The Instigator
misterme
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Pwner
Con (against)
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The Lewis Trilemma is sound.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 707 times Debate No: 33791
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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misterme

Pro

I will be arguing that the Lewis Trilemma as proposed by C.S. Lewis in his book 'Mere Christianity' is sound.

First round is for acceptance. Serious debaters only.
Pwner

Con

I accept. Good luck pro.
Debate Round No. 1
misterme

Pro

misterme forfeited this round.
Pwner

Con

Pwner forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
misterme

Pro

misterme forfeited this round.
Pwner

Con

Introduction:

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited this debate by disabling his account. I waited the last few rounds in hopes that he'd jump back in before it ended, but here we are empty handed. I thought it'd be a real shame to let this fascinating resolution go untouched, and thus regardless of how this essay effects scores, I'd like to share a rather novel reason for rejecting the resolution with you.

The infamous Trilemma (Jesus was either Lord, Liar or Lunatic) is almost always answered by skeptics with the 'why think Jesus claimed to be God?' quip. I'd like to take another route. Whatever I do, I must show that these three disjuncts do not exhaust the possibilities.

On the supposition that Jesus believed he was God, his belief was either justified and true, justified but false, unjustified and false or unjustified but true.

If it was justified and true, then Jesus was Lord. If it was justified but false, he'd be neither Lord, Liar nor Lunatic as he'd sincerely and reasonably believe he was something he was not. If it was unjustified and false, he'd at best be a Lunatic, and at worst a Liar as well. And finally, if it was unjustified but true, Jesus would have been a Lunatic.

As we can see then, there is at least one way in which the Trilemma fails to exhaust the possibilities: namely, in the case where Jesus' belief that he was God was justified but false.

The Argument:

I'd like to explore that option here, and offer a novel account of it. In other words, I'll argue that there is a fourth possibility: while Jesus believed he was God, he was neither Lord, Liar nor Lunatic.

This possibility has it that Jesus was not Lord because God does not exist. Neither was he a Liar because he sincerely believed he was God. Nor was he a Lunatic, for he performed genuine miracles at will. How is this scenario possible? Witchcraft. That's right. Jesus was a witch.

Interestingly, Helen Ingram has assembled a variety of evidence indicating that Jesus was by all accounts a 'magician' or 'witch'. [1] Jesus conforms to the 'archetypal' magician remarkably well. For instance, like all ancient magicians, Jesus cultivated an air of secrecy about his operations by discouraging others to speak of his miracles, and encouraging private prayer. Cf. Mark's 'Messianic Secret'. He also seems to employ magical techniques highly resembling those found in the Greek Magical Papryi, such as his frequent combination of commanding whilst administering some material in order to heal, and attempting to learn the names of demons to gain control over them. Jesus was also allegedly called an 'evildoer' at his trial (Cf. Jn. 18:30), and we know from Roman law that the term "doer of evil" was the vulgar term for 'magician'.

But, why should the Trilemma proponent think that witchcraft is even possible? Well, as an advocate of the Trilemma, she would want us to honestly consider God's existence--with all the implications it bears about supernatural realities, and the nature of 'mind'--possible. But, then I'm not sure how she could reasonably dismiss the possibility of witchcraft. Such a person would naturally be inclined towwards theories of mind which could countenance the sort of 'agent-causation' magick presupposes. Further, if Jesus' Lordship is to be recognized as genuinely possible, then so must witchcraft as its reality is variously acknowledged throughout the Old and New Testaments. Finally, regardless of how implausible witchcraft is, is it really impossible?

Thus, it seems to me the Trilemma advocate should concede the possibility of witchcraft. Furthermore, if we must concede God's possible existence, then she should concede God's possible non-existence and this affords us four possibilities: Jesus was either Lord, Liar, Lunatic or Lamia (Latin for 'witch').

Thank you for reading.


Footnotes:

[1]: http://wasjesusamagician.blogspot.co.uk...;
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Pwner 4 years ago
Pwner
Not really sure what to do, my opponent's account is apparently no longer active.
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
This should be interesting.
Posted by misterme 4 years ago
misterme
I should have mentioned this in round 1. I will be exhausting the possibilities. I will briefly defend the rest of the argument but I don't think that is too necessary because the argument is deductive. I should also mention that though I am a Christian, I do not think the Books contained in the bible are inspired. I will treat them as any other document written during that time period. I will show that certain things that Jesus is claimed to have said were in fact probably said by Jesus. I will not take a random verse from the gospel of John and attempt to prove Jesus claimed to be God if the claim is not multiply attested to or does not conform to dissimilarity, etc.
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
When you say the trilemma is sound, do you mean you're going to defend the notion that the three options exhaust the possibilities, or are you going to defend the rest of the argument and show that Jesus is Lord by eliminating the other two options?
Posted by AvalonXQ 4 years ago
AvalonXQ
It's not sound, because it ignores the position taken by most non-Christians: that the person of Jesus did not actually say the things that the Gospels claim.
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