- Okay, before I begin with this (and hopefully Iíll finish this all in one sitting), I need to give a lot of credit to Dan Korem, the author of ďPowers: Testing the Psychic & Supernatural.? Most of the following will be coming from that book and few others (ďThe Historical Jesus?by .errr?donít remember) and some of my own commentary.
Well, first of all?why is this even important? The Resurrection of Christ is the basis of Christianity. If this is not true, then to the Christian?nothing is true. So let me summarize this whole resurrection quickly? Christians believe that Christ died for our sins and resurrected on the third day. Christ, being pure and holy, paid for our sins and that whoever believes in that will be forgiven by God. The concept is basically you did something bad and Christ paid the punishment. (thatís the very simplified concept of that).
Okay, so letís start.
Itís generally a consensus that Jesus was a person that walked around on this planet. So Iím going to start off with this question: did Jesus die by crucifixion?
Crucifixion was a form of death penalty invented by the Romans. It was only used for people who were a threat to the Roman government (political prisoners, rebels, etc). What happened was the person placed on a wooden cross and had nails driven into them around wrist area and a nail driven into their feet. For you pre-meds?an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association said that ďthe nails were driven between the radius and carpals or between the two rows of carpal bones, either proximal to or through the strong bandlike flexor retinaculum and the various intercarpal ligaments?Furthermore, the driven nail would crush or sever the rather large sensormotor median nerve. The stimulated nerve would produce excruciating bolts of fiery pain in both arms. ? And what happens is the weight of the victim being hanged on the cross pulls down on the outstretced arms and shoulders, freezes the muscles around your rib cage and makes breathing impossible. So in order for the prisoner to breath he has must push upward on his nailed wrists and legs and exhale. This would at the same time produce a huge amount of pain because of the severed nerve. In many cases the legs of the prisoner would be broken to speed up death. So most people agree that when Jesus was crucified that He did die. There has only been one case of someone surviving crucifixion and that was because the Romans nailed the guy to the cross, but before lifting him up, they realized they had the wrong person and quickly pulled out the nails (poor guy).
So, the big question. Did He really resurrect?
The books of the Bible that describe Jesus?death and resurrection are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Did the authorís of these Gospels believe what they were saying or were they ramblings of crazy people. Most people agree that whatever they wrote, they believed. So if all of this was a hoax, then the deception would have been in Jesus (and some others perhaps) fooling everybody in believing the resurrection. Well, we came to the conclusion that Jesus died by crucifixion, so that means there would have been someone else in on this, so who could it have been? Or how would Jesus get everybody to believe that He rose from the dead after the crucifixion?
Some people suggest that somehow Jesus caused a massive hallucination with some chemical or hypnosis or something and had everybody hallucinate that He was alive. Needless to say, I think thatís ridicules. Massive hallucinations where everybody at different times (and in some cases at the same time) and see the exact same thing is impossible.
Some people also say that maybe Christ was drugged and He never died. So letís say He was drugged and didnít die when they pulled Him off the cross, there would have been no way that Christ would have been walking around on the third day after having nails in His legs and arms, whipped in the back, and stabbed in the stomach. (He was stabbed while still on the cross so that the Roman soldiers knew He was dead).
Okay, so some people say that Christ DID die, and that the disciples were the ones that formulated the story. So letís look at the behavior of the disciples. . First of all, how would they keep it a secret this whole time? Letís think about the Watergate scandal. Do you know how many people knew about that initially? Only four. Four of the most powerful, educated, and politically trained people of this nation couldnít keep a secret, how do you expect 12 normal people to keep a secret? But lets go ahead and look at their behavior. When Christ was crucified, where were the disciples? They were NO WHERE to be found. Why? Because they were scared out of their heads. If they were walking around the streets people would have pointed them out and hand them over to the Roman government. They were scared to/of death. However, after Christ appeared to them, they no longer feared death. In fact, everyone of them (except one I think?, died FOR Christ. They were all persecuted because they were adamant followers of Christianity. Think about it, would you die for a lie you help make up? If a gun were pointed to your head and you were asked if you were a Christian, and you knew if you said yes you would die, would you still say yes? I think some Christians would still even lie and say they werenít. The disciples couldnít have been in on the conspiracy.
So how could have Jesus counterfeit the resurrection?
Religious leaders that persecuted Christ wanted a quick end to this whole fiasco and so did the Romans. By having a following and claiming He was the Son of God, questioned the authority of religious and political leaders, and so the most prudent way was to get rid of Him. So to make sure that someone didnít steal the body of Christ, Roman soldiers were ordered to guard the tomb and seal it. Well, what does this mean? Could the soldiers have been paid off? Thatís very unlikely, according to the Roman Justian code, a soldier that failed in his duties, even in the most minute detail, was punished by death. One of the methods they used was to strip down the guard and burn him alive with a fire started by those garments. If a group of soldiers failed to do their duty, they drew lots and one would be punished by death in punishment for the rest of the soldiers. This is why the Roman soldiers were such excellent warriors. So it was unlikely they were paid off. So the only way to get rid of the body was to have had a secret passage way, but if there was a secret passage way, then how would the Roman soldiers have known that they failed their duty and fled? So something scared them away, and rowed open the large boulder that sealed up the tomb, so that all could see the body was not there.
Some people say, that maybe they ran to the wrong tomb. And as a friend jokes?then Mary ran to the wrong tomb?the disciples ran to the wrong tomb?and the angels went to the wrong tomb? And this tomb just happen to be open with a broken Roman seal and casting of a body, but no body in it.
However, that doesnít explain the walking/talking Jesus that appeared after the crucifixion. Weíll go into that next time =)
- I was going to go through this whole thing about Christ and the Resurrection? Okay, lets just say that the whole resurrection thing was a big hoax. If indeed it was a hoax at what parts could it have been fake? So lets go in order?lt;BR>
Was Jesus a person to begin with? Well, lets just answer that first. According to
Roman, Christian, and other non-Christian sources. Jesus was definitely a person that was walking around the planet during that time. Itís a general consensus that He existed.
Was Jesus crucified? Again, there is a general agreement in the historical world that Jesus was crucified. Heís mentioned in Roman records. There has been evidence of letters from non-believers mentioning His crucifixion. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions Him and there are countless other records from both Christian and non-Christian sources.
Okay, so lets start asking the more important questions and Iíll start answering them later?
First of all, If He was crucified, did the crucifixion kill Him? This leads to two questions?A. If he was dead then does this mean the people that claimed to have saw Him alive and made up the resurrection? And B. If He didnít die then did he start walking around on the third day claiming he had risen from the dead.
Okay, lets go further with question A. So letís say He did die. That would lead us to the following conclusions. (remember we are operating under the assumption that this was all a hoax). That would mean couple of things. First of all, all the disciples and women and the 500 people that Jesus appeared were part of a mass conspiracy and formed the early church or all these people were somehow fooled by Jesus. This also leads to questions about where did the body go? Did someone steal it?
Maybe I should put this all into some sort of flow chart for everybody...
- Okay, I'm alive. I am. I promise.
- Anyway, I was going to do this thing about the ressurrection of Christ, but before I do that, let me first of all share the Gospel with all of you. God created humans to have a relationship with Him. As humans we sin and that creates an eternal rift with God. This means because all of us have done SOMETHING bad in our life we are eternally seperated from God; however, since God loved us so much, He sent Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between humanity and God. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, Jesus took the punishment for our sins and whoever believes in this shall have everlasting loife.
- Okay, now everytime I say this the first question people ask is this...."So what if (it's always a what if question) I was a good person and I lived my whole life like a good mother and I took care of my kids, donated to the salvation army, paid my taxes, etc. etc. but I didn't believe would I go to heaven?"
Okay, so I have come up with this analogy... we'll just say in a certain state, when you commit murder your sentenced to the death penalty. Okay, lets say I live my whole life like a good person... I go to school. I pay my taxes. I donate to the salvation army. I'm nice to my parents. I take care of my kids. etc. etc. BUT I murder somebody. Well, no matter how good a person I've been I deserve the death penalty because I murdered. The only way for me to not get the death penalty is if the Governor pardons me. In the same way because everybody sins everybody deserves to go to hell, but by believing in Jesus Christ as your savior then you don't. Get it?
IMPORTANT: MOST RECENT ENTRY IS POSTED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. SCROLL DOWN
Iím going to be changing the format of the page slightly. Instead posting the newest entry on the TOP of the page Iím going to post it on the BOTTOM. The reason Iím doing this is because I want to spend the next couple giving some logical and philosophical arguments about the existence of God. This will make the whole thing easier to read. Iím going to try to present both atheist and Christian arguments about God and creation. I may not have all the answers, but my goal is to show both Christians and non-Christians alike that you may want to spend some time thinking about this topic. My Faith in the existence and the love of God is not something I have taken blindly.
So before I begin ranting, let us start of with a couple of points. First of all, Iím going to start off with the existence of the whole earth and then travel back in time toward the creation of the universe. Second, I want to point out that the two main tools of the atheist argument are based on blind processes (A causes B to do something which causes C and so forth) and probability. Christians can also use those two or can attribute it to Godís creation. Thirdly, I myself am a believer of natural selection; well, up to a certain point. And lastly, so far in our world there has been no logical argument that clearly and proves God does not or does exist. So in order to look at this topic we must take the data that we have and conclude that what we see fits into a reasonable parameter. Whenever we make a decision we never know 100% of the details. For example whenever we walk, each step we take we are actually falling forward. And we hold the faith that as we fall forward our next foot will catch us; however that doesnít happen all the time, sometimes we trip or fall, but that doesnít prevent us from ever walking again. Another example would be whenever we see smoke coming out of a building we conclude that the building is on fire, even if we cannot see the fire itself. This conclusion fits within a reasonable parameter. So in the same way when we talk about the existence of God, we have to logically see if the data is presented is within a reasonable parameter. This parameter, however, is subjective to each individual.
- Okay lets begin with the existence of earth. Is the world a product of randomness and blind processes or is it the manifestation of thought. If for example we discovered a new ancient text, we would automatically assume that the text was the product of some sort of intelligence or, in other words, a manifestation of thought. Itís very unlikely someone would say that the text came about through the randomness of the universe, manifested itself, and became a coherent piece of intelligent writing. However the common atheist argue that if you have an infinite time for randomness than such a thing could happen eventually. For example if you took all the pieces you needed to make a watch and stuck it in a box and shook it for an infinite span of time than eventually you would be able to get a perfectly good watch from the box. That argument, however, doesnít take in the second law of thermodynamics (everything leads towards entropy). It is more likely that if you shook the box for an infinite time, pieces of the watch that were originally in the box would become more pieces from hitting one another ?cracking and bending. So if you look at the earth from that perspective, life on earth is filled with intricate designs that sustains itself, like the nitrogen cycle, the food chain. A final example to drive home the point, if we were one day to receive a signal from outer space, lets say it read, ďGDNSVIPAPSEDAKTKANSTGKANKTNIVLTF.? Many would automatically assume this was a signal from another intelligence or perhaps an intercepted government satellite transmission. However this is actually the beginning amino acid sequence of human cytochrome C. The actual sequence is a couple hundred of amino acids and if a few of those letters were changed or maybe one important one, human life might be non existent or not as we know it. DNA exists in all life which suggest life came from one origin. So I feel it is reasonable to conclude that life on earth did not come about through randomness and blind processes, but was created from some sort of higher intelligence.
So all life, or all life that we know of, contains DNA as its genetic code. This doesnít rule out the fact that life on earth could have been created by some alien being that had the intelligence to design life as we know it (which is the bases of a recent new age Hollywood religion). However, then one would have to ask who created that alien or the alien before it and so on. To reason that there was an infinite number of aliens would be absurd.
ďA Universe that was created out of nothing with conditions just right to create life suggest a larger supernatural power?lt;BR>
- Penzles (Nobel Prize Winner)
Now letís talk Physics. Let me start first by mentioning the second law of thermodynamics again. The second law states that everything in the universe goes towards randomness. This law, by itself, is actually an argument for the existence of a creator because it would mean that the Universe has a finite duration. The universe must have started as something orderly (the big bang) and now continues towards disorder until everything in the Universe is disordered (no planets, stars, galaxies etc.). From an atheist point of view, it would make more sense if the Universe always existed and always will exist because then they can argue that because an infinite time exist, life would be able to spring out of that infinite time span from all the random collisions of molecules. This, however, leads to a big hole in the traditional atheist argument that I will mention shortly.
All the laws of physics are fine-tuned so that life can exist. This is a scientific fact. How? Let me state some examples. First of all we know that the universe contains four specific forces (gravity, weak nuclear, electromagnetic, and strong nuclear). These forces all originally came from one force (the big bang). If, for example, weak nuclear force was changed, just lowered slightly, then molecular hydrogen would never exist because all of it would become Helium. No hydrogen obviously means no life, no water, and no stars. Or for example if Strong Nuclear Force was just increased by 1%, atoms could not exist in the universe. The Universe would just be nothing. And so fortunately for us, every force in the universe is specifically fine-tuned so that we can exist. However, in this circumstance, some atheist argue that if the Universe was created by a big bang and than collapsed (the big crunch), and if that happened an infinite number of times then eventually out of all those random chances a universe whose physical laws were perfect for life would come about. However, this completely contradicts the argument for the coming about of life from an infinite amount of time. It can only be one or the other. Either the universe always existed so that out of that randomness, life occurred through probability (which also defies the second law of thermodynamics) or the universe was constantly created and then destroyed an infinite number of times so that the perfect laws of physics could be created in one of those times to support life. Both arguments are based on the same principle that an infinite number of tries is needed to achieve this perfect situation for life to exist. This is an apparent contradiction. A final blow to the second atheist argument came about with a discovery last year. Astronomers were able to prove that rate of expansion of the universe was increasing. This means no big crunch will ever happen (For those who have forgotten physics -- when you through a ball in the air, it comes back to you because itís velocity is decreasing at 9.8 m/s^2. This means for something to expand then collapse the rate at which it is expanding must be decreasing, so if the Universe will crunch, the rate of expansion of the universe must be decreasing at 9.8m/s^2). This suggests that the Universe was created once with all the laws of physics finely tuned to perfection, so that life could exist.
ďSo long as the Universe had a beginning we could suppose it had a creator.?lt;BR>
- Stephen Hawking
- Okay, let me just say another disclaimer before I go ahead and add more controversial science. My Faith in God is NOT based on science. In fact, very little of my faith is based on science -- to be more precise, let's just say 5% - 10%. If I felt that science disproved God then that would put a big dent in my belief in God. I'm a strong believer in science and I try very much to weigh facts before I believe in anything. People have a tendency to believe what they want. The human species is actually very gullible and are easily led with lies if the right buttons are pressed (by cults, Dictators, etc..), but that's a topic I'll get into later and how that can be tied into the truth of Christianity, and how we're not a cult as some people believe. So anyway, what I'm going to do is finish up a few more facts about Science and God, and then maybe go into the accuracy of the Bible or talk about some personal experiences of me and others. Well, we'll see. I just wanted to tell you that there's a lot more to be said and a lot more to discuss, and I hope you all find this interesting, Christian or not, because you are still all my friends, and all I really want to do is share with you something that is a big part of my life.
- About a week ago,I was walking home after eating dinner at one of my favorite Ann Arbor Chinese food places (I go there every week), and I walked by Border's. Usually, I don't walk in that direction to go home, but for some extrodinarily remote reason that day (perhaps all the blood had gone to my stocmach instead of my brain), I decided I was going to walk the long way home in the 0 degrees freezing cold Michigan weather. Anyway, so before I was about to pass the store, I decided to go in and just look around. Another weird thing happened, the minute I walked into the store, I immediately walked to the inspirational section of the bookstore. For those of you that have ever accompanied me to a bookstore, I NEVER walk to the Inspirational section of a bookstore. I'm not a person that reads a lot of Christian literature. If I read, I usually read fiction (about top secret covert ops, or various forms of sci-fi), non-fiction (finance, How to learn Korean, and in the past, various ways to obtain power). With the exception of what I read for my quiet time (which is mostly online), I usually don't read Christian literature at all. So anyway, I was looking through the books, seeing that maybe perhaps there was something interesting to read. After skimming through various titles (mostly involving Christian spouse relations or how to raise a Christian family etc. etc.), I saw a book entitled "Science, Life, and Christian Belief." I stopped in my tracks. Gee. I just HAPPEN to be writing about the same topic on my webpage. hmmmmmm. kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?
- Here's a quote from that book that reitterates when I was talking about the fine tuning of the Universe.
"The standard model of the Big Bang raises important scientific questions as well as theological ones, and currently many of them lack definitive answers. For example why was the early universe so uniform on a large scale and so finely tuned? When the universe was 10 x 10^-34 seconds old, the expansion force of the Big Bang was balanced to within one part in 10 x 10^60 of the gravitational force; one second of the Big Bang the expansion velocity was within one part of 10^17 of what was needed for perfect fine tuning. That is very fine tuning! In addition, the orgin of density fluctuations which eventually led to the galaxy formations is not specified. How do we explain for such features in the universe?"
- Okay, I need to start responding to the various responses I'm getting. I'm not going to list respond to everything (cause I've gotten some really dumb ones too), but the ones that present very logical and clear coherent argument. Okay, so this is from my friend Steve (as well as others who have told me the same thing). This is in response to my design argument about the fine tuning of the universe.
"So the appropriate phrase would be, "life has fine-tuned itself to the forces of the universe so that it can exist," and not, "every force in the universe is specifically fine-tuned so that we can exist." An infinite number of universes is not required to get a universe with the perfect situation for life. We do not know that there even is a perfect situation for life, and there is no reason to assume that there is."
This is comment actually causes more questions then answers. Do you believe that life can exist without atoms? By saying that life has fine-tuned itself to the forces of the universe youíre saying that life can exist under any sort of physical laws and that it would adapt itself no matter what. What if in the Big Bang the one energy that split into five, never split? Then the universe would just be empty. No atoms. No planets. Are you saying that life can adapt itself to that? Whatever the case, saying that life fine-tuned itself to the universe is saying that life can exist independent of the conditions of the universe and is not a product of the universe. Of course this is making the assumption that life can exist only as we know it. By that, I mean by using atoms (not necessarily carbon). The logic is that life was created by and through the Universe not life adapted TO the universe. And if the universe was not suited properly then life would not exist.
ĒThe Second Law of Thermodynamics does not state that everything leads toward entropy. It states that closed energy systems, not "everything," lead toward entropy. Energy systems. The Second Law of Thermodynamics can cover, for instance, the universe as a whole with relation to energy because it is an enclosed system and will therefore lose no energy (First Law) and have its energy slowly degrade (Second Law). It will not apply to the earth (or solar system or universe or galaxy or what have you), in the sense you're implying, but only in regard to energy. A very interesting (and easy to understand) website on the subject can be found here.?lt;BR>
The second law of thermodynamics DOES state EVERYTHING leads to entropy. Why? Because everything IS energy. E = mc^2. Remember that? Remember how we make atomic bombs? We convert matter into energy (just one gram of uranium becoming energy blows up a whole city). Remember how we use carbon dating? We measure radioactive decay of carbon. Carbon decays into electromagnetic waves. Matter IS energy. Planets and stars are made up of matter and therefore made out of energy. They will all eventually decay because all molecules do (just some longer then others). Almost got me there. ALMOST.