Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thomas Sermon #4: Philosophy 101 and the Resurrection

Read the TEXT, and the previous posts.

It important to affirm something here: What I am about to say is Philosophy 101: No one can say – "I haven’t experienced 'it', therefore 'it' can’t happen". No matter what 'it' is. So you can’t say – "I have never seen anyone come back to life after being dead, therefore no one can come back to life".

One of my favorite cartoons (I believe it was from John's Dickson's 'A Sneaking Suspicion') depicts two babies – twins growing in a womb, and one says to the other: "Don’t be dumb, who ever heard of life after birth." They can’t say: "I haven’t experienced 'life after birth', therefore 'life after birth' can’t happen". You get the point, right?

Have you ever watched (perhaps when you were younger) a caterpillar build a cocoon around itself and emerge a butterfly? If you had tried to tell me the process before I'd seen it, I simply wouldn’t believe you. But just because I’ve never seen it, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

The classic case in Philosophy is the case of the Black Swan. In the 17th Century Europe, it was assumed that all swans were white. No one had seen a Black Swan. Until they discovered in Australia Black swans. Jet Black swans. And even back then it challenged all sorts of notions about what you can and can’t be certain of. You cannot say that because I have never seen a black swan, That there is therefore no such thing as a black swan.

You cannot say: 'Swans aren’t black'.
You cannot say: There’s no ‘life after birth’.
You cannot say: 'Slugs can’t become butterflies'.
And you cannot say: 'Dead men can’t rise'.

All of these are possible, even if initially rare to our eyes. (That's the point, right?)

Last point comin'...

1 comment:

Stephanie Dosch said...

I liked how you started at a destination or thesis point, and then ran backwards if you would, to where your reader was, and took them on the journey you had taken to get to the ending point, which was the initial claim. Maybe if more christians were able to come off as resonable as you there would be more of us. Or again, maybe the same amount (1 Cor 1-29-31)