S2, E2 – Religion and its Relationship to Enlightenment

If you’re not philosophically entertained, our entertainment is only philosophical.

Season 2, Episode 2: Religion and its Relationship to Enlightenment

In this episode, we will discuss:


  • Podcast Title: Philosophical Entertainment
  • Host: Matthew Mansfield
  • Episode Topic: Religion and its Relationship to Enlightenment

Main Content

  • Personal Anecdote: Host’s comment on never meeting a decent police officer.
    • Explanation of “decent”: fairly good, adequate, or satisfactory, and devoid of corruption.
    • Experience in stand-up comedy taught host that jokes should come from personal experience and identity.
  • Police Officers:
    • Host believes decency is compromised by the nature of police work.
    • Police officers are trained and permitted by law (case law) to use deception during interrogations.
    • Comparison to a man at a party who is only nice to steal a watch, highlighting lack of transparency and honesty.
  • Decency and Virtue:
    • Host argues that performing a non-virtuous act to achieve a virtuous goal undermines true virtue.
    • Mention of a Chinese proverb about the right means being used by the wrong man.
  • Racism in Police Culture:
    • Police may claim to hate everyone equally to deflect accusations of racism.
    • Discussion on the self-definition of police as “good guys” and the analogy of shoving cake down someone’s throat.
  • Mormons and Decency:
    • Host has never met a decent Mormon.
    • Criticism of Mormon beliefs and practices, such as tithing and attempts to convert others.
    • Comparison to a scenario where someone is nice to steal your wallet.

Religion and Enlightenment

  • Jesus’ Teachings:
    • Matthew 15:8 about lips honoring but hearts being far from honesty.
    • Enlightenment as spiritual awareness and alignment of intent with behavior.
  • Mahayana Buddhism:
    • Enlightened beings escape the cycle of rebirth (Samsara).
    • Importance of breaking out of self-referencing cycles to achieve enlightenment.
  • Paradoxes and Understanding Life:
    • Breaking attachment to understand life from an external perspective.
    • Analogy of police officer pretending to resign and rehire without truly leaving the system.
  • Masks and Trauma:
    • Children are honest and decent because they don’t wear masks.
    • Trauma causes changes in personas and creates masks.
    • Personal story of host’s traumatic experience with his son’s hypoglycemic seizure.


  • Summary:
    • Decency is tied to honesty, transparency, and true intent.
    • Both religious and everyday behaviors can lack decency if intent and actions don’t align.
    • Enlightenment involves breaking out of self-referential cycles and understanding life from an external perspective.

Ways to listen

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Episode Cast & Crew

Matthew Mansfield | Host

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