In my readings of various Apologists, I’ve noticed a recent trend. The use of ‘possible worlds’. It goes like this. If I wanted to speculate that something might happen I couch the speculation in “in that world a unicorn can fly”, so I present the possibility within a synthetic world that may exist in another universe. So goes the argument. The use of the “in another world” or “in another universe” is supposed to give a place-holder for a premise, or a thing or a person. This is to show that no matter where “it” might exist it might well fail the logic that would be common in all universes ad-infinitum.
I see two serious problems with using the ‘in another world’ speculative procedure.
1. There are no other worlds, and it is highly unlikely there are multiplied universes paradigm-ed after this one so that every counter-factual faced by every person ad-infinitum is available for viewing. In short this is an elongated and protracted method of simply speculating. But it carries the ‘possibility’ upon the speculative-back that we are not referring to this world. I see this as a introducing a philosophical construct that once entered gives the unbeliever endless possibilities for rabbit-hole-ing; he has found out that an ingenious tool has been offered him, namely the ability to speculate in another possible world that every truth of this world and Christianity must submit itself to the critical-logic of the speculator. In short, the conversation never ends and the gospel is now floating upon (and this is the egregious part) philosophical suppositions rather than being grounded in this world and the history of this world we both live in
The only way to back out of this deep-mine is to say “lets stop speculating and start getting to the business of the gospel”. But because you’ve introduced the ‘in another world’ speculation-permission the seg-way is awkward and it turns against you as ‘begging the question’ or affirming the antecedent. Let’s face it, you’ve given the unbeliever an intellectual tool to dig endless holes in which to hide from real-world truth. If there was ever a pill that one can take to increase cognitive dissonance this would be it.
2. I see this ‘in another world’ speculative method as a great hindrance to directly offering the gospel. To use a simple analogy; say I owned a dog that didn’t know its master and would never come by the name I call it. If I were to let that dog loose in my fenced yard, I will have some difficulty getting the leash on him. But if I purchase 10,000 acres of open land and then release that same dog, I might never expect him back.
So, too, that dog is the unbeliever with a heart that does not recognize the masters voice and has no intention of staying within the historical realities that the gospel is affixed to. So, with my exciting new philosophical pony I decide to release the unbeliever into an open-land of other-world speculations and multi-verse possibilities I doubt whether my pony and I will ever round up this dog. I have exponentially increased my effort to offer the gospel and now I must intellectually counter hundreds of new ‘areas’ that hold no safe place for the dog, but the dog can run there.
My perception of this kind of philosophical tool is one of disdain and one that I find greatly defeating to an apologetic that need not add the additional work of this kind of philosophical construct.
Believe me, when I read others use it in their conversations it sure sounds high-sounding and intellectually-stimulating but I find that their unbelieving friend has found an ally to keep running; namely the permission by the Apologist given to the unbeliever to intellectualize everything. Unfortunately the less savvy Apologist can make a game out of apologetics instead of using it as a genuine tool for the conversion of people going to hell. Whether or not the apologist does this purposely in order to intellectually spar with another intellect or whether the apologist just doesn’t realize (borrowing from my analogy) the extra work they must do now to round up the dog that never needed to be let out in the first place.