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Would a 2017 supernatural Jesus be scientifically rationalized?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by Dirk1540, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I apologize @bling for placing you front & center but your recent post really got my wheels turning about a thought experiment in which a 2017 supernatural Jesus went around performing miracles...would the skeptics truely be sold then if that were to happen? bling's post said...
    This is a very interesting modern day thought experiment, obviously 'Living for Jesus' and intellectually investigating the claims of Jesus are very different...so what would happen if the gig was officially up on all investigations, how would a 2017 Jesus mission go down? How would a miracle working 2017 Jesus do at being declared God? My guess...the gig would not be up with his miracles, the rules of 'The Gig' would change.

    Of course the following is my speculation, but what is your speculation on how it would go down?? ...YouTube clips of Jesus would have billions of hits, it would dominate all news channels as drastically as the week of September 11th. But I could absolutely picture modern day rationalizing, not a doubt in my mind. Today I'm almost convinced that the general public would eat up anything that's fed to them.

    So today we have Quantum Mechanics, which is completely counter intuitive to normal physics. Objects that seem to effect each other telepathically, objects moving through other objects, etc. We have so much cutting edge research going on, I could see 2017 Jesus being painted as some kind of modern day Einstein on steroids who has figured out how to manipulate physics in the everyday world in the same manner that physics 'Naturally' works on a Quantum level. Or how about 2017 Jesus being painted as a breakthrough clone that has brain capacities that humanity never thought possible? AND this brain power completely opens the door for 'God knows what', and the things that this cloned man is doing has totally rational scientific explanations, we are just behind the 8 ball a bit and are 'Working on solutions to figure it out.' News outlets everywhere would tell us that we all can relax, he only "LOOKS SUPERNATURAL."

    I'm not a science guy and I might even be speaking scientific nonsense right now, but I literally think that it's possible that you wouldn't even need to have a coherent theory that makes scientific sense in order to fool the masses (especially today). But that's just option 1. Option 2 would be to actually have a legitimate explanation that sounds very scientifically plausible. I'm not good with science so I can't be more creative about what that rationalization could sound like. Maybe someone else could think of a more articulate scientific rationalization.

    I could see huge 2017 Jesus popularity right out of the gate...but then see it wane more & more. I could picture something sort of similar to how Jesus was followed around and challenged by the Jewish authorities. I could picture law enforcement having a sort of 'Bold confidence vs mixed hesitation' around this magic man, maybe themselves not being totally positive if the rationalization of his 'Supernatural' feats are true or not, themselves confused about this blurring of the lines between 'Miracle' and 'Scientific Breakthrough.'

    Now if 2017 Jesus had a repeat capital punishment mission, if he had to die again but die today, I could picture massive reactions of "Wow what a phony!!" if he allowed himself to be captured and beaten down by law enforcement. I could imagine people saying things like "Really?? This guy said that he will overthrow all the world's governments before his mission is over, yet he just got beat down like a punk by 3 out of shape cops!!??"

    So what do you think? Do you think that the 2017 propaganda machine, combined with our fascinating cutting edge scientific age, combined with our love affair with SciFi possibilities, would all have enough spin in the tank to rationalize away a 2017 supernatural Jesus?
     
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  2. Quid est Veritas?

    Quid est Veritas? In Memoriam to CS Lewis

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    There is a wonderful little essay called Miracles by CS Lewis which is pertinent here. In it Lewis says the following:

    "I have known only one person in my life who claimed to have seen a ghost. It was a woman; and the interesting thing is that she disbelieved in the immortality of the soul before seeing the ghost and still disbelieves after having seen it. She thinks it was a hallucination. In other words, seeing is not believing. This is the first thing to get clear in talking about miracles. Whatever experiences we may have, we shall not regard them as miraculous if we already hold a philosophy which excludes the supernatural. Any event which is claimed as a miracle is, in the last resort, an experience received from the senses; and the senses are not infallible. We can always say we have been the victims of an illusion; if we disbelieve in the supernatural this is what we always shall say. Hence, whether miracles have really ceased or not, they would certainly appear to cease in Western Europe as materialism became the popular creed. For let us make no mistake. If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse, if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up and the great white throne appearing, if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire, he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology. Experience by itself proves nothing. If a man doubts whether he is dreaming or waking, no experiment can solve his doubt, since every experiment may itself be part of the dream. Experience proves this, or that, or nothing, according to the preconceptions we bring to it." - Miracles, in God in the Dock.

    People will disbelieve something if their underlying worldview does not allow it. A good illustration is how people from opposite ends of the political spectrum ignore or dismiss inconvenient data or interpret it radically differently, that conflict with their prefered values and political beliefs. 2017 Jesus would be dismissed as a charlatan or illusionist - a con artist basically. If scientifically investigated, they would conclude he was just able to fool them somehow - although I doubt any would do so. Most would be content to dismiss it out of hand, since his miracles would be so beyond the pale anyway, that they must be fake.
    I am sure a scientific theory could be crafted to explain any findings therefrom in materialistic terms. Often the difference between what is perceived as a miracle or not, is simply opinion. That is what Science does - it takes raw data and then places it in a decidedly materialistic framework and attempt to explain it thereby. Theories don't need to be proven, just be able to stand up to attempted falsification, which would be difficult to do with the paucity of data from investigation of one man's activities - if no more ready explanation is preferred via an erroneous application of Occam's razor.

    I am certain the media would abound with stories of his dangerous cult - telling people to abandon their livelihood, not to bury the dead, that they'll bring disorder within families, that he brings the sword.

    If I had lived in the first century, I am quite certain I would have been highly sceptical of Jesus - as I am now of current claimed miracles and messiah figures. I would probably not trust much in 2017 Jesus. This is the danger one always runs, that when dismissing someone as mad or something as fake, that perhaps it is legitimate, just out of the ordinary. People rationalised away 1st century Jesus, such as saying that His followers stole His body, so obviously we in the 21st would be more than able to do so. But as Gamaliel said: If it is of God, it will prosper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  3. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That was really interesting Quid, and deep! To tell you the truth I created this thread while I was once again contemplating buying this course on Quantum Mechanics. It seems to fascinate me. I've heard some crazy speculation about certain knowledge that could come from QM, like operating on a human without breaking skin lol.

    Who knows where I heard that and if it was legit or not, it was awhile ago and it was on my mind when I made the thread. Like for instance Jesus' abilities to heal without breaking skin could be linked to previous Time Magazine articles that spoke of doing surgery in the future without breaking skin. Stuff like that could possibly be part of the spin, to reference 'Pipe Dream' articles as if their technology was right around the corner, when really it was nowhere in sight...than just say that this 2017 Jesus figured it out.
     
  4. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Here's how I imagine the reaction to a modern-day Jesus.
    (1) Scientists would ignore the claimed miracles just as they ignore UFO reports. Government research grants would be needed. Even with grants available the scientists would be reluctant to jeopardize their reputations with peers by investigating earnestly. Realistically governments would not care about Jesus miracle claims unless they were destabilizing society.
    (2) Religious people would spy on Jesus just as the Pharisees spied on Jesus originally. They would consider Jesus to be a threat to the status quo and try to expose Him as a fraud.
    (3) Ordinary people would be interested but everybody would assume Jesus was merely a hoax (because there are so many hoaxes today).
     
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  5. DogmaHunter

    DogmaHunter Code Monkey

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    My opinion simply is that an all-knowing, all-powerfull god would know exactly what to do, to shut skeptics up.
     
  6. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Would Jesus even do miracles today? I'm not convinced. Miracles were not, as suggested in one posting here, intended to prove his divinity. Indeed he refused to do a miracle once to provide such a proof. First, they were expected things around a holy man. Second, they were part of his vocation to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, as that includes restoration and healing.

    But today, arguments about his miracles would turn into the focus of people's reaction to Jesus, because miracles are no longer taken for granted for holy people. I think he would use other means to demonstrate the restoration and healing.
     
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  7. DogmaHunter

    DogmaHunter Code Monkey

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    That's what those who claim paranormal abilities today, also tend to do.
    During their own-organized "act" performed in a setting and at a time of their own choosing, they'll happily "demonstrate" their abilities.

    And when asked to do it "on the spot", they refuse to do so.

    Usually that's the trigger that tells us that the person doesn't actually have the abilities (s)he claims to have.

    As I said in my previous post....
    An all-knowing, all-powefull god... would know exactly what to do.
     
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  8. KCfromNC

    KCfromNC Regular Member

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    What's interesting to me is that this has to be a thought experiment. The fact that there's no real world verified supernatural events to look at for an answer tells me quite a lot. I think that reality would be more interesting to investigate rather than some random hypothetical situation.
     
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  9. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    his dna would probably be interesting
     
  10. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    First off: any miracle today will not be scientifically verifiable, because that would allow people to intellectually know the Christian God exists without having to believe He exist (no need for faith). Faith is needed so humans will not be able to rely on knowledge. Faith is needed to help individuals initially fulfill their earthly objective.

    Instead of trying to figure out what a modern day Jesus would be like, thing what a modern day Moses would be like, since God did lots of miracles through him that was seen by the masses. Were the Jewish “masses” always excellent followers of Moses? Did they ever threaten to kill Moses? Did they follow God wonderfully? How many out of the millions made it to the Promised Land? What makes you think Jesus of today would fair that much better?
     
  11. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    Agreed. If you read the Bible, at no point does it hint that the onslaught of supernatural events would suddenly cease one day. Supernatural events must have been commonplace, given that the Jews saw the divine manifestation of God which performed miracles and yet they worshipped a golden calf days later.
     
  12. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    What about the Signs Gospel some see as a source for the Gospel of John? What were these miracles meant to signify if they were not meant to give credibility to Jesus?
     
  13. KCfromNC

    KCfromNC Regular Member

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    I'm reminded of this :

    [​IMG] (https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/settled.png)

    Not exactly the same thing, but weird how better documentation has somehow stopped the supernatural from appearing. Maybe it's all the wi-fi radiation?
     
  14. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    The DNA of Jesus would need to be functionally equivalent to the DNA of naturally-conceived human males. God might have synthesized the DNA as though a male had impregnated Mary, so that it would be indistinguishable from normal.
     
  15. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Keep in mind that the thought experiment could very much include the non-believer but it would be way more about the power of propaganda, coupled with our current scientific knowledge. There are so many rationalizations today that weren't probably in the 1st century.

    The non-believer will of course be coming from the angle of the Gospels being mostly fairytale. But for the thought experiment you have to honor the rules of this character of Jesus in the fairytale. He did not do dog & pony show miracles, that was exactly what Herod wanted when Jesus refused to do anything, so we wouldn't expect Jesus to go on Oprah, or at least not do miracles on the show. Jesus also only healed people who had faith in him. So there would be a ton of witnesses but not as many as we think. Would 2017 Jesus possibly even prevent things like him being taped and put on YouTube?? In the Gospels he walked this fine line, he would heal masses, but also avoid certain places and tell people not to tell anyone what happened. In 2017 though maybe he could be more open because he could take cover under scientific speculation (which wasn't an option in the 1st century).

    Could non-believers see at least some chance that our propaganda machine could cover up a real 2017 Jesus, within the 'Fairytale' rules of how Jesus would operate? If a cover up were possibly, I think at least one brilliant (patsy) scientist would fall down an elevator shaft (murdered patsy), followed by claims that crucial parts of her/his/their research remains a mystery.

    I think I could even picture people saying this "This goes to show you how dangerous religion is. Along comes this super genius (scientist patsy) gift to the world, who is smart enough to create a (self conscious) clone who is even 10 times more brilliant than himself, and what happens?? The self aware clone studies all of our knowledge, along with our stupid religious fairytales...and concludes that he was Jesus UGH!! He could have healed WAY more people, but thanks to religion and the clone's delusion that he was Jesus he only healed people who believe in fairytales! And he was more concerned with the made up concept of the afterlife than with all the good he could have done in the here & now!'
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  16. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I objected to the idea that they proved his divinity. That's not the same thing as saying they were signs. They are signs of the presence of the Kingdom through him. First, there's a difference between the presence of the Kingdom and his divinity, though they're connected. Second, there's a difference between a sign and a proof. Signs are signs for those who choose to see them. A sign doesn't have to be miraculous, though I don't think the 19th Cent attempt to explain all of his miracles naturally makes sense.

    I'm sure if Jesus came again there would be signs of what he was doing. I'm not so sure they would be miracles.
     
  17. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I think I can imagine how a sign could NOT be miraculous. I suppose if somebody chose to behave like a character in a parable of Jesus ("the Kingdom of Heaven is like...") then that would be a non-miraculous sign.

    The problem is that all the signs scholars see in the gospel of John are miraculous. It is hard to see any message in the signs other than "wow, it's a miracle!". IDK
    Book of Signs - Wikipedia
     
  18. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes I could see this type of reaction from many people about 2017 Jesus, "Ok fine this dude is a full blown miraculous man! So what?? Looks like people have powers now, this could be evolution here! I just wish he wasn't so delusional, why must he talk about God all the time?"
     
  19. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    A certain "Grand Inquisiter," feel about this post that I like.

    On the scientific skepticism front it seems to misunderstand the nature of skepticism.

    Skepticism applies special pleading to limit what we can know about miracles and then refuses to apply those same epistemic limits across the board.

    Hume circularly assumed there were no such thing as miracles and then declared all testimony of same to be false. His arguments are resurrected only due to the impoverished nature of modern "intellectuals."
     
  20. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I knew that my lack of scientific knowledge could leave me open for critique lol, but I was thinking that it would be 5 times more likely to sell complete nonsense to the masses today than even 30 years ago, even if it went beyond normal boundaries of skepticism. I'm blown away by the misinformation I see today, and blown away how people eat up the craziest stuff.

    So bending and overrating the possibilities of what a brilliant clone with a 300 IQ can do is one part of the thought experiment, but I think the even bigger factor is how we are trained more than ever now to believe anything. I probably wouldn't post this thought experiment in 1980. Then again how could I there was no internet in 1980 lol.
     
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