THE CYNICAL WAY THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS IS DISCUSSED BY CHRISTIANS SHOWS THEY THEMSELVES SUSPECT HALLUCINATION

Christians turn psychiatrist when it comes to facing the possibility that hallucination was at play when Jesus was reportedly seen alive after his death and assumed resurrected.  They claim they definitely have ruled it out.  Until you get the witnesses on the couch you cannot say that there is any definitely about it.  It is not an argument at all but a pile of speculation. But aren't we doing the same thing by suggesting hallucination was at work?  The answer is that we don't need to be psychiatrists to suspect hallucination.  Historians talk about illusions and hallucinations in history and don't need to consult a psychiatrist to decide. A science teacher knows what a planet is without being a scientist. 

And we are saying hallucination helped form the idea that Jesus came alive.  False memories, pressure to believe, illusion, manipulation would be needed as well.  Hallucination does not form a new religion on its own.  We are routinely accused of saying that it is was JUST a hallucination.

It is not a good look when a saving and holy doctrine needs such tricks to defend it.  By its fruits you know it.

Also, if paranormal forces were at play as the gospels say, why can't these forces cause a hallucination?  If you accept something otherworld was going on with Jesus that does not mean you have to accept his or anybody's interpretation of those forces.  It is like how researchers who believed in the powers of mediums thought they had real abilities but were mistaken in thinking that the dead were giving them information.  Clairvoyance and telepathy can make it seem to you that a spirit give you the data when the data comes from your own ability.

Hillyer Straton stated that people who have hallucinations do not become martyrs for them (page 248, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1) and dedicate their lives to preaching them (page 255, ibid).  This is manipulative for nobody thinks hallucinations alone produced the Christian message of Jesus' resurrection.

The statement that people do not suffer hallucinations of a mystical nature and then preach them and maybe end up in danger of death for promoting them flies in the face of history. It is just an outright lie.

Straton assumes that the apostles died for their visions and there is no evidence for this. If they died for Christianity that is not the same as dying for visions. Christianity like all religions is more than just spiritual - it has a social, political, financial and cultural impact. The resurrection of Jesus may be proclaimed the core teaching but in practice that core is a turkey stuffed with other things that in practice end up being treated as more important. If an apostle thought that believers in the resurrection seemed to be better at loving others than unbelievers he could think that the resurrection is the core not because it happened but because it does that.

Plenty gave their lives for Christianity without having visions or intending to die to verify the apostles’ visions or even thinking of doing so, therefore why should we be surprised if the apostles died for delusional visions?

Val Grieve rejects the hallucination explanation for the appearances of Jesus on the grounds that the witnesses did not expect to see Jesus (page 14, Verdict on the Empty Tomb). The apostles not believing the women that Jesus had appeared does not prove the apostles did not expect to see him or did not expect him to rise. Doubting Thomas might have felt he could see Jesus though his head told him he wouldn’t and the feelings and the need brought about the hallucination. The heart is what causes the head to hallucinate. However, despite Grieve, the gospels do not say that nobody expected to see Jesus.

Professor Kevan had a problem with the hallucinations stopping so abruptly and at the same time. This makes him think they were not hallucinations but real (page 255, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1). But the feelings that caused the people to imagine all they saw would have been satiated by the visions causing them to stop eventually. The apostles came to believe that Jesus was with them even if they could not always see him and that satisfied them. Jesus told them he would never leave them meaning spiritually and personally when he left them bodily which could have been the psychological trigger that ended the visions. And they went on for forty days which is a long time though that does not mean Jesus appeared often or spent much time with them. They could have gone on after this time. Remember how Paul reportedly had visions much later.

Kevan there is no proof that the hallucinations stopped abruptly at the one time. You are lying.

If Jesus appeared a lot then it could be that the gospels selected the most believable visions out of the quagmire of visionary ramblings. If hallucinations happen a lot then chances are that some of them will be credible. There is no evidence against this so the Christians should not be twisting the facts to tell us that the evidence has Jesus having risen from the dead.

Val Grieve states that delusion visions usually get worse over a long period while the apostles’ stopped after forty days ( Verdict on the Empty Tomb, page 14). But maybe these people had been having visions on and off before it came to a head after the supposed resurrection. But did they stop? The New Testament never says that they did though it does perhaps see the ascension as a cut off point for the major revelation. Jesus could go back to Heaven for good meaning that from now on there would be only occasional appearances as in exceptions to the rule.

Grieve says usually the hallucinations get worse. But there was nothing usual about these hallucinations. The circumstances the witnesses were in were unique.  Lots of hallucinations differ from what you would expect.

Montifiore states that two of the visions of Jesus could have been subjective visions, meaning the vision to Paul near Damascus and the vision to the 500 plus Paul mentioned (The Womb and the Tomb, page 157). But he says this is not true of the rest for the witnesses were not overstressed or expecting to see Jesus (page 157). And they had to be overstressed and believed they could meet the same fate as Jesus. Would that not lead to one thinking as a cruel death was around the corner that Jesus was alive to defeat it and save you if you died?  Would it not lead to you thinking you spoke to him in bodily form?  There is absolutely no proof that nobody expected to see visions. How does he know how they felt in that hour? And Paul is the only eyewitness writer so if his account is problematic then what about the rest which are hearsay?

A big concern with all this is how Christians wish to keep atheists and critics and Muslim scholars dealing with complicated arguments.  Propaganda always keeps people over-talking.  It makes the nonsense look more credible and the layperson gets lost in all the noise.  They end up thinking that what is flatly out of the question is in fact credible.



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