May 17, 2016

Dear Christians: Answers to Questions for Atheists, One Last TIme

Today, we're doing the last installment of these questions for atheists. These questions focus on Jesus Christ and a bunch of random crap...

Let's dig right in and see what I came up with, shall we?

1.    Who do YOU say Jesus Christ is?  Why?

This is a question I'm preparing to do quite a bit of reading on, so I may revisit it in a few months. However, for now, I think Jesus was either a historical rabbi or a conglomeration of a variety of rabbis who existed in the dawning of our common era.

2.    If you do not believe in Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, why?

No one has ever risen from the dead. We've learned to resuscitate people over the centuries between, but it's still rather modern knowledge. With the lack of corroborating evidence of Christ's resurrection...there's simply no reason for me to believe in it. Some things in the resurrection accounts--for instance, that Christ's wasn't the ONLY resurrection that day, that the dead walked around Jerusalem--should reasonably have been noted by other historians we know were active in the area at the time.

3.    What are the implications for YOU if Jesus Christ was raised from the dead?

I'm very aware. The consequences of not believing were vividly described to me by various pastors as a child, terrifying and traumatizing indeed. It was one of the most terrifying aspects of reading the Bible for myself and realizing this wasn't a god I could worship.

I'm also aware that IF Christ raised from the dead and IF CHRISTIANS ARE CORRECT regarding how to receive salvation, I could receive salvation. For nearly a decade and a half, I fully believed that I had, in fact, received that salvation.

4.    Are you fully familiar with the body of historical evidence relating to the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

I'm well aware of the evidence that Christians argue is there. I read The Case for Christ as a teenager, and I have used the arguments myself. Upon further reflection, though, I realized that the arguments weren't strong and I find the counterarguments stronger.

This leave me wondering: Has this dear internet author fully familiarized their self with the evidence that the resurrection, at the least, and many other aspects of the life of Jesus didn't happen at all, or at least, not as the Bible records them?

1.    If caterpillars could talk, would they argue against the cocoon-of-the-gaps with their butterfly friends?

I'm trying to figure out if this is meant to be funny. Caterpillars would have boundless evidence of the process of metamorphosis and many would see it in progress. It's the least competent analogy this question could have chosen.

2.    If there was a Big Bang, where did the bullets come from? Who pulled the trigger and who manufactured the gun?

Again, not sure if this is meant to be a joke...? There was an entire section on the Big Bang, wherein we looked at how we don't know what happened at the moment or before the moment--but that doesn't mean that God did it, and as I've pointed out time and again, irrespective of the "cocoon-of-the-gaps" above, the God of the Gaps explanation is an argument even theologians and apologists avoid.

3.    How does science weigh morality?  Does ‘goodness’ expand when frozen or rise when heated?

Morality is a culturally constructed artifact. We may be able to understand it through the lens of science--we're beginning to understand some facets, at least--but we don't have to. The cultural artifact explanation fills us in quite nicely.

4.    If man is just an evolved animal, why have we never observed another species thrilling in the beauty of a sunset or a picturesque mountain view?

Other species don't have our brains. This also is reminiscent of an earlier question we answered about culture.

5.    While you’ve most likely heard, “Forever’s a long time to be wrong,” have you ever considered it’s also a “long time to be right?”

Has the author considered it? Have they covered all of their bases? What if Islam is correct? Or Buddhism? Sikhism? Hinduism? What if the ancient Greek and Roman pagans were correct, or the Norse?

They are going to be very busy!

For me personally, heaven was never particularly compelling. I believed because I didn't want to go to hell. The heaven described by my denomination seemed like a place where I would be stripped of all of the things that made me who I am, that made the people I love who they are--and that seemed like a very long time to be "right" indeed.


I enjoyed this exercise immensely. I'm hoping everyone else, or most everyone, at least, enjoyed it, too.

I've got some questions that I've noted to research further and refine my thoughts on, but other than that, I'm wrapping it up here and feeling pretty good about the effort.

What are your answers, guys?

No comments:

Post a Comment