Atheism and the Case Against Christ

Atheism and the Case Against Christ

eBook - 2012
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Hundreds of millions of people believe that Jesus came back from the dead. This cogent, forcefully argued book presents a decidedly unpopular view —namely, that the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, is false. The author asks a number of probing questions: Is the evidence about Jesus as it has been relayed to us over the centuries of sufficient quantity and quality to justify belief in the resurrection? How can we accept the resurrection but reject magic at the Salem witch trials? What light does contemporary research about human rationality from the fields of behavioral economics, empirical psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy shed on the resurrection and religious belief? Can we use contemporary research about the reliability of people's beliefs in the supernatural, miracles, and the paranormal to shed light on the origins of Christianity and other religions? Does it make sense that the all-powerful creator of the universe would employ miracles to achieve his ends? Can a Christian believe by faith alone and yet reasonably deny the supernatural claims of other religions? Do the arguments against Christianity support atheism? By carefully answering each of these questions, this book undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations; it gives us a powerful model for better critical reasoning; and it builds a compelling case for atheism. Without stooping to condescension or arrogance, the author offers persuasive arguments that are accessible, thoughtful, and new.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9781616145828
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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roaddogg09 Apr 17, 2013

In “Atheism and the Case against Christ,” McCormick argues, quite convincingly, that the core claim of Christianity, the resurrection, cannot thoughtfully or reasonably be held with intellectual integrity given what we know about human cognitive systems and the fallible process that gave us the Bible we have today. Most of the book is dedicated to looking at the historical claims of the resurrection. McCormick doesn’t focus on textual exegesis for his thesis, but merely explores and analyzes the methods and all-too-human contingencies that led to the Bible. McCormick cites many examples where even Christians would admit that a claim should be rejected given insufficient evidence, even though the Christian is in the same boat when it comes to resurrection. Given the quality and quantity of the available evidence on the resurrection, McCormick concludes it should not be accepted. After making the case the resurrection should not be believed, McCormick details why he believes God would make his existence more apparent, why God would not perform miracles, and even if God did, we couldn’t conclude anything about God from these events, and the Problem of Other Religions. McCormick offers a novel dilemma for the believer: What grounds, beside special pleading, can the believer offer to show their religion is true while all others are natural, false religions? This believer must admit that humans generate a lot of religions without real gods. The believer also must acknowledge that when we look at natural religions and the allegedly real, they share many similarities: many arise from ancient peoples, miracle stories abound, God is the creator, he has a plan, there's a path to salvation, they offer moral guidance, personal fulfillment, etc. So, why is your religion the one, true religion, while all the rest are false? Finally, McCormick turns to the F-word: faith. He does a wonderful job of explaining why faith should not be used to justify anything, especially such big questions as whether God exists. I recommend McCormick’s book to anyone, especially to believers who want to critically evaluate their belief in Christianity. Even though the book is about the resurrection, the arguments could easily be extended to other religious traditions, as McCormick details in the closing chapter. McCormick has dealt the core claim of Christianity a huge blow and I wonder if Christianity can recover. Without recourse to faith, it looks as though Christianity should not be believed.

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