Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The godless deus ex machina

The easily-offended Jeff Lowder is offended again! 

i) Jeff is terribly self-conscious about his dignity. Hypersensitive to any perceived slight against his dignity. 

The funny thing about Jeff is that, after all these years in the trenches of atheism, after all these years attacking the Christian view of man, it has yet to dawn on him that in a godless universe, humans have no dignity. 

ii) A basic problem with the twin hypothesis is that it's an ad hoc alternative to the Resurrection. Many atheists think that dreaming up ad hoc alternatives to the Resurrection is a reason to disbelieve it. 

Yet atheists are very critical of what they deem to be ad hoc arguments that Christians use to defend the Bible. Invoking divine intervention in a pinch. 

But some of the very same atheists turn right around and invoke secular versions of the deus ex machina to salvage their own position. They concoct these makeshift explanations to deflect the NT accounts of the Resurrection. Well, that's the secular equivalent of a deus ex machina. Naturalistic, stopgap explanations that conveniently intervene to deflect the Resurrection accounts. 

iii) One of Jeff's tactics is to float an argument without defending the argument. That gives him plausible deniability. When the trial balloon is shot down, he can then exclaim: "I never defended the argument. I just mentioned it!" 

But that's part of the problem. He wants his trial balloons to do the work of arguments without having to present actual arguments. He wants all the benefits of an argument without the intellectual labor and attendant vulnerabilities of turning the trial balloon into an argument. For if he did that, it would expose the argument to examination. 

He was using the twin hypothesis as a counterexample to Reppert's claim. But unless he's prepared to defend it, unless he lays out Cavin's case, then how does that count as an exception to Reppert's claim? What does it really prove? Why should reasonable people take it seriously? 

iv) From what I can tell, the twin hypothesis is an attempt to ambush Christians. If we say the twin hypothesis is ludicrous, Cavin (or his epigones) can say they trapped us. 

Sure, the twin hypothesis is ludicrous. But at least that scenario is naturally possible, however improbable. By contrast, you Christians would have us believe in something that's naturally impossible! If you admit the twin hypothesis is absurd, then the Resurrection is even more absurd!

The twin hypothesis is extraordinarily improbable, but by definition, the Resurrection is even more extraordinary, even more improbable! If you dare to attack the twin hypothesis, then you're caught in a vice!

But if that's the argument, it misses the point. The Resurrection is supposed to be naturally improbable to the point of physical impossibility. Mere resuscitation would be physical possible. So Jesus had to be good and dead. Nothing short of a resurrection will account for his returning to life after he was dead for about 18 hours. That's a presupposition of the Resurrection.

And it's not a question of what's naturally probable. Rather, the Resurrection is premised on divine intervention. 

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