The Instigator
kohai
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Davididit
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Resolved: There is sufficent evidence to believe in Jesus' resurrection

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Davididit
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,659 times Debate No: 17642
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)

 

kohai

Con

My opponent has the entire Burden of Proof in this debate to prove that Jesus' resurrection is supported by enough evidence to be believed.

Fact: The resurrection is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Therefore, my opponent needs to provide to me, and the voters, the extraordinary evidence.

Round 1: My opponent will make his first claims
Round 2: I will refute pro's claims and pro can challenge my rebuttals
Round 3: Same as round 2
Round 4: I will give my final rebuttals and pro will provide his closing statements. No rebuttals allowed from pro.
Davididit

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for reactivating his account. I hope we can finally have a good, rational discussion without any forfeited rounds.

The resolved of the debate is there is sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus' resurrection. I will be proving this by demonstrating that the evidence of Jesus' burial, the empty tomb, post resurrection appearances and the origin of the disciple's beliefs provides an adequate framework to conclude that the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the best explanation, as opposed to naturalistic explanations.

First, I want to challenge the assertion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This vague maxim is constantly repeated over and over. What exactly counts as "extraordinary"? Is evidence "extraordinary" when it's powerful? Or when there is a vast amount of evidence? The ambiguity doesn't end there. What exactly counts as "powerful" evidence and how much evidence is enough? Honestly, this only appears to be a simple rhetorical device aimed at trying to heavy the burden of proof; there's really no argument to it. [1]

It's highly attested by historians that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical person who was crucified by the Romans. [2] Gary Habermas notes, "the vast majority of scholars, both conservative and liberal alike, generally disdain radical theses that question the very existence of Jesus." [3] There are four crucial marks of evidence regarding the resurrection: Jesus' burial, the empty tomb, post resurrection appearances and the origin of the disciple's beliefs along with the existence of the early church.

Jesus' Burial

Why is this evidence and why is it important? The most important aspect of the burial scenario was the fact that Jesus was buried in a tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea. This account is attested for in each of the gospels [4] Furthermore, the Gospels note that Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. Basically, the Sanhedrin was a council made of up 71 Jewish Sages "who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period." [5] The Sanhedrin was an important and well known aspect of society during that period. The fact that Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin makes it very likely that he was a well known public figure.

The Empty Tomb

Matthew 28:11-15, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:11-18 all attest to the empty tomb. Because of such an event as the resurrection, the location of Jesus’ tomb would have been well known. An event such as the crucifixion of Jesus, a man who was well known for his deeds and despised by the Jewish authorities because of his controversy, would have attracted an enormous amount of attention. Furthermore, the Bible mentions the fact that Roman guards were placed in charge of guarding the tomb. This leads us to believe that Roman authorities were definitely aware of the location of the tomb. Moreover, recall that Jesus was buried in Joseph's tomb. The fact that he most likely was a well known public figure adds more plausibility to the idea that the tomb was a well known site. Lastly, Matthew 28:11-15 describes the first Jewish Polemic to try and cover up and explain the missing body. The Jewish leaders didn’t deny that the tomb was empty; they simply explained it away by saying the disciples stole the body. Even the given Jewish Polemic assumes the tomb is empty.

Origin of Disciple’s Beliefs Post Resurrection Appearances and the early church

The origin of the disciple’s belief, post resurrection appearances and the formation of the early church are all closely interrelated. What could account for the origin of the disciple’s beliefs? With the death of Jesus, many during that time period had good reasons for thinking “the whole movement which [Jesus] had led was suppressed for good.” [6] The savior of the world was crucified and killed, taken away to a guarded tomb, and Jewish authorities were out to squander any remnants of Jesus’ followers. Scripture tells us that the disciples saw the risen Jesus. Today, virtually no New Testament scholar denies that the disciple’s believed they met with the risen savior. [7]

There are numerous appearances recorded in scripture where Jesus appeared to individuals and groups—Simon Peter, two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, the eleven, Mary Magdalene, and James to name a few. Jesus also appeared to non-believers such as His brother James and Saul (Paul), who was a persecutor of Christians. Paul had no disposition towards believing the Christians or wanting Jesus to rise from the dead because he was on the opposite side of the fence. Moreover, the fact that the Gospels include Mary Magdalene as a witness adds further credibility to the testimonial evidence, because if there was any doubt that she was lying, during that time women's testimony was not accepted as being credible.

The disciple’s believed so strongly that they saw the risen Jesus that they were willing to suffer terrible deaths for this belief. It was this belief that set the foundation for the early Christian Church. The events recorded in Acts—the disciples preaching the resurrection— are said to have happened immediately within weeks of the resurrection event. J.P. Moreland lends some support to this by stating, “many scholars agree that the seven week time frame between the crucifixion and the first preaching of the resurrection in Jerusalem is historically accurate.”[8] If the disciple’s made up the resurrection, it would have been foolish to spread the conspiracy so close in time to the events since their plot would have been easily foiled by the authorities simply producing the body of Jesus. It would be best to wait for the commotion to die down before spreading the “conspiracy.”

Now, I’d be the first to say that just because the disciple’s claimed they saw the risen Jesus doesn’t mean He actually rose from the dead. What I’m claiming is the events and effects that transpired after the crucifixion can only best be explained by the resurrection of Jesus. What makes the best sense of the empty tomb, the post resurrection appearances, the disciple’s belief and the early church? I believe the resurrection is the best conclusion that accounts for all the facts and makes the most sense out of them all.

I now turn it over to Con to post his rebuttals.

Sources

[1] Wartick, J.W. . "“Extraordinary claims need…” What, exactly? « J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason"." J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason". N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2011. <http://jwwartick.com...;.

[2] Habermas, Gary. "Jesus' Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic." Dr. Gary R. Habermas - Online Resource for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2011. <http://www.garyhabermas.com......;.

[3] Habermas, Gary. "A Summary Critique: Questioning the Existence of Jesus." Dr. Gary R. Habermas - Online Resource for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2011. <http://www.garyhabermas.com......;.

[4] Luke 23:50-56; Mark 15:43-46; Matthew 27:57-60; John 19:38-40

[5] "The Sanhedrin - en." The Sanhedrin. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2011. <http://www.thesanhedrin.org...;.

[6] Bruce, F. F.. New Testament history . [1st U.S. ed. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 19711969. Print.

[7] Habermas, Gary. "Jesus' Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic." Dr. Gary R. Habermas - Online Resource for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2011. <http://www.garyhabermas.com......;.

[8] Moreland, James Porter. Scaling the secular city: a defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1987. Print.

Debate Round No. 1
kohai

Con

I wish to thank my opponent for a fantastic first round. He asks a good question by wanting to know my definitions of extraordinary evidence and extraordinary claims.

Extraordinary claim: A claim that violates our every-day common sense. (Note: there are degrees of extraordinary claims that I will deal with later.)

Extraordinary evidence: Falsifiable evidence that supports the extraordinary claim as fact. I will quote what Hume Maxim stated, "No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish"

I will concede two points:
  1. Jesus existed
  2. Jesus was crucified
I believe my opponent has given sufficient evidence for this. Furthermore, I pre-assumed this before the debate.

Jesus' Burial

My opponent claims that Joseph of Arimathea provided the tomb for Jesus. Are you sure? Let's see what Paul says.

"For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing nether Him nor the utterance of the prophets which are read every Sabbith, fulfilled these by condemning Him. And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him from the cross and laid Him in a tomb." (Acts 13:27-29 )

So, while the 4 gospel's agree, it is Paul that contradicts the gospel's by stating they [plural, referring to the Jews] buried him.

Now, let's take a look at what John has to say.

"Joseph of Arimathaea ... took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus.... Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus...." (John 19:38-42)

So now we have an addition to the story. NONE of the synoptic gospels (similar gospels) have Nicodemus with Joseph of Arimathaea with Jesus' body.

Another thing wrong with this assumption is the fact that there were many people who secretly followed Jesus. One of those were clearly Niodemus. [1]

It is clear that Joseph of Arimathaea was a secret follower of Jesus as well. [2]

| Conclusion |

His arguments fail for these reasons:
  1. Paul contradicts the gospel's
  2. Joseph was a follower of Jesus.

Also note that Paul's account is reasonably consistent with a dishonourable burial.

The Empty Tomb

I do not remember a single time when I discussed Jesus' resurrection without this argument being presented. I thank my opponent for bringing this up. I shall refute it.

For this, I'm going to turn this over to infidels.org to explain better than I can.

In the four gospels, there was indeed and empty tomb. However, the story that Joseph of Arimathea was found to be empty may have been pure fabrication and/or based on unsubstantiated rumours. Let's now suppose this story is true; so what? It is compatible not only with the resurrection hypothesis but with several others more likely to be true If Jesus was placed in the tomb, and was later found to be empty, we still just don't know how the tomb came to be empty! Unfortunately, we have 0 eye witness reports of anyone who watched the tomb, from inside or outside from bout 4 PM on Friday until about 6 AM on Sunday. IF there were guads posted at the tomb, which is unlikely since we have only one story that places the guards (Matthew), these guards were not posted until sometime on Saturday, thus making a 12 hour difference that anyone can access the tomb!

The best explanation is Joseph of Arimathea removed Jesus from the tomb after he placed him in it. Why? Well, if jesus was dead then perhaps Joseph wanted to bury the religious leader elsewhere to avoid tampering or publicity, to comply with the wishes of friends/family, or to vacate the tomb for later ue by his own family. Ever thought of that?

IF Jesus was alive, then maybe Joseph wanted to hide this fact from Jess' enemies and to secure medical aid for the injured man.

Inaddition, there are also natural explanations.
  1. Jesus' body deteriorated (hypothesis I may hold).
  2. Jesus' body was unrecognizable.

The tomb was found empty on Sunday by the women and the speculations became ramp at. different alleged sightings of Jesus are best explained by:
  1. Hallucinations
  2. Dreams
  3. Misidentifications
  4. Misunderstandings
  5. Pure fabrications. (BEST EXPLANATION)

Note: this has been an adaptation to: http://www.infidels.org...

| Conclusion |

In order for my opponent's arguments to work, he is begging the following questions and proofs:

  1. Are there any possible way for the tomb to be empty in any natural way?
  2. Where is the tomb today?

Origin of Disciple’s Beliefs Post Resurrection Appearances and the early church

This was probably the weakest argument that my opponent presented.

My opponent asks what can possibly account for the disciple's beliefs. However, one just has to look at a few modern examples.

Example 1: The watch tower

The watch tower of Jehovah's witnesses have failed, on numerous occasions, to predict the end of the world. [3] Yet there are till more than 1,000,000 JW's world-wide [4]

My opponent also used the Die for the Lie argument. This fails because Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, also died for his lie. If a person died for his/her crime yet claimed to be innocent and was given the opportunity to plea guilty and live, should we automatically claim that person is innocent because of his/her willingness to die for the lie?

In addition, this argument also begs a question, "Did the disciples have an opportunity to recant their beliefs before they were killed?" If not, the argument fails. If so, the argument still fails because people die for lies all the time.

| Conclusion |

I have shown that my opponent's arguments do not work. They have failed because there are modern examples of religions that should prove itself to be false yet there are still many adherents to that religion.

I think that it is clear that my opponent has not yet provided sufficant evidence; thus as of now, I urge a pro vote.

Sources
1. See John chapter 3
2. John 19:38
3. http://www.towerwatch.com...;

4. http://www.watchtower.org...


Davididit

Pro

Jesus' Burial

Con gives an interesting response to my claim that "Jesus was buried in a tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea." To put it candidly, my main contention was that Joseph was a well known public figure. I use this later to tie in the fact that the location of the tomb was well known since Joseph was the one who provided it. I was not making an argument as to who buried Jesus. Last round I noted the crucial role the Sanhedrin played in society. In summation:

  1. Joseph of Arimathea is important because he was a rich man, who was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin.
  2. He provided the tomb for Jesus' burial and his role in the public spotlight ensured that the location of the tomb was well known to Jews and Christians

Con did nothing to "refute" this claim except lodge irrelevant points against it, which appear to be red herrings. Con produced scriptures that "contradict" each other with regard to who laid Jesus' body in the tomb. He attempts to undermine the point I made that Joseph of A. provided the tomb for Jesus, and adds how Nicodemus and Joseph of A. were secret followers of Jesus. The latter has nothing to do with the claim I made! He concludes my argument fails because 1) Paul contradicts the gospel's and 2) Joseph was a follower of Jesus. These two reasons do not affect at all; they're irrelevant.

Regarding Con's "refutation" of the argument from the empty tomb and post resurrection sightings, it's not my job to sift through another website and refute someone else's article on the topic. I will debate what Kohai has said, not infidels.org. Con is responsible for making the appropriate arguments; Not linking a website that lays the arguments out to copy paste. This is borderline plagiarism. His note, "Note: this has been an adaption to inidels.org," nonetheless doesn't constitute a citation. There were no quotes or footnotes to indicate what was or was not his own words. I'll leave this to the voters to judge. As it stands, Con has made no attempt to explain how the natural theories can account for the sightings and early church.

The Empty Tomb
Con argues that the resurrection hypothesis is not the only compatible theory to account for the empty tomb. He says there were no eye witnesses of anyone who watched the tomb, and it's unlikely that there were any guards "since we have only one story that places the guards." Con concludes, "the best explanation is Joseph of A. removed Jesus from the tomb after he placed him in it." First, I'd like to respond to the two questions that Con claims I'm begging.

1) It's possible that the tomb was empty, that the resurrection didn't happen, and that there is a natural explanation. But this is precisely what's in question. Here is what I'm arguing:

  1. Either the evidence is best explained by a natural account or it is best explained by a supernatural account
  2. The evidence is not best explained by a natural account
  3. C:Therefore, it's best explained by a super natural account

If there are facts that are best explained by an actual resurrection, then there is in fact sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus' resurrection
2) Where is the question begging? Even if we don't know where the tomb is today, this does not invalidate the fact that there were witnesses to the tomb. In fact, today in Israel there are a few burial sites that are the possible tombs that Jesus was laid in. [1]

There's no reason to think that the tomb was left unguarded after Jesus was placed in the tomb. The Chief Priests knew the claims Jesus made and the large following he had. Following the crucifixion, the priests approached Pilate and asked him for extra protection at the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66). They wanted to ensure that the tomb was heavily guarded. If they were so preoccupied with the security of the tomb, why didn't they use the temple police to guard it in the mean time before asking for Roman assistance? It would be reasonable, considering the fact that the Chief Priests wanted to make sure Jesus' body remained in the tomb, that they would've had their own guards in place before. Nevertheless, Con shoulders the burden in explaining why he thinks the tomb was left completely unguarded and why there was no guard afterwards. Secondly, Con invalidates the guard story because it appears in only one Gospel. However, it's been noted that the guard story also appeared in the independent work of the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. [2][3]

There is evidence in the text to show that there were Roman guards sent to guard the tomb. With this being the case, it would have been difficult for Joseph to remove the body from the tomb, let alone roll the 1 1/2-2 ton stone out of the way. [4]

Here is my response to Con's conspiracy theory:

  1. if Joseph stole the body with the guards in place, then the resurrection appearances would have to necessarily be explained by natural means (hallucinations, dreams, etc.)
  2. The resurrection appearances cannot be sufficiently explained by natural means
  3. Therefore, the idea that Joseph stole the body is false.

Premise 2: Countering the Nat. explanations of the Resurrection Sightings
Hallucinations and Dreams
It's been argued that subjective experiences and states of mind created hallucinations or dreams for the disciples and this accounts for what they believed to be the risen Jesus. For Michael Goulder, "psychological states of mind ("conversion visions") particularly explain Peter's experience and Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus."[5]

The biggest blow to this theory is hallucinations are not seen collectively by groups of people. By definition, hallucinations "involve sensing things while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind."[6] To have over 500 people experience the exact same subjective hallucination would be impossible. Similarly, the dream hypothesis suffers from the same fate as the hallucination theory. Did all the disciple's experience the exact same dream? This itself would seem like a supernatural occurrence if all the disciples and the 500 all experienced the exact same dream.

Theories 3 (misidentifications) and 4 (Misunderstandings) are extremely vague. It's not enough to throw out the names of theories and just assume that they adequately rebut my arguments. Con must flesh out the theory and argue for the position.

Fabrications and Origin of the Disciple's Belief

Con failed to draw a clear point with his example of The Watch Tower Society. He seems to say that someone can still believe or follow a religion even if the religion is false. First, there is a difference between dying for a belief one strongly believes to be true (even if false) and dying for a belief that one knows to be false. Secondly, Con has this nonsensical idea that Christians were slaughtered without the chance to recant their beliefs. Paul had been persecuted from city to city and he had multiple opportunities to recant his faith. Also note the martyrdom of Saint Stephen. He was tried by the Sanhedrin and taken outside of the city to be stoned to death. Surely, during trial Stephen would have opportunities to recant his beliefs. There are no reasons to think otherwise.

In response to the charge that I've begged the question, I do not explicitly see where I've done so. All Con did was list conditionals and has not explained how I've begged the question, which would be assuming what I'm attempting to prove.

The Joseph Smith analogy fails because it's a weak analogy, and therefore uncogent. It's weak because there is a distinct difference between the revelations of Joseph Smith and the early Christian church. Joseph Smith received private, subjective "revelations," while Christianity was a more publicized event, with appearances being testified and "witnessed" by a large number of people. It's easy to conceal a conspiracy with just one person involved, but if the 500+ people all "lied," it's highly plausible at least one would have told the truth. Hence, the Joseph Smith example breaks down and fails.


Debate Round No. 2
kohai

Con

This has been a tough debate. I wish to thank him for his fantastic arguments.

Jesus' Burial

While I do contend that Joseph provided the tomb, he has conceded the contradictions. Joseph was a secret follower of Jesus, and yes my entire point is that the reason why he gave his tomb to Jesus was to show respect to him.

In addition, we have 1 person stating that 500 people saw Jesus post-resurrection. Sounds very compelling doesn't it?

Why didn't the Jewish leaders produce Jesus' corpse?

According to the New Testament, it fixes the public announcement of the resurrection 50 days after the events! By that day, Jesus' corpse would have been sufficently decomposed.

A mishnah states: "They must not give evidence [of identity in respect of a dead man] except on [proof afforded by] the full face with the nose..." [1]

Empty Tomb

Were there guards at Jesus' tomb? According to Matthew, yes. However, according to the other gospels, there were not. In fact, there was a 12 hour period between the burial and the guard placed.

As for the hallucinations:

"There will always be some who will not see the hallucination. It is uncommon for them to speak out and deny it. It is uncommon for them to speak out and deny it. They usually keep quiet, doubtful perhaps of their worthiness to see the vision for which so many of their fellows around them are fervently giving thanks. Later on, influenced by the accounts of others, they may even begin to believe that they saw the vision too.� Page 117, Zusne, L. and Jones, W. (1989) Anomalistic Psychology: A Study in Magical Thinking. Hillsboro, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.'

People can be easily persuaded to change their opinions, even concerning something they have seen very recently, if other people in the surrounding group are pushing for a conflicting opinion.[2]

| Conclusion |
  1. We only have 1 person stating that 500 people saw Jesus post-resurrection. Is that compelling?
  2. I have shown that it is uncommon for people to speak out for not seeing a hallucination.
  3. My opponent needs to show that a resurrection is the only possible claim.
  4. He is yet to convince me that Jesus really rose from the dead.
| Questions for voters |
  1. Has my opponent given good reason for the belief in the resurrection? I urge voters to vote con if he did not. However, if you feel that my opponent has, then please vote pro.
  2. Would any of his evidence stand up in a court of law?

Sources
1 http://www.jewsforjudaism.org...;
2. http://www.columbia.edu...
Davididit

Pro


I'd like to thank my opponent for his prompt response.


First, I did not concede the apparent contradictions. Upon closer examination, I realized his claim isn't so much a red herring as it is a non sequitur. If there are "contradictions," at most all that would tell us is we cannot trust the text with regards to who buried Jesus. My focus isn't on who buried Jesus, and my opponent continues to highlight this issue and use it to argue against my point that my opponent conceded by saying he does "contend that Joseph provided the tomb." I'm glad that he clarifies his point and says that "the reason why [Joseph] gave his tomb to Jesus was to show respect to Him." Great! I'm glad Joseph did that. How does this undermine my point Joseph was a well known public figure? As I argued previously, I use this later to tie in the fact that the location of the tomb was well known since Joseph was the one who provided it. I was not making an argument as to who buried Jesus.Whether Joseph gave Jesus the tomb because he disliked Jesus or because he loved Him does nothing to affect my contention.


My opponent calls into question the validity of the 500 witnesses. He writes, "we have one person stating that 500 people saw Jesus post-resurrection. Sounds very compelling doesn't it?"


What's important to note is the 500 witnesses were a large portion of the early church. Furthermore, these witnesses were most likely alive at the time of Paul's writing. Dr. Edwin M. Yamuchi writes, "What gives a special authority to the list (of witnesses) as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, 'If you do not believe me, you can ask them.' Such a statement in an admittedly genuine letter written within thirty years of the event is almost as strong evidence as one could hope to get for something that happened nearly two thousand years ago." [1]


My opponent also argues Jesus' corpse decomposed and thus the leaders could not produce the body . He writes, "Why didn't the Jewish leaders produce Jesus' corpse? According to the new testament, it fixes the public announcement of the resurrection 50 days after the events! By that day, Jesus' corpse would have been sufficiently decomposed."


Of course that would be true, assuming a naturalistic hypothesis. This also assumes that the Jewish leaders had access to the body, i.e. the body (or remains) would have to be in the tomb. But we know the tomb was empty. Well, according to my opponent Joseph (or someone else) stole the body! Remember my argument in response to this conspiracy from the second round:



  1. if Joseph stole the body with the guards in place, then the resurrection appearances would have to necessarily be explained by natural means (hallucinations, dreams, etc.)

  2. The resurrection appearances cannot be sufficiently explained by natural means

  3. Therefore, the idea that Joseph stole the body is false.



The hallucination theories would have to necessarily explain away the resurrection; however my opponent has failed to prove the theories to be an adequate explanation of the sightings. Note that Joseph's name in the syllogism can be replaced by the name of anyone else. For the purposes of refuting guy opponent, I chose to focus on Joseph of A. In order for my opponent's theory to work, he must refute my argument, otherwise they fail.



My opponent brings up the guards at the empty tomb and argues that since only one gospel mentions it and the others don't, therefore there were probably no guards. I've already responded to this in my previous round, yet Con decidedly repeats his claim. I said, "Con shoulders the burden in explaining why he thinks the tomb was left completely unguarded and why there was no guard afterwards. Secondly, Con invalidates the guard story because it appears in only one Gospel. However, it's been noted that the guard story also appeared in the independent work of the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. [2][3]" I also responded to the 12 hour period in my previous round. This went unrefuted.


Regarding the hallucinations, my opponent provides a quotation that basically argues people who don't see a hallucination in the presence of others seeing it, feel left out of the group. Eventually they are "influenced by the accounts of others" and they "begin to believe that they saw the vision too." Did this happen? This goes right back to the fact that Jesus appeared to the disciple's in groups. Recall that the women saw Jesus first and they ran back to tell the disciples. The disciple's themselves ignored the women and called them crazy. "10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared [a]to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them."[2]


Remember women's testimony were considered illegitimate during those times. This doesn't sound to me like a case where the disciple's are "influenced by the accounts of others." Each of these claims were met with skepticism from even the disciples themselves! Thomas himself said he would not believe unless he saw and touched Jesus himself. Furthermore, when Jesus is claimed to have appeared to them, it was in a group. All the disciples saw the very same thing, at the very same time. They even touched him and gave him food to eat.


As for his conclusions


1) is hardly an argument


2) I've responded to this claim


3) As noted in the comments by a member, I don't need to show that the resurrection is th only possible explanation. Recall my overall argument:



  1. Either the evidence is best explained by a natural account or it is best explained by a supernatural account

  2. The evidence is not best explained by a natural account

  3. C:Therefore, it's best explained by a super natural account


If there are facts that are best explained by an actual resurrection, then there is in fact sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus' resurrection.


4. This is hardly a conclusion or argument. Being convinced is entirely subjective, and one can be unconvinced of something that is true.


My arguments went entirely unrefuted. Essentially, my opponent simply restated his arguments and ignored any of the arguments I made in my previous round. I turn it back over to Con.


[1]McDowell, Josh. "Evidence for the Resurrection." Leadership University. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2011. <http://www.leaderu.com...;


[2] Luke 24:10-11 NASB


Debate Round No. 3
kohai

Con

kohai forfeited this round.
Davididit

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for staying for the majority of the debate.

Summary

While I didn't make the syllogism explicit in my opening statement, I presented one in the second round to capture my overall argument. My main argument was

  1. Either the evidence is best explained by a natural account or it is best explained by a supernatural account
  2. The evidence is not best explained by a natural account
  3. C:Therefore, it's best explained by a super natural account

If there are facts that are best explained by an actual resurrection, then there is in fact sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus' resurrection. Furthermore, I argued that Jesus' burial empty tomb, origin of the disciple's beliefs, post resurrection appearances and the early church are all sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus' resurrection.

My opponent did one of the following: 1) either he did not address the issue head on or he did not provide an adequate explanation and defense of the naturalistic theories.

My opponent responded to my argument by showing that there were contradictions with burial accounts with regards to who buried Jesus. Claimed my arguments failed because Paul contradicts the Gospels and Joseph was a follower of Jesus. I addressed this numerous times and showed this to be a non sequitur. First I clarified that my argument was that Joseph was a well known public figure and how the location of the tomb was well known since Joseph was the one who provided it. Second, I showed him that at most his argument would tell us is we cannot trust the text with regards to who buried Jesus. His point never undermined my contention.

Secondly, my opponent tried to combat the empty tomb by positing a conspiracy theory where Joseph of A. stole the body while there were no guards. He further tries to invalidate there being any guards at the tomb after the burial. I responded to this argument by arguing:

  1. if Joseph stole the body with the guards in place, then the resurrection appearances would have to necessarily be explained by natural means (hallucinations, dreams, etc.)
  2. The resurrection appearances cannot be sufficiently explained by natural means
  3. Therefore, the idea that Joseph stole the body is false.

I then sifted through each of the hallucination theories (that my opponent did not provide, explain, or adequately defend) and rebutted each one showing them to be extremely weak or implausible

My opponent tried to use examples of The Watch Tower and Joseph Smith to refute the arguments from the origin of the early church and the origin of the Disciple's beliefs. I showed that these fail because 1) there is a difference between dying for a belief one strongly believes to be true (even if false) and dying for a belief that one knows to be false and 2) the Joseph Smith analogy was weak and therefore uncogent.

My opponent's arguments did not carry much weight, if any at all. I have successfully countered the arguments and presented a positive case and argument for the resurrection of Jesus that was left unrefuted by my opponent.

I urge voters to examine and scrutinize the arguments on their own merits based on the interactions my opponent had in rounds 1-3.
Vote Pro :)

Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kevinbravehart 5 years ago
kevinbravehart
Do prisoners of war? Wouldn't you to protect your family or a sacred held belief. Would you for patriotism or duty. There are many reasons for people to lie. And many people feel so strongly about them that they would indeed face death for it. So yes, I do think it is possible and even probable. Just ask spies during the cold war. Also, when people believe something so strongly, if it were a lie, they often don't consider it a lie. They could even pass a lie detector test. So in essence, it may not have been a lie to them and hence forth not a lie but a delusion. Delusional people say and do delusional things, like fly planes into buildings and bomb subways.
Thank you for your comment Dimmitri C.
Posted by Dimmitri.C 5 years ago
Dimmitri.C
Kevinbravehart,

Do you think the Apostles would satisfy and maintain a lie even while suffering a terrible death?
Posted by kevinbravehart 5 years ago
kevinbravehart
Extraordinary proof is required when a theory doesn't meet the criteria for a robust theory.
Mark, Matthew, John and all the supposed witnesses could have been simply lying to satisfy an agenda, taken out of context, spoken for, or simple never said or saw any of it. That's a more plausible and very human theory about the resurrection.
Posted by kevinbravehart 5 years ago
kevinbravehart
I honestly didn't read the entire debate, but it seems to me the obvious conclusion is that the supposed eyewitness and reports (accounts) could be or are simply lies. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best. Doesn't the whole debate hinder on the validity of these accounts. Second hand accounts written decades later. No court in the world would sentence someone to death based on second hand accounts so old or separated from the supposed event. All the "evidence" given in this debate was from scripture or conjecture, which is not evidence at all. It's as if we could prove the downfall of Sauron because the accounts of St. J.R.R. Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings confirm it. -I believe that the downfall of Sauron is the best conclusion based on the "FACTS!?" of Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, and J.R.R. Tolkien. It's only "LOGICAL!?" that if Frodo threw the ring into Mt. Doom, as Tolkien and other witnesses recount, then clearly the "FACTS!?" show that Sauron was indeed destroyed. Now, in the time shortly after Sauron's destruction, the lands were filled with joy and prosperity, now that could only be the case if Sauron was destroyed. And no body was ever found of Sauron, therefore it again shows that he certainly was destroyed. DUH!!!! You see, you can't prove a theory with a fictional text. Does the theory "a person resurrected" meet the following criteria.
-is it consistent -is it Parsimonious -is it useful -can it be tested
-can it be falsified -is it Correctable & Dynamic -is it progressive
This is the burden of evidence that science and reason demand. If a theory meets these then it is considered robust (not powerful) like evolution. Is the theory of Jesus resurrecting robust? NO.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
*Handshake for a great debate* Great job!
Posted by Dimmitri.C 5 years ago
Dimmitri.C
This debate is already over.
Posted by cabio 5 years ago
cabio
I guess I would have an issue with conclusion #3 Con. Pro does not need to show that the resurrection is the only possible claim, just the most probable given the evidences. That also ties in with your initial claim concerning the need for extraordinary evidence, which is also false. Extraordinary claims need sufficient evidence.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Typing myself. Most of what I wrote, except that which I copied, is my own.
Posted by Davididit 5 years ago
Davididit
Perhaps, that's why I said it's borderline. Meaning it's pretty close, but I could be wrong in my assessment. I won't dwell on it too long.

Will you be typing them yourself or just copying from infidels? ;)
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
ok. It's not plagarism when you alrat it and cite the source—Which is exactly what i did. Arguments to be typed soon.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
kohaiDavididitTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to pro for the forfiet. Arguments to pro because due to the forfeit, Kohai was unable to respond well enough to Pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by Cerebral_Narcissist 5 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
kohaiDavididitTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: This is a difficult debate to call. Pro establishes an excellent prima facie case, and in many ways makes a superior argument to con. Pro however fails to truly make a case for the ressurection to be believed. Pro fails to address the hallunication argument. Ultimately the burden of proof is too high, and impossible for Pro to fulfill.