Friday, April 11, 2014

8. How do we know the disciples weren't suffering from a mass hallucination or mass hypnosis?

Hmm, how about such things wouldn't explain it.  No, really, that's the answer for both of them.

Those explanations (hypnosis or hallucination) could apply to a single person, but Jesus appeared to groups of people several times. 1 Corinthians 15:6 says more than 500 followers which is literally brothers in the greek.  I'd bet anything they didn't bother counting the women & children again like in the story of the feeding of the 5000 with the 5 loaves & 2 fishes.  He also appeared to all the disciples (without Judas Iscariot), a much smaller crowd, but still many more than just 1.

Mass hypnosis doesn’t work well with large crowds due to some being skeptical. Skeptics are hard to hypnotize. Watch a hypnotist do his act sometimes. He picks a number of people out the audience & tells them to dance after he's tried to put them all in a trance. The one that dances the best gets told to dance like a chicken & then act like a chicken or some such nonsense. He focuses on the susceptible ones, not the ones that didn't go into the trance or did respond to his suggestions. 500 people would have left a lot of people standing there wondering why the others were dancing like chickens. Oh, one other sticking point here is that the body would still be in the empty tomb that no one bothered to deny.

Hallucinations are imaginary visions that are an individual experience. They cannot be shared among groups anymore than 2 people can go to sleep & share the same dream. You could make 500 people hallucinate. Just put some LSD in the water & pass it out. Problem is some people see themselves running thru fields of flowers with rainbows & puppies chasing after them. Other see poisonous snakes & spiders everywhere trying to bite them. They all hallucinate, but they don't see the same thing. Plus there would still have been that pesky body in the undenied empty tomb.

Okay, the tomb is empty, no impostor or twin, hallucinations or hypnosis, but isn't the next question totally obvious? To me it is. How do we know Jesus didn't pass out on the cross and just revive in the tomb? Most of 30 years I pondered that question & no one ever went near it in church. Tell you what I know next time.

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