Seriously though… it’s not that complicated.
I once told a friend who learned classical apologetics from Geisler about how I thought solipsism was a rational possibility. He said no that cannot be, and then said what the four possible statements were. When the words self-caused came out of his mouth, he literally paused. I don’t remember his exact words, but he hadn’t seen it that way before.
It’s interesting when with the pretense of objectively looking for the cause of something one possibility is subjectively precluded even when objective evidence to the contrary is presented and consequently disingenuously denied or ignored.
Subjectively precluded. That’s a good way to put it.
It’s almost as if they can’t say the name.
Sure god belief is fine and good, but it will not be uttered that it’s possible for the cause of the universe to be without beginning.
Some who like cat’s fleas will hold to infinite regression though. ; - )
I think you may be misinterpreting Mark.
It might express a kind of hubris to assume that the universe makes sense. Who says it needs to? We (as humans) assume that it does make sense, because (historically) that’s helped us better understand the universe. But it can hardly be proven that the universe MUST make sense.
I really like engaging with apologists. And I believe Mark does too. Buried within Mark’s statement “I wish apologists would be content with arguing for the soundness of their own position,” is the statement "There is [some] soundness to [certain] apologists opinions.
By definition, an apologist ought to be content with expressing the soundness of their position. That’s what they set out to do. Apologetics is different from evangelism.
Thank you for the thoughtful words. Mark is a mystery to me, it’s not the first time he’s made seemingly contradictory remarks which I’ve brought to his attention. As far as I remember, he doesn’t explain himself.
And yet he’s one of the very few skeptics or agnostics who has admitted there cannot be an infinite number of things.
He does explain himself. You just gotta ask him to explain himself rather than assuming what he said is condescending. It’s the internet. So I guess it’s okay to be cynical. But I think your cynicism is misplaced here.
He comes across that way, and does a nice job playing the part. As they say, it takes one to know one.
We’ve had quite a few words and there’s a few choice comments if you’re interested.
Yeah any conclusions drawn from such over-reaching, vacuous statements just can’t be taken seriously.
All yours. I have no time or interest for this sort of nonsense. I believe he approaches this as a zero sum game in which anything that works goes and what he actually thinks is beside the point. I can’t imagine you’d actually enjoy this either and your skills would be wasted. But to each his own. Perhaps your bedside manner will win the day.
I have no problem with anything a believer says that is sincere and honest and I already think there are respectable Christian positions and that true faith can be invaluable, leading to fulfilling relationships and a meaningful life. I just don’t think it is the only way and it certainly doesn’t work for me.
There are thoughtful Christians here who do not approach apologetics in the legalistic, shoddy way so many do. But this is an open forum where anyone who can refrain from being offensive is welcome. So results will vary.
There can be no “true faith” if there is truly no God, can there.
Being called a legalistic and shoddy apologist has to be a first.
I’ll take the hit on shoddy. But legalistic is probably not the right word.
The zero sum game is the nature of classical apologetics even when it’s merely disproving atheism.
If it works, then I’m all for it. It took one chapter of Longman’s book to turn me away from OEC.
I don’t know if you are saying I’m being duplicitous with the last part. I’ve shared some real gold with you. I don’t know where it specifically went sour. I think you expected me to roll over with some of your comments that stopped short. That didn’t go there. That I’d call a draw, and commend you on being such a thoughtful person.
I think I agree about legalistic. I don’t see you doing that so much as constructing mostly incoherent logic puzzles with no persuasive value. But that doesn’t make your approach shoddy. You’re pretty personable but I always get the impression you complexity statements to add grandeur to the ideas, rather than maximizing clarity and simplicity. I think you’d do better if you changed course.
I don’t know how many times you’ve been told that you misunderstood what you took to be my agreement with you about this and not just by me (@Terry_Sampson):
I have to think you mean to nettle me with this repeated misrepresentation. In this, your reading at least has been shoddy and this is the second case of you misrepresenting what I say. I hope you don’t expect me to take responsibility for correcting your misunderstanding. I think I’d rather clean those stables Hercules was assigned. If you don’t care enough about the truth to try harder you don’t deserve my help.
Does anyone else see the irony in that?
These were your exact words:
'Of course there can’t be precisely an infinite number of universes since that isn’t an actual number. Regardless, from our POV, it is an indeterminant number and quite possibly in flux. We should pursue empirical questions that are in our weight class."
I think even that is too much. I think apologetics should be content with defending the logical coherence, compatibility with the objective evidence, and the morality of their position – i.e. their rationality. But I don’t think their arguments for the truth of their position are sound. To be sound, the premises of their arguments would have to be accepted as true. It would imply that contrary positions are not sound or rational. And frankly, I think the premises of such arguments not only don’t need to be accepted as true but I think many are not true.
I’d agree if the apologists position was that only his position was true. But so long as the claim is only that his position is equally adequate or even the only adequate position for him. I don’t feel like it is too much.
“Of course there can’t be precisely an infinite number of universes since that isn’t an actual number. Regardless, from our POV, it is an indeterminant number and quite possibly in flux. We should pursue empirical questions that are in our weight class.”
Hmmm… I can say that reasonable people are able to disagree about the inerrancy of the BIble. I can also say it’s possible to believe the cause of the universe is aware or unaware of it’s action. It’s as if you think all positions should be rational.
- Regardless what anyone wants to believe, the reason that there can’t be precisely an infinite number of anything is because–as the BYJU’s website, at https://byjus.com/maths/infinity/, says:
A set is “… a collection of well-defined objects or elements.” It (i.e. “a set”) “…is represented by a capital letter symbol …”
- Nota bene: “…infinity is the conceptual expression of … a numberless number. It is often treated as if were a number that counts or measures things: 'an infinite number of terms”, but it is not the same sort of number as natural or real numbers.
- And that is why an infinite number of things" can’t be precise or an actual number; because it’s “a numberless number”. And only a very confused person would try to get away with calling an infinite number “a precise number” or “an actual number”.