Change is in the air. Big change. New worldviews threatening to replace outdated narratives. Economic revolution. Robots on the rise. And now a global pandemic leading to a political reset.

Have we entered an age of radical transformation? Or have we returned to historical normalcy – a world in regular crisis after a brief interval of peace? These questions dominate our minds as we follow the news, argue with family members, and examine our modern lifestyles.

That’s why we sat down with Jay Richards, Research Assistant Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and author of a dozen of books including The Price of Panic (2020), Money, Greed, and God (2019), and The Human Advantage (2018).

Richards has tackled the big issues of the day on artificial intelligence, capitalism, the pandemic, and he can help make sense of our suddenly tumultuous times.

During the podcast, we looked at issues that have increasingly divisive differences of opinion, issues that can split a room in half.

We talked about the state of the Christian faith. Is Christianity a dying institution with a tired narrative? Or are we on the cusp of rebirth?

Richards holds that the current shrinkage is a purification and warns against the danger of nostalgia. “Certainly there’s no way forward without retaining the truths, and those don’t change. But there is always the temptation. J.R.R Tolkien talked about the danger of nostalgia. People that read the Lord of the Rings might think he was mired in nostalgia but, in fact, he wasn’t in his private letters. Actually, he describes that the problem with the elves in the Lord of the Rings is that they’re nostalgic because they always remember the past and they never move on. And consequently, they cease to actually be able to live in the world.”

We spoke about the rise of Artificial Intelligence and big tech. Is today’s rapid technological development coming to the aid of humanity, or is it threatening to enslave us to convenience and even take over decision making?

Richard says the answer is one of anthropology, not technology. “Machines come from us. It’s incredible how we forget this point. We’re less likely to be alienated from our technology if we realize that it’s our technology, that it depends upon us. Think of technology and its positive side and figure out how to adapt yourself so that you can flourish around it.”

We also hit on the topic of the COVID-19 panic, the subject of his most recent book. We asked: what is the main lesson from this global crisis?

"We can't change what happened in 2020. I think we can hopefully prevent it from happening again, at least in the same way."

Richards insisted, “The main lesson is that you don’t want the cure to be worse than the disease. You trust experts when they’re talking about their narrow expertise, but there’s no reason an expert that’s an immunologist is telling you about the consequences of an economic policy. He doesn’t know a darn thing more than anybody else about that.”

Check out the episode here!

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