Christian theologian (responding to a proposed, hypothetical, natural explanation for the empty tomb of Jesus and the development of the Resurrection Belief): “That is an utterly baseless and speculative fairy tale that has–literally–no textual or historical evidence.”
Gary: Do hypothetical explanations for unexplained odd events require evidence? Or, is it only necessary that the hypothetical explanation not contradict whatever evidence that may exist related to the odd event? I will bet that most police detectives and private investigators would say only the latter is true. These professionals routinely compile lists of possible (hypothetical) explanations for a crime or other odd event, and then search for evidence to rule in or out each possible explanation, starting with the most probable explanation in the professional opinion of the expert.
But what if no additional evidence is found? Does that mean that a natural explanation for this odd event has been ruled out? Of course not. And what if the only explanation in circulation for the odd event in question is a supernatural explanation? Are police detectives and private investigators obligated to accept the supernatural explanation for an odd event simply because it is the only explanation that exists?
Of course not.
But this is exactly what Christian apologists like our theologian quoted above seem to think about the early Christian resurrection belief! They seem to think that just because no evidence has been discovered for another explanation, then we skeptics must accept their supernatural explanation. This is just silly.
Ask them this question: Have you ever lost your keys (or some other important item) and never found them? We all have. Let’s say you hire a private detective to find your missing keys and she finds zero evidence of what happened to your keys. No finger prints. No clues whatsoever. Does the lack of evidence rule out a natural cause for your missing keys? No.
And what if your next door neighbor is a psychic whose tarot cards tell him that your keys were stolen by demons! If that is the only explanation in circulation for your missing keys, are you forced to believe his supernatural explanation?
Of course not.
A natural explanation is still possible and plausible for your missing keys, even though there is no evidence for a natural explanation and even though a supernatural explanation exists. Ditto with the Resurrection Belief! Just because there is zero evidence for a natural explanation for Jesus’ empty tomb or for the development of a novel twist to the Jewish resurrection belief, this in no way precludes that a natural explanation is the correct explanation!
Multiple possible natural explanations for the early Christian resurrection belief exist. The fact that there is no evidence for these possible explanations no more precludes a natural explanation for this odd event than a lack of evidence for your missing keys precludes a natural explanation for that odd event.
Stop believing in ancient supernatural superstitions, my Christian friends. Embrace science, reason, and rational thinking!
End of post.