Yes, But What If…

For every line of evidence and reasoning a theist–Christian or otherwise–presents for God’s interaction in the world (supernatural events), there is a skeptic offering an alternate interpretation or explanation.  This alternate explanation is generally viewed by the skeptic as a reason to reject supernatural events.  I am not talking about miracle claims such as those reported by faith healers, or certain events individuals read as answers to prayer which could truly be coincidence.  Praying for an “A” on a test and then receiving an “A” is not a miracle, nor would I view it as an answer to prayer necessarily.  What I am talking about are events such as why the disciples believed Jesus was raised from the dead, or the plagues of Egypt.  But does a potential alternate explanation serve as a refutation and give us reason to reject an event as being a bona fide supernatural event or answer to prayer?

We need to understand there is a real difference between there being an alternate explanation of the facts, and a refutation of a claim.  Any particular event or circumstance could have a number of alternate explanations.  For example, offering reasons other than Jesus being raised from the dead as why the disciples believed so surely they saw him alive again after being crucified and buried is not a refutation of Jesus being raised as the best explanation.  The alternate explanation, in order to refute the claim, must not only better account for and explain more fully the details, but it must also show why the claim cannot be true.  It is not enough to suggest the possibility of aliens from outer space deposited life on earth in order to refute the claim of Intelligent Design, we would need also to have a reason to believe it was aliens and not a Designer.  It takes more than creativity to refute claims.

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 Related Articles: A Burden The Hand, It’s To Die For, Not A Shred Of Evidence, Prove It!

Comments

  1. It is interesting that you require a “better explanation” for anyone to disagree with your claim instead of evidence to support your assertion.

    The only “evidence” you present for the supposed resurrection of Jesus is the ever-reliable eyewitness accounts of people who want to say it happened.

    It’s a shame that your creator chooses to ignore all of our requests for proof, that’s all.

    • More than the gospel accounts are offered. But the point to the post is that a different explanation is not a refutation, I thought that was clear.

      • More hearsay, I suppose. Indeed.

        A different explanation may be offered by the skeptic to shed light on a rational perspective or logical conclusion to a claim. Many “supernatural” claims can be explained and exposed with knowledge and science.

        • What are you talking about, hearsay? Nothing here is hearsay. Maybe you are just too antagonistic to theism that it has clouded your ability to see that the point of my article cuts both ways, it is true for the theist as well. Offering a supernatural explanation for an event is not good enought to refute a naturalistic explanation.

          You also seem to think I am under the impression that all I have to do is offer a supernatural explanation for an event and that becomes the default until it is refuted. You need to calm down and quit being so damn snarky. Given the tone of your comments of late, unless you are actually adding something substantive, I am considering your comments spam.

          • You made it clear in our previous chats that the default position to you is the one asserted until refuted, that’s all.

            As for theists offering supernatural explanations, they do it all the time when the science that supports the naturalistic explanation doesn’t fit their religious beliefs. They then reject that science and proclaim the event to be supernatural.

            As for hearsay, that’s what most religious text is in my opinion.
            I am reluctant to believe anything that is self-authenticating.

            • Your first statement is a lie, I have repeatedly stated there is no default position once a proposition is offered. Prior to any proposition, there is no position to take.

              Lastly, I have never claimed tshe bible or any religious text is self authenicated, so why even introduce an idea that was never offered?

              • I never said you made the claim of self-authentication. I did.

                But since we’re there, let me ask you – what makes you believe the bible to be true and is there any chance in your mind that anything in it to be false?

  2. For anyone interested in seeing how false the statement by “god” is check the comment section on This Post.

  3. Nightvid Cole says:

    There are a number of facts that are universally accepted by scholars, including skeptical ones, that point to the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

    Fact 1: The Twin Towers and WTC 7 in New York, New York fell more rapidly on September 11, 2001 than any other burning building in human history, as though pushed by an invisible noodly appendage.
    Fact 2: The rapid spreading of Pasta and Spaghetti as common foods around the world from Italy, the capital of which is Rome, as though it is divinely inspired.
    Fact 3: The rapid spreading of those who have heard of the FSM, in just a few years. If it was a joke, how do you explain this?
    Fact 4: Pastafarianism was brought up in court in Topeka, Kansas. If it is a joke, why would anyone serious mention it in court?
    Fact 5: FSM appeared on a bike rack in Baltimore, Maryland, in a picture than even skeptical scholars don’t claim is a forgery.
    Fact 6: All of these cities, crucial to the tradition, lie between 39 and 42 degrees North latitude. Not a single skeptical scholar has explained why this would happen in a convincing way, except that FSM is revealing himself.

    By inference to the best explanation, FSM is real!

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