[Note: The previous series, 101, which is also the first, can be found [url=http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=294&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a]here. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found here. This series, 102, picks up with the topic arrived at the end of the previous series.]
[Entry 1, “A First Question of Feasibility”]
Sometimes when the topic of religion (or theology, or philosophy, or metaphysics…) rises in conversation, one person will wave off the discussion with this type of dismissal: ‘There isn’t much point discussing such things, because such discussions cannot, by their very character, reach true answers.’
This person might also declare that anyone can argue validly to anything; or that an infinite number of true answers are possible. This type of person will express himself in several different ways; but his main position is that such discussions cannot be useful.
(I distinguish, however, between such a person and a person who wants to make some positive use of a claim that an infinite number of exclusively true answers are possible. I will discuss such a positive proposition later.)
Sometimes this tactic represents a head-in-the sand approach: the person doesn’t want to discuss such things; so he excuses himself from the conversation on this ground, without really having thought out whether this proposal holds water or not.
(There is a difference, however, between a person who directly holds a belief that no metaphysical belief can be regarded as true; and a person who makes such a claim because he himself hasn’t got a clue how to effectively judge between claims. The second person ought to say rather, that he has no idea which religion or philosophy is most true, rather than say no religion or philosophy can possibly reach adequate truth.)