Thursday, 23 October 2014

Naturalist Explanations For The Resurrection of Jesus

There aren't any good ones. They're all pretty much rejected by the majority. Yeah, some people (even scholars) cling to some of them, but that's because it's all they have.

Any explanation has to cover a few historically certain facts:

1: Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.
2. Jesus was buried in a tomb which was found empty a few days later.
3. Several witnesses came to believe that they had seen Jesus risen to life again.
4. The disciples became leaders of a new faith movement which grew into Christianity. Converts included friends and enemies, believers and sceptics, Jews, Romans, and pagans.

Disciples Stole The Body

They had no reason to. Their great leader had died. As far as they were concerned he was another false Messiah. He had been a good friend, but all they had left was his memory. The death of Jesus was proof to them that the mission was over. Most of them ran out of town! They didn't expect a resurrection of any kind until the end times and Judgement Day.
Stealing the body would have made no sense to them.

It didn't make sense for them to do it, but maybe they got some crazy idea to attempt it. So what would that mean? Jesus was locked in a tomb wrapped in linen, behind a two ton boulder sitting in a groove, sealed with a gubernatorial stamp, guarded by a number of Roman soldiers, in a burial plot reserved for Jewish leaders.
The disciples would need at least two of them (probably more) to be involved to have the strength to move the boulder. They'd have to be sneaky enough in numbers to get past armed, alert, trained guards who were there for the sole reason to stop grave robbers. They'd have to somehow remove a two ton boulder silently! Then for some reason they decide to unwrap Jesus from his deathbed clothing and neatly arrange it where he was laying before making off with the body and resealing the tomb silently so that no one would notice he had gone missing. If they were being sneaky, they would want to be in and out quick, so undressing Jesus while they were still in the tomb would have been absolute madness. Seeing as he had been dead some time, the smell would have been enough for them to want to leave as fast as possible.
They wouldn't have bribed the guards, because they had no money. The guards would have been punished for accepting the bribes anyway and there would be nothing to stop them from telling anyone the truth.
They wouldn't have killed the guards, because that would mean more bodies to hide, and require an explanation of where the missing soldiers had went. It would have made the theft more obvious.

No means, motive, or opportunity. Didn't happen.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Some of the World's Coolest Christians

There's a logical fallacy called 'appeal to authority' which is the mistake some people make of thinking a thing is true just because someone clever said it. That in mind, this post is not an 'appeal to awesome'. Although it could be a response to people who think Christianity is just 'not cool'. Whatever it is, enjoy this list of cool Christians.

Bob Dylan

Undeniably one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the last century, famous for his political protest and anti-war songs. Dylan released two albums full of songs about belief, worship, and Jesus. 'Slow Train Coming' in 1979 and 'Saved' in 1980. The song below from 'Slow Train Coming' was his first hit in three years, winning Dylan the Grammy for best rock vocal performance by a male in 1980. Bob Dylan - Gotta Serve Somebody

Mr. T

Johnny Cash - Jesus Said

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

No Atheist Lives Consistently With Their World-view

First up, I can already hear the cries of "atheism is not a world-view, it's just a position on the question of the existence of God".

Right... atheists believe that God does not exist. Theists who believe that God exists see the world with the knowledge that he has an effect on things and there are consequences to his being around. An atheist would have to be the opposite of that and so (whether they realise it or not) believing that God is not real or not accepting his existence is going to shape their world-view.

So having dealt with that, let's get to the point: no atheists live consistently with their world-view.

Without God there is no objective moral standard. There's no thing that is defined as 'good' that we can compare other things to beyond our own opinions. Which actually means that doing the washing up is morally equal to torturing people.
No one believes that. No one behaves that way. Everyone agrees that some actions are morally better than others.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Argument From The Balance Of Evidence

Philosophers best arguments are usually put together in the form of premises that lead to an inescapable conclusion. If the premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true.

They look like this:

P1: All fire engines are red.
P2: Kevin is a fire engine.
C: Kevin is red.

If both of those premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. There's no way out.

So, here's an argument I'm throwing out. Judge for yourself.

P1: There is no evidence or sound argument for the truth of atheism.
P2: There is lots of evidence for God's existence.
C: God exists.

You know what? I actually don't think the conclusion necessarily follows, there's a hidden premise somewhere, but there's definitely something to this.

"If You Need Religion, That's Fine, I Don't, So Leave Me Alone!"

 So here's a problem that we run into a lot with atheists. There's a massive misunderstanding of what religion and faith is about.

What it amounts to is the preconception that religion is for people who need some kind of safety blanket to make the world feel more safe and comfortable for them. They need a big daddy in the sky to be watching over them and stopping bad things happening to them.

Christianity isn't that. Book of Job tells us that bad things will happen to good people and there are a lot of reasons why!

So in the mind of the confused atheist, someone who wants a safety blanket can just check out the selection of religions and choose one based on what they fancy.
They can look at Judaism or Islam and decide they don't want to drop everything and pray several times a day. They can look at Hinduism and decide they don't want to give up beefburgers. Christianity is a great religion for safety blanket seekers because it doesn't ask anything except maybe getting dunked in a paddling pool.
But the brave atheist is happy in the world and doesn't need a safety blanket to protect them from harm and to let them survive death. So religion is not for them. Other people can get on with it, but they better not try to share the sheet. (sheet... double entendre? No? Ok...)

Fortunately, here's another quote from a different atheist that actually gets it right!