Why we can Reject the Christian Claims of a Resurrection without Reading even One Christian Scholar’s Book


Conservative Christian blogger:

Your long reply here basically boils down to:

1) If you are going to believe some supernatural claims, why not believe all of them?

2) You can deny supernatural claims out of hand because burden of proof something something.

The first point was actually addressed in my previous post. One thing I pointed out was how you can judge the credibility of the originator of that claim. For instance, does that person have manifestly obvious ulterior motives?

As for the second thing, you are correct. Supernatural claims do require evidence. That’s why the first post was called, “Does the Bible count as evidence?” And the conclusion was that the testimony of honest men is a valid form of evidence. 

Gary:

Your comment insinuates that you believe that if a teller of a supernatural tale has a reputation for being honest and sincere, then we should take their claim seriously.  This is poor logic.  Very honest and sincere people can be very sincerely wrong.  And more to the point, even if an alleged eyewitness or group of eyewitnesses has a stellar reputation for honesty and integrity, the more extra-ordinary their claim, the less we should trust their testimony without additional corroborating evidence.  In addition, if their alleged testimony is so wildly extra-ordinary that it defies multiple laws of nature, we can safely reject their testimony out of hand without listening to their convoluted claims of supporting evidence (or reading even one book by their “scholars”).

Let me give you an example:

Twelve of the most upstanding, honest, highly-respected members of your community claim to have seen a red car speeding down main street yesterday. I will bet that you would accept this testimony as fact without asking for any additional evidence.

However, this same group of highly respected citizens also claims that last night at midnight, a large Martian mothership appeared over your town; beamed them all up individually from their beds into the spaceship; and then, hurtled through space to the planet Mars, where they underwent mind probing and other experiments for three hours, including walking around on the planet for 30 minutes without any oxygen; and then they were all returned safely to their beds on earth before sunrise.

Our twelve highly respected, honest citizens are so certain that this Martian space excursion happened last night that they are all willing to take lie detector tests, which they all pass, and, swear under oath that their statements are nothing but the truth.  Based on the unquestioned character of the eyewitnesses, should we accept that this event occurred?

Answer:  Absolutely not.

Why?  Here are just a couple of reasons:

1.  It defies current space travel abilities to travel to Mars and back in the matter of six hours (midnight to sunrise).

2.  It is impossible for humans to live in an environment which lacks oxygen, even for a few minutes, let alone 30 minutes.

3.  There is no current ability to levitate persons out of the inside of their homes into a space craft.

And the same can be said of the Resurrection claim:

1.  It is medically impossible for a three-day-dead corpse to come back to life.  It defies the laws of nature.

2.  There was no means in the first century, mechanical or otherwise, for humans beings to “ascend” into the clouds.

3.  There is no known mechanism even today for a human being to teleport between cities, such as from Emmaus to Jerusalem.

Therefore, even if the witnesses to the Resurrection were the most upstanding, honest, reliable, trustworthy persons on the planet, there is absolutely no reason we should believe this multiple-laws-of-nature-defying supernatural tale.  The laws of nature are never violated.  You don’t need to read even one of their scholar’s books to be sure of that.

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