Should Atheists Debate the Evidence for the Resurrection?

The Resurrection – BYU Museum of Art Store

Imagine the discovery of four twelfth century books which each detail the story of five hundred peasants in rural Germany witnessing, at one time and place, Cinderella’s fairy godmother turning a pumpkin into a carriage.

Should we believe in the historicity of this story based on the evidence that 500 people claim to have been eyewitnesses? Of course not. And why not? Because it is a stupid, silly, highly improbable claim.

Ditto for first century dead corpse reanimations.

The time has come to cease entertaining alleged “evidence” for this preposterous claim. It is not worthy of one second of our time debating this issue. Its proponents should simply be laughed off the stage for their gullibility.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

17 thoughts on “Should Atheists Debate the Evidence for the Resurrection?

  1. I think because of the of the large political influence and cultural, legal and institutional privilege Christianity has, particularly in the US, its ideas should be debated and shown to be false by non believers, even if it seems next to impossible to get Christian’s to see the problems. If there were only a few hundred christians, as in the German Cinderella story, with no influence or privilege, then they could be safely ignored.

    And while older Christians can’t seem to be persuaded to see the problems with their beliefs, there are always younger generations coming up who are curious and will read articles debates, blogs like this one, etc, and decide to break from the indoctrination.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have only seen one case in which evidence convinced an online Christian apologist to abandon his or her Christian superstitions. And that one case was me. I have come to the conclusion that scorn and derision are more effective than debating. That is what made Christopher Hitchens a superstar. He brushed off alleged evidence and simply pointed to the fact that the story is stupid, silly, and grossly immoral.

      Like

      1. Years ago on his Debunking Christianity blog, John Loftus came to the same conclusion and said ridicule rather than debate was going to be his modus operandi from that point on. I don’t know how effective that approach has been, as his increasing level of invective got to point where I stopped reading.

        Like

        1. Yes, one has to be careful. I think Hitchens was a master at balancing derision with humor. Humor is key. If you just come across as the nasty, angry atheist, no one (including atheists) is going to want to listen to you.

          Like

      2. Debates aren’t about trying to convince your particular interlocutor (or even the audience) that their religion is nonsense. It’s about presenting the argument(S) in ways that reach people who would otherwise remain in their religion. It’s about trying to undermine the bad reason they use to prop up their beliefs.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. How often have you seen this approach effective, Herald?

          In my experience, the overwhelming majority of Christians do not believe in Jesus as their lord (master) and eternal savior due to objective, historical evidence. They believe due to their subjective feelings and experiences. How do you convince people that their feelings and experiences are not real? What historical evidence is going to disprove their belief that Jesus miraculously healed their Aunt Betsy of lung cancer? What historical evidence disproves the reality of the perception of a presence dwelling within them?

          I say, none. Not for most of them. There is nothing that is going to convince them of the falsity of their feelings and perceptions except…embarrassment and humiliation. Why do children give up their childhood belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? Is it because someone produced evidence that these characters do not exist or is it because their friends and classmates laughed at them for believing in them?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t have any figures off hand. That said, I suspect that nobody gives up Christianity when they hear about the problems, at least not initially. Casting doubt can only plants the seeds of destruction, and it tends to require continual pressure on them to deconvert.

            In my experience, Christians tend to see Christianity as part of their core identity. Evidence doesn’t usually get people to throw away their identity. For that you need to help them find a new identity to replace the old one.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Good point. Christianity as part of one’s core identity for me meant that my deconversion took several years, even after I came to conclude Christianity was not true/divinely inspired, etc.
              Eventually of course I felt I had to leave if I were to keep my integrity, but I couldn’t just drop it like a hot potato, not after believing it since childhood, and with so many people and structures in my life that were part of it.

              Liked by 1 person

      3. Gary, you had a chance, based on some of your background, for an even better analogy.

        “What if four 17th-century German books all wrote about a German friar and theologian of the previous century throwing an inkwell at a literal, visible Satan?”

        Like

        1. The problem with that analogy is that many fundamentalists believe it is entirely possible that Luther really did see a visible Satan, whereas they all regard the story of Cinderella and her magic-wielding fairy godmother as fantasy.

          Like

  2. Rather than contesting the validity of claims of becoming a resurrected dead person, how about checking out where they go after this supernatural event? Heaven? Where is heaven? Seems to me the whole “spirit world” was imagined in the very beginning and has been with us forever. GROG

    Like

    1. Good point. The same is true regarding hell. Where is it? When confronted with the math of billions and billions of human beings pent up in the center of the earth, apologists will claim that hell is not in the center of the earth but in another dimension.

      There is always a justification for your superstition if you are determined to find one.

      Like

  3. If the resurrection happened then a whole slew of other things should have followed, according to ‘scripture’ and Jesus himself.
    1) It was, according to Matthew 25.34 Romans 15.12 and Revelation 20.4-6), a clear sign that Yahweh’s Kingdom was finally arriving on Earth.
    2) It was to be the first of many, Jesus being the ‘first fruits’ (1 Corinthians 15.20-21). It wasn’t. No one else has achieved ‘victory over death’, ever.
    3) His resurrection was meant to make his followers into totally new creatures (2 Corinthians 5.17) who would be characterized by their loving kindness (1 Cor 5.12 & 13.14). There’s no evidence it did; not in the Bible nor since.
    None of these results of the resurrection happened, so we know the resurrection didn’t either.
    I like to point these things out to resurrection cultists.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sad but true, these valid criticisms should have shut down Christianity by the end of the first century. That they did not means Christianity long ago came up with rationalizations to overcome the cognitive dissonance. Neil’s good points would unfortunately just be hand waved away by pretty much every Christian on the planet.

        Like

  4. My hope when pointing out the resurrection didn’t lead to the consequences the Bible says it should’ve, is to stir up some cognitive dissonance within the believer. Just enough to give the cultist pause for thought (or momentary ‘doubt’ as they like to call it.) Gives me satisfaction anyway.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s