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Lexilogio

If Jesus turned up today

From the Sunday School this morning:

If Jesus turned up on your doorstep this afternoon - what would you do?

My first reaction was - to invite him in for tea and cake.
northernstar

I'd say, thanks but no, thanks, I'm not buying.
Jim

Re: If Jesus turned up today

I hope I'd ask if I could join His party.
He was - and is - good at parties!
gone

Ask if he had brought any Chateau Heaven with him!
Shaker

How would you ascertain that it actually was Jesus, which is to say, what sort of evidence could he offer which would be convincing beyond reasonable doubt?
Jim

The same evidence He showed Thomas.
Shaker

Jim wrote:
The same evidence He showed Thomas.

And why should that be believed?
Jim

If He turned up at your door, telling you to stick your hand in His side, I think that would convince you.
Shaker

Jim wrote:
If He turned up at your door, telling you to stick your hand in His side, I think that would convince you.

Why do you think that?

A stranger, claiming to be Jesus, and with a gaping wound in his side, shows up at my door and tells me to insert my fingers into it. What would compel belief that this is really Jesus rather than an unpleasantly wounded random nutter? Because I'm telling you, bearded nutter with a knife wound is definitely the first thing I'll be thinking of rather than Jesus.
Jim

You mean it wouldn't convince you?
Shaker

Precisely. Why on earth would it? I would invoke Hume's argument against miracles, which can in fact be extended to the supernatural in general: which mental attitude makes the greater or the lesser number of assumptions: that such an individual is Jesus or is in fact a delusional individual with a side wound? According to Occam's Razor, the simpler, less baggage-laden view is less likely to be wrong, in much the same way that a very simple machine with very few moving parts has less to go wrong than an extremely complex machine with lots of them. The more unjustified and unevidenced assumptions you factor in, the more likely you are to be wrong. A schizophrenic with a wound in his side is actually a fairly ordinary scenario which doesn't ask me to make any number of incredibly implausible assumptions, assumptions which are not in accord with anything I know about the world. Delusional individuals exist. People who think they're Jesus exist. People with wounds in their side exist. Everything perfectly normal, everyday and above board according to a naturalistic worldview so far. A man with religious mania and a wound is perfectly plausible: the reborn Jesus is not.

An individual with a religious mania, believing himself to be Jesus and saying so, is something I've heard of, numerous times actually. I'm sure we all have. It's a weird byway of human psychology in its own way, but in another way, it's an everyday occurrence in the sense that religious mania, delusions of grandeur, etc. are not exactly uncommon. The general rate of schizophrenia in the population is 1 in 100. I used to know someone, nearly twenty years ago, who had never had a religious bone in his body but who suffered a nervous breakdown which took the form of a deep-seated religious mania: when he received treatment and became better, it disappeared almost overnight. An ex-IT specialist from Australia claimed to be the reborn Jesus just a few weeks ago. Anybody can claim anything; the point is that a claim is all it is, without credible and convincing proof that it's anything more than just a claim.
Ketty

Re: If Jesus turned up today

Lexilogio wrote:
From the Sunday School this morning:

If Jesus turned up on your doorstep this afternoon - what would you do?

My first reaction was - to invite him in for tea and cake.


I'm afraid he wouldn't have found me in at home this afternoon.  But if he'd have turned up at our friends' house, there would be more then enough gorgeous food and drink to share.
Lexilogio

Shaker wrote:
How would you ascertain that it actually was Jesus, which is to say, what sort of evidence could he offer which would be convincing beyond reasonable doubt?


For the purposes of the question, I think we have to assume we had proof.

To be honest, I agree, if a stranger turned up and said he was Jesus, I'd be more likely to call the Mental Health services. But, If for some reason I was convinced - then it becomes interesting.
Shaker

Lexilogio wrote:
Shaker wrote:
How would you ascertain that it actually was Jesus, which is to say, what sort of evidence could he offer which would be convincing beyond reasonable doubt?


For the purposes of the question, I think we have to assume we had proof.

True, true ... just me over-analysing things yet again, I guess
bnabernard

If Jesus has turned up on your doorstep, then effectively superman has turned up on your doorstep, so once you have established that it is actualy superman then you can or ought to find out what he wants on your doorstep, then pretty much do what he wants rather than what you want innit  

bernard (hug)
gone

Far from Superman, Jesus might have been a very ordinary guy, no different from the rest of us!
Jim

And your evidence for this statement is...?
Ketty

Jim wrote:
And your evidence for this statement is...?


There's a song about it:


Link
Shaker

Jim wrote:
And your evidence for this statement is...?

Since floo said:

Quote:
Jesus might have been a very ordinary guy, no different from the rest of us!

How do you provide evidence for something that might have been the case? The standard supernaturalist/Christian view is that Jesus, leaving aside all that son-of-god-but-also-god-at-the-same-time business, had extraordinary, in fact nature-defying and therefore miraculous powers. Nobody, anywhere, ever, in the entire history of the human race, has ever credibly demonstrated such powers. No convincing, shareable, repeatable, testable evidence has ever been adduced. Not once. Anywhere. Ever. Not a scrap, not a jot, not a sausage.

The suggestion therefore that Jesus was an ordinary human being possessed of ordinary human attributes draws its strength from the common experience of all mankind for thousands of years: we're all bound by the laws of physics and we see everybody and everything else similarly bound, with no exceptions or variations. Anybody who entertains a belief to the contrary - i.e. that at least one individual had nature-defying powers - bears the burden of proof.
Jim

Miracles were, by their nature, one off  events.
So was the Resurrection.
Science cannot answer the questions they raised.
What evidence we have, thogh, from Scripture and the few extant extra Scriptural sources, would suggest SOMETHING happened.
The rest is a matter of faith.
Shaker

Jim wrote:
Miracles were, by their nature, one off  events.
So was the Resurrection.
Science cannot answer the questions they raised.
What evidence we have, thogh, from Scripture and the few extant extra Scriptural sources, would suggest SOMETHING happened.
The rest is a matter of faith.

Blimey Jim, give us an easy one why don't you?  

Science can't answer the questions raised by miracles IF and only if you take it to be the case, as an article of faith, that miracles exist in the first place and thus are able to raise questions. This is every bit as much as a taken-for-granted, question-begging assumption as the assertion that the Scriptures suggest 'something' happened. As any good atheist/rationalist/sceptic/materialist will tell you, echoing the famous words which Pierre-Simon Laplace may have said, Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse - I have no need of that hypothesis.

For example, the resurrection of the temporarily dead Jesus raises very important questions about the human being only if you take it as read, without further questioning, that such an event occurred. From a Christian p.o.v. this would be probably the first ever such example of such an event occurring in human history: not the last (I'm thinking of Lazarus here), but arguably the first. I hesitate to repeat myself, but once again this places an extremely heavy burden of proof on the Christian as against the entire weight of all human experience throughout history, where people actually die and actually stay actually dead.
bnabernard

I chucked a bucketfull of hydrogen and oxygen on the bonfire and it went out, its a miracle  

bernard (hug)

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