Trumbo, wallpaper and a bad musician


trumboLast night I watched a documentary about Dalton Trumbo (1905 – 1976).

Trumbo was a movie director that won a number of Academy Awards, however, he was not able to accept them because he had been blacklisted for being associated with the commies in an era when red was definitely not in vogue.

His name was sullied for the next 10 years when in 1947 he refused to testify in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) about how communism was impacting Hollywood.  Trumbo’s refusal to testify earned him 11 months in prison for contempt – a charge he never denied, even after his release.

Is this modus operandi a relic?

If one does not live a life that is the result of conscious decision-making that is based upon core values, what steers the course of one’s life?

Trumbo’s actions and other similarly principled lives have become a bit like wallpaper to us, in two ways.

paperFirstly, like wallpaper, they are a bit eccentric.  Like the passionate violinist who bothers us at the restaurant table for some coinage on a Friday night – quirky, but a bit odd, cute, but a little on the pongy side – they stand out from the crowd.  We go on eating our penne polo and drinking our Belgian pilsner hoping the next mouthful will be minus the accompaniment.  But this vain attempt to rid them from our dinner existence is futile. They do exist and they will impact our meal and our evening whether we succumb and dish out the spare change or not.

Never mind, it will soon be over.  The eccentric violinist who was wrecking our meal vanishes to table 34.

Out of sight and out of conscience.

People like Trumbo confront our conscience.  They stand up and stand out because they stand on principles.  We are forced to deal with them whether we like it or not.  I find ignoring them or placating them is easiest.

Secondly, people like Trumbo are like wallpaper because in the end they do disappear into the banality of our own principled-less lives.  At first they shock (good or bad) and then they becomes like the off-white paint.  You don’t see them.  They blend in and become a part of life’s clutter.  You walk in and you don’t notice the lively colour and difference anymore.

But wallpaper is wallpaper.

Blindfolded1Trumboesques make the principled-less life not only seem banal but prove that it is banal. Through a sleight of mind trick one might move the inconvenience out of sight and out of conscience, but this bares little on the real contrast between their lives and our own.

No, Trumbo’s actions against the un-American, House of Un-American Activities Committee were not something that someone just does.  People rarely stand for the sake of standing.  Most often they have worked through the issues and have decided on which hill they will die.

And so we arrive at one pertinent monologue that stood out to me in the documentary.  I forget now his exact words, but Trumbo pinpointed what he thought was the modern curse, or perhaps more accurately put, the Western modern curse.

Choice.

One can decide to go with the pastels and off-whites, or one can decide to go with the bright colour.  The problem, which Trumbo highlighted, is that the sheer quantity of choice is blinding.

Rather ironic.

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A Miracle: Jesus Survived Crucifixion


I watched a documentary last night about how the resurrection did not happen.

Whenever I watch these documentaries, I must admit, the content and presenters elicit a wide range of responses in me.  At some point I often doubt my own beliefs.  I often laugh at the stupidity of some of their hypotheses and accompanying statements.  I get angry when some things are deliberately twisted to secure a point.  And finally, I am encouraged as I come out the other end after I have dealt with the points that they have offered.

Last night they made two points that appear on the surface quite reasonable and even convincing.

Jesus the faker…

Firstly, they claimed that Jesus did not die on the cross.  One university professor cited events in chapter 15 in Mark’s Gospel to question the validity of the resurrection claim in chapter 16.  We read in 15:44 that, ‘Pilate was surprised to hear that he (Jesus) was already dead.’  After all it was only 3 hours after the crucifixion, which was half the time it normally took for someone to die by this ancient execution method, especially since he did not have his legs broken!

That Pilate was surprised that he was dead hints at the fact that Jesus was not in fact dead, but was alive.  This gives rise to a further defence.

For Jesus to get off the cross alive there needed to be some kind of collaboration between the disciples who knew that Jesus was still alive and the centurion in charge of the operation.  Indeed this is what we are told that we find.  In 15:43 we see that a wealthy man called Joseph of Arimathea who, at the request of the disciples one assumes, approaches Pilate.  Of course the disciples were mere fisherman, etc., who did not have the standing to carry out such a request.  After the request by Joseph for Jesus’ ‘dead’ body we read about Pilate’s surprise.  Pilate, in verse 44, then follows due process: ‘Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died’.  Is it a surprise to find out that the centurion in verse 45 takes the perspective of the disciples and Joseph by confirming that Jesus was indeed dead?

But how can we prove that the centurion was in cahoots with the disciples and therefore with Jesus?  It just so happens that this same centurion in 15:39 betrayed his allegiance when he proclaimed that ‘Surely this man (Jesus) was the Son of God!’

So there we have it.  The independent inquirer is Pilate who is surprised that Jesus is dead so soon.  We have the disciples who are working through a rich man to secure the not yet dead body of Jesus with the help of the converted centurion.

The film makers’ conclusion was that Jesus was taken down from the cross while he was unconscious but alive.

But why did the film makers not engage with the story that preceded Jesus’ crucifixion?  Why, even though they admit that the gospels are the greatest source of information about Jesus, do they not engage with the other gospel accounts of Jesus’ death?  Maybe because there is much information in those books that run contrary to their plotline?

Why does the fact that Jesus was brutally whipped and beaten (repeatedly on the head we read in Matthew) not come into play?

Why is the fact left out that the centurion was not alone but was with others who also agreed that he was dead?

They conveniently leave out John’s report that the legs of those crucified that day were due to be broken to speed up their deaths, but when they arrived at Jesus he was already dead.  His legs did not need to be broken.  The centurions (plural) do not leave it to chance, and so they speared Jesus’ side producing a flow of ‘water and blood’, which we are told is what happens after death.

They are happy to employ the Gospel of John to inform us that the legs of Jesus were not broken which supports their view that Jesus could not of had a quick death, but they are not so forthcoming with the surrounding information that speaks of the numerous centurions present to validate the that Jesus was dead, not to mention the spearing of Jesus’ side.

Why is much of this information left our of the picture?  Maybe, Jesus was dead on the cross.  Maybe the centurion did see Jesus die and the supernatural events that happened in that moment.  Maybe Joseph was rich and had Pilate’s ear.  Maybe they took the dead body away and put it in a tomb.  These maybes are not an elaborate scheme, but rather simple.  They don’t reek of a master plan, nor a covert operation.  That a man died is much more feasible.

Jesus did his job.  Pilate and the centurions did their job.  Jesus’ friends did their job.  That was how the first century worked.

Jesus on the run…

The fact that Jesus was alive presents a problem.  This was the basis for the second claim, that Jesus disappeared to either the south of France (not a bad idea if you ask me!) or the Central Asia.  They are right in saying that if Jesus did survive the crucifixion then he would have been a wanted man, after all, he was a traitor and blasphemer who had been sentenced to death.

The film makers betray their own ignorance and agenda in this argument.

As I said earlier, they admit that the vast amount of information that we know about Jesus is by virtue of the four gospel – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  If then we take these accounts as explaining why Jesus was in Jerusalem in the first place why would we think that Jesus would flee Jerusalem after he survives the crucifixion?

The Gospels are very clear that Jesus walked into Jerusalem knowing that his end was nigh.  Firstly, if he knew that his end was fast approaching and that the primary antagonists were in Jerusalem, why would he go to Jerusalem?  If  he wanted to avoid being killed then any sane person would have headed in the opposite direction, or even France!

Secondly, Jesus had an opportunity to say that he was not the king of the Jews and so maybe avoid death, but he chose to engage with what he believed to be the case.  To the question, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ Jesus answered,  ‘Yes, it is as you say.’  If Jesus was trying to get out of dying then he was doing a really bad job of it.

If Jesus did survive the crucifixion why would he run?  If he didn’t run the first time why would he run a second time?  He had been defying the religious authorities for three odd years.  He was clearly not phased by the idea of standing up to them and the consequences that that would bring.

If the gospels are our best source of information about Jesus then perhaps we should engage them in a more holistic fashion.

The film makers created an amazing plot worthy of, not a religion, but a movie:  Jesus did the impossible.

He survived a flogging and crucifixion and being speared his side, he fooled Pilate and the Roman executioners with a nifty blood and water trick, was retrieved off the cross with the help of the role playing rich man and centurions, was smuggled by friends out of the tomb where he lived for three days, before being rescued (again with help of the Roman guards) and fleeing to France and Central Asia.

Sometimes the Gospels don’t sound that wacky at all:)

Faith & Understanding Pt. 1/4


How do we understand the connexion between faith and understanding?

We often read and hear that faith and understanding are concepts that are located at either end of a continuum.  Faith is about jumping.  Faith is about naivety.  Faith is the poor cousin of reason and thinking.  It is a crutch for those that need a gap filler.  Faith is great for answering those questions and responding to those scenarios where we are left wondering.

But this kind of polarisation is unhelpful, to say the least.  Over the next four posts I’m going to have a look at four different conclusions that we can make regarding faith and understanding.

Let’s begin by framing the discussion with some questions.

Is faith dependant on understanding?  That is, is one’s level of faith proportional to one’s understanding of the thing in which one has faith?  Or can one have faith without understanding?  Perhaps partial understanding suffices for faith?

1.  One can place faith in something with little or no understanding of the something

Can someone have faith in something that they don’t understand?  Yes, but it is important that we first draw the distinction between understanding that something exists and understanding the thing that exists.

If you believe that something exists then there is something to put faith in.  So you cannot (or should not) put faith in something that does not exist, although we must concede that you can understand something that does not exist.  For example, if you believe that it is true that the ice caps are melting then you can, if you like, learn about it and understand it.  If you do not believe it exists then, I suppose, the best you could do is entertain the notion that it exists and come to an understanding of it on the hypothetical grounds that the phenomenon is taking place.

Now, for the person that does not believe that the ice caps are melting, while they might entertain the notion that the ice caps are melting and even understand the reasoning being it, how can they possible believe the statement: the ice caps are melting.  Of course they cannot.  It is a preposterous idea to put your faith in something that does not exist.

However, if  someone believes that a thing exists then putting their faith in that existing thing is not so preposterous.

This is one defence that is used for the resurrection of Jesus.  One disciple may have had a hallucination of the risen Jesus, but all the disciples and the other hundreds of people at the same time –  I think not.  That the disciples believed that Jesus was alive determined their future lives and deaths.  To order one’s life around something that does not exist, at times, happens, but not on the scale that we see in the first and second centuries regarding Jesus.

That so many people believed that it happened, that Jesus came to life, that the event ‘existed’, the idea that so many people went on to live as though it was a reality is of no surprise.  They could believe it because it did exist.

One can have faith in something if it exists.

So, we can therefore say two things:

  1. A prerequisite for faith is existence;
  2. But existence is not a prerequisite for understanding

But what of the connexion between faith and understanding?

We often put our faith in things which we know little or nothing about.  For example, I haven’t got a clue how a 485 ton Boeing 747 can remain suspended in the air, but I have faith that it will stay up long enough in order for my next flight to Australia to arrive safely.  I don’t understand it but I have faith.

One might pick a hole in this example by pointing out that my faith in the aeroplane is not based upon zero understanding because I understand that to some degree 747s are able to remain suspended in the air all the way to Australia.  Based upon the recurring frequency of the event I (we) understand that 747s can stay in the air even though we do not know why.  There is some understanding on which my faith is based.   We might say then that one’s faith in this scenario is based upon a partial understanding, but of what?

A plethora of things not least the probability of recurring data.

When I step on a plane I put my faith in the plane, in particular that it will live up to the associated recurring flight data (and every other variable that we acknowledge exists but have no clue about).  I am putting my faith in lots of things that I have no clue about.  This is why flying is so jolly scary for many of us!

So while it may seem unreasonable to some, it is possible for people to put their faith in something with next to no understanding of the thing that they are putting their faith in.

We all do this regularly.

It is, however, unreasonable to put your faith in something that you do not believe exists.

Sam Harris out does Kant


I struggle with Sam Harris and his harsh anti-religion rhetoric but I thought it was high time that I read his late 2010 book,The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.’

To be frank, Harris proves that the saying, ‘Better late than never,’ is not always true.

What to say? Let me engage with my take on Harris’ meta-narrative: he completes what Kant started.

Prior to Kant science was subservient to religion.  Let me quote Galileo (1564–1642): ‘I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.’ And, ‘The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.’

Or perhaps Copernicus (1473–1543): ‘To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more gratifying than knowledge.’

It appears that for Galileo, Copernicus and other scientists pre-Kant, science revealed the majesty of God.  Science did not rail against reason and rational inquiry, but rather validated the God that they worshipped, the one who endowed them with reason and the capacity to rationally inquire.

There was one space and even though science served religion to some degree they both occupied it together.

Enter Kant.

Kant dissected this space.

Religion and science operated in different realms.  Religion operated in the realm of the subjective, along with the notions of feelings, experiences, and faith, etc.  Science operated in the realm of the objective, where things could be measured and recorded.  Kant recognised that science to some degree was limited to the empirically provable.  If you like we could anachronistically use Stephen Gould’s take on the division of science and religion to describe Kant’s view as non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA).

Enter Harris.

From the outset religion was not an option for Harris to use to determine the content of one’s well-being.  Shortly after writing religion off the secularists are made to walk the gangplank.  Harris rules out the secularists who wanted to grant a subjective sphere that would not submit to the empirical instrument.  What is the means by which Harris suggests one can know what one ought to do?

Answer, pure science!

Harris’ confidence in science is supreme:

Meaning, values, morality, and the good life must relate to the facts about the well-being of conscious creatures – and, in our case, must lawfully depend upon events in the world and upon states of the human brain.  Rational, open-ended, honest inquiry has always been the true source of insight into such processes.  Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident… (p. 6)

It seems inevitable, however, that science will gradually encompass life’s deepest questions (p. 6).

Given that change in the well-being of conscious creatures is bound to be a product of natural laws, we must expect that this space of possibilities – the moral landscape – will increasingly be illuminated by science (p.12)

Facts are key, as is the brain state – observable through neuroscience and the like.  As for mode, Harris runs with rational and open-ended inquiry, with a dash of honesty.  The goal is well-being.  The subjective is nonsense, but gets lucky once in a while by happening to land on what is right.  As for the objective, move over and let science come on through.

In Harris’ schema science has commandeered the whole space.  There is now no space for the subjective, let alone the religious subjective.  In one sense Harris has finished off what Kant started.  All those years ago Kant stuck a flag in the ground to claim the ground where science ruled, where religion and the subjective could not stick its nose in.  Harris has picked that flag up and redefined the area again.  Now, there is one space and it all belongs to science.

The crude historical flow looks something like this:

Moral Knowledge (Religion and science) – Moral Knowledge (Science/religion) – Moral Knowledge (Science).

This flow shows us how religion’s sway in articulating what is moral or not has ebbed.  In the first category, the Galileo era and prior, religion dictated everything to do with morality.  In the second era, Kant and The Enlightenment, religion was compartmentalised to the non-empirical.  It held sway where one perceived it held sway.  In this sense it was subjective and not universal in scope.  In the third era, Harris’s thesis, religion has no say whatsoever in what is moral because it has no capacity to say what actually is.  Because science can say what actually is science becomes the sole arbitrator of morality.

The ramifications are drastic, not least the idea that scientists could start dictating our fashion on the grounds that they can now prove what is fashionable or not… heaven help us!

Liberalism, nihilism and the meaning of meaningless


‘Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.’  The liberal would have to agree with the wise king’s words.

What is at the heart of liberty, says another wise man called Justice Anthony Kenny, but ‘the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’

Liberalism, with its grandiose views of self-empowerment, freedom, inalienable rights, neutrality and the power of the will, has demonstrated with unparalleled linguistic flatulence that the individual human with his/her copious stores of wisdom has the last word when it comes to meaning, meaning, that meaning means, potentially, whatever you want.

Is it a pity that liberalism is being blindsided by the freight train called nihilism?  Granted, this picture understood in the present tense is surely antiquated.  The catastrophic collision has occurred and the disaster zone has been taped off.  Now we trawl through the wreckage looking for anything that might resemble something that could be of use.  We are like the soldier in the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan who picks up his blown off arm.  We pick up something that once gave value, something that once served us, but now this something is nothing but a dismembered piece of grammar lying is a semantic graveyard.

I call their bluff.

In their moment of weakness they employ these dismembered grammars, and attribute meaning in a traditional sense.  They revert back to tried and true notions of language, conception, and, dare I say it, truth, without calling it truth, of course!

Ah, bifurcation they say.  Clearly, split-personality disorders are not the substance of the psychiatrist’s list alone.  Shall I construct or deconstruct, that is the question.  The call is for something more moderate.  More nuanced.  More balanced.  There is a call for sensibility, a middle ground that annihilates nihilation, a haven wherein some measure of meaning can be safe-guarded.  But how can this be?  Meaning is mine to make!

The train, however, has arrived, and this train does not allow the liberal to have his or her cake and eat it too.  It is quite the quandary.  The liberal wants to set me free without sentencing me to a life of meaningless.  The liberal wants to release me from the state without plunging the world into a morass of ego fuelled self-fulfillment.  The liberal wants to ignite purpose without granting that there is some such thing called purpose that contains meaning.  The liberal wants to grant me a moral prerogative without any care to instruct me as to how I should ground that prerogative.

The liberal defines tolerance as a social quality of equality.  Equally true, if true could be construed as such for the time being, tolerance is a social quality that presupposes that everything is truth.  We all know, however, that if every thing is true then nothing is true.  Tolerance renders truth meaningless, unless of course we’ve defined tolerance wrongly.  That presents its own semantic dilemma, doesn’t it?

It appears that we are back where we began.

Liberal ideology is a snake that has turned on itself, twisting, binding, constricting.  Life ebbs.  Expiration is all there is.  It grasps at its own meaningless meaning to gain some traction, but because this meaningless meaning means nothing, there is little to latch onto.

The irony of liberalism is that it does offer meaning, it is just that the meaning it offers is meaningless.

God and Whose Burden of Proof?


Burden of proof is everyone’s best friend, but nobody wants it.

It’s kind of like a hot potato – you’ve got to get rid of it otherwise you’ll get burned.  And so we use an awkward two-handed shovelling motion to push-throw the thing out of the vicinity.  The general idea is to make it somebody else’s problem.  Let them deal with the heat and the pain if they are not careful.

In the Merriam-Webster online dictionary we find this definition of ‘burden of proof’: the duty of proving a disputed assertion or charge.

This burden is not an optional extra that one can opt in and out of.  It is an obligation.  It is compulsory.  And it is final.  The outcome hangs on the persuasive quality of the case that is made by the one who is left holding the hot potato.

Bags not!

Why does the Christian always end up with the weighty burden of proof on their shoulders?  Why does the Christian have to somehow prove the existence of God, or that Jesus did rise from the dead, or that believing in Jesus is rational?

An easy response to these questions is that the Christian is making the assertion, but are they?  The New Atheists cannot claim that they’re just defending their ground from the marauding evangelising Christians, Muslims and JW’s.  No, they are just as evangelistic in the sense of looking to rid the world of God, or at least people’s ideas that there is a god.

It’s not fair that the burden of proof is only on the Christians’ shoulders.

Today I listened to a talk by a mate.  It was a classic university Christianity vs Atheism showdown.  I liked however that he did not get sucked into the age-old method of trying to prove God.  The angle that he took was one of re-aligning the burden of proof.  He attempted to engage every individual in the ongoing debate by making them take the responsibility for their own ideas.

Like any good Aussie, he threw the rule book out and made his own rules of engagement.  All of a sudden the hot potato is in everyone’s hands.

The question that he was posing was: Why are you still what you are, whatever you are?  Christian or Atheist, do you know what you believe and why?

I like it, a lot, because it makes us all stop and listen, first to our own coherent(?) perspective, and secondly to the opposing incoherent(?) perspective.  By using this rulebook we cannot shovel the burden of proof to the dark-side and expect them to come up with a knockdown, hole-proof argument to convince me of what I should believe.   This rulebook states that that same knockdown, hole-proof measure is now there for me to live up to.

It’s a totally different game. It levels the playing field.  It puts everybody on the back foot.

And in our own hearts we rejoice.  ‘Yes, finally, the burden of proof is on them!’

Hmmm, well, yes that’s right.  The burden of proof is on them.  They have to prove empirically, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is no God, etc.  Tough gig!  That’s the good news with this new game plan.  The bad news is that you need to also prove empirically, beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God, etc.  Tough gig!

It’s a new game with new rules, and to be honest, now that you understand the rules, who wants to play?

Thought so:)

Science: Do you know your role?


Prove it!

You’ve heard it said time and time again in every sphere of life.

I don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing.  It would not be unfair to say that historically the church has run a mile from such calls to justify its beliefs.  They have promoted what I like to call ‘leave-your-brain-at-the-door Christianity.  The tide has definitely turned.

In one of my last posts called ‘Sucked In: Bahahahaaaa(forgive my immaturity:)) I looked at how Christians employ what Dr. Stephen Law identifies as a strategy that sucks people into an intellectual back hole.  I offered the idea that perhaps the one who has really been sucked into a black hole is the one who cannot entertain the idea that there might be another form of reality other than the one that science validates through scientific method.  I have taken science to mean the ordering of knowledge through repeatable testable explanations (check out the Uk Science Council definition).

I am grateful for this response that came in.  Not A Scientist quotes me and then goes on:

“but rather highlighting the notion that there may be a reality apart from that which science can prove.”

Certainly there MAY be. There also may be a reality in which poodles are the dominant form of life.

Until or unless we have evidence for either of those claims, why should we believe them?

I appreciate that he grants that there MAY be another reality that I suggest in the post could be God.  I wonder how genuine this scientist really is?  From the last sentence, my hasty conclusion is not very.  Why?

Because the person demands evidence to ground their belief.

What is so wrong with that?  Nothing on the surface, but what evidence will the scientist accept?  If the scientist’s flow of argument is anything to go by then we know what evidence is being demanded, scientific evidence.  It appears that what triggered the comment in the first place was my denial of science as the ultimate authority and arbiter of reality and truth.

…but rather highlighting the notion that there may be a reality apart from that which science can prove.

I’m not sure why this would be the sticking point.

We take many things to be true without the need for science to validate it as real.  Firstly, is it wrong to kill babies?  Yes, of course it is.  Why is it wrong to kill babies?  Prove it!  Of course you cannot produce any evidence that can prove that it is wrong to kill babies.  There may be reasons why we believe this to be categorically true, but these reasons certainly do not involve observable repeatable experiments.

Secondly, do you believe that the Roman Empire existed?  Of course you do.  Prove it using science.  Can you find a way of observing or testing what happened 1800 years ago?  True, there are other means of knowing that the Roman Empire categorically existed, but these means have little to do with scientific method.

Thirdly, how can I be sure that my wife loves me?  What scientific method can possibly show that my wife has that feeling(?) thing for me?  I know she loves me, but I know this through means other than scientific inquiry.

Just because we cannot scientifically prove that babies should not be killed does not make killing babies fair game.

Just because we cannot prove scientifically that the Roman Empire existed does not mean that the Roman Empire did not exist.

Just because my wife cannot scientifically prove to me that she loves me does not mean that she does not love me.

There are other examples but I don’t want to bore you.

There are ways of proving these without needing to engage science.  It seems as though science has an overinflated opinion of itself.

What if a historian decided to use historical method as the means to prove or disprove some aspect of quantum mechanics?  This is simply stupid.  What if I wanted to use philosophical method to prove or disprove some aspect of Tahitian tribal architecture?  Outrageous.

What if someone wanted to use scientific method to prove or disprove something that was non-material and other worldly?  To many this is plausible!

God and the claims of Christianity need to be assessed using the appropriate forms of inquiry that it naturally falls within.  For example, Jesus is the central figure of the Christian faith.  That is, he was a historical figure and so if we want to put this person under any grill, surely it would be the historical grill.

If Christianity claims that supernatural events happened in another time period then we cannot use scientific method to prove or disprove that such an event took place.  Sure, using science we can work out whether or not the event falls within the so-called natural order, but I think we know where resurrection, calming storms, and parting seas falls on the natural-supernatural spectrum.

Granted, I have simplified the argument but I hope you see my point.

If Not A Scientist is genuinely sincere that there MAY be an reality that exists apart from what science can prove, then I encourage you to have a look at the work of the ancient historian Dr John Dickson here who has done a vast amount of work on the historical Jesus.

In terms of Christian philosophy why don’t you look up and read Dr Alvin Plantinga’s online works here.  Dr John Lennox is all over the science and ethics aspects of Christianity here.  Also for ethics Dr Alistair McGrath here is a good option, and he is an easy google search option too.

Let’s not be a bully by pushing and shoving inappropriate forms of inquiry onto Christianity.  That is merely an attempt to get what the scientist might want – proof that there is no proof, which we can see is no proof at all.