Thursday, October 14, 2010

FacePalm Quote of the Day #13: Jesus' Resurrection, Debunked in One Page.pdf - Google Docs

John Loftus pointed out a page by Chris Hallquist in which he gives 8 points for why he does not believe that the Resurrection did not happen. Hallquist seems to think that he has compelling and gripping evidence against the Resurrection but frankly there is nothing new here in the slightest. Here is his list

Jesus' Resurrection, Debunked in One Page.pdf - Google Docs
I have my own list. It's really nothing new these "objection" have been brought up and refuted many times before.
1. Christianity's endurance for the past 2000 years is evidence that Jesus indeed was raised from the dead. Why? Simple Christianity is based on extraordinary claims those claims would have had to believed beyond doubt enough for people to completely change their lives. Look, neither Paul and James believed Jesus was Resurrected until they met the Resurrected Christ. IT changed their lives. Meeting Jesus today continues to change lives. There are few examples of historical sources from antiquity being dated within a century of when the events took place.
2. Hallquist is being disingenuous. Not all Biblical scholars think that there is every good reason to believe that the names of the authors attached to the Gospels wrote those Gospels.
3. Hallquist may think that the Gospels are mere anonymous tracts but many scholars disagree with him. On top of that the New Testament, including the Gospels, were written too early after the events to be explained away as legendary.
4. Paul knew several (if not all) of the witnesses he mentions personally! I'm familiar with the claims of the Book of Mormon and they are in no way equal to the miracles Jesus did. In addition, The Bible doesn't tell use to believe anything solely on the basis of Miracles. See Deuteronomy 13. Demons do miracle too.
5. Jesus disciples were in the perfect situation and circumstances to know if what they were preaching were true. I think it is strong evidence that they believed that what they were saying is true. If Jesus did not rise...there still would have been a body 50 days after the crucifixion why not just produce it? Simple. Everyone who was there at Pentecost knew the tomb was empty.
6 and 7. I'm going to cover the hallucination hypothesis this way. None of the apostles believed that Jesus rose even though he told them he would. The last thing they expected was to see Jesus alive again. Granted one might argue that Peter and the boys would be comforted by such an hallucination, but that does not explain Paul, James, or Jude who never believed Jesus before they met Jesus after the Resurrection.
Point 8 is just a commercial...and not a good one.
I'm amazed that people keep bringing up these objections and can't see how bad they are. I mean where is the "A" material?
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16 comments:

  1. 1. This is obviously silly. Islam is 1350 years old. So is Islam not true because it’s younger? In 650 years will Islam be able to claim 2000 years of endurance as evidence? What about Buddhism? It’s 2500 years old. Hinduism probably 4000.
    2. Sure, some, but most do.
    3. You honestly think that 25 years (being EXTREMELY generous) is too early to explain away something as legend? Seriously? I can’t remember with perfect clarity something that happened last year… Tell you what, keep this in the back of your mind, and when you attend your 20th high school reunion, ask some old friends about some events that occurred when you were in high school, report back to me.
    4. The bottom line on this is that the testimony of a non-eyewitness claiming he knew 500 eyewitnesses does not count as 500 eyewitness testimonies. No way around that one.
    5. You said “If Jesus did not rise...there still would have been a body 50 days after the crucifixion why not just produce it?”. You should be well aware that a 50 day old corpse would not have been identifiable. It’s telling that the Christians waited to publically proclaim the resurrection until a point when producing a body wouldn’t have proved anything.
    6 and 7. A Dream hypothesis works so much better than a hallucination hypothesis. But why bother with either when the legend hypothesis fits the texts perfectly fine. The bottom line on this is that just like we truly don’t know what black holes are, we also have no idea what occurred prior to 65 C.E. regarding Jesus and his followers. It’s not even worth speculating on.

    About the “A” material. We really don’t need any. The burden of proof is yours. I see two options for you. Either produce “A” material, which you can’t given the source material and the gulf of time, or simply say “it’s about faith, stupid, of course I can’t prove X”. Some people need evidence (me), some people are ok with faith (not me), but there seems to be third group too, people like you I think, people who desperately want to only need faith, but need more. Unfortunately, you wind up prostituting your rationality for an argument that supports nothing more than a mere possibility.

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  2. So, just out of curiosity, since we were talking about discrepancies in the resurrection narrative in an older thread, how do you reconcile the discrepancy of where Jesus appeared to his disciples, Jerusalem or Galilee? It would seem that the standard “He appeared to them in both places at different times and one author is mentioning one event and the other author is mentioning the other” doesn’t work here either in that both the Luke and Matthew narratives indicate that this is the first time he’s appearing to them. He can only have appeared for the first time once to the same group of people.

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  3. 1. I didn't say that Christianty is true because of it's age. I said that it could not have lasted as long as it has if Jesus had not been resurrected.
    2. Numbers. How many Biblical scholars really don't believe there is no reason to think that Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and John did not write the gospels ascribed to them.
    3. Yes it's too early for events to be shared in an oral community (witnessed by a lot of people) to be heavily influenced by legend without correction.
    4. Paul was a an eyewitness to seeing Jesus after the resurrection and he was daring anyone alive to go talk to the one who were still living. Nothing to get around.
    5. The point is that the tomb was empty and even a decayed body that came out of a tomb (that everyone in Jerusalem knew its location) would have taken the wind out of the Christian sails
    6 and 7. First the earliest date for the Gospel of Mark is 40 AD. Second some of Paul's writings is dated to the 30's and 50's AD. We know what Jesus' followers were saying from the earliest days after the Crucifixion and Resurrection. 3rd It is impossible for 2 or more people to share the same hallucination/dream.

    Ryan, either top making assertions that there was no Resurrection because if you really think that there is no way to know what happened before 65 AD then you need be silent. You don't know what "faith" is., It is not about believing something without evidence or against evidence. It's funny how you talk about "prostituting your rationality for an argument that supports nothing more than a mere possibility" given that is what you have done if you really don't know what happened prior to 65 AD.

    As for where did Jesus appear to the disciples for the first time after the resurrection. Read numbers 88 and 89

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  5. 1. Well, if Jesus wasn’t resurrected, Christianity isn’t true. Sort of the same thing. And you could make the same claim that if Siddhartha hadn’t truly reached enlightenment, Buddhism wouldn’t have lasted 2500 years and if Mohammed hadn’t truly received a revelation, Islam wouldn’t have lasted 1350 years. You’d be wrong in both cases, just like your wrong with your initial claim.
    2. Most
    3. Which community? Jerusalem, Galilee, Rome, Alexandria? They didn’t exactly have the telegram back then…
    4. He had a vision, which is easily ascribed to him not having actually seen a living Jesus. And since Jesus was already dead…
    5. How can a decayed body come out of an empty tomb? That actually would be a miracle!!! I can think of a number of ways the tomb became empty without supernatural intervention. More likely, there was no tomb.
    6 and 7. Sure, it’s impossible for people to share the exact same dream, this isn’t “Inception”, but people have similar dreams all the time after sharing an experience. Again, you have no idea what actually happened, only what anonymous authors assert happened many years after the fact.

    Your entire next to last paragraph was merely trying to shift the burden of proof back my way. No. To quote Christopher Hitchens, that which can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof. If we don’t know what happened, the default is not to accept that something supernatural happened.

    I didn’t find 88 and 89 convincing (or even relevant to my question) but I can see how someone who would have a preconceived need to believe would, so more power to you. I still don’t get why they don’t address the number of angels, maybe they can’t?

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  6. 1. Again i am not claiming that Chrtistianity is right because of time. But you are right if Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is wrong - a lie. Thankfully, it isn't. Prove it is.
    2. Numbers.
    3. Jerusalem and Galilee - these are where Jesus was seen.
    4. According to 1st Corinthians 15, Paul did not think it was just a vision.
    5. The fact that Jesus was crucified and buried is one of the things that most folks agree. There was a tomb.
    6 and 7. so you are alleging that 11 men heard Jesus speak the same words, saw the the same thing and had the same experience in a dream? What about the 500 at the same time? Right. Can't happen. Now that is the kind of faith you misdefine.

    To quote Christopher Hitchens, that which can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof. If we don’t know what happened, the default is not to accept that something supernatural happened.

    That's called dodging. Either say nothing or provide proof of you truly say you don't know.
    http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/03/stand-to-reason-blog-atheists-non.html

    Read 81-89 over. It covers the number of angels and how many woman were at the tomb.

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  7. 6 and 7. so you are alleging that 11 men heard Jesus speak the same words, saw the the (sic) same thing and had the same experience in a dream? What about the 500 at the same time? Right. Can't happen. Now that is the kind of faith you misdefine.

    No, I am most certainly not alleging 11 men heard Jesus speak the same words, saw the same thing and had the same experience in a dream, I am stating as a fact that all we know is that someone claimed they did that. We don't know if it really happened or not.

    As for the 500 same story, all we know are the claims Paul made.

    Apply the skepticism you have towards black holes and evolution to your religion and you'll be better off for it.

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  8. As for Greg Koukl; He doesn’t have “no belief” that there is no best rugby team in England. That’s a terrible analogy. He knows there are rugby teams in England and surely one must be best. He merely doesn’t have an informed opinion. Apples and oranges.

    Plus, his argument for why we must bear some burden of proof defeats his first point, on why we engage in the conversation in the first place.

    Plus, I’m not sure where he’s getting 99% of people believe in god, since about 15% of people in the US do not, making it impossible for the world total to be any higher than 96% (that assuming there are no atheists/agnostics in any other countries).

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  9. 86 is the only one that even vaguely addresses it, and it’s more concerned with which women were told what when. In any case, they are reduced to having angels sneak off and new angels show up to resolve this problem. Plus, their claim that there are two groups of women (and hence two groups of angels, 3 angels total) is irrelevant because the group (the women bringing spices) is the same in Mark and Luke, of course those two books differ on the number of angels.

    I tell you what, write me a screenplay of the resurrection scene, using all four gospels, leaving nothing out. I’ll look forward to it.

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  10. Ryan, I think Jesus' Resurrection and Black holes are more credible than the common descent of all living things. You claimed more than just we don't know what really happened. You suggested that the apostles dreamed their encounters with Jesus. You can argue all you want that you don't know what happened but you can't argue that more than one person had the same dream or hallucination with all the same details. That's impossible.

    Same is true for the 500 eye witnesses. Also don't forget to add the fact that most of them would not have any reason to want to see Jesus' resurrected. no one not even his closest companions understood any of this until Jesus explained it to them.

    Koukl was arguing that a high percentage of people believe in God not providing hard numbers (as you know). I still maintain that if you have no responsibility for claiming that there is no God, you have no right to make that claim. Just say you don't have an "informed opinion".

    As for your challenge for using all four Gospels without leaving anything out. IT's been done. Here is a link for it.

    http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/10/fistbump-of-day-2-resurrection.html

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  11. You said "You suggested that the apostles dreamed their encounters with Jesus.", but I never did that. You have a nasty habit of latching onto what you perceive to be the easiest argument and never letting it go. What I said was that the apostles having dreamed everything makes more sense than them having hallucinated everything, but both make less sense then the whole thing just being legend.

    And you are taking Paul's word that those 500 eyewitnesses exist, so they tell you nothing except what Paul thought about them.

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  12. Ryan, you have a nasty habit of back pedaling. You said that the apostles dreaming up their encounters in Jesus makes more sense that they hallucination - that is suggesting a possibility and then "throwing it under the bus." Why didn't you just say that it was a legend and continue to offer no evidence like you always do because you don't think you need to? Like a child throwing a baseball through a window and then hiding his hand behind his back.

    Paul himself said that there were 500 simultaneously eyewitnesses to the Resurrection. He calls his readers to talk to those who were still living at the time to see if it is true. Seems to tell me that he considers them strong evidence. Why would he say that at the time his writing 1 Corinthians that many of those witnesses were still alive?

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  13. Here's what I said, dummy "A Dream hypothesis works so much better than a hallucination hypothesis. But why bother with either when the legend hypothesis fits the texts perfectly fine."

    Why bother with either when the legend hypothesis is fine?

    And the people who were converting to christianity in the Roman empire were not exactly the most mobile people, nor would they likely travel to a client kingdom that everyone knew was about to have the hammer dropped on it. So I'm not sure how you or Paul thought those folks could serve, many years later, to verify anything.

    I'll continue this on your harmonization blog later.

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  14. Excuse me. You still have provided no evidence that a "dream hypothesis" or a "legend hypothesis" fits the data better. Waiting.

    Also, I understood that there were some eyewitnesses among the Corinthian Church. Why would you think that all of them stayed in Jerusalem? They didn't. Also why would you think that Paul was not referring to just the people of his own time that was reading the letter at that time to check the witnesses they had access to? Common sense please.

    But thanks for playing.

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  15. Also, I understood that there were some eyewitnesses among the Corinthian Church.

    Evidence please. We'll need names and sources of course.

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  16. Paul didn't write them down. Feel free to complain to management.

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