Do we really have free will, or is it all just an illusion, and actually all of our choices are pre-determined for us?  The Catholic and the Atheist differ on this one, 100%.  But who has the superior argument? You decide.


  1. I’m not quite sure you understand Determinism Cal. Determinism is very specific that everything that occurs occurs because of necessity. You said multiple times “you could have said anything” but determinism says, you only had one option which really isn’t an option. In fact, there are no options and no choices. As far as the beginning of the discussion went, I’ll grant that things can pop up in our stream of conscience that we do not voluntarily put there. But it is possible to actually bring things into our heads and actually think about stuff! We do that whenever we converse with people. 

    If determinism is true, you were forced to think determinism is true and I am determined to believe determinism is false. If determinism is true, people are determined to believe false things and therefore, we can never know if something is true, including determinism! Determinism is demonstrated to be absurd. It leads to the contradictory conclusions: “I know determinism is true”, and “I do not know determinism is true.”

    I agree that if determinism is true, there is no basis for rewarding or punishing any action at all. The greatest virtue to the most vile depravity are completely meaningless. What kind of world would that lead to if everyone thought this? There is no basis for morality at all. No one could complain to someone that they “shouldn’t have done that!” Whatever “that” may be. It was impossible for them to do anything else if determinism is true.

  2. @ Calkane Here’s a little food for thought though Cal 😉 Without Freewill, then a whole list of people are damned. Here’s what I mean. People with mental disorders, be they either self-destructive behavior disorders or personality disorders, must CHOOSE to get better in order for anything to change. According to the disorder, whatever it may be, there is no natural push to get better, all in all, the disorder is a programming. You usually don’t choose to be programmed in this manner, however, to be free of a mental disorder, it is reliant on the person to reprogram THEMSELVES. Subconsciously disordered people all want to get better, but it depends on the person whether or not they decide to reprogram. You don’t choose your background, true, but you do choose your programming and what follows your program. This is just basic psychology. It’s hard to understand such a phenomenon without being surrounded by such an environment where you can psychoanalyze these types of people, but understand that the victim, nor anyone else, controls a disorder. That’s why it’s called a disorder. For many disorders, there is no cure, I repeat there is no cure. You can try to help someone with a disorder, but without will there is no salvation. It won’t matter at the end of the day if you have a cruddy background or if you have a saintly background.

    Again, just food for thought uvu Just my observances.

    Nice job tho there guys

  3. I’m at the 15:00 minute mark, Cal, free will isn’t an independent device, but it works complementary to the INTELLECT! The will is informed by the intellect, for example look to Plato in the allegory of the cave.

  4. Also, as far as the water/life on mars thing goes, while neat, we might want to curb our enthusiasm lol. Here are some articles about it:

    That one talks about how hardy microbes have hitched a ride on the rover from earth and could contaminate samples and render false positives. Here’s another one:

    Also, I happen to be one of those arrogant “carbon chauvinists!” lol. There are good reasons to believe this however that have to do with the chemistry of carbon as opposed to other atoms theoretically used as a base (silicon for example). The reasoning is that Carbon is much better at forming stable bonds than any other element. Here’s an article on that:

    Here’s one talking specifically about silicone-based life:

    Personally, I subscribe to the “rare earth” theory and I find it exceedingly unlikely that other intelligent life exists elsewhere in the material universe (except for Angels could qualify as “aliens” if you want but they are not material beings lol). I saw a great documentary on Youtube on that called “The Privileged Planet” that everyone should check out! lol

  5. Determinism is plausible in the classic Newtonian Universe. If you rewind the tape on the Newtonian Universe, it is mathematically possible, to arrive at the same point at the same time.

    However, in an Einsteinian relativistic universe determinism doesn’t really work. Based on Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the flow of the time-space continuum is based on sets of series of quantum events – each one being a branch of two possibilities, which cannot be predicted due to the uncertainty of the particles involved in the quantum event, and are indeterministic.

    We don’t live in the Newtonian Universe, the most recent scientific findings shows that we live in an Einsteinian quantum universe. Ergo determinism cannot be supported in the actual conditions of our universe.

  6. Matthewpao Hey mate good to hear from you again 🙂

    When I said to Tim “You could have said anything” I meant that there are so many cities that he knows the name of and the city that came to him could have been any out of all the ones he knew of. Obviously the city he said was the city he said and it couldn’t of been any other but before he said it, no one, including him, had any idea what city was going to pop into his mind.

    It is possible to bring things into our heads because our thoughts are ordered. We learn how our minds works and how we respond to certain events but this does not mean that we are responsible for the thoughts in out heads because the conditions that made and shaped out brains and there for everything, including out thoughts, are not something we are ever responsible for.

  7. NestorMunozOrtiz  “free will isn’t an independent device, but it works complementary to the INTELLECT! The will is informed by the intellect”

    I don’t know what you mean, could you elaborate a little bit please?

  8. RobinPoe  “Based on Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the flow of the time-space continuum is based on sets of series of quantum events – each one being a branch of two possibilities. These quantum events cannot be predicted due to the uncertainty of the particles involved in the quantum event, and is indeterministic”

    The only way for that to be true would be if there is no causation at all when it comes to the quantum level. Quantum mechanics is pretty spooky and mysterious to us but that just mean we don’t understand it yet.

  9. CalKane Matthewpao You as well Cal! It’s always a pleasure. I will grant that there may be some thoughts in our heads that we didn’t put there. There are things I cannot unsee no matter how much I want to but I definitely have the power to bring certain things to mind willingly. I am thinking of these words that I’m writing for instance. There is also a big difference between thought and action. Sometimes, our minds can go to disgusting places. That’s called “temptation” by us Catholics 😉 lol. But I try to always resist the temptations when they come. I hope you do too lol. But we are not forced to act on our every single desire.

  10. CalKane RobinPoe Hey Cal, Is your first name Calvin? Because you’re starting to sound like a Calvinist (tee-hee!)

  11. RobinPoe CalKane Shockingly enough, this is the first time I have ever being on the end of this joke haha 🙂

  12. Great show Tim and Cal!  Well done and thought provoking. 
    Cal, you cannot have the proverbial “it” both ways.  First you tell us about the bizarre chaps, leading their normal lives…middle classish, good upbringing, etc., who suddenly up and join ISIS.  Then you tell us about all being determined vs. free will?  We had a gent who went to jail because of what they call “white collar” crimes.  He was actually quite ruthless.  He experienced a conversion (a change of heart and became a Christian), which everyone thought was fake in order to lessen his charge and possible jail time.  Instead, he began a “prison ministry”…his accomplishments in his life for the love of God and God’s creation, mankind, multiplied until his death.  So very many people change by conversion (check out Nicky Cruz)…determinism is false and could probably be reduced to an absurdity as Mathew has fun with in his comments.
    How about those PP videos that have been proven authentic and not doctored as PP claims?  What say you?

  13. catholicchild Glad you enjoyed the show 🙂

    I’m not sure what part of my argument against free will you are having an issue with, could you elaborate a little bit please?

    As for the planned parent hood videos I still haven’t had the time to properly check them out. I don’t want to come up with a half-baked answer.

  14. CalKane 
    In a previous show you shared about these seemingly normal people brought up seemingly normal who have a seemingly normal life and then they up and join ISIS.  That seems to support free will to me.  If it were determinism, we wouldn’t see something that was not a part of their “genes nor upbringing” go so far off the mark.  It happens quite frequently the opposite way…check out Nicky Cruz and his upbringing, his “choices” through free will leading him to the brink of destruction, and then the 180 degree change of life for him and so many others who came to know him or his work.

    As for the PP videos, the brief videos were edited to make the point clear as to the evil occurring.  The full length videos were proven to not have been altered.

  15. I couldn’t listen to Cal’s willful ignorance for more than 15 minutes.  And I mean this in a loving fashion, because I think, based on past shows, that Cal has a lot of great insights and, even though he is almost always wrong, can in fact think like a human being ought not not like the modern technocratic totalitarian secular state has brainwashed people like him into (not) thinking.
    Cal’s working definition of “free will” equates to “absolute and total control over every event in the universe which might conceivably affect the circumstances in which one makes an apparent decision”.  This is of course impossible. It is also, of course, not at all what anyone remotely intelligent means when he mentions the idea of free will.
    To be honest, again in a loving yet perhaps brutal fashion, I think this show is sliding rapidly down a rather muddy hill because Cal has adopted the persona of a false “skeptic”.  A true skeptic is someone who doubts the veracity of received wisdom, but Cal’s application of skepticism posits the impossibility of truth (unless doing so conflicts with how he wants to live his life.)  All those with true faith are skeptics: we have faith specifically in answer to our doubt of received authority; we accept that authority not because of its authority (of which we are skeptical) but because of and through the faith granted us by grace.  Cal’s version of skepticism is a nihilistic lie.  
    I don’t think it is possible to have a meaningful conversation with someone who insists on being dishonest, including being dishonest to themselves.  I believe Cal has a mental disorder very common to “educated” modern secularists, which causes him to pathologically lie within the context of his own use of reason.  I would caution Tim to be extremely careful not to enable Cal in this self-destructive behavior.
    For the record, back when I was a rather militant atheist and not a Catholic convert, I would have laughed out of the room Cal’s rather grade-school attempt at philosophical reasoning.

  16. Farmereighthirtyone Well I’m sorry you feel that way but to be fair you only listened  to 15 mins of the show so you are only addressing a quarter of my argument and you’ve only heard 15 mins of what Tim had to say on the subject as well. At the end of the day I can only make my case and if people don’t like it then that’s ok as I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything. The whole point in this show, and Tim will confirm this, is to show people that an atheist and a catholic can converse and find middle ground in a rational and calm manner on a number of different subjects.

  17. I liked the show, it’s a case of horses for courses. I have to say, I have not yet listened to any show on Vericast where I have not got something out of it.

  18. CalKane Farmereighthirtyone “so you are only addressing a quarter of my argument”
    An argument???? Did you just call that an ARGUMENT???? BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!…
    Just kidding. Thought I’d pretend to be a Modern Atheist for a second.
    I agree with you on the point of the show, but another ambition of this show is to become sharper thinkers by listening to opposing arguments being constructed and articulated and defended.

  19. Lads I’m not the greatest on philosophy, I really think it’s a really important component to ascertaining. a truth form a lie.
    Forgive me I’m a bit enibriated, it’s difficult to formulate a thought, any way, I had been thinking about the idea that there are functions in the brain which, I feel are quite mysterious, like the production of neurons, from what I understand, a thought and a neuron are one of the same thing, now the issue I have with the scientific understanding of this is, that science does not say what comes firstly the neuron or the thought and by what method of understanding do we understand by what mechanism I.e imputus do those things occure.
    Personally I believe the thought we have are from the spiritual nature of humans. God just spoke and everything was.

  20. I think the fundamental problem here is that those of us who are theists understand Cal’s arguments, but Cal doesn’t understand theism.  Again – I used to be a Betrand Russell – style atheist.  I know ALL the atheist arguments: I’ve made them.  Cal really needs a better grounding in theistic philosophy in order to be able to refute it with any pretense of a good argument.  

    With great enthusiasm I suggest that Tim and Cal do a show in which they argue the other point of view.  Tim will argue from the atheist perspective (but caveat that he believes it to be wrong) and Cal will argue from the Catholic theist perspective (but caveat that he believes it to be wrong).  In this way we will see the assumptions on which both Catholic theism and Cal’s brand of skeptic atheism rest, since in order to argue the opposite of our own beliefs we have to recognize the a priori assumptions on which our beliefs rest, and discard them for the purposes of argument.

  21. catholicchild Just watched and I was liking it until he had to slip a little “If you think it all the way through, you will no doubt figure out that there must be a great mind (God) at the heart of all this” into the mix at the end. Its not that I have a problem with talking about God (I hope that’s clear to everyone) it that I mind people having to slip their world view into a subject that does not call for it. If at the end of my talk on freewill I had said “And if you really think about it you will no doubt see, as I did, that there is no God at the heart of all this” I would be guilty of trying to impose my views on you guys which I think is sneaky and unnecessary. Hope that all made sense 🙂

  22. CalKane 
    Good morning or evening Cal, 
    You know, it is so hard for me–because I know Him–to think otherwise.  I apologize. 
    The site is put together by a daily talk show host, a Jewish man.  I happen to pick up my special needs 18 and 20 years old children during one of the 3 hours he is on and sometimes I flip over to hear his topic or guest.  The site is a variety of people with their few minutes of “educating” others so there are many thought provoking shorts (although, as I said, this is only my second time there–I was about to do dishes and out of the blue thought of his site).
    One more excuse on my end, it is also a challenge to not mention God with this particular area because that is one of the “proofs” of God’s existence…the unmoved mover, etc.
    Did you have that opportunity to view the Planned Parenthood undercover videos?
    Looking forward to your next dialog with Tim 🙂

  23. catholicchild CalKane No need to apologise it was a good video. Really well produced and he spoke very clearly and concisely.

    I have seen the videos and my response will be coming to you and the rest of the fans very soon. Stay tuned 🙂

  24. So Cal, you’re predetermined to choose mint chip ice crème instead of chunky monkey?  Then you can kill someone or molest a child without any responsibility?  You couldn’t choose your parents, but they chose to have you.  This argument is a dodge to get around morals.  If you don’t have free will, you can do anything without taking any fault.  This kind of thinking is utter nonsense.  This thinking eliminates criminals.  No free will, no fault.  How do you explain people from bad childhoods that do good and vice versa?

  25. Thanks for the tip gents…


    Your inability to think logically from the standpoint of reality makes soooo much sense to me now! hahaha

    Not that I was trying to make sense of it… I can’t make sense of why anyone would reject the obvious that there is a God.

    It was clear you had a worldview that centred on victimhood (that is the modern secular hive mind in a nutshell) e.g. “alcoholics can’t help it”, “gamblers can’t help it”, etc. I never knew you dismissed the reality of freewill altogether though. That’s radical man! hahaha

    I wonder if some jerk had sex with your wife you’d simply dismiss his actions as sex addiction and your wife’s actions as pre-determined? Then even worse, she left you with your sons for that man.

    We’re speaking hypotheticals here. The point isn’t to personally insult your wife or your family. These circumstances happen everyday in the real world. According to you, if your wife and some other male ever did this to you (whether with a best friend or a stranger), it would be nobody’s fault.

    That’s bizarre! hahaha

    In other words, you aren’t really doing ‘The Dialogue’ with Tim to help change the world or people for the better. You are doing it for no other reason in essence than that you can’t help it…

    You also critiqued a video a listener here shared with you that mentioned God on the topic of freewill. Honestly Cal, the thought of being stuck in your mind for a day (like something we’d see in a movie) is a nightmare! The thought of you ever being given the power to rule a nation is even worse! hahaha

    55. Do you imagine that, if everybody believed in
    determinism, men would commit crimes with impunity?

    No. I do
    not hold that the community would appoint no penalties for crime. I agree with
    Professor Joad’s verdict that, if determinism is true, morality must lose its
    meaning. But, on their own principles, determinists would be determined to act
    as if determinism was not true, and as if morality was significant, just as
    they would have to be regarded as determined to think their determinism true
    when it isn’t. That would be the only explanation of their moral indignation
    with wicked people who, if their theory were right, have no choice but to be
    wicked. But, if criminals could not escape with impunity, a deterministic
    philosophy, if adopted, would certainly tend to their multiplication. One is
    much more likely to develop reliable characters by teaching conscious and
    deliberate self-control with a sense of moral responsibility than by teaching
    that people are but the playthings of uncontrollable forces and inclinations.
    In his book, “The Threshold of Ethics,” Dr. Kirk rightly says,
    “The habit of looking for automatisms, necessities, and compulsions, in
    our estimates of character, which is generated by the theory of determinism, is
    a habit which leads wholly in a non-moral direction. The more I treat myself as
    a plaything of irresistible forces, the more I shall tend to neglect
    self-criticism and self-discipline; and the less I shall resist the seductive
    temptations of self-pity, self-excuse, and self-justification.”


  26. Christendom  “Your inability to think logically from the standpoint of reality makes soooo much sense to me now! hahaha”

    I’ve asked you before to stop taking cheap shots at me once before and I’m going to ask you again. Stop speaking to me in this condescending manner and stop having a laugh at my expesnse. We tried to have a conversation, it didn’t work so if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything. I have treated you with nothing but respect and you have gone out of your way to make a joke out of me for reasons I can’t quite fathom. So once again, stop speaking to me in this way.

  27. CalKane Christendom 
    You’ve become so boring! 🙂

    How can anyone take your irrationality seriously??? hahaha

    What I can do for you, as an act of charity and freewill, is stop watching The Dialogue.

    It’s probably best to leave the seasoned Catholics here to both mend and tend to your fragile heart and proud spirit! hahaha

    It’s been a barrel of laughs Cal! hahaha

    God bless your soul! 🙂

  28. Christendom CalKane  And you are still laughing at me even when I very calmly and politely asked you not to. I have no idea what I’ve done for you to treat me in a way that I’m not comfortable with and I think it’s highly disrespectful to 1, not apologize when your behavior has made someone uncomfortable and 2, keep on doing it after the fact. All you have done is treat me like a joke and mentality handicapped person (your words) and shut down any possibly if a good conversation which, as you can see, I have had with many other fans of this show. I have no idea what your mission was when you started talking to me but I am truly saddened by the fact that we couldn’t get at least a back and forth going and the end result of all this was you continuing to talk to me in a way I didn’t like.

    If you want to stop watching the show that’s up to you but to be honest, the show is about useful, respectful and honest conversations and this does not seem to be something you want so maybe the show isn’t for you. Either way, I hope that you learn from this and realize that treating people in ways they don’t want to be treated is not a good way to use your time. I won’t be responding to any more of your comments in future and I wish you the best.

    Take care.


  29. CalKane Christendom 
    CalKane Christendom 
    Okay Cal, I’ll give you a serious response! 🙂

    We live in an entitlement culture today after all. You are ‘nice’ and therefore you are automatically owed my utmost respect, supposedly.

    Sorry, that doesn’t sway with me…

    ignorance is both dangerous and deadly to a soul and civilisation. I’ve
    illustrated to you where your logic leads on each moral issue we have
    tackled. You’ve continued to duck and weave the fallacy of your logical

    Yes, I truly do love you as a child of God,
    that is 100% sincere despite your claims. What comes across as spiteful
    and condescending to you is actually being expressed in love, that’s the
    irony! hahaha

    And the fact your very responses prove the truth shared in the quote about determinism a little earlier.

    saying that, I have zero respect whatsoever for the nonsense you
    continue to spiel. I could either get angry with you about it or laugh
    at its ridiculousness. Laughing is more fun and a healthier outlet than

    As Catholics, we don’t deny the spiritual realm, as you  know:

    “The devil … that proud spirit … cannot endure to be mocked.” St. Thomas More

    mocked you as a way to expose your beliefs for what they are…evil!
    There is only one way to expose evil and that’s to shine the light of
    truth upon it.

    I’m big on repentance and penance, I
    live and breathe it. To repent about something, one must first feel
    sorry for doing a wrong though. To apologise to you about our
    correspondence would be insincere. I’m NOT sorry, so why would I
    apologise to you? Hahaha

    Yet in your usual style of faulty logic you seem to be insisting upon an apology…

    puffed up with the knowledge of self and this world, some of which
    might have elements of the truth In it, others not, and you’re blind to
    the truth of God and the soul, and real objective universal morality.

    you ever heard that old saying, “We can choose our friends. We can’t
    choose our family.” I couldn’t care less about being your friend Cal. I
    care very deeply about the state and condition and eternal
    destination of your soul.

    You have plenty of Catholics
    friends here whom you have built up good repour with who will continue
    to gently and faithfully guide you. That’s why I haven’t worried about
    hurting your feelings from the beginning. Pampering can be the greater
    good at times, to a point.

    By the grace of God in His
    divine mercy you do find yourself surrounded by Catholics on fire for
    the Faith, (Tim especially), who are willing to patiently endure your
    pride, ignorance and evil ideas. This is a miraculous grace! I hope
    a day comes when you appreciate it.

    God bless you and your family Cal.


    P.S. This is my last word in honour of the commitment made. I will continue to follow and actively support the rest of the Vericast Network (without holding any ill will toward you or The Dialogue show).

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