In my last post we discussed the Resurrection Hypothesis (RH). In this post, we will examine a potential competitor of a supernatural origin: the Evil Resurrection Hypothesis (ERH). ERH is the proposition, “Evil god raised Jesus from the dead.” It has the same explanatory scope, after all. It explains the empty tomb, the post-mortem experiences, and the disciples’ belief in the Resurrection. It also holds the same explanatory power: given the evidences, it makes just as much sense as RH because ERH has an actual bodily resurrection done by a supernatural means!
One thing ERH lacks, however, is the ad hoc test. ERH is hopelessly ad hoc. It merely borrows RH and then tacks on, almost as an afterthought, that this god is evil. That simply is not good enough. Perhaps the purpose of ERH is for us to think “whatever reasons we have for thinking ERH is false can be used to think RH is false as well.” But that does not follow, for RH doesn’t suffer the same ad hoc problem as ERH. Hence, there is at least one reason to prefer RH to ERH.
But suppose ERH is supposed to accomplish another purpose: that we have no epistemic access to distinguish between RH and ERH; we don’t know, epistemically, which one to prefer. Despite the fact that we must put aside the ad hoc problem, I think this charge fails to go through. Consider that RH and ERH only stand as epistemologically similar in the case that one has all of the same evidences for God as evil god (and this is still putting aside the ad hoc charge, which should not be done lightly). Yet it seems we do not have such evidence similarity that holds in complete symmetry.
As an example, consider two areas: objective moral values and doxastic beliefs. In the area of objective moral values, it makes much more sense to view evil as a derivation of the good, and obligations as properly belonging to the good (rather than it being bad one fulfilled an obligation—this seems to carry a metaphysically incoherent meaning). In the practice of forming beliefs, it may be said that evil god should want to deceive us in many beliefs, even if he allows correct beliefs in normal lifestyle. But how are we to know which beliefs have been allowed as correct? If doxastic voluntarism is true, even in its weak form, it seems at least possible for us to trust the beliefs we do in fact come to. If it is not, given evil god, it seems we have a defeater for all of our beliefs, even if some of them are not false.
With the ad hoc problem, ERH becomes a poor substitute for RH, as it depends almost entirely on the case for evil god being better than the case for God. I doubt such a case is forthcoming.
 ERH does not necessitate a claim one way or the other about Jesus. Perhaps he was some poor lunatic, or perhaps he was complicit with evil god. If Jesus were deceived, an ERH defender could simply state it is in evil god’s nature to deceive, so that we shouldn’t be surprised Jesus was in fact deceived. Or perhaps this alternate Jesus forms an unholy alliance with evil god because he is that god’s son. Obviously, this is not the Jesus of Christianity.
 It should also be noted that if evil god does not alter people’s beliefs then it appears we can trust our moral intuitions as we would normally, and thus there is less evidence for evil god than God.
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