Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Probable Impossible

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."- Christopher Hitchens.
Although Mr. Hitchens and I both come from polar opposite perspectives, we can both agree on the above statement. Many people hold to faith without reason. But I would contend that you can't have faith without reason, nor reason without faith.

So why do I believe in Christianity? There are many reasons, but here is one simple argument.

I believe in Christianity because I believe in the collective accounts of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the Gospels). The skeptic has no better alternative. It is one thing to naively believe in one account. This is what Muslims do with the Koran. But when you have multiple people saying the same thing, you either have the truth or a conspiracy. One thing that is improbable is a collective delusion.

For the skeptic to say that these books are a conspiracy, belies a reasonable motive. What did these writers have to gain by making up claims that there was a man (Jesus), who was the Messiah? What wares were they hocking?

The skeptic sometimes claims that these books were really written by the church when it came into power in the 4th century. However, we know for a fact that these books were written in the 1st century. The oldest complete manuscript of a Gospel text dates back to the 2nd century.

And what were the motives of such a conspiracy? Were the writers trying to gain money or power? If so, they failed on all accounts. The Gospel writers didn't go on a "book tour" nor did they gain political ascendency. In fact, they risked their lives by their claims.

Many believers gave their lives because they were convinced that Jesus Christ died and rose again and was the Messiah. Why is this any different from religious extremists today who do the same thing? The difference is that these early believers had the evidence to affirm or reject such claims. Many of these martyrs actually saw Jesus, living and walking the same ground He did.

"Always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible." - Aristotle
Sure, it stretches the imagination to believe in the claims of Christianity. But the alternatives take MORE faith to believe. In fact, whenever I encounter a skeptic who rejects the claims of the Gospels, I always challenge them to give a better explanation as to why they exist in the first place. I have yet to find a skeptic who can give a better alternative making the improbable more probable in the face of the impossible.

1 comment:

klatu said...

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"The first ever viable religious conception capable of leading reason, by faith, to observable consequences which can be tested and judged is now a reality. A teaching that delivers the first ever religious claim of insight into the human condition that meets the Enlightenment criteria of verifiable, direct cause and effect, evidence based truth embodied in experience. For the first time in history, however unexpected, the world must contend with a claim to new revealed truth, a moral wisdom not of human intellectual origin, offering access by faith, to absolute proof, an objective basis for moral principle and a fully rational and justifiable belief! "

A moral and spiritual revolution is gettting started at