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markdohle

Best Objection against Jesus' Resurrection -

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Sorry Mark, I don't do You-tube. In these day's a you-tube is worth a million blah-blahs.

I admire your spark, spirit and nature in the meanwhile. :)

/just relate what you mean in your own words!

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I agree. I think the hallucination theory is silly.

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The video, which runs just under three minutes, shows Gary Habemas, answering a request for the "best" objection to the Resurrection, and how he refutes it.

He dodges the question, and answers instead about the "most frequent" objetcion in his experience. He describes this as the hallucination theory, but he never states the objection in a specific form. There is no way to assess the relevance of his refutations without a clear statement of what he is refuting.

Nor is it possible to "reverse engineer" the details of the objection from his refutations of it. They are all over the map. Some are appeals to the number of people, the varitey of personalities, and the different physical situations in which Jesus was seen. There is even a "meta objection," that Habermas can think of so many objections is itself evidence against the objection.

All of these factors come up in discussions of Fatima. Unless you believe that the Earth left solar orbit for a while and then returned later the same day, then you believe that hallucinations of the sort Habermas discusses have happened.

Fatima is an almost exclusively Roman Catholic miracle, since it involves Mary. On information and belief, Dr Habermas isn't a Roman Catholic. Apparently, then, evidence of the same sort that fails to convince Habermas that Mary rose from the dead and ascended into heaven does convince him that Jesus did those things. I have no idea how he distinguishes the two cases.

Another line of objection had to do with the psychology of the disciples on "Holy Saturday," but there are no sightings reported on that day. Habermas specifically mentions James and Paul. There is no report that James saw the resurrected Jesus, only that he took over his dead brother's business, not an unusual move. Paul is never reported to have seen the person of Jesus, just a voice. It's entirely possible that Paul wouldn't have recognized Jesus anyway.

There is also some discussion of the empty tomb as somehow arguing against the applicability of the hallucination objection, but it's altogether unclear what one has to do with the other. The tomb wasn't empty according to Mark, there was another living man in it when the women found it, wide open. Mark was the first Gospel. No other Gospel agrees with him; maybe the closest being the last Gospel, John. Mary Magdalene thought that the body had been removed from the tomb, according to John. Maybe she was right.

What has that to do with a bunch of people, many of whom are depicted as having a history of seeing things that others do not, seeing (or hearing) something that others didn't?

And if this isn't the best objection, Dr Habermas, then what is?

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"Best Objection against Jesus' Resurrection?"

Dead people don't usually come back to life.

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Posted (edited)

Dead people don't usually come back to life.

Yes, that would be my nominee for best objection as well. Bart Ehrman takes a lot of heat for his formulation of the principle, using it against miracles in general. He has gotten into some trouble in debate, because he is not facile with the math of probabilities. Nevertheless, his point is correct and the math does back him up.

And that's the difference between a "best objection" and a "most frequent objection," which Habermas & Company bait and switch in the OP video. The best objection is that any coherent natural explanation is more credible than supernatural revivification. However unlikely any one naturalistic alternative is, supernatural revivification is less likely than that. (Christians differ among themselves whether it has happened exactly once or exactly twice in all time.)

The most frequent objection is simply picking one from among the unboundedly many alternative coherent explanations, ignoring the rest, and pronouncing the chosen one to be unlikely. So, yes, (I'm guessing here about which objection Habermas chose, he was vague) a cluster of correlated hallucinations is very rare. So what? Revivification is rarer than that.

And compared with the probablility that some one among the many alternative possibilities occurred, the probability of revivification is vanishingly tiny.

The one and only basis for belief in the Resurrection is faith. If that is someone's faith, then that's fine with me. What I object to is schlock like the OP video, which tries to discredit unbelief by pretending that unbelief is anything except looking at the facts without faith's characteristic suspension of critical thought.

Edited by eight bits
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Posted (edited)

"Best Objection against Jesus' Resurrection?"

Dead people don't usually come back to life.

You think!!!

Its funny aswell. If you read the bible, the reappearance of Christ fits well with modern peoples reactions to the death of charismatic figures.

Has anyone seen Elvis lately?

Also the other day I caught a rattlesnake at my kids school. It's next to a green belt. Now every day I spend about ten minutes poking the bushes where the kids get out and start to play.

Last week one of the kids that witnessed my catch, said he saw another one. He pointed out where it was. I had checked that spot thoroughly not 3 minutes before he got there after school. But then another kid said he saw one. Then a parent was on her phone texting and calling the office. Pretty soon there was yellow caution tape surrounding the whole area and like ten kids saw the rattle snake. I could do nothing but shake my head in amusement. People are just nuts.

Edited by Seeker79
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I kind of go along with the BS theory. It is an allegory like so many other ancient hero stories, as in "Jason and the Argonauts"

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Posted (edited)

I kind of go along with the BS theory. It is an allegory like so many other ancient hero stories, as in "Jason and the Argonauts"

I'm inclined to think that way to, but the story is so typically human it's hard for me to doubt that the followers of a beloved teacher didn't go through some of these motions. To me it's a much more plausibly human story than a myth of ancient literature. It's just exaggerated like legends tend to be.

Edited by Seeker79

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I'm inclined to think that way to, but the story is so typically human it's hard for me to doubt that the followers of a beloved teacher didn't go through some of these motions. To me it's a much more plausibly human story than a myth of ancient literature. It's just exaggerated like legends tend to be.

Ever read about the story of the Buddha's death. He died of old age in a grove of trees. The trees burst into bloom and rained flowers on his body. If the Jesus story is true then I guess that one is too.

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Ever read about the story of the Buddha's death. He died of old age in a grove of trees. The trees burst into bloom and rained flowers on his body. If the Jesus story is true then I guess that one is too.

Right. The legends that grow up around spiritual leaders are exotic.

That dosnt mean that their lives are complete fabrications just the "lightning bolts from their eyes and fire balls from arses" parts. :)

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Great men attract great legends. The convincing things about Jesus, Buddha and others is what they taught, not the stories. How sad we need fairy tales to make us take notice.

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"Best Objection against Jesus' Resurrection?"

Dead people don't usually come back to life.

Logical presupposition that miracles cannot occur and therefore backed on no logical grounds.

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Logical presupposition that miracles cannot occur and therefore backed on no logical grounds.

I don't presume to know, a priori, that miracles cannot occur. For a working definition of miracle I use Hume's. I would have to accept a miracle as the best explanation if all other alternatives would be even more implausible.

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I don't presume to know, a priori, that miracles cannot occur. For a working definition of miracle I use Hume's. I would have to accept a miracle as the best explanation if all other alternatives would be even more implausible.

Good. :) So please, thoroughly research the resurrection of Jesus Christ and notify me when you've accepted it's miraculous. :D:P

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Good. :) So please, thoroughly research the resurrection of Jesus Christ and notify me when you've accepted it's miraculous. :D:P

What do you mean by thorough? I am not a polymath, and I don't know Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Latin, Coptic, or Syriac. I have not formally studied historicity or epigraphy. Likewise I have not studied archeology or historical criticism and theological interpretation of scripture. Ok, well maybe a little.

But I don't think one has to be an expert in all these fields and disciplines. There are several more plausible explanations to choose from rather than that of a miraculous resurrection of a dead man.

Off the top of my head;

p1 "orthodox" scripture was "corrupted"

p2 the early members misinterpreted an event and/or statement, much like Paul misinterpreted the imminent parousia.

p3 a coverup explanation to account for the ignoble end of yet another Messiah.

p4 the old passover plot conspiracy theory, the crucifixion was not lethal.

There are more, but I only have to posit one example that is more plausible than a dead man being brought back to life. And by dead I don't mean someone with no vital signs or someone near death who recovers and tells stories of tunnels of light etc. I mean someone who is deceased and cannot be put back to together again, much like Humpty Dumpty.

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Logical presupposition that miracles cannot occur and therefore backed on no logical grounds.

Logical bull**** my friend... Trust me ;)

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Posted (edited)

AquilaChrysaetos

Logical presupposition that miracles cannot occur and therefore backed on no logical grounds.

Really? But surely Dr Habermas accepts that miracles are possible. There is no tomb of Mary except empty ones (just as there are plural candidates for Jesus' tomb). She has been sighted thousands of times, or otherwise perceived and interacted with by living people. On one occasion, in modern times, tens of thousands of people at once are reported to have watched her work an astronomical miracle in broad daylight.

Even scripturally, Paul describes Jesus as the first fruits of a general resurrection event; in which everybody will participate eventually, but not everybody all at once. Jesus went first. Speaking of logic, somebody has to go second in that case. Why not his Mum?

And yet, on information and belief, Dr Habermas does not teach the bodily Ressurrection and Assumption of Mary of Nazareth. Nor does he teach the variant allowed by Paul, that some may be changed without tasting death. That would be a nice present for anyone's Mother.

Seriously, AC, if it was within your power to spare your mother from death, or failing that, to see to it that she suffered no lasting ill effects from a final distress, wouldn't you do it? For your mother? And if she then needed a place to stay, and you had a really big house available, with many apartments, wouldn't you let her have one? This is your mother we're talking about.

If you answered "no," then would you be willing to tell your mother that, face to face? Or better yet, would you demonstrate to her your power to do it, and then withhold it from her when she needed it?

Assuming you answer "yes," that you'd help your Mom, and assuming Jesus didn't help his Mom, then what are you saying? That you're a better son than Jesus? I'd do it for my Mom. Am I a better son than Jesus?

So, here's how logic works. If Dr Habermas allows that a rational person may believe that Mary wasn't bodily transformed and assumed into Heaven, then he must allow that a rational person may believe that Jesus wasn't, either. It is his business that he disagrees personally, for whatever reasons, but he cannot object logically to anyone reaching similar conclusions about similar uncertain questions, based on similar evidence.

Edited by eight bits
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"Best Objection against Jesus' Resurrection?"

Dead people don't usually come back to life.

LOL, yeah.

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Jesus the Near Death Experiencer and Christianity the near death experience religion:

I'm thinking Jesus was simply a little Jewish Rabbi that had a very deep and profound near death experience while up on that cross and that the New Testament in its essence is basically a highly embellished, added onto, and out of sequence near death experience story and Christianity at its very heart a near death experience religion.

They were in a hurry to get the body down from the cross because they were afraid of angering the Jews because they didn't like bodies left up on the cross over the Sabbath. They were afraid the Jews would riot so they wanted to hurry up and get the body down. When that Roman soldier stuck his spear in the side of Jesus he pierced the pericardium which is the sac surrounding the heart and it relieved the pressure which was keeping Jesus heart from beating and then when they cut the body down from the cross, because they were in a hurry, they let the body flop on the ground and the resulting "whomp" restarted the heart and it was beating very slowly so Jesus was in a coma.

They turned the body over to the women and they probably cleaned it and bound the wounds and then wrapped it in linen and then they laid it in that cool dark tomb (in the spring time in Jerusalem) and he laid there in a coma for three days.

After three days in a coma Jesus woke up and at some point in his ordeal, probably while he was up on the cross, he had a very deep and profound near death experience. No one in the first Century had ever seen anyone who had had been crucified on a cross live to tell about it. For them it was a miracle. So he came back and started preaching about what the Kingdom of God was like and he prayed in the garden that his followers would experience the oneness and connectedness with God that he had experienced.

The church is supposed to be a respite from the world, or a little piece of heaven here on Earth. That was Jesus original intention, that his followers would know the love and light and connectedness with each other that he had experienced while on the other side.

Christianity is a matrix or mandela of all the religions that were common or around during the First century. Jesus's near death experience picked up through storytelling all the elements of Mithra-ism, Isis and Osiris worship, Judaism, Greek & Roman Mythology, the worship of Horus. It's a mish-mash of a lot of different religions.

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"Best Objection against Jesus' Resurrection?"

Dead people don't usually come back to life.

LOL. well that is the point, rather. It illustrates the unusuality of christ. If he did not come back to life in the story, we would not have either christianity or its basic motivational tenets( beyond christs template as to how to live a life on earth.)

If humans normally came back to life, the story would lose all its impact. Or would it? Within one lifetime from today humans will have the abilty to be resurrected by science from physical and mental death. Ie death of body and soul. (Some scientists argue that "immortals" already walk among us because there are young people today who will live potentially for thousands of years) But a miracle is a different kettle of fish to science, in most people's minds.

To me they are one and the same. (Clarke's second law) but humans ATTRIBUTE "divine' cause to miracles, and then act upon that attribution.

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Posted (edited)

AquilaChrysaetos

Really? But surely Dr Habermas accepts that miracles are possible. There is no tomb of Mary except empty ones (just as there are plural candidates for Jesus' tomb). She has been sighted thousands of times, or otherwise perceived and interacted with by living people. On one occasion, in modern times, tens of thousands of people at once are reported to have watched her work an astronomical miracle in broad daylight.

Even scripturally, Paul describes Jesus as the first fruits of a general resurrection event; in which everybody will participate eventually, but not everybody all at once. Jesus went first. Speaking of logic, somebody has to go second in that case. Why not his Mum?

And yet, on information and belief, Dr Habermas does not teach the bodily Ressurrection and Assumption of Mary of Nazareth. Nor does he teach the variant allowed by Paul, that some may be changed without tasting death. That would be a nice present for anyone's Mother.

Seriously, AC, if it was within your power to spare your mother from death, or failing that, to see to it that she suffered no lasting ill effects from a final distress, wouldn't you do it? For your mother? And if she then needed a place to stay, and you had a really big house available, with many apartments, wouldn't you let her have one? This is your mother we're talking about.

If you answered "no," then would you be willing to tell your mother that, face to face? Or better yet, would you demonstrate to her your power to do it, and then withhold it from her when she needed it?

Assuming you answer "yes," that you'd help your Mom, and assuming Jesus didn't help his Mom, then what are you saying? That you're a better son than Jesus? I'd do it for my Mom. Am I a better son than Jesus?

So, here's how logic works. If Dr Habermas allows that a rational person may believe that Mary wasn't bodily transformed and assumed into Heaven, then he must allow that a rational person may believe that Jesus wasn't, either. It is his business that he disagrees personally, for whatever reasons, but he cannot object logically to anyone reaching similar conclusions about similar uncertain questions, based on similar evidence.

Maybe im missing something but in the bible story christ was originally divine/god; mary was not. Christ simply returned to heaven from a sojourn on earth of 30 years and will indeed come in physical form again in the future. Again from the biblical story.

All other humans according to the bible,( rather than catholic theology/interpretation) will not enter heaven until the judgement days. In this context, Mary, like you or I, will be judged (in biblical theological terms) and will probably be found suited to go to heaven until resettled on the new earth. So in the actual biblical context/story line, christ would know that mary would eventually go to heaven, and then on to the new earth after being "asleep" for however long it takes for the judgement days to roll around.

Biblically ALL humans die, but those who believe in christ will be resurrected. One assumes mary, of all people, had a belief in her son This is demonstrated by her role in the gospels. Just as a story the bible makes contextual sense as long as you actaully read it all and follow it as a story. In tha story christ's response to his human birth mother, (as it is to every human being) is both logical and humane. Purely biblically, christ was god, mary was human, what was possible for one was NOT possible for the other. For humans a different process and sequence is used, in the biblical storyline.

I might be wrong, but I dont think there is any biblical evidence for, or refernce to, mary being taken up to heaven while alive. Thus, biblically, the presumption is that she died like all the rest of her family.

Of course christians can (and do) believe many variations. Personally, while not a bible believer/literalist, i think that one should stick to it and its content, if one wants to be a biblically based christian.

It makes things a lot more logical and coherent than going off on theological tangents, and church/individual based additions or alterations to the bible story.

Ps the issue of ones mother is not that simple. My mum is 90 and in good mental and physical health, if a little frail. She has many grand children and great grandchildren, Is well embedded in her community and socially active with family and groups. Now suppose i am offered two choices; to allow her to live out her life and to die naturally with all that entails including perhaps falls strokes and some suffering, but then be ressurected some time in the future OR to prevent her natural death and aging, but thereby prevent her resurrection and transformation into an eternal being.

Which is the better course? Well it depends on your beliefs doesn't it? Does one first have to die to be transformed into that eternal being? Perhaps not, as in the final days those saved still alive on earth will be taken up to heaven. But for all other humans, according to the bible. they sleep until the judgement days.

Edited by Mr Walker

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LOL. well that is the point, rather. It illustrates the unusuality of christ.

So the more outlandish the claim, the more we should put stock in it?

If he did not come back to life in the story, we would not have either christianity or its basic motivational tenets( beyond christs template as to how to live a life on earth.)

Why? Jesus came to be a scapegoat. He died and thus took on the sins of the world. Why is a bodily resurrection theologically necessary?

If humans normally came back to life, the story would lose all its impact. Or would it? Within one lifetime from today humans will have the abilty to be resurrected by science from physical and mental death. Ie death of body and soul. (Some scientists argue that "immortals" already walk among us because there are young people today who will live potentially for thousands of years) But a miracle is a different kettle of fish to science, in most people's minds.

To me they are one and the same. (Clarke's second law) but humans ATTRIBUTE "divine' cause to miracles, and then act upon that attribution.

You mean Clarke's 3rd law? "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

So you're saying it could have been extraterrestrial aliens?

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All other humans according to the bible,( rather than catholic theology/interpretation) will not enter heaven until the judgement days.

That's a limited view. The Hebrews taught that certain righteous heroes would enter heaven.

I might be wrong, but I dont think there is any biblical evidence for, or refernce to, mary being taken up to heaven while alive. Thus, biblically, the presumption is that she died like all the rest of her family.

Heresy!

Of course christians can (and do) believe many variations. Personally, while not a bible believer/literalist, i think that one should stick to it and its content, if one wants to be a biblically based christian.

What or who is your authority for this claim?

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Posted (edited)

Mr W

That is all, of course, well and good.

The principal issue before us, however, is to evaluate Dr Habermas' thinking..He urges us to look upon the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus as things that happened in history, and for which there is, in his view, sufficient evidence to support a confident belief that they actually occurred.

I share your impression that Dr Habermas believes that Jesus is God. It is conceivable that Dr Habermas would argue that gods have prerogatives that ordinary human beings do not. That, however, isn't a historical assertion, and is irrelevant to whether or not the events occurred.

The hypothesis that Mary of Nazareth ascended to heaven, either after being raised from death or avoiding death altogether, does not depend on her being a goddess, but rather that Jesus, or the God who raised Jesus, would and did also raise Mary. We are told that Jesus did raise somebody else he loved, Lazarus of Bethany, and so there really is no question that if Jesus could be raised, then so could others, too. I would add that Paul expected that others would soon be raised bodily; Jesus' distinction for Paul is that Jesus rose first.

Why wouldn't Mary be second? If not her, then somebody would be, so why not her?

All of which clears the way for us to apply the approach that Dr Habermas proposes for the Ressurection and Ascension of Jesus to the Dormition and Ascension of Mary. I find it perplexing that I reach the same conclusion for both, while Dr Habermas apparently reaches different conclusions for each.

At least one of us, it would seem, is doing it wrong.

Edited by eight bits

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