Monday, January 10, 2011

Unjustified belief

Skepticism/atheism often makes outlandish comparisons between the Christian belief of resurrection and known myths.  Many times the belief in the resurrection are likened to ridiculous concepts such as little green men and Santa Clause.  The problem that these individual have revolves around miracles.  The atheist denies the supernatural and discounts all miracles a priori.  Why would an individuals lump Christianity with myth and fairy tales?

Who knows the motivation for such strange comparisons.  Much of it deals with the skeptic having a naturalistic point of view.  Naturalism would rule out miracles and the resurrection is certainly one of the biggest reported miracles of all times.  However, another reason for not wanting to serious look at the possibility of the Christian message deals with lifestyle choices.  One of the big complaints against Christianity is the supposed lifestyle restrictions of its worldview.  Some try to discount the Christian message only because it contridicts their particular lifestyle.  But, can the Christian worldview be discounted by claiming the myth card or because a person simply does not like its teachings?  What can justify in a reasonable manner an individual's beliefs?

In order for a belief to be justified there needs to be sufficient evidence that points in the direction of the belief.  For example, when someone makes the charge that little green men stole the body of Jesus, this would represent a position that could not be justified by anyone, for we have no evidence for this or that little green men even exist.  Charges made against Christianity need to be substantiated.  The reason no one realistically believes in Santa Clause making trips around the world in a single night is because we have no evidence to support that belief.  As far as an individual discounting Christianity because it interferes with their lifestyle, this is nothing more than attacking a straw man.

When looking at the evidence for or against the resurrection, the entire body of evidence needs to be addressed.  What do we know from history concerning the Christian movement?  Who was Jesus and what did people believe about him?  What happened to his body after being hung on a cross?  When did reports of his resurrection surface?  All these questions and more are important in trying to construct the truthfulness or falsity of Christianity.  As Paul said, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Cor. 15:14)."  The whole of Christianity rests on the miraculous story of Jesus resurrection.

Justified belief looks at all the evidence to construct the most likely story of truth.  When examining the resurrection, the one justified belief that has stood the test of time is that Jesus bodily rose from the dead.  Many other beliefs have been put forth to explain the empty tomb (such as the New Testament as mythical documents or various hallucination theories), but all have come up short in one way or another of not corresponding with all the known evidence.  When individuals equate Christianity with little green men and the like they are only resting within the  easy chair of an unjustified belief.

  • A video dealing with unjustified belief.

1 comment:

GeorgeRic said...

Resurrection of the Body was assured by Jesus, but it is a nearly impossible thing to explain. But Edwin Abbott writing Flatland describes how our worlds are built.
'Techie Worlds' (available from Amazon) shows how with the Flatland concept, God can easily accomplish the Resurrection of everyone. Jesus, 2,000 years ago, knew how his worlds are really built. And after learning how God does it, you will wonder how anyone ever doubted.
George Richter