The evidence for Christ

Christ

The evidence for Christ is not historical — it’s spiritual — and that evidence is indeed abundant for those who believe.

So says T. C Howitt, commenter on the Rational Doubt blog. And what is the ‘abundant evidence’, of which he speaks, for the existence of this spiritual being? It is, he says, ‘spiritual’. That’s quite a tautology: ‘the evidence for my fantasy is my fantasy’.

T.C. goes on to say that only those who truly believe can know that their experiences of the spiritual are real; the rest of us, he decrees, are blind. In other words, evidence that his fantasy is real is that other people have experienced versions of the same fantasy – some of them thousands of years ago. The ‘evidence’ for Christ (as opposed to Jesus) is therefore one’s own feelings plus the strange psychotic experiences Paul relates that he feels sure must be this supernatural being.

Science removes human subjectivity, as far as is possible, from its demonstration of how things are. All that Christians (and other believers in the supernatural) need do is similarly demonstrate that the spiritual realm, with its attendant beings, has an existence independent of human emotions, feelings and imagination. They could show us that, like gravity, electricity and quantum mechanics, Christ and angels, seventh heavens, demons and all manner of spiritual beings, have an existence separate from the internal, subjective experiences of human beings.

They’ve had two thousand years to do just this and still they haven’t. Why not? Because it can’t be done: Christ and his angels, God and his heaven are mythologies and, like all others, are constructs of the human mind.

 

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7 thoughts on “The evidence for Christ

    • Absolutely, and when the evidence or experience doesn’t serve to confirm the bias, it’s dismissed as ‘man’s fallible word’ (K. Ham), ‘of this world’ or, as in T.C.’s bubble, ‘blindness’. Such counter-evidence builds, however, and for more honest, reflective believers (there are some!) eventually reaches critical mass, when the delusion finally becomes unsustainable.

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  1. Wouldn’t it be grand if all our daydreams and fantasies could come to be. The good things would be wonderful, the unicorns and hobbits, however the worst of our imaginations also would be represented, maybe by all the gods we have dreamed up including the christian deity. Oh the horror the religious would find themselves in if their pet god ever did come true. Hugs

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  2. The spiritual sense isn’t just feeling. Spirituality is more akin to seeing, or rather, being shown.

    Some tautologies are meaningful and others are not. For example, this tautology is meaningless because the qualifier merely restates the premise:

    “Survival of the fittest.”

    There’s no qualification of “fittest” besides survival, so it’s equivalent to saying “survival of the survivors.”

    But when I make statements according to this verse:

    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Co 2:14)

    I’m giving you more information than “the blind cannot see” or the “dead do not live” (though I am saying that too). I’m telling you that man is naturally deprived of the Holy Spirit. I’m telling you that man naturally cannot know anything spiritual. I’m telling you that, lacking spiritual knowledge, man naturally thinks the wisdom of God is foolishness. This is because, naturally, man himself is prideful, foolish and wicked.

    Logically speaking, tautologies aren’t bad if they convey meaning. Wittgensten famously declared that all mathematics is a tautology, and he wasn’t dissing it.

    Perhaps you meant I’m using circular reasoning.

    I’ll affirm that the spiritual reasoning for God’s existence (and the inerrancy of scripture for that matter) is circular if you’ll affirm that the closed system of mathematics is circular. At least the ancient skeptics were consistent enough to suspend judgment on the truth of mathematics for this reason (see Sextus Empiricus, Diogenes Laertius, Agrippa, etc., etc.). Do you have the guts to join them in their skepticism of mathematics? It’s pretty dark out there.

    “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Rom 1:22).

    These sorts of discussions often end with the atheist-skeptic dismantling his own argument down to nihilistic absurdism: “I don’t truly believe I can know anything, even mathematics — and neither can you — and I’m sure about that!” That’s probably the boldest truth claim one can make and refute at the same time. It’s an intellectual suicide bomb.

    A proposition can be true and also follow from circular reasoning. Math and God have that attribute in common.

    And on the subject of accepting evidence, allow me to play the skeptic for a moment. Let’s call this scenario Alice in Stupidland…

    Alice says that 1+1=2, and I say, “Prove it.”

    “Okay,” she confidently begins. Alice holds up an apple in her hand and says, “I’ve got one apple in this hand” and I stop her right there.

    “Hold on,” I say. “What’s this ‘one’ you claim to have in your hand?”

    Do you see how that works? A skeptic doesn’t need to believe anything you say about invisible propositions, starting from word one. It’s an anti-intellectual approach to knowledge masquerading as intellectual.
    You actively suppress the knowledge of God in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). The invisible attributes of God — his eternal power and divine nature — are clearly seen by the things that are made, so you have no excuse (Rom 1:20).

    When it comes to God’s law and judgment, denying that He really said what He said is a very attractive option for the natural man. The devil knows this better than anyone. The first question in the Bible was posed by the serpent, and he was questioning the word of God:

    “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said…?” (Gen 3:1).

    Prove to a skeptical blind man that you can see the moon. Prove to this blind man not that the moon exists in theory, say, according to your scientific instruments, but that you can actually see it with your own eyes, that you’re a witness to the light of the moon.

    If this stubborn blind man doesn’t accept the testimony you’ve provided — you can describe the moon you see, you can get corroboration from all the other people who can see it, the historical record indicates abundance evidence that people have seen it, etc., etc. — does that mean the blind man is thinking clearly and you’re deluded and naive — that you’re literally seeing a moon that doesn’t really exist?

    Why trust the blind man’s opinion on such matters?

    It is not until this blind man gains the ability to see the moon for himself that he will finally believe.
    Believers don’t see God with their eyeballs, of course, but they see Him. Believers see God in spirit, word and deed.

    This life’s dim windows of the soul
    Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
    And leads you to believe a lie
    When you see with, not through, the eye.
    — William Blake

    This analogy of the blind moon-doubter (the “alunist,” if you will) is contrived because I needed to invent a very unreasonable blind man, one who insists you can’t see the moon, and one who insists that such talking of seeing the moon is foolishness. What would motivate a blind man to doubt that you can see the moon?

    On the other hand, I know why the atheist rejects God. That’s not contrived or unreasonable. In fact, it’s natural to feel this way because we like ourselves and want to preserve the illusion of our autonomy. We like the pleasures that come with no ultimate consequences. We like being the rulers of our own lives, determining what’s right and wrong for ourselves. Who would volunteer to put themselves under the rule of a righteous judge when they can easily rebel as if that judge didn’t exist (say, by reason that this righteous judge is in fact not righteous at all, according to their own judgment).

    But when you’re born again into new life, the spirit within you testifies to the actuality of the true and living righteous God. Temporary rebellion in this world is just not a reasonable option in that case. That would be the stupid move.

    Regardless of your rebellion, you will be brought to justice soon enough. Here’s a preview: you will find out then that your short and wicked life wasn’t worth the enormous cost.

    Speaking of evidence and proof, it’s interesting to consider love. Are you loved by anyone? Prove that you’re loved by this person and not just deceived. You might say this person says they love you, and they do nice things for you, but that hardly proves love. This person could be a very good liar — a sociopath, not a lover.
    But if you tell me this person has sacrificed for you — further, has voluntarily and deliberately given the ultimate sacrifice of their own life to save yours — then I will believe they love you!

    This is the crux, if you will pardon the pun, of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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    • ‘The spiritual sense isn’t just feeling. Spirituality is more akin to seeing, or rather, being shown.’ Right. But it’s in your head all the same. How’d you know it isn’t just conjured up there? (Answer: you don’t, any more than believers from other religions, who claim their god communes with them, do. Demonstrate, rather than simply assert, that your ‘spirituality’ comes for outside yourself – specifically from the supernatural beings you say are out there somewhere.)

      Your moon analogy really doesn’t work. Why not? Because the moon exists and its existence can be demonstrated. We do not, however, know that God exists. In my long experience I’ve never met a blind person who insists the moon be proved to them, nor colours, nor any aspect of the world they cannot see. They take it on trust from those who possess the empirical evidence these things are real. You cannot do this for God; I have repeatedly asked you to do so and all you’ve come up with is the equivalent of ‘it’s all in the mind’. Where is your evidence that god exists outside of and independent from the human imagination?

      And finally: how clever of you knowing why non-believers non-believe. You’re almost entirely wrong, but it’s very clever all the same. This, indeed, is the problem with much that you write. It’s very clever but says very little.

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      • You said, “Your moon analogy really doesn’t work. Why not? Because the moon exists and its existence can be demonstrated.”

        My question was, How do you demonstrate that the moon exists to the blind moon-denier? You say the moon exists and can be demonstrated, but you don’t explain how it can be demonstrated to this skeptical blind man. Later, you say the blind trust the seeing… I’ll get to that.

        You said, “In my long experience I’ve never met a blind person who insists the moon be proved to them, nor colours, nor any aspect of the world they cannot see.”

        And in my long comment (I don’t fault you for skimming it), I said, “This analogy of the blind moon-doubter (the “alunist,” if you will) is contrived because I needed to invent a very unreasonable blind man, one who insists you can’t see the moon… On the other hand, I know why the atheist rejects God. That’s not contrived or unreasonable. In fact, it’s natural to feel this way because we like ourselves and want to preserve the illusion of our autonomy.”

        Did you catch that part?

        And you also said, “[Blind people] take it on trust from those who possess the empirical evidence these things are real.”

        Ah, the empirical evidence. There is a spiritual sense given by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which I assert you lack, and thus you’re blind to the spiritual things of God.

        “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Co 2:14).

        Who’s the natural man? That would be you, finding the things of the Spirit of God foolishness. It’s impossible for you to know them, and I don’t expect you to come to Christ under your own power. Like I said, it will not serve your lusts to trust in those who possess this empirical, spiritual evidence for God. It serves you to deny that the spiritual even exists.

        All I’m doing here is correcting you, since you’re mistaken about the biblical assertions about these things.

        You said, “And finally: how clever of you knowing why non-believers non-believe.”

        According to your worldview, claiming explicitly to know objective truth is the height of arrogance. Of course, you make truth claims all the time, but they’re implicit (and unfounded).

        I know why you don’t believe because the word of God clearly says why unbelievers can’t believe.

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