Re: skepticism

Murphy (
Wed, 09 Oct 1996 07:26:24 -0400

Bill Frix wrote:
> Greetings!
> To add to a running discussion:
> > ICR also rebuts arguments about the early history of the universe,
> > by asking, "How do you know? Were you there?" This argument
> > implies that ANY inference about the past is suspect. In other
> > words, drawing any inferences from the past is not valid.
> > Alternatives such as instantaneous creation with the appearance of
> > age therefore cannot be falsified in principle.
> >
> > Correct, but their argument here has very much broader
> > implications. The thing I have never understood about this
> > argument, is that one can apply it quite similarly to the
> > resurrection itself. You weren't there. How do you know? If
> > such an argument is valid for origins, why is it not valid for the
> > resurrection? Both events need historical inference to support
> > them. To rule inference out in the case of origins, but not in
> > the case of the resurrection, seems inconsistent.
> There is a difference between the resurrection and the creation.
> The resurrection did have an eyewitness: Jesus. We have to assume
> He told the disciples what happened there during the 40 days He
> remained on earth after His resurrection. This is highly plausible:
> I know if I had been one of the earliest disciples and had seen Him
> die and be buried, my first, natural, question would be: What
> happened? So, regarding the resurrection, we do have an eyewitness
> of the most impeccable veracity. In addition, we have a number of
> eyewitnesses who saw the result of the resurrection, namely Jesus
> Himself. The factuality of the resurrection is based on eyewitness
> testimony, not experimental verification. This, ICR does not
> dispute.
> Regarding the creation/evolution, there has been only one witness:
> God Himself (of course, the angels and demons saw, but they aren't
> talking). Other than atheists, no one disputes this. The questions
> are, first, did God inspire Moses (or, for those who have more faith
> in documentary hypothesis, the Q author) with the account written?
> If so, it must be true or else God is not God. But beyond the
> question of inspiration is the question of intent: did God (assuming
> divine inspiration) give a "scientific" explanation or a conceptual
> description, fitting for ancient inquiries? As for me, I know the
> Genesis account is true because of the character of God (and since
> Jesus, who should know better, attributed the authorship to Moses, I
> believe Him and accept Mosaic inspiration). The question of intent
> remains open, although I follow Wesley's position: if reason
> contradicts Scripture, through out reason.
> William M. Frix
> Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
> Box 3021
> John Brown University
> Siloam Springs, AR 72761
> Phone: (501) 524-7466
> FAX: (501) 524-9548

1) Speculations about what - or even if - the risen Christ told his
disciples about his experience are pointless. What we have is the
apostolic witness recorded in Scripture.
2) To again repeat the obvious: We receive signals (photons, helium
nuclei, fossils, &c) from the past. These are far from providing a
complete "picture" of what happened, but the notion that the past,
including the very distant past, is not subject to our observation is
flatly wrong.
George Murphy