Friday, March 11, 2011

Bad Arguments Against the Resurrection, Part 2

Bad argument #2: Legends can form quickly and easily.

“…and that means the Resurrection was one.” That’s the implied finish to this bad argument, which I suspect is left unfinished because to make it explicit would leave it open to the obvious rebuttal, “And how do you know it was one?” In turn, that means the critic has to come up with a little more argumentative horsepower and data – which they usually don’t want to do.

After all – yes, legends can form quickly and easily, and you can find plenty of examples. But you can also find plenty of examples of legends that arose very late, or were debunked and disappeared from the ideological landscape, or things that weren’t legends at all. The bare argument above is just as well answered by appeal to other examples – and we’re again left to look at hard data questions.

Admittedly, this was effective as a retort to an equally bad argument FOR the Resurrection, made by some amateurs and some who misunderstood a more sophisticated point by Sherwin-White, that legends take time to develop. It’s far more complex than that: It’s more to the effect that legends take time to emerge, and then “stick” as the official version of what happened.

Into the mix as well for the Resurrection must be the social effects of making excessive claims of honor for someone. As an excessive honor claim, the Resurrection would be immediately challenged – by everyone – in some form or another. Some (I think most) would challenge it by ignoring the claim –which seems counterintuitive, until you realize that silence and snubbing was a way of indicating that you didn’t take a claim seriously, which makes it in essence a challenge to the claim. Others would engage in direct challenges to the preachers of the Gospel.

In any event, the simplistic “legends can too form quickly” is a bad argument – to the extent that it’s more a shortcut than an argument.

1 comment:

  1. You don't make arguments, Hans. You rant incoherently as you make assertions with no basis. Hit the road.