiritual significance
    Often, they reject theism, or at least have mistaken understandings of God
    Like pagans of the past, they have different moralities for their group and outsiders

    Correcting Neo-paganism
    Now that I've discussed where neo-pagans go wrong, and where they get things right, I want to discuss how to fix their ideas to comport with reality. If we want to channel this neo-paganism and move it toward the truth, here are a few things we could do.


    First, we should acknowledge the religious impulse in those who partake in these things
    Theism should be the end goal, but we have to approach that differently with different groups. In order to reach those who think they're secular, we should point out their religiosity
    For those who acknowledge the spiritual, we should understand what they believe and direct them toward truth

    We should channel their passion for a cause by opening up the beauty and incredible truth of theism

    Previous Episodes:


    What is Objective Reality?
    What is Subjective Reality?
    Unity of Subject and Object
    The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
    Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
    Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
    Scientism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
    Postmodernism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


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    • 29 min
    238. Postmodernism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    238. Postmodernism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    The postmodernist movement is a reaction to the ideas of the enlightenment, often referred to as modernity. Basically, it developed in the mid 20th century, largely due to the developments of the 19th and early 20th century. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Postmodernism.

    Merits of Postmodernism
    While postmodernist thought is far from perfect, it does raise good points. Here are a few valid claims postmodernists make:


    There is social conditioning
    And, there are cultural customs that different societies hold to
    Art leads to different interpretations

    Errors of Postmodernism
    Even though they raise valid concerns, postmodernist thinkers make mistakes. These are a few places postmodernism goes wrong:


    It confuses tastes and preferences with claims and opinions on facts
    Social conditions aren't the only influence on our lives or means of improving them
    It over-emphasizes power

    Corrections
    In order to correct Postmodernism, we have to look at the core of it. The main issue I find is that it is concerned with things that exist, but they over-emphasize them or lend too much credence to those facets of their philosophy. For instance, there are power structures that influence our world. However, the way postmodernists look for these structures in every nook and cranny of human culture is disordered.

    It also holds contradicting ideas like the universal truths of power structures and hierarchies alongside ideas of radical self-referentiality. Lastly, I judge a philosophy by it's fruits, and the fields that have been influenced by postmodernism have been corrupted. Many are hardly intelligible at this point.

    Related Episodes in this Series

    What is Objective Reality?
    What is Subjective Reality?
    Unity of Subject and Object
    The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
    Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
    Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
    Scientism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


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    • 31 min
    237. Scientism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    237. Scientism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    Why Science is Good
    Science is a tremendous gift, and has led to incredible human flourishing. The advancements we've seen due to science allow us to live radically more comfortable lives than our ancestors. Because of scientific inquiry, very few people experience the tremendous hardships our ancestors did. Furthermore, that number is decreasing more and more each year.

    Additionally, science is a reliable method for learning the truth about the natural world. Through the scientific method, we can come to know more about the world around us, and we can do that with a common framework. One thing to remember, however, is that science is always tentative and prone to change due to new evidence.

    Errors of Scientism
    The problem with scientism is that it lifts science up, and in the process, ignores other fields of inquiry. The word "science" originates in the word for knowledge, but now only applies to a narrow field of knowledge. I would argue that a philosopher who completely disregards science, and only accepts ontological proofs, is misguided. But in our culture, ontological proofs are discounted, and we act as though anything that can't be proven by the natural sciences is unfounded.

    Scientism is wrong because it tries to use a tool for the wrong purposes. Instead of using science to inquire about the natural world, we try to apply it to other fields of study. Additionally, scientism poses a criteria for knowledge that is impossible to meet. We can never learn new things if we need hard, repeatable evidence for every claim we accept as true.

    Lastly, scientism forces us to have an ever-shifting understanding of truths. In logic and mathematics, we know the truths are true in all times and places. But, in science, truth is gradually uncovered, and theories are regularly revised. In science, that is ok, but we should not apply that to all fields of study. Scientism applies that understanding of truth to all forms of inquiry, which is wrong.

    Corrections
    What we can do to fix this is to keep in mind that science is a tool. Science is a method for learning about the world, and it isn't the supreme arbiter of truth. People who fall into this way of thinking over-emphasize the objective world. Often, they are materialists or naturalists, and they fail to take into account the spiritual part of the human condition. Instead, they act like we are merely chemistry sets or lab rats.

    Next, we must not think that an epistemology that works for science will work elsewhere. Philosophy and math come to find truth in very different ways than science. So, we shouldn't make the mistake of needing experiments to come to mathematical truths. In other words, you cannot find all truth in a lab.




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    • 23 min
    236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary."

    Valid Concerns and Good Points
    At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know?

    Errors of Materialism
    Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit.

    Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world.

    Corrections
    There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world.

    In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives.

    Related Episodes in this Series

    What is Objective Reality?
    What is Subjective Reality?
    Unity of Subject and Object
    The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
    Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


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    • 19 min
    235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    According to Wikipedia, Naturalism is "the idea or belief that only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual ones) operate in the universe. Adherents of naturalism assert that natural laws are the only rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural world, and that the changing universe is at every stage a product of these laws."

    In this episode, I'll take a look at some of the good points and valid concerns of Naturalism. Then, I'll discuss how it falls short, and what corrections it needs.

    Valid Concerns and Good Points
    One of the good points of naturalists is that we can attribute most things to natural laws and forces. Every little thing that happens doesn't have to be a supernatural intervention. And, we know it isn't random due to the consistency of events.

    There is a time in pagan cultures when everything was attributed to the supernatural. Even in the Judeo-Christian world much of the natural order was attributed to angel's intervention. I don't begin to say that I know how Heaven governs this world and it's laws. But it appears to me that there are natural laws and that God created the world with a discoverable order. When looking into that order, it is good to work within it's bounds, which is why we have science.

    Errors of Naturalism
    The cause of why I burn my tongue on hot coffee or the sun rises everyday can be naturally accounted for. But, the fact that all these beings exist as well as the laws that govern them, none of which fully account for the existence of the universe, has to have some other explanation. Naturalism cannot account for that. Instead, it seeks for a self-explaining cause that's within the natural order.

    Furthermore, there are well-attested events that do not fit into the natural world. Inexplicable miracles are one. But, there are phenomena like love and beauty that we do experience. However, the naturalist cannot explain these fully by neurons and brain chemistry. We need a deeper, spiritual explanation if we want to cohere with our universal experience.

    Corrections
    There is one major correction a naturalist needs to incorporate all truth into his worldview. That is a recognition of the spiritual. Miracles, religious experiences, emotions, and beauty aren't simply natural phenomena. Rather, they are true experiences of something outside of the natural order. To see this in art, read The Soul of the World, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, or Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to see how this plays out. They demonstrate that there is more to this world than the naturalist can explain. And, they do it both with philosophy and story-telling.

    Related Episodes in this Series

    What is Objective Reality?
    What is Subjective Reality?
    Unity of Subject and Object
    The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality


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    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Conversation of Our Generation ,

Very interesting

Definitely a lot of great ideas being discussed in a new, interesting way.

pearl317 ,

Conversation of our generation

So true!!🙏💜💜 Nick is a big reader and thinker. I love this podcast.

smsloyer ,

A Necessary Conversation

This podcast and the associated website bring up topics that are very necessary to discuss in our society today. Unfortunately, they are often forgotten about. Kudos to Nick for speaking up clearly and eloquently about things that should define ours and future generations!

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