Theology, philosophy, math, science, and random other things

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 33)

So the diversity of the individuals involved in Christ's resurrection testimonies already make a high degree of interdependence unlikely. One could hardly find a less likely group of people to enter into a world-spanning conspiracy. You would expect disparate parts of such a group to be constantly at odds with each other, destroying the conspiracy almost […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 32)

So, could the resurrection testimonies really have a near-total dependency among them? Could they have been generated by a conspiracy of some sort? There are a multitude of reasons to think they were not. First, there is the story of apostle Paul - one of the named witnesses in 1 Corinthians 15, and someone who […]

Some vague, unoriginal thoughts about the election

[...] Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 11)

We've just touched on the lack of evidence for doubting the resurrection. This is important, because it allows me to answer all the other skeptical arguments and distinguish my argument from them. A skeptical reader may wonder whether I've ignored any evidence against the resurrection, or how I would answer this or that argument from […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 8)

Another class of objections would just argue that the witnesses to the resurrection were crazy: "Obviously anyone who claims that they saw someone coming back from the dead is crazy. How can we take their stories about these outlandish miracles seriously? Clearly there was something mentally wrong with these people, and we ought to dismiss […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 4)

Now that we have all the necessary numerical values, we can finally calculate the probability that Jesus rose from the dead. To begin, I gave the prior odds for Jesus's resurrection as 1e-22. This number was obtained from the argument that "empirically, people do not rise from the dead. Therefore, Jesus also couldn't have risen […]

Christians, read your Bibles

Now is a good time to think about new year's resolutions. It's an often maligned tradition, given how often they're broken or forgotten. But I do think that it's helpful to plan ahead on the time scale of about a year, and New Year's Day is as good a time as any to do that. […]

History, moral progress, and moral perfection (part 2)

In the last post of this series, we examined the nature of social progress, and where that leaves us in the course of history. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. In the future, it will continue to bend towards perfection - and away from our current state. The […]

The role of evidence in the Christian faith

This post is a consolidation of a whole series into one post. It's very long. Click on the following entries in the table of contents below to jump directly there: "Faith" as used in Christianity, and its evidence-based meaning The overwhelming Biblical support for the crucial role of evidence Supposed science-based philosophical objections to the […]

The role of evidence in the Christian faith (Part 6)

We are continuing our previous exploration of the Bible, and looking at the patterns for how God works to provide evidence for our faith in him. As a reminder, these patterns are as follows: 1. God provides evidence whenever he asks us to believe something, especially when he does something new.  2. God expects us to […]