Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Problem of Miracles

One reason why the Bible is just not believable (besides all the blatant scientific errors it contains) is due to the endless number of miracle stories it says happened. Let me explain further with an analogy.

Suppose I was testifying in a courtroom murder trial as an eye-witness and I said that I saw the defendant shoot the victim. Now without knowing any other information you might have no reason to discard my account of the event and if you were on the jury you may even vote to convict the defendant based in part on my testimony.

However, let's say in the cross-examination the defense attorney asked me what I was doing earlier that morning before the murder. Suppose my response was "I went for a jog through the trail in the woods and I encountered a UFO hovering over a lake, and was then promptly abducted by the craft whereupon they did a brain transplant and teleported me back to earth with x-ray vision whereupon I could see through the walls of the apartment building that the defendant murdered the victim." Well, in that case you would probably ignore my testimony that I saw the defendant shot the victim. Why? Because my credibility was destroyed by the UFO miracle story.

So how does this relate to the Bible? Well, the Bible is littered with similar miracle stories that are totally unbelievable. What are some of these stories? Here's a brief list (believe me, there are many more ... really too many to list here in this blog):

  • Virgin Birth [Matthew 1:18-25]. Virgin births are not observed in humans and if they were the product would likely be another female, not a male.
  • Daniel & the Lion [Daniel 6]. Daniel was thrown in a lion's den and survived because God sent angels to shut the mouths of the lions.
  • Jonah & the Fish [Jonah 1:2]. Jonah spent 3 days and nights in the belly of a whale after being eaten, but then prayed to God and the fish spit Jonah back on the shore alive.
  • David & Goliath [1Samuel 17]. A young early teen David killed a 9' 9" giant in Goliath by slinging a rock at him.
  • Samson & Delilah [Judges 16]. Samson pressed the pillars of a temple and the temple collapsed killing several thousand enemy Philistines.
  • Joshua takes Jericho [Joshua 6]. The walls surrounding the town of Jericho collapsed when the priests in the Israelite army sounded a long blast on their horns.
  • Parting the Red Sea [Exodus 14]. God parted a 1600 foot deep sea by blowing an east wind allowing Israelites to escape the Pharaoh's army.
  • Stopping Earth's Rotation [Joshua 10:12-14]. The sun halted in the sky for an entire day despite the physics against that.
  • Talking animals [Genesis 3:1-5, Numbers 22:28-30]. Snakes and donkeys can talk in words!
  • Life Span [Genesis 5]. Humans routinely lived over 900 years.
  • Noah's Ark [Genesis 6]. Noah gets tens of thousands of animals and hundreds of thousands of insects to board an arc and spends over a year at sea providing them food and disposing their waste.
  • Resurrections. Too many to list. Jesus wasn't the only resurrection. Matthew 27:50-53 describes how there was an earthquake and the bodies of many saints who were dead came back to life and entered the holy city.
To me these ridiculous stories destroy the credibility of the Bible, just like a story about a UFO abduction on the witness stand would destroy my eyewitness testimony. So when the Bible says that a God created the universe and life on earth, why should I believe it? Bottom line is the Bible appears to be a book written by clueless imaginative human story-tellers rather than a sacred book representing the word of a real existing God.

Something to think about before putting money in the collection bin at church.

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