A little mind-bender for you: Assuming you are a Christian, and are waiting for the return of Jesus, what would you accept as evidence of his return?

Excuse the long title.

A friend’s recent Facebook share – something about what would happen if Jesus showed up today – got me to remember this. Bear with me… this is a question from the 16 year old version of myself… some 28 years ago! So it is a thought experiment that a very immature version of myself came up with, but one that I think is worthwhile sharing. It was one of the problems that I pondered when I realized that I didn’t merely doubt the religion of my upbringing, but that I was fairly certain I could no longer believe it.

Assuming that everything written about Jesus was based on factual events, and that you are a Christian waiting for his return, what would happen if he did return today? Would you accept it?

Think about it before answering the question.

The answer, of course, is: No. You would not.

The fact is, the Christian religious dogma is fixed. Just like the Torah. Even if both Judaism and Christianity were correct, and Jesus really did fulfil earlier prophesies, Jewish people could not accept him, because their dogma says that the messiah is coming… (or so I was led to believe according to my Roman Catholic upbringing. I’m not dissing Judaism here, so excuse me if I summarise it incorrectly, or accidentally caricaturize Judaism.) The point is, your dogma remains the way it is. It can never be fulfilled. It’s not like anyone is adding new chapters to your holy book. You will remain in a perpetual waiting state, because that’s what the dogma states.

If Jesus returned, no Christian alive would accept him. More likely it would spawn a new religion. Let’s call it Christianity++. Then you’d have four Abrahamic religions.

Note: The 16 year old version of me took the thought experiment a little further, and assumed that Islam was also correct. (Yes, it contradicts the message of Christianity and states that Jesus is not the son of god. So what? Christianity contradicts Judaism just as much, I’m sure. In my thought experiment, the superseding religion is allowed to contradict any aspects of the religion that it replaces.) That is, Christianity came about because Jews didn’t accept Jesus, then Islam came about because Christians didn’t accept Muhammad. And so on… each religion, assuming each one before it is true, cannot be accepted by believers of the religion it supersedes, because the existing doctrine is always fixed dogma. But stating it this way is apparently not PC nowadays, since so many people hate Muslims. But the thought experiment still works, and the logic still applies, with or without the last assumption.


Granted, it isn’t the most mature thought experiment ever… But it is the truth! None of it matters anyway, because my next thought experiment led me to conclude that all such religions are most likely nonsense anyway, since they are all based on the worship of deities that do not exist outside of the imagination of the people who created them.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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3 Responses to A little mind-bender for you: Assuming you are a Christian, and are waiting for the return of Jesus, what would you accept as evidence of his return?

  1. bbnewsab says:

    Apparently you were a very clever 16 year old boy, Jerome. I like your way of thinking.

    In fact there are flaws and contradictions in EVERY religion I know something about. So if you dislike the contradictions of religion A, then you turn to religion B. And after a while you discover the flaws and contradictions of religion B, then you start looking at religion C. And so forth. (That is, If you are allowed to change your mind. Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t allowed to doubt. If they do, they are disfellowshipped, a very cruel punishment with many similarities to denigration and stigmatization.)

    On the other hand maybe you are able to see a pattern and start realizing – at least if you are enough brave and bright – that all religions seem to be the same shit.

    Then you stop jumping from religion A to religion B etc. And you become a skeptic. And from that (skeptical) position/viewpoint it’s fairly easy to draw the conclusion that atheism is the best way to look at and consider religions.

    According to atheism all theistic religions are the same shit. Always. No exceptions.

    So IF Jesus would appear today, in my home town, I wouldn’t believe my eyes. My first thought would be: Some important facts must surely be missing here. This can’t be true. Maybe I’m having a waking dream?

    Anyhow, your interesting question, Jerome, reminds me of another blog article I read earlier today, written by the famous professor (emeritus) Jerry A. Coyne: https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/researchers-uttering-the-name-of-allah-while-killing-a-chicken-changes-its-liver-and-muscles/ .

    His blog article is about a very remarkable scientific (?) experiment. Resuklting in the conclusion that the meat is of higher quality if you shout Allah akbar when you halal slaughter chickens.

    I must quote the end of professor Coyne’s blog article:

    Why was this published in the International Journal of Poultry Science? God—sorry, Allah—only knows. This of course needs to be replicated, but in a blind fashion, so that the histologists don’t know which chicken was which (the authors make no mention of blind scoring). If it proves to be real, then we need to control for how the chickens are killed: maybe someone shouting “Allah” squeezes the chicken harder! And if it still stands up then. . . . well, I’d bet big money it wouldn’t. And I’d call for yet other controls: when the chicken is slaughtered, someone has to shout “Jesus!” or “Shiva!”

    So, Jerome, IF Jesus just appeared in front of my house and garden today, I too would say (like Jetty Coyne): “I don’t believe it.”

    And I too would demand proof. And definitely not trust my eyes or my ears. Even if that meant I would be sent to hell to suffer eternally there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerome says:

      Now that I think about it, I don’t think the 16 year old me can take too much credit though… Even though I thought of the thought experiment back then, rather than come to any conclusion at the time, I preferred to lock it away somewhere in the back of my head for later. That’s what I do when I don’t like thinking about something… pretend that it isn’t a problem… intentionally forget about it, or at least try to. Then it comes back to haunt me later.

      Like

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Religious people are good at pretending that their faith lacks logical difficulties although it’s full of contradictions and other forms of bullshit.

    To avoid cognitive dissonance they try to act in a way – think of confirmation bias and many more biases – that won’t make them question their faith (belief system).

    The 16 year-old boy called Jerome dared to question, he dared to ask disturbing questions. And his rational and logical brain found that the best answer is: There is no god.

    Too many people are afraid of questioning their beliefs (belief systems).

    Liked by 1 person

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