Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Spiderman Problem

Of course the problem here is blindingly obvious to anyone who thinks about it a bit, but at the risk of ruining a good joke with too much philosophical analysis, let me over work it.  The number of people who are willing to uncritically and unreflectively quote the Bible as if doing so answers real questions continues to be disappointingly high.  

The Spiderman Problem:  If someone justifies a belief in part or in whole upon a religious document,  then we must have some independent grounds for thinking that what the document says is true.

The fact that Issue 122 says that the Green Goblin dies while fighting Spiderman, is not sufficient to prove that there is such a being as Green Goblin or that he is, in fact, dead.  

That the document says X is true, by itself, is not enough to justify it.  

The Spiderman Problem is why Christian believers must provide some other grounds for the resurrection than merely pointing out that the Gospels report that Jesus was resurrected. We need some independent grounds for thinking that what the Gospels say are true.  So, many Christians will turn to a historical argument.  The central problem here, as I have argued at length in my book is that people, particularly illiterate Bronze age peasants, sheepherders, and fisherman, are notoriously unreliable sources of accurate information about supernatural, paranormal, or spiritual matters.  Their error rate regarding things like resurrections, ghosts, magic, mental action at a distance, miracles, and so on is very, very high.  Couple that psychological fact about people with the tenuous, fragmented, and tiny body of third hand, hearsay reports we have about Jesus from religious zealots, and the foundations of Christianity--the resurrection--are undermined by the Spiderman Problem.


Jon Hanson said...

Of course then Christians will start citing things in the Bible that are corroborated by secular History but then we get back to the Spiderman problem. Just because Spiderman is set in New York city, and New York city does exist, it doesn't follow that there was a Spiderman or that anyone has ever had the powers described in it.

Of course the obvious rebuttal is that Spiderman is obviously a work of fiction while the Bible seems to be historical, so better examples would be things like UFO sightings, stories of the paranormal and other ancient religious tales filled with magic. Still, I think the Spiderman example could be good if you're looking to turn the table on apologists who demand we hold the Bible to the lowest burden of proof possible right as they turn around and shoot down other extraordinary claims without paying them any real respect.

Unknown said...

Operation Archangel

rich millionaires with their heads up the arses

I think this qualifies as a DOS attack... for RATS IN A TRAP

you can thank RANDI



0 min 33 sec - Randi in the RED SHIRT - signifying the *bl..dy deed* that is about to happen

1min 18 sec - Banachek talks about respect for the claimant and then they mock "these kind" of people in the final part

3 min 20 sec - the test of the power bracelet that increases a person's energy and balance. Notice our challenge is all about POWER & BALANCE, proving the existence of a HIGHER POWER

5 min 15 sec TEST BEGINS. Skeptics one by one stand in CRUCIFIXION POSE

1 hr 10 min 21 sec Test is ended in failure

1 hr 10 min 30 sec request is made to make change in the PROTOCOL

1 hr 10 min 51 sec Applause is made by all those who wanted him to fail from the very beginning

1 hr 25 min 39 sec Now they talk about the Nightline clip that was filmed in Manhattan, also the scene of the 9/11 event

1hr 28 min 42 sec - They talk about make-shift tests. They think that because no one can win the prize that psychic phenomena does not exist

1 hr 29 min 45 sec Banachek says "the majority of *these* people.'" A contemptuous reference that occurs repeatedly

1 hr 31 min 53 sec The reference to envelopes. Remember the 911 in Angel's envelope!

1 hr 37 min 11 sec Swiss says he is not worried about a paranormal event happening. Little does he know what is actually taking place

1 hr 39 min 50 sec The mocking of SPIRITS!

1 hr 40 min 27 sec Reference made to the TERROR of witnessing a supernatural event, i.e, the blood leaving the face

1 hr 41 min 15 sec Reference to "these people"

1 hr 41 min 40 sec Belief in the supernatural is claimed to be a psychological defence mechanism to cope with reality. Swiss talks about how desperate the psychics become when debunked. Little does he know what is happening to the skeptics!


which WORLD-VIEW will not exist, sh*thead?


5000 whining atheists vs the Great Prophet

how the divine pen of Michel Nostradamus crushed the international atheist movement

one applicant right here...

get the POINT, Randi....


for lies on top of lies

do you think you can threaten my right to FREE SPEECH?

what if I told you that I am not who you think I am….

Not Dennis Markuze - but a FAN!

you're not the center of the universe!


a dishonest liar