Posted: Dec 17, 2011 4:26 pm
by purplerat
jlowder wrote:
Well, I'm not a physicist, but I'll give this example. If the ONLY reason a person has for introducing the mutiverse hypothesis is to avoid the theistic conclusion of a fine-tuning argument for God, then that would be a prime example of what I categorize as a "speculative" and "far-fetched" doubt. It would be an ad hoc, "just so" story. Biblical errantists criticize inerrantists for "just so" stories all the time in the context of debates over Bible contradictions; they rightly point out that many of the attempted "harmonizations" are completely ad hoc. Some proponents of the multi-verse hypothesis can come across just as ridiculous as inerrantists and for the same reason.

Introducing a mutliverse hypothesis as a response to a fine-tuning argument for god is not about far-fetched or minor doubts. To the contrary it's done to illustrate the very large gaps, holes and doubts in both hypotheses. All current multiverse hypotheses contain very good reasons to doubt. Yet even as such they work just as well if not better than a fine-tuning argument for god in explanatory power. Fine-tuning arguments rely on the notion that no other solution exists, therefore it must be viable despite serious reason to doubt it. Introducing a mutliverse hypotheses merely contradicts the idea that there is no other possible solution.

jlowder wrote:
I disagree. My position can be summarized as follows:

1. So far as I can tell, the genre of the Bible is controversial. It is question-begging to assert that the Bible is a book of fiction, if by book of fiction you mean the author's intent was to invent stories about events that never happened.
2. The claim "even most Christians and theologians accept and acknowledge" that the Bible is a book of fiction is an empirical claim. I don't know of any empirical evidence to support that claim. I think it's false. The majority of Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants believe that the Bible contains at least some historically accurate details.
3. Regarding the idea of taking the Bible at face value, I am not saying we should believe that Jesus existed because we should take the Bible at face value. In fact, I think the question, "Should we take the Bible at face value?", is the wrong question to ask. Instead, we should ask, should we believe this passage or this verse.

1. Fiction does not necessarily mean "stories about events that never happened". Much of fiction is based-on real events and/or real persons. IMO this is the most likely case for the new testament, that it's a "based-on" story. But with any other "based-on" story we would want additional non-fiction sources to confirm the accuracy of details in the "based-on" story. I'm sure you've watched movies that were "based-on" real people and events, but would you take any part of that movie as historical fact without finding some additional source of confirmation?
2. Containing "at least some historically accurate details" falls far short of what we would call non-fiction. Tom Sawyer contains "at least some historically accurate details"as does Greek mythology but obviously that doesn't make them non-fiction. For the sake of argument I'll withdraw any empirical claims about how many Christians believe the Bible and/or NT is literally true. Many, or more importantly many apologist who argue for a historically accurate Jesus being portrayed in the bible, do not actually view the NT as non-fiction.
3. If you don't take the Bible as a whole at face value then why would you accept any part of it at face value? How do you go about determining what to take at face value and what not to? The only why I can think of would be to use an extra-Biblical source.