Refutation of “Christ Revealed” docu-series Ep. 4
Okay, I hope tonight’s episode will be better then last nights.
So, who are we listening to this time?
First Interviewee: Gary Habermas
*sip sip sip sip sip sip sip sip sip*
Okay…. [exhale]. Seriously though, watching Freddy Got Fingered would be more pleasant than this.
Anyway, Habermas is the Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Did you catch that? Liberty University. And he is professor of what again? Apologetics and Philosophy. And yet, this is the guy that (for some weird reason) Christian apologists and swarms of Christian evangelicals routinely keep citing as an “expert” because he goes on and on assuming that the Bible was written by eyewitnesses and every single thing written down in the Bible is automatic “historical fact” end of story.
This guy loves to say that we live in a supernatural world, he often compares reality with Narnia and the Wizard of Oz. In so doing, he says those who don’t believe are not willing to believe we live in a world of magic.
Well, let’s see if in this docu-series if he can provide a shred of proof of magic or the Resurrection.
After Gary’s long back-story, Gentempo finally asks what criticism of the Resurrection does Gary think is the strongest? Gary answers “I don’t think there is any great comebacks.” He notes that most critics just criticize the Bible as a whole, and they don’t accept it because they “don’t want to believe in a whole other world” that includes angels, miracles and the son of God.
Most critics of the Bible criticize it because it’s full of nonsense, falsehoods and terrible ethics and yet it’s passionately embraced by theists as the best book in all of human history.
Atheists like myself criticize the Bible for a laundry list of reasons, but we don’t do so because we don’t want there to be a god or anything. We want to be as maximally true as possible, and after we’ve investigated the Bible and found that it falls so short of the burden of proof, we dismiss it. On top of that, ridiculous beliefs by definition deserve ridicule, ergo that’s another reason why we criticize the Bible.
Gary then says that he’s also looked into Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s) and if there is an afterlife, Gary says people cannot come at him and dispute the possibility of a resurrection. Gentempo asks Gary to go further into NDE’s. Gary says he is about to publish an article cataloging 300 documented NDE cases. Gary notes that people with NDE often see themselves several floors away in the Waiting Room and “see something really odd in the room” like seeing a family member who swore off smoking step outside to smoke at a certain time of the day.
Okay, I’m going to stop right there. As much as some would like to use NDEs as proof that God, heaven, and a life-after-death exists, NDEs are most likely due to severe lack of oxygen to the brain. In the hippocapmpal portion of the temporal lobes this results in the release of two excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate and aspartic acid, both which cause nerve cell death. In a last ditch effort to prevent this, two endogenous psychedelic compounds are released—alpha- and beta-endopsychosin. Although they bind to an block the action of the NMDA receptors, thus preventing or delaying nerve cell death, they also produce spiritual sensations. This, in combination with the release of endorphins, produces a pain-free state of peaceful bliss. This biological explanation in no way detracts the power of NDEs to produce life-long spiritual changes.
As for the Outer Body Experience (OBE), a phenomenon likely caused by oxygen deprivation and stimulation of the temporal and parietal lobes in the brain, Gary’s selected story might sound impressive…. unless a little bit of applied testing is done.
What is going on with these OBE stories suggest that comatose patients who seem to be in the last stages of life may actually be undergoing a profound experience that involves total awareness of what is going on around them.
Gentempo notes that critics often apply the rules of history differently to certain things and separately for Jesus. On one hand, they will say “this is a fact based on evidence” but “when you present as compelling or as detailed evidence for Jesus” they disregard it.
The exact opposite is true in my experience. I’ve engaged with a lot of Christian apologists in public and online, and when I try to show how weak the evidence is, they disregard it. When I ask them why do you accept the hearsay accounts of the anonymous gospel authors 45-50 years after the events, then why don’t they accept the reports of Herodotus 50 years after the Persian Wars 50 which include several miracles such as a horse giving birth to a rabbit and resurrected cooked fish? Their response is “well, God did not inspire those reports” or “those are obviously fictional” or “you can’t trust the word of a Greek pagan.”
Habermas calls out the double standard of critics. He says that one atheist said that he wouldn’t accept Mark as reliable because it was written too long after the event. Habermas points out a WWII veteran is about to write his memoir about 45 years after the latest of events in WWII. Habermas doesn’t think that the atheist will tell the Vet that his testimony is too unreliable to be believed.
Several things wrong with this. 1) Mark was no written by an eyewitness, so you can’ compare him to a WWI Vet who was a witness, someone who was actually there experiencing all the horrors of war. 2) The average human life-span is radically different from 2 millennium ago compared to 50-60 years ago. Back then, living to be 45 was like living to be 95 by today’s standards. 3) There is no double-standard (re-read my fist point) yet we will still be consistent. Historians will still request sources as contemporary as possible to the events of WWII. Relying on a 50-60 year old memoir is to be taken with a lot of salt, as Historians are aware that over a long period of time, the details get a bit fuzzy. Sometimes, they are a lot more then fuzzy and straight up bizarre (look at what Herodotus reported what the locals saw during the Persian Wars).
Gary then brings up Alexander the Great as a challenge to an atheist critic. Habemas notes the closest biography we have of Alexander is 280 years.
Could a remark by Habermas reveal any clearer that he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about?
There are a lot of sources to counter Hebermas’s ignorant statement, but following points can be read in more detail in Chapter 2 point 2 of Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus.
1) Unlike Jesus, we have over half a dozen relatively objective historians discussing the history of Alexander the Great (most notably Diodorus, Dionysius, Rufus, Trogus, Plutarch and more). These are not romances or propagandists but disinterested historical writers employing some of the recognized skills of critical analysis of their day on a wide body of sources they had available that we do not. Which doesn’t mean we trust everything they say, but we still cannot name even one such person for Jesus, and ‘none’ is not ‘more’ than half a dozen.
2) There’s more! We have mentions of Alexander the Great and details about him in several contemporary or eyewitness sources still extant, including the speeches of Isocrates and Demosthenes and Aeschines and Hyperides and Dinarchus, the poetry of Theocritus, the scientific works of Theophrastus and the plays of Menander. We have not a single contemporary mention of Jesus— apart from, at best, the letters of Paul, who never even knew him, and says next to nothing about him (as a historical man), or the dubious letters of certain alleged disciples (and I say alleged because apart from known forgeries, none ever say they were his disciples), and (again apart from those forgeries) none ever distinctly place Jesus in history. The eyewitness and contemporary attestation for Alexander is thus vastly better than we have for Jesus, not the other way around. And that’s even if we count only extant texts— if we count extant quotations of lost texts in other extant texts, we have literally hundreds of quotations of contemporaries and eyewitnesses that survive in later works attesting to Alexander and his history. We have not even one such for Jesus (e.g. even Paul never once quotes anyone he identifies as an eyewitness or contemporary source for any of his information on Jesus).
3) We’re not done! For Alexander we have contemporary inscriptions and coins, sculpture (originals or copies of originals done from life), as well as other archaeological verifications of historical claims about him. For example, we can verify the claim that Alexander attached Tyre to the mainland with rubble from Ushu— because that rubble is still there and dates to his time; the city of Alexandria named for him dates from his lifetime as expected; archaeology confirms Alexander invaded Bactria; etc. We also have archaeological confirmation of many of his battles and acts, including the exact time and day of his death— because contemporary records of these exist in the recovered clay tablet archives of Persian court astrologers. None of this is even remotely analogous to Jesus, for whom we have absolutely zero archaeological corroboration (e.g. none of the tombs alleged to be his have been verified as such), much less (as we have for Alexander) actual archaeological attestation (in the form of coins, inscriptions and statues).
It’s ridiculous to claim the source situation is better for Jesus than for Alexander the Great (or indeed any comparably famous person of antiquity). The exact reverse is the case, by many orders of magnitude.
Sources: On all these points see discussion and sources referenced throughout Krzysztof Nawotka, Alexander the Great (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2010); Waldemar Heckel and Lawrence Tritle, Alexander the Great: A New History (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009); and Joseph Roisman (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Alexander the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2003); with: Georges Le Rider, Alexander the Great: Coinage, Finances, and Policy (Philadelphia, PA: American Philosophical Society, 2007); Carmen Arnold-Biucchi, Alexander’s Coins and Alexander’s Image (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums, 2006); Frank Holt, Alexander the Great and Bactria: The Formation of a Greek Frontier in Central Asia (Leiden: Brill, 1988); A.B. Bosworth, From Arrian to Alexander: Studies in Historical Interpretation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); and A.J. Heisserer, Alexander the Great and the Greeks: The Epigraphic Evidence (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980). On the Babylonian archives: Bert VanderSpek, ‘Darius III, Alexander the Great and Babylonian Scholarship’, Achaemenid History, Vol. XIII (Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, 2003), pp. 289-346; Bert VanderSpek, ‘The Astronomical Diaries as a Source for Achaemenid and Seleucid History’, Bibliotheca Orientalis 50 (1993), pp. 91-101; Leo Depuydt, ‘The Time of Death of Alexander the Great: 11 June 323 BC, ca. 4: 00-5: 00 PM’, Die Welt des Orients 28 (1997), pp. 117-35.
Habermas says that the biographers of Alexander said hat his mother was a virgin and his father was one of the gods, so if the atheist critics should dismiss the gospels as reliable, we should dismiss the tales of Alexander. “You’re playing wit two dice and one of them is loaded.”
Or how about we treat Jesus as so do with Alexander — we can embrace the history surrounding Alexander while ignoring the miracles as fictional, in the same regard we can accept the histories surrounding Jess while ignoring the miracles (like the resurrection) as fictional.
There, consistent and fair without a double-standard in sight. You’re welcome.
Habermas goes on and on telling critics to set aside their prejudices and biases and just discus “the data” and try to refute it. Nothing to Habermas’s satisfaction has been met, whereas Gentempo is going on reaffirming that Christianity has the facts.
I’m a Historian, I always go for the data first. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through Habermas’s “12 Facts” and exposed them for not being “facts.” They are essentially religious beliefs and claims, but with no historical data behind them to verify anything. Habermas’s mocks the “critics” “why don’t you believe Alexander was born of a virgin and a god?” Because for the exact reason that there is no proof behind that story. Likewise, we would like proof behind the “12 Facts,” and as I will later show, they don’t have a leg to stand on.
Habermas and Gentempo discuss how faith is being mischaracterized. Habermas points out hat when he uses the word faith, “I mean belief system, and to me that means facts.”
Whereas the rest of us define faith as Gary Habermas’s precious holy book define faith. After all, by Habermas’s own deeply held theological belief, the Bible is the ultimate authority, right?
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2 Corinthians 4:18 – So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:7 – We live by faith, not by sight
John 20:29 – Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Romans 4:17 – As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed–the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Notice that NONE of the above mentions facts or proofs or evidence. No, the Bible / ultimate authority defines faith the exact opposite of what Habermas pretends what faith means. According to the Bible, faith is: Things hoped for, but not seen. Looking at things that are not seen. Not seeing what is seen. And this list ends with everybody’s favorite combination of logical fallacies; the circular argument of arriving back to an assumed conclusion.
Now that we are expected to see what is not there. Not only that, we are blessed if we make ourselves see what cannot be seen. This is not a reasonable request. These are not reasonable responses. We are encouraged to believe without reason, in fact we are blessed if we believe the most outrageous illogical inconsistent contradictory claims without any evidence at all. Because only accurate information has practical application, and it should be that positive claims require positive evidence and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Our beliefs should be tentative and subject to obligated change if the evidence demands. We should have some way to correct the flaws in our current perception and thus improve our understanding – THAT would be reasonable. Because if we love truth at all, then what should matter most is that we not allow ourselves to be deceived. But faith is the very opposite, it requires that we literally “make belief” that we ignore what we really do see and pretend something is there when it apparently isn’t. It means that we fool ourselves.
Gentempo says “the skeptics are using faith in an abusive manner.” He also thinks that Christian it is being heavily misunderstood by the “Outside world”
1) We are using “faith” exactly as the Bible defines it and as Christians use it.
2) Some of us are from within that “Christian world.” Say what you will about the “outside world” (whatever that means), those of of who you lived, breathe and experienced first hand the inside of the “Christian world” know exactly what it is about, so don’t pull that “misunderstood” crap. When a ex-Scientologist escapes the prison of the Scientology cult, we listen to what they say Scientology is all about because they got to see all the dark details of what happens behind the gated communities.
So when yours truly criticizes Christianity, understand that many atheists like myself come from the Christian world. We’ve seen what goes on inside the churches, inside the communities, inside the Christian schools. We know how Christians behave, what they believe and how they think.
Habermas makes a statement that if you are a blogger an criticize religion, but have a degree in engineering, then you should stick to your field and not history.
Well as it turns out, I actually have a degree in History from an accredited state university.
On the issue of discrepancies in the Bile, such as discrepancies regarding the Resurrection accounts, this is Habermas’s response to this issue:
That is it, that is literally Habermas’s response. “And?” He doesn’t care about the discrepancies. “I’m not arguing on the 100% on what we don’t agree on, I’m arguing on the other things that you don’t think are impregnable. I am using your facts, and I don’t care how many women were at the tomb. I don’t care about the angels. I only care what you’re going to do to with these six facts.“
I’m honestly at a loss for words here.
[a double swig of whiskey]
In other words, he is literally turning a blind eye to the very signs of how legends are created: they grow bolder with more extraordinary claims as time passes.
Gentempo then asks Habermas to list the evidence for the Resurrection. Habermas says he starts of with providing a dozen “evidences” which he sometimes cuts down to 6. Gentempo wants to hear the “6 Facts.” 1) Jesus died via crucifixion. 2) The followers believed they saw Jesus alive after he was put in the tomb. 3) Their lives were transformed that they were willing to die for a lie. (Habermas refuses to prove that they died) 5) the report of the Resurrection can be traced back to no more then 2 years after the Cross. 6) James and Paul were skeptics who turned believers.
+1 bonus: Habermas says “there is more evidence for the empty tomb then any other fact.” Habermas says at a conference he put forth an article that gave 22 arguments for the empty tomb.
Going in order…
1) Jesus died via crucifixion. Remember how earlier I ask for historical “proof” behind the claim? What’s the proof that Jesus was crucified? The gospels. That’s all. Claims from sources which NONE OF THEM witnessed any of it.
Since all the earliest sources we have on the subject are biased and based on hearsay, how can we be certain there was a crucifixion? If Jesus was a myth, there would not be a person to crucify, and therefore no body to take down the cross. But even if we grant for the sake of argument there was a Jesus, the crucifixion would only prove he died. Dying is not a miracle.
2) The followers believed they saw Jesus alive after he was put in the tomb. Considering that the reports of this come from anonymous sources based on hearsay, can we be certain of this? Also considering that the stories keep changing — oh, but Habermas doesn’t care about discrepancies. How convenient. Assuming the reports word for it, we know from contemporary psychological studies of eyewitnesses that they are often unreliable and see what they want to see. Surely, eyewitnesses of nearly two thousand years ago would be no different. And yet, I still question the reports as genuine to begin with. If Christianity started as a mystery cult, the church leaders can claim that someone saw Jesus.
3) Their lives were transformed that they were willing to die for a lie. Habermas refuses to prove that they died, so he’s essentially shifting the burden of proof unto the rest of us. Sorry, if you have the “facts” supported by “data” that they died, then it would be effortless to present it.
The only martyrdoms recorded in the New Testament are, first, the stoning of Stephen in the Book of Acts. But Stephen was not a witness. He was a later convert. So if he died for anything, he died for hearsay alone. But even in Acts the story has it that he was not killed for what he believed, but for some trumped up false charge, and by a mob, whom he could not have escaped even if he had recanted. So his death does not prove anything in that respect. Moreover, in his last breaths, we are told, he says nothing about dying for any belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus, but mentions only his belief that Jesus was the messiah, and was at that moment in heaven. And then he sees Jesus–yet no one else does, so this was clearly a vision, not a physical appearance, and there is no good reason to believe earlier appearances were any different.
The second and only other “martyr” recorded in Acts is the execution of the Apostle James, but we are not told anything about why he was killed or whether recanting would have saved him, or what he thought he died for. In fact, we have one independent account in the Jewish history of Josephus, of the stoning of a certain “James the brother of Jesus” in 62 A.D., possibly but not necessarily the very same James, and in that account he is stoned for breaking the Jewish law, which recanting would not escape.
So James may have been arrested for breaking a Jewish law, but other than that we have no idea. So how do we know James or Stephen were arrested for their beliefs? How do we know they were tortured? And if they were tortured, how do we know that maybe they did recant, only to have the anonymous gospel authors 50-60 years later write stories that “re-wrote” history by asserting that they all “kept the faith” while being tortured?
Given the above shows how little we know, how we don’t have enough proof, to claim the disciples were martyrs as a historical “fact” is dishonest.
4) the report of the Resurrection can be traced back to no more then 2 years after the Cross. Where the hell is Habermas getting his information? Habermas says that a recently passed atheist Historian made this very claim. Whatever happened to focusing on the data? I don’t care if a dozen atheist Historians made this claim, skip past the claim and present the data: what is the source that reports the Resurrection no more then 2 years after the supposed death of Christ?
5) James and Paul were skeptics who turned believers. First of all, which James are we talking about? The entirety of Luke– Acts mentions only two men by the name of James, yet identifies neither as the brother of Jesus. To the contrary, it specifically distinguishes both of them from his brothers (Acts 1.13-14). One of them is indeed one of the three pillars named by Paul (Peter, James and John: Gal. 2.9, in light of Mark 3.16-17; 5.37; 9.2; 14.33; Luke. 5.10; 8.51; 9.28; etc.)
As for Paul, he didn’t see a earthly Jesus or a Resurrection. He only had a vision, which he credits as being Jesus. But what exactly does he tell us what he saw (or didn’t see)?
So some decades after 1 Corinthians, the author of Acts tells us that Paul saw a light that blinded him and heard a voice (Acts 9:3-7, 22:6-9, 26:13-15) whereas in Acts 9:7 the men with Paul are said to hear the voice, but see no one: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” In Acts 22:9 the claim is made that those accompanying Paul “saw the light, but did not hear the voice.” In Acts 26:13-14 Paul is quoted as saying that all those present saw the light, but mentions that he alone heard a voice. The light, it is claimed, blinds Paul. However, no one else but he is said to have been effected by the light. So what we have here is a contradiction among other witnesses, and a man (Paul) who had a seizure and heard a voice, but saw no form because he was blinded.
In 1 Corinthians 12:5-8, the verb ophthe simply expresses Paul’s claim that Jesus “appeared” too them. The use of ophthe within the context of Paul’s statement is significant. Paul’s use of ophthe in expressing both his own visionary experience and those allegedly seen by the disciples is significant because his supposed encounters with the risen Jesus are never with a tangible form. In claiming the same experience for himself as experienced by the disciples, Paul is relating that “what was seen” by the disciples is also a visionary experience devoid of any physical component.
In Acts 22:17-18 it is said that Paul “saw” (idein) Jesus while in a “trance” (ekstasei) in the Temple. The word ekstasei is a combination of stasis, “standing,” and ek, “out.” It suggests the idea of standing out of oneself, that is, the nature of a trance. In this description, Paul uses a different verb for seeing the apparition then he uses when describing the experiences of the disciples.
For his and the disciples’ experience, Paul used the word ophthe (“appeared to“). Yet, when he described his vision while in a trance in the Temple he used the word idein (“saw“). “Have I not seen [heoraka] Jesus our Lord?” Paul asks rhetorically in 1 Corinthians 9:1.
In summary, according to Paul, both his experience and that of the disciples were respectively not with a material bodily form. So according to Paul himself, did Jesus really rise from the dead? Or, as Richard Carrier noted here, perhaps Paul and the disciples believed that Jesus was not a historical person but a celestial being like an archangel.
Bonus) The tomb was empty. Please name a single archeological dig of a tomb that verifies it is in fact thee tomb where Jesus was buried. For someone who loves to boast about data, I’d love to hear him present some, instead of just parroting what a holy text says. I can play that game too and say that Joseph Smith saw some gold tablets. That’s a bold religious claim… where’s the historical proof verifying the existence of these gold tablets?
Paul never mentions empty tombs. Likewise, Paul’s summary of the Gospel at Philippians 2:6-11 omits a physical resurrection: instead of being raised, Jesus is merely exalted after death by being given a powerful “name.” And Colossians 1:13-29 summarizes the theology of the Gospel, yet makes clear that by giving his body Jesus removed sin (vv. 22), and that after death his “body” became the church (vv. 24; supported by Ephesians 5:30, where it says we are now Christ’s body). This implies that there was no living “body” of Jesus on earth after his death, except the power of his name and message, and thus the church itself. However, Paul does say Jesus was given a new body in heaven, and that was probably the original belief–the church becoming his new earthly body, not his corpse.
The earliest gospel Mark mentions the empty tomb, but perhaps it was likely meant to be a symbol, not a historical reality, but even if he was repeating what was told him as true, it was not unusual in the ancient world for the bodies of heroes who became gods to vanish from this world: being deified entailed being taken up into heaven, as happened to men as diverse as Hercules and Apollonius of Tyana, and Mark’s story of an empty tomb would simply represent that expectation.
Highly recommend my readers to check out “The Empty Tomb” by Robert Price.
Since Habermas is fond of using the Wizard of Oz, if we used his logic and poor standards, we could argue for the actual existence of Oz (by assuming the inerrancy of The Wizard of Oz of course):
Fact 1: Independent Testimony: The oldest account comes from Frank with subsequent expansion and collaborative evidence supplied by Noel, Florence, Edgar, and John. For instance, Frank simply describes the twister hitting the Mid-West, but from the other four we can deduce that it specifically hit Kansas. We can verify that tornadoes hit Kansas and have done so for many centuries. This knowledge of local geography and climate further supports that all five authors were eye witnesses intimately familiar with the course of events.
Fact 2: The Wicked Witch of the East Actually Died: This has been confirmed by five chiropractors, who all agree that a house falling from the sky at great heights could kill her. The fifth chiropractor, unlike the previous four, did not state unequivocally that the Wicked Witch would necessarily die, but is sure that the most likely scenario would result in her death.
Fact 3: The Radical Change in the Munchkin Behavior: The Munchkins were terrified on the Wicked Witch of the East. However, after the house fell on the Wicked Witch, the Munchkins were happy, singing and proclaiming that she did in fact die. They would not do any of this unless the Wicked Witch of the East had actually died, otherwise she would hurt them. No other scenario can plausibly explain a paradigm shift of this magnitude.
Fact 4: The Ruby Slippers Dorothy possessed the Ruby Slippers, which would be impossible unless the Wicked Witch of the East was actually dead. Dorothy having the Ruby Slippers has been independently verified by both the Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West. These two are constantly at odds with each other, and thus they would not agree on Dorothy having the Slippers if it wasn’t true.
Fact 5: The Yellow Brick Road: If the Yellow Brick Road did not exist, there would be no way for Dorothy to get to the Emerald City from Munchkin Land. Since we know that she did make it to the Emerald City, the Yellow Brick Road must logically (have) exist(ed). Furthermore, the existence of the Yellow Brick Road has been verified through the independent eye witness testimonies of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion who also traveled it.
Bonus: The Munchkin Land Factor: If the Wicked Witch of the East was not dead, the flying monkeys could easily have verified that by coming in to investigate it at any time. Since they didn’t and believed she was in fact dead, there is no reason to believe that they would have lied or been mistaken about it.
Near the end of the interview, after long talks about NDE’s and debating if we are in Narnia or not, when they talk about god, Habermas makes the point, “God is the only person in the universe who cant go against his own natural attributes. I can lie, God can’t lie. I can die, God can’t die. God can’t be other than God. God can’t decide to trick you today, in some nasty unethical way. God can’t do that.”
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
God tricks people into believing a lie: √
God damns those who believe the lie: √
Tricking people and punishing them for it = nasty and unethical, by definition: √
The Bible says God did all the above: √
God cannot do X but I can do X? So I can do something Habermas’s supposedly omnipotent God cannot?
One pair of attributes that seem to me to be contradictory are omnipotence and omnibenevolence, or perfect goodness. I think that if god is omnipotent, then he must be capable of doing evil. And if he actually never does do any evil, the fact that he is potential of doing great evil means that he is not perfectly good. However, if he is not capable of doing evil, then he is not omnipotent. Some may say that God is good by nature and therefore it would be logically contradictory for him to do something evil and the inability to do something logically contradictory acts does not count against an entities own omnipotence. But it seems to that in order to be meaningfully omnipotent, one must have a nature that does not constrain the kinds of acts it is logically possible for one to perform. If being omnipotent means only being able to do things that are not logically contrary to one’s nature, then I am omnipotent. I can do anything that is not logically contrary to me as a mortal finite material being. But of course I do not believe that I am omnipotent. I am not omnipotent precisely because it is my nature constrains that is logically possible for me to be able to do. It is my nature that renders me non-omnipotent. So in order for a being to be omnipotent, that being would have to have a nature that does not logically constrain it’s capabilities. If God cannot do evil because he is good by nature, then his nature constrains his capabilities and he is therefore no omnipotent. But if God could do evil things, then God is potentially evil and if a being is potentially evil then they cannot be perfectly good even if it never does anything evil.
Second Interviewee: Tisha Michelle
Taken place at Capharnaum, the site were Jesus supposedly lived and taught.
Third Interviewee: Pro. Mordechai Aviam
Here they interview all that Aviam has discovered about the site. He shares what he knows about History of the Jews, Romans, and so on.
This is my reaction to the ENTIRE interview with BOTH these people…
I watched these docu-series for my readers for the sole purpose of examining the so-called evidences for Jesus Christ. I didn’t sit through over an hour listening to Gary Habermas [while sipping whiskey IRL (Jameson)] only to sit through an hour of two people talking that ultimately offers jack squat.
So there’s a 4th century synagogue built over the spot where Jesus’ supposedly preached…. fine, did you find any archaeological find with Jesus’ signature on it? Could you please provide us with anything tangible that proves Jesus? Finding the city and a synagogue built over where Jesus supposedly preached his ministry, what exactly can we do with that? I can name and find several of the islands that Odysseus landed on, perhaps even exact spots mentioned in the epic tales, but does that prove Odysseus or the existence of cyclops’s? Of course not.