In my many discussions with conservative Christians regarding their belief system I have noticed that we always run into two major problems:
A. What constitutes evidence?
B. What is the basis of reality?
Christians regard the following as evidence:
1. The existence of four first century books that tell the same general story is evidence that the story is historical fact.
2. The fact that a small group of first century Jews would believe in the resurrection of one person, (an unheard of concept in Judaism…but not in the teachings of Jesus…) is evidence the Resurrection occurred.
3. The fact that a new religion in the first century spread rapidly throughout the known world, its followers being subjected to persecution and sometimes violent deaths, is evidence that the teachings of the new religion are true.
4. The fact that “all” early Christians came to accept the 27 books of the New Testament as the inerrant, inspired words of God the Creator is evidence that, in fact, these 27 books are the Word of God.
5. The probable fact that Papias, in the early second century, knew people who had known the apostles is proof that the four Gospels were written by their traditional authors.
6. The fact that the Christian Bible states that “all Scripture is inspired by God” is proof that all 66 books in our modern Bibles are the very words of the Creator.
7. The evidence for a Creator is evidence for the Christian god.
8. The absence of Roman and Jewish documentation of the events of the Resurrection is evidence of a conspiracy to suppress the story.
9. The fact that the majority of New Testament scholars (the majority of whom are Christian believers) believe that there was an empty tomb is convincing evidence that there was an empty tomb.
10. An empty tomb can only be explained by a supernatural resurrection.
11. Grave robbers, the disciples, the Romans, the Jewish authorities, nor Joseph of Arimethea could not have removed or moved the body, resulting in an empty tomb, because the source in question, the Bible, in only one version of the story, states that the Romans had placed guards at the tomb.
12. Jewish rabbis do not convert to new Jewish religious sects, such as was early Christianity.
13. The conversion of a Jewish rabbi, to a religious sect that he once hated and persecuted, confirms that the rabbi’s new religion is true in all its supernatural claims.
14. If a former Jewish rabbi says that he encountered a talking, bright light that told him that it was a dead man, this is evidence that the former rabbi actually saw the body of a walking, talking resurrected dead man.
15. If someone claims that there are 500 people living in a distant country who can verify that a dead man walked out of his grave approximately 20-25 years ago, this is sufficient evidence to believe that dead people do walk out of their graves, or at least, one dead man walked out of his grave…2,000 years ago.
Question: Would most rational, educated people, who have never heard of Christianity, consider the above statements as “evidence”? Graduates of seminaries and divinity schools may be able to present very complicated arguments using logic as to why you and I should believe the above “evidence”, but is the above “evidence” strong enough to convince you that our universe is controlled by invisible ghosts and ghouls?
Question: Have you ever seen or spoken to a ghost our ghoul? Based on your experience and the experience of other educated, 21st century people whom you know, what is the probability of the existence of invisible ghosts and ghouls?
Question: Regardless of the complicated logical arguments presented by graduates of seminaries and divinity schools for the existence of reality-controlling ghosts and ghouls, are you willing to give up your world view that Science and Reason best explain reality and submit to the schemes and whims of these invisible ghosts and ghouls?