The Odd Blog

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Why Should I Believe in Jesus?

Posted by That Other Mike on 11/11/2007

Don’t worry, I haven’t converted. I’m just posting a few bits of an article I wrote some time ago in regards to Christian belief in Jesus; there seems to be the assumption on their part that the historicity and arguments in favour of Christianity are completely rational and unable to be attacked.

Part 1:

The Lord, Liar, or Lunatic Argument

    “Did Jesus exist? If not, then there’s not much to talk about. If he did, he called himself Lord. This means that either:

    He was Lord,

    He was a liar, or

    He was a lunatic.

    It’s unlikely he was a liar, given his morals as described in the Bible, and his behavior doesn’t sound like that of a lunatic. So surely we must conclude that he was Lord?”

Luckily, no. Firstly: this argument starts with an assumption – that Jesus existed. This is deciding the argument before it starts; by making that claim, it attempts to use circular reasoning. Rather than starting with observed instances, as do almost all logical problems, it starts with an unobserved assumption.

Now to the meat and bones of the argument. This constitutes a logical fallacy called a false trilemma or trifurcation. Essentially, it is trying to make us believe that there are only three possibilities, when there are in fact more. What other options are there? Perhaps he was misquoted, or he never claimed to be lord, and the Gospels were altered by early Christian writers. Perhaps the Gospels were simply created from whole cloth by later generations of believers based on oral traditions. The only place in the Bible where Jesus is alleged to have claimed divinity is John Ch. 10 v. 30, where it says: The Father and I are one (NRSV). There is nothing against this having been altered later on, or even having been created from thin air. Not to mention that at the time, the phrase X and Y are one would have been understood to mean being of one purpose or in harmony.

The possibility that he was a lunatic is not inconceivable. Various different “prophets”, such Sun Myung Moon, David Koresh, and even Rasputin have managed to convince people that they are either divine or have God’s personal phone number. In less-enlightened countries, there can be a hundred different True Messiahs, all saying that they, and only they, have the key.

The LLL argument was first propagated by CS Lewis, author of the Narnia series (noteworthy for their hilariously transparent imagery) and noted Apologist.

Part 2 to follow.

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5 Responses to “Why Should I Believe in Jesus?”

  1. Selena Parsley said

    It probably doesn’t help that a lot of believers are absolutely nuts….and I am a believer!
    Cool post!
    Selena

  2. jilsrun said

    Was Jesus the Christ an extraterrestrial?
    This is going to be the title of my ad for his autobiography.
    According to what he writes he is an ET. He never claimed to be lord. He came here to open mans mind. He was nothing more then a teacher. When he talks about the crucifixion, for me it was heart wrenching because he didn’t die to save us. He was murdered and in a way that was so barbaric.

    My website is dedicated to providing cosmic knowledge and if you want to know more, visit http://www.cosmicmessengers.com

    Although his book is going to be sold in the near future, you can get a glimpse of what he says in the “I Jesus short version” writing on the archive page.

    The writings that are listed on this site make the most sense to me of any religion or belief system on this planet.

    Blessings

  3. Agki said

    C.S. Lewis was an idiot compared to Philip Pullman! The Narnia series is a piece of transparent preaching even if it was well written. Read Pullman’s “His Dark Materials>:

  4. mek1980 said

    Pullman kicks Lewis’s arse.

  5. mek1980 said

    It probably doesn’t help that a lot of believers are absolutely nuts….and I am a believer!
    Cool post!
    Selena

    Well, at least you’re honest about it… Hehehe

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