What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Considerations of religious issues in general

What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Joe » 27 Jun 2013, 02:39

Religion is looked at from every imaginable perspective yet I cannot remember a discussion anywhere on the question: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Elliott » 27 Jun 2013, 15:16

Then let's hope somebody finds a way to prove it, because right now Europe and America could do with some Christianity.
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Caleb » 28 Jun 2013, 02:37

What if the revelations of Mohammed are true? What if the Dreamtime is true?

Elliott: Christianity is not the answer to Europe's woes. Europe is undergoing secular decline in the same way that many other societies that were never Christian are also, most notably those in East Asia. So then, let's broaden that to all religion then. Is the problem in Singapore that its Chinese population is not Confucian or Buddhist enough, that its Indian population is not Hindu or Muslim enough, or that its Malay population is not Muslim enough? Is Japan's looming implosion to do with not being Shinto or Buddhist enough, or is it to do with ridiculous economic policies and an ageing population?

The problems in all developed nations revolve around 1) poor economic policies that have nothing to do with religion, 2) total fertility rates, which are declining markedly across the entire world. If you look at the lists here you will notice that such pillars of atheism as Iran, Qatar, El Salvador and Puerto Rico are currently below replacement TFR, with plenty more such as Turkey, Morocco or Indonesia right on the cusp of dipping below replacement levels.

One of the problems you're hinting at is Islam. Yet that's not just a problem in Europe. It's a problem everywhere Islam has a border or a presence. Thailand is an extremely religious country (most males will spend at least one year of their lives as monks) with an Islamic problem in its south. Yet Thailand also has sub-replacement TFR. Can we say that Thailand's problem is not enough Buddhism? Hardly. All of the nations I have listed above, be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or anything else, have problems to do with modernity. Yet how would you solve those problems? Send everyone back to subsistence farming with no anti-biotics?

Problems would still remain if Europe removed Islam. There'd still be rampant liberalism and bad economics. Yet there are many conservative religious countries from Latin America to Africa to Asia that still have all sorts of problems of their own. Many are distinctly worse than those of Europe. Why do you think even the people from those places don't want to live in those places and want to escape to places that have higher standards of living, and coincidentally or not, are also less religious? Would you go swap Britain for El Salvador, a very Christian country? How about the Philippines (which still has super-replacement TFR, yet also Islamic insurgents)? Why not?
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Elliott » 28 Jun 2013, 10:03

Caleb, undoubtedly bad economic policies have set us up for disaster, but I do not believe that bad economics are all that's wrong in the West. Feminism, mass immigration, general loss of identity and purpose, widespread (almost ubiquitous) corruption, a welfare system that doesn't work... I don't think any of these problems is to do with economics.
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Grant » 28 Jun 2013, 11:08

Joe, let's take your question on purely theological terms. If Jesus was the human expression of God why did He have to endure the physical pain of crucifixion? Surely, as an omnipotent being He was/is aware of everything His universe contains so there was no need to endure a worldly death? When one considers the infinite nature of the Universe, why should its creator be concerned with such a relative microscopic speck as Earth? I know you will cite the old arguments that God loves every person on our planet and wants everyone to enjoy everlasting life with Him but in the grand scheme of things such thinking is quite laughable. Whenever people of your ilk get bogged down in the minutiae of existence, I'm.reminded of the words of the Galaxy song - "Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars, we're a hundred thousand light years side to side. It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light years thick but by us it's just three thousand light years wide. We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point. We go round every two hundred million years and our galaxy is only one of millions and billions in this amazing and expanding universe."
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Michael » 28 Jun 2013, 15:01

When one considers the infinite nature of the Universe, why should its creator be concerned with such a relative microscopic speck as Earth? I know you will cite the old arguments that God loves every person on our planet and wants everyone to enjoy everlasting life with Him but in the grand scheme of things such thinking is quite laughable.


It would be laughable, if theists did not hold that God was infinite as well. Logically, infinite things are more than capable of devoting infinite concern to each part of an infinite Creation (as I'm sure Joe would agree).

As a classical theist (one who is agnostic* about revealed religion, but believes in God based on a priori metaphysical arguments) I am stuck at the point where we attempt to ascribe human characteristics to God (who is not a being, but Being itself, the infinite source of the existence of finite things) in anything but by way of very stretched analogies.

*Agnostic because of plurality of choices (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, monistic varieties of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism), none of which I find evidentially superior in their basic claims than the others
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Gavin » 28 Jun 2013, 16:19

I think my favourite of all the religious belief systems are those with a pantheon of Gods, like ancient Greek mythology and Norse mythology. These seem to be by far the most elaborate and exciting, with some great characters and stories, but hardly anyone seems to believe in them any more.
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Re: What if the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Postby Caleb » 29 Jun 2013, 04:09

Elliott wrote:Caleb, undoubtedly bad economic policies have set us up for disaster, but I do not believe that bad economics are all that's wrong in the West. Feminism, mass immigration, general loss of identity and purpose, widespread (almost ubiquitous) corruption, a welfare system that doesn't work... I don't think any of these problems is to do with economics.


You're right that it's not just bad economic policies, though I believe that economics has played a bigger role than you might imagine. There has been an unholy alliance of sorts between liberals and corporations on many of the issues on your list. Those at the top of society have not only not been negatively affected by many of those issues, but have actually benefited immensely from them, and lobby hard for them.

It's the white, middle class male who has been devastated by those issues, and actually the white, middle class female, though she doesn't realise it. Upper middle class whites (male or female) haven't lost their sense of identity or purpose. They haven't been affected by feminism (corporate board rooms are still pretty much a male domain), welfare and multiculturalism. As for corruption, they're the beneficiaries of it!

As for loss of identity and purpose, I posit that it's easy to believe that in earlier times people did have an identity and purpose that was spiritual. I posit that their identity and purpose were bound up with not starving to death or seeing their kids die from horrible diseases. Once those issues were resolved, they ended up where they are today. Once you're off the farm, you're out of the temple too. That's why Japanese are as post-religious as Britons.

There was already a falling away from religion in the West by the nineteenth century. People were not offended by Nietzsche because he said something untrue. They were offended because it was right on the mark. You might take minor offence if I call you a fat cow if you're of average weight (if you're skinny you'll just laugh at me for being weird). The people who will take the greatest offence though are not the ones who are obese, but those who are just a little overweight. Anyway, Western civilisation was heading in the direction of becoming more liberal at that time, so it's hard to see how religion of the modern form would even be the solution to Europe's woes. What exactly is the Anglican church these days? People see it for exactly what it is, which is why it's going to be completely dead in two generations, maybe one. Ditto for all the other old churches. The Catholic church will hang on only because it has Bolivia et al.

Yet what mass appeal do the evangelicals hold? Are you about to join one of those clappy happy organisations with a fourteen piece rock orchestra fronted by a guy with big teeth, bigger hair and a blue safari suit sweating in front of two thousand people? I just can't picture you fainting from hysteria. If not you, then why the rest of the post-religious middle class?
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