Four items appear below:
  1. Simple Questions                                            D Dowling
  2. Resurrection and Other Simple Questions    Anon
  3. Thanks – But Please Tell Me More                D Dowling
  4. Resurrection and True Religion                      Anon

SIMPLE QUESTIONS
FOR THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION

Dean R. Dowling

(Investigator 112, 2007 January)


1 Where is the evidence for life after death?

2 Where is the evidence for the existence of a soul?

3 When one dies is one resurrected 2 or 3 days after death? I don't want to be at age 72 resurrected 2 or 3 days later with my crook back, I.B.S., high B. P. and Alzheimer's.

4 Is all religious belief just wishful thinking?

5 According to Intelligent Design, God does exist as the First Cause of everything. But is he a bastard of the First Order because of all the injustice and suffering in this world?

On page 73 of "The End of Faith" Sam Harris writes:
 
"Jesus Christ can now be eaten in the form of a cracker. A few Latin words spoken over your favourite Burgundy and you drink his blood as well. Is there any doubt that a lone subscriber to these beliefs would be considered mad?"




 
RESURRECTION
and OTHER SIMPLE QUESTIONS

Anonymous

(Investigator 112, 2007 January) 
 

QUESTIONS 1 and 2 – RESURRECTION

To minimize theology and answer Dowling in accord with experience and science I'll make "soul" synonymous with mind. Therefore anyone who experiences having a mind also has a soul.

Now recall the biblical prediction that if humans were united then everything they imagine will become possible in reality:

And the LORD said, "Behold, they are all one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them." (Genesis 11:6)

From this prediction even the resurrection of the dead should become scientifically possible.

If humans can potentially resurrect the dead by using the physics and chemistry of our four dimensions of space and time, then God working in five, six or more dimensions (depending on which Cosmology is correct) could easily resurrect all the dead – 50, 60 or 70 billion of them.

I'll say that again: If human science can potentially resurrect the dead then the "omnipotent" Creator of everything could do immeasurably better. Therefore the Bible is plausible in predicting the resurrection of the dead.

Consider, first, the body:

Genetics may within decades achieve the technology where if just one living cell survives, dead people could have their entire body recreated by cloning. Even if no cell survives but there's a full record of its chemical structure including all the base-pairs of its DNA then the body could be reconstituted with future gene technology. The result would be a body without a mind, or perhaps a body with an empty mind.

Now consider the mind:

Simple mind-reading using brain scanning technology is already a fact. See New Scientist, January 7, 1995, 30-34; July 31, 2004, 31-41; September 21, 2003, p. 38; April 30, 2005 p. 11; May 6, 2006 p. 32

The 2005 reference says:

So far, the technique has only been used to identify visual patterns. But it may eventually be possible to probe awareness, focus of attention, memory and even someone's intentions. Currently we also have the Blue Brain Project which is an attempt to build: "a complete simulation of the human brain…to model the entire electrical circuitry of the brain using a super computer..." (New Scientist, June 11, 2005, p. 25)

Brain scanning technologies are recent developments and already some scientists are thinking of loading mental images onto computer screens!

We can imagine future brain-scanning technology that copies everything in the mind and stores it on a computer hard drive thus maintaining a replica of the mind in unconscious form.

A dead person would then be reconstituted by creating a new body via genetics and reintegrating the mind stored on the hard-drive with the nervous system.

Consider also teleportation (while remembering that virtually everything is possible):

Australian scientists recently teleported a laser beam:

…by measuring each particle's spin and polarisation through a process that destroys the particles, encodes their measurements in radio waves, zaps them to a receiver and applies them to new photons. (Weisser 2006)
  It's predicted that within five years scientists might teleport an atom or molecule. And if that, why not eventually an entire human of 1027 atoms? In Star Trek style people will be saying "Beam me up!" However, the point I wish to make is that at departure the person will be dissassembled, all his atoms converted to energy, in effect he's dead. At arrival he'll be reassembled, in effect resurrected. It's resurrection without even using DNA!

Other scientists are working on:

…trying to build an intelligent material that can replicate a physical three-dimensional facsimile of you from nothing more than a stream of video images. If it works, all you'll need to project yourself around the globe is an internet connection and a pile of their intelligent nanodust at the other end to assemble your replica. (Siegfried 2005)
 
The result would be a replica of you. Again, similar to resurrection!

If the above phenomena are humanly achievable in four dimensions, and are being worked on in preliminary ways, then obviously "omnipotence" operating in [up to] 11 dimensions could do infinitely better!

Mr Dowling, get ready for eternity and for:

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
 

QUESTION 3 – RESURRECTION-BODY

Christ was resurrected "the third day" – died on Friday and raised on Sunday morning.

That's what most New Testament passages on Christ's resurrection say.

One passage (Matthew 12:40) says "three days and three nights". This passage probably considers Jesus as dead in principle on the night of his trial, Thursday night, because he was prejudged and his dying started when the physical mistreatment began.

For people other than Jesus the resurrection to eternal life is in the future – as the Bible puts it "on the last day". (John 6:40, 44, 54)

Mr Dowling asks whether he'll be resurrected with his crook back and Alzheimer's.

Those resurrected to eternity will receive a new superior body. (1 Corinthians 15:35-55) The bodies of people resurrected to be judged and punished is not described. Therefore use common sense – for example they'll need to be sound enough in body so that their mind can function and appreciate what's happening.

QUESTION 4 – WISHFUL THINKING

Yes, much religious belief is false, or in Dowling's words "wishful thinking". The Bible itself teaches that religious idolatry is worthless and the entire human race is deceived.

It also teaches that human evil including religious evil will finally lead to the "end of the world" by fire from "heaven" i.e. from the sky. (2 Peter 3:1-13; 2:6; Genesis 19:24-28) The possibility of the world perishing by fire became up-to-date science only recently:

The recognition that [asteroid] impacts have taken place on the Earth, and that they have the potential to do great damage to the ecology of our planet, is a new idea. Twenty five years ago such concepts would have seemed absurd to most geologists, and even a decade ago their implications were only beginning to diffuse into the scientific world…
And future catastrophes, which dwarf even nuclear holocaust are inevitable. (Chapman & Morrison 1990)


QUESTION 5 – CAUSE OF INJUSTICE

Consider a landlord who invites people to live in his house, doesn't even charge rent, but requires obedience to rules that will preserve the health and lives of the tenants. Perhaps rules like "Don't jump off the roof", "Don't stick wires into power sockets", "Don't use lies to persuade other tenants into harmful actions."

Suppose the tenants decide they know better rules and therefore disobey the landlord's rules. Suppose the landlord thinks it inconsistent to enforce his benevolence by power and terror, and also does not wish to throw the tenants out. Therefore he lets the tenants try out their own rules and experience the consequences.

Who would be to blame for the suffering that results?

Surely not the generous landlord! Rather the unappreciative and rebellious "bastards" who don't appreciate free accommodation and despise rules established for their benefit! (See also: God, Tsunamis and Evil, #104)
 

CRACKER/BURGUNDY QUESTION

For humans to let one thing represent something else is an everyday occurrence. There are figures of speech for this with names such as "Metaphor", "Simile", "Symbol" and "Hypocatastasis". A metaphor is when one word stands for another. Biblical metaphors number hundreds and include:

But I am a worm, and no man. (Psalm 22:6)
He [God] is my rock… (Psalm 62:2)
For the LORD God is a sun and a shield… (Psalm 84:11)
I am the good shepherd. (John 10:11)
Whitcomb (1986) writes:
Catholics believe that their Holy Communion, the Blessed Eucharist, is the actual Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, because that is what Christ said It was: "This is my body… This is my blood"… (p. 40)
Catholics here have unnecessarily turned a metaphor into a mystery.

Every church has errors and that's just something to put up with. There are also errors in every science and again we just have to put up with it until they're corrected. This is no reason for Dowling to disobey Jesus' command to "Do this [i.e. commemorate Jesus' death with "cracker" and "burgundy"] in remembrance of me".

If we ridicule a ceremony merely because one thing (e.g. wine) represents something else (e.g. blood), then why not ridicule everything where one thing stands for or symbolises something else including television images, wedding rings, and even the chemical events in the brain that correspond to the external world?
 

CONCLUSION

Mr Dowling if you have further questions why not go to church and inquire there? Perhaps they'll tackle your hard questions, not just the "simple" ones.
 

REFERENCES:

Chapman, C. R. & Morrison, D. Cosmic Impacts Cosmic Catastrophes, Mercury 1990 January/February, pp 21, 22, 25

Siegfried, T. Body double 2005 New Scientist, June 11, pp 30-33

Weisser, R. The Weekend Australian October 29-30, 2006, A Vision For The Nation's Future, Part 7 Technology

Whitcomb, P. 1986 The Catholic Church has the Answer, Tan Books, Illinois, USA.
 



THANKS – BUT PLEASE TELL ME MORE

(Investigator 113, 2006 March)

I wish to thank Anonymous for telling me that God is the Great Cloner using the latest DNA technology to resurrect bodies. (No. 112, p. 38)

What if bodies are completely destroyed, or has He the DNA file on everyone who has ever lived?

Where do the 70 billion rejuvenated bodies live now? In Heaven? But where is Heaven? Or will future science discover where Heaven is?

Would Anonymous also please tell me which religion is the True One?

Dean R. Dowling. B.Sc.
(Retired physics)



RESURRECTION and TRUE RELIGION

Anonymous

(Investigator 114, 2007 May)


Mr Dowling (#113) asks whether God has "the DNA file on everyone".

I had cited (in #112) various methods science is already researching, including cloning, whereby dead people might be reconstituted. The argument was that if humans could resurrect the dead then for God – if He exists and has the powers attributed to Him – it would be easy!

The information necessary to resurrect someone includes his "DNA file". Perhaps future human technology might be able to retrieve this for everyone. But if not, there's the memory of God. The DNA file (3 billion base pairs) of everyone who ever lived (c.60 billion people) comes to 1.8 x 1020 base pairs. This is less than the number of stars in the Universe (estimated at 1022 ) and the Bible says God has a name for every star! (Isaiah 40:26)

Dowling also asks, "Which religion is the true one?" Here it is:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)


The Bible evaluated by science on this website:

http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/