Godisimaginary.com – (“Proofs 11-15”)

Proof 11: Notice that there is no Scientific Evidence

This is a good argument.

It is undercut by the statement: “the resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone.”

With the Christian goggles on, this triggers the following thought: he can’t know that. He wasn’t there. Therefore, he is not sure about any of the other items of this list either.

Of course the other items in the list are not the same. So why give people reason to think of them as being the same?

Proof 12: See the magic

This is a good inductive proof. But it would benefit from some explanation of why the religious magic is more similar to Santa magic than to technological magic (as it would appear to a primitive culture), or scientific magic. People these days realize that the truth has plenty of capacity to blow their intuitions out of the water, and the important part is the distinctions between the magic we believe in and the magic we don’t. I won’t go into these distinctions right now.

Proof 13: Take a look at Slavery

I have not put enough research into figuring out whether it’s warranted to compare biblical slavery to the American experience (I think that may be a bit of overkill), or whether such things were economic necessities at the time. It’s a point worth raising, but it’s up to someone else to decide whether that’s a pedant-tight argument.

Proof 14: Examine Jesus’ Miracles

Ha–I think this is a big improvement on the earlier essay that addressed similar issues. And I agree with it. I’ve never heard any believer properly address this.

Proof 15: Examine Jesus’ Resurrection

This is a poor argument. It is poor because Christian doctrine specifically gives the impression that Jesus rose from the dead, hung around for a bit, and then ascended to heaven (which is why we’re waiting for him to come back). The argument should perhaps ask why Jesus would rise up into the sky (where there’s nothing but space), but there is nothing contradictory about Jesus ending his post-resurrection appearances because that is quite simply the Christian belief. He appeared to some people and then he left.

The attempt to discredit Paul’s story is also poorly reasoned. The claim in the story is that Paul has a vision (not the same kind of experience as people who saw the resurrected Jesus), and the claim is that Jesus appeared to Paul so that Paul could do various things, like fervently spreading Christianity all over the planet. Why arrange it this way, we don’t know, but that’s the claim and saying “you shouldn’t believe this because you shouldn’t believe some guy who says this happened” is not convincing to a reader. The author also fails to address the fact that Paul converted from being a Christian-hating Pharisee due to the vision (presumably). This claim needs to be addressed in order to properly scrutinize the story.

*

Once again, my conclusion is that atheists often make good arguments, but they have a problem with going just a bit too far. They get too greedy. They show signs of their eagerness to cover off every possibility, and this lets in all the Christians with the “Aha’s” and their index fingers.

Stay tuned for the next chunk. It’s probably just going to keep going like this for the remainder. I don’t care if you don’t read it.

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