Chris Hallquist's book is one unlike any I've ever read. The title alone caught my eye and made me wonder why he would include such things as UFOs, ghosts, and Jesus in the same book, but his method became clear immediately. He uses comparisons and analogies that everyone will be able to understand and identify with in order to help everyone take away as much as possible from his book. His style of argument is also very easily digestible for anyone who likes to use his or her mind on a regular basis.
Hallquist pulls a multitude of disciplines into his book: philosophy, religious studies, history, psychology, etc. There is something in this book for everyone. For instance, as someone interested in psychology, I was drawn to his sections in which he discusses how difficult it is to doubt something once introduced to the belief. This is why legends are so hard to pull back into reasonable terms. He also addressed Nostradamus, a 16th century seer, and how the fact that his prophecies seemingly kept "coming to be" simply shows that humans believe things when they want to be believe them. With each field of study that he brings into his book, he presents a sufficient amount of background to help the layman understand where he is coming from.
The other interesting thing about Hallquist's book is that he argues against fundamentalist writers and other religious apologists by using their own logic against them. He shows that the historical evidence that they are so desperately using to support their own position actually works against them.Read more ›
This up and coming young philosopher has shared his own research into some interesting questions. I thought the parallels between belief in UFOs and ghosts were useful analogies. I look forward to more works from this author, but I hope he gets a better proof-reader next time around. There are many typos and grammatical errors that end up detracting from the work.
How refreshing it is to find books by writers encumbered by traditional favoritism. Hallquist's is one such book. That a culture views some hypotheses as "sacred" is fully besides the point when it comes to evaluating truth claims. This book boldly puts religion -- elements central to Christian dogma specifically -- elbow to elbow with the more modern and provincial beliefs in ghosts and UFOs. To this 360 Degree Skeptic, that grouping is deserved. To best evaluate any claim to truth, all pedestals must be removed.
In my opinion, the strength of this book comes in the mere process of applying the same skeptical approach one brings to claims of visitation by ghostly apparitions and alien visitation to stories of supernatural feats in the Bible.
No, UFO's, Ghosts, and a Rising God, is not a perfect book. In fact, to this reader it often seemed Chris was going mano-a-mano with a few noted Christian apologists that happened to engage his intellect. To those unfamiliar with more academic arguments, this will dampen its general appeal somewhat. But all in all, I found the the book a worthy read.
This book relies heavily on comparisons and analogies to UFO reports, Ghost stories, etc. and commits the logical fallacies of "Begging the Question" and "Category mistake" in doing so.
Further, since the comparisons are usually to entirely different categories of phenomema, they are, at base, false analogies. As a "young philosopher" he should know better.
In addition, the author makes vast claims about historical relationships and Psychological factors, and yet has no advanced qualifications in any of these subjects. Of course, he can state his opinion, but that is all this is.
Most of this stuff can be found on his blog, and "Uncredible" is a good description.
This book points out contradictions like the varying accounts of the women at the tomb which do not agree on the details. That the Shroud of Turin is a fraud. That Pliny the Younger considered Christianity to be depraved superstition. The apologetics have their minds made up against any showing of the problems of the resurrection. The resurrection is an extraordinary claim and needs extraordinary evidence. Paul does not discuss the details of Jesus' life or even seem to know about them. The new testament says to love one's enemies and the old says to kill the children of one's enemies. The Jesus appearnace to Paul was probably hallucinogenic and the appearance to the 500 was very vague and without detail, like making up a tall tale. In short, the bible is an extremely tall tale which society has been suckered into accepting for 2000 years. It is about time for this tall tale to join the junk heap of history.