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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: Spinner198 on January 17, 2014, 05:45:45 AM

Title: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Spinner198 on January 17, 2014, 05:45:45 AM
Title. I am curious as to the response to this approach. Are the only attempted refutations just the typical ones (swoon theory, imposter theory, hallucination theory, etc.) or are there different arguments that aren't commonly referred to?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Graybeard on January 17, 2014, 06:25:33 AM
One argument that is rarely referred to is Jesuis's argument that it is all caused by "frequencies", but you'll have to ask him about that. : )

Do I understand that you are asking if there is any reasonable explanation for the Resurrection other than the one given in three Gospels of the Bible? The only answer that makes any sense, and it is minimalistic, is "It was done by magic." I think that is pretty conclusive.

Your question is like asking for science based answers as to why Harry Potter failed to kill Voledmort -> whatever the answer, it does not advance human knowledge simply because speculating on fiction might be interesting.

The best explanation is that it never happened, hence the lack of references in Mark. The next evidence of it not happening is the conflicting accounts of the resurrection. Allegedly, the greatest event in Christendom and no one can get their story straight.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 17, 2014, 07:46:14 AM
How about the refutation that even if it did really happen and Jesus was resurrected, you have no way of showing that an outside agent caused it to happen because you haven given this agent the ability to do anything, and therefore you have no means of establishing what it does and doesn't do?

The resurrection and any other claims of miraculous intervention are all circular if you also believe that the intervener also created the world in which they intervened. Everything, at grassroots level, is caused by the outside agent, so pandering to one specific event as a means to establishing the existence of that outside agent is dishonest. 
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Fiji on January 17, 2014, 08:03:42 AM
This is what, I believe, Spinner was on about ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc-YBIG8EMg

Using the same approach, I can prove there really is a hellmouth underneath Sunnydale, California.
I've written Buffy fanfics. They mention the hellmouth. Joss Whedon also wrote about Buffy and also mentioned the hellmouth. So, our writings minimally agree upon the existance of a hellmouth, therefor, there must be a hellmouth underneath Sunnydale.

Key point being, as long as you can't prove which, if any, parts of the bible are historically true, you can't start building a wall, as Habermas puts it.

And I second Ataraxia's objection ... even IF you were able to show that there was a Jesus and that he did rise from the dead ... how can you be sure his corpse wasn't being animated by Iblis to trick people into believing christianity rather than islam?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 17, 2014, 08:49:30 AM
Title. I am curious as to the response to this approach. Are the only attempted refutations just the typical ones (swoon theory, imposter theory, hallucination theory, etc.) or are there different arguments that aren't commonly referred to?

I recall a couple years back I debated Fran, taking the position that "aliens" was a more reasonable answer than "magic" (as Greybeard summarised it).  You'll find it at http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,6776.1711.html - it is a bit disjointed because (if memory serves), in the end about three threads got merged together.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 18, 2014, 01:59:18 AM
One argument that is rarely referred to is Jesuis's argument that it is all caused by "frequencies", but you'll have to ask him about that. : )

Do I understand that you are asking if there is any reasonable explanation for the Resurrection other than the one given in three Gospels of the Bible? The only answer that makes any sense, and it is minimalistic, is "It was done by magic." I think that is pretty conclusive.

Your question is like asking for science based answers as to why Harry Potter failed to kill Voledmort -> whatever the answer, it does not advance human knowledge simply because speculating on fiction might be interesting.

The best explanation is that it never happened, hence the lack of references in Mark. The next evidence of it not happening is the conflicting accounts of the resurrection. Allegedly, the greatest event in Christendom and no one can get their story straight.

There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.

The only reason to doubt the Gospels is based on a presupposition that God does not exist. Of course if you assume your conclusion from the start, you have no choice but to discount the Gospels. But, this is dishonest.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 18, 2014, 02:00:51 AM
Title. I am curious as to the response to this approach. Are the only attempted refutations just the typical ones (swoon theory, imposter theory, hallucination theory, etc.) or are there different arguments that aren't commonly referred to?

A common atheist one I heard on forums was that the disciples stole Jesus' body. It sounds plausible, until you realize that nobody would give their life for a lie that they knew was a lie.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 18, 2014, 03:00:41 AM
A common atheist one I heard on forums was that the disciples stole Jesus' body. It sounds plausible, until you realize that nobody would give their life for a lie that they knew was a lie.

Who says they knew it was a lie?  Perhaps they just wanted to take their master's body back to somewhere safe for fear of grave robbers or whatever. 
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 18, 2014, 03:29:54 AM
Title. I am curious as to the response to this approach. Are the only attempted refutations just the typical ones (swoon theory, imposter theory, hallucination theory, etc.) or are there different arguments that aren't commonly referred to?

A common atheist one I heard on forums was that the disciples stole Jesus' body. It sounds plausible, until you realize that nobody would give their life for a lie that they knew was a lie.

Ok, take that scenario - the disciples stole the body, knew the resurrection was a lie but were still prepared to die for it. Now compare that to the body actually being resurrected by god and tell us how you calculate that the resurrection by god was more probable.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 18, 2014, 03:33:40 AM
It sounds plausible, until you realize that nobody would give their life for a lie that they knew was a lie.

Hypothetical question for you skeptic. 

I presume that you agree with the tenets of your faith, and believe they are all good things for society?  (That's not the hypothetical, just the preamble).  If you discovered that your religion WAS a lie, would you broadcast that and risk undoing the good your religion does?  Or would you feel that the benefits your religion gives are too important to risk losing by revealing the truth?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 18, 2014, 04:33:31 AM
The only reason to doubt the Gospels is based on a presupposition that God does not exist. Of course if you assume your conclusion from the start, you have no choice but to discount the Gospels. But, this is dishonest.

Really?  I keep seeing this from Christians.  I used to be a Christian and I doubted the Gospels long before I ever doubted the existence of God.

This tactic from Christians seems to be about misdirection.

Don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain. Don't think too much about the Gospels, it's a trick, the atheists don't believe and that's why they don't like the Gospels.  Look at the silly atheists, not believing in God for no reason whatsoever.  These aren't the droids your looking for.  Move along.

These Christian apologetic tactics are dishonest.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: penfold on January 18, 2014, 05:10:41 AM
Title. I am curious as to the response to this approach. Are the only attempted refutations just the typical ones (swoon theory, imposter theory, hallucination theory, etc.) or are there different arguments that aren't commonly referred to?

The minimum facts approach relies upon a perfectly solid piece of historical method. Given a set of texts reporting on an historical event, we should prefer the reading which fits best with those texts. So far so uncontroversial.

Therefore, the argument goes, given the set of texts which are near contemporary with Jesus (say within two generations) we should believe the most plausible reading. This reading includes the historical event of Jesus' resurrection. Thus as good historians we should accept that Jesus rose from the dead as a fact.

However there is a magic trick going on here. There is a hidden premise in the argument, that is that the texts in question are the only relevant evidence. In most historical discussions this is true.

For example on the question of whether King Stephen married Matilda we the only relevant evidence is historical text. So we weigh up all the text saying he did against all the text saying he didn't and we decide on the balance of probability.

With Jesus' resurrection though there is one extra piece of evidence which is relevant - that is that all the evidence which tells us that dead men do not rise. This evidence must be weighed along with the text, and what we find is that (to paraphrase Hume) - it is more probable that the texts saying a dead man rose are mistaken than all the evidence that dead men do not rise is mistaken.

The trick is that usually historians don't bother to mention that along with the texts they look to the evidence of the laws of nature, but of course they do. That is why historians of the C16th Europe don't claim witches actually existed - rather they discount this possibility by looking, not at text, but at the evidence against witchcraft in general.

The minimum facts argument works only if we pretend that the evidence for the regularity of the laws of nature (ie dead men not rising) is not relevant to C1st Palestine - a pretty odd claim on the face of it.

Hope that helps  :)

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 18, 2014, 07:40:44 AM
One argument that is rarely referred to is Jesuis's argument that it is all caused by "frequencies", but you'll have to ask him about that. : )

Do I understand that you are asking if there is any reasonable explanation for the Resurrection other than the one given in three Gospels of the Bible? The only answer that makes any sense, and it is minimalistic, is "It was done by magic." I think that is pretty conclusive.

Your question is like asking for science based answers as to why Harry Potter failed to kill Voledmort -> whatever the answer, it does not advance human knowledge simply because speculating on fiction might be interesting.

The best explanation is that it never happened, hence the lack of references in Mark. The next evidence of it not happening is the conflicting accounts of the resurrection. Allegedly, the greatest event in Christendom and no one can get their story straight.

There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.

The only reason to doubt the Gospels is based on a presupposition that God does not exist. Of course if you assume your conclusion from the start, you have no choice but to discount the Gospels. But, this is dishonest.

I've heard this before and have always been interested in the source of information.  But I haven't found it yet.  Any idea how one concludes there is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 18, 2014, 08:28:57 AM
There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.

Even if I grant you that the evidence for Socrates is zero(or even -3, for the Trinity-minded), the "evidence" for Jesus is no match for the evidence for Julius Caesar.



http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/exist.html
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: bertatberts on January 18, 2014, 10:12:26 AM


There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.
Where!
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 18, 2014, 10:38:19 AM
There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.

Even if I grant you that the evidence for Socrates is zero(or even -3, for the Trinity-minded), the "evidence" for Jesus is no match for the evidence for Julius Caesar.



http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/exist.html

I found that site also after skeptic made his claim, although I doubt he will accept it.  I wonder if this website is the source that Christians now have to counter argue.

Still, Julius Caesar's existence is independent of Jesus.  The evidence of Julius Ceasar's existence is pretty convincing on its own.  Hundreds of historical records from multiple sources, paintings, statues, and artifacts like coins.  It would be absurd to claim Gaius Julius Ceasor never existed.  Heck, there are even war commentaries written directly by Gaius Julius Caesar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Julius_caesar&mobileaction=toggle_view_desktop

http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/caesar.html

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/gr/m/marble_portrait_julius_caesar.aspx

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/articles/j/julius_caesar.aspx

http://www.romanemperors.com/julius-caesar.htm

Of course the claim that there is more evidence of the existence of Jesus than Gaius Julius Caesar is another distraction.  Don't pay any attention to Jesus, look at this historical figure that clearly existed!


I personally don't care either way about Jesus.  There could be all the evidence in the world or no evidence at all that Jesus existed, it wouldn't say anything about the existence of God.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 18, 2014, 10:49:46 AM
Oh dear, Skeptic, is this a serious discussion? Is this Habermas really claiming to the world leader in resurrection research and what does that mean? Well I suppose I had better add something to the discussion.

1. No one ought to take the gospels as, well, er.. , gospel without evidence that they are actually true. To start with, we have just texts which we don not know if we can trust.

2. How many texts do we have? Well, in principle we have four gospels and Paul's letters but let's look harder. Mark is the basis of Matthew and Luke and pretty likely John's account too. They are all written a long time after the event when, in al probability there were no witnesses. Immediately we are down to one source, Mark and Paul. Paul's account seems almost to have Jesus in heaven for most of the action - and Paul doesn't have much action. Paul wasn't a witness either but might have known the OT well enough to come up with the story from OT 'prophecies'. Indeed, the birth and death narratives of all the versions of the story could be constructed from OT passages without the need for any real event.

3. The texts we have have their own problems to do with inconsistency between them. Given the same story and given the Markan text was available to the authors, how come they couldn't come up with the same story with the same details such as who went to the tomb first and so on? We know that eye-witnesses often see things differently but we are not talking about eye-witnesses here but people writing up a set story. After two generations, why would the story be different unless each gospel writer is writing to a different audience and puts the local hero into the story as getting to the tomb first - in which case we are already into story writing and not reporting.

4.  There is no corroboration of the stories due to the lack of any other record by any impartial author who witnesses the action. This is a problem for us with this story compared with stories about Socrates as the latter had not claim to fame apart from the writings he left us. We don't have to believe in Socrates to use his philosophical methods whereas Jesus can't save people who don't believe in him. Moreover, the gospels claim supernatural events took place and it seem incredible that with people rising from the dead. climbing out of their tombs or even children slaughtered in Bethlehem that no one would ever write anything down about it all. This lack does make the texts look a bit dubious.

5. So far as the resurrection is concerned, there are other explanations not considered. That Jesus came back to life is one explanation (though lack of other witnesses is remarkable) but another is familiar to bereavement counsellors - the bereaved quite commonly see the dead relative, maybe sat in their favourite chair on in a favourite place. perhaps just a couple of the disciples actually saw Jesus like. The story would spread like wildfire and over tow generation one can imagine the results - 500 saw Jesus at one time! The stories would proliferate but they would be  a bit different in each chain of people telling the stories with details unsure and perhaps made up in the telling. This explanation would deal with the facts we know, the lack of impartial witnesses and the variation in the stories. This is more plausible, because it uses facts we are familiar with, than that a dead man actually came back to life because we know this never happens. 

So, is that a reasonable argument against the 'Minimum Facts Argument?'
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 18, 2014, 10:51:36 AM
A final thought on myths running through population. I keep seeing the idea, posted by theists, that there is more evidence for the resurrection than for Julius Caesar. The post above shows this is not true yet it keeps being posted.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 18, 2014, 12:13:38 PM
I can't believe what I'm hearing!

Is the "dead men don't rise" excuse really cropping up again?!?!?

Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?

You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise. But, if God exists, there is no problem. We Christians all along have said Jesus was raised by the power of God, not by the power of nothing.

The "dead men don't rise" excuse is based on a presupposition that God does not exist/God isn't powerful enough to raise someone.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 18, 2014, 12:37:08 PM
No, Skeptic, no! I am examining the evidence that is left behind. I am not examining theology. Of course, a supreme being could easily raise anyone from the dead, though I rather thought Jesus as supposed to be god so couldn't have been that dead and brought himself back. Anyway, you introduced the minimum facts argument and I have presented an alternative view of what might have happened. You have got to remember

1. A real resurrection of a dead person would have everyone and his slave scribbling it all down. It's never happened prior to Jesus - ever. Why didn't the Romans put pen to paper? Why didn't the Jews have anything to so - after all, a demonstration of a god's power to raise from the dead would have changed the minds of everyone in Jerusalem.

2. My alternative explanation uses all the facts and explains them all - from the beliefs that filtered down the the wide variety of descriptions in the various biblical books. The there really was a resurrection fails to account for the silence of the non-Christian world to the most amazing thing ever to happen in the world to the fact that the gospel writer can't agree on anything much in the way of facts.


Show us why my explanation is wrong but use evidence not belief - after all to be persuaded that Jesus is alive now, one must have realised the overwhelming nature of the evidence.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 18, 2014, 12:42:04 PM
No, Skeptic, no! I am examining the evidence that is left behind. I am not examining theology. Of course, a supreme being could easily raise anyone from the dead, though I rather thought Jesus as supposed to be god so couldn't have been that dead and brought himself back. Anyway, you introduced the minimum facts argument and I have presented an alternative view of what might have happened. You have got to remember

1. A real resurrection of a dead person would have everyone and his slave scribbling it all down. It's never happened prior to Jesus - ever. Why didn't the Romans put pen to paper? Why didn't the Jews have anything to so - after all, a demonstration of a god's power to raise from the dead would have changed the minds of everyone in Jerusalem.

The Romans despised Christianity so they would want it to to die out. They probably said things like, "Make sure nobody writes down anything about the resurrection."

The Jews rejected their own Messiah that was sent to save them, so why would they care if Jesus rose? They rejected him anyway.

2. My alternative explanation uses all the facts and explains them all - from the beliefs that filtered down the the wide variety of descriptions in the various biblical books. The there really was a resurrection fails to account for the silence of the non-Christian world to the most amazing thing ever to happen in the world to the fact that the gospel writer can't agree on anything much in the way of facts.

It makes sense if all the writings about Jesus were burned by the Romans, who despised Christianity. Why would they want the true religion to reign over theirs? Lots of people can't handle evidence contrary to what they already believe. It's difficult for people to go outside the scope of their own beliefs. The Romans were no different. The best way to squash the religion would be to threaten anyone who writes about it.

You are being too naive and assuming that people will see something with their own eyes and be automatically changed. The world doesn't work this way.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: penfold on January 18, 2014, 12:44:44 PM
I can't believe what I'm hearing!

Is the "dead men don't rise" excuse really cropping up again?!?!?

Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?


Sorry skeptic I think you've misunderstood.

There is no assertion that dead men do not rise; the only assertion made is that we have lots of evidence to back up the claim that dead men do not rise. We cannot, of course, assert this to be absolutely true, but we have very strong empirical reason to believe it. Just as I have strong reason to believe that lead will not remain suspended in the air or that fire consumes wood. Of course it is possible that lead can remain suspended in the air, or that there exists a wood which cannot be burnt; but I have little to no evidence for it!

Hume rightly says: a wise man apportions his belief to the evidence. The claim here is that a man rose from the dead - in favour we have some texts recording the event - against we have the otherwise universal observation of the finality of death. Thus, being reasonable folk, we should assign our belief on the weight of the evidence. It is more probable that a handful texts are false or mistaken than our observation of the regular feature of nature that dead men do not rise is mistaken. Unless you are living in a parallel universe where texts are almost never wrong and dead men frequently rise you cannot deny this simple piece of evidential calculus!

At no point is the possibility of resurrection denied. Merely the claim that it is reasonable to believe it has.

peace
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 18, 2014, 12:57:56 PM
Skeptic,

the Romans and the Jews might have been against Christianity - though at the time of the supposed resurrection Christianity didn't exist so neither could have been against it at that stage. However, Jesus resurrection was not the first to be claimed - Lazarus for example was supposedly raised by Jesus. There's another one too but I can't think of it right now.

So, there are two raisings from the dead in Jesus' lifetime and then a claimed resurrection of Jesus as well. You are telling us that the Romans and their historians as well as the Jews just brushed aside the most remarkable events that had happened since humans evolved and didn't write about it because of their dislike for a religion that didn't, at that time exist?

Please Skeptic, start to sound like you have thought about this!
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Ivellios on January 18, 2014, 01:40:36 PM
Skeptic,

the Romans and the Jews might have been against Christianity - though at the time of the supposed resurrection Christianity didn't exist so neither could have been against it at that stage. However, Jesus resurrection was not the first to be claimed - Lazarus for example was supposedly raised by Jesus. There's another one too but I can't think of it right now.

So, there are two raisings from the dead in Jesus' lifetime and then a claimed resurrection of Jesus as well. You are telling us that the Romans and their historians as well as the Jews just brushed aside the most remarkable events that had happened since humans evolved and didn't write about it because of their dislike for a religion that didn't, at that time exist?

Please Skeptic, start to sound like you have thought about this!

A little girl that Jesus said, "Is only sleeping."

You would think that people would be asking them what it was like, and even if they themselves were illiterate, there should have been at least one person in all of Judea that knew how to use a pen, and therefore capable of writing it down.

The Julius Cesear claim is fictious. Have you ever seen the Showtime version of Rome? In the 'Making of... (commentary)' they were explaining where the two main characters got thier names from. They are the only named centurion and common soldier by Cesear himself in his journals.

-----------------------

Wouldn't die for a lie?

David Koresh, Jim Jones, Heavens Gate, etc.

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Aaron123 on January 18, 2014, 02:36:50 PM

You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise.

Well, given that most of us here are atheists, and thus, do not believe in the existence of god... of course we act as though god doesn't exist.



Quote
But, if God exists, there is no problem. We Christians all along have said Jesus was raised by the power of God, not by the power of nothing.

Oh sure, if an omnimax being exists, then yes; it could do anything, including raising the dead.  But that's a pretty big "IF" you have going on there.  That "IF" needs to be backed with evidence to establish its existence.  None of which has been provided as of yet.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Graybeard on January 18, 2014, 07:00:50 PM
There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.

This is another “lie for Jesus.” trotted out by those who have never bothered to study or read the works of Julius Caesar and his times but have taken the word of some ignorant "Bible Scholar" suffering from over-enthusiasm.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/exist.html You can start with this one: images of the man.
Then you can move on to a professor’s history: http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/caesar.html

The you can check out the professor:
http://www2.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/

Of all the things that Julius Caesar did, we know that all these things were done. The records of his victories are recorded by both those he defeated and those who repelled him. Evidence exists to link these reports through time to the present day. Here are Julius Caesar’s books of the Gallic Wars http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.html

And here is a longer list: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/jcsr/

So never, ever use that ridiculous line again.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Astreja on January 19, 2014, 02:39:26 AM
The Romans despised Christianity so they would want it to to die out. They probably said things like, "Make sure nobody writes down anything about the resurrection."

An order like that would itself be worthy of a place in history, as in Chinese Legalism (http://ancientstandard.com/2011/02/28/legalism-in-ancient-china/), when many books were burned and history records the burning of books by the authorities.

The Romans would also have had to search every house in the Palestine area looking for writings.  I don't know how fluent the average Roman soldier was in written Aramaic and Hebrew, so they would probably have to confiscate every piece of writing they found.  This would have caused people to hide books more carefully as the word got out -- Or simply leave the area and carry the information in their heads, writing it down as soon as they had reached a safe territory and making sure that everyone knew.

Quote
The Jews rejected their own Messiah that was sent to save them, so why would they care if Jesus rose? They rejected him anyway.

That's because Jesus failed in the task expected of a messiah, which was to liberate the people from mortal oppressors and rule over Israel as a king.  You can't substitute a hypothetical heavenly kingdom after the fact, because that isn't something that Israel was looking for.

Of course, a supreme being could easily raise anyone from the dead, though I rather thought Jesus as supposed to be god so couldn't have been that dead and brought himself back.

That's what I keep on telling people:  Either Jesus died and was not a god, and a god resurrected him; or he was a god but there were other gods with the power to bring him back to life; or there was no actual sacrifice as he didn't die completely in all three of his personas.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 19, 2014, 03:26:33 AM
Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?

You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise. But, if God exists, there is no problem. We Christians all along have said Jesus was raised by the power of God, not by the power of nothing.

The "dead men don't rise" excuse is based on a presupposition that God does not exist/God isn't powerful enough to raise someone.

Yeah, come on guys - see it from Skep's point of view.

How do we know there is a god?  FROM THE RESURRECTION, STUPID!

But how do we know there was a resurrection? GOD DID IT, STUPID!

All makes perfect sense.  To him, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 19, 2014, 05:37:34 AM
I can't believe what I'm hearing!

Is the "dead men don't rise" excuse really cropping up again?!?!?

Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?

You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise. But, if God exists, there is no problem. We Christians all along have said Jesus was raised by the power of God, not by the power of nothing.

The "dead men don't rise" excuse is based on a presupposition that God does not exist/God isn't powerful enough to raise someone.

Yeah, when you have an all powerful being who can do anything, then he can raise someone from the dead. Perhaps I died last night in my sleep and god revived me. Even better, perhaps we all die when we fall asleep but god comes along and brings us back to life. Or perhaps god created the universe 5 minutes ago and planted us all with memories of an older one.
This is what happens when something can do anything.... you can never tell when it's actually done anything.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 19, 2014, 05:51:08 AM
As an aside in this thread, the one problem we are having with both Patrick Henry and with Skeptic is they both assume that their on personal god exists as a given without ever giving us any evidence that it is true. I started a thread for Patrick Henry to present his case for the existence of his god, yet after 6 pages we are no further forward.

I'm sorry, Skeptic, but even if we could accept your Minimum Facts Approach to the Resurrection, we would still be stuck with the problem that one has to have a powerful god to do the raising from the dead and we still have not been shown that this is so. This is going to continue to be the case until you can show otherwise, Skeptic.

So, Skeptic, continue on this thread to show how your argument works out in terms of a resurrection as against people who are bereaved seeing images (a scientifically proven fact) but also start a new thread with your evidence for the existence of god. With this two-pronged approach you ought to be able to convince us to believe like you do.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: shnozzola on January 19, 2014, 07:05:34 AM
Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?

Or healing an amputee, Skeptic.  Perhaps you should take another look at the premise of this website.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Graybeard on January 19, 2014, 08:19:20 AM
You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise.
This quote is now available as a signature for anyone who wants it.

Skeptic!!!

Just how does God do this? Is it just "magic"? Or is there some biological process that God should be telling us about?

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 19, 2014, 11:54:12 AM
You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise.
This quote is now available as a signature for anyone who wants it.

Skeptic!!!

Just how does God do this? Is it just "magic"? Or is there some biological process that God should be telling us about?

Everything that God does is a biological process. God created the processes that form stars, planets, life, galaxies, etc etc etc.

If God healed an amputee, you would see the process happening. This is why people think God is not involved in any process. They never stop to think that maybe, just maybe, God created all processes and without God, the processes would fall apart.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 19, 2014, 12:01:24 PM
Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?

Or healing an amputee, Skeptic.  Perhaps you should take another look at the premise of this website.

Well, this has been explained already. God doesn't heal amputees because God is all about the spirit, not the physical body. The physical body can be destroyed, but the soul can't.

Besides, the question rests on the unsupported assumption that God MUST fix every single problem that we have. Since this was never promised by God anywhere in the Bible, the point is moot.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Aaron123 on January 19, 2014, 12:04:25 PM
Everything that God does is a biological process. God created the processes that form stars, planets, life, galaxies, etc etc etc.

Baseless assertion.


Quote
If God healed an amputee, you would see the process happening. This is why people think God is not involved in any process. They never stop to think that maybe, just maybe, God created all processes and without God, the processes would fall apart.

We don't consider god because there is no evidence for your claim.  It's as simple as that.  Is that really so hard to grasp?

What does "processes would fall apart" without god even mean?  How would this work?  Do you even have anything to back this claim up?  I'm guessing probably not.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Aaron123 on January 19, 2014, 12:18:26 PM
Well, this has been explained already. God doesn't heal amputees because God is all about the spirit, not the physical body. The physical body can be destroyed, but the soul can't.

Besides, the question rests on the unsupported assumption that God MUST fix every single problem that we have. Since this was never promised by God anywhere in the Bible, the point is moot.

This is little more than "explaining why god does nothing".

If god had no tangible effects on this world, if god does nothing that can be measured or detected, then it would make sense for his followers to try and tell us to expect nothing from him (though this means that they also expect nothing from him).

However, this means that there is nothing to differ god from non-existence.  I expect non-existence things to do nothing.  Apparently, the same is true for god.  I expect there to be no evidence for the existence of non-existence things.  Apparently, the same is true for god.  I expect non-existence things to have no discernible effects on my life.  Apparently, the same is true for god.  Thus far, I cannot see the difference between god and a non-existence thing.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 19, 2014, 12:52:31 PM
I  don't know, guys! Think about it - Skeptic seems to think that his god is in all the physical processes in the universe.  Let's go with that for a moment. There is a Christian doctrine that god existence ensures that the universe stays in existence - yep, god 'sustains' the universe. Skeptic also says that god works through the natural processes so that, for example, he caused a limb to regrow, we would be able to observe the limb growing. I presume this means that Skeptic does not support that idea that what you and I might call a miracle doesn't happen - i.e. man goes to bed with one leg and wakes up with two legs a few hours later.

The problem  here is that Skeptic has defined his god in such a way tht god can only work through physical processes so that dead people, for who brain cells have died, could physically not be able to be raised from the dead. This has a tiny problem for Christian doctrine but let's allow Skeptic to spot it. However, we can now, more or less, define god from what Skeptic said.

God is the energy in the universe
Now we know from Einstein that energy and matter are equivalent so, roughly speaking, Skeptic has shown us his god - the sum total of all the energy and mass in the universe. OK, to test those of you who have watched Lawrence Krauss's film 'A Universe from nothing' what is the sum totla of all the mass and energy in the universe?

Yes -



It is ZERO

Skeptic's god does  not exist.


QED
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 19, 2014, 11:02:09 PM

There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.


Cuts both ways. If people were capable of faking Julius Caesar, then they could fake Jesus Christ sooner than having a beer at the pub.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 19, 2014, 11:07:34 PM
Baseless assertion.

It is certainly not baseless. Atheists can tell you that things evolve, but they can't explain why things even evolve in the first place, or why life tries to survive in the first place. They can explain how an atom works but can't explain why an atom works.

You see my point?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 19, 2014, 11:09:51 PM

There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.


Cuts both ways. If people were capable of faking Julius Caesar, then they could fake Jesus Christ sooner than having a beer at the pub.

Most Biblical scholars place Saul's conversion to Christianity in 33 A.D. Pontius Pilate was governor from 27-37 A.D. Christianity did not come about many decades later. It came about in 33 A.D.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Aaron123 on January 20, 2014, 01:34:05 AM
It is certainly not baseless.

You've claimed that god "creates processes", and that this lead to the formation of stars, planets and whatsnot.  You've provided no evidence of this, and gave no reasons why we should give this claim credence.  A claim does not become accepted simply because you want it to be.


Quote
Atheists can tell you that things evolve, but they can't explain why things even evolve in the first place, or why life tries to survive in the first place. They can explain how an atom works but can't explain why an atom works.

Atheists do not have to explain things, nor do they need to know these things.  Atheists are not required to know the theory of evolution, or to be able to answer your gap-god questions.  Sounds like your beef is with scientists, and whenever they're able to answer your questions or not.  "Atheist" and "scientist" are not one and the same thing.

Not to mention, you could answer those questions yourself if you've ever bothered to do research on those subjects.  Ever tried it?



Quote
You see my point?

The point you're trying to make is a very poor one.  I'd say it falls under the category of "not even wrong".
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 20, 2014, 03:40:20 AM

There is more evidence for Jesus Christ's existence than Julius Caesar and Socrates combined.


Cuts both ways. If people were capable of faking Julius Caesar, then they could fake Jesus Christ sooner than having a beer at the pub.

Most Biblical scholars place Saul's conversion to Christianity in 33 A.D. Pontius Pilate was governor from 27-37 A.D. Christianity did not come about many decades later. It came about in 33 A.D.

Skeptic

1. The death of Jesus is usually placed at 33CE by reason of the dating of Pesach though it is not clear which day was Pesach - the day he died of the day after. This is because Pesach takes place when there is a full moon at the right time.

2. The dating of Roman officials, like Pilate is easy as the Romans have records of them all. (You might, as a sideline, like to compare the birth date of Jesus with the Roman officials the gospels mention.) The Roman stuff can be dated from all sorts of records but what do we have to date Paul? All we have is an account by a writer we know as Luke but we don't know when or where it was written and the letters which claim to be from Paul. We have no record anywhere outwith the NT for anything of this - not Paul birth date or the date he died - there is no record of the trials he is supposedly was tried at. There is literally nothing to go on. Now, its fine for anyone to come up with a date from something but thin of this - Paul's theology is far more developed than the gospels - especially his Christology - yet people buy in to the idea that Paul taught first and then the gospels, which apparently didn't know anything of Paul's teachings become more primitive. It's not that likely.

3. If you want to date Christianity, come up with the first date it is recorded anywhere in an unambiguous way and let us know what that date is and where you found it.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 20, 2014, 05:35:37 AM
Everything that God does is a biological process. God created the processes that form stars, planets, life, galaxies, etc etc etc.

If God healed an amputee, you would see the process happening. This is why people think God is not involved in any process. They never stop to think that maybe, just maybe, God created all processes and without God, the processes would fall apart.

I can go with that.  It would be a reasonable course to take.

But the big problem, then, is that every piece of evidence we have points to people who properly die, and are dead for 3 days, stay dead.  THAT is the "biological process" of death.

So - by Skeptic's own logic - Christ was NOT brought back to life, because that's not the biological process created by hs god.

Still no answer to my question on the demons, I note.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Quesi on January 20, 2014, 10:29:47 AM
You know something?  I have no problem believing that someone who loved him[1] believed that they saw him after death.

After my mom died, as I was packing her things and disassembling her home, I kept seeing her - out of the corner of my eye.  Not quite really seeing her.  But feeling her presence in her home.  My brain had not adjusted to the fact that someone I loved was dead.  I felt her presence.  Over and over again, I was convinced that she was in the next room. 

The same thing happened after my grandma's death. 

Recently, a friend lost her young son.  I keep "seeing" him on the street - a half a block away - with my middle aged eyes.  As I get close, of course, it is not him.  It is just some random young person with dark skin and hair.  But it keeps happening.

Grief does strange things to the brain.  Those who study grief even call the first stage "denial."  We don't yet really believe that the person we love is dead.

If Jesus was a real man who lived on planet earth, and if the accounts written generations after his death are to be believed, it is entirely possible that those who loved him really, truly believe they saw him after death.  And then told the story.   




Edited to add:  And the tween-aged cousin of the young man who just died reported that a week or so after his sudden death, she got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  She saw the young man's reflection in the bathroom mirror.  He spoke to her and said that he had a message for his mother.  He told his cousin that he loves his mother, and that he wants her to stop crying and go on with her life.  The girl told her aunt this story, and the aunt finds a small comfort in it.  This goes on ALL THE TIME.  All over the world.  In probably every culture and religion.  Especially when a death is sudden and unexpected.   
 1. and aren't there various different stories about WHO actually saw him in the tomb?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 20, 2014, 11:05:24 AM
Thanks, Quesi, that really adds to the argument.

Even if only a couple of the disciples thought they saw Jesus - saw Mary and Peter - one can easily see how the numbers and location would increase to be the stories we have in the gospels. Of course, the road to Emmaus story didn't have Jesus in it at all - it was juts the people talking thought he was there and understood when they broke bread.

How is this less believable that a 3 day dead person actually, and bodily rose from the dead?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 20, 2014, 05:42:17 PM
Baseless assertion.

It is certainly not baseless. Atheists can tell you that things evolve, but they can't explain why things even evolve in the first place, or why life tries to survive in the first place. They can explain how an atom works but can't explain why an atom works.

You see my point?

Your point appears to be to insert implicit sentient, willful intent and purpose in those questions.

Or perhaps you can better explain the difference between the questions "how does an atom work" and "why does an atom work".
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 20, 2014, 07:37:46 PM
Thanks, Quesi, that really adds to the argument.

Even if only a couple of the disciples thought they saw Jesus - saw Mary and Peter - one can easily see how the numbers and location would increase to be the stories we have in the gospels.

Where it got to the point where they brazenly added a whole gospel (John), that had a completely different thrust, theology, content; yet Christians still wanted to believe it. That's democracy for you.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 20, 2014, 07:52:49 PM
Most Biblical scholars place Saul's conversion to Christianity in 33 A.D. Pontius Pilate was governor from 27-37 A.D. Christianity did not come about many decades later. It came about in 33 A.D.

If you can fake Julius Caesar, you can fake Pontius and Paul.

What "most" Biblical scholars believe could be similar to what most evolutionists believe.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 02:58:25 AM
It is certainly not baseless. Atheists can tell you that things evolve, but they can't explain why things even evolve in the first place, or why life tries to survive in the first place. They can explain how an atom works but can't explain why an atom works.

You see my point?

I have always had a degree of sympathy for this kind of understanding of God. A basis for all existence - put more pretentiously - an ontological foundation.

However there are two serious problems with this line of thought.

First is that it serves no explanatory function:

For example if you asked me: Why is the charge of an electron 1.6022x10-19 Coulombs? I could not give you a coherent answer.

However if I asked you then same question you would say: Because God set that value. However, I will respond Why did God set that value? - at which point you have nothing further to add.

Is there a substantive difference? The answer is no. Neither of us have given an explanation of why the charge of an electron is what it is; you have simply added an extra assertion, but left the essential problem untouched. (Contrast this with the actual knowledge of the value of the charge itself - a what question rather than a why one).

Secondly even if we accept the possibility of an ontological foundation deity it is really the God of Ancient Greek Philosophy, an amoral, disinterested, non-anthropic God. It is certainly not the God of religion.

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 03:10:14 AM
Most Biblical scholars place Saul's conversion to Christianity in 33 A.D. Pontius Pilate was governor from 27-37 A.D. Christianity did not come about many decades later. It came about in 33 A.D.

If you can fake Julius Caesar, you can fake Pontius and Paul.

What "most" Biblical scholars believe could be similar to what most evolutionists believe.

Sorry; I'm aware that this discussion has been going on for a bit and I shouldn't barge in unannounced ... but, seriously WTF!?! Who is faking Caesar, Pontius Pilate and St Paul? I fear we've moved into proper conspiracy nut territory now...

(http://forums.wpcentral.com/attachments/nokia-lumia-929-lumia-icon/48145d1382998561t-tin_foil_hat_2.png)
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 21, 2014, 08:36:13 AM
Are you forgetting that God, being all-powerful, would have NO PROBLEM raising someone form the dead?!?!?

Or healing an amputee, Skeptic.  Perhaps you should take another look at the premise of this website.

Well, this has been explained already. God doesn't heal amputees because God is all about the spirit, not the physical body. The physical body can be destroyed, but the soul can't.

Besides, the question rests on the unsupported assumption that God MUST fix every single problem that we have. Since this was never promised by God anywhere in the Bible, the point is moot.

Which boils down to your postulation being indistinguishable from something completely made up. Not very skeptical of you.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Boots on January 21, 2014, 04:12:39 PM
The Jews rejected their own Messiah that was sent to save them, so why would they care if Jesus rose? They rejected him anyway.

Skep, can you not see how *utterly ridiculous* this statement is on its face??  How incredible (in the strict sense, that is "not credible") that anyone witnessing such an event would reject the raised being as a god???
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: kcrady on January 21, 2014, 05:20:18 PM
The Roman stuff can be dated from all sorts of records but what do we have to date Paul? All we have is an account by a writer we know as Luke but we don't know when or where it was written and the letters which claim to be from Paul. We have no record anywhere outwith the NT for anything of this - not Paul birth date or the date he died - there is no record of the trials he is supposedly was tried at. There is literally nothing to go on. Now, its fine for anyone to come up with a date from something but thin of this

I'd have to delve into the scholarship a bit more, but as I understand it, the "authentic" epistles of Paul are dated prior to 66 C.E. because they make no mention of the Jewish War or the destruction of the Temple, which had an enormous impact on First Century Judaism.  The pseudoepigraphical Pauline epistles are viewed as such because they differ theologically from the "authentic" Pauline epistles, or because they do things like assume the existence of a developed Church hierarchy with "bishops" and "deacons" and so on (the "Pastoral" epistles), which would not have existed in Paul's time.

Paul's theology is far more developed than the gospels - especially his Christology - yet people buy in to the idea that Paul taught first and then the gospels, which apparently didn't know anything of Paul's teachings become more primitive. It's not that likely.

I'm not so sure.  This assumes that "primitive" theology is necessarily older than "developed" theology.  How do we know that early Christianity did not suffer from a kind of "Idiocracy" in which the theology was dumbed-down to gain wider appeal?  We can observe that such theological regression happens by comparing the writings of, say, Thomas Aquinas with sermons of the average televangelist.

Like Paul's epistles, the Book of Hebrews also contains a developed Christology, where Jesus is a celestial redeemer who offers his blood in a Heavenly Temple of which the Jerusalem Temple is merely a copy, in the sense of Platonic metaphysics.  Its extensive contrast between Jesus as a celestial High Priest and the human High Priest in Jerusalem, with argumentation for why the former is superior, is presented as if the Temple is still in operation. 

The Gospels, on the other hand, include "prophecies" placed in the mouth of Jesus, proclaiming that the Temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans.  On the premise that it is more likely that the texts would be written after the events described, than that a man could foretell the future, the Gospels are dated after 70 C.E., with Mark as the first and the others appearing later.

If the "mythicist"[1] theory of Christian origins is true, then it would not be a surprise to see the sophisticated, mystical and philosophical theology come first, having its origins with educated, cosmopolitan Jewish mystic-philosophers aiming to reconcile Judaism with the prevailing currents of Mystery School teaching.  This would have been followed by a trend toward "drawing down" Jesus into an earthly life for various reasons (e.g. to "explain" the events of the Jewish War as punishment on the Jews for crucifying Jesus, to establish a basis for a doctrine of "Apostolic Succession" as justification for the emerging proto-Catholic clerical hierarchy, to appeal to the common people, etc.). 

It is arguable that the Gospels (at least Mark and Matthew) were not written as history, but as parables about Jesus.  Evidences for this can be found in the way that Gospel writers rearrange, insert, or omit "events" in their stories of Jesus, and otherwise demonstrate that literary concerns (storytelling) trump any supposed effort at "accuracy."  Examples are plentiful, such as the writer of a later Gospel creating a different narrative context for a "saying of Jesus" than the one employed by a Gospel he was using as a source.  The Gospel of Thomas provides evidence that "sayings of Jesus" were in circulation apart from any narrative context in a "life of Jesus."  If so, these "sayings" might have been initially received and circulated as "channeled" revelations from a wholly celestial Jesus. 

I'm not sure which model (historicist or "mythicist") is accurate, as there are a lot of heavy-duty scholarly writings on both sides, and the data we have is pretty sketchy.  The "mythicist" model seems more parsimonious and makes more sense to me, but the majority of experts still lean toward historicism.  As I understand it though, that same scholarly consensus also holds to the authentic letters of Paul pre-dating the Gospels.
 1. I don't like this term, as it misrepresents what the first Christians were doing according to the theory.  They were not creating "myths" in the modern sense of the term, but "discovering" the existence and acts of a celestial Jesus by various mystical means (e.g. visions, "decoding" the ancient scriptures, etc.).
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 21, 2014, 06:09:19 PM
The Jews rejected their own Messiah that was sent to save them, so why would they care if Jesus rose? They rejected him anyway.

Skep, can you not see how *utterly ridiculous* this statement is on its face??  How incredible (in the strict sense, that is "not credible") that anyone witnessing such an event would reject the raised being as a god???

Or: Why would a Jewish God send a messiah to save everyone non-Jewish?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 21, 2014, 06:52:09 PM
The Jews rejected their own Messiah that was sent to save them, so why would they care if Jesus rose? They rejected him anyway.

Skep, can you not see how *utterly ridiculous* this statement is on its face??  How incredible (in the strict sense, that is "not credible") that anyone witnessing such an event would reject the raised being as a god???

The people who, arguably, knew him best, were the members of the Jewish community. They had all the prophecies in front of them and were waiting for their Messiah.  And when Jesus showed up, they did not think he was god. He supposedly did all these miracle and rose from the dead, but they still did not believe.  Why do you think that was? Why would they reject him if he really was their Messiah? Makes no sense.

Besides that gives the lie to all the claims that "in the last days god will appear/Jesus will return and all will know he is lord" or some such. If it is so self-evident that he is the lord, why did so many people not believe the last time?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 21, 2014, 08:14:32 PM
You guys act like God doesn't exist and dead men can't rise.
This quote is now available as a signature for anyone who wants it.

Skeptic!!!

Just how does God do this? Is it just "magic"? Or is there some biological process that God should be telling us about?

Everything that God does is a biological process. God created the processes that form stars, planets, life, galaxies, etc etc etc.

If God healed an amputee, you would see the process happening. This is why people think God is not involved in any process. They never stop to think that maybe, just maybe, God created all processes and without God, the processes would fall apart.
so why did God create asteroids.... Not in our lifetime but soon on a cosmic scale one of those space rocks will wipe out what followers your god has left( if any ),it's ok though because religion or human activity will probably kill humanity before that happens.

Face it you belong to a dying religion,you are here to try and justify your position,you fail miserably.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 21, 2014, 08:18:26 PM
The Jews rejected their own Messiah that was sent to save them, so why would they care if Jesus rose? They rejected him anyway.

Skep, can you not see how *utterly ridiculous* this statement is on its face??  How incredible (in the strict sense, that is "not credible") that anyone witnessing such an event would reject the raised being as a god???

That just shows the level of man's greed and man's humongous ego.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 21, 2014, 08:20:10 PM
so why did God create asteroids.... Not in our lifetime but soon on a cosmic scale one of those space rocks will wipe out what followers your god has left( if any ),it's ok though because religion or human activity will probably kill humanity before that happens.

Face it you belong to a dying religion,you are here to try and justify your position,you fail miserably.

The religion is certainly not dying. This is what the Romans said in the 1st century. This is what they said in the Middle Ages. This is what they said in the 1700's. it's nothing but hot air.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 21, 2014, 08:24:14 PM
The Gospels, on the other hand, include "prophecies" placed in the mouth of Jesus, proclaiming that the Temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans.  On the premise that it is more likely that the texts would be written after the events described, than that a man could foretell the future, the Gospels are dated after 70 C.E., with Mark as the first and the others appearing later.

I know that is false. The prophecy is written in the future tense, not past tense. One would expect the past tense if it was a fake. Why would they worship Jesus if they knew they were making up a prophecy? it makes no sense.

Take a gander at that verse. it says "There will be no stone left unturned."
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 08:26:36 PM
so why did God create asteroids.... Not in our lifetime but soon on a cosmic scale one of those space rocks will wipe out what followers your god has left( if any ),it's ok though because religion or human activity will probably kill humanity before that happens.

Face it you belong to a dying religion,you are here to try and justify your position,you fail miserably.

The religion is certainly not dying. This is what the Romans said in the 1st century. This is what they said in the Middle Ages. This is what they said in the 1700's. it's nothing but hot air.

I honestly thought the numbers would show Christianity is decreasing.  However, it appears that is not the case:

The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

This apparent stability, however, masks a momentous shift. Although Europe and the Americas still are home to a majority of the world’s Christians (63%), that share is much lower than it was in 1910 (93%). And the proportion of Europeans and Americans who are Christian has dropped from 95% in 1910 to 76% in 2010 in Europe as a whole, and from 96% to 86% in the Americas as a whole

At the same time, Christianity has grown enormously in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, where there were relatively few Christians at the beginning of the 20th century. The share of the population that is Christian in sub-Saharan Africa climbed from 9% in 1910 to 63% in 2010, while in the Asia-Pacific region it rose from 3% to 7%. Christianity today – unlike a century ago – is truly a global faith

Source:  http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/

Surprised,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 21, 2014, 08:32:27 PM
Why would they worship Jesus if they knew they were making up a prophecy? it makes no sense.

Jesus must have predicted it, because he would have known the future.
We don't know everything about Jesus, therefore some bits can be created to fill in the blanks.
A prophecy involving the fall of the temple, can be woven into some midrash in Isaiah.
Therefore insert what must have been true.
Hey presto: Jesus is greater than anyone else's God.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 21, 2014, 08:37:13 PM
In any case, you are assuming that the motivations and theology of the person who inserted the prophecy into Mark are the same as your perspective of Jesus (that he needed to be believed, for you to be saved). The person who inserted the prophecy may have been in a bitter battle with a rival who was asserting some heretical thing that the insertion would refute.

Until you can actually show the lineage of how the gospels were written, and why in Greek, rhetorical question begging does not solve the problem. The gospel of Mark could also have been written in 50AD, and temple prophecy could have been inserted in 80AD. There can probably be no solution, just by analysing the text. A time machine would solve the problem.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: shnozzola on January 21, 2014, 09:05:36 PM
Christianity today – unlike a century ago – is truly a global faith

From the way people treat each other worldwide, from our politics to our nationalism to our suspicion of anyone different, and from the view I grew up with, of how I was expected, as a Christian, to treat other people, it sure doesn't seem like it.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 21, 2014, 09:43:07 PM
Possibly you could make a case that Christianity is global, if there were 4 Christians positioned at certain points around the equator.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: kcrady on January 21, 2014, 10:11:38 PM
The prophecy is written in the future tense, not past tense. One would expect the past tense if it was a fake. Why would they worship Jesus if they knew they were making up a prophecy? it makes no sense.

Add Homonym pretty much covered this succinctly in posts #60 and #61.  Also: since when did "making sense" have anything to do with religion?  All those other religions you don't believe in--you'd have no problem with pointing and saying, "Ha!  That makes no sense!  Those guys are deluded!"  When someone points at something in your own religion that doesn't make sense, you fold your hands piously and say "God works in mysterious ways!"  Either way, religion isn't about making sense.  If it was, people would call it "science" or "philosophy."

Take a gander at that verse. it says "There will be no stone left unturned."

*Chuckle*  Actually, the phrase you're looking for is "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down" (Mark 13:2). 

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y65/ptgalt/s01p05_zps70634cdb.jpg)

Oops.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Boots on January 21, 2014, 10:15:23 PM
The Gospels, on the other hand, include "prophecies" placed in the mouth of Jesus, proclaiming that the Temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans.  On the premise that it is more likely that the texts would be written after the events described, than that a man could foretell the future, the Gospels are dated after 70 C.E., with Mark as the first and the others appearing later.

I know that is false. The prophecy is written in the future tense, not past tense. One would expect the past tense if it was a fake. Why would they worship Jesus if they knew they were making up a prophecy? it makes no sense.

Take a gander at that verse. it says "There will be no stone left unturned."

One would only expect the past tense if it was fake--and the author was a fucking idiot.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: xyzzy on January 21, 2014, 10:16:27 PM
I honestly thought the numbers would show Christianity is decreasing.  However, it appears that is not the case:

The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

This apparent stability, however, masks a momentous shift. Although Europe and the Americas still are home to a majority of the world’s Christians (63%), that share is much lower than it was in 1910 (93%). And the proportion of Europeans and Americans who are Christian has dropped from 95% in 1910 to 76% in 2010 in Europe as a whole, and from 96% to 86% in the Americas as a whole

At the same time, Christianity has grown enormously in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, where there were relatively few Christians at the beginning of the 20th century. The share of the population that is Christian in sub-Saharan Africa climbed from 9% in 1910 to 63% in 2010, while in the Asia-Pacific region it rose from 3% to 7%. Christianity today – unlike a century ago – is truly a global faith

Source:  http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/

Surprised,

OldChurchGuy

OldChurchGuy, I'm intrigued, those are interesting numbers. But what do you personally take away from the fact that the greatest spread of Christianity is in some of most poor, disadvantaged, and educationally starved parts of the world?

How would you compare this growth, for example, to the decline in places such as Europe and other developed countries?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 21, 2014, 11:16:54 PM
A lot of the growth in poor countries is in denominations that skeptic and his friends would not accept as true Christians, like Catholics and Mormons. You know, the groups that encourage large families. But if you need to show that Christianity has the numbers and is not dying out, skeptic will count in the Mormons, the JW's, the Pentecostals, the Amish, the Seventh Day Adventists and the Russian Orthodox if necessary. Demons or no.

And then he will turn around in the very next post and say that only like, 5-10% of the people who say they are Christians really are and the rest are liars, demon-led or faking.[1]While simultaneously claiming the largest number of adherents..... &)
 1. Not sure exactly what the point would be of faking Christianity unless you are a right-wing politician or a televangelist making bank.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: kcrady on January 22, 2014, 12:34:07 AM
Returning to the subject of the OP, it seems to me that the "Minimal Facts" approach rests on an inherent dishonesty.  The premise is that Christians can abandon the most grandiose claims of the Gospels--Herod's "massacre," Augustus' Empire-wide "census," Jesus' "ministry" of miracle-working in front of crowds of thousands, the mini-zombie apocalypse (some significant number of people who crawled out of their graves and entered a major metropolis swelled with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire, many of them literate), a "great earthquake" (which would surely leave physical traces in structures built prior to that time), and the Sun and stars turning off for three hours--in order to withdraw to a more defensible citadel of a handful of "facts" they hope can be used to make a resurrection of Jesus seem plausible.

The alleged "facts" also happen to be the ones that would attract the least notice from outsiders: an "empty tomb" only a handful of people would know was "empty" (or even occupied by Jesus in the first place), and claims by Jesus' devoted followers to have "seen" him after his death.  IOW: "All the really BIG miracles in the Gospels?  We'll give you guys those as mythologizing or exaggerations or whatever, and make our stand around three ordinary events (a troublemaker got crucified by the Romans, a body was put in a tomb, a tiny cult of people who loved him said they saw him after death, sometimes in mystic visions) and one odd, but still not necessarily supernatural event (body turns up missing)." 

This is done with the hope that, if they can make the resurrection sound historically plausible, they can triumphantly shout, "Therefore, Christianity is true!," sally forth from their little redoubt and reclaim all that stuff they couldn't defend, and maybe go onward to snag Noah's Ark while they're at it.  The "concession" and retreat to the "minimal 'facts'" is a Lucy's Football.  They don't really mean it.

It's also self-refuting: if all those great big, grandiose miracles that would have been witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people, if not the entire human population at the time[1] could have been false, allegorical, or whatever, then we have no reason to trust the honesty of the Gospel authors when it comes to the "resurrection."

And we're back to the fact that, whether there be gods or Sufficiently Advanced aliens, or mighty necromancers, or other powers capable of resurrecting dead people, they exhibit a remarkably consistent pattern of not doing so.  So much so that we have no reason to think that such powers are really there, just waiting to pick out some singular exception to the generalized principle that dead people don't come alive again.

Honest apologists should be willing to try and defend the whole territory of miraculous Gospel claims, rather than abandoning it in a tactical trick and hoping to snatch it all back again later.
 1. If the "darkness that covered the land" involved the Sun and stars shutting down temporarily rather than some kind of local obscuring of the sky over Jerusalem, it would have been noticed by everybody.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 22, 2014, 01:11:54 AM
OldChurchGuy, I'm intrigued, those are interesting numbers. But what do you personally take away from the fact that the greatest spread of Christianity is in some of most poor, disadvantaged, and educationally starved parts of the world?

How would you compare this growth, for example, to the decline in places such as Europe and other developed countries?

I personally believe it is because when people have a comfortable life, they forget about God and give into material gains. When someone has nothing in their life, they are more likely to rely on God for guidance and give them hope. Funnily enough, it's the exact way that Jesus described in the Gospels.

if God was fake, you would expect people who prosper the most to give the most thanks to God and the ones who are poor to be atheists.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 22, 2014, 01:15:58 AM
Returning to the subject of the OP, it seems to me that the "Minimal Facts" approach rests on an inherent dishonesty.  The premise is that Christians can abandon the most grandiose claims of the Gospels--Herod's "massacre," Augustus' Empire-wide "census," Jesus' "ministry" of miracle-working in front of crowds of thousands, the mini-zombie apocalypse (some significant number of people who crawled out of their graves and entered a major metropolis swelled with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire, many of them literate), a "great earthquake" (which would surely leave physical traces in structures built prior to that time), and the Sun and stars turning off for three hours--in order to withdraw to a more defensible citadel of a handful of "facts" they hope can be used to make a resurrection of Jesus seem plausible.

The alleged "facts" also happen to be the ones that would attract the least notice from outsiders: an "empty tomb" only a handful of people would know was "empty" (or even occupied by Jesus in the first place), and claims by Jesus' devoted followers to have "seen" him after his death.  IOW: "All the really BIG miracles in the Gospels?  We'll give you guys those as mythologizing or exaggerations or whatever, and make our stand around three ordinary events (a troublemaker got crucified by the Romans, a body was put in a tomb, a tiny cult of people who loved him said they saw him after death, sometimes in mystic visions) and one odd, but still not necessarily supernatural event (body turns up missing)." 

This is done with the hope that, if they can make the resurrection sound historically plausible, they can triumphantly shout, "Therefore, Christianity is true!," sally forth from their little redoubt and reclaim all that stuff they couldn't defend, and maybe go onward to snag Noah's Ark while they're at it.  The "concession" and retreat to the "minimal 'facts'" is a Lucy's Football.  They don't really mean it.

It's also self-refuting: if all those great big, grandiose miracles that would have been witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people, if not the entire human population at the time[1] could have been false, allegorical, or whatever, then we have no reason to trust the honesty of the Gospel authors when it comes to the "resurrection."

And we're back to the fact that, whether there be gods or Sufficiently Advanced aliens, or mighty necromancers, or other powers capable of resurrecting dead people, they exhibit a remarkably consistent pattern of not doing so.  So much so that we have no reason to think that such powers are really there, just waiting to pick out some singular exception to the generalized principle that dead people don't come alive again.

Honest apologists should be willing to try and defend the whole territory of miraculous Gospel claims, rather than abandoning it in a tactical trick and hoping to snatch it all back again later.
 1. If the "darkness that covered the land" involved the Sun and stars shutting down temporarily rather than some kind of local obscuring of the sky over Jerusalem, it would have been noticed by everybody.

I admire your dedication to this subject.

With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.

I certainly would not expect a historian to write about mundane things that happen regularly. The problem is that you guys are applying your present mindset onto 2,000 years ago. Things don't work that way.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Fiji on January 22, 2014, 03:01:33 AM
^^ Romans loved to write stuff down, they even had a halfway decent postal service. Archeologist have come across notes from soldiers to their moms asking for new underwear (or well, the nearest equivalent), complaining about the personal habits of their tent mates, asking if it was ok to bring a bride home ... yet we have no notes of anyone going "hey, there sure are a lot of Jews coming back from the dead these days" or "I ran this Joseph guy through last week and yesterday he was back! Doesn't ANYONE stay dead anymore?"
How odd.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 22, 2014, 03:20:00 AM
I honestly thought the numbers would show Christianity is decreasing.  However, it appears that is not the case:

The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

This apparent stability, however, masks a momentous shift. Although Europe and the Americas still are home to a majority of the world’s Christians (63%), that share is much lower than it was in 1910 (93%). And the proportion of Europeans and Americans who are Christian has dropped from 95% in 1910 to 76% in 2010 in Europe as a whole, and from 96% to 86% in the Americas as a whole

At the same time, Christianity has grown enormously in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, where there were relatively few Christians at the beginning of the 20th century. The share of the population that is Christian in sub-Saharan Africa climbed from 9% in 1910 to 63% in 2010, while in the Asia-Pacific region it rose from 3% to 7%. Christianity today – unlike a century ago – is truly a global faith

Source:  http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/

Surprised,

OldChurchGuy

OldChurchGuy, I'm intrigued, those are interesting numbers. But what do you personally take away from the fact that the greatest spread of Christianity is in some of most poor, disadvantaged, and educationally starved parts of the world?

How would you compare this growth, for example, to the decline in places such as Europe and other developed countries?

I admit I didn't put any analysis behind the numbers as I was expecting an overall decline. 

I don't know enough about the demographics behind the numbers to make a judgment one way or the other. 

Having said that, it seems one could argue that religion in general has always appealed more to the poor, disadvantaged and educationally starved because they don't know any better.  Or, because they do know better and religion gives them and their offspring hope in coping with the world. 

Not trying to sound like a politician,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: DVZ3 on January 22, 2014, 05:38:12 AM
With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.

I certainly would not expect a historian to write about mundane things that happen regularly. The problem is that you guys are applying your present mindset onto 2,000 years ago. Things don't work that way.

What! Either you're really naive, intellectually lazy or dishonest, or haven't really had a deep enough education in other areas except the bible to believe that rising from the dead was "commonplace". Do  you really think 2,000 years ago they knew medical conditions like a person going into a coma or other strange afflictions that cause a person to look and seem to be dead!? This ignorance is why we've heard stories about people being "buried" alive.

But yet here you are in the year 2014 letting religion disregard  all these facts  of medical ignorance in favor of believing the nonsense that "clinically" dead people were able to rise up again. This is absurd and an embarrassment to be sure not only for people with common sense but to people who hold medical degrees.

Spreading lies and misinformation knowingly or unknowingly to others so passionately should make you think twice how you communicate with people but I'm sure you'll compartmentalize all this too in favor of voodoo and magic that cannot be witnessed as much today as it was 2,000 years ago - so commonplace.

You want to believe its true so badly you completely ignore more plausible, rationale, and reasonable explanations for past events.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 22, 2014, 06:02:35 AM

With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.


Didn't you just shoot yourself in both feet?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 22, 2014, 06:06:42 AM
if God was fake, you would expect people who prosper the most to give the most thanks to God and the ones who are poor to be atheists.

Except Job, and all his friends, who believed that God rewards faith with health and riches.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 22, 2014, 09:50:24 AM


That just shows the level of man's greed and man's humongous ego.

Yes that does explain the doctrine of heaven and hell
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Fiji on January 22, 2014, 09:53:47 AM
if God was fake, you would expect people who prosper the most to give the most thanks to God and the ones who are poor to be atheists.

Except Job, and all his friends, who believed that God rewards faith with health and riches.

Good thing we have the quran to set the record straight, right?
Good fortune and health in this life are no indication of ones destination in the next life ... the quran says so quite clearly.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 22, 2014, 10:01:23 AM


Honest apologists should be

frankly, agnostics. Because the field of apology requires dishonesty.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 22, 2014, 10:17:06 AM
I admire your dedication to this subject.

With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.

I certainly would not expect a historian to write about mundane things that happen regularly. The problem is that you guys are applying your present mindset onto 2,000 years ago. Things don't work that way.

Would you expect a historian to write down when dead people stopped rising from the dead?  You know, when the 'ho-hum' of resurrection of the dead ceased being a common occurrence.  In fact, wouldn't you expect people to start noting 'ya know, there just seem to be fewer and fewer people coming back to life.'

That seems pretty damn newsworthy, doesn't it?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: jaimehlers on January 22, 2014, 10:18:20 AM
I admire your dedication to this subject.

With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.

I certainly would not expect a historian to write about mundane things that happen regularly. The problem is that you guys are applying your present mindset onto 2,000 years ago. Things don't work that way.
Sorry, but you've made some bad conclusions here.  First off, if people came back to life regularly, then why was there so much pomp and circumstance given to funerals, say for emperors?  I mean, if people came back to life regularly, why bury an emperor in a fancy tomb that took years to make?  Seems like wasted effort if you just expect the guy to come back to life.  I mean, we'd expect the same amount of fuss out of someone 'dying' as we do out of them going to sleep, if it was such a mundane, regular thing that nobody even wrote about it.  Yet, time and again, we see elaborate rituals relating to death.  We see those fancy tombs for emperors and kings.

Second, if people came back to life regularly, then why would we have executions in the first place?  I mean, if they're just going to come back to life, then why waste time devising elaborate means of killing them?  Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the crucifixion/resurrection thing actually happened.  If people regularly came back to life, why would the Romans have bothered with crucifying people to death when they were just going to come back to life?

Third, if people came back to life regularly, and it was something so mundane that nobody even wrote about it...then why do we have the big deal about Jesus being resurrected in the Bible, not to mention Lazarus?  If people came back to life all the time, why did the Gospel writers act like it was so miraculous when Lazarus came back to life, and Jesus after him?  Shouldn't it have been business as usual?

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it...you say that we shouldn't apply our present mindset on people who lived 2000 years ago.  Well, isn't that exactly what you're doing?  I mean, our present mindset is the one that tells us that events which happen regularly aren't worth mentioning, while events which are irregular are the ones worth making a big fuss about.  If our present mindset is not a good yardstick for figuring out how people acted in the past, then why do you think that you would have any better idea than us?  I mean, if they're that much different than us, then they're basically totally alien, and trying to predict why they did what they did would be pretty much futile.  So what gives you confidence that your take on their actions is correct?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Boots on January 22, 2014, 12:21:46 PM
A dead man rising would have been...commonplace.

The problem is that you guys ...

I really, REALLY don't think the problem has anything to to with what us guys are doing or not doing.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 22, 2014, 08:31:50 PM
Did skeptic really say that in ancient times people came back from the dead all the time, so the resurrection of Jesus was not even worth writing down?

Did everyone catch that?

So Easter really is just a leftover fertility festival, all about the eggs and the candy. Stick a trident in it. Christianity is so done.

And I move to take away his screen name. He is not. At. All.

If I was a fantasy football player I would get cited for fantasy taunting this guy. I am jeering and poking my fantasy finger in his face right now. ;D
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 22, 2014, 11:21:08 PM
Did skeptic really say that in ancient times people came back from the dead all the time, so the resurrection of Jesus was not even worth writing down?

It's time for you to add it to your signature.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Astreja on January 23, 2014, 12:55:33 AM
So Easter really is just a leftover fertility festival, all about the eggs and the candy. Stick a trident in it. Christianity is so done.

It's absolutely about the eggs and the candy (and nudge nudge wink wink say no more).  All your Easter are belong to Us! ;D
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 23, 2014, 04:08:16 AM
With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.

So Christ was nothing special.  Loads of people were walking round doing miracles, so many healings and resurrections that people were bored with them.  Just another "dog bites man" story.

And so, no reason whatsoever to acept that Jesus was the son of god, or the messiah.  Just yet another miracle peddlar who happened to have delusions of grandeur.

Mind you, if miracles were so commonplace, it means that the disciples must have REALLY been hicks from the sticks, if this one guy's activities made such an impression.  So what you are saying is that the gospels were written by people who (basically) lived in Backwater County with their extended family and two goats, and their accounts of Jesus' life were the equivalent of a hillbilly coming to town to stay with a friend, and when they got home, telling everyone with amazement how special it was that cousing Billy in the city had ELECTRIC LIGHTS and a REE-FRIDGE-ER-AYTER and a TEE-VEE! 

Basically, they were impressed by Jesus only because they were too dumb and sheltered to know any different, and Christianity was built on the out-of-context recollections of the simplest and most uneducated people of the time?  Fair 'nuff. 

There's surely a lot of True Christians around today then.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 23, 2014, 07:13:31 AM
Whilst it is certainly true that there were quite a few itinerant preachers around the time of Jesus in Palestine and that some miracles were claimed, I too find it odd that no one mentioned the fact that lots of people were rising from the dead. I suppose it would have to be the Romans as well as, otherwise, the Israelites would eventually have overrun the Romans by not staying dead!

More seriously, if dying and rising from the dead was so common, what does it say about Jesus. If he just did what lots of people were doing, his supposed cat of selfishness - giving up his life for the sins of the world and so forth - probably didn't count as the actions in it were, 'ho-hum' so commonplace as not worthy of note. Which also brings up the question, if this was a commonplace thing, why did the gospel writers bother to mention it as it was - commonplace?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 23, 2014, 08:16:16 AM
Yet another example of "if X, God; if not x, God" argument
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 23, 2014, 11:07:34 AM
I will address more points later as I have to run to work in a little bit.

I just wanted to say that many atheists are asking, "Why would people ignore Jesus' miracles if they saw them? it makes no sense."

But, what about all the atheists on here who have said that if Christianity was true, they wouldn't follow it? or the ones who said they would curse God to His face?

If you guys would do that with first hand rock-solid proof, why would you expect the Romans & others to write about it and join it? They have the same hatred for it as you guys do.

Doesn't that make perfect sense?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Boots on January 23, 2014, 11:17:07 AM
But, what about all the atheists on here who have said that if Christianity was true, they wouldn't follow it? or the ones who said they would curse God to His face?

If you guys would do that with first hand rock-solid proof, why would you expect the Romans & others to write about it and join it? They have the same hatred for it as you guys do.


emphasis added--you sure about that?  Why did the Romans hate Xianity?  Why do modern atheists hate it?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 23, 2014, 12:03:07 PM
I will address more points later as I have to run to work in a little bit.

I just wanted to say that many atheists are asking, "Why would people ignore Jesus' miracles if they saw them? it makes no sense."

But, what about all the atheists on here who have said that if Christianity was true, they wouldn't follow it? or the ones who said they would curse God to His face?

If you guys would do that with first hand rock-solid proof, why would you expect the Romans & others to write about it and join it? They have the same hatred for it as you guys do.

Doesn't that make perfect sense?

Actually no! Sorry!

The Roman and the Jews of Jesus day lived 2,000 years ago. By comparison with our society they were vastly less knowledgeable about the world and how things work than us and, of course, their medical science was quite limited. The Romans used to look for [wiki]omens[/wiki] in order to decide the view of the gods on whether to fight a battle or many other things. They were used to the idea that the gods might intervene.

The Roman Army had its own god, Mithras (born of a virgin on 25 Dec, died and was raised again etc) so were used to the ideas of religion in a way we are not these days. If the Romans saw anything out of the ordinary they would want to know more and, indeed, that's how their engineering moved forward. However, one thing they knew, not least because they killed so many people, is that dead people do not rise from the dead - Mithras excepted of course.

Now given their expectations of religion and their interest in what was happening around them I cannot think of a single reason that, should a person come back from the dead, the Romans would not have investigated, their historians wouldn't have written about it and we would have loads of information left for us today. Look at the description of Pliny, for example, of the eruption. He was juts interested in what happened around him. Lots of reasons why the Romans would have recorded such a momentous event as a rising from the dead and none why not. They were the power in the land so they could afford to be interested.

Finally, let's remember the Roman's are supposed to have put Jesus to death. They normally recorded decisions and executions, though Jesus must have slipped through the net of that, and had they put him to death for looking like he was leading an insurrection, surely, if he was seen again in Jerusalem the Romans would want to catch him a second time and would have been sure to write it down then - for the emperor if not just for Vespasian.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 23, 2014, 12:37:48 PM
But, what about all the atheists on here who have said that if Christianity was true, they wouldn't follow it? or the ones who said they would curse God to His face?

If you guys would do that with first hand rock-solid proof, why would you expect the Romans & others to write about it and join it? They have the same hatred for it as you guys do.


emphasis added--you sure about that?  Why did the Romans hate Xianity?  Why do modern atheists hate it?

It is my understanding the Romans saw religion as a key to the Pax Romana (The Peace of Rome).  Squabbiling religious groups produce rivalires and wars which interrups commerce and trade plus drains the military of much needed troops. And it may have also been the ego of various emporer's but the bottom line is that Rome felt it was best for a single religion to be applied throughout the empire. 

HOWEVER, one exception was granted and that was to the Jews.  And this is because the Jews politely but firmly asked to have an exception and in return they would continue to help fund the empire.  As I understand history, the Romans said that was OK but they did not like it.  This probably helped fan the flames of anti-semitism for centuries to come but that is only a guess on my part.

So when the Christians began showing up, the Romans were initially tolerant as they were seen as a branch of Judaism.  The Christians, either out of ignorance or being true to their faith, said "Thanks, but no; we are not a branch of Judaism".  To which the Roman authorities said "Well, if you are not part of Judaism, then you must choose between holding on to your faith and dying or abandoning it and joining the Roman religion."  This explains why the Christians met in secret.

It wasn't that the Romans hated Christianity, per se, they were equal opportunity haters of all religions which were not the official Roman religion (with the pragmatic exception of Judaism). 

Turning to the other question, I don't think atheists as a group hate Christianity.  They simply do not believe in the existense of ANY gods and, understandably, resent when well meaning theists come to their door or this website proclaiming the atheists are wrong. 

End of lecture.

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Dante on January 23, 2014, 12:58:03 PM

If you guys would do that with first hand rock-solid proof, why would you expect the Romans & others to write about it and join it?

It seems to me that atheists write about Christianity quite a bit, as evidenced by this, and other, websites, with no proof, rock-solid or otherwise. Witnessed miracles would dominate discussions, as well as news outlets.

Joining it, OTOH, would be dependant on many variables.

Quote
They have the same hatred for it as you guys do.

Perhaps they did, if the xians of the time were trying to establish laws and discriminating against people to be in line with their beliefs.

Quote
Doesn't that make perfect sense?

No. Not even a little. If people really saw miracles and such that they'd never seen before (think zombie Jesus and followers here), they'd be writing it down in droves.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 23, 2014, 01:08:56 PM

The Roman Army had its own god, Mithras (born of a virgin on 25 Dec,

Actually there is no archeological proof they believed born of a virgin on Dec 25th. That is an unfortunate myth passed around in atheist communities based on sloppy scholarship.

Yes Skeptic54768, I even point out flaws in atheist stories. I do not proclaim I love atheism, therefore it is the truth. Rather I love truth, therefore I am an atheist.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 23, 2014, 01:18:55 PM

It wasn't that the Romans hated Christianity, per se, they were equal opportunity haters of all religions which were not the official Roman religion (with the pragmatic exception of Judaism). 

Turning to the other question, I don't think atheists as a group hate Christianity.  They simply do not believe in the existense of ANY gods and, understandably, resent when well meaning theists come to their door or this website proclaiming the atheists are wrong. 

End of lecture.

OldChurchGuy

You are close, but what they didn't like was exclusionary religions. Being Pagan and cosmopolitan they welcomed many other gods and religions, they were always treated as 'lesser' gods...but gods none the less. This was part and parcel of how Rome thought, from how the provinces were treated, the legal system, how Roman citizenship was granted, their tax farming system....and it extended to their religion. Everything is lesser than Rome Original, but after a hundred years or two when their language, customs, and religious practices took on more and more of a Roman flavor...the second class status lessened or in some cases vanished as well. You only need to look to how the orginal Roman Gods retained their name but grew to be essentially Romanized copies of the Greek Gods to see how this worked.

And this practice is what helped to establish a stable culture. Monotheists however don't fit this system..and that's where your post comes in.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 23, 2014, 01:48:53 PM
Finally, let's remember the Roman's are supposed to have put Jesus to death. They normally recorded decisions and executions, though Jesus must have slipped through the net of that, and had they put him to death for looking like he was leading an insurrection, surely, if he was seen again in Jerusalem the Romans would want to catch him a second time and would have been sure to write it down then - for the emperor if not just for Vespasian.

Interesting thought.

If Jesus did return to life, I would think that the Romans would want to cover that up.  How embarrassing would that be if people found out that the Romans couldn’t even execute someone properly.

I wonder what would be better action to take as the Romans of the two following options:

1)   The Romans would insure that records existed noting the execution of Jesus, thus confirming yeah he’s dead all right.  If anyone asks “did he come back to life?”, the Romans could respond “nope look at the records, he’s dead”.
OR
2)   The Romans would erase all written records of Jesus’s existence (during his lifetime) in an effort to simply deny he ever existed.  If anyone asks “did he come back to life?”, the Romans could respond “did who come back to life?”

Seeing as how we don’t have any records of his execution, we could conclude that the Romans went with option 2 although there are problems with option 2.  How could the Romans guarantee that they would successfully erase all written records of Jesus’s existence.  I somehow doubt Jesus was the only guy going around proclaiming he was the messiah, so why spend so much effort on just one of many potential leaders of insurrection.  Also, option 2 wouldn’t be the only explanation for why it appears that Jesus never existed, there is the underlying possibility that Jesus indeed never existed.

In any case I don’t know much about what the motives of the various people would have been back then.  I was just thinking, if I were the Romans, what would I have done.  I personally would have went with option 1.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 23, 2014, 03:42:50 PM
Finally, let's remember the Roman's are supposed to have put Jesus to death. They normally recorded decisions and executions, though Jesus must have slipped through the net of that, and had they put him to death for looking like he was leading an insurrection, surely, if he was seen again in Jerusalem the Romans would want to catch him a second time and would have been sure to write it down then - for the emperor if not just for Vespasian.

Interesting thought.

If Jesus did return to life, I would think that the Romans would want to cover that up.  How embarrassing would that be if people found out that the Romans couldn’t even execute someone properly.



Or, as is the practice today, they would find one sufficiently high enough in the chain of command to have a known name as not to scare the Pederatti and Foot Soldier from following orders, but not high enough to cause political damage; then lay the blame on them.

 You are ignoring this, the path of least resistance.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Spinner198 on January 24, 2014, 05:29:31 AM
Hmm, got quite a lot of responses. Well, from what I am seeing many responses tend to be either an appeal to incredulity or providing an alternative.

I will be straight here, most of what I learned on this subject I got from a book, so I am not necessarily a genius on the subject. However, from the Book I read (Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace) the author brings up many common counter-points often used against the resurrection, such as the stolen body theory. He says that the stolen body does not account for the transformed lives of the apostles. He goes very deep into the subject, but in a nut shell, why would each and every apostle die a martyrs death (a long distance away from each other) for something that they knew to be a lie?

From what we know about these 'minimum facts' we find that there are multiple problems with most theories claiming a false resurrection, but that the only problem with the belief that the resurrection actually did happen was that you had to believe in the supernatural. A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided. It is an outside influence to the observation of this event. This means that discounting biased outside influence, that the theory that makes most sense is that the disciples accurately described the resurrection of Jesus. Even when I try to say it, I can't get it across as effectively as the author.

I highly suggest reading this book to any skeptics out there. It is very informative and takes an evidential approach to the Bible and to God. Before I read this book even I did not know how overwhelming the evidence for a creator really was.

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective-Investigates/dp/1434704696

In case anyone is interested, and no this is not me trying to sell a product. I genuinely would like every skeptic I meet to read this book, even if it is just to better understand our, a Christians, argument to be able to conduct more thoughtful debate rather than the usual back and forth.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 24, 2014, 06:30:43 AM
Looks interesting, Spinner, but I still say there is no evidence apart from the bible and that's the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Oh, and as for people dying for the cause - well for many of the apostles there is very little or no external record of their deaths and anyway, look at people such as those who flew planes into the World Trade Centre. They had strong beliefs though I expect you would say those beliefs were wrong ones.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 24, 2014, 06:42:17 AM
None of these disciples actually witnessed a resurrection though, did they? They weren't with the body when it suddenly sprung back to life. A resurrection is an interpretation of the information the disciples had and isn't a conclusion based on any observation. Their beliefs are no more credible or authentic than anyone today who believes their word, as not only did they not witness any "miracle" here, they were also trapped in nature like everything else.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Graybeard on January 24, 2014, 09:25:24 AM
Doesn't that make perfect sense?
No. And the more you think about it, the less sense it makes. Finally, you come to the conclusion that Jesus either did nothing or did not exist.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Boots on January 24, 2014, 12:10:11 PM
but that the only problem with the belief that the resurrection actually did happen was that you had to believe in the supernatural.

Gee, that's it??

Quote
A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

100% wrong.  A lack of belief in the supernatural is based on current knowledge/observation.  People don't rise from the dead or walk on water without aid or transform water into wine or multiply food.  There aren't any spooks or spectres, vampires or werewolves, pixies or unicorns, dragons or wizards.  Believing in the supernatural for this one instance, with no outside corroboration, is special pleading.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 24, 2014, 12:39:27 PM
Finally, let's remember the Roman's are supposed to have put Jesus to death. They normally recorded decisions and executions, though Jesus must have slipped through the net of that, and had they put him to death for looking like he was leading an insurrection, surely, if he was seen again in Jerusalem the Romans would want to catch him a second time and would have been sure to write it down then - for the emperor if not just for Vespasian.

Interesting thought.

If Jesus did return to life, I would think that the Romans would want to cover that up.  How embarrassing would that be if people found out that the Romans couldn’t even execute someone properly.



Or, as is the practice today, they would find one sufficiently high enough in the chain of command to have a known name as not to scare the Pederatti and Foot Soldier from following orders, but not high enough to cause political damage; then lay the blame on them.

 You are ignoring this, the path of least resistance.

I wouldn't say I was ignoring that, just didn't think of it.

Still, if those who were likely to receive the blame, knew about what happened, they themselves might try to cover it up or insure there was no confusion about what happened just so they wouldn't be blamed.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 24, 2014, 01:22:48 PM
A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

Define supernatural.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish natural phenomenon and supernatural phenomenon.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish supernatural phenomenon from non-existent phenomenon.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Dante on January 24, 2014, 01:37:23 PM
but that the only problem with the belief that the resurrection actually did happen was that you had to believe in the supernatural. A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

What evidence is that?

What reason is there to believe a priori that the supernatural exists?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Spinner198 on January 24, 2014, 05:36:41 PM
Looks interesting, Spinner, but I still say there is no evidence apart from the bible and that's the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Oh, and as for people dying for the cause - well for many of the apostles there is very little or no external record of their deaths and anyway, look at people such as those who flew planes into the World Trade Centre. They had strong beliefs though I expect you would say those beliefs were wrong ones.
He also tackles this problem in the book. The difference between the faith of those who were told about their faith by others, and the faith of those who would have witnessed their beliefs being fulfilled firsthand, like the apostles did. The apostles either observed the truth or made up a lie, and if it was a lie then they would have no faith.

None of these disciples actually witnessed a resurrection though, did they? They weren't with the body when it suddenly sprung back to life. A resurrection is an interpretation of the information the disciples had and isn't a conclusion based on any observation. Their beliefs are no more credible or authentic than anyone today who believes their word, as not only did they not witness any "miracle" here, they were also trapped in nature like everything else.
I would say that it is a safe bet, that if somebody was confirmed dead and buried 3 days ago and now they are alive and perfectly well, that they resurrected. What would be the alternative after all?

but that the only problem with the belief that the resurrection actually did happen was that you had to believe in the supernatural.

Gee, that's it??

Quote
A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

100% wrong.  A lack of belief in the supernatural is based on current knowledge/observation.  People don't rise from the dead or walk on water without aid or transform water into wine or multiply food.  There aren't any spooks or spectres, vampires or werewolves, pixies or unicorns, dragons or wizards.  Believing in the supernatural for this one instance, with no outside corroboration, is special pleading.
How is a lack of belief in the supernatural based upon knowledge and observations? By definition the supernatural is beyond our knowledge and observations. Although we can't understand it, we are still told about it, in the Bible. Assuming there is no supernatural is, at best, your own leap of faith. In this situation, an unfounded personal disbelief in something doesn't change the evidence observed.

A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

Define supernatural.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish natural phenomenon and supernatural phenomenon.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish supernatural phenomenon from non-existent phenomenon.
If we think of the supernatural as in the 'real world' then it makes sense really. The 'natural' world is not something less than the supernatural, rather the natural world is limited by laws, dimensions, etc. it is the supernatural plus limitations, like laws, dimensions, etc.

We can't just start flying through the air because it defies the laws of physics. The supernatural doesn't merely break the laws of physics, it just isn't limited by the laws of physics to begin with.

The natural world exists within the supernatural world, but with limitations that simply don't exist for the supernatural. The natural world is the supernatural plus restrictions that makes it into what we define as the natural world. The supernatural doesn't simply break these restrictions, rather the restrictions weren't there to begin with.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 24, 2014, 06:29:34 PM
I'm not even going to touch on your extended defense of the supernatural on the grounds that my brains will melt and leak out onto the keyboard.

But I will point out that there must be a few other reasons why most people don't accept the rebirth of Jesus as fact.

Many, if not most of the people who have lived on the planet since the supposed time of Jesus have believed in the supernatural. Yet, they have still overwhelmingly rejected Christianity in favor of other religions. Of the 7 billion people alive today, 5 billion are not Christians, although most probably agree with the existence of the supernatural.  (Unfortunately, in my opinion, unfounded, but that is the case.)

Many cultures have impossible miracles and magical stories of death and rebirth. It could be that most people who don't buy into the Jesus myth just prefer to believe in the made-up crap of their own cultures. :P
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 24, 2014, 08:15:40 PM
The apostles either observed the truth or made up a lie, and if it was a lie then they would have no faith.

You are making the assumption that the apostles needed "faith" - whatever that is. The early religion was different.

The early "Christian" religion appears to have been a revision of Judaism, where a sagely Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of the way things were done, and showed the Jews how to follow the laws better, so that they could enter "The Kingdom" in this lifetime. He imparted understanding, not blind faith in him - rather like a Buddhist teacher, who extolls "right thinking". It would be unthinkable for a Buddhist teacher to go around saying "I am God. Have faith in me, and I'll give to a free pass to Nirvana". Sounds idiotic, and it is. Parts of the gospel hint at this, esp the part where Jesus says he is not good. Also, we have the gospel of Thomas to show us an attitude to the Kingdom.

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 24, 2014, 09:13:57 PM
Looks interesting, Spinner, but I still say there is no evidence apart from the bible and that's the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Oh, and as for people dying for the cause - well for many of the apostles there is very little or no external record of their deaths and anyway, look at people such as those who flew planes into the World Trade Centre. They had strong beliefs though I expect you would say those beliefs were wrong ones.
He also tackles this problem in the book. The difference between the faith of those who were told about their faith by others, and the faith of those who would have witnessed their beliefs being fulfilled firsthand, like the apostles did. The apostles either observed the truth or made up a lie, and if it was a lie then they would have no faith.

None of these disciples actually witnessed a resurrection though, did they? They weren't with the body when it suddenly sprung back to life. A resurrection is an interpretation of the information the disciples had and isn't a conclusion based on any observation. Their beliefs are no more credible or authentic than anyone today who believes their word, as not only did they not witness any "miracle" here, they were also trapped in nature like everything else.
I would say that it is a safe bet, that if somebody was confirmed dead and buried 3 days ago and now they are alive and perfectly well, that they resurrected. What would be the alternative after all?

but that the only problem with the belief that the resurrection actually did happen was that you had to believe in the supernatural.

Gee, that's it??

Quote
A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

100% wrong.  A lack of belief in the supernatural is based on current knowledge/observation.  People don't rise from the dead or walk on water without aid or transform water into wine or multiply food.  There aren't any spooks or spectres, vampires or werewolves, pixies or unicorns, dragons or wizards.  Believing in the supernatural for this one instance, with no outside corroboration, is special pleading.
How is a lack of belief in the supernatural based upon knowledge and observations? By definition the supernatural is beyond our knowledge and observations. Although we can't understand it, we are still told about it, in the Bible. Assuming there is no supernatural is, at best, your own leap of faith. In this situation, an unfounded personal disbelief in something doesn't change the evidence observed.

A disbelief in the supernatural would be an a priori assumption that doesn't have anything to do with the evidence provided.

Define supernatural.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish natural phenomenon and supernatural phenomenon.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish supernatural phenomenon from non-existent phenomenon.
If we think of the supernatural as in the 'real world' then it makes sense really. The 'natural' world is not something less than the supernatural, rather the natural world is limited by laws, dimensions, etc. it is the supernatural plus limitations, like laws, dimensions, etc.

We can't just start flying through the air because it defies the laws of physics. The supernatural doesn't merely break the laws of physics, it just isn't limited by the laws of physics to begin with.

The natural world exists within the supernatural world, but with limitations that simply don't exist for the supernatural. The natural world is the supernatural plus restrictions that makes it into what we define as the natural world. The supernatural doesn't simply break these restrictions, rather the restrictions weren't there to begin with.

The natural world was also created by God though. A tree growing form a seed is a miracle in the same way that Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and two fish. I feel that when people "ask for a miracle," they are indirectly admitting that the natural world is not a miracle. For example, "I want to see god defy gravity!" would be indirectly admitting that gravity itself is not a miracle, but natural. But if we view gravity itself as the miracle, there's no point to ask God to defy it.

Once you realize life itself is a miracle, you won't ask for any other silly proofs.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 24, 2014, 09:35:50 PM


The natural world was also created by God though. A tree growing form a seed is a miracle in the same way that Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and two fish.


Except the tree thing happens daily. We know a great deal of the properties and properties involved. It does not require a suspension of known physical laws.

I feel that when people "ask for a miracle," they are indirectly admitting that the natural world is not a miracle.


Because it isn't It is regular, repeating, observable, and seems to obey known laws.

A miracle by definition, does not.

For example, "I want to see god defy gravity!" would be indirectly admitting that gravity itself is not a miracle, but natural. But if we view gravity itself as the miracle, there's no point to ask God to defy it.

Once you realize life itself is a miracle, you won't ask for any other silly proofs.

Which is to say, you have nothing  but hot wind and bullcrap.

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 25, 2014, 12:38:05 AM

Once you realize life itself is a miracle, you won't ask for any other silly proofs.

How convenient.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Aaron123 on January 25, 2014, 01:44:13 AM
Once you realize life itself is a miracle, you won't ask for any other silly proofs.


Little more than a backhanded acknowledgement that miracles do not occur.

Can't show a miracle?  Just make something mundane a miracle!
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: skeptic54768 on January 25, 2014, 02:36:38 AM
Once you realize life itself is a miracle, you won't ask for any other silly proofs.


Little more than a backhanded acknowledgement that miracles do not occur.

Can't show a miracle?  Just make something mundane a miracle!

You guys want proof right in front of your faces, right? That's what life is: proof.

How is life not a miracle? Childbirth certainly couldn't evolve in steps, nor could it evolve all at once.

Think about how petty this sounds: "Hey God, I know you created the universe and all, but can you defy gravity for me please?"
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 25, 2014, 03:02:48 AM
The natural world was also created by God though. A tree growing form a seed is a miracle in the same way that Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and two fish. I feel that when people "ask for a miracle," they are indirectly admitting that the natural world is not a miracle. For example, "I want to see god defy gravity!" would be indirectly admitting that gravity itself is not a miracle, but natural. But if we view gravity itself as the miracle, there's no point to ask God to defy it.

Once you realize life itself is a miracle, you won't ask for any other silly proofs.

Except, as you keep ignoring, the resurrection is NOT part of the normal process of life.  It is exactly the kind of extra-normal "miracle" that you don't want to discuss.

Conversely, if EVERYTHING is a miracle, then the resurrection is just another "so what?"  No more or less interesting or significant than a tree, or grass, or a pencil. Is that the point you wanted to make?
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 25, 2014, 03:38:42 AM
None of these disciples actually witnessed a resurrection though, did they? They weren't with the body when it suddenly sprung back to life. A resurrection is an interpretation of the information the disciples had and isn't a conclusion based on any observation. Their beliefs are no more credible or authentic than anyone today who believes their word, as not only did they not witness any "miracle" here, they were also trapped in nature like everything else.
I would say that it is a safe bet, that if somebody was confirmed dead and buried 3 days ago and now they are alive and perfectly well, that they resurrected. What would be the alternative after all?

Er, how about they weren't actually dead in the first place.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Boots on January 25, 2014, 09:26:29 AM

You guys want proof right in front of your faces, right? That's what life is: proof.

Lie is proof that life exists, nothing more.  Unless you can show otherwise...

Quote
How is life not a miracle?

Because it happens millions of times every single day, across every species that procreates sexually and doesn't lay eggs.

Quote
Childbirth certainly couldn't evolve in steps, nor could it evolve all at once.

Argument from ignorance.  Reworded: "I can't imagine how childbirth could have evolved, therefore god."

Quote
Think about how petty this sounds: "Hey God, I know you created the universe and all, but can you defy gravity for me please?"

Two incorrect assumptions:
1) I believe your god exists
2) I believe he created the universe

three, actually.
3) that he'd ever answer you or anyone
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Aaron123 on January 25, 2014, 10:34:13 AM
You guys want proof right in front of your faces, right? That's what life is: proof.

How is life not a miracle? Childbirth certainly couldn't evolve in steps, nor could it evolve all at once.

Think about how petty this sounds: "Hey God, I know you created the universe and all, but can you defy gravity for me please?"

Once again: a backhanded acknowledgement that miracles do not occur.


About that last remark; why not?  Defying gravity should be trivial for an omnimax being.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 25, 2014, 09:42:41 PM

How is life not a miracle?


Because:

mir·a·cle noun \?mir-i-k?l\ 

: an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God

: a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement



Given that life is commonplace within this earth, it, by definition, isn't one.

Your attempts to define Yahweh into existence makes all the sense of:

I am the great and powerful Oz, capable of miracles. You see life around that's a miracle...therefore I have mighty powers.

Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 26, 2014, 08:57:37 PM
Your attempts to define Yahweh into existence makes all the sense of:

I am the great and powerful Oz, capable of miracles. You see life around that's a miracle...therefore I have mighty powers.

He knows that. He's a troll.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 27, 2014, 11:25:16 AM
Define supernatural.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish natural phenomenon and supernatural phenomenon.  Give a description of 'supernatural' that can help distinguish supernatural phenomenon from non-existent phenomenon.
If we think of the supernatural as in the 'real world' then it makes sense really. The 'natural' world is not something less than the supernatural, rather the natural world is limited by laws, dimensions, etc. it is the supernatural plus limitations, like laws, dimensions, etc.

We can't just start flying through the air because it defies the laws of physics. The supernatural doesn't merely break the laws of physics, it just isn't limited by the laws of physics to begin with.

The natural world exists within the supernatural world, but with limitations that simply don't exist for the supernatural. The natural world is the supernatural plus restrictions that makes it into what we define as the natural world. The supernatural doesn't simply break these restrictions, rather the restrictions weren't there to begin with.
This is not helping me to distinguish between 'natural' or 'supernatural'.  I think the primary problem is that I don't understand how to distinguish between 'supernatural' and 'not real'.  I suspect that you and I can agree that if something does not fit as a 'natural' phenomenon, that means that it is potentially either 'supernatural' or 'not real', yes?  Perhaps start there.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 27, 2014, 11:38:02 AM
yep, this certainly doesn't help. However, it seems that Spinner knows a lot more than he is letting on as he tells us that

Quote
The supernatural doesn't merely break the laws of physics, it just isn't limited by the laws of physics to begin with.

Now this is something we have not heard before and suggests that Spinner has actually been there and checked it out.  After all, how else could he know about the laws of physics in an area where most people have never been and some even don't think exists? I am most intrigued, Spinner. Can yiu tell us more about this place?

Now Spinner tells us, in effect, that our natural world is a sub-set of everything

Quote
The natural world exists within the supernatural world, but with limitations that simply don't exist for the supernatural. The natural world is the supernatural plus restrictions that makes it into what we define as the natural world. The supernatural doesn't simply break these restrictions, rather the restrictions weren't there to begin with.

which is really interesting but I am sorry to say, I need to know more. As one of quite a few people who have never been there and who don't even know where this supernatural is, I'd like to know how one gets there - you know, means of travel, direction, that sort of thing.

However, leaving that aside, since none of us here, apart from Spinner of course, have managed to even work out where this larger and unlimited area is, it seems to me that jdawg is right and that we need to know how to distinuish the supernatural as described by Spinner and the universe without this supernatural. Now that is hardly asking much, Spinner.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 27, 2014, 04:41:34 PM
You know how whenever we test for the supernatural we find nothing? We have yet to get a reasonable way to tell the supernatural (but shy or capricious or d!ckheaded) from the non-existent.

We certainly don't have any evidence of a good, caring, loving, desperate-to-communicate with-us supernatural being.....makes you wonder. &)
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 29, 2014, 12:28:58 PM

I personally believe it is because when people have a comfortable life, they forget about God and give into material gains. When someone has nothing in their life, they are more likely to

 grasp at straws and accept a mental opiate to placate their lously lot in life.
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 29, 2014, 12:40:32 PM

I personally believe it is because when people have a comfortable life, they forget about God and give into material gains. When someone has nothing in their life, they are more likely to

 grasp at straws and accept a mental opiate to placate their lously lot in life.

Yes!  I'd like to add that it is easy to see why Christianity is so appealing to accept as well, after all, Jesus said "The meek shall inherit the Earth".
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 29, 2014, 05:43:27 PM
Jesus must have meant that wealthy people will inherit all the stuff on the earth, while the poor people will just get a pile of dirt.  :P
Title: Re: Minimum facts approach to the resurrection? A secular response?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 29, 2014, 11:06:06 PM
Haha, good point nogodsforme.

Although, land is valuable depending on where it is located.  At least that was the plot of Superman (the one with Christopher Reeve).