Sunday, October 28, 2012

Infinity . . . and Beyond . . . more Metaphysical Troubles for the Atheists Part I

In case you don't know me, I must first give you my somewhat unique perspective when it comes to Christian apologetics.  For several decades I followed the lead of memorizing apologetic exercises and sound bites.  The purposed of such "programed" apologetic is to provide comfort for the one giving the apologetic.  It gives them the sense that their (Christian) view point is clearly head and shoulders above that of other world views . . . speaking intellectually . . .  thus only a fool wouldn't believe that Christianity is true.

But when I decided to approach things from a deeply honest place, I quickly learned that wasn't true. For my Muslim friends, my Mormon friends and pantheistic friends (not so much with the later) all have this same conviction.

So, speaking honestly, and as I've said before, none of the answers are easy.  There is an incredible paradox.  We are personal creatures (we feel that we are persons and not just a carbon based machine) yet the universe has not declared itself without question.  I can argue, as a Christian, that God has revealed Himself in time, space and history . . . but that was in history.  I haven't seen God directly.  All my evangelical friends say they do, but I now know that it is wishful thinking and self-delusion.

As a deeply thinking person, I hate the notion that no world view bridges the gap of the absurd that with each view there has to be an extension of reason through a type of faith. I want to walk the entire way through reason. As a Christian I can explain why we all must face this gap in reasoning and is because of the Fall, our intellects don't function to their full capacity, thus none of us can really know the truth through reason alone.  But, otherwise, reason is very, very good and God-given in my view.

Now, I still haven't gotten to my point but am still in the introduction, but I will add one more tangential point and that is, the faith of the doubter and skeptic is far more powerful than that of the non-thinker.  For example, the "strong Christian man," which I referred to at the beginning of my previous post, use to say how he has never doubted God for a second. In my view, to brainwash yourself that the apologetic of Christianity is a slam dunk, takes little or no faith to believe it.  But for us, who push the thinking to its very limit, then must face this gap that is not filled in by imaginative thinking . . . that takes a very sturdy faith.  Skeptics should be proud of their faith in the face of honest thinking (meaning in a good sense).

Now to my point.  I'm writing from the roof of a riad overlooking the ancient city of Marrakesh, Morocco. As I am typing the prayer call is literally going out from about six or seven nearby mosques.    So, I'm on a much needed vacation. I have a business (medical practice) that requires my energy 12 hours per day and six or seven days per week.  That's why I don't write much here nor read as much as I would like.

But on this trip I picked up three magazines, Scientific American, Astronomy and one about physics. I've now read these journals cover to cover and now get to focus on The Hobbit.  Somewhere in my reading (and I can't remember which one) I read an article that cosmologists are now considering the universe to be infinite. This is a switch as previously, it was considered finite ( well-demarcated space of abut 13 billion light-years across ).  Outside the universe, in the old model, there was nothing.  No space, no time, no energy and no matter. So it was like the Thurman Show (the movie), but on a mega scale.

But when you consider the universe as being infinite, it creates some huge metaphysical and philosophical problems, which starts (as everything does) as a mathematical problem.

My wife says it is time to go to the souk (market). So I will finish this tonight with a part II. I didn't have time to proof read either so reader beware.


Headless Unicorn Guy said...

A bit of song regarding your current location.

jmj said...

Hey, I recorded that song and put it on an old walkman and was going to have my wife listen to in while we were literally on the Marrakesh Express. However, on the previous night, in Casablanca, I found out my walkman was dead and left it in the charger (with a 220-110 step down transformer) and by the next morning it was fried. So now I can show her the song through your link.