The probability of the resurrection
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Andrew Dole & Andrew Chignell (eds.), God and the Ethics of Belief: New Essays in Philosophy of Religion. Cambridge University Press (2005)
The hypothesis that Jesus rose bodily from the dead is rendered probable in so far as: (1) evidence makes it probable that there is a God, (2) God has reason to become incarnate - to provide atonement for our sins, to identify with our suffering, and to reveal teaching (and so to lead a particular kind of human life, including teaching that he was divine and making atonement, a life culminated by a super-miracle such as his resurrection from the dead), (3) there is evidence of a modest degree of probability to be expected if Jesus was the only prophet in human history who led a life of the above kind, which was culminated in the right sort of way. So, given other evidence that there is a God (and a priori reason to suppose that he would become incarnate),and other evidence about the life of Jesus and other prophets, only a modest amount of historical witness testimony to the Resurrection is necessary in order to show that it occurred
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