Halucinations


#1

I feel that one of the athiests stronger arguements, is that the people who we trust to be receivers of Gods revelation, could very well be victims of hallucinations.

At first i thought that this is could be actually the case; but could it also be the case that the brain has specail mechanisms that could be activated due to great distress. What i am getting at here is, that God could in theory use our capacity to have hallucinations in order to project his messages.

I mean, this is just speculation, and i am aware that some people have terrible and quite hellish hucinations. But in theory, if we could send signals or insert artificail memories or images in to the brain, we might be able to project through the recipient an artificail hallucination, using the brains ability to project the illusion of 3 dimensional imagry into the real world. Given that possibility, one can see a positive use for hallucinations in terms of communication; and in actual fact God may have given us this ability for a reason, rather then it just being a brain going hay-wire

Just a thought. I don’t actually think its possible that the history of Isreal relationship with God, and all the miracles, could be all hallucinations.


#2

Well…some people believe that all life is an illusion. sometimes I bet we all wish…


#3

The trick in evaluating historical evidence is considering a variety of different and independent strands of evidence. When they match up and all independently point to a single conclusion, then there is a solid basis for accepting this convergence of evidence, even if any individual strand of evidence could be explained away. In the case of the historical evidence for the truth of Christianity, we have precisely such a convergence of evidence. We have evidence ranging from the fine-tuning of the physical constants of the universe (suggesting intelligent agency behind the design of the universe), We have a wealth of data supporting the historicity of the New Testament as a general matter. We have strong evidence of the truth of the resurrection apart from the claims of any witnesses who might have been hallucinating (ranging from the fact that the resurrection account began in Jerusalem where Jesus’s remains could have been produced by anti-Christians if they existed to the acceptance of the missing body in the earliest anti-Christian polemics against the resurrection). We have the fact that pre-Christian Jewish messianic expectations – both in written scriptures antedating Christ’s life and in the facts about what Jews at the time of Christ were actually expecting – singled out the narrow sliver of time around the life of Jesus as the unique appointed time for the arrival of the Jewish messiah. We have the evidence of the direct personal experience of Christ and His grace among Christians the world over and of the transforming nature of His influence upon believers. We have the fact that reason itself is possible only if Christian theism is true, thus rendering evidential arguments against the historical truth of Christianity self-defeating. And we have the eyewitness accounts you discuss, which could theoretically be dismissed as hallucinations.

The point is that the historical case for Christianity is the very solid product of all of these sorts of strands of evidence, and the fact that there are conceivable counter-explanations for some pieces of evidence in isolation misses the point that the evidence in its totality comes together powerfully to point to a single, inescapable conclusion.

Or at least that’s the way it seems to me.

Regards,

CThomas


#4

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