Dear Christian: Why Do You Assume a Natural Explanation for Most Odd Events in your Life, but a Supernatural One for an Empty Tomb?

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Dear Christian:

For all odd events, I, like most skeptics, assume that a rare but natural cause is much more probable than a supernatural cause.

You, on the other hand, assume for most odd events in your life the very same: that a rare but natural cause is much more probable than a supernatural cause. However, when it comes to a first century empty tomb, you assume that a supernatural cause is more probable than several, possible, rare but natural explanations.

The big question is: Why?

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3 thoughts on “Dear Christian: Why Do You Assume a Natural Explanation for Most Odd Events in your Life, but a Supernatural One for an Empty Tomb?

  1. Ah, the old “probability” trap….. Hume thought he had this one figured out.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to calculate the probability of a supernatural being that has agency making a decision to do either one thing or another at any given time, unless somehow, it’s possible to know that beings thoughts and timeline beforehand.

    So, the question of “what’s more probable” simply doesn’t apply at all.

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    1. If you believe that this is true in the “empty tomb” case, then why isn’t it true for all other odd events in your life?

      If we used this thinking in every odd situation in our lives, our society would be paralyzed. For instance, in every crime, investigators would be required to consider supernatural causes as just as probable as non-supernatural causes. Society could not function! So again I ask: Why do you insist on considering a supernatural cause for this one event, but you do not do the same for most other events in your life?

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  2. What empty tomb? It only makes an appearance about 40 years after Jesus’ death (Paul doesn’t seem to know about it). It’s a fiction invented by Mark to give the post-mortem visions of Jesus some sort of anchor in the real world. It’s subsequently picked up by the other gospel writers and is intended to serve as evidence that Jesus rose physically from the grave. It fails in all respects – would an empty coffin in an undertakers today demonstrate that a body once placed in it had resurrected? – but specifically in that it didn’t actually happen.

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