Re: Applying the Art of Lie-detecting to the Resurrection Accounts
Can you show that the accounts you are presenting are not heresy. Can you establish chain of custody? You’re also failing to present your witnesses, nor have you established their identity. Lastly, because you have not established chain of custody, and because you’re not able to present the actual evidence it not only is likely your evidence has been tampered with, but there is actual evidence that your evidence is tainted.
[qs=Jon]What practices are used by investigators who must sift through numerous eyewitness accounts of an event to sort out what happened and did not based on consistencies/inconsistencies in the accounts given? When considering whether or not a particular aspect of the incident did or did not occur, what value might consistent accounts add to support the incident's happening? What effect might inconsistent accounts have on the believability of the account?
One of the methods used by scholars who look through the New Testament in search of the 'historical Jesus' is what Robert Stein calls the Criterion of Multiple Attestation:
quote:Ehrman in The New Testament (2004): In any court trial, it is better to have a number of witnesses who can provide consistent testimony than to have only one, especially if we can show the witnesses did not confer with one another to get their story straight. A strong case will be supported by several witnesses who independently agree on a point at issue. So too with history. An event mentioned in several independent documents is more likely to be historical than an event mentioned in only one. This principle does not deny that individual documents can provide reliable historical information, but without corroborating evidence it is often impossible to know if an individual source has made up an account, or perhaps provided a skewed version of it. (p. 218)
You have not established that “the witnesses did not confer with one another to get their story straight.”
quote:Ehrman in The New Testament (2004): An event mentioned in several independent documents is more likely to be historical than an event mentioned in only one.
How likely is it that Sir Lancelot du Lac is an actual historical figure who vied for Guinevere’s attention? How likely is Hercules the son of Zeus? The accounts seem to agree on that point. Is Batman more likely than Green Hornet simply because more writers have written about Superman?
How many witnesses can the Mormons produce for their beliefs? Do Catholic saints perform miracles? Ten’s of thousands or perhaps millions of Catholics can give witness. Are Asian beliefs more probable since they have more witnesses? Are protestant beliefs less probable as they have less? Just something to consider.
If consistency is that important, how important is inconsistency?
If the accounts are said to be from eye witnesses then do not omissions (where one neglects to mention something) all that more suspect?
Ultimately, that they build on each other is a huge hurdle to overcome in establishing they’re independent witnesses, but that pales in that you’re not going to be able to establish they’re witnesses in the first place.