By HonestDiscussioner

Religion, Philosophy, Politics, and anything else I'd like to talk about

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Embellishment Should Destroy Faith

I was reminiscing through some old memories of my "discussion" with my ex-step father. If you've been with me for a while, you may remember him as the person who said he was not interested in listening to what people who disagreed with him had to say, and when I said that was close minded, he retorted "No, it's not closed minded if you're right.". That was the quote of 2010, in my book. When dealing with such immensely poor logic, it should be no surprise that he parroted the argument made somewhat popular by Lee Strobel, the "Wouldn't Die for a Lie" argument.

As the argument goes, we should believe in the Bible because those that saw the resurrected Jesus died martyrs, they were given a choice to either confess Jesus was not resurrected and live, or stick to their guns and die, and they all chose death. Since so many people wouldn't die for something they knew was false, it must be true! Now I had only been involved in the religious discussion for a year or two at the time, so I had not heard of this before, and it was this argument that led me to the always wonderful ProfMTH, who did an excellent series attempting to debunk the "Wouldn't Die for a Lie" argument.

Within Prof's video, he mentioned a number of stories of early Christian tradition where members of the church were purported to have experienced violent deaths, but only after several miracles occurred preventing earlier attempts at taking their life. For example, bathing in boiling oil that did not hurt them, or falling from a very tall height and receiving no damage, only to be finally done in by a blunt trauma to the head.

That such miracles would occur and none of those witnessed to it would find it odd or compelling strains credulity, so I think it's best to assume that these stories are embellishments at best and downright lies at worst. It makes sense to me that, were a Christian leader killed back in those times, people might ask why God didn't save them. They couldn't lie outright and say he's still alive, so they do the next best thing and describe how Jesus intervened numerous times to save him. These types of stories appear rather often it seems as well.

This, in my opinion, should be more than sufficient to crush any faith in the story of Jesus. If they were willing to embellish these things, what else were they willing to embellish? Perhaps when their Messiah was killed, they embellished his death to mean that he was resurrected in spirit, and then further embellishments occurred later on to include a bodily resurrection. It makes sense, as the later the gospel, the more gracious the claims become. The oldest gospel doesn't have Jesus appearing at all after his death, and in the youngest gospel, people are poking him in his wounds and he's chowing down on some fish.

Why have faith in this? Those were incredulous times, people made stuff up and others repeated it as fact. Even in today's world where cameras are in everyone's pocket and everything is documented online, this still occurs. That this was beyond the capabilities of men with a clear theological and later political agenda seems to be of the utmost level of ridiculousness.

Consider whether you really are justified in believing in the story of Jesus, because from where I am sitting, there is no such justification.

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