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Episode 143 Raul Cardona & Carlton Larsen: Honesty

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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob interview Raul Cardona, after Cass' talk with Carlton Larsen—our two "nobodies" on this week’s episode. We interview people you don’t know about a subject no one wants to talk about.   Carlton got his M.Div and became a Lutheran Minister in Canada during the Christian Coffeehouse boom. He now identifies as a Woo-Woo pseudo-Buddhist/Christian Agnostic, still writes music, and is a truck-driver for a living. He talks very candidly about his sexual healing within a 12-step support group and the beautiful frontier of his life after dogma. Bob was out sick for this interview. After that, Bob and Cass converse with Raul Cardona. Raul wasn’t raised religious but began looking for meaning and purpose in life while deployed in Iraq. To this end, he started reading the Bible, and the Christian story appealed to him, drawn to the idea of a God who loved him unconditionally, in spite of all the wrong he had done. He had gotten in trouble with the law as a juvenile on the streets of Boston. As his faith grew, he determined to become an expert at defending Christianity through apologetics. He studied books on defending Christianity and watched YouTubes of Christians debating Atheists. This backfired beautifully (as Matt Dillahunty says) and eventually led to the loss of his faith. No big monologue this week, just some thoughts on honesty provoked by the honesty of both of our guests today. I'll start with a quote from Sam Harris. I highly recommend his little book called "Lying." It's a short read and yet is liberating in its call to be honest. This quote may or may not be in that book, but Sam is quoted as saying, "One of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty-first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns-about ethics, spiritual experience, and the inevitability of human suffering-in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. We desperately need a public discourse that encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty. Nothing stands in the way of this project more that the respect we accord religious faith. All I'm arguing for really is that we should have a conversation where the best ideas really thrive, where there's no taboo against criticizing bad ideas, and where everyone who shows up, in order to get their ideas entertained, has to meet some obvious burdens of intellectual rigor and self-criticism and honesty-and when people fail to do that, we are free to stop listening to them. What religion has had up until this moment is a different set of rules that apply only to it, which is you have to respect my religious certainty even though I'm telling you I arrived at it irrationally." Someone asked me this week how I lost my faith and after thinking a few seconds the best I answer I came up with was "I got honest." Honesty takes courage. It's looking at reality and owning up to where one's life doesn't align with it. And making the changes required to do so, which is often really hard work and can take years. In fact, let's just call it what it is--a life's work. Speaking of life’s work, my friend and former guest on this podcast (episode 100) David Dark recently said in an interview with Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot, "I DON’T THINK REAL LOVE BEGINS TILL WE HOLD OUT THE MESSY FACT OF WHAT WE’RE REALLY UP TO AND INTO WITH OPEN HANDS" There's a link to that interview in the show notes. Don’t forget: ReasonCon in Hickory NC, is coming up the weekend of April 21st.  more info is available at I’ll be there with lots of listeners and former guests of this podcast. If you’re planning on going, I’d love to meet you so let’s meet up at ReasonCon.   We taped these conversations on February 18th and 19th, 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a

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