The Tanager wrote:
Your position is that Jesus' resurrection has a natural explanation. You said you would need to see Jesus to believe otherwise. You then said that even if you saw Jesus, there would be other available explanations and you'd always trust them over a miraculous explanation. Therefore, there is no way to falsify your position.
It appears that you are correct. Christian truth claims regarding the miraculous are probably not provable. There's no way to rule out naturalistic, nontheistic explanations.
You said Jesus' resurrection was outlandish simply because resurrections never seem to happen and that it's not even worth investigating the supposed evidence because of that.
The only evidence I know of for the resurrection is the written testimony of the New Testament writers. I have investigated that evidence, and I believed it for years only to eventually doubt that the resurrection happened.
In any case, now that I've met your goal of investigating the resurrection and other supposed miracles yet have ended up a doubter, what additional goal will you set for me?
But you said earlier that you believed Lincoln was assassinated without tangible evidence to back it up.
I can believe the story of Lincoln because I know that America has presidents and that they can be assassinated. I have no such knowledge of dead people coming back to life only to float away into the sky. It seems reasonable to me to believe claims that are based in what I know to be true and to doubt claims based in what I don't know to be true.
Here you seem to be implying that our beliefs must be accompanied by tangible/physical evidence to be worth holding.
The missing physical evidence for Jesus seems like a good topic for a thread.
So, historical argument is a rational way to come to a belief about something?
I'd say yes, historical investigation can be a reasonable way to come to a conclusion about the past. However, it's important to keep in mind that such conclusions are subject to revision as new evidence is discovered.
If the historical evidence points towards Jesus' resurrection versus alternative naturalistic explanations, then belief that Jesus did resurrect would be a rational belief to hold?
I'm not sure if history is good enough to establish a resurrection. I'd say it would be more likely that the historical evidence is misleading than that a resurrection really happened. Among other difficulties, a resurrection would probably violate the second law of thermodynamics. A resurrection is about as likely as unscrambling an egg. With the arrow of time, systems go from order to disorder and almost never the other way. That's why scrambled eggs stay scrambled, and dead bodies stay dead.
Or is it ruled out by a naturalistic bias before even looking at the specific evidences?
I suppose I do have a naturalistic bias for the simple reason that naturalism seems to work while supernaturalism fails.
Are you free of such bias? If so, then you'd be open to any miracle claims including the claims of religions not your own. Do you believe that the angel Moroni gave Joseph Smith golden tablets? Did the Virgin Mary appear in Fatima and in Lourdes?
I'm talking about your view that "philosophy is inadequate for making discoveries about reality." You think that is true. That claim is a philosophical claim and it is self-defeating. You think philosophy isn't very reliable, but no one can get away from engaging in philosophy to make claims about reality.
Philosophy can be useful while I recognize its limitations. I'm careful not to apply philosophy to situations where it doesn't work well.
In any case, what's the point in arguing that what I'm saying is self-defeating?
You said philosophy wasn't reliable because it has been known to lead to asserting false things about reality. I shared an example of science asserting false things about reality (phlogiston). I don't think this proves science is necessarily unreliable (nor that philosophy necessarily is), but since you did I was urging you to remain consistent.
Any philosophy or science that gets something wrong should be revised to correct any errors.
By the way, how do apologists recognize error and correct it?
You made a positive argument that because Christians have never seen a real miracle, that no Christian miracle could be real.
I'm not sure where I said any such thing. What I do argue is that many Christians seem to be unable to recognize errors in their beliefs.
I was the skeptic regarding the OP. I've been countering that positive argument, which you have a burden to support.
I already posted the example of the con-artist Peter Popoff deceiving Christians who are unable to see that he's conning them. What more evidence for Christians mistaking the unreal for the real would you like?
In summary, I should point out that like many apologists you attempt to shift the burden of proof to the skeptic. You also are quick to accuse skeptics of bias while apparently blind to your own bias.