A milestone

We’ve still got a lot more that could be said about the differences in consequences between the Myth Hypothesis and the Gospel Hypothesis. I thought it might be a good time, though, to take a brief breather, and survey where we’ve come from, and the course we’ve charted thus far.

I originally started this series because a number of commenters objected to my claim that it is an “Undeniable Fact” that God does not show up in real life. I could not possibly make such a claim with any intellectual honesty, some said, because such a claim would require omniscience on my part. My reply was that I was not basing my claim on a brute force approach, i.e. by personally investigating each and every claim that might constitute a genuine appearance of God. Instead, I am basing it on a more scientific approach, based on the principle that the truth is consistent with itself.

I think by this point, I am legitimately entitled to claim that I have met my burden of proof, and have established the intellectual honesty of claiming, as undeniable fact, the observation that God does not show up in real life. If He did, we would be having a very different conversation right now with respect to the consequences of the Myth Hypothesis versus the Gospel Hypothesis. Christian apologists are arguing, not just that God’s absence from real life is possible, but that we ought to expect the Gospel Hypothesis to result in an absence that is just as pervasive and undeniable as the one that would result from the Myth Hypothesis being true. Needless to say, this apologetic would be entirely counterproductive (for Christianity) if it were not true that God is as absent as any mythical being would have to be.

This discussion has also been productive because it has shown fairly clearly that Christians do indeed know that God does not show up in real life. When I first proposed that the Gospel Hypothesis implies that God would show up to participate in the relationship He had worked so hard to make possible, the Christian reaction was immediate and unmistakable. How could I know that? What made me so sure that the Gospel Hypothesis wouldn’t produce the same consequences as the Myth Hypothesis? I was just creating ad hoc “predictions” designed to make Christianity look bad! And so on and so on.

We all know, believer or unbeliever, that the Myth Hypothesis is the best predictor for the evidence that we will actually find in the real world. The immediate and primary reaction of Christians to this fact is to challenge the idea that the Gospel Hypothesis ought to produce different consequences. But the predictions of the Myth Hypothesis are only an advantage in a world where God does not show up outside the myths, beliefs, and superstitions of men, so by recognizing the need to harmonize the Gospel with the Myth Hypothesis, Christians show that they do indeed understand what kind of godless world we live in (at least as far as the Trinity is concerned).

It’s rather a dilemma for the apologist, though, because if we admit the Undeniable Fact that God does not show up in real life, then we’re faced with the Inescapable Consequence—our “faith” cannot be based on anything more than the fantasies, intuitions, superstitions and hearsay of men, and thus can never claim to rise above the level of mere gullibility. But if the apologist agrees that God should, and theoretically could be showing up in real life, as predicted by the Gospel Hypothesis, then he’s faced with the unmistakable consistency between real life and the Myth Hypothesis, and the equally unmistakable INconsistency between real life and the Gospel Hypothesis.

And, once again, this outcome is precisely the way we would expect things to turn out as a consequence of the Myth Hypothesis being true. God’s non-existence will force the real world to reflect His absence, and therefore Christian apologists will be stuck wrestling with the dilemma of either admitting that God should be showing up if the Gospel Hypothesis were true, or admitting the Undeniable Fact that He doesn’t show up. Either way, we’re left with a Christian God Who appears and speaks and acts only in the feelings and imaginations of men, as predicted by the Myth Hypothesis. If that doesn’t clue us in on the truth, then we’re just not sincerely seeking it.

 
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Posted in Evidence Against Christianity, Unapologetics. 105 Comments »

105 Responses to “A milestone”

  1. cl Says:

    So “attacks against the character of an interlocutor” have been approved. Enjoy!

    No, attacks against the character of discourse have always been approved. Anyone see how Arthur just changed my argument? Totally saw something other than what I said? Now ask yourselves, how many other times do you suppose that may have happened?

    Give cl a word or two in the hope he learns something (for we all generous folk I am sure), and move on.

    Trust me, you’ve all taught me much, much more than a thing or two, and I would actually love it if 5keptical, Esneaz, Arthur, R.C., ThatOtherGuy (am I forgetting anyone?) would either change their tune or move on. For the past week, all these people have done is complain, whine, make personal remarks and/or attacks, and add next to nothing to the actual arguments beings discussed. I’ll bet DD wouldn’t mind if said people change their tune or move on, either. And I’ll bet we’d be at least a month closer towards resolving this discussion had said people all been able to refrain from personal remarks and/or attacks like DD asked in the first place. Comments?

    You, R.C. Moore, I’m quite disappointed in, 5keptical as well. All your talk, and yet the key question goes unanswered: Did DD say personal remarks and/or attacks were welcomed when their intent is to goad response? Or did DD discourage all personal remarks and/or attacks? Answer that question honestly and stop acting hypocritically, both of you.

  2. Arthur Says:

    Anyone see how Arthur just changed my argument?

    You made an argument?

  3. R.C Moore Says:

    cl said —


    rust me, you’ve all taught me much, much more than a thing or two, and I would actually love it if 5keptical, Esneaz, Arthur, R.C., ThatOtherGuy (am I forgetting anyone?) would either change their tune or move on. For the past week, all these people have done is complain, whine, make personal remarks and/or attacks, and add next to nothing to the actual arguments beings discussed.

    No, I have made several direct objections and extensions to DD’s postings. They are there for all who know how to read.

    cl has committed the association fallacy. Here is the wikipedia entry:

    An association fallacy is an inductive formal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion.

  4. R.C Moore Says:

    cl said —


    You, R.C. Moore, I’m quite disappointed in, 5keptical as well. All your talk, and yet the key question goes unanswered: Did DD say personal remarks and/or attacks were welcomed when their intent is to goad response? Or did DD discourage all personal remarks and/or attacks? Answer that question honestly and stop acting hypocritically, both of you.

    cl is committing the “Red Herring” fallacy. Here is the wikipedia entry:


    Red Herring: also called a “fallacy of relevance.” This occurs when the speaker is trying to distract the audience by arguing some new topic, or just generally going off topic with an argument.

  5. ThatOtherGuy Says:

    “For the past week, all these people have done is complain, whine, make personal remarks and/or attacks, and add next to nothing to the actual arguments beings discussed.”

    And that being posted by the king himself. The irony is truly impressive.