Prior Probability demonstrates that a Literal Resurrection is the least likely explanation for the Resurrection belief

The Resurrection of Jesus
by Raphael

Christian apologist and Theology Web contributor Nick Peters’ argument in favor of the historicity of the Resurrection includes his belief that prior probability for an unheard of before or since Resurrection in the first century AD is irrelevant because of the existence of a miracle-producing God; evidence for whom is the massive quantity of miracles occurring today. However, I have shown that Nick’s argument is based on a logical fallacy: 

–No miracle has ever been proven, by the standards of experts in the relevant field, to be true. 
–The only “evidence” for the reality of miracles are anecdotal claims by alleged “witnesses”. 
–And, just because a large number of (mostly uneducated, poor, Third Word) people believe miracles have occurred is not proof that they have. 

Therefore, Nick’s argument is based on a logical fallacy; the logical fallacy of Argumentum ad Populum.

Nick has tried to pass off Christian author Craig Keener’s book entitled “Miracles” as a work of scholarship. It is not. By the author’s own admission he had no research budget and no research assistants. Keener never claims that the purpose of his book is to prove that reality of miracles. He clearly states over and over again that the purpose of the book is to demonstrate the massive quantity of people who believe they have witnessed a miracle, and, that some of these testimonies are so compelling that western science and medicine should start including divine intervention in their differential of causes for unexpected health recoveries.

That’s it.

That is not scholarship, folks. It is just a collection of stories.

Therefore, there is no established proof of a God who periodically violates the laws of nature to perform miracles. (There still may be a God, but this God does not appear to violate the established laws of nature for whatever reason.) Therefore the fact that there has never before or since Jesus’ time been a resurrection (not resuscitation) claim supports my contention that a resurrection is MUCH less likely an explanation for the early Christian belief in a Resurrection than that, 1.) there was no tomb (Jesus’ body was tossed into an unmarked grave), 2.) the body was moved or stolen between Friday night and Sunday morning, 3.) or some other natural explanation.

It’s simple math, folks.

–How many times did Romans toss the bodies of persons crucified into an unmarked, common grave: many times.
–How often did Jews, Romans, or others move a recently dead body in first century Jerusalem: common sense and the documented practice of Jews after the destruction of the temple strongly suggest at least a few times.
–How often did first century Jews have a vivid dream, trance, vision, or hallucination which they believed was a real message from God: one only has to read the New Testament to see how often this happened.

And how often has a dead body been resurrected, even according to Christians: one, if any.

Therefore, simple math tells you that a resurrection of a dead body is the LEAST likely explanation for the early Christian belief in the Resurrection.


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