Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Elvis sightings

A common atheist trope is to compare the Resurrection to postmortem Elvis sightings. There are multiple problems with that comparison:

i) In my reading, atheists who use that comparison never document their claim. We're just treated to unsourced reports. They don't tell us where they got their information. Is this a newspaper story? 

They don't cite named witnesses. They don't say when and where it occurred. No date. No address.

They don't quote what the witness said. They don't quote "Elvis" saying anything.

Note how different this is from NT accounts of the post-Resurrection appearances which name witnesses, say where it happened, when it happened. What Jesus said and did. What the witnesses said.

Atheists mention Elvis sightings as an example of how legends can develop, but ironically, the atheist meme is helping to popularize an urban legend. Atheists rely on thirdhand rumors of Elvish sightings, which, in turn, contributes to the legend. A circular process. 

ii) Given the proliferation of Elvis impersonators, there's nothing incredible about reports of observers who say that saw a man matching the description of the late pop star. To the contrary, that's to be expected. Indeed, that's inevitable. 

iii) Given how populous America is, what might seem like a large number of reports can be statistically insignificant. 

iv) How many reported Elvis sightings are simply jokes? Because atheists don't cite actual reports, don't interview (alleged) witnesses, there's no telling.

v) Some atheists compare the Elvis cult to devotion to Jesus. Problem is, even if there are studied parallels, that would be a case of fans aping Christian piety. The fact that some fans, influenced by Christianity, turn Elvis into a travesty of Christ, does absolutely nothing to cast doubt on the original source of inspiration. 

vi) The comparison begs the question. It only works because most folks believe that Elvis is dead. But to say that's analogous to Jesus assumes the very issue in dispute.  


  1. Last I heard, Elvis was battling a re-animated ancient Egyptian mummy in a retirement home somewhere in East Texas alongside former President JFK.

    1. Elvis needs to hire Brendan Fraser as a bodyguard.