Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This Skeptic Still Ain't Biting...

Okay, I usually just look at "My Yahoo" to find these types of idiotic stories, but apparently Adam G. thought this little argument would convince me to "change my ways" and "see the glory that if God..."

Adam G. is apparently also my anonymous e-mailer from So I Was Sent An Anonymous E-mail... post from a while back.

So here is the link he sent me. As I eradicate this pitiful attempt at "logic," I will certainly pull quotes from the article, but just in case you felt like reading the whole thing... click here.
Okay, so the article is entitled "WHAT TO SAY TO A SKEPTIC." What does "skeptic" imply? Unbelief, basically. Webster's defines "skeptic" as

1 : an adherent or advocate of skepticism
2 : a person disposed to skepticism especially regarding religion or religious principles
So I looked up "skepticism" (and, as a sidenote, I think it's silly to define a word with itself, don't you?) and it said:

1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2 a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)
So, I think we can agree that a "skeptic" is one who thinks things are uncertain, doesn't believe, and may be hard to convince to believe...

According to this article, the three main "reasons," or "arguments" a skeptic puts forth (this part is laugh-out-loud on it's own!) are the three following sentences:

  1. "Maybe Jesus wasn't really dead, and He just rolled away the stone himself."
  2. "Maybe the disciples moved Christ's body."
  3. "OK, so maybe the soldiers stole the body."

Um, yeah, that's what I say to Christians all the time when they bring up an unbelief in God... you mean you don't?

Whatever. Anywho, I don't think anyone would ever really entertain those notions unless they had already accepted the bible as an accurate, historical book of the life and times of Christ. The basis for these arguments rests on the skeptic already accepting the basic premises of:
  1. The accuracy and historical relevance of the Bible
  2. That Jesus actually existed and was crucified
  3. That, having existed, he really did rise from the dead (or at least his body was never discovered)
  4. That angels do appear and speak to people
  5. And so on, and so forth

I think if a Christian is to convince the "skeptic" about the "truth" of the gospels, and the death and resurrection of the Christ as the son of god, they'll need to do better than refute three silly arguments who's answers are based soley within the pages of their holy book. Don't you? Am I alone in this incredulity?

The basic issue not only comes down to faith, which we've discussed here before (and will continue to ponder and explore in the future!), but the fact that this argument the author is presenting, and then refuting, is circular. Most of the great questions posed by fundies are, of course. They say you must believe. Why? It's in the bible. Who wrote the bible? God, or at least, it was god inspired. How do we know? It's in the bible.

It's like, which came first? The chicken or the egg? (A literal fundamentalist conservative would say, obviously the chicken, on the day god created fowl... Day Four. How do they know? It's in the bible. Well, who wrote that? God. How do you know? It's in the bible...)

You could argue till you were blue in the face, but a fundie can't be beaten logically. Now I know there are some Christians out there who don't feel it is their place to try to "convince the skeptic," but I just thought people should know, should you like to try (like Adam G.), you should really get a better argument. Or, at least, employ logic before trying.

I think the funniest part of the whole article was this section of paragraphs:

For centuries people have acted like those stubborn priests and have tried to disprove--even ignore--the resurrection of Jesus Christ. After all, if our Lord didn't rise from the dead, then everything He said and did would be a lie, right? What's more, anybody can claim to be God--psychiatric hospitals are filled with such misguided people. But to say you're God and then prove you're immortal--that's another matter.

Christ's resurrection was the proof, the seal of authenticity. And not only have people failed at disproving it, but during their research some have actually become Christians!

Yet the heart of man is often blind. Just look around and you'll spot lots of skeptics. That's why it's important that Christian guys be prepared to talk about the greatest event in history. So read on, and let Breakaway show you how to lay some groundwork for guiding others to the truth.

Let's take a look at the top three arguments people use--along with some solid answers.
Yeah, real solid answers, guys. Maybe if you got the questions right, you may have some hope...

But until then, this skeptic ain't biting.


Ergo Sum said...

Ah.. the question of Jesus' resurrection. In college, I had written a whole paper on the various reasons why Jesus could not have possibly been an incarnation of God. Disproving the resurrection story was I think the easiest part of my paper.

Take this argument for example:
In your post, you quote Adam G's article saying "But to say you're God and then prove you're immortal--that's another matter."

So, the argument being made is that if you say you're God and then rise from the dead, that's enough reason to believe you are infact God. Okay, well besides all the logical problems with that statement, we'll take it for granted.
So, how does one explain away this incident in the New Testament, Matthew 27, verses 51-53 (I found this during my research for the paper):

The gospel says, "And suddenly, the veil of the Sanctuary was torn in tow from top to bottom, the earth quaked, the rocks were split, the tombs opened and the BODIES OF MANY HOLY PEOPLE ROSE FROM THE DEAD, AND THESE, AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, CAME OUT OF THE TOMBS, ENTERED THE HOLY CITY AND APPEARED TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE."

[all emphasis, mine].

So, even if one believes that Jesus did resurrect from the dead, the Gospel (or the Word of God) tells us that Jesus was not the only one. That he was one among MANY HOLY PEOPLE who also rose from the dead.

So, just because one CLAIMS to be God and shows to be "immortal" (btw, resurrection does ergo mean immortal, Lazarus was resurrected, allegedly, but no one claims that he was immortal after that) does not mean that one is God.. or that one is NOT a lunatic, or a schizophrenic.

Ergo Sum said...

*does NOT ergo mean immortal...

sorry for the error!

Jason Hughes said...

Just as a point of clarification, Adam G. is the sometimes anonymous stalker-by-email of mine who forwarded the article to me. The article was actually written by Bill Myers and Michael Ross.

I know, sad isn't it? Now you know there are three of them...