Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
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12-06-2013, 09:42 PM
Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
I'm probably going to turn this into a YouTube video sometime this week, but I thought I'd run it by you guys first...

Arguments for God's existence are typically not about a specific god. They attempt to prove things like a first cause, moral law-giver, or fine-turner, but none of these actually reflect the god that the person is making an argument for. If I thought that the Big Bang was an un-caused cause (the "first cause"), would that make the Big Bang a god? Of course not. That doesn't fit anyone's actual conception of a god.

But at least the Christians do have one specific argument for their own personal God, and that's the argument for the Resurrection of Jesus... but does that argument actually prove a god's existence? I think not. The debate focuses on the wrong part, the part about whether Jesus rose from the dead or not. That part isn't relevant unless the whole argument is proven, and Christians don't even attempt to put in evidence for the entire first half of the argument. This becomes clearer if we put it in a logical syllogism:

Premise 1: If a person rises from the dead, then he is a god.
Premise 2: Jesus rose from the dead.
Conclusion: Therefore, Jesus is a god.

So the arguments made are all about trying to prove or disprove Premise 2, but totally ignore Premise 1. Why would we accept Premise 1? Even if we gave Christians the benefit of the doubt and accepted the bible as entirely true, that still wouldn't prove Premise 1. The bible tells us about many other people who were resurrected from the dead, and Christians don't believe that any of those people are gods.

But the Christians reading my post would immediately spot the error. "Starcrash," they'd say, "by rise from the dead we mean that Jesus resurrected himself, not just that he came to life". In that case, why are all the arguments for Premise 2 only attempting to show that Jesus came to life again instead of trying to prove that Jesus resurrected himself? The answer is easy: it's impossible. By claiming that this act is supernatural, it puts itself out of reach of natural explanations by definition. If we can't describe either the mechanism for resurrecting someone else or resurrecting oneself, we certainly can't compare the two methods and figure out which one of them Jesus did in this case. Christians can't even use the bible to make their case because they can't find a passage that specifies that Jesus resurrected himself (at least not a passage that I could find or remember, but correct me if I'm wrong).

But in addition to not fully proving Premise 2, that still doesn't even solve the problem of proving Premise 1. Why would anyone accept that rising from the dead makes a person a god? The bible tells us about two other gods, The Father and The Holy Ghost, neither of which rose from the dead... so it's not a necessary element of being a god nor is it what defines a god.

The last-ditch effort of a Christian to salvage this argument might be to commit the fallacy of an argument from ignorance: "Starcrash, can you give another explanation for how a person is resurrected from the dead? Doesn't that sound like something a god -- and only a god -- could do?" If a Christian accepts this standard, then I can do Christians one better. Let me make a stronger argument than the Resurrection argument.

Premise 1: If a person is eternal with no beginning or end, then he is a god.
Premise 2: Melchizedek was eternal.
Conclusion: Therefore, Melchizedek was a god.

Isn't that a great argument? Eternity is something that seems godlike, and it fits both the Father and the Holy Ghost (and even though Jesus did technically get born and die, it could be argued that his life was eternal). But one would have to accept that this proves that Melchizedek is a god if one wanted to be consistent and logical.

*NOTE: Some Christians argue that Melchizedek is Jesus, but they only do that because the passage is unacceptable otherwise. It's clearly not Jesus; Melchizedek met Abraham in person while Jesus did not. Jesus was not "without genealogy". And verses 15 and 17 make it clear that Jesus was "like Melchizedek" and "in the order of Melchizedek", but not him.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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12-06-2013, 09:53 PM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
I read something a while back that said after three hours of being dead, a body loses all retrievable bodily functions. Now correct me if Im wrong, as im not a scientist in any way, but given that information, i find it extremely hard to imagine that a man that had been flogged dragged and hung on a splintery tree over the course of a day could possibly rise from the dead at all, let alone 3 hours or 3 days.
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12-06-2013, 09:57 PM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
Oh stop it Bjorn. You are being entirely too logical. Tongue

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12-06-2013, 09:59 PM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
Yes well, its an illogical idea alright!
I shame myself when i remember i used to believe it!
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13-06-2013, 01:06 AM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2013 03:31 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
Hey Star, a few more ideas ...

1. Dying and rising gods were "a dime-a-dozen' at the time. (per Dr. Carole Fontaine, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carole_R._Fontaine ). Jebus was not the the only cult leader who was seen to have risen. Therefore it proves nothing, unless there are many gods.

2. Death is a long biochemical process. The god would have had to restart the functions, and reverse the natural processes that lead to the death, and picked a specific point in the pre-death process, for the restoration. Once they had happened, there would be no possibility of "retrieval", (Quantum Mechanics etc). Retrieving the actual *same* Jebus-being would not only involve *his* processes, but due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, the ENTIRE UNIVERSE would have had to be changed. There is no such thing as a "local only" miracle/event.

3. If Jebus were a god, he could have or would have raised himself, (actually he could not have even, really, have died). This "heresy" was debated in the Second Century, and was named for Sabellius (2nd century). It is sometimes referred to as modalistic monarchianism. Sabellius taught that the father, son, and holy ghost are "three modes, (aspects), roles, or faces of a single person, God". This implies that Jebus was purely divine, without humanness, and therefore could not truly have suffered or died. These concepts were intensely debated in the councils for centuries, as the doctrine of the trinity developed.

4. The nature of the divinity of Jebus is different in each gospel. In Mark he is a human who was raised to divine status. In the other three it's a bit more complicated, (in John he always was divine, and took on human form for a while, (the Gnostic view). In Paul, Luke and Matthew he "gives up divinity" temporarily, and retakes it later on.
In Hebrew culture a "divine being" is not necessarily a god, and certainly not equal to Yahweh.

Clearly Jesus did not raise himself, in early Christian thought. "God the Father raised Jesus" (Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34, 37).
"God raised Him up again" (Rom. 4:24; 6:4); 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14; Gal. 1:1; Col. 2:12)
Romans 1:4 “who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,…”, .....thus clearly it was not a status he always had, but resulted from his activity, (for Saul of Tarsus). Ie, he "earned" it.
The Son Himself lays down His life and takes it up again — John 10:17-18 ... clearly contradictory.

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13-06-2013, 04:34 AM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
So if this priest, Milkmydick, is eternal - where is he now?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-06-2013, 06:20 AM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
(13-06-2013 04:34 AM)Chas Wrote:  So if this priest, Milkmydick, is eternal - where is he now?

In a pot plant in Palestine
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15-06-2013, 04:31 PM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
(12-06-2013 09:42 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Premise 1: If a person rises from the dead, then he is a god.
Premise 2: Jesus rose from the dead.
Conclusion: Therefore, Jesus is a god.


If 'dying' and coming back to life means you are a god, then Lazarus was a god before Jesus.

And if 'dying' and coming back to life means you are a god, then I am a god too. Yippee!! Actually, no, it just means I am a Mason. All Master Masons have 'died' and been resurrected during the 3rd degree.

And if you read the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel of John, you will see that it is a standard Masonic 3rd degree raising.


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15-06-2013, 09:28 PM
RE: Why the "Resurrection of Jesus" Argument is Illogical
(15-06-2013 04:31 PM)ralphellis Wrote:  And if 'dying' and coming back to life means you are a god, then I am a god too. Yippee!! Actually, no, it just means I am a Mason. All Master Masons have 'died' and been resurrected during the 3rd degree.

You came back from the dead?

I'm very skeptical of these stories of resurrection, past and present, because our definition of "dead" isn't a very good one -- if someone is resuscitated after death, it doesn't really fit what we mean by "dead", does it? And this seems to be a common tale.

There's also the "swoon theory" that suggests that Jesus wasn't dead but rather that he just regained consciousness after a 3-day coma or blackout. While it appears that the gospels make it very clear that this is not the case, it's a more reasonable explanation than the idea that Jesus actually died. If even today we can't diagnose people as dead properly, what are the odds that they did it right back then?

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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