Insights through Illusion for Daily Living

Apologetics Tuesday: Shouldn’t a magician be a skeptic?

I would think that magicians, of all people, would be the least likely to believe in divine miracles. It just seems that beyond the spectacle, they are trained that there is science or logic behind everything — no matter how awe inspiring. And please note that I say that not in condemning your beliefs but just as a sociological observation.

Random Facebook comment on another Magician’s Page

So because I do what I do, naturally I should be a skeptic and chuck all of the evidence I have out the window? That’s the problem. Anytime someone makes a faith claim, the atheists assume it is without evidence. The late Christopher Hitchens said,

“If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe in something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished.”

That sounds great on paper, but the problem with that is that Christopher often made faith claims that were directly contradictory to this statement. After all the claim that one believes in their own existence…greatly diminishes their own existence.

Blind Faith is not what Christians claim to have. If anyone tells you that you should just have blind faith in something, run!

I’ll speak to my own experience since the question was posed about magicians. I don’t question things that I have evidence for, or maybe I do, but the evidence silences my questions. Outwardly and to atheists I appeal to Cosmology (the study of the origin of the universe) or the fine tuning of the universe to provide evidence for God. Further, I look at the claims of Jesus about Himself, and the evidence of His resurrection, and conclude that God revealed Himself through the Resurrection of Jesus validating all of Jesus’ teachings, including the opportunity for eternal life, answered prayers, and yes miracles.

That’s all outwardly. Inwardly I have the most assured evidence of the testimony of the Holy Spirit living in me. I don’t need any further evidence to continue convincing myself. I have all that I need in the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.

My favorite Apologist, Dr. William Lane Craig has this to say on the matter,

By that I mean that the experience of the Holy Spirit is veridical and unmistakable (though not necessarily irresistible or indubitable) for him who has it; that such a person does not need supplementary arguments or evidence in order to know and to know with confidence that he is in fact experiencing the Spirit of God; that such experience does not function in this case as a premiss in any argument from religious experience to God, but rather is the immediate experiencing of God himself; that in certain contexts the experience of the Holy Spirit will imply the apprehension of certain truths of the Christian religion, such as “God exists,” “I am condemned by God,” “I am reconciled to God,” “Christ lives in me,” and so forth; that such an experience provides one not only with a subjective assurance of Christianity’s truth, but with objective knowledge of that truth; and that arguments and evidence incompatible with that truth are overwhelmed by the experience of the Holy Spirit for him who attends fully to it.

So to say that I should be skeptical of anything miraculous is absolutely absurd because the miraculous happens everyday. The fact that there is a universe that Genesis 1:1 is true provides a backbone for all things miraculous.

5 responses

  1. Pingback: Really Recommended Posts 11/30/12 « J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason"

  2. The word “believe” has multiple meanings, and equating “believing in yourself” with “belief in god” is unquestionably deceptive. Why does your god require word games? For your evidence, you suggest the resurrection of Jesus. Apparently you haven’t bothered to actually read the four gospel’s description of the resurrection in parallel to see dozens of contradictions. How many women came to the tomb Easter morning? Was it one, as told in John? Two (Matthew)? Three (Mark)? Or more (Luke)? Not too impressive for a book written by an all-knowing god. Magicians are excellent at detecting deception. Maybe you just do tricks.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    • Tom, thanks for the comments, and for opening up a great opportunity for debate. Now before you go poisoning the well about my reading (or not reading for that matter) of the Gospels, let me assure you that i have not only read the Gospels vertically, but rather horizontally as your good Dr. Ehrman suggests. There are several responses to the supposed “contradictions” you bring up, but I’ll be brief since they complement each other quite well.

      First let me ask you, what school of thought you are in on Jesus? The Richard Carrier fringe of “He never existed” or the Bart Ehrman, John Dominic Crossan “History can’t tell us about the resurrection”?

      Either way, looking at the earliest source, being Mark, it’s clear that there are minimal facts that virtually all serious New Testament scholars agree on, both conservative and very liberal including Dr. Ehrman. Whether there are later embellishments in the later texts does nothing to diminish the early core story, especially since such supposed “contradictions” are in the minor details, not the core narrative. Let me ask you something though just for one of the examples above. If there were three women, would Mark and John, not both be correct in saying what they said? After all the way we share stories with our own friends changes on what amount of information is needed to convey the important information in the context of what certain people need to understand a story?

      It’s very anachronistic of you to view ancient biographies through the lens of modern biographies. Especially when you compare the amount of documents and the time between the Gospel events and writing of the Gospels compared to any other ancient source.

      Again, thanks for your comments and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    • Also, I should say I’m not entirely sure what you’re implying by the believe/believe question.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

  3. Pingback: Apologetics Tuesday: Can We Trust The NT- What did Paul think? « Step into the Mind of Bryan Drake

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