Atheistism #2: Hung Up On Contemporary Evidence
28 May 2011
We’ve all heard it before, the atheist exclamation, “We don’t believe that life rose from the dead (Resurrection) because of the lack of contemporary evidence.” But what is contemporary evidence? While contemporary could mean from the same period, the evidence wanted is from the same time, in other words, they want actual evidence from 30 to 34 AD (the approximate time period of Jesus’ public ministry). In other words, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
Existing documentation regarding Jesus centers around the four Gospels, but also includes writings from Josephus, the Jewish historian, Tacitus, the Roman historian, and others. While these writers were born after Jesus’ death—four to twenty-three years—they lived close enough to have talked with eye-witnesses. There are also a wide range of dates given to the writing of the Gospels. Theists generally acknowledge scholars who date the Gospels from 40 to 90 AD, while atheists generally acknowledge scholars who date the Gospels from 100 to 150 AD. In either case, the extant copies are exactly that: copies. In other words, the actual dates are all speculation. By moving the some of those dates ahead by a mere six years, the first writings line up exactly with the time of Jesus’ death on the Cross.
Am I acknowledging the earlier dates because I’m a Christian? Maybe, but I would argue that atheists do the same and acknowledge later dates because they’re atheists. We both have scholars that we find more “trustworthy.” But, it’s more than just listening to scholars; the arguments for later dates just don’t seem plausible to me. And what about the lack of Roman documents from the time, for example, Pilate’s execution order? Simply put, the documents existed at one time, and may still exist. We just haven’t found them yet.
But the problem I have with the claim that there’s no contemporary evidence for Jesus rising from the dead, is that there’s no contemporary evidence that life rose from mud either, however, that doesn’t seem to be a roadblock to belief for the atheist. Well, we can argue that there was no contemporary evidence because the protein, or whatever you want to call it, wasn’t keeping records at the time, but the fact of the matter remains, there is no contemporary evidence. But atheists don’t believe anything without evidence! There’s reasonable evidence to believe that life rose from mud, without the assistance of God, they say. Well, show it to me!
The problem is, they can’t, because there is no contemporary evidence! Sure there are theories, and a few lab experiments that point to possibilities, but lab experiments don’t prove everything. An experiment that works in a lab doesn’t mean it will work in the wild. In fact, to me, a lab experiment is more of an intelligent design concept since it’s set up by intelligent beings to work under specific conditions.
In fact, no where in history, has a person witnessed life arising from mud. There are no eye-witness accounts, and no hearsay. History is silent on the matter, as opposed to say, the Resurrection. But it’s reasonable to dismiss the Resurrection because those documents were written a few years later, possibly even seventy in a worse-case scenario. Compare that to the non-existent contemporary evidence for life arising from mud, based on the same requirement for Jesus, and the atheist claims: reasonable!
But not only is belief in life arising from mud reasonable, it’s proof that God isn’t necessary (as if a lack of necessity determines lack of existence).
I find the atheist claims absurd, but that doesn’t matter. I should follow scientific claims blindly, because I’m not a science expert. I shouldn’t question them, because, after all, scientific claims are infallible.
If you’re going to live by contemporary experience, live by it. Don’t pick and choose when to apply it.
The atheist isn’t using science to prove that God doesn’t exist, he’s using science to support his bias presupposition that God doesn’t exist. The claims are supported because there is no alternative.
So, in the end, the atheist doesn’t believe that life could rise from non-life in the form of a dead man, but believes that life could arise from non-life in the form of mud. Yeah. That makes sense.
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