The Law of Self-Interest

Nobody will die for what he or she knows is false

Why do people tell falsehoods?

  1. They have something to gain from telling a lie

  2. They believe the falsehood to be true

What did Jesus's apostles have to gain by lying about seeing the resurrected Jesus?

  • Status within a small group of followers whom they've managed to deceive

  • Condemnation from the Jewish community they had spent their entire lives in

  • Banishment

  • Execution

If the apostles were lying, the incentives for them to recant were large

  • The usefulness of the lie for status would surely have disappeared when an apostle was about to be executed for his Christian faith. Recanting may have saved his life.

  • An apostle who saw that other apostles were being killed because of their faith would have been strongly tempted to leave the Christian community.

There is no record of any apostle recanting

Paul, who was extremely disinclined to believe in a resurrected Jesus, became one of Christianity's greatest evangelists and died for the faith

  • Paul becoming a Christian is like Osama bin Laden becoming an American patriot

  • Paul was a leader in persecuting Christians, whom he viewed as dangerous blasphemers

  • Like bin Laden, Paul (named Saul before his conversion) believed in killing for his convictions

  • Paul had nothing to gain from testifying to Jesus's resurrection

  • But Paul encountered the resurrected Jesus while on a journey to persecute Christians. He became an overnight convert.

The apostles were not lying about seeing the resurrected Jesus.

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