Why Not Atheism?
In an interview with philosopher Douglas Groothuis, who spent more than 8 years producing his 752-page tome Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, Lee Strobel asks the following question:
Q. You offer a compelling case for the resurrection of Jesus. What’s the strongest counter-argument to him rising from the dead? And why does that alternative fail?
To which Groothuis replies
A. None of the counter-arguments are as rationally strong as the claim that Jesus left an empty tomb and rose from the dead in space-time actuality. The naturalistic accounts all fail to explain key elements of what we know from history.
However, in recent years, the hallucination theory has generated the most attention, as Gary Habermas has pointed out. This theory affirms that Jesus did not objectively rise from the dead; instead, his followers subjectively hallucinated a resurrection and subsequently built their movement on this delusion. While this counter-argument may be “the best of the bad,” it is still very bad indeed.
First, hallucinations are not group phenomena, but rather individual experiences. But we have well-attested records that many people in their right minds observed the risen Jesus at the same time, as well as other individual appearances (as to Paul).
Second, if many people were deluded about Jesus and began a movement in his name, the Roman government could have put a stop to the young Jesus movement by producing his corpse publicly. They had both the means and the motive to do so. But we have no record of anything like that.
Third, Jesus’ followers did not expect him to rise from the dead. This was not part of their theology and they did not understand Jesus when he made reference to this fact before his resurrection. N.T Wright strongly argues for this. But hallucinations usually involve some form of wish fulfillment: people strongly desire something, and then hallucinate about it. This does not fit the objective historical evidence about Jesus’ followers at all.
Read the full interview for more answers for “why not?”
The Ghosts of Atheism
Atheists don’t believe in the supernatural so they naturally don’t believe in ghosts.
Well as Robert Velarde demonstrates in his article, Ghosts for the Atheists even atheists have ghosts.
It’s not that they don’t exist, it’s just that like so many other things, they simply try to deny their existence.