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Thread: Does Jesus's Prayer Show Christianity Is False?

  1. #11
    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Time traveling Christians! Or time traveling super-powered aliens!
    I remember seeing someone say that "Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". I'll have to look up who said it.

    Found it.

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    Ok. Let's take out the words "supernatural" and "magic". Is it now acceptable to you Christians?

    The evidence for the alleged bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, in Jerusalem, in circa 30 AD is the following:


    1. Public execution.
    2. Public burial.
    3. Sealed tomb.
    4. Guards at the tomb for most of the period of time in question.
    5. Empty tomb, three days and two nights later, with stone rolled away. (No known witnesses to the body leaving the tomb, however)
    6. Post-death sightings, sometimes by hundreds of people at once.
    7. Dramatically changed behavior of disciples.
    8. Very shameful, very strange new belief system in an Honor-Shame society.
    9. A belief never heard of in Judaism, yet believed by several thousand devout Jews.
    10. Rapid spread of Christianity.
    11. Willingness of thousands of Christians to be persecuted, tortured, and painfully executed for their beliefs.

    Question: Based on the agreed-upon evidence above, Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, do you believe the Christian claim that the dead man, Jesus of Nazareth, was brought back to life by the Hebrew God, Yahweh, exited his sealed tomb by some manner other than moving the stone, appeared in a superhero-like body to his grieving friends and family on multiple occasions (but apparently to no one else), and forty days later levitated into the clouds, and from there, in some fashion, traveled to the farthest extent of the universe (or possibly into another dimension) to sit on a throne at the right hand of the Hebrew God, Yahweh, to be the ruler of the universe?

    Do you, Mr./Mrs. Public, believe that this miracle explanation of Christianity is the most probable explanation for the evidence above, or, do you believe that there are other more probable, naturalistic, explanations for this evidence?

  3. #13
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    The average person has more than enough reason to believe the claims of the apostles that Jesus rose from the dead.

  4. Amen Christianbookworm, Jedidiah amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    The average person has more than enough reason to believe the claims of the apostles that Jesus rose from the dead.
    You are making an assumption of what the average person would believe. I suggest we test it. I will add your statement regarding the apostles to the list of evidence. Any other changes?

    The evidence for the alleged bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, in Jerusalem, in circa 30 AD is the following:

    1. Public execution.
    2. Public burial.
    3. Sealed tomb.
    4. Guards at the tomb for most of the period of time in question.
    5. Empty tomb, three days and two nights later, with stone rolled away. (No known witnesses to the body leaving the tomb, however)
    6. Post-death sightings, sometimes by hundreds of people at once.
    7. Dramatically changed behavior of disciples.
    8. Very shameful, very strange new belief system in an Honor-Shame society.
    9. A belief never heard of in Judaism, yet believed by several thousand devout Jews.
    10. Rapid spread of Christianity.
    11. Willingness of thousands of Christians to be persecuted, tortured, and painfully executed for their beliefs.
    12. The apostles of Jesus believed in the bodily resurrection and preached it.

    Question: Based on the agreed-upon evidence above, Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, do you believe the Christian claim that the dead man, Jesus of Nazareth, was brought back to life by the Hebrew God, Yahweh, exited his sealed tomb by some manner other than moving the stone, appeared in a superhero-like body to his grieving friends and family on multiple occasions (but apparently to no one else), and forty days later levitated into the clouds, and from there, in some fashion, traveled to the farthest extent of the universe (or possibly into another dimension) to sit on a throne at the right hand of the Hebrew God, Yahweh, to be the ruler of the universe?

    Do you, Mr./Mrs. Public, believe that this miracle explanation of Christianity is the most probable explanation for the evidence above, or, do you believe that there are other more probable, naturalistic, explanations for this evidence?

  6. #15
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    But this questionnaire isn't for you and it isn't for me. We both already have a position on the evidence. Your statement above claims that the veracity of Christianity rests on the evidence for the Resurrection. I am suggesting that we present that evidence to the general world audience (the public) and let them determine the believability of the Christian explanation of the evidence.

    Is there anything in the questionnaire that you feel is unfair to your side and that you would like to change? Once we have agreed on a final form of the questionnaire, I intend to email it to random non-religious websites and blog owners around the world to see their reaction to it. I welcome you to do the same. There responses should be very interesting.
    Why would you send it to non-religious websites and blogs? I suggest you also send it to Christian websites and blogs since they make up quite a large part of John Q Public (though apparently not a very large web presence). Unless you can guarantee absolute neutrality among the denizens of those websites and blogs you do send it to, it wouldn't really be fair to only send it to non-religious websites.

    Also I think there'd probably be some quibbling over phrases like "superhero-like body". Unless you're into comics, one may not know what that means, or may assume you're using fictional terminology. How about "exalted body". Also, "but apparently to no one else" is incorrect. Paul, a skeptic, heard his voice and saw him in a vision. Might also want to mention that he was seen by his brother James who was also a skeptic. Probably good to change "grieving friends" to "hundreds of his disciples" or "hundreds of his followers" (your pick). The word "levitated" is a bit weasley and conjures in the mind slight of hand tricks. How about "ascended". I don't know anyone who preaches that Jesus traveled to the farthest extent of the universe or to another dimension. Scripture never mentions anything like that. Best to leave that out. To say that Jesus was raised or sits on the right hand of "the Hebrew God, Yahweh" is weird language. Jesus is a person of the Hebrew God, Yahweh. Probably best to refer to "Hebrew God, Yahweh" as simply "Father".

    Could probably quibble about a few other issues, but as long as you're willing to send this to Christian organizations as well as non-religious ones, I'm sure you'll get a fair response. Not sure exactly what you expect to find from this though. Most Western adults have likely arrived at some sort of conclusion before looking at the evidence. That's just as true about politics, or the environment or whatever, as it is religion. Those who come to the evidence completely open-minded, and without any preconceived notions, and are willing to follow the evidence wherever it takes them will likely find the case extremely strong, but the percentage of those types in your mailing list is anyone's guess. I imagine it's not very high. And of course, there will always be those who assent to all of the evidence, but still refuse to believe. As the atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel once said, "In speaking of the fear of religion, I donít mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeperónamely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isnít just that I donít believe in God and, naturally, hope that Iím right in my belief. Itís that I hope there is no God! I donít want there to be a God; I donít want the universe to be like that."

    At anyrate, your results, assuming you follow the advice above, should be interesting. Hopefully you get enough responses back for it to be statistically significant. I probably part ways with Nick in believing that the factual evidence is only one part in accepting belief in Jesus. I believe that experiential evidence, and the work of the Holy Spirit on a person is also a strong factor in accepting him.

  7. Amen Raphael amen'd this post.
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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    I would also not be able to take such findings seriously unless there was a qualified statistician. Remember, there are lies, darned lies, and statistics.

  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Why would you send it to non-religious websites and blogs? I suggest you also send it to Christian websites and blogs since they make up quite a large part of John Q Public (though apparently not a very large web presence). Unless you can guarantee absolute neutrality among the denizens of those websites and blogs you do send it to, it wouldn't really be fair to only send it to non-religious websites.

    Also I think there'd probably be some quibbling over phrases like "superhero-like body". Unless you're into comics, one may not know what that means, or may assume you're using fictional terminology. How about "exalted body". Also, "but apparently to no one else" is incorrect. Paul, a skeptic, heard his voice and saw him in a vision. Might also want to mention that he was seen by his brother James who was also a skeptic. Probably good to change "grieving friends" to "hundreds of his disciples" or "hundreds of his followers" (your pick). The word "levitated" is a bit weasley and conjures in the mind slight of hand tricks. How about "ascended". I don't know anyone who preaches that Jesus traveled to the farthest extent of the universe or to another dimension. Scripture never mentions anything like that. Best to leave that out. To say that Jesus was raised or sits on the right hand of "the Hebrew God, Yahweh" is weird language. Jesus is a person of the Hebrew God, Yahweh. Probably best to refer to "Hebrew God, Yahweh" as simply "Father".

    Could probably quibble about a few other issues, but as long as you're willing to send this to Christian organizations as well as non-religious ones, I'm sure you'll get a fair response. Not sure exactly what you expect to find from this though. Most Western adults have likely arrived at some sort of conclusion before looking at the evidence. That's just as true about politics, or the environment or whatever, as it is religion. Those who come to the evidence completely open-minded, and without any preconceived notions, and are willing to follow the evidence wherever it takes them will likely find the case extremely strong, but the percentage of those types in your mailing list is anyone's guess. I imagine it's not very high. And of course, there will always be those who assent to all of the evidence, but still refuse to believe. As the atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel once said, "In speaking of the fear of religion, I donít mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeperónamely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isnít just that I donít believe in God and, naturally, hope that Iím right in my belief. Itís that I hope there is no God! I donít want there to be a God; I donít want the universe to be like that."

    At anyrate, your results, assuming you follow the advice above, should be interesting. Hopefully you get enough responses back for it to be statistically significant. I probably part ways with Nick in believing that the factual evidence is only one part in accepting belief in Jesus. I believe that experiential evidence, and the work of the Holy Spirit on a person is also a strong factor in accepting him.
    Ok. I'll will try to make some of the changes you suggest. But remember, we are only listing as evidence those items that the majority of NT scholars believe are historical. We are not including items that are simply theological assertions of fact. Also, by saying that I would send the questionnaire to "non-religious" sites I meant that I would not be sending it to sites whose purpose is the promotion of religion. But neither will I send it to atheist, agnostic, or skeptic websites.

    Here are examples of who I would send it to: A tech company in China; a plumbing company in Thailand; a bookstore in Nigeria; an advertising company in Japan; a furniture store in the US, etc. You are welcome to use the questionnaire yourself and do the same survey. Since the study is not done under rigorous controls, it will have no statistical significance other than to be a sample of public opinion around the world.


    The evidence for the alleged bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, in Jerusalem, in circa 30 AD is the following:

    1. Public execution.
    2. Public burial.
    3. Sealed tomb.
    4. Guards at the tomb for most of the period of time in question.
    5. Empty tomb, three days and two nights later, with stone rolled away. (No known witnesses to the body leaving the tomb, however)
    6. Post-death sightings, sometimes by hundreds of people at once.
    7. Dramatically changed behavior of disciples.
    8. Very shameful, very strange new belief system in an Honor-Shame society.
    9. A belief never heard of in Judaism, yet believed by several thousand devout Jews.
    10. Rapid spread of Christianity.
    11. Willingness of thousands of Christians to be persecuted, tortured, and painfully executed for their beliefs.
    12. The apostles of Jesus believed in the bodily resurrection and preached it.

    Question: Based on the agreed-upon evidence above, Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, do you believe the Christian claim that the dead man, Jesus of Nazareth, was brought back to life by the Jewish/Christian God, Yahweh (whom Christians believe consists of three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; Jesus is the Son, the second of the three persons who make up this one God), exited his sealed tomb by some manner other than moving the stone, appeared in a body---that could walk through locked doors, appear and disappear in a matter of seconds, and had no need of food and water---to hundreds of friends and family members on multiple occasions (but apparently to no one else, except one Jewish rabbi on a highway a few years later in a vision), and then, forty days later, his body lifted up off of the ground from the top of a mountain, without any mechanical assistance, ascended into the clouds, and from there, in some unknown fashion, traveled to his home called "heaven", which is possibly located in outer space at the edge of the universe, as some Christians believe, or possibly it is in another dimension, as some other Christians believe, or its location in relation to the universe is unknown as other Christians believe, to sit on a throne at the right hand of the first person of the Christian Godhead, whom he calls "Father", to be the ruler of the universe?

    Do you, Mr./Mrs. Public, believe that this miracle explanation of Christianity is the most probable explanation for the evidence above, or, do you believe that there are other more probable, naturalistic, explanations for this evidence?
    Last edited by Gary; 01-15-2016 at 01:39 PM.

  10. #18
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Right! You can tease statistics to mean anything! Especially if you ignore the fact that correlation does not equal causation. Example; the consummation of ice cream is correlated to the number of drownings, but eating ice cream doesn't cause drownings. Rather, there is more ice cream eating and swimming in the summer because of the extra heat.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Right! You can tease statistics to mean anything! Especially if you ignore the fact that correlation does not equal causation. Example; the consummation of ice cream is correlated to the number of drownings, but eating ice cream doesn't cause drownings. Rather, there is more ice cream eating and swimming in the summer because of the extra heat.
    Once we all agree on the wording, do you own survey. See what you get.

  12. #20
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Surveys are a poor means of data collection. Especially since online surveys are self selected, which means you will only get the responses of those who care the most about the issue to bother filling out some survey that may have people take it multiple times to skew the results. Not to mention that the truth isn't based on popular vote.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  13. Amen KingsGambit, One Bad Pig, Jedidiah amen'd this post.

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