NaClhv

Theology, philosophy, science, math, and random other things
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
2016-11-29

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 […]
2016-11-22

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 6)

Another class of objections would try to argue that the Bayes' factors I used in my argument are too large. One possible objection along this line of thought might go like this: "1e8 is a ridiculously large Bayes' factor for people's testimonies. People make mistakes all the time in their testimonies. Do you not know, […]

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 […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 2)

What is the probability that Jesus rose from the dead? Here I'm going to construct a foolish partner to advance certain arguments. This is just a rhetorical device. I have to be careful to not commit a straw man here, nor do I wish to insult anyone. I don't intend to imply that anyone actually […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 1)

Let's say that you're meeting someone new. You talk for a while, and the conversation turns to birthdays. You reveal that you were born in January, and your new friend says, "Oh, really? I was born in January too!" He seems earnest - he's not obviously joking, sarcastic, or ingratiating. From the little you know […]
2016-01-25

On martyrdom (Part 5)

(This is a continuation of the last week's post.) That is why we must occasionally speak of martyrdom: we need to know what we're spending our lives on. We need to know what we're living for. And that must necessarily be something we're also willing to die for. For to live for something is a […]
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