Note: This post is from the previous iteration of my blog. I found it and remember that I actually liked what I wrote. So I decided to repost it for you all on this fine Friday.
I really love it when I have two completely disparate thoughts that converge into an amazing revelation. So what are these current thoughts and what is the new revelation? Oh, I thought you’d never ask!
You may or may not be aware of what is commonly referred to as the Monty Hall Problem. To give you a very broad overview, I will just quote from the Wiki:
Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1 [but the door is not opened], and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?
So. What do you do? (You can’t shoot the hostage.) The intriguing thing about this problem is that if you swap the door you open, you have a much greater chance at the car. Why? Because the host just eliminated a massive chunk of the chance by showing you that what you wanted is not behind the door he opened.
It’s easier to understand on a larger scale. Imagine the host has one hundred doors. You choose door number thirty three. He then opens 98 of the other doors, all of which have goats behind them. Now, the odds are almost the same if we were dealing with three doors, but at this scale you can see where he eliminated the vast majority of chances to lose. And you are left with your original door, 33, or this other door. You have a vastly greater chance, now, of selecting the correct door by changing the door to the opposite one of the one you chose originally.
So, what on earth does this have to do with Jesus?
I’ve spent a good deal of time and energy and effort over the last few years learning about Atheism. I’ve read as much as I can, specifically about their arguments. I’ve grown to really enjoy their takes on things. In particular, they make a point where, and this might shock you, I don’t think they’ve gone far enough. The contention is this:
All people are born Atheists and we are simply indoctrinated into theism.
Not nearly far enough. I would contend we aren’t born Atheists but, as the late Christopher Hitchens would have said, Antitheists. I believe that is the true nature we are born with. So, again, you must be thinking that I am off my rocker or, perhaps, more off my rocker than usual by connecting the Monty Hall Problem, Jesus, and Antitheism.
So let’s open door number three, shall we?
Imaging that in all of history there have always been three doors. I could do it with more but for the sake of time, let’s go with three. The three doors are Antitheism, ANY OTHER RELIGION and Christianity. Okay, those are the three doors. Two of them have goats behind them and one is eternal communion with the only God who is worthy of adoration. Imagine that the greatest gift and prize of all time is behind one of the doors and anything else is behind the others.
And now, let’s imagine that at the incarnation of Jesus Christ, at this moment when a man comes claiming to be God, one of the doors is opened. Well, I would contend that the incarnation was God opening the door marked ANY OTHER RELIGION and revealing the goat. It stands to reason purely on the grounds of prophetic claim. In order for any person to come and claim to be God, who was foretold literally thousands of years before his arrival in dozens of ways so specific the odds are staggering(1 in 1017), it would put a huge damper on any other religious claim. I clump all other religions behind that door because, to my knowledge, not a single other religion has ever stood up to the level of prophetic fulfillment that Christianity has. Not even close.
Okay, so if you have followed me thus far, I want you to imagine, again, this scenario. You are standing there with one door down and two doors remaining. By default, I believe, the door you chose before that moment was Antitheism. But, learning that every single other religion sat behind that now open door, you are faced with a dilemma. Do you change your door? Do you pick the door that is still shut? Okay, so the probability, having eliminated the other door, is that what you want is behind that door. But then imagine a twist of Shyamalanian proportions. Imagine that God, at the resurrection of Jesus Christ, opens the final door. Not only that, but He didn’t disqualify you from choosing it. You can take what’s behind that final door. See He opened it by resurrecting Jesus from the dead. He proved, by historical evidence, that God is the only one who can beat death.
Or you can hold on to your unopened door. You can see both doors. You can see what’s behind both doors. Or. You can remain unconvinced. You can reject this claim as simply not being strong enough.
Monty Hall, Antitheism and Probability. Merry Christmas everybody!
End Note: Clearly I posted this around Christmas 2011. And I’m not sure that there is any humility at all in this piece. I think the argument is good, but I hope I have matured, some, since originally building this. And that’s a big deal to me.
So six years later, I need you to know that if you struggle to believe? There’s nothing shameful in it. What I don’t want to ever do is look down my scholarly nose at someone else struggling to believe.