Monday, June 21, 2010

Does God Make the Resurrection More Likely?

I agree that the resurrection of Jesus is naturally impossible. But that’s not the question. The question is, is it improbable that God raised Jesus from the dead?  William Lane Craig

If I am outside on a pitch black night and I feel water falling on my head from the sky, I will no doubt conclude that it is raining. I would not be inclined to believe that I had been attacked by a CIA predator drone armed with squirt guns even if someone told me that that was what had happened. I would reach this conclusion because I am thoroughly familiar with the phenomenon known as rain. It is well understood and well documented that the overwhelming majority of occurrences of water falling from the sky are rain storms.

One factor that would not effect my conclusion is whether or not I believed that the CIA actually possessed the technology to arm drones with squirt guns that could simulate falling rain. If they did, that would only move the probability of a drone attack from zero to infinitesimal. Whether you call the principle “parsimony” or “Occam’s razor,” logic dictates that a common ordinary explanation is preferable to an extraordinary unprecedented explanation. There is no need to even examine the feasibility of the CIA attack.

Myth and legend may not be quite as common and ordinary as rain; however, I would still deem them to be as common and ordinary when compared to reliable accounts of supernatural events as rain is compared to predator drones armed with squirt guns. I agree with Craig that the resurrection is more probable with God than without God. Nevertheless, the well documented phenomenon of myth and legend is still a more likely explanation than one set of anonymous ancient writings being the only known source of reliable objective accounts of supernatural events.


  1. Craig's debates almost always include him claiming the resurrection of Jesus shows that there is a Christian God.

    And, of course, Craig claims the resurrection is possible because there is a Christian god.

    All Craig has to do is avoid saying both things in the one debate, and he can get away with it.

  2. Craig has an M.O. degree from one of their Christian colleges - Master of Obfuscation. He validates Stephen Jay Gould's opinion regarding debate with creationists:

    Debate is an art form. It is about the winning of arguments. It is not about the discovery of truth. There are certain rules and procedures to debate that really have nothing to do with establishing fact--which they are very good at. Some of those rules are: never say anything positive about your own position because it can be attacked, but chip away at what appear to be the weaknesses in your opponent's position. They are good at that. I don't think I could beat the creationists at debate. I can tie them. But in courtrooms they are terrible, because in courtrooms you cannot give speeches. In a courtroom you have to answer direct questions about the positive status of your belief. We destroyed them in Arkansas. On the second day of the two-week trial we had our victory party!

    He said this 25 years ago, and it's as true now as it was then - probably more.