The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Five

I would like to finish this series on the Christian case for the resurrection of Jesus Christ by summarizing what we covered and adding some final thoughts.

To summarize, at the heart of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, you have no Christianity. But if the resurrection is true, then Christianity automatically follows. 

I didn’t make this case by appealing to Scripture as divinely inspired (although I believe it is), but by treating it like any other history book, showing that our faith is firmly grounded in historicity. And I used the “Minimal Facts Argument” to do this. As former atheist, Antony Flew stated:

“The evidence for the resurrection is better than any other for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity…” (“Did the Resurrection Happen?”, p.85)

And that historical evidence includes the following (not exhaustive):

  • Jesus existed, reported to have “worked wonders” (by external sources), and was crucified in either 30 AD or 33 AD.
  • Early dating of oral creeds and hymns recorded in Pauline epistles, validated as authentic by almost all textual Scholars (see “New Testament hymns and creeds“).
  • His disciples said that Jesus appeared to them alive, including over 500 at one time.
  • Skeptics (Paul, James) reported Jesus appeared to them (before their conversion).
  • The conversion and transformation of skeptics like Paul and James.
  • The empty tomb, which could’ve easily been refuted by the Sanhedrin (why they claimed the body was stolen).
  • Immediate proclamation in Jerusalem where hostile witnesses to the crucifixion could’ve easily refuted their story.
  • Low status of women in the ancient world as witnesses (unlikely fabrication).
  • Voluntary suffering of the disciples and eyewitnesses (no one will die for what they know for certain is a lie).
  • Jesus’ bodily resurrection was unprecedented and unanticipated in the Jewish religion, unlike any pagan myth or world religion.
  • The unbroken testimony of the church from the first century onward.
  • Unlike all other Jewish messianic sects in that day, Christianity continued and thrived after the death of its leader and in spite of intense persecution.

The counterclaims

Furthermore, it was stated in part one that in order to refute the resurrection claim, you must make a counterclaim, and the burden of proof is always on the one making the claim.

We looked at common counterclaims in parts two and three, including the mythic theory, hallucination theory, and conspiracy theory (or combinations of these). These were compared with the resurrection theory and were found lacking in explanatory scope and power and plausibility.

It all comes down to your worldview

But when we get to the bottom of it all, we find that skeptics and atheist’s biggest objection to the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that it violates their naturalistic worldview. They won’t believe in anything outside the natural realm, so they a priori dismiss the resurrection claim. We looked at how that argument is circular in part four.

So, ironically, which worldview we put our trust in is a matter of faith, whether it be the Christian worldview or the naturalist one.

While science is very good at analyzing and testing observable data, it cannot help us transcend the natural world or answer the deeper existential questions that also must be answered. It cannot answer why science, and why there’s even such a thing as the natural world. These are philosophical questions.

On that note, I will show a short video clip with a former atheist and trained Naturalist Scientist, Alister McGrath, PhD. He explains so much better what I’ve been trying to explain, that the naturalist worldview is inadequate in explaining everything in our reality.

Why it matters

I will end by letting Biblical experts tell us why the resurrection of Jesus Christ matters. This is actually the first video in Godnewevidence’s series titled: “After Life?” It will serve well for some closing thoughts on the most significant event in human history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

NOTE: Please confine your comments to the subject matter of the post and video. Also, please keep your comments concise (under 500 words, preferably much shorter).

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 37 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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57 Responses to The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Five

  1. Arkenaten says:

    As McGrath does not elaborate can you tell me:

    1. What do you consider are the questions which science does not answer, and why are these questions important?
    2. How exactly does your religion answer them in such a way that you believe makes science and religion compatible..

    Thanks

    • Mel Wild says:

      I pretty much summarized it in the post. I would give you dozens of reasons but I’m pressed for time, so here are a few…
      – Because science cannot answer the existential questions. These are philosophical questions.
      – Because science will never answer the “Why” questions. Why science? Why is there a natural world?
      – Because science cannot go beyond natural physics and biology.
      – Because science will never get us outside of our own heads. We stay stuck in our limited perception and human ability to understand.
      – Because we intuitively know that we just didn’t “poof” out of nothing. That is irrational and illogical. There has to be an uncaused cause, if you will.
      – Because having a naturalist worldview is narrow-minded and short-sighted, a willful denial that can accept that the natural world may be but a subset of the greater reality.
      – Because not knowing these things potentially truncates our means of discovery, our understanding how and why things work the way they do. It’s like trying to make a hypothesis based on partial knowledge. It won’t provide the best answer.

      Science and Christianity are potentially compatible because we understand that the natural world as subsumed within a greater reality, and outside of that reality is God. So science plays a vital role in how to understand that subset. Science is brilliant at explaining how the natural world works, but it cannot go beyond that realm. That’s where we must ask the philosophical questions. And I believe the Christian worldview is the simplest philosophy that provides explanatory scope and power. This is McGrath’s whole point and why he became a theologian after becoming a Christian.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Fine , now tell me how your religion answers the questions science does not.
        This was the Question 2 and the one you didn’t answer.
        Thanks.

      • Mel Wild says:

        I did answer it. But to get more specific, we know that entire cosmos is sustained and held together by Christ. He is the “logos.” He answers the ancient philosophers like Heraclites’s question about what is the meaning of everything. Everything good and perfect comes from God, and by Jesus Christ we know that God is other-centered, self-giving love, and that’s the deepest need of all human beings, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. That is what we all search for in our heart of hearts.

        Science does not address this kind of understanding. We were not made to be lab rats, automatons following a computer program and then we die. We were made for relationship in freedom. This is what gives life meaning and a higher purpose. Science is part of that because God also created us for discovery but, in and of itself, that’s not what makes our life ultimately fulfilling. And that’s just this life; it does not even touch how our life goes on into eternity in ever increasing joy and fulfillment.

  2. Arkenaten says:

    I did answer it. But to get more specific, we know that entire cosmos is sustained and held together by Christ.

    That is a theological claim, Mel. You can’t just say it and expect I – and several billion other people -will nod like a dummy and agree .Please demonstrate it.

    And the rest of the paragraph is simply dogma.
    OS once again. Please tell me how your religion answers the questions science does not.explain

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, you asked me a philosophical question. Why do you think I would answer that in any other way? So, you’re saying it’s not true that our life does not consist in just “analysis” but also in being loved and loving others in relationship? That science cannot address this with any satisfaction? Why art? Why poetry? Why love songs? Why beauty and majesty? Are you saying that it’s not true that we search for ultimate meaning and purpose for our lives? That we’re just a bag of chemicals destined to be worm food? If you think so, your heart is stone cold and you are in major denial.

      You asked how my religion addresses these things. I told you. Your continual questioning is only because you refuse to accept the answer. Well, that’s up to you. You don’t prove a philosophical position with scientific method. You can only see if it rings true in your experience of life.

      • Arkenaten says:

        If you wish to assert a philosophical answer then we can do the same for any religion.

        You have to demonstrate why YOUR religion answers the questions science does not.
        lt me help out by being more specific.

        How does your /em> religion answer why I enjoy the music of Astor Piazolla?

        Please give details that are subject specific.

      • Mel Wild says:

        If you wish to assert a philosophical answer then we can do the same for any religion.

        Of course, but then their explanation would have to provide a better explanation for our experience of life.

        You have to demonstrate why YOUR religion answers the questions science does not.
        lt me help out by being more specific.

        I answered why science does not answer philosophical questions. Why don’t you understand this? Science cannot answer philosophical questions. That’s why we have philosophy.

        How does your religion answer why I enjoy the music of Astor Piazolla?
        Please give details that are subject specific.

        I actually did answer that in a general way. I have very little time to go into detail today. It answers why you enjoy these things because God is love and the originator of everything good. The author of beauty and enjoyment itself. Your problem seems to be that you think all there is to life is chemical reactions, but in our heart of hearts we know that this doesn’t answer it. We intuitively know there’s more to it. Christianity provides those philosophical answers. If you have what you think is a better philosophical answer, fine. But you will never answer it scientifically with any satisfaction. That’s all the time I have to answer your question right now. But the problem is not with my answer; it’s that you won’t accept it or even consider it.

      • Arkenaten says:

        All you are saying is this: Science does not answer these questions but my religion does”
        The why is not that important to. Maybe to you it is.
        But you are not explaining how.

        HOW is the key. Do you understand?

        If you wish to assert your religion does answer these things then you have to explain HOW
        So …. explain it.

      • Mel Wild says:

        If you wish to assert your religion does answer these things then you have to explain HOW
        So …. explain it.

        How is it that you cannot understand the simple things I’ve given you? This is how our philosophy explains it in a nutshell. All things are contained in God, everything good and perfect comes from God. God is, by definition, other-centered, self-giving love. We experience His goodness whether we acknowledge God or not. Everything good in this world comes from God. That’s the general answer for all humankind.

        We can also actively participate in relationship with God. How it works is by first receiving God’s love when we open our heart to Him, because He loved us first (Rom.5:8; John 3:16; 1 John 4:19), and already reconciled us to Himself on the cross (2 Cor.5:14-21). In other words, He is saying to you, Ark…”BE reconciled.” We have His empowering grace available to us to receive Him. And as we receive God’s other-centered, self-giving love, we begin to participate in the Divine nature (2 Pet.1:4), and as we do this we take on His nature and begin to love like He does. The fruit of that relationship with God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal.5:22-23). That’s how we know we’re following Jesus and not just a religious facsimile.

        And my philosophy even explains why atheists refuse to understand this simple truth…

        20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
        21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. (Rom.1:20-21)

        And it explains why you say things like it’s all “nonsense”…

        18 The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
        “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
            I will confuse the understanding of the intelligent.”
        20 So what does this say about the philosopher, the law expert, or anyone in this world who is skilled in making clever arguments? God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish. 21 This is what God in his wisdom decided: Since the world did not find him through its own wisdom, he used the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe it.
        22 The Jews ask for miraculous signs, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23 But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a problem for Jews, and to other people it is nonsense. (1 Cor.1:18-23 ERV)

        Or why you have trouble understanding it…

        13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (1 Cor.2:13-14 NLT).

        In the Kingdom of God, you won’t “see” until you believe. But once you believe, understanding begins to unveil itself.

        I could give you many more examples if I had the time, but that pretty much sums it up. It describes why you think it’s all foolish. Your heart is not open, so its wisdom is closed to you. Actually, there is no philosophy that nails human nature and answers the deepest desires of humankind like the Christian philosophy does.

      • Arkenaten says:

        This is, once again, a theological claim and explains nothing. It is, as you continually /em> demonstrate, based on numerous presuppositions that you cannot demonstrate the veracity of and are simply untenable.
        You might as we be arguing for Islam.
        And I guarantee they will relay a similar argument almost word for word about the Qu’ran and their prophet and their god.
        I asked HOW
        YOUR religion explains the things science cannot.

        How does YOUR religion explain things like love if you say science does not.

        And as always you have failed to offer an explanation and are forced to retreat to quoting bible text.

        I am sorry , Mel but you really do not understand.

        As I have said time and again.
        Stick to faith.
        You have no answer to anything otherwise and simply make yourself look rather silly, I’m afraid.

      • Mel Wild says:

        As I have said time and again.
        Stick to faith.
        You have no answer to anything otherwise and simply make yourself look rather silly, I’m afraid.

        Haha…rather ironic that you would say this considering that you obviously don’t understand philosophical argumentation at all. Theology is part of philosophy.

        And since we’re talking about “faith” and you say this is not an explanation, then why don’t you explain to me your philosophy about life…why art, music, why beauty, why science, why is there a natural world at all? Why are we even here, Ark? I can’t wait to hear your philosophy.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I am not particularly interested in the philosophical aspects.
        I take each day as it comes and live a pretty damn good life.
        Yeah it has its ups and downs … but that’s life.

        We have the natural world. Science explains it pretty good. And it gets better at it all the time.

        All you have is an erroneous corrupt text written by Iron age and Bronze age desert peasants, most of whom thought the the sun went round the earth and the earth was the centre of the universe.

        So you are unable to offer an honest answer as to HOW your religion explains the things science can’t, or maybe you simply do not understand the question?
        Let’s take your question, Why are we here?
        From my perspective:
        As it cannot be answered it is not a question I really bother with.

        To suggest we have a ”divine purpose” is to me the height of arrogance. But as it is not something I can prove, it has no bearing on my life whatsoever.

        Now you explain how your religion answers beyond any doubt whatsoever the reason we are here.

        And please do not simply quote scripture as it cannot be trusted.

      • Mel Wild says:

        I am not particularly interested in the philosophical aspects.
        I take each day as it comes and live a pretty damn good life.

        Then you cannot give an answer to “why life” because it can only be answered philosophically. And, furthermore, you cannot say I am wrong. You can only disagree with it. But you have not refuted it. The thing is, you have a philosophy and worldview whether you think you have one or not. And, apparently, yours is very narrow-minded and myopic, refusing to even consider the bigger questions of life. As McGrath stated, the problem is that it doesn’t answer the most important questions in life. So, if you want to keep your head stuck in the sand, good luck with that.

        All you have is an erroneous corrupt text written by Iron age and Bronze age desert peasants, most of whom thought the the sun went round the earth and the earth was the centre of the universe.

        And that is very ignorant straw man you’ve constructed against what the Bible actually says about us. You clearly know nothing about it at all. And It has nothing to do with what people in the Bible believed about science during the Iron age anymore than what anyone else in the world believed about the universe back then. That is an anachronistic statement. The Bible is primarily anthropological and philosophical, it answers the human condition and how a people experienced God until the revelation of Jesus Christ. It gives us the why to everything; science can only explain how things work in the material world.

        Now you explain how your religion answers beyond any doubt whatsoever the reason we are here.

        That is a fallacious demand! There is no such thing as “beyond any doubt” about ANY philosophy that tries to answer the questions that science cannot answer. All anyone can do is infer to the best explanation and apply that to their experience in life. I give Scripture because it explains my philosophy.

        It’s not a science experiment, Ark, and never can be. You are appealing to the wrong way of explaining this aspect of life. That’s why your line of questioning is fallacious. And again, you cannot say I am wrong because you have not offered a better explanation, other than to infer that nothing has any greater purpose. This is a very depressing philosophy for life in my view.

        So when you say that I must stay with faith, I will say exactly the same thing to you. Because, whether you want to think about it or not, when we go beyond what science can tell us, it’s all a matter of faith. Yours is not a religious faith, but it’s faith just the same. Science will never answer these questions for us, and these questions won’t go away because we intuitively knows there’s more. The scientific method is the wrong application of inquiry here. We must use philosophy. And I believe my philosophy has better answers; you have given me no reason to think otherwise. You seem content to keep your head stuck in the proverbial sand about it.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Then you cannot give an answer to “why life” because it can only be answered philosophically.

        I do not really care to be honest, However, you cannot either and to say you can is simply fallacious.
        Yet you claim you can…. which is disingenuous.

      • Mel Wild says:

        It’s not disingenuous. I claim that I have an explanation. What is your explanation?

      • Arkenaten says:

        Well, you haven’t explained it yet … so …
        explain it.

      • Mel Wild says:

        (Sigh)…I’m not going to keep going in circles with you. I’ve explained it a couple of times now. What are you looking for? I gave you my philosophical position.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Yes, but this is not explaining how your religion answers questions science cannot.
        This is merely providing an answer.
        An answer for which you have nothing to demonstrate the veracity for any claims it makes.
        In fact every claim is suspect simply because the source is corrupt.

        So in essence, you have answered nothing and simply filled in the blanks with wishful thinking.
        And it is because of such dishonesty that so many former Christians eventually deconverted … and keep deconverting.
        Like this bloke.
        Read it if you dare …

        http://clergyproject.org/douglas-peary/

      • Mel Wild says:

        Ark, what do you mean by demonstration? This is not a science experiment. We’re talking about philosophy here. How did I not answer the question?

        First, the veracity of Rom.1:20-21 and 1 Cor.1:18-23 has you pegged perfectly.
        Second, I’ve given you a designer of the cosmos and the reason why we are here, and that all good things come from Him. Because He is love in relationship, we long for those things, for art, beauty, etc. He is also the architect of physical science.

        This is called philosophy, Ark. So I have no idea what you’re talking about. Furthermore, you have given no alternative that’s better, so how can you even have an opinion about it?

        I told you science cannot answer existential questions, so you cannot prove it with scientific methods.

        And what is the clergy project link supposed to prove? Really, Ark, you rarely stay on subject. I did read it. How does what that guy was talking about have anything to do what I believe? He certainly didn’t believe what I believe. You obviously think you know something that you don’t really know.

        This is the bottom line. If I’m wrong then YOU must provide a better explanation. But, like last time, I’m sure you will just dismiss it as fiction like you’re actually saying something. Don’t you understand that you are not even addressing the argument?

        We already talked about the inference based on what we can intuit when I talked about natural theology (graphic below).

        Now, I’m giving you the Christian philosophy that answers those questions. The only thing you can do is disagree and provide a better explanation, but you cannot say I didn’t answer your question.

      • Arkenaten says:

        This is the bottom line. If I’m wrong then YOU must provide a better explanation.

        Not at all. This is very much like what Sagan said. ”I have dragon in my garage”.

        You are making assertions, not only philosophical, which does not answers anything, but also stating that your religion, and your godare the only ones that answer these questions.
        That is bordering on an empirical claim.
        Both are fallacious claims and truly risible in the extreme.
        The ”Why” is not important to me, and you cannot demonstrate the ”Why” beyond your faith.
        Why am I here … Why do I love my wife…. Why do I love Jimi Hendrix music..,
        The answers I can provide do not satisfy your need for a god-given reason.
        I want to to know the HOW.

        Furthermore all your claims are based upon an ancient text that is corrupt.

        The book you so cherish is largely bronze age myth and it is tainted to push a theological agenda.

        Fully understand this and try to see it in context of all your faith belief.

        THAT, Mel is the ”bottom line”.

      • Mel Wild says:

        Having a dragon in your garage is not a philosophical assertion so that fallacious absurdity is a false analogy. Having a dragon in your garage could easily be investigated in this world by looking in Sagan’s garage.

        You know nothing about “the Book I cherish” other than spin by skeptical people with an agenda.

        You say you want to know the HOW…which is a scientific question. This question cannot be answered scientifically. I am still wondering what you mean by answers that have veracity. Exactly what would that look like in this case?

      • Arkenaten says:

        Sagan’s analogy was quite astue in actual fact. I do not accept responsibility if you do not understand it.
        Ponder on it a bit more.

        Of course I know about your book.
        It is ancient, corrupt and full of historical fiction and myth and bronze age superstitious nonsense.

        You do not understand do you?

        You stated that YOUR religion answers the questions science does not.
        You assert theology, apologetics and philosophy.

        And to top it all you quote scripture.
        And NOT ONCE have you made the tiniest effort to show HOW your religion it answer the questions you claim science cannot.
        Not once.
        Oh, and your diagram …. are you serioius?

      • Mel Wild says:

        If you think Sagan’s analogy is astute than you don’t even understand what we’re talking about here. Sagan’s analogy is false because it can be proven or disproven with scientific discovery (investigation of his garage). You cannot do this with anything outside of the natural world. Why don’t you get this?

        So, I’m still puzzled. What do you mean by giving answers that have veracity here? You can’t just say this and not explain what you mean. Give me an example of how you would do this with something that cannot by proved by scientific method. What would that evidence look like?

      • Arkenaten says:

        Sagan’s Dragon.

        http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm

        You have to demonstrate that YOUR religion answers the questions that science does not answer.
        So far you have given me nothing but faith and philosophy – all based on a collection of corrupt ancient texts.

        Do you seriously not understand why this simply has no leg to stand on?
        Are you truly that indoctrinated or are you now being obtuse on purpose?

      • Mel Wild says:

        And NOT ONCE have you made the tiniest effort to show HOW your religion it answer the questions you claim science cannot.

        And not once have you begun to address your problem here. I know all about Sagan’s analogy. It’s still a false analogy and doesn’t answer the question. What does an answer look like to you if we’re talking about something that DOES NOT EXIST IN THE NATURAL WORLD? You are implying that I give you a scientific answer since you reject philosophy. But you have asked an impossible question which makes it fallacious. The assumption refutes itself. If science cannot answer it, then I cannot give you a scientific answer to prove it (which were ALL of Sagan’s examples)!

        The better analogy would be Hamlet trying to understand if there’s such a thing as Shakespeare. Let’s say that he sees his life and it seems to be written out for him, almost like a play… Hypothetically speaking, how would he explain it, Ark? How would Hamlet infer the existence of an author? And, more importantly, what answer from Hamlet would satisfy you that Shakespeare actually exists? (Because Shakespeare actually did exist.)

        This is precisely the problem you refuse to face.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have no problem at all. For me and every non believer – and I mean every individual who does not believe in any of the approximately 1000 gods that human beings have created – the natural world is all we have to deal with and try our best to understand.

        This is what science is for.
        Your religion fills in the gaps in scientific knowledge with what Tildeb likes to call ‘Woo.’
        But what is worse is that the ‘Woo’ you like to claim is the answer derives from the bible, which is simply a collection of ancient texts put together by people who ”knew” the sun went around the earth.
        And this is you referral base.
        And it is literally riddled with corrupt text including, but not restricted to:
        Astronomy, cosmology, general science, geology, plate tectonics, genetics, biology, history, geography,
        It is also immoral and violent , and embraces genocide slavery, misogyny, rape, incest, fraud, and every possible vice you can think of.

        And yet you continue to insist that this book answers the questions science does not.

        Take a second to actually think what you are asserting.

      • Mel Wild says:

        You’re still giving me a science answer that explains natural phenomenon, Ark. You’re still not even touching the question,

        Again, hypothetically speaking, how would Hamlet infer that there is an author to his life? How would you do that, Ark? Nothing you’ve said so far answers that question. So, stop repeating the same old stuff.

        Take your time. I’m busy today. I will check back later.

      • Arkenaten says:

        No, we are not going to wander off as you continually accuse me of doing.
        We will stay on point.

        Your book, which you claim is divinely inspired, is full of naturalist examples, many of them I listed. And practically all are wrong.

        You assert that YOUR religion
        answers the questions science does not.
        Now tell me what they are and show me HOW.
        Time put up or push off as they say.
        If you cannot demonstrate how your religion answers all the questions science doesn’t then you are a fraud I’m sorry to say.

      • Mel Wild says:

        No, we are not going to wander off as you continually accuse me of doing.
        We will stay on point.
        Your book, which you claim is divinely inspired, is full of naturalist examples, many of them I listed. And practically all are wrong.

        Ark, you are the one wandering off your own question, trying to dismiss the “book” with your straw man talking points.

        Again, here’s what you originally asked:

        1. What do you consider are the questions which science does not answer, and why are these questions important?
        2. How exactly does your religion answer them in such a way that you believe makes science and religion compatible.

        I answered you that science cannot answer the existential questions and that our worldview sees science subsumed within a greater reality; and then gave my philosophy to infer an explanation. You dismissed it because it was philosophical. So, my question to you was, and still is, how would I answer a question that refutes itself (according to what you seem to be wanting)? Because I cannot answer the question, “what science cannot answer” with a scientific answer! Don’t you get this?

        So, I gave you a hypothetical analogy to clarify my point. Suppose Hamlet suspected that there might be more to his life that the play. How would Hamlet infer that there is an author to his life? How would you answer that, Ark? This is precisely on target with our whole discussion.

        In other words, you need to show me what criteria you’re using because, by definition, I cannot answer your question with science.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Of course I get it!
        And because you cannot answer it your ”answer” fails. Not only that, it doesn’t even get out of the starting blocks.
        It has no merit and no leg to stand on.

        But you continue to assert that your answer/s are worthy.
        Even when the source of your answers is shown to be unequivocally corrupt.

        I don’t need to show you anything other that what I have already done.

        The answer is simply that your religion does not in fact answer the questions science does not.
        And THAT is the bottom line.

      • Mel Wild says:

        Obviously, you don’t get because your question refutes itself. It must be answered by something OTHER than science. According to you, Hamlet would conclude that Shakespeare does not exist…and he would be wrong.

        I’m still waiting for how you would answer this…

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have not interest in answering philosophical questions as they are merely a switch and bait. A silly distraction so you do not have to make an honest answer. As you cannot.

        You have demonstrated time and again that your religion is unable to answer the questions science cannot (currently) answer yet you avoid facing the truth, which includes the utterly corrupt nature of your source.
        That is the reality of your religion.

      • Mel Wild says:

        I have no interest in answering philosophical questions as they are merely a switch and bait. A silly distraction so you do not have to make an honest answer. As you cannot.

        That’s interesting, Ark, because your refusal to answer is a defacto refutation of your own assertion. You have implied that all reality can be explained by scientific method, yet when I pose a hypothetical question to you to test that theory, you refuse to answer it and say I’m baiting and switching! No, Ark, this is precisely the point.

        So if you cannot give me criteria, I cannot answer an invalid question.

        If you insist that it is a valid question, then let’s put it to the test. How would Hamlet infer an author using the scientific method? Or, if you like, how would Hamlet prove that Shakespeare does not exist?

      • Arkenaten says:

        You were the one who made the assertion.
        You are making a claim that your religion answers questions science cannot and yet you cannot demonstrate this to be true.

        Furthermore , your source for these claims is corrupt.

        So where can we go from this?

        You are wrong. It is that simple

        Until you can at least demonstrate that your source can be trusted then your claim is worthless.

      • Mel Wild says:

        I’ve been trying to answer your two questions, but you have not given me valid criteria. Your criteria so far is self-refuting (using science to go beyond science). Again, again…I answered your questions but you rejected anything philosophical. So, I must ask for a valid criteria.

        And the only way I can get you to give me a valid question is by way of analogy. In other words, how then would Hamlet infer an author using the scientific method? And, remember, we know from our perspective that Shakespeare is real.

        Saying I am wrong means absolutely nothing, Ark. If I am wrong, prove it by answering my question.

        And to keep making your irrelevant “corrupt sources” claim does not deal with the question. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the Bible or any other book is corrupt or not. You are avoiding the real question behind all of this discussion, which is very telling.

        So…how would Hamlet infer an author, according to you?

      • Arkenaten says:

        It is not irrelevant.
        You made the claim. You offer an unverifiable and untenable philosophical answer and even of this were an option your source, the bible is corrupt.
        Therefore your answer will be as well.

        So, sorry, Mel.
        Your religion does not answer the questions science cannot answer.

        Unless you can at least prove that your source is trustworthy your answers are worthless.

      • Mel Wild says:

        This is just more avoidance. If I am wrong then you could easily answer my question, it’s that simple, Ark. But since you obviously cannot, you have refuted nothing. You have not even given me valid criteria.

        This is why people like Alister McGrath are a lot more honest about this than you. They actually deal with these kinds of questions. You seem content to keep your head stuck in the proverbial sand and stay in denial.

      • Arkenaten says:

        It is not for me to refute anything. You made the claim. All you have done is made an assertion that cannot be tested.
        Science makes no claims in this regard so the arrogance you display is appalling.
        And I have shown you that your source, the bible is utterly corrupt so there is absolutely no reason why such a claim should be given any consideration whatsoever.

        I am not avoiding anything.
        Once you demonstrate that your source can be trusted and show how it can then be applied to your claim maybe we will have something further to discuss.

        Until then …. your claim has no discernible merit and is thus worthless.

      • Mel Wild says:

        It is not for me to refute anything. You made the claim. All you have done is made an assertion that cannot be tested.

        That’s EXACTLY the problem, Ark. You say “tested.” That implies scientific method. Therefore, you are making a circular argument! Don’t you get this? You’re saying that there’s nothing outside of science because we cannot test it with science! Your point is SELF REFUTING.

        So, again, prove me wrong by answering my hypothetical question.

      • Arkenaten says:

        No. That is the answer.
        And your assertion is not only untenable it is based on the bible which is utterly corrupt.
        So even if we were able to test your claim it would be tainted because so is your source
        By jove! At last I think you may be getting it.

      • Mel Wild says:

        Ark, you’ve lost it. What any of this have to do with the question?

        For the sake of argument, let’s assume there is no Bible. How would answer Hamlet’s question? I’m still waiting…

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have told you umpteen times I will not play your silly games.

        You have failed to demonstrate your claim.
        Why do you continue to avoid the truth?
        That dog simply will not hunt.
        This is the crucial factor.
        Your source, the bible is corrupt .
        Do you understand that statement?
        Can you at least try to appreciate the implications of this basic truth.
        You have not yet even addressed this fact.

        Try to use the intelligence I am pretty sure you have.
        We focus on the one topic. And only one topic. Your claim. ”Christianity answers the questions science cannot’.’
        We have established that ”Why” is not important.
        We have also established you cannot tell me ”How”.
        And it is a fact that the source of the basis of your claim, the bible, is corrupt.

        If you refuse point blank to address this obvious truth then you are blinded by indoctrination and// or willfully ignorant and a fraud.

        I am having serious difficulty at the moment coming up with an alternative.

        So, as I mentioned before the saying is: ”Time to put up or push off ”.
        It’s up to you.

        Please, have enough humility to acknowledge the fact of this statement and try to realise the full implications of what this means, Mel.
        Just for once

      • Mel Wild says:

        Since you can’t answer the question we are stuck here, Ark. You have not provided valid criteria for me to provide an answer. The reason for my “silly game” is to show you that you cannot ask for an explanation for why science (Hamlet’s world) cannot answer existential questions (Shakespeare’s world). Your demand is based on an invalid assumption, which is that we must prove that science cannot answer existential questions with a scientific explanation. That’s called circular reasoning!

        You’re the one who has arrogantly dismissed philosophy as a possible method to this question (which is WHY we have philosophy, to answer these questions!), so YOU must give me a valid one for which to answer the question since we cannot use the scientific method. Again, why don’t you get this?

        Until you are humble enough to admit this, we cannot go further here. All you show me here is that you refuse to see anything outside your closed little world of naturalism.

      • Arkenaten says:

        You have not provided valid criteria for me to provide an answer.

        Actually I have. And if you paid attention and stopped being so arrogant you would have picked up on it right from the outset of this dialogue.
        But I will repeat it again so this time you should have no reason to skip over it.

        First address the utterly corrupt nature of your source, the Bible then maybe we can re-look at the question.

      • Mel Wild says:

        First address the utterly corrupt nature of your source, the Bible then maybe we can re-look at the question.

        That’s not a method! That’s your opinion about the Bible. And it’s just a straw man you erect so you can avoid the real issue. You see, this is why it’s so hard to talk to you. You go off on these red herrings. We’re not even close to getting to the point of discussing the Bible in particular. We’re talking about METHOD here, Ark.

        You still have not explained to me the method I would use to answer why science cannot explain existential questions.

      • Arkenaten says:

        It is not an opinion it is fact.
        Start at Genesis 1. ….

        You cannot even begin to make a claim when the source you rely on, your supposed divinely inspired text, is riddled with error and corruption.
        If the basis for any argument is corrupt then the outcome of the argument will always be corrupt.

        Now , address this issue first then we can look at your assertion.

      • Mel Wild says:

        When you’re ready to provide a method for me to answer the question, we can continue.

      • Arkenaten says:

        We can discuss method …. which I am perfectly willing to acknowledge will undoubtedly rely on your christian faith, once you demonstrate how you are able to circumnavigate the corrupt nature of the source of the methodology you wish to employ … the bible.

      • Mel Wild says:

        Haha…method first.

      • Arkenaten says:

        You already believe you have a method but it relies on the corrupt bible.
        Thus, no matter your argument, the outcome will also be corrupt.
        You are the one stuck, Mel. Not me.

        Try again ….
        Let’s see just how honest you are prepared to be?
        I doubt you are capable but you never know … we’ll see?

      • Mel Wild says:

        You know, you can say whatever you want if that makes you feel better. You obviously would rather argue about the Bible than deal with the question. But that doesn’t really change anything. I’m still waiting for YOU to be honest and give me a valid method by which to answer the question. All you have given me is your circular reasoning. The nature of the question implies that the scientific method is invalid (explaining with science what science cannot explain). You said I can’t use philosophy, so I honestly have no idea what you’re looking for.

        And the analogy is a perfect match. How does Hamlet infer a Shakespeare? That’s the real question. He certainly cannot do this by scientific method! So what method would Hamlet have to use? This is the crux of the problem, Ark. And if Hamlet would’ve applied the scientific method, he would’ve been wrong, because we know there really is an author. The analogy fits. This is the problem you’ve always had, stuck in your closed naturalist world. You ignorantly dismiss philosophy and keep your head stuck in the sand with your “corrupt Bible” talking points. You have no answer and won’t permit anyone else to look outside of your little box. Well, the problem won’t go away because you want to ignore it. And we can’t even get to how we explain it (Bible or otherwise) until we have a method for explaining it. So, if it isn’t a philosophical question then you’re going to have to explain what kind of question it is. Because I’m not going to keep running around in circles with you on this.

      • Arkenaten says:

        There are areas of philosophy that are interesting, if this is your bag.
        However, I believe when applied to god-belief they are nonsensical, because:
        a) you have not established bona fides for your god
        and ….
        b) the source of your god Yahweh, the bible, is corrupt.

        It is my belief that this is where your dishonesty is plain for everyone to see and you refuse to address this issue.
        I am sure you have already popped over and read the post over at my spot.
        If you feel as though you have a valid position to defend then simply come over and debate it with those on my blog.

        Maybe you will be able to frame a better argument with one of them?
        Maybe you could pose the Hamlet challenge to someone such as Prof Taboo or John Z or Kia?

        In fact, I think this would be an excellent idea, and it would demonstrate very quickly if there are any grounds for my objections.
        You appear at a loss arguing this point with me, so let’s see if it flies with others.
        What have you got to lose?
        And you surely cannot be shy or afraid to take the question to more non-believers in general right?
        If you agree, I will make a post with the Hamlet scenario – a sort of guest post type of thing- ( you can even email me the wording if you like) – and you can go at it full throttle and I will step aside, and not comment at all, neither in defense or for any other reason.
        If it is demonstrated that my position is wrong and untenable I will apologise and I will then attempt to answer the question. You have my word,

        What say you?

      • Mel Wild says:

        So, are you saying philosophy is a valid method to answer the question? I’m still confused by your equivocation.

        The only thing that is plain is that you can’t seem to give me a method of answering the question.

      • Arkenaten says:

        You see, NOW you are behaving like a disingenuous Dipshit.
        I wrote:

        There are areas of philosophy that are interesting, if this is your bag.
        However, I believe when applied to god-belief they are nonsensical, because:
        a) you have not established bona fides for your god
        and ….
        b) the source of your god Yahweh, the bible, is corrupt.

        So we first have to sort out the validity of your source.
        Once we have done this, then we look at attempting to ask you question.

  3. Arkenaten says:

    So, you don’t fancy popping over to demonstrate the veracity of your claim then , Mel?
    Do you doubt your ability to defend it?

  4. Pingback: The Naturalist’s dilemma | In My Father's House

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