Shai Reads The Case for Christ
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18-04-2017, 06:28 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Part Three: Researching the Resurrection

Chapter Eleven: The Medical Evidence or the part of the movie that killed Lee's skepticism with a guy who looked like the doctor from Independence Day.

We start this off with going back to Dr. Stein's office (no relation to Dr. Jill Stein as far as I know). He talks about how awesome a medical examiner he is, and how he did the autopsies for John Wayne Gacy's victims remains. Fun aside; I just used Gacy in class yesterday in 101 while trying to trick them into granting Release on Recognizance to an accused criminal. Tongue "He's a small business owner, entertains at children's parties, holds neighborhood block parties for his friends while cooking for them. He's involved with his church, married, and only a relatively minor previous criminal record. Owns a home. His neighbors' biggest complaint is the smell beneath his house sometimes from where the sewage backs up." The most savvy of them are like "you're setting us up", and they were right. That backed up sewage was the remains of his victims. Really, other than his previous criminal record, he'd seem to not be a flight risk...except that it turned out I was feeding them the background of a rapist and serial killer. Is any of this related to the chapter? Not really, but it was a fun coincidence.

We talk a bit about the swoon hypothesis that Jesus didn't die on the cross, but fainted. That the Romans wouldn't know death when they saw it. We also give a one line toss away to the Quran saying Jesus didn't die there. Also Strobel faked me out, we're actually going to another medical expert for the interview, despite starting at one we'd already been at.

Anyhow, new expert time. We're meeting in his balmy breezy California living room to discuss what Lee uses many words to lovingly describe as torture prior to execution. He seems absolutely thrilled in the description. Honestly it's offputting to me. The closest analogy I can think of is that when I watch Passion of the Christ, my stomach turns and I wince at all the violence, but when some people I know watch it, they're almost excited in a way. Funnily, Strobel, after going overboard in his description, says of why he chose this expert, that he can, according to page 210, "discuss the topic dispassionately as well as accurately. That was important to me, because I wanted the facts to speak for themselves, without the hyperbole or charged language that might otherwise manipulate emotions." The very sort that he just used himself on the prior page! Then he calls on you to speculate how emotional he must be underneath his calm facade as the doc describes things.

Hematidrosis is brought up by our expert for the Garden of Gethsemane sweating blood thing; it's a very rare diagnosis, but it does seem that people can indeed secrete blood instead of sweat (again very rarely), and there are signs it can be linked to extreme stress as a cause. And as the expert himself points out, it comes out in small amounts through the sweat glands, diluted in some form. He also claims this sets up Jesus to be extremely fragile the next day for flogging. Strobel continues to get a bit more biased as he talks about how he has to steal himself for all the horrible things he's seen as a reporter and how those will haunt him as this guy talks about Jesus getting flogged. Note, of his own account, Lee is still an atheist at this point. Either he's developing a lot of compassion, or he's a lying sack of poop.

Our expert talks about hypovelimic shock, with heavy blood loss and such, and how Jesus would already be in serious to critical condition by the time He was on the cross. It's interesting that he speaks about how things normally were done with scourging, which seem to jive with what I know of the practice, but still doesn't cite any works to back him up on that.

Page 213, "That's because historians are unanimous that Jesus survived the beating that day and went on to the cross." Mythicism does not exist in Strobel's world.

Expert actually points out that most popular images of the crucifixion are incorrect in that the spikes would be driven through the wrists instead of the palms of the hands. We learn, or already knew, that the median nerve being crushed by spikes on the cross in crucifixion is the root of the word "excruciating" when describing pain. Also goes into it's the asphyxiation that kills you, and how pleural effusion is why we have the mix of blood and other liquid as described when the Roman soldier thrust a spear into Christ's side. Honestly this is the part where I wonder about myself to an extent. None of this is news to me. I actually could have described everything in this chapter in just as good detail, at least thus far, without any sort of medical degree. And I can do it with just as much lack of passion in my voice as Strobel describes his expert doing.

Our expert tells us that the soldiers would've made sure Jesus was dead, because if he wasn't, they'd be put to death. He also says, when pressed, that even if Jesus didn't die, he would've been in such a poor state it never would have been enough to inspire the disciples to go out and start a new religious faith.

Lee's unacknowledged conversion is showing again on page 219, "Convincingly, masterfully, Metherell had established his case beyond a reasonable doubt."

He asks the doctor for a question from the heart, why would Jesus die for us? Expert replies, "Love". I'm interesting in the next few chapters, because this is the point in the movie where Strobel pretty much has his 'come to Jesus' moment and we go into him doing the serial killer lair thing with his mountains of evidence.

Now ending the chapter, a quote from pages 220 to 221 that I thought you all might find snark worthy, or at least interesting, "Those who seek to explain away the resurrection of Jesus by claiming that he somehow escaped the clutches of death at Golgotha need to offer a more plausible theory that fits the facts. And then they too must end up pondering the haunting question that all of us need to consider: What could possibly have motivated Jesus to willingly allow himself to be degraded and brutalized the way that he did?" Listen, Lee. I'm Catholic. I believe in this. Okay? But you're not helping. You're taking the Gospel again, as Gospel, as you have since the end of part one of this book.

From Deliberations:

"For two millennia the cross has been a symbol for Christians. Now that you've read Metherell's testimony, how might your own view of the symbol be different in the future?"

Outside of the hematidrosis, nothing in this chapter is anything I couldn't have written myself from my own knowledge on the subject. Though I would like to believe I could have done so with less emotional manipulation.

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18-04-2017, 11:32 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(18-04-2017 06:28 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Now ending the chapter, a quote from pages 220 to 221 that I thought you all might find snark worthy, or at least interesting, "Those who seek to explain away the resurrection of Jesus by claiming that he somehow escaped the clutches of death at Golgotha need to offer a more plausible theory that fits the facts. And then they too must end up pondering the haunting question that all of us need to consider: What could possibly have motivated Jesus to willingly allow himself to be degraded and brutalized the way that he did?"

Being fictional is great motivation. Superman gets hit all the time and doesn't bitch about it like this Jesus guy.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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19-04-2017, 01:38 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Note that they must have been concerned about the "swoon hypothesis" even at time of writing. If my memory serves, the soldier sticking a spear into Jesus to make sure he was dead only appears in the last account (John). So it was clearly made up to silence doubters.

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19-04-2017, 08:10 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
What is also interesting is that Strobel only talked (to the best of my memory) about the bodily resurrection as being an all or nothing case. He never (again to my recollection) said anything about the scholars who don't think that Paul or anyone else at the time believed in a bodily resurrection either but rather in Jesus being exalted which is a completely different thing. If they did believe in an exaltation, it is not unreasonable at all why his followers could have formed a splinter sect of Jews without a literal reanimated body.

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The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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20-04-2017, 09:01 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Hoping to force myself into the next Chapter tonight. Actually have a two paragraph long saved draft from where I started last night when bored, but then got sleepy. Yes

(19-04-2017 01:38 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Note that they must have been concerned about the "swoon hypothesis" even at time of writing. If my memory serves, the soldier sticking a spear into Jesus to make sure he was dead only appears in the last account (John). So it was clearly made up to silence doubters.

You just made me glance through all four Gospels to see that only John mentions it. Also it's interesting that the artwork doesn't always get the correct side pierced.

(19-04-2017 08:10 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  What is also interesting is that Strobel only talked (to the best of my memory) about the bodily resurrection as being an all or nothing case. He never (again to my recollection) said anything about the scholars who don't think that Paul or anyone else at the time believed in a bodily resurrection either but rather in Jesus being exalted which is a completely different thing. If they did believe in an exaltation, it is not unreasonable at all why his followers could have formed a splinter sect of Jews without a literal reanimated body.

Unless it's in one of the few remaining chapters, then nope, he never acknowledges that point. Though I do still have 3 chapters, a conclusion, and an interview. :/ But finding it highly doubtful that will be in there, so your memory is most likely 100% correct!

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20-04-2017, 09:20 AM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2017 10:56 AM by TheInquisition.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(18-02-2017 01:05 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Also what's with slamming Karen Armstrong's A History of God and not interviewing her for a rebuttal? Is this going to be a theme of this book?

The reason why he doesn't like Armstrong; and this is the standard apologist tactic, is that he treats these stories as something that actually happened, then he's just seeing if elements of these stories are plausible.

I would be more impressed if he could give an unbiased assessment of whether these are stories; perhaps with some historical elements, but regarding it as mythological literature is the most accurate way to treat all of these stories.

I don't care whether Josephus or whoever mentioned something about Jesus, but I find the parts of the gospels that are trying too hard to force Jesus into misinterpreted Old Testament prophecies as very telling.

These are zealots spinning yarns to influence people with tricks like retro-fitting their stories to match certain strained and reaching interpretations of Old Testament prophecies, they try so hard that they ultimately contradict each other.

They completely show their hand in this regard, it's myth-making, pure and simple.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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20-04-2017, 10:31 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
I'm more convinced that Jesus is real than the people Strobel claims to have talked to in his book.

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20-04-2017, 08:06 PM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2017 08:23 PM by Shai Hulud.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Chapter Twelve: The Evidence of the Missing Body or I hope that Strobel doesn't keep sucking as bad as he has been.

Because I'm bored tonight and really want to see when Strobel drops the neutrality pretense, that no one with two eyes and reading comprehension, is buying at this point in the book...let's do another chapter. We start out as a candy heiress disappearance story. Then say it's different to have a missing body than an empty tomb. Let's see who we have next up as an exp--IT'S WILLIAM LANE CRAIG! Let's see if his 'expert' style is equivalent to his "man on Ambien" debating style.

Anyhow, I'm calling bullshit early into his explanation of first meeting Craig. Not that he was in the auditorium during a debate, but this quotation, "

I've seen Craig debate, albeit only via YouTube, and I could cast doubt on his arguments in favor of our shared belief. It seems highly unlikely someone chosen by American Atheists could not. So from page 225, let's quote why I call bullshit, "In the end it was no contest. Among those who had entered the auditorium that evening as avowed atheists, agnostics, or skeptics, an overwhelming 82 percent walked out concluding that the case for Christianity had been the most compelling. Forty-seven people entered as nonbelievers and exited as Christians -- Craig's arguments for faith were that persuasive, especially compared with the paucity of evidence for atheism. Incidentally, nobody became an atheist." (the citation here is to a freaking videocassette). So where do you get these numbers? Are they from that videocassette? The one made by Christians? Do they give those numbers and how they get them in there? Because you're making some rather extreme claims with a lack of seeming evidence, though "Extreme Claims With No Evidence" could be the subtitle of MOST OF YOUR BOOK.

Also from page 225, "the reality of the empty tomb", your bias is showing Lee. Lee, when will you admit by this point you've inwardly converted to Evangelical Christianity? Because I can tell already, we're again just accepting everything and not even really pretending to disagree any more here. I get the feeling that when we get to deliberations, we'll once again find ourselves presuming an already Christian person or someone who has just been converted and is seeking to be reinforced in their faith or if we want to use your all's patois, 'indoctrinated'.

Page 226, Lee tries to wow us that Craig is the member of nine professional societies. That's nice, I'm a member of three. Over the course of a short career in academia, I've been a member of a total of seven depending on the location I've taught in at the time, plus the two national societies I maintain a membership in. It's not that impressive Lee. You pay your dues, you're a member usually. Also for funsies, I went and pulled up a membership PDF on how to join one of the organizations Strobel mentions by name, the American Academy of Religion and guess what? For $110 I could be just as much a member of it as William Lane Craig.

(Okay random aside: I took a break to whine about this book to a friend, who then asked why I'd ever dislike it, because the Christian radio she listens to just raves about how wonderful it is! I gave a paragraph that basically equates to, "he doesn't show the other side and I'm pretty sure this is shoddy at best and dishonest at worst.")

Okay, maybe a TMI moment, but I tried to take this with me to the toilet to speed read through the rest of the chapter without being tempted to take notes and I made it half a page before giving up on that idea, as William lane Craig makes the argument on page 227, "This creed is incredibly early and therefore trustworthy material." Wow, so you're telling me Zeus raped a woman as a swan? That's even earlier, so it must be trustworthy by that logic! Also this chapter continues what has been the case since the end of Part One of the book, we take the Bible as inerrant.

Page 228 finds Craig contradicting, seemingly, other experts, by noting that Mark seems to be taken from an earlier source. if you remember, we are not fans of the Q document in this book. Do you think Lee calls Craig on saying this? If you said "not a chance in Hell", you would be utterly correct.

Okay, quote time again, pages 228-229 on why we know Joseph of Arimathea exists, "Given the early Christian anger and bitterness toward the Jewish leaders who had instigated the crucifixion of Jesus," he said, "it's highly improbably that they would have invented one who did the right thing by giving Jesus an honorable burial -- especially while all of Jesus' disciples deserted him! Besides, they wouldn't make up a specific member of a specific group, whom people could check out for themselves and ask about this. So Joseph is undoubtedly a historical figure." Okay, even though I do believe in Joseph and Jesus, I have to play the loyal opposition here, okay Lee? "ari" is a common thing to denote superiority, "Matheia" is sometimes said to stand for "disciple town". Joseph from Best Disciple Town? Pretty sure, while there is later a town known as Aramathaim, it's more often identified with Rammah back in the day. Anyhow, nitpicking over...until at this rate, the next page.

Craig points out on page 230 that only one Gospel, Matthew, mentions guards. Also nobody today claims the Disciples could have stolen the body. Also, what if the guards were Jews? No, really, he offers that as a suggestion, or that they were Romans working for Jews. I have ten more pages of this chapter...can I even take ten more pages of what passes for 'logic' by WLC?

Strobel has a *very* annoying habit of, after seemingly every question, describing how his experts are getting ready to pounce, or hulking up like a prize fighter or something, before they 'answer' the question. Also any discrepancies in the Gospel narratives at the Tomb are discounted with, and I quote page 234, "the core of the story is the same". Also since we have two different accounts of Hannibal crossing the Alps, that convinces Strobel that the four accounts are reconcilable. Also according to page 236, the discrepancies can be "explained or minimized with some background knowledge or by just thinking them through with an open mind".

We again re-emphasize that no one would believe Jewish women back in the day. Also people who ask why they would go to anoint His body in a sealed tomb, just don't understand the love His followers had for him. The one thing I can give WLC is that he's spot on about the disciples using the Resurrection in their preaching to an extent. When Strobel does try to play the 'skeptic' card, he softballs it a lot, like on page 240 he posits maybe the women just went to the wrong tomb and a caretaker told them they were looking for Jesus, and he wasn't there, because it wasn't his tomb...and asks WLC to refute that.

Page 242, "But the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead does not contradict science or any known facts of experience. All it requires is the hypothesis that God exists, and I think there are good independent reasons for believing that he does." That's...not really how the Scientific Method works WLC...like I do believe. But that's still not how science works.

Also page 242, this time Strobel, "Craig was convincing: The empty tomb -- admittedly, a miracle of staggering proportions -- did make sense in the light of the evidence." and "In the face of the facts, they have been impotent to put Jesus' body back into the tomb. They flounder, they struggle, they snatch at straws, they contradict themselves, they pursue desperate and extraordinary theories to try to account for the evidence. Yet each time, in the end, the tomb remains vacant."

Deliberations continues its new route of telling us what to think, then asking why it's correct. From page 245, "1. What's your own conclusion concerning whether Jesus' tomb was empty on Easter morning? What evidence did you find most convincing in coming to that judgement?"

"2. As Craig pointed out, everyone in the ancient world admitted the tomb was empty; the issue was how it got that way. Can you think of any logical explanation for the vacant tomb other than the resurrection of Jesus? If so, how do you imagine someone like Bill Craig might respond to your theory?"

A very intellectually draining chapter is over.

Edit: Now to take a nice bath, hopefully take my mind off of some existential dread, and also off of the stupidity of WLC's arguments. Once I'm done with CfC, really need to catch up on my backlog of daily Bible readings.

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21-04-2017, 12:07 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Still don't get why you're a Christian Shai, you barmy weirdo. You're a great guy though Smile

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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21-04-2017, 02:28 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
I don't know either. He's a better atheist than most atheists Tongue

I have a feeling it may be in his future. But I agree, he's great, atheist or not.

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