I just came across this outstanding example of Christian 'logic' in a blog by one Richard Bushey entitled Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?. Richard is setting out to 'prove' that Jesus was really resurrected from the dead using 'historical evidence', or so he implies in the tweet linking to it.
@bibleraps Also I invite you to check out my article about the historical facts surrounding Jesus' death. thereforegodexists.com/2012/08/did-je…
— Richard (@AChristianWord) August 12, 2012
So, sit back and enjoy Richard's exposition of this historical evidence which, under normal circumstances would be expected to win the discoverer instant world-wide fame and fortune and a heap of awards:
As a Christian, I do believe that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. God incarnated himself in Jesus, and in confirmation of this, three days after Jesus’ crucifixion, he was resurrected, returned to the disciples and hundreds of others, and ascended to glory and immortality. I believe this, as a Christian, just as I believe that the scriptures are divinely inspired.
But when approaching an issue historically, one cannot take their presuppositions with them. Therefore as difficult as it may be for some people to read, I will not be treating the New Testament as though it were a divinely inspired text. I will be treating it as though it were a collection of historical documents. [My emphasis]
Er... and that's it. Richard is going to treat the New Testament "...as though it were a collection of historical documents", and, presumably, that is enough to turn them into historical evidence. No further verification, authentication, validation with external sources; no analysis of writing styles and/or cultural references. Deeming them to be evidence is all that's needed. To 'prove' your religion you start with your conclusion and works back from there, taking whatever leaps of logic and mental contortions may be needed on the way.
If all else fails, simply proclaim facts by fiat. Let there be evidence!
Well, not quite. Richard couldn't resist presenting us with a last clinching piece of evidence - an authentic photograph of an empty tomb. No! Honestly! Look!
Of course, Richard is only aping other Christian apologists who take great pride in performing these mental gymnastics with scant regard to reality so long as the bottom line comes out the way it's intended. No doubt he too has been impressed with the enthusiastic appreciation of an audience eager for any crumbs of comfort with which to handle the inevitable cognitive dissonance from having to live in the real world whilst still believing in magic.
And it's with 'logic' like this that Christians like Richard Bushey condescend to the rest of humanity, declare our children to be sinners for merely being born human, claim the right to make laws to constrain and compel us, claim the right to relegate half the population to second-class status, claim the right to frighten our children with threats of eternal pain and torture if they don't comply, declare themselves to be the arbiters of human ethics and morality and try to abrogate the right to political power over the rest of us.
In the past, logic like that was used to excuse the killing of anyone who dared to question it, and doubtless would be again if it ever manages to slip the leash we've managed to put on it in the civilised parts of the world.