Argument #2 for the Resurrection: Believers' Feelings and Instincts

rakovsky

Active member
Continuing with my list of arguments for the Resurrection (https://forums.carm.org/threads/a-l...st-direct-evidence-for-jesus-resurrection.361), the second argument is Believers' Feelings and Instincts.

The argument basically goes that they feel an intense personal connection to Jesus, and feel God's presence and encouragement when they pray to Him. Their instincts tell them that these relationships and Christianity are true.

A counterargument goes that people can be misguided in imagining personal relationships (like with a celebrity who gets tons of fan mail) and in their instincts, like whether they will win the lottery. So it's hard to consider this by itself alone a strong reason for others to believe.

That is, if you learn that in some country people have a religion that teaches that God is in a multiplicity of beings, and the adherents feel a strong attachment to or the presence of each of the beings, and you don't know more about their religion, the mere fact that those people feel this way does not seem a strong reason by itself for you to believe whichever religion it is that they are talking about. You don't know if they are talking about a version of Hinduism or some other religion.

When you learn that they are talking about Christianity, Jesus' teachings and biography, the Old Testament prophecies, etc., you might agree that they are feeling a real divine presence because you accept Christianity, but without that information, the mere fact that they feel this way about beings whom they identify as God does not give you enough information to tell whether their feelings are real, true, accurate, etc.

The underlying assumption behind Evidence #2 would seem to be that if people feel a divine presence or personal connection or feel God leading them in a certain direction, then the presence is real or the direction that they are being led in is correct. But this premise does not seem very strong by itself, because people have felt led in different ways or have felt divine or supernatural interactions in different religions. For instance, some Protestants might feel a close ongoing relationship with a saint or dead relative in heaven, whereas other Protestants are pretty skeptical of such phenomena being real.

An apologetic response could be that feelings and instincts are still a personal compass helping to guide a person toward a truth or goal. So their feelings and instincts can still be a strong reason for the person to believe.


In his discussion with me this March, Timtofly wrote that the Holy Spirit can lead people to the truth:
Some would argue the point of being led by the Spirit, when reading Scripture. That seems slightly narrow as unbelievers may be able to prove they do not believe in a Holy Spirit. I am not convinced by their arguments they cannot know. Some may even claim they cannot know. That was the conversation that Jesus had with Pontious Pilate. Pilate knew the truth but carried out the sentence any way. Not because he had to, but it was his choice. To be safe, he washed his hands and blamed the Jews.
This reminds me of believers describing themselves as feeling led by the Spirit. Otherwise, if you don't feel led, then what makes you think that you are led to this belief? That the belief makes sense in a positive way? The argument that the Resurrection makes sense in a positive way is actually a separate one on my list, #5.

I responded to Timtofly:
You are right that this is an argument that people bring up, and you are right that there is a counterargument that unbelievers can claim that there is no Holy Spirit. But what both the believers and unbelievers should agree on is that they feel led by the Spirit. They feel that God is guiding them. This is EVIDENCE #2 in my list above. The unbelievers can reply that thee believers could be misled by their feelings, but this does not disprove that the believers at least have the feelings.


Biblican commented that one of the strongest arguments was the Pentecost experience, as well as believers' experiences today:
The second [reason] is Pentecost. The miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit that resulted in three thousand souls coming to Jesus in one day can't be denied. Especially since Christians today can still have that experience of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Experience then would also be an evidence to the believer. Jesus was asked by one of His disciples why He was only going to manifest Himself to believers and not to the world in general (John 14:22). He replied in essence that the world does not love Him, and He will only manifest Himself to those who do. In other words, the evidence of His resurrection, His atonement, etc. is cemented in the hearts of believers by faith. Those who question, resist the faith and oppose it, will never experience the confirmation of Jesus manifesting Himself to them personally as He does to believers.
The spread of Christianity counts as Argument #4 in my list, but the experience or feelings of those believers is also its own separate argument, Argument #2. So I wrote that this must be a matter of believers' feelings,
Otherwise, how does a person know that they have the Holy Spirit in them? One answer on how you as a believer can see that the person has the Spirit is because the person does good works, and "by their fruits ye shall know them". But simply doing good works or acting in a Christian way does not seem to prove objectively that the person has a supernatural Spirit working in them, as opposed to, say, acting on their conscience or making a conscious decision to model themselves after God's models or general instructions for them. That is, just because a person believes in a miraculous event and acts in a moral way does not prove that the event occurred. But the person's own feelings and miracles might serve as strong evidence.
The argument that you are making seems to be that a believer gets the Holy Spirit, and that this shows that the beliefs are correct, and they can tell by experience that they have the holy spirit. But how does the person know that they have the Holy Spirit in a way that proves that the Resurrection is true? If it's a matter that a person "knows inside" or feels that the Resurrection is true or has some miracles, then these things feel like evidence. But if you want to say that a person knows that they have the spirit because they are acting morally and that this in turn proves that the Resurrection is real... Well then you have to deal with the issue of "Good Samaritans" who don't believe in the Resurrection but still act morally anyway.

I wrote back to Biblican that he
raised the issue that "Jesus was asked by one of His disciples why He was only going to manifest Himself to believers and not to the world in general (John 14:22). He replied in essence that the world does not love Him, and He will only manifest Himself to those who do." This could be a counterargument against Skeptics' arguments about Jesus failing to show himself to non-believers. In other words, Skeptics could ask why didn't Jesus show Himself to the Sanhedrin leaders and to the population of Jerusalem after He resurrected in order to make it mentally obvious to everyone that He resurrected? And the Apologist counterargument can be that Jesus only shows himself to those who love Him.
Still, the idea that Jesus only showed Himself to believers does not seem to be a strong argument in favor of the resurrection, does it? I mean, let's say that a religious group claims that a religious leader performed a miracle and that the only people who could see it were the people who loved the leader, then Skeptics could theorize that the miracle didn't happen. The Skeptics could say that the only people who saw the miracle were the ones biased by their love and so the event was not objectively verifiable. If a group of Hindus claim that their guru levitated, but the non-Hindus present said that this did not happen, then it seems doubtful that their leader actually levitated in an objective way, as opposed to the subjective beliefs or claims of the followers.


Bob Carbbio commented that his own salvation served as evidence:
"Which Direct Evidence for the Resurrection Do You Find to Be the Strongest?"

The fact the HE saved me, indwelled me with HIS Spirit, Changed me, and cleansed me from all sin, and made me His child. You can't beat THAT kind of evidence!!!
I replied:
Bob, Congratulations on your spiritual changeover. These experiences can be inspiring like in the story behind the song "Amazing Grace", where a slave trader was transformed spiritually into an abolitionist.
It looks like your personal experience would serve as Evidence #2 (Believers' feelings and instincts) in the list that I made and linked to in the OP.
Peace.
 

e v e

Well-known member
It’s true a soul can meet Him.

The Self can also masquerade feelings, and this possibly as a strategy of satan to discredit the experiences souls may have ... because then the pharisees can go citing the examples of lunatics which is impossible to defend against....to then claim its all so much a troubled subject and to erode every sweet thing.... because the things of His Realm can’t be proved by the logic or type thinking of this world.

Also, tradition via Rome and since in its protestant offshoots has tried to curb the idea He talks to a soul, by redirecting authority to popes, translations, pastors, theologians...and ‘translations’ leaving the simple soul to be bullied. As well as, trying to block that a soul can even meet him or that anyone would believe she even did by enforcing theological fiats such as ‘prophecy is closed’ or ‘interpretations are only for the top expert biblical languages guru’... and classing someone with labels to discredit is also a form of this abullying. All this to drown Him out from being heard and control the sheep by human majority rule.

Who would believe He talked to a soul here, now? As He did to the prophets? Rev. and all of scripture, when skipping esau’s interpretations, shows that prophecy is not closed.

It is basically classical greek training (for centuries, think plato) to deny a soul’s own direct line to hearing and feeling Him and demand a ‘universal‘ truth. Such is not christian, it is greek.
 
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e v e

Well-known member
And augustine was a horrible conduit to this type of universal ‘thinking’, even institutionalizing it, though he claimed to have had an “experience”. Augustine’s view of such things was very much affected by his manichaean and platonic mindset.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Continuing with my list of arguments for the Resurrection (https://forums.carm.org/threads/a-l...st-direct-evidence-for-jesus-resurrection.361), the second argument is Believers' Feelings and Instincts.

The argument basically goes that they feel an intense personal connection to Jesus, and feel God's presence and encouragement when they pray to Him. Their instincts tell them that these relationships and Christianity are true.
It isnt about feelings it is about identification with the same God Jesus described he obeyed. It isnt about beliefs at all it is about the manifestation of the same Love be in you who was in Christ Jesus. Which isnt a feeling but a state of ones mind to think in terms of Love, for God is Love. But Love can spawn emotions.
A counterargument goes that people can be misguided in imagining personal relationships (like with a celebrity who gets tons of fan mail) and in their instincts, like whether they will win the lottery. So it's hard to consider this by itself alone a strong reason for others to believe.
People worship all kinds of gods and Christians are notorious for worshiping a man as a god, they worship a bible as a god, they worship a church as a god, instead of actually having the God of Love who was in that man called Jesus. They dont have a clue what it is for Christ be in you, which simply is to be anointed of God, have His same Love as your own disposition. So simple yet so hard for the religious mind to comprehend.
That is, if you learn that in some country people have a religion that teaches that God is in a multiplicity of beings, and the adherents feel a strong attachment to or the presence of each of the beings, and you don't know more about their religion, the mere fact that those people feel this way does not seem a strong reason by itself for you to believe whichever religion it is that they are talking about. You don't know if they are talking about a version of Hinduism or some other religion.
In studying other religions most are basically the same, just changed the names of the theatrical characters.
When you learn that they are talking about Christianity, Jesus' teachings and biography, the Old Testament prophecies, etc., you might agree that they are feeling a real divine presence because you accept Christianity, but without that information, the mere fact that they feel this way about beings whom they identify as God does not give you enough information to tell whether their feelings are real, true, accurate, etc.
Most who say they accepted Christianity actually accept some creed as in Catholic, Baptists, Methodists, Muslim, COCs, AOGs and the alike which in reality are religious enterprises with their own ways to attract contributors.

A Christian is Christ like and Love is his own life. The same life Jesus Christ lived of himself in God who is Love.
The underlying assumption behind Evidence #2 would seem to be that if people feel a divine presence or personal connection or feel God leading them in a certain direction, then the presence is real or the direction that they are being led in is correct. But this premise does not seem very strong by itself, because people have felt led in different ways or have felt divine or supernatural interactions in different religions. For instance, some Protestants might feel a close ongoing relationship with a saint or dead relative in heaven, whereas other Protestants are pretty skeptical of such phenomena being real.
One can conjure just about anything and call it of God, Jim Jones, David Koresh, even Hitler said they heard from God to do what they did. Denominations are no different they all establish their own laws to govern those beliefs then act it out in rituals.
An apologetic response could be that feelings and instincts are still a personal compass helping to guide a person toward a truth or goal. So their feelings and instincts can still be a strong reason for the person to believe.
Jim Jones, David Koresh, Hitler, to them was guided by a belief and truth of mind and set a goal.
One just has to try the spirits to see which are of love for others as yourself.
 
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