91: A Conversation with James L. Carroll: No Stranger to Paradox

Clay sits down with James Carroll, a post-Mormon, Mormon Transhumanist, Buddhist and Unitarian Universalist. They discuss James’ faith journey and discuss the merits of being an activist and trying to find certainty in uncertainty.


James’ previous interview: Mormon Expositor Episode 29 – Mormon Transhumanism


  1. JT

    Enjoyed the conversation. My recurring thought during,”Now, there’s a couple of thoughtful and reasonable people.”

    I also appreciated James’s reference to Jonathan Haidt. To this I’ll plug Haidt’s “Social Intuitionist Model” of moral judgment and his complementary “Moral Foundations Theory”, which have helped me understand (and be more understanding of) conservative people disposed to group loyalty, obedience to authority, and disgust responses to sex that deviates from the missionary position. Which is not to say that they are not equally disposed to fairness and benevolence., which liberals, evidently, are biased toward at the expense of the others.

    It’s interesting to wonder to what degree maintaining TBM beliefs of the gold bible variety are unconsciously maintained by an unconscious need to secure a social environment that satisfies these former three moral intuitions – as well as explain why liberals find it easier to given them up.


    Reply Mar 01, 2015 @ 18:39:45
    • Clay

      Hey, JT. Thanks for listening and taking the time to comment and give input.
      I would venture to guess that many TBM beliefs are driven by the unconscious needs that you mention and the Haidt outlines. These people would probably be equally devoted and believing to any number of faiths had they been born under different religious traditions.

      Reply Mar 01, 2015 @ 19:02:44
  2. James L. Carroll

    I have often asked myself that very same question JT.

    Reply Mar 02, 2015 @ 09:47:46
  3. Heather

    James: If I want to investigate Buddhism, where do I start?

    Reply Mar 08, 2015 @ 22:56:41
  4. James L. Carroll

    Heather, that depends on what aspect of Buddhism you want to learn about, it’s doctrine, teachings, history, modern atheistic expressions of, how to meditate, etc. It’s a large and broad subject.

    But here are a few suggestions

    Modern atheist expressions of Buddhism:



    Western Buddhist Synthesis:


    Overview of traditional Buddhist teachings:


    How to meditate:



    Good luck.

    Reply Mar 10, 2015 @ 09:34:06
  5. Jimbo

    This is one of my favorite podcasts to date. I love the idea of taking the good from different religions and sources, and apply them in our lives!
    I just might have to investigate Buddhism ;)

    Reply Mar 07, 2016 @ 13:08:33

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