Which would shatter the Now into an infinity of nows.
An infinite regress of cats is not entirely dissimilar.
I have had the entertaining experience of watching an accomplished scientist make the transition from ‘nah, that’s not true’ to ‘we’ve always known that’ during one afternoon conference session.
(As for the topic question, my answer is ‘Yes’. Or possibly ‘No’. It doesn’t strike me as the sort of question for which debate or even thought is likely to get us closer to an answer.)
It isn’t and yet there are those who repeat their unproven opinion ad nauseum merely to ensure that they have expressed the last word on the matter, as if their last word is evidence they are closer to truth. Comparing impossibles–be they married bachelors, events that precede themselves, cats, or snapping fingers–to possibles is the ploy of the desperate.
What about when a PhD mathematician says it’s logically possible to form an infinite series through successive addition?
That struck me as monumentally off.
True fact: people with PHDs have been and will again be wrong … just much less frequently than the control group when the subject matter is the one within which the PHD was obtained.
It might depend on what they meant by ‘logically possible’. In any case, I am confident that debate and thought are able to get us farther from an answer.
I was feeling some friendly intimidation the other night sitting around a bonfire (me with my bachelors degree) with a a couple other Phd holders. One of them just laughed at me and said: “all it means is ‘piled higher and deeper’”
I suppose we could (should?) always admire his/her apparent versatility, right? Although it’s interesting that there is near universal embarrassment about it. Nobody likes to be caught changing their mind - when what we really ought to find a whole lot more embarrassing is our unwillingness to change our minds in the light of new facts.
The key to avoiding embarrassment is to genuinely believe that you’ve always held your current belief. It’s all in the nuances, see?
I wonder if belief-loyalty is more common among those professing a creed? For as far back as I can remember I’ve had a resolute indifference to already being right. If a better one came along, hasta la vista old WV. Though some ideas get a little sticky and I seem to work a little harder to keep some of them afloat.
I’m sooo desperate. Like that was a counterargument. But I guess that’s all you’ve got.
Don’t ignore or deny objective evidence though. There is apparent history around here.
No disrespect, but I don’t believe you.
And to never admit when you are wrong, especially when it concerns the rational possibility of atheism.
(Thanks, mods. ; - )
One last thought, as I hinted at previously in the thread, it’s not a matter of whether there can be an infinite number of things, it’s whether there actually are objective things.
An infinitely divisible non-discrete becoming doesn’t appear to suffer from the same contradiction in being as a married bachelor.
Results may vary.
I think it depends a lot on how one views the creeds or components of them. If one holds them pretty loosely, then change of WV might not necessarily be such a big deal.
On the other hand, if one believes the creeds are a faithful topical or conceptual restatement of divine revelation, the believer will probably exercise at least a conservative caution in reevaluating and making changes. Others will say that no change is necessary or possible — ever.
As frustrating as it can be to watch what looks like plain bull-headedness in the face of the obvious, I’ve seen enough people in the church chasing after every new idea or spiritual fad and then wondering why they didn’t feel fulfilled. I would like to see more caution and evaluation. There is value in taking one’s time.
Likewise, there is value in updating the creeds, when necessary. I’ve been heartened, learning about the denomination I will probably join, that there is a long, slow, deliberate, thoughtful process of change that is used to address the official documents and creeds. The pace may seem geologic, but the very concept of reevaluation is heartening to me.
For those of us, who hold to some sort of creeds, yes, there is a tendency to resist changes in WV, because we see it as related to other essential truths. Witnessing the spiritual upheaval and damage that can accompany a thorough change in WV helps me value caution as well as change.
Well said, Kendel.
Generally speaking, a creed or confession is held as a subordinate standard of belief. That is to say that is reflects the standard or expected common beliefs of a particular Christian group. But that standard is subject to a higher authority. For some Christian groups that higher authority might be the church hierarchy (eg. bishops, synods, etc) for others it might the community of believers itself (eg. Church members), for others it might be the Bible, for others a combination of the above.
Traditionally, the Reformed Creeds (such as the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Confession) were/are/should be seen as subordinate to the Bible. That is to say, the creed represents the expected beliefs of the Reformed Community in as far as the creed accurately represent the teachings of the Bible. With it being the responsibility of every reader of the creed to decide for themselves whether they believe that to be the case. And, if they make a Biblical case that a section of the Creed (or even the whole thing) is mistaken then they should feel no obligation to hold to that point within the creed.
One example being those who are Reformed yet disagree with the Creeds about infant baptism. Another, being that most who hold to the Westminster Confession as a subordinate standard of belief disagree with the injunction against recreation on the sabbath (Sunday) or even whether Sunday is the Sabbath for Christians.
Now we can talk circular arguments and feedback loops until the cows come home… or at least you folk can if you want . But that is the theory, and my experience, when explained properly and taught correctly, it works pretty well.
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