No doubt you’ve been given the endless drivel of reasons why the resurrection of Jesus Christ was true, the Bible no doubt? Well there’s a book with the credibility of a used car salesman with a crack addiction.
I was recently corresponding with a theologian on the subject and decided on another approach. This is my email. What do you think?
I won’t bore you with the multitudes of Biblical contradictions about the resurrection (and everything else for that matter). Just Google, “contradictions in the bible - resurrection” and reach out to your intellectual honesty.
I’d like to approach your belief from the angle of what’s going on in your head. The relatively new subject called the Cognitive Science of Religion, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_science_of_religion, had identified naturally evolved thought processes, (Note: By the way, if you don’t accept evolution, I’m afraid we’re a non starter), that religion has hijacked. This coupled with the transfer mechanism of ‘memes’, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme, shows that we’re pre-programmed to believe.
The HIV virus is
exquisitely evolved with receptors, chemical signals, physical structure, etc, to invade cells, specifically those of the human immune system. How did it get to do this I hear you ask? It evolved to do it. All the other viruses that morphed to have different infection techniques that weren’t as good as HIV, simply didn’t survive. Similarly, the memetic virus known as the story of someone that died unjustly 2000 years ago and, because he came back to life, he took away all the responsibility for all the bad deeds, not just done by you, but for all of humanity, has exquisitely evolved ‘receptors’, pleasing ‘signals’, and ‘physical evidence – the Bible' (in your mind anyway), that this story is actually true.
For example, if I told you 1.) there was a tree in my back yard, you’d say, “so?” If I told you 2.) there was a tree in my back yard that turned invisible every second Wednesday, you’d say, “Doug, go and get some therapy.” However, if I told you 3.) there was a tree in my back yard that, due to it being next to the pond, and the sound of the fountain, and the pleasant greenery of
Now, ‘meme’ 1.) is boring. Enough said. Meme 2. is stupid. Enough said. But meme 3.) is what’s called ‘minimally counter intuitive’. It’s initially believable in that who on this planet doesn’t have problems, concerns, and worries? Furthermore, who wouldn’t appreciate a beautiful scene with a pond, a fountain, ducks, greenery, etc.? But then it slides very slightly and slowly into the supernatural, but that’s okay because you get something out of it. You get your psychological stress relieved and what’s more, you get answers for the future. Also, using the words ‘occasionally’, 'sometimes' and ‘maybe’ implies that even if it doesn't happen all the time, it doesn't mean that it's not true. This is exactly the same as the resurrection story.
To the New Orleans Theological Baptist Seminary’s credit, they had a theologian, Dr. Michael Murray come speak about this very subject. http://www.epsapologetics.com/sessions/sessions.asp?mode=detail&sid=17. Of course, he ended the lecture by saying “it’s all God’s will”, but up to that point, his presentation was excellent.
I don’t know if you have an interest in social psychology, and more specifically, cognitive evolution, but that’s where the answers to religious belief are.