Loftier musings on some of the problems with the minimal facts approach
Reading through Habermas and Licona’s The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, I’m struck by their interesting argument via “minimal facts”, I’m not a complete illiterate, so I’ve heard of this argument before (for skeptical objections see Michael Martin’s The Case Against Christianity pp87-100), and have seen it proposed in several different forms (Craig uses a similar formula to defend the empty tomb- for skeptical objections see Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder’s edited The Empty Tomb), the one presented in this book they call “4 + 1” as in there are 4 facts they consider to be well attested by biblical scholarship and 1 less so, but still very well attested, that establish the resurrection of Jesus.
The main problem it seems to me, and I’m making an assumption here I know, but the authors think they’re making a case, possibly the best and only case for a supernatural event ever, right? If they are or not it’s not integral, my point is;
do they really think minimal facts are appropriate to establish evidence for a supernatural event?
It seems to me “minimal facts” shoots itself in the foot before it even begins. We don’t ask for minimal facts for natural events (re: physics, cosmology, biology etc), why would we do so when establishing the existence of an all-powerful deity who can… (insert all it’s powers and abilities suitable to your religious faith here).
Now some theists may be thinking that I’m biased, basing my critique of “minimal facts” theory on ECREE, which I’m not, necessarily, whether you subscribe to ECREE or not, surely you agree that a supernatural event, any supernatural event, bears a heavy burden of proof, that requires solid, reliable and presumably a lot of evidence to corroborate it. Are “minimal facts” going to get the job done (I would ask you if “minimal facts” would convince you of someone elses religious truth)?
I’m planning on doing a proper discussion of their work eventually, I promise. I’ve got some stuff down as a response to their 4 facts, I need more space than I have here to present my objections though, so you’ll have to wait just a little while.
- An Opportunity Lost: Why Geisler’s Critique Missed the Mark (westernthm.wordpress.com)
- To Muse or Not to Muse (eclecticblonde.wordpress.com)
- An Argument Against Rational Belief in The Resurrection of Jesus (unfspb.wordpress.com)
- Faith, History, Bonhoeffer and the Resurrection (iheartbarth.wordpress.com)