The Lewis Trilemma is sound.
Debate Rounds (3)
First round is for acceptance. Serious debaters only.
misterme forfeited this round.
Pwner forfeited this round.
misterme forfeited this round.
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.
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'.  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.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.