This is a response to http://957chatterton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/gender-confused-jesus.html.
It is an article in a blog that purports to, ‘expose the absurdities of religion and the immoralities of many religions’. This particular article titled, ‘Gender Confused Jesus’ has in an opening note what looks like some kind of disclaimer, ‘This piece is purely to provoke thought and poke fun, nothing more’. One can only guess as how these can be joined together in a coherent manner unless the thoughts provoked are be no more than poking fun thoughts? I personally think this ‘note’ was an afterthought to give the author an escape route if and when the flawed reasoning within it was brought to light as I am going to do in what follows. The author has always got the retort, ‘Well, it was only every intended to poke fun’ so you’re critique of it is misplaced’. Be that as it may the content of it has been voiced seriously by other atheists on twitter and in my view it warrants refutation.
The author begins with the claim that the alleged virgin birth of Jesus is a claimed proof of the divinity of Jesus. He doesn’t supply any references where this claim is made and I personally have not seen it used as such a proof and would be interested to see the structure of such a proof. He then goes on to claim, ‘Jesus is not the only individual in mythology to have this character trait. Horus, Perseus, and The Buddha were all also born of virgins. Note that all of the aforementioned figures are male’. This is the fairly common copycat Jesus claim and is beyond the scope of this article to interact with except to note that it isn’t a substantiated claim, absent even a reference to a source attempting to substantiate it, nor does the author seek to show how it would logically and necessarily follow that even if the claim was true that it would invalidate the virgin birth claim of Jesus.
The author then moves on to provide us with a science lesson on human reproduction and draws the conclusion that on the science of human reproduction that either Jesus was not a man or Mary was not a virgin or the whole story was made up before knowledge of human reproduction was sufficiently known. Following this he then tries to preempt an apologist objection to his argument but from where that objection is derived we aren’t told and provides with the ever nonsensical words of Richard Dawkins.
What he does not address and what is fatal to his argument is that it completely ignores the fact that whilst it is true what science says about the natural reproductive workings that the account is not recording a natural event but a supernatural event. That being so, how does he know what can or cannot occur? How does he know that the supernatural conception of Mary was not of such a nature as to falsify each option in his trichotomy. What can a supernatural conception accomplish? Is it bound by what occurs in a natural conception? None of these question are addressed and I would suggest the author would have no rationally compelling response to them that would save his argument. If one were to label the fallacy which the authors arguments falls to it would either be that of category error (putting supernatural events into the category of natural events) or a strawman argument that is then knocked down.
Whichever is the case, or both what we don’t have is a good argument for a ‘Gender Confused Jesus’.