Can you be a Christian without believing in the resurrection?

(Luca) #290

Could be both.

(George Brooks) #291


Well, that’s why I asked if the soul was capable of independent existence.

I think it would be a very strange (and useless) concept to have a soul, created by God, which can only function if it has a body of flesh.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #292

If you find out, let me know! :wink: :slight_smile:

(George Brooks) #293


As you know, it is very common to hear distraught relatives discuss the passing of a child or baby as though she can be a guardian angel for the whole family.

This pretty much requires the Soul can function and is “aware” even without a body.

(Luca) #294

This is why many don’t believe in a soul! :slight_smile:
But it could be, Right now i’m undecided if there is a soul or not. If there is a soul then sure why not an intermediate state.

(David Heddle) #295

And so does your model predict that North Korea is more religious than the US?

(George Brooks) #296

If you give any kind of credence to disembodied after-death experiences - - they pretty much need “something non-physical” to work without a body. In fact, it is the problems with the body that seems to force this “something” out into the open…

Open “what”? I don’t know… maybe @Reggie_O_Donoghue “Raqia Expanse”!!!

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #297

Yes of course, I knew exactly what you were referring to, my friend.

Such notions are, of course, very comforting to the family of the deceased. I have no interest in debunking such views in others. I just have my own doubts as to how exactly this all works out. Not only does it find very little Biblical support, but philosophically, it just seems to me that we are inextricably tied to these frail bodies in so many ways.

This is probably in part because I have had the immense luxury of not having had to live through the loss of a close loved one. My grandparents have all passed, and some acquaintances, but no parents, siblings, children, spouse, or fast friends. So there may come a day when I am driven to such beliefs out of necessity, comfort, desperation, or similar. I haven’t closed the door to such beliefs. I’m just honest with my doubt about them.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #298

I wouldn’t be surprised if the N. Korea has a large Christian population, due to evangelizing from the South. But the US could be an anomaly, as typically an affluent West is not as religious.

Of course, there are other reasons to being religious. Childhood indoctrination is certainly a big reason to become religious as an adult.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #299

How would you know if something is not a miracle? The problem, as I see it, there are a lot of people praying, but miracles are so far and few in between. But anomalies do happen. However, an amputee or Down’s syndrome will never get a limb to regrow or DNA modification to allow a Down’s Syndrome to become Non-Down’s syndrome. A ‘miracle’ is still something that can be explained by science.

And dead bodies never rise. I think death results in such catastrophic changes to the body, that life is impossible (scientifically speaking). Hence, a person who argues that resurrection is possible has a very high burden of proof. According to everything that is known to science, people make mistakes, people hallucinate, people lie, people get confused, but people don’t rise from the dead. Anything but a literal resurrection is vastly more likely when the resurrection claim is made.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #300

Every nation (US included) has problems, that can be (and sometimes are) exploited by it’s enemies to weaken and destabilize it. As we speak, there are militias in the Dakota, there are cecessionalists in Texas and California and other movements that are against the US federal government. Luckily for the US, there is no third party with the MSM reach of the Western media that is constantly bringing up their issues on the international arena. How would you like it if the Russian and Chineese media sources would interview Texas militias or North Dakota’s militias and kept asking the US President and Senators and the UN about what the world is going to do to address their rights being trampled on?

What happened to the Occupy Wallstreet movement? Seems to me a Democracy can address a problem just as well as a Totalitarian state does (and often in the same way).

Ukraine is a perfect example. It had a confused government (2010-2013), but democratically elected. Pres Yanukovych did not want to be enemies with Russia (he was not exactly PRO Russia), but wanted to be friends with the West. As a result, the West exploited that situation. Right Sector and other nationalists were trained in the western part of the Ukraine, to fight Ukrainian police. In the mean time, the Western MSM were calling them ‘peaceful protesters’ and urging Yanukovych to show restraint as these guys were planning to take over Kiev buildings in 2013/2014. As a result, a coup was done and the first thing the West did, was to recognize them as legitimate transitional government! Do you think Russia did not take notice? Is this the way a democracy should be practiced?

Looking at a US democracy, this seems to be a government the RICH people (rather than a government of the people). Theoretically, you can be elected, but practically, it’s an impossible feat. And yet, does the US let anyone lecture about it’s democracy? US electoral college allows a person with fewer popular votes to get elected. Is this a good model for the whole world? What would the US say if China objected to it? US would say… “Mind your own business”.

Every country/nation has problems. But a strong nation does not let others meddle in theirs. That’s the only difference. USSR allowed American (and other Western) advisors everywhere! Including at the strategic nuclear bases! As a result, what happened? This is what the Russians are asking and the response from the West is muted. Russia’s problem is having vast natural resources and a relatively small population. US can work with Dictators very well (Pinochet in Chile, Saudi Arabia Kings). As long as they are willing to do business. If Putin was a dictator willing to sell Russia’s resources for pennies, the West would not complain. In fact, I think it would be calling for more discounts.

NY Times can write what it wants. Putin has said that he does not like the Western way of growing economy through debt and bubbles. US is a very rich country, but it also has 20Trillions of debt. Do you know when the debt will become due? And when it does, which nation will be a rich one?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #301

Would that the U.S. would also take this needed message to heart! We’re still stuck back on T.Roosevelt’s model of “relationship”: preferring to carry around a big stick rather than cultivating good relationships with our neighbors. I don’t think either Russia or the U.S. are showing any signs of imminent intelligence with this, though. The time will come when hawks in the U.S. will learn that the one who taught: “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword” actually knew what he was talking about.

(Christy Hemphill) #302

I’m blunt with people I like, sorry. :upside_down_face: I don’t think you are dumb, just that contention.

Why would I? This question makes no sense. If I’m a judge and I believe one defendant’s claims that he is innocent of the charges brought against him, do I have to believe every defendant’s claim of innocence? If I believe one woman’s claim that she was sexually harassed by her employer, do I have to believe every woman who has ever claimed to be sexually harassed is also telling the truth? Why don’t I believe every other report in history of someone being miraculously healed? Duh! Because people lie! Claims can and should be evaluated for credibility. I’m so confused that this is confusing to you. The difference is, I don’t automatically assume a resurrection claim is not credible, whereas, you do. That is the only place “consistency” comes into the equation.

Medicine is full of accounts of things for which medicine has no explanation. I’m fine with the explanation being supernatural, though I’m also open to the idea that someday a natural explanation might be found. But I don’t need there to be no miracle, just like I don’t need there to be a miracle. When tumors go away without intervention and against all odds and expectations of doctors, I consider it a miracle. People who need other explanations to fit their narratives undoubtedly come up with them.

That is the explanation that is necessary to maintain the blog author’s and your narrative. I get it.

I agree with him. As do many Bible scholars.

I do not find it compelling that the documented events of the first century and the documented actions of the apostles and the early church can be logically chalked up to mass hallucinations and suggestibility. If that is the explanation you need to fit your narrative, more power to you. But it is not the one that makes the most sense of the facts; it’s the one that best fit your presuppositions.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #303

Whew… Thanks for the kind words. Bluntness is good.

Yes, if the argument and evidence is the same. You have a written document that says a resurrection happen, therefore, every other document that claims a resurrection happened works too. I know that Christians like to use the death of the disciples as a proof their testimony of the resurrection was legitimate. But I respond with the following:

  1. There is NO evidence the disciples died specifically for the belief in the resurrection. According to the 1 Cor. 15, there were some Christians at the Corinthian church who did not believe in the resurrection (Paul says… “How can some of you say there is no resurrection?”)

  2. There is plenty of evidence the disciples and the Judaism practicing Jews/Pharisees were fighting among themselves and with each other. I am making a gross caricature, but it COULD be possible that Paul could have been killed by James or Peter, and vice versa. There is evidence in Galatians that Peter/Cephas supported circumcision and the Law, but Paul opposed them. And Paul even asks in Galatians…IF I am preaching circumcision, why am I being persecuted? Implying the chief reason for the fighting was the Law of Moses (something Acts supports) and not Jesus’ resurrection!

  3. There is evidence for mythicism, or for ‘seeing’ Jesus in a hallucinatory (what we’d call it today) way. For one, this is how Paul saw him and he claims Jesus appeared to him and the 12 without making a distinction between the appearances. Secondly, Paul never mentions a distinction when he asks… “Have I not seen the Lord”? Obviously, these were different experiences IF the original saw a flesh and body Jesus.

Based on what we know today, people can hallucinate, but resurrections don’t happen.

There is a stellar track record for science. Things that used to be miracles in the past, now have natural explanations (Lightning, sicknesses, etc…). But the opposite is not true. There is no (thought to be natural) event/disease that has been determined to have a supernatural origin. I think science is very consistent on this point. I think your view is open for scams, because I, a guy with dumb ideas (kidding) can claim to be a miracle worker and you’ll believe me if you are open to it. But why should you be opened to it? You should be if you believe people can work miracles, and I’m a person, and therefore, could possibly be a miracle worker. But if miracles are not possible, then I need to produce a lot of evidence before you can be convinced.

(Christy Hemphill) #304

But obviously this is not the case with Jesus resurrection and every other resurrection ever claimed. How could they possibly all be “the same”? “Having a written document” is not the sole criterion used to evaluate the claim.

Well, certainly not if the rules are you have to automatically dismiss all such claims to the contrary out of hand.

True. Your view requires denial of any accounts that don’t fit your presuppositions. Both narratives have their weaknesses.

No, that is not how credibility works. You are still the only one insisting credibility is determined by “type” of claim. I still think that is ridiculous. I don’t believe everything I hear. But on the other hand, I don’t automatically disbelieve some things just on principle. I am skeptical of many claims of the miraculous and supernatural. Just because I think something may be possible doesn’t mean I automatically grant that it is likely or that you are trustworthy. I also believe there are lots of crazy, deluded, deceptive, manipulative, and misguided people in the world whose claims are not legitimate.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #305

So, if multiple Atheists, who are fairly educated, skeptical and don’t believe in Ghosts, claim to see a Ghost in the same area, is this a good evidence of a Ghost or other supernatural phenomena? If you didn’t know Derren Brown made a suggestion to them that there have been Ghost sightings, would you conclude that the area has Demonic activity?

OK, are you willing to test my computer’s/rabbit’s foot/any other objects ability to answer prayers and perform miracles? How would you test it? Or what, in your opinion, would be a fair test, without any presuppositions?

(Christy Hemphill) #306

I rarely ever feel compelled to make a “decision” about whether I believe a supernatural account or not. I don’t need to believe or disbelieve in hypothetical atheist ghost sightings. I don’t need to believe or disbelieve Christian miracle accounts I hear about. Very rarely does it ever come up in life where I feel compelled to decide whether or not an account like this is credible or not. Usually I can just shrug and say, “Hmm. Maybe.” and move on with more pressing matters in life. I am not motivated to spend any time investigating other resurrection claims than Jesus because I have no vested interest in them being proven true or being disproven.

No. I’m not interested in “scientific studies” on the effects of prayer on tumors either. I don’t believe you can subject the supernatural to scientific testing. If you could, you would be testing part of the natural world, and not the supernatural. I am not threatened at all by the fact that some people don’t believe in the supernatural. I feel absolutely no obligation to prove anything to those people. What I do feel compelled to point out is that their naturalistic narrative is not inherently better or more objective than mine. We all have our presuppositions that determine how and what we consider evidence. No one is objective.

(Luca) #307

Not the same. Ghosts dont make sense. They a have inonsistencies and arent logical. Resurrections can happen if God exists. And are logical and reasonable if you presuppose God exists. Plus. People seeing him isnt the only forte of jesus his resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is deeper than you think. We believe it because it fits the whole framework too. If you ask me why i dont accept sai babas resurrections ill say, well i dont know sai baba. I dont know what he claims. And the historical evidence just isnt the same.


The appearances are a bit more substantial than that in their substantiation. Firstly, ‘ghost’ is overly vague as a comparison to Jesus. Appearances of dead people have no real comparison to that of ghosts, so this appears to be a false comparison from the outset (not to mention this example is anecdotal and you haven’t provided an actual case, making it all the harder to address anything). Do you have a better example of good evidence for someone dying, and multiple people independently or in groups seeing them alive again, even enemies of the formerly dead person?


Of course that can also be a pretty good reason to be an atheist…

I don’t mean “indoctrination into atheism,” I mean that religious indoctrination can be a reason somebody becomes an atheist.