The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
modivarch
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

On the balance of probability, Jesus faked his own crucifixion, resurrection and ascension

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,732 times Debate No: 18209
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

According to the Bible, Noah died aged 950 yet Jesus died when he was about 30. Because it is so improbable that God would let a mere mortal live for the best part of a millennium and yet allow his own son to die so young, we have to consider the possibility that Jesus faked his own crucifixion, resurrection and ascension and that, in fact, he lived for many more years, and may even be walking among us today.

Motives
---------
1. Jesus was a Jew and helping the poor and needy would not have been a big money-spinner - he would have made much more money if he concentrated all his efforts on his furniture business.

2. Jesus was held up as a figure of divine respectability and, as such, his leisure activities would have been very restricted, and he may have thought to himself "I've been on this planet for thirty years now and I'm still a virgin. I'm desperate to get my end away but if I'm caught in a knocking shop giving some dirty slapper a good seeing to, my reputation will be ruined. Plus it would be nice to go out and get drunk and have a laugh once in a while like other men my age do."

3. He may well have got fed up with helping the poor and needy – they say people get more right-wing as they get older and he may have thought "people should be more self-reliant instead of always expecting me to help them out when they are in difficulty."

Method
--------
If Jesus could walk on water and feed the five thousand he could easily stage the whole Easter thing. Then he could simply have assumed a new identity so he could enjoy the pleasures of sleeping with loose women, getting drunk, gambling and all the other things he couldn't do when he was a prophet.

Therefore, on the balance of probability, we must conclude that Jesus faked his own crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

Thank you.

Source: http://www.biblegateway.com...
modivarch

Con


Thanks for the debate – let’s get to it…


From OP’s first post it seems that we are making a few assumptions in the context of this debate. (a) God exists and (b) Jesus was the son of God. This is not to say that either are true, but only that, again, they are assumed for the duration.


OP contends that on some criterion of probability Jesus likely faked his own resurrection. In support of this contention he offers that this is probably true because Noah allegedly lived 950 years and Jesus only lived thirty. If Jesus really was the son of God then it seems incredibly unlikely that God would have ended his life after a mere 30 years. Thus, the resurrection was most likely a fake. Let’s put this into a bit clearer form (recall that this is “according to the Bible”):


(1) Noah lived 950 years and Jesus lived 30 years


(2) Jesus was the son of God


(3) If God let Noah (a mortal) live 950 it is incredibly unlikely he would end Jesus’ life after a mere 30 years.


(4) Jesus’ ability to perform “miracles” would have provided him with the power to fake his own death, res, and ascension.


(5) Jesus’ would have been more likely to prefer continuing his life on earth as a resulting of faking his death, res, and ascension than if his death, res, and ascension would have occurred.


Therefore, it is quite likely that Jesus faked his own death, res, and ascension.


I think this is a charitable exposition of OP’s argument. If it is not I apologize and await any corrections.


The force of this argument lies in two implicit premises. The first (3a) is that the value of a given being is directly related to the length of life that God allows them. In other words, the more valuable a being is (divine or human) the longer life God will give them, presumably, as some type of reward.


Yet, this claim is wholly unsubstantiated. Certainly, a long life has some value – that is not in question. However, there are two things ignored by this premise:


(6) The length of one’s life is not indicative of the value of one’s life.


(7) Assuming that God rewards/punishes beings based on their value, long life is not the only option.


I’ll say a bit more about both. In regard to (5) we have plenty of examples were the length of a person’s life is in no way related to their “value.” For instance Joseph Stalin lived to the age of 74 and Gandhi till he was 78. Stalin instituted practices that led to the ruination of millions of lives. The peaceful efforts of Gandhi brought about reforms that have helped millions. The mere four year difference between them does not account for the vast difference in their “value.” If God exists (again, an assumption of this debate) the value of one’s life makes little, if any, difference in how God decides what the length of their life will be.


In regard to (6) it seems plain that God has other rewards at his disposal. In the case of Jesus the Bible says that after Jesus died God “raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”1 Now, in considering this we might ask what is better: living a longer life here on earth or being given a place of power in heaven? I think it is safe to say the latter is a much better option and, assuming that God rewards based on value; he would have been more likely to give his son a place of honor in heaven.


The second implicit premise (5a) is that Jesus would have preferred a longer life on earth, including all the various frivolities of human living, as opposed to returning to a place of honor in heaven. I think it is fair to say that, in lieu of the previous discussion of (6), this is far from likely and, in fact, it seems much more plausible that one would choose to live in heaven if the choice was between heaven and earth.


The discussion of these two implicit premises is enough to sink OP’s argument. However, a bit more can be said. Before I do I would like to note that the first part of my post, in part, assumed that scripture was a viable source as OP made no indication to the contrary. However, if that is not the case, I offer the following criticisms of OP’s “motives”:


Point 1 of OP’s post is an ad hominem that bites at a terrible stereotype of the Jewish people. Even if we should consider Jews to be money-grubbers, and I certainly don’t think we should, it is far from given that Jewish people were anything like this at Jesus’ time. We have been given no justification for this claim. Thus, OP’s first point gets us nowhere except to discriminate against the Jewish people.


Point 2 says that “Jesus may have thought to himself…” Ok, fine. This is a possibility. Why should we believe it? If we are to think that “on the balance of probability” Jesus did fake his death we need something much stronger than the mere possibility that Jesus may have thought he wanted to give up the whole “divine respectability” thing and go do as he may. It’s also possible that unicorns exist, but you don’t see me arguing that it is probably true.


Point 3 is based on another stereotype that fails to provide any justification for OP’s conclusion.


OP claims that Jesus’ likely faked his own death and may still live today. Unfortunately, his claim is based in two clearly false implicit premises and, even worse, an assortment of ad hominem and discriminatory claims that are entirely fallacious.




[1] Ephesians 1:20b-21a. Note that the “right hand” is considered to be a place of honor.


Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I would like to thank Modivarch for accepting this debate and for outlining the assumptions I made for the premise of this debate, which I accept as broadly accurate.

However, I would like to add that we may conclude that God does exist but refuses to prove his existence because faith is at the core of Christianity and if he did prove that he exists Christians would no longer have to have faith and the religion would collapse, thus leaving God with nothing.

Otherwise, we may conclude that God has not proved his existence because he does not in reality exist, but even though that may be the case, God and Jesus do exist in the minds of Christians, just as Santa Claus exists in the minds of small children.

Either way, God 'exists'.

Now, my opponents argued that the length of time a man spends on earth is not directly related to his "value" and cited the examples of Stalin and Gandhi.

Stalin was responsible for many deaths: that's true, but Stalin can't compete with God when it comes to mass murder – remember, with the exception of Noah and his family, God killed every single person in the world after he had a tantrum and flooded the entire planet.

And although Gandhi is revered by many but we should remember that he was actually a complete racist. Referring to black South Africans as ‘kaffirs' he wrote: "Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilised — the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals...The kaffirs' sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness. They're loafers...a species of humanity almost unknown among the Indians." [1] He also supported white rule in South Africa.

This is ironic, not only because his own people were subjugated under white rule (India was part of the British Empire at the time), but also because he condemned the blacks' "nakedness" when he used to walk around wearing nothing more than a loin cloth!

It is also worth noting that God didn't kill Hitler, Hitler killed himself – there is no reason to suppose that God disapproved of the Holocaust – if Hitler had gassed millions of Christians he might have been a bit upset, but Hitler's issues were with Jews not Christians.

You see, the deity Christians worship is not necessarily a benevolent or kind-hearted god and the old adage that the ‘good often die young' does hold some water.

Now, moving on to my opponent's rebuttals:

1. To suggest that Jewish people are typically hard-working and entrepreneurial and are often financially solvent as a result, may be to stereotype them, but it is not an offensive stereotype, and there is no reason to suppose that Jesus was any less industrious or motivated by success than the average Jew is now.

2. We cannot know what Jesus actually thought to himself but we do know that he was a man and men, by their very nature, are usually keen to have as much sex with girls as they possibly can and are also very fond of going out, getting drunk and generally having a good time.

3. Years of selfless giving and personal sacrifice with no reward, just more and more basket-cases to deal with, would test the patience of a saint – it would be quite understandable if Jesus decided that he'd done his bit – he wasn't a one man welfare state – and that it was time for people to start looking after themselves. I can't prove that, of course, but it is more than plausible.

Finally, I reassert that Jesus could still be among us today. Indeed, he could be someone we are all familiar with. So who are we looking for?

We know he's a Jewish male who assumed a false identity, probably by shaving off his beard. He's been around for over two thousand years so he will have aged a bit. We also know that he is very persuasive and is able to further convince people of his superior abilities by performing miracles.

So who do we know that fits the bill?

Well, The Blue Collar Investor weblog referred to "a true miracle maker" who is alive and well today, a man who became famous for being able to persuade people to believe in him and his schemes, he is an aging Jewish man – can you guess who it is yet? No? Well go ahead and click the link then:

http://www.thebluecollarinvestor.com...

I'm not saying he is Jesus, but he could be.

Whatever, the fact remains that on the balance of probability, Jesus faked his own crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

Thank you.

[1] The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 8. p. 199.
modivarch

Con

In my last post I gave provided a few devastating criticisms of OP’s argument that Jesus probably faked his death, res, and ascension. He replied and has argued that this conclusion stands. However, his reply has done very little, if anything, to overcome my response. Let’s take a look at why.

Oh Boy a Red Herring, Let’s Chase It!

To begin, in regard to my argument that value of one’s life is not indicative of the length of life OP initially replied with this:

“Stalin was responsible for many deaths: that's true, but Stalin can't compete with God when it comes to mass murder – remember, with the exception of Noah and his family, God killed every single person in the world after he had a tantrum and flooded the entire planet.”

Simply put this has absolutely nothing to do with the argument. Honestly, I’m dumbstruck as to why OP thinks this comment was even helpful unless it was to blind us from the real argument and incite an unnecessary emotional response. Of course, this is probably clear to everyone and I needn’t have even mentioned it.

Next he adds that Gandhi was prejudiced against various peoples and desired “white rule.” As much as this may be true it does nothing to avoid my initial point. It should be clear to everyone with a bit of historical knowledge that Stalin committed far worse atrocities than what Gandhi may have done. Specifically, I’m referring to his instituting of the Gulag. [1]

Even so, let’s just say that both are terrible. They each lived seventy some years. Haven’t many died much younger that deserved longer lives? Do we need to even address this issue? Nope, in fact OP admits as much!

“…the old adage that the ‘good often die young' does hold some water.”

The point, once again, being that value of life is not indicative of length of life. Thus Noah’s long life and Jesus’ short life have nothing to do with how God perceives either. Even if Jesus is much more valuable in the eyes of God, as his son, it does not imply that God would allow him a longer life. Thus, we don't "have to consider the possibility that Jesus faked his own crucifixion, resurrection and ascension." Importantly, as I discussed in my previous post God might have had a better opportunity in store for him; namely, his return to heaven [2] and who would turn that down?

Oddly enough OP does not address this in his reply. I’m assuming not because point-in-fact there isn't a good reply. Life in heaven is a far better option than here on earth especially in a place of honor. It’s even more surprising that he did not address this because this fact only defeats every single of his contentions. Here is why:

  1. Consider that life in heaven is much more agreeable than amassing earthly money/possessions where, according to its utopic ideal, you lack nothing. OP’s first point is defeated.[3]
  2. Consider that life in heaven is much more agreeable than “to have as much sex with girls as [a man] possibly can have” here on earth. OP’s second point is defeated.
  3. In regard to third point nothing really needs to be said except that it does absolutely nothing to increase the probability that Jesus faked anything. Do we have any evidence for this contention that Jesus “got fed up”? Nope. Any reason to believe its truth? Nope. Any reason to believe any one of OP’s claims? Nah.

OP would like to think that baseless claims about what Jesus might have thought should compel us to his conclusion. However, without any facts supporting his claims and, furthermore, assertions to the contrary we are left without nothing, but one man’s subjective, and rather useless, opinions.

Possibilities and Probabilities:

In his pseudo-conclusion OP argues two points:

(1) Jesus could still be among us today.

(2) Jesus might be “The Blue Collar Investor.”

What reasons do we have to accept either? In regard to (1) the mere possibility. In regard to (2) he says that this man is referred to as “a miracle worker” and Jewish and so, again, it is possible. Apparently, these connections alone should increase the probability of this man’s being Jesus so high that we will actually believe that Jesus faked his death and still lives today.

Yet, what is the “possibility” that OP speaks of? Does possibility imply that something is more probable than not? Of course it doesn’t. In other words, asserting that something is possible does not compel us to believe that this possibility is, in fact, actual. For instance, I can say that unicorns possibly exist but that doesn’t mean they probably exist. Beyond mere possibility we need reasons why OP’s contention is more likely to be true than it is to be false. So far any reason he has given I have clearly shown to be without merit and, thus, the truth of his claim has no more support than believing that unicorns exist based possibility that they exist. This is really the only thing that needs to be said about his arguement.

Recall that OP's argument is essentially based in the idea that Jesus would have preferred a longer life here on Earth because it would have been, according to him, more enjoyable (lots of sex, money, etc.). Yet, as I have clearly argued this is false given Jesus' alternative option to preside in heaven. It should be clear that none of his contentions provide us with a compelling reason for Jesus to stick around and to fake his own death in order to do so. Did Jesus' actually die, rise, and ascend? Maybe and maybe not - that discussion is a whole other debate. However, in regard to this debate, we have been given nothing but the mere possibility that Jesus, if he existed and is the son of God, faked his death, res, and ascension.

In conclusion, If one is akin to believing unicorns do exist based on mere possibility they might vote pro, but if facts and reasons supporting likely probabilities are your “bag” I suggest voting con because OP simply dd not provide us with anything that comes even close to being a likely possibiliy.


[1] You can read more about it on good ol’ wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org.... Or, if you would like something in book form there is the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Anne Applebaum simply titled “Gulag: A History.” It's a difficult read (in terms of the atrocities), but gives an excellent picture of what early 20th century Russia was like.

[2] By heaven let’s assume the biblical idea of an eternal utopia.

[3] Above OP argues that his stereotype (in point 1) is not as offensive as I suggested. I would like to note that his second formulation is entirely different than the first which clearly suggested a person who ignored the plight of the poor in search of his own materialistic desires. OP is free to change his claim, which he did, but the offensiveness of his first post speaks for itself.

Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by GodSands 6 years ago
GodSands
Just the title is absurd!
Posted by modivarch 6 years ago
modivarch
@blackvoid

Just because it's fun for the person making the silly claim doesn't mean it isnt trolling. Maybe we have a different understanding of what trolling is, but it seems clear that his debates are meant to have shock value and get people riled up. Whether or not they are meant to be funny is besides the point as most, if not all, "trolls" find some comedic value in what they say. Why should we think his absurd claims in this debate are any different?
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
"Whether or not "it's for fun" has little to do with it."

??? It has everything to do with it. Brian's debates are meant to be humorous and unrealistic. Now, some people have no sense of humor and don't appreciate it, but the fact remains that this is far from trolling.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Well, you should take a look at all of Brian's recent debates. That will convince you, not to mention they are hilarious and will get you a few laughs.
Posted by modivarch 6 years ago
modivarch
@F-16

There's a fine line between joking and trolling I'm unconvinced it's the former. Whether or not "it's for fun" has little to do with it.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
@Modivarch: Brian is not trolling, he instigates a lot of joke debates just for fun.
Posted by modivarch 6 years ago
modivarch
So, I'm curious. Do you actually think this or are you just 'trolling'?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
brian_egglestonmodivarchTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: I give Pro a point for conduct since I found his humor a bit amusing, and his reliance on stereotypes rather entertaining. However, modivarch had the stronger argument, he: showed the inconsistency between possibility, which was hinted in brian's arguments, and probablity, and refuted Pro's idea that Jesus would go out to get a few drinks and gals with the fact that Jesus was rewarded a seat in the heavens, something that Pro never argued against...
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
brian_egglestonmodivarchTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I pinged Brian for conduct for an offensive resolution and intentionally crass remarks in the first round. I also pinged him for sources for not giving specific references to biblical content in the first round (other than to link to the whole Bible...) Ultimately, if Brian wanted to undermine the historical crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension... he needed to go after the historicity of the NT. He did not, and therefore does not fill his BoP. For this reason I awarded Con Argument points
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
brian_egglestonmodivarchTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Good arguments on both sides. This was quite entertaining.