Transcript: Looking for Meaning in a World Without It | Mar 26, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped lavender tie.

A caption on screen reads "Looking for meaning in a world without it. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IN THE AGES-OLD QUEST
TO FIND MEANING IN LIFE, PEOPLE
HAVE LONG TURNED TO RELIGION,
SPIRITUALITY, EVEN THE
SUPERNATURAL.
BUT FOR NON-BELIEVERS, THOSE ARE
HARDLY SATISFYING PATHS TO
UNDERSTANDING.
DR. RALPH LEWIS IS A
PSYCHIATRIST AT THE SUNNYBROOK
HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE IN
TORONTO AND A PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY
CONSULTANT AT THE ODETTE CANCER
CENTRE IN THE CAPITAL CITY AS WELL.
HE'S GRAPPLED WITH THESE HEFTY
MATTERS AND HIS NEW BOOK OFFERS SOME ANSWERS.
IT'S CALLED "FINDING PURPOSE IN
A GODLESS WORLD: WHY WE CARE
EVEN IF THE UNIVERSE DOESN'T,"
AND IT BRINGS HIM TO OUR STUDIO
FOR MORE.

Ralph is in his fifties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a blue shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture in which the silhouette of a person stands atop a mountain peak staring at the starry night sky.

Steve continues SO NICE TO MEET YOU.
THIS IS NOT SMALL STUFF THIS
BOOK.
YOU'RE INTO THE HEAVINESS OF
LIFE, AREN'T YOU?

Ralph says A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU AND THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE.

Steve says NOT AT ALL.
LET'S START WITH THE BIG
QUESTION.
WHY DO THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN
THIS WORLD APPARENTLY BELIEVE IN
SOME VERSION OF GOD OR HIGHER POWER?

The caption changes to "Understanding the need for faith."

Ralph says WE'RE PURPOSEFUL OR, IF YOU
LIKE, PURPOSIVE PEOPLE.
WE'RE INTENTIONAL AGENTS.
WE'VE EVOLVED THAT WAY TO BE
ABLE TO RELATE EFFECTIVELY TO
EACH OTHER AS SOCIAL ANIMALS.
WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO READ EACH
OTHER'S INTENTIONS, AND WE ALSO
EVOLVED IN AN ENVIRONMENT TO BE
ABLE TO INFER THE INTENTIONS OF
PREDATORS AND PREY.
WE'RE SO GOOD AT READING OR
INFERRING INTENTION THAT WE
OVERSHOOT ON THAT.
WE THINK THAT THINGS ARE
INTENTIONAL WHEN THEY'RE NOT.
WE THINK THAT WE SEE PURPOSE
WHERE THERE ISN'T ANY.
AND WE BELIEVE OR ASSUME THAT
THE UNIVERSE HAS A PURPOSE
ITSELF AND IS DRIVEN OR DESIGNED
BY A HIGHER PURPOSEFUL AGENT.

Steve says A TWO-WORD
FOLLOW-UP: EVEN NOW, EVEN NOW,
IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING WE KNOW
ABOUT SCIENCE, IN SPITE OF
EVERYTHING, EVEN NOW, WE STILL
BELIEVE THIS?

The caption changes to "Ralph Lewis. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre."

Ralph says YES, INDEED.
NOT FOR UNINTELLIGENT REASONS
EITHER.
BECAUSE CERTAINLY WE LIVE IN A
WORLD THAT IS HIGHLY COMPLEX.
IT REALLY DOES APPEAR DESIGNED,
AND IN FACT EVEN A FEW
HIGH-LEVEL SCIENTISTS BELIEVE
THAT THE LAWS OF NATURE, THE
LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE FINE-TUNED
TO BASICALLY ALLOW FOR US TO
HAVE EVOLVED HERE.

Steve says BUT YOU'RE NOT ONE
OF THOSE PEOPLE?

The caption changes to "Ralph Lewis. Author, 'Finding purpose in a godless universe.'"

Ralph says I'M NOT.
I USED TO BE.
AND SO DID A NUMBER OF
SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THEIR
MINDS ON THIS.
SO I WOULD SAY THAT UNTIL THE
END OF THE 20TH CENTURY, THIS
WAS A REALLY TOUGH ENIGMA.
WHY ARE THE LAWS OF NATURE, THE
LAWS OF PHYSICS, SO APPARENTLY
FINE-TUNED TO ALLOW FOR LIFE TO
EVOLVE, AND HOW COULD THE
INCREDIBLE COMPLEXITY OF OUR
WORLD, ESPECIALLY OUR BIOLOGICAL
WORLD, LIFE, ESPECIALLY US, HOW
COULD THIS POSSIBLY HAVE ARISEN
SPONTANEOUSLY AND UNGUIDED.
AND FURTHERMORE, WHAT ABOUT
CONSCIOUSNESS?
HOW COULD THIS ARISE FROM
MATERIAL STUFF, LET ALONE
SPONTANEOUSLY UNGUIDED.

Steve says SO MANY GOOD
QUESTIONS THERE, INCLUDING YOUR
PERSONAL JOURNEY ALONG THIS
ROUTE, WHICH WE'LL COME BACK TO.
I WANT YOU TO CONTINUE WITH A
STORY ABOUT A PATIENT OF YOURS,
A WOMAN NAMED ANNA FROM EASTERN
EUROPE, AND WHY HER STORY IS
RELEVANT IN THIS CONTEXT.

Ralph says ANNA IS AN EXAMPLE... ONE OF
MANY.
I SEE THIS ALL THE TIME.
ANNA... AND I SHOULD SAY THAT MY
CASE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE OF COURSE
ALTERED AND SOME OF THEM ARE
COMPOSITES TO PROTECT PATIENTS'
ANONYMITY.
BUT BASICALLY ANNA WAS IN HER
EARLY 30s, AN IMMIGRANT FROM A
POOR EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRY.
SHE HAD FLED THAT COUNTRY
BECAUSE OF ABUSE BY HER HUSBAND,
WHO WAS A POWERFUL MAN CONNECTED
WITH THE POLICE, AND SHE ENDED
UP IN CANADA, PRACTICALLY A
REFUGEE.
SAFE HERE BUT ALONE AWAY FROM
HER FAMILY, WONDERING WHY THIS
HAD HAPPENED TO HER.
AND THEN SHE FOUND THE LUMP IN
HER BREAST.
AND SHE ENDED UP IN MY HOSPITAL,
SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES
CENTRE'S ODETTE CENTRE AND
RECEIVED STATE-OF-THE-ART
TREATMENT FOR HER BREAST CANCER,
AND WAS INCREDIBLY RELIEVED,
BECOMING LESS PESSIMISTIC THAN
SHE INITIALLY WAS TO REALIZE
THAT SHE WAS GOING TO BE OKAY,
AND THAT'S WHEN SHE HAD THIS A
HA MOMENT.
IT ALL MADE SENSE TO HER.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
THE WHOLE ARC OF HER LIFE
NARRATIVE HAD SUDDENLY BECOME
CLEAR.
GOD HAD SENT HER HUSBAND TO
ABUSE HER SO THAT SHE WOULD END
UP IN CANADA, SO THAT SHE COULD
GET THE LIFE-SAVING TREATMENT HERE.

Steve says THERE'S ONLY ONE
PROBLEM WITH THAT STORY: NONE OF
THAT IS TRUE, RIGHT?
I MEAN, CAN YOU SAY THAT TO HER?

Ralph says I NEVER SAY SUCH A THING TO A
PATIENT.
I'M IN THE BUSINESS OF HELPING
PEOPLE TO FUNCTION BETTER AND TO
BE LESS DISTRESSED AND ONLY
SOMETIMES THAT INVOLVES HELPING
THEM TO SEE THINGS MORE
REALISTICALLY, FROM A SCIENTIFIC
POINT OF VIEW.

Steve says I JUST WENT
OFF-COURSE, CLEARLY, BUT YOU'LL
GET US BACK ON TRACK HERE.

Ralph says SO IT'S A VERY WIDESPREAD
HUMAN NOTION THAT EVERYTHING
HAPPENS FOR A REASON AND THINGS
ARE MEANT TO BE.
PEOPLE WILL THINK THAT NOT ONLY
CANCER AND ABUSIVE HUSBANDS
HAPPEN FOR A REASON... AND BY
THE WAY, SHE REASONED THAT GOD
MUST HAVE HAD A DEEPER, MORE
MYSTERIOUS REASON FOR GIVING HER
CANCER AT ALL.
BUT PEOPLE THINK THAT THE
UNIVERSE HAPPENED FOR A REASON.
AND OUR WHOLE LIVES HAPPEN FOR A
REASON.
PEOPLE REALLY, REALLY STRUGGLE,
STEVE, TO GET THEIR HEADS AROUND
THE NOTION OF RANDOMNESS, THE
IDEA THAT RANDOMNESS RULES OUR
LIVES AND THAT FUNDAMENTALLY
THERE IS NO INHERENT PURPOSE OR
REASON FOR IT ALL.

The caption changes to "Coming to terms with randomness."

Steve says I'M GOING TO GET A
LITTLE PERSONAL WITH YOU HERE,
OKAY?
BUT YOU TALK ABOUT THIS IN THE
BOOK SO I THINK I'M ON OKAY
GROUND TO DO THIS.
YOUR FAMILY HAD A SIMILAR
CIRCUMSTANCE TO ANNA'S, RIGHT?
YOUR WIFE DISCOVERED, WHAT IS
IT, TEN YEARS AGO, THAT SHE HAD
BREAST CANCER?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Ralph says IT'S NOW MORE THAN 13 YEARS
AGO, FORTUNATELY.
BUT EXACTLY.
THAT IS WHY, BY THE WAY, I GOT
INTERESTED IN DOING CANCER WORK
SOME YEARS LATER.
YOU KNOW, I HAD ALWAYS BEEN
INTERESTED IN THE BIG
PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS, AND MY
WORK CERTAINLY RAISES THESE
QUESTIONS EVERY DAY.
BUT IT WAS MY WIFE'S CANCER THAT
BROUGHT IT INTO SHARP FOCUS.
KAREN WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A VERY
SEVERE AND AGGRESSIVE FORM OF
BREAST CANCER.
IT WAS NOT META STATIC BUT VERY
FAST-GROWING AND DANGEROUS AT
AGE 39.
AND WE HAD THREE CHILDREN AGES 7
AND UNDER.
AND AT THAT TIME I WASN'T
CERTAIN ABOUT THE VIEWS THAT I'M
NOW EXPOUNDING ON.
I WAS PARTIAL TO THE IDEA THAT
THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON, THAT
THERE IS SOME HIGHER PURPOSE,
THAT THE UNIVERSE ITSELF MAY BE
FINE-TUNED FOR US TO HAVE
EVOLVED, ET CETERA.
I WAS NEVER A LITERAL BIBLICAL
BELIEVER, BUT I WAS QUITE
SENTIMENTAL ABOUT RELIGION IN GENERAL.

Steve says YOU CAME OUT OF AN
ORTHODOX JEWISH HOME.

Ralph says TRADITIONAL ORTHODOX SCHOOL
FOR MOST OF MY PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY SCHOOLING.
AND LET ME ADD AS A FOOTNOTE
THAT I'M STILL SENTIMENTAL ABOUT
RELIGION AND I STILL THINK
THAT... I THINK TRADITIONS HAVE
VALUE AND I THINK THAT THERE ARE
PHILOSOPHICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL
INSIGHTS THAT RELIGIOUS PEOPLE,
THROUGH THE AGES, HAVE COME UP
WITH...

Steve says DAWKINS.

Ralph says I'M NOT INTO THROWING OUT THE
BABY WITH THE BATH WATER AND I
UNDERSTAND AND RESPECT PEOPLE'S
DEEP RELIGIOUS FAITH AND IT'S
NOT JUST EMOTIONAL.
MUCH OF IT IS INTELLECTUAL TOO.

Steve says WHEN YOUR WIFE
CONTRACTED THAT CANCER, THAT
AWFUL KIND OF CANCER, WHAT DID
IT DO TO ALL OF THE ISSUES THAT
YOU'RE WRITING ABOUT IN THE BOOK?

Ralph says WELL, IT MADE ME REALIZE THAT
I DIDN'T HAVE A FULLY COHERENT
SUBSTANTIATED WORLD VIEW.
THERE WERE CONTRADICTIONS IN MY
WORLD VIEW.
I WAS CERTAINLY
SCIENCE-ORIENTED, ABSOLUTELY.
BUT THIS BELIEF, THAT THINGS
HAPPEN FOR A REASON... WHICH WAS
FUELED BY THE EERIE FEELING IN
THE EARLY STAGE OF HER CANCER
THAT I WAS... THAT WE WERE
SOMEHOW BEING GUIDED TOWARD A
FAVOURABLE OUTCOME.
WE WERE THE BENEFICIARIES, AS I
SAID IN THE BOOK, SOME
EXTRAORDINARILY SERENDIPITOUS
AND FORTUITOUS EVENTS IN HELPING
US TO ACCESS THE BEST DIAGNOSTIC
AND TREATMENT AVAILABLE AT JUST
THE RIGHT TIME.
AND THERE WERE SO MANY THINGS
THAT HAD THEY GONE OTHERWISE,
SHE WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED.

Steve says SO DID YOU THINK
THERE WAS A HIGHER POWER AT WORK?

Ralph says IN A VAGUE AND ABSTRACT WAY.
I WASN'T SURE IF I BELIEVED IN A
PERSONAL GOD OR PERSONAL COSMIC
GUIDANCE.
AND, YOU KNOW, I WAS SUSPICIOUS
OF THIS EERIE FEELING, BECAUSE I
DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE THEORIES
THAT I EXPLAINED EARLIER, BUT I
DID UNDERSTAND DENIAL,
PSYCHOLOGICAL DENIAL, AND I KNEW
IN MY WORK HOW RAPIDLY AND
POWERFULLY THESE GET DEPLOYED
WHEN PEOPLE'S FAITHS ARE BEING
ARBITRARILY BY TRIVIAL FACTORS
IN AN ILLNESS.

Steve says IN THOSE MOMENTS
WHERE YOU THOUGHT THERE MIGHT BE
SOME KIND OF HIGHER POWER AT
WORK HERE, BECAUSE WE SHOULD
SAY, YOUR WIFE, I MEAN, SHE BEAT
IT, RIGHT?

Ralph says YOU'RE NEVER OUT OF THE WOODS
WITH CANCER...

Steve says SO FAR SO GOOD.

Ralph says YES.

Steve says YOU HAVE A HAPPY
ENDING SO FAR.

Ralph says YES.

Steve says DID THE SCIENTIST IN
YOU ARGUE WITH THE OTHER HALF OF
YOU WHICH WAS SAYING, THERE MUST
BE SOME HIGHER PLAY AT WORK HERE?

Ralph says ABSOLUTELY.
THAT'S A GOOD WAY OF PUTTING IT.
WHAT I REALIZE IN RETROSPECT IS
I WAS EXPERIENCING WHAT WE CALL
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, WHEN A
PERSON HOLDS TWO CONTRADICTORY
BELIEFS AND IT CAUSES TENSION
WITHIN THEM.
SO I STARTED TO BECOME
INCREASINGLY DUBIOUS AND
SKEPTICAL OF MY OWN BELIEFS.
THIS INVOKED BIGGER
PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS I'VE
ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN, DOES
THE UNIVERSE HAVE A PURPOSE, IS
THERE A HIGHER POWER, IS LIFE
AND THE UNIVERSE RANDOM?
BEING OBSESSIVE AND INTENSE, I
NEEDED... I REALLY NEEDED TO
COME UP WITH A MORE SUBSTANTIAL,
COHERENT SET OF ANSWERS, AND
THIS BOOK IS THE PRODUCT OF
THAT, OF YEARS OF VERY INTENSE
RESEARCH AND READING AND
ULTIMATELY WRITING.

Steve says YOU'VE ONLY ASKED
SOME OF THE BIGGEST QUESTIONS IN
THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD THAT
NEED TO BE ASKED THAT WE'LL
NEVER HAVE ANSWERS FOR, BUT
YOU'VE WRITTEN WHAT YOU THINK
YOUR ANSWERS ARE.
HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU THAT
YOU'VE KIND OF GOT A HANDLE ON
THIS STUFF?

Ralph says WELL, LIKE EVERYONE WITH A
BELIEF SYSTEM, I'M VERY
SATISFIED.
OF COURSE, I COULD BE ENTIRELY
WRONG.

Steve says INDEED.
YOU MAY NEVER KNOW.

Ralph says I FIND MYSELF IN VERY GOOD
COMPANY BECAUSE WHAT I HAVE
REALIZED IS THAT THIS IS THE
SCIENTIFIC WORLD VIEW, AND I
KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WOULD
DISPUTE THAT.
BUT THE SCIENTISTS WHO I ALLUDED
TO EARLIER, WHO BELIEVE IN A
PURPOSEFUL UNIVERSE AND
SCIENTISTS WHO ARE RELIGIOUS ARE
ACTUALLY, THESE DAYS, A
MINORITY.
IN FACT, A SMALL MINORITY,
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
HIGHER ECHELONS OF SCIENCE, THE
MOST ACCOMPLISHED AND
KNOWLEDGEABLE SCIENTISTS.

Steve says YOU'VE GOT A TITLE
HERE I HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE, A
PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY CONSULTANT.
WHAT IS THAT EXACTLY?

The caption changes to "Approaching death."

Ralph says THAT JUST MEANS I HELP PEOPLE
PSYCHOLOGICALLY WITH CANCER.
AND SO MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE... I
SAY PSYCHOLOGICALLY, BUT
ACTUALLY PSYCHIATRICALLY AS
WELL.
SOME ARE SUFFERING FROM
SIGNIFICANT ANXIETY OR
DEPRESSION, MORE THAN JUST
DISTRESS OR STRESS FROM CANCER,
BUT THE KIND OF ANXIETY OR
DEPRESSION THAT ACTUALLY
EMBARRASS A PERSON'S
FUNCTIONING, WHERE THAT BECOMES
THE IMPAIRMENT OF FUNCTIONING,
SOMETIMES EVEN MORE THAN THE
CANCER DOES.
THAT'S JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF THE
KINDS OF PATIENTS I SEE.

Steve says HERE'S ANOTHER ONE
OF THOSE KEY QUESTIONS.
IF YOU YOURSELF... I CAN'T
REMEMBER IF YOU SAID IN THE
BOOK... YOU'RE MORE AGNOSTIC
THAN ATHEIST, I THINK YOU SAID
IN THE BOOK.

Ralph says I WAS.

Steve says NOW YOU'RE ATHEIST.

Ralph says I'M COMFORTABLE WITH THAT
TERM.

Steve says SO IF YOU CAN'T
REALLY OFFER YOUR
DYING-OF-CANCER PATIENTS
EVER-LASTING LIFE, WHAT ARE YOU
BRINGING TO THE DANCE EXACTLY,
DR. LEWIS?

Ralph says STEVE, I THINK WHAT I'VE
REALIZED THAT WE ALL NEED MORE
THAN ANYTHING IS TO KNOW THAT WE
MATTER.
THAT OUR LIVES MATTER.
THAT IT MATTERS THAT WE'RE BORN
AND THAT WE HAVE BEEN HERE.
SO IN MANY WAYS WHAT I HAD TO
OFFER MY PATIENTS IS IN THE
NOBLE TRADITION OF PSYCHIATRY
AND PSYCHOLOGY, WHICH IS THE
THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP ITSELF,
THE DEMONSTRATION TO MY PATIENTS
THAT THEY MATTER TO ME.
AND I REALLY DO TRY TO FEEL
THAT, EXPERIENCE THAT, AND
DEMONSTRATE THAT AS BEST AS I
CAN.

Steve says DO YOU FIND THAT'S
ENOUGH FOR THEM?

Ralph says WELL, I ALSO, OF COURSE, AM
TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE TO
REALIZE, MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN
MATTERING TO ME, I'M TRYING TO
HELP THEM REALIZE HOW MUCH THEY
MATTER AND HAVE MATTERED TO
EVERYONE ELSE IN THEIR LIVES,
AND THE IMPACT THAT THEIR LIVES
HAVE HAD ON THE LITTLE WORLD
AROUND THEM.
MOST OF US WILL HOPE ONLY TO
MAKE A MODEST IMPACT ON THE
PEOPLE IN OUR IMMEDIATE WORLD,
OUR FAMILY, OUR FRIENDS, THE
PEOPLE WE WORK WITH.
WHAT I HAVE REALIZED IS THAT
MOST PEOPLE REALLY UNDERESTIMATE
THE IMPACT THAT THEY HAVE ON THE
PEOPLE AROUND THEM.
IT'S ONE OF THE GREAT TRAGEDIES
OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SUICIDAL IS
THIS DISTORTED BELIEF... AND
IT'S ALMOST ALWAYS DISTORTED,
SEVERELY SO... DISTORTED BELIEF
THAT THEY DON'T MATTER AND THAT
EVERYONE WOULD BE BETTER OFF
WITHOUT THEM.
YOU KNOW, I HEAR PEOPLE WHO ARE
SUICIDAL SAY, WELL, THEY,
REFERRING TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS,
WILL BE UPSET FOR A WHILE BUT IN
THE END WILL BE UNBURDENED BY
ME. IT'S A TERRIBLE DISTORTION,
A TRAGIC ONE. SO, IN MY FIELD
WE WORK REALLY HARD TO CORRECT
SUCH DISTORTIONS.

Steve says WE HAVE A FEW
MINUTES LEFT.
THIS IS A QUOTE FROM YOUR BOOK
I'M GOING TO READ...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "It ain't enough to feel." The quote reads "To gain a more realistic picture of how the world really is, we need to bypass our subjectivity, our intuitions, our cognitive biases, our fears, and our wishful thinking."
Quoted from Ralph Lewis, "Finding purpose in a Godless world." 2018.

Steve says I'M WONDERING WHETHER THAT
SO-CALLED REALISTIC PICTURE IS
ONLY AVAILABLE, FOR EXAMPLE, TO
ATHEISTS WHO HAVE A KNACK FOR
THE SCIENCE AND ARE NOT, I
GUESS, WHAT'S THE WORD I'M
LOOKING FOR HERE?
ARE NOT BURDENED BY RELIGIOSITY?

The caption changes to "Don't trust your emotions!"

Ralph says THERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO
UNPACK IN THAT QUESTION.
THE FIRST THING IS, IN TERMS OF
BEING UNBURDENED, I THINK
WHAT... THE ONE ADVANTAGE THAT
ATHEISTS HAVE IS THEY'RE
LIBERATED FROM THE ANGUISH OF
THAT QUESTION THAT PEOPLE ALWAYS
ASK: WHY ME?
WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?
BECAUSE IF EVERYTHING DOES
HAPPEN FOR A REASON, WELL,
THAT'S COMFORTING EXCEPT WHEN
IT'S NOT, RIGHT?
BECAUSE IN REALLY CRUEL CASES OF
ADVERSITY, IT'S VERY, VERY HARD
TO EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE WHAT
THE MORE MYSTERIOUS, HIGHER
PURPOSE MIGHT BE, AS MANY PEOPLE
ARE FAMILIAR WITH, HOLOCAUST
THEOLOGY IS OFTEN THE ULTIMATE
EXAMPLE OF THAT.
BUT IN OUR DAILY LIVES ON CANCER
WARDS, THERE ARE MANY EXAMPLES
OF THAT.
AS TO YOUR POINT ABOUT INTUITION
AND SUBJECTIVITY, SO ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT SCIENCE TEACHES
AND IS REALLY HARD TO GRASP...
AND ACTUALLY IT'S A FUNDAMENTAL
POINT IN PSYCHIATRY, IS DON'T
BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK.
DO NOT TRUST YOUR INTUITION.
WE'RE AN EVER-SOCIAL SPECIES,
AND AS A STORYTELLING SPECIES,
AS WE'RE OFTEN DESCRIBED, WE'RE
SO SWAYED BY ANECDOTE, SO
IMPRESSED BY TESTIMONIAL, SO
HUGELY IMPRESSED BY SUBJECT OF
EXPERIENCE.
BUT SUBJECT OF EXPERIENCE IS
INCREDIBLY UNRELIABLE, AND
REALLY, THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE TO
FOLLOW THE DATA, AND THAT IS
WHAT SCIENCE IS ABOUT, IS TRYING
TO NEUTRALIZE AND BYPASS THE
SUBJECT OF INTUITION, THE WHOLE
QUESTION OF, DOES DRUG A
CAUSE-EFFECT B?
AND PEOPLE HAVE A VERY HARD TIME
GRASPING THIS, WHICH IS WHY
THERE'S A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR
INDUSTRY IN ALTERNATIVE
THERAPIES THAT AT BEST ARE PLACEBOS.

Steve says INDEED.
AFTER EVERYTHING IS SAID AND
DONE, CAN ONE LIVE BY REASON ALONE?

Ralph says WELL, NO.
I DON'T THINK SO.
WE'RE EMOTIONAL OR EMOTIVE
BEINGS, AND TO TRY TO LIVE BY
REASON ALONE IS PRACTICALLY TO
BE AUTISTIC.
BUT REASON... WELL, WE NEED TO
KNOW THE PLACE OF EMOTION AND
THE PLACE OF REASON.
YOU KNOW, I'M STILL ATTACHED
EMOTIONALLY TO RELIGION.
BY THE WAY, I STILL OBSERVE MANY
RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS WITHOUT
HOLDING BELIEF.
IT'S CULTURAL.
AND IT'S PART OF MY ROOTS.
AND FAMILY TRADITION.
BUT I NEED TO BE FULLY AWARE
THAT WHEN IT COMES TO REALLY
UNDERSTANDING WHY THE WORLD IS
THE WAY IT IS, WHY WE ARE HERE,
HOW WE CAME TO BE HERE, THAT IS
A QUESTION FOR SCIENCE AND
REASON AND NOT EMOTION AND
SUBJECTIVITY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Wodek Szemberg, @wodekszemberg."

Steve says FOR SOME REASON,
YOUR COGNITIVE DISSONANCE MADE
PERFECT SENSE IN THIS BOOK, I
HAVE TO TELL YOU.
"FINDING PURPOSE IN A GODLESS
WORLD: WHY WE CARE EVEN IF THE
UNIVERSE DOESN'T."

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve continues THAT'S BY DR. RALPH LEWIS M.D.
FROM SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES
CENTRE. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING
WITH US ON TVO TONIGHT.

Ralph says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Watch: Looking for Meaning in a World Without It