Dear Nick and other Christian readers of Theology Web:
We have previously reached agreement that there are other plausible, alternative explanations for the early Christian belief in a resurrection than a literal, bodily resurrection. In addition, I posted an article yesterday by a PhD philosophy professor that supports and even strengthens Hume’s statement on the implausibility of miracles. He has turned the proverbial table on theists who always demand of skeptics: “Prove to us that a miracle did NOT happen” with “Theists: Prove to us skeptics that a miracle DID happen.”
It is brilliant.
—For every claim that Jesus healed you of your lung cancer, our reply is: Prove to us that your lung cancer was not healed by a natural phenomenon.
—For every claim that Jesus healed your broken bone, our reply is: Prove to us that it was really broken to begin with. That the doctor reading the Xray didn’t initially make a mistake.
—For every claim that Jesus saved you from dying in a car accident, our reply is: Prove to use that you weren’t saved because of your seat belt, or by the sturdy design of the car.
—For every claim that a first century Jewish prophet was reanimated from the dead, our reply is: Prove to us that his body was not moved or stolen; that the story is not an embellishment, there was no tomb.
—For every claim that someone saw a walking/talking reanimated dead Jesus two thousand years ago, our reply is: Prove to us that his followers did not have false sightings, visions, and mass delusions.
We cannot prove that your miracles did not happen, but we can demonstrate to any reasonable, rational person that your miracle claims are the LEAST probable of all explanations. Your explanation for the evidence fails inductive reasoning using abduction, the best tool available yet to mankind to determine truth, the basis of our modern, industrialized society. To tell us that your supernatural explanation is the BEST of all plausible explanations defies reason. Your supernatural belief system is only true, to you, because you want so desperately for it to be true.
It cannot be proven true by any standard measure of fact.
The belief in the resurrection of a first century dead man can only be believed by faith. The sooner conservative Christians accept that fact, the better off the world will be.