Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Natural Explanation for Jesus' Alleged Resurrection

Is available here:

I think this man's suggestion about what happened is completely plausible. The only potential problem I can see for his explanation is that Christians are going to beat on the dead horse of the empty tomb. They'll say, "His explanation isn't valid because it doesn't explain the empty tomb. His explanation isn't valid because it doesn't explain the empty tomb. His explanation isn't valid because it doesn't explain the empty tomb. And by the way, aren't you forgetting about the empty tomb? Explain it."

But all of this is really a non-issue. Kris Komarnitsky's book Doubting Jesus' Resurrection already shows that there isn't any good evidence for the empty tomb but there is good evidence against the empty tomb. My advice to the writer of this natural explanation: read Komarnitsky's book. You can take up his defenses and defeat any Christian in a debate over this issue.


Robby Christmas said...

Hi. first time commenting here. My biggest question is this - "you can beat a Christian in a debate" ... why is that even important? In your system, what value is there in beating someone in a debate?

AIGBusted said...

Hi Robby,

I'm not sure if you know this, but there are quite a few Christian apologists who believe that they can prove the resurrection with historical evidence. They believe that the resurrection best explains the empty tombs and appearances of Jesus after his death (and of course they have arguments attempting to show that the empty tomb and appearances really occured).

What I was saying is that the guy who came up with this new explanation would easily be able to show that his natural explanation could account for everything that we know to be true. And showing others that a natural explanation for those facts is superior to the explanation that Jesus was raised from the dead has merit because it informs others of the truth, and informing others of the truth helps them make better decisions, and when people make decisions we live in a better world.

Robby Christmas said...

This is the part of the answer I was looking for: "informing others of the truth helps them make better decisions, and when people make decisions we live in a better world." So you are saying that if people know the "truth" that Jesus didn't rise from the dead, they will make better decisions and we'll live in a better world. So the burden is on you to show that those who believe that Jesus did not rise from death will make better decisions. And really, I think you have a bigger burden, which is to show that those who believe that Jesus rose from the dead are making bad decisions that are causing harm in the world, and specifically (speaking in evolutionary terms) that this supposed harm is a detriment to the survival of our species. If that cannot be shown, it seems that this desire to persuade others that Jesus didn't rise from death is inconsistent with your worldview.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Robby,

Yes, I think belief in Jesus' Resurrection does make a big difference. If you do not believe in Jesus' Resurrection, you cannot be a Christian. And Christianity is a worldview (or at the very least it is a belief that provides one with a worldview) and as such it affects people's decisions.

When people make the decision to ban gay marriage, they do so more often than not because they have view about gay marriage that stem from or are reinforced by Christian scripture. And if their belief in Christianity is wrong, and they came to realize that, then they might make different decisions. They might begin treating homosexuals with the dignity and respect that they deserve. They might vote in favor of gay marriage, which I view as a good thing to do.

You see, my beliefs about ethics and about what is right and wrong do not stem from Christianity, they stem from valuing other people and doing what you can to better the lives of other people. And those beliefs obviously don't suggest that I should ban gay marriage, they suggest I should support it, because supporting it would mean making the lives of gay and lesbian people better. They would feel that they were acknowledged as equals (which they are, by the way), and they would have the same status as everyone else, which they deserve to have.

Robby Christmas said...

you equate treating gays with respect and voting for gay marriage; however, one can treat gays with respect and genuinely love them, and yet disagree with their lifestyle choices and even vote against legalization of those choices. I know b/c that is my position. In fact within my system the most loving thing to do for someone is to oppose any immoral decision they are making. Because we believe what's best for them is to live in line with God's purpose for their lives (this includes me being open to loving rebuke from people in my life if they observe me living immorally in any way ... unfortunately a lot of Christians just point to "all the bad stuff everyone else is doing" and don't put ourselves under the same standards).

But, I think you explained your position very well. Thank you. However, your desire to help others still does not seem to line up with your atheistic (and I assume, out of necessity, evolutionary) worldview. I think this is a real inconsistency within the atheistic position, one that I have not heard a good answer for yet.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Robby,

I think that treating gays equally and with respect means that they should be accorded the same right that everyone else has: to marry the person whom they love. Think about it. If I took the sentence you wrote:

"You equate treating gays with respect and voting for gay marriage..."

And I replaced the word "gay" with the word "Jew" you could easily see how wrong that was. Just imagine:

"You equate treating Jews with respect and voting for Jewish marriage..."

That's the way I see things.

"However, your desire to help others still does not seem to line up with your atheistic (and I assume, out of necessity, evolutionary) worldview."

That statement makes very little sense to me. I just don't know where you got the idea that being an atheist somehow means that compassion for other people would disappear.

You know, when I used to attend church I heard a lot of things about what atheists supposedly believe. Atheists don't believe in absolute truth. Atheists don't believe in absolute morality. And so on. But as I got older and started reading books written by atheists explaining their positions, I saw that most of what I had heard in church had been caricatured versions of beliefs that only a few atheists have. So, I want to ask you: Is the percieved inconsistency based on what a preacher or Christian apologist TOLD you atheists believe? I'm not asking to attack you, I genuinely want to know. Because I don't know where these myths about atheists are coming from (unless they come from a small number of brash, unintelligent atheists).

You mentioned evolution in connection with my moral views also, and I think I might know where you could percieve an inconsistency there. You think that belief in natural selection is incompatible with the belief that helping others is a good thing (Is that it?).

But there's no inconsistency with that either. What goes on in the wild, or in nature, does not dictate what we ought to do. To say otherwise commits something that philosophers call "The Naturalistic Fallacy."