Loke: Investigating the Resurrection

A leading philosopher, and friend of Peaceful Science, @Andrew_Loke’s book is now $0 on kindle.

This book provides an original and comprehensive assessment of the hypotheses concerning the origin of resurrection Christology. It fills a gap in the literature by addressing these issues using a transdisciplinary approach involving historical-critical study of the New Testament, theology, analytic philosophy, psychology and comparative religion.

For that price, be sure to pick a copy up.

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The above link doesn’t seem to work. Here is one that does. The book is only released on May 21, although we can pre-order for $0 now.

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Not only was it free, it has been released early - this arrived on my Kindle app this morning.

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Many of the atheists that debate the resurrection might take note and get a copy (@Rumraket, @sfmatheson, etc.). I’d be curious their (respectful and professional) thoughts.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Greg Cavin’s Debate on the Resurrection

Hi friends, I hope I haven’t given the impression that I “debate the resurrection.” I haven’t seen worthwhile “debates” about the story. I don’t believe it happened (that should be obvious) but I also don’t have any interest in discussing it unless some new evidence appears. My view of Christianity is based on its impotence as a force for good (a nice way of saying that it is arguably a negative influence on humans), and this renders “debates” about reanimation even less important.

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Thanks Josh for mentioning the publication of my book! I don’t have time to engage in a debate about the resurrection of Jesus here, just want to refer readers to resources which address the issues raised in this thread. In particular, Cavin’s objections concerning the probability of the resurrection is flawed because of the reasons I explained in Chapter 8 of my new book. Concerning Christianity as a force for good, check out Alvin Schmidt’s How Christianity changed the world How Christianity Changed the World - Kindle edition by Schmidt, Alvin J.. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

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I’m reading it right now at the lake!

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@vjtorley - you might be interested in this book too. I think it’s a unique contribution to the debate.

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Does the book address the problem of determining when findings from those disciplines can be allowed to override findings from physics and biology?

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As explained in chapter 8 of my book, my argument and conclusion does not require overriding findings from physics and biology. Science only describes the natural world when it is left on its own, whereas a miracle is supposed to describe what happens when the natural world is not left on its own. Therefore, there is no incompatibility between miracle and science.

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OK. So say someone claims that the belief in the resurrection of Jesus arose from hallucinations that were experienced by his early followers.

How do you demonstrate that this is so much less likely than a resurrection that the latter is the most reasonable explanation?

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To answer your question responsibly would take a few chapters! See chapters 4 and 7 where I refute the hallucination hypothesis and chapter 8 where I address the probability of resurrection issue. I’m sorry that I don’t have time and don’t have enough space here to answer those questions which I’ve already answered in detail in my book. The book is open access and easily accessible and you can easily check out my answers for yourself. However, if after carefully reading those chapters you still have any specific questions remaining, you can post them here and I’ll try to answer them.

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@Andrew_Loke thanks for answering as much as you did. We are lucky to have you here.

In this case, Loke’s book is available free for everyone to read. It would make most sense to engage directly with what he has written.

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Well, I read thru Chapter 4, and you make exactly the error I suspected you would: You rely on scientific evidence from fields like neurology, psychology and psychiatry as well as assessing the probability of various scenarios from other disciplines like history.

Yet you had written that

If that is the case, then you cannot use science to assess whether a miracle has taken place, because you just placed it outside the purview of science.

What you are doing, which is what most apologists for the resurrection do, is apply a rigorous and appropriately skeptical approach to any of the explanations that you do not accept, but then simply declare by fiat that your preferred explanation is not subject to such evaluation because… well, just because.

Sorry, that is not reasonable nor rational way to approach a question.

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@Faizal_Ali that seems to be exactly the case.

I think he agrees. However, we can use to science understand the likelihood or plausibility of hypothesis that do not involve God. It seems that is all he is doing.

To be clear, I do not think Loke is (or should) claim his argument is scientific, as it clearly extends beyond science. That does not mean, however, that he cannot appeal to scientific knowledge in addressing the natural world independent of a miracle.

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Great comment, Joshua! What you said is exactly what I was trying to do.

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So one has to assume a God exists who would allow resurrections but not mass hallucinations if one wishes to argue for the resurrection.

That is not sound reasoning.

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We don’t have to assume God exists. We just have to start with healthy agnosticism regarding his existence. From there, we can speak in contingent terms.

For example, even atheists can agree that IF God exists, He in principle could raise Jesus from the dead.

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And theists can agree that if there is no God or other being that could cause resurrections, Jesus stayed dead after he died.

That leaves no grounds for believing in the resurrection unless one first is convinced that such a God exists. The “agnostic” position will not suffice, given the amount of evidence that we have at hand. I do not say a resurrection could not in principle be demonstrated to have occurred. Just that in this instance, where all the evidence we have is that some people whoe lived 2000 years ago believed a resurrection had occurred, we cannot do that.

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