The Instigator
Bible-Defender
Pro (for)
Winning
43 Points
The Contender
Ste93
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is historically probable

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
Bible-Defender
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,343 times Debate No: 14109
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (168)
Votes (10)

 

Bible-Defender

Pro

I believe that the Resurrection of Jesus is a historical event that probably happened. It is impossible to reach 100% certainty. However, that should not detract from the discussion since that is the way it is in all of history. One can only prove what probably happened. The historical methodology used to ascertain whether something is to be considered a historical fact is the same that secular historians use, is whether the reasons for accepting it outweighs the reasons for rejecting it.

"A position is demonstrated, when the reasons for accepting it significantly outweigh the reasons for not accepting it... A finding of historicity is essentially a default position, meaning that we have no other reasonable way to account for the presence of a story in the text."
-Robert Miller, "Historical Method and the Deeds of Jesus: The Test Case of the Temple Demonstration." Forum 8 (1992): 5-30

Others include Principle of Embarrassment, Enemy Attestation, Multiple Attestation, etc. Also if the theory explains the facts more so than alternative theories, then according to historical methods, it probably happened. Therefore the Resurrection stands on good ground. Take crime scene investigation for example. One collects all the facts, then has to come up with a theory as to what happened. The theory that takes into account all the facts without adding one theory upon another and that far outstrips alternative theories, then it is reasonable to believe that such and such happened. The reason why I used crime scene investigation is that because they use many of the same guidelines as historians do. For both are trying to discover what happened in the past.

As law professor at New York Law school says:
"The accuser can meet the burden of proof by offering a certain quantum of evidence, which varies depending upon the nature of the accusation, for example-in the context of legal disputes-proof beyond a reasonable doubt for criminal charges or, for civil charges, proof that makes the truth of an accusation more probable than not."
-"Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An AMerican Controversy" (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia 1997)

As historian C. Behan McCullagh says in his book "Justifying Historical Descriptions":
"If the scope and strength of an explanation are very great, so that it explains a large number and variety of facts, many more than any competing explanation, then it is likely to be true."

Also: "But if the evidence is support of an explanitory hypothesis is strong, and there is no alternative hypothesis supproted nearly as well, it is reasonable to believe it is probably true" McCullah, "The Truth of History."p.23

For evidence, my case is cumulative. IF Jesus was crucified, IF his disciples honestly had what they considered to be experiences of the risen Jesus, IF it can be demonstrated that Paul had suddenly converted, IF James who was skeptical brother of Jesus suddenly converted, and IF the tomb was found empty, and IF the alternative theories are not able to provide an adequate answer for the aforementioned facts, that lends strong evidence for the Resurrection. It is my contention that each of these are indeed facts. In fact, they are admitted by most if not nearly all scholars both believing and skeptical to be historical events. It is also my contention that there are no alternative theories that can adequately account for the facts as well as the Resurrection. Therefore, the reasons FOR the accepting the Resurrection outweigh the reasons for rejecting it and thus meet the requirements for historicity, which is called argument to the best explanation.

As for naturalistic theories I will not comment on them as yet. I want to know what my opponent thinks happened. How does he account for those facts? I don't want to waste time and refute something that he himself might not believe in. However, whether my opponent wishes to discuss the particulars in the above mentioned facts or just go ahead as discuss what alternative he thinks is a better explanation, he too, according to historical methodology has to provide evidence. As historians admit:
"Third, evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms--it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object is established not by nonexistent evidence but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist."
-Hackett, "Historians' Fallacies", Harper: 1970 p.62

That means that if someone wants to posit an alternative theory, or say that, for example that Jesus wasn't crucified, but instead murdered, then the burden is also upon him to provide historical evidence for that.

It is my contention that:

1.Jesus was indeed crucified and buried. This is attested to not only in the Gospels, but also by Paul and extra-biblical sources. And is admitted to as fact by almost all scholars.
2. Jesus' disciples believed that He rose from the dead and appeared to them. This is attested to by the fact that they willingly suffered for that message. That is accorded to in Acts, as well as extra-biblical sources and is also accepted as historical fact by nearly all scholars.
3. Paul, who was an enemy of the church suddenly changed. This is stated by Paul himself in a number of N.T. texts and have claimed to have seen the risen Christ. Usually people will convert on the word of someone else, that is a secondary source. But Paul's conversion is due to something that he himself experienced. That is a primary source. Again, almost all scholars accept this as fact.
4. James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, suddenly changed. This is attested to in the Bible, and extra-biblical source reports that he was a strict Jew. The Bible also testifies that after the Resurrection, James became a leader of the church.
5. The tomb was found empty. This is accepted by the majority of scholars also (Gary Habermas did a study on the state of scholarship to date. He reports that 75% of scholars agree that the tomb was indeed found empty).

I do not want to get into the specifics right away as to exactly why these are facts or not. I do not want to waste my time in doing so if my opponent is going to agree to them. First I will see what my opponent has to say before responding.

So, the historical question remains. What happened that fateful Easter morning? What happened that could make disciples believe something so much that they willingly suffered and died for? What happened that changed the enemy of Christians (Paul) to suddenly convert without any prior motive to? What could have happened that changed the once skeptical brother of Jesus (James) into becoming a leader of the Christian church in Jerusalem? What happened at the tomb that emptied it?

It is also my contention that since there are no naturalistic explanations that can account for the above facts, the only explanation left is that Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead and therefore it is reasonable to believe that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. And why is it important? Because it establishes the truth of Christianity. A resurrection, by its very nature is a miracle. Only God has the power over death. Jesus claimed to be divine. To back up that claim, he stated that he would give one proof, to raise himself from the dead. No other person in history made such a claim. There are other resurrections in the bible (though a rare event). However, it was always God working through a disciple or prophet. No disciple or prophet could raise himself from the dead. So even up to that point, many believed that Jesus was only a prophet. However, when Jesus made the claim He was going to raise himself, and the reason why he could do so is because He is God. Then resurrection is proof of His claim.

However, did He rise from the dead? It is my belief that it is historically reasonable to believe He did for that is where the facts point to.
Ste93

Con

I thank my opponent for the challenge.

First there is an issues I would like to clear up. One could justify something being historically probably based on inaccurate historical evidence, so I ask my opponent to demonstrate that his sources of evidence are indeed true (not based on his or anyone else's opinions but on provable facts).

I am arguing that there is no accurate historical evidence that the resurrection of christ occurred. I will now use an analogy to justify my reasoning:

Imagine you are reading a scripture, from which a faith is based. The scripture claims that it alone is the one truth. It contains many fascinating tales and the language is beautiful and inspiring. You are in awe at this work and are inclined to believe it's truth. Now, you come across a parable about sea travellers, sailing the oceans in search of new land. Their mission brings great joy and pride from their home land. But now, it is told that the men awoke one morning to a loud thunder-like noise and a dark cloud rose over them. They felt their boat shaking turbulently on the raging waters. The boat is torn apart and the men are in abject terror, as they try desperately to swim away. One by one, the men fall the edge of the Earth into the abyss. The last man is about to fall, his head leaning over the edge, the view of hell staring into his eyes. Then the man feels himself rising upwards and away from the edge. He hears the voice of God from the cloud above, telling him he has been spared. He is ordered to go back to his land and tell everyone of the story and to warn them never to travel on oceans again. The man is transported by God to his home land and warns his family and friends. The word spreads and soon everyone is aware.

The story may be beautifully written, poignant and indeed consequential. There maybe a moral behind it. To a monk from the middle ages, it may be inspiring and convincing. We face a problem however. We have unequivocal evidence that the Earth is spherical and falling off the edge is not possible.

However beautiful the story may be, we can be certain that it is false, as we know that the premise it is built on is definitely wrong.

The same reasoning can be applied to the story of the resurrection of christ. It may well be beautifully written and arouse intense emotion to its readers. It may symbolise moral views, it may inspire great good in the world and indeed it has. The story may well bring joy and inspiration to people around the world, who find its prodigious message moving. However, like in my tale of the sea travellers, we encounter a problem. In the 21st century, we have a very extensive knowledge of the laws of physics and the workings of biology. We know that humans cannot magically rise from the dead, especially after the horrific death suffered by Jesus, in which he would have lost a lot of blood and suffocated. This involves a direct violation of everything we know about science. It cannot possibly be true, under the same principle that men cannot fall of the edge of the world; we have unequivocal evidence to the contrary and none whatsoever in support.

Words can be written in such a way to be greatly inspiring, it does not imply that there content is true. It is not rational to hold words on paper in higher esteem than the laws of physics, to which we owe our very existence.

My opponent is interested to know what other explanations there could be for the events that occurred on Easter morning. I would first like to point out that this is based on the unwarranted assumption that the accounts we have of that morning are accurate, not contrived or ambiguous or even honestly wrong. Whatever the consequences of the supposed resurrection were can be considered incidental with respect to this argument. The resurrection violates unequivocal facts and it therefore not reasonable to believe it to be true. Whatever led to the consequences cannot be attributed to a genuine resurrection, due to its impossibility. The truth, whatever it may be, is certainly not this. I find it astounding how people just cannot understand this, or indeed refuse to. The laws of physics cannot be blatantly suspended for the desires of anyone in any circumstances. Not ever. No resurrections or virgin births or ascensions to heaven. No conversations with God up mountains. These things did not happen for the simple reason that they cannot physically have happened. I make no apologies is smashing that chestnut with a sledgehammer. It is an important point that needs to be acknowledged.

Imagine our horror if a police investigation concluded, for example, that a murder suspect had magically flow off to a far away land, based on received messages. I think they probably (indeed hopefully) draw the line at the laws of physics.
Debate Round No. 1
Bible-Defender

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

Apparently my opponent didn't even bother to read my last post. Each fact that I point to is admitted by virtually all scholars. Jesus' death by crucifixion is attested to by first century documents, (Not just the gospels, but also by Paul, who wrote before the gospels, Josephus, and Tacitus) Therefore, we have multiple, independent, early texts that point to Jesus' death by crucifixion. If my opponent wishes to contest this, then he is under obligation, by the rules of historiography, to provide counter evidence, not just shrug it off.
As skeptic scholar John Dominic Crossan states: "That he was crucified is as sure as anything can ever be"

Likewise for the disciples' sincere belief that they saw Jesus alive after his death. "It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus' death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ" New Testament skeptic Gerd Ludemann

Paul and James are in the same boat. We have early documentation of their conversions. Again if my opponent wishes to contest this, then he needs to provide evidence to the contrary.

The empty tomb, three things point to the empty tomb. The Jerusalem Factor. Christianity started off in Jerusalem, the very place where Jesus was crucified. If the tomb had not been empty as asserted, all one would have to do is visit the tomb and see. If it were not empty, Christianity would be dead in the womb. The second is enemy attestation: Not only did Christians attest to the empty tomb but also its enemies, although indirectly. Early critics accuse Jesus' disciples of stealing the body: Matt 28:12-13, Justin Martyr, Trypho 108, Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30. There would be no need for an account of a missing body if the tomb weren't empty. The testimony of the women. Since female testimony was not considered reliable, to have them the first to discover the tomb would be counter-productive to spreading the gospel. That falls under the historigraphical principle of embarrassment. Again if my opponent wishes to counter this, he needs to provide E V I D E N C E. As acknowledged by even skeptical historians. "Third, evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms--it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object is established not by nonexistent evidence but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist."
-Hackett, "Historians' Fallacies", Harper: 1970 p.62

My opponent mentions crime investigations. That is up my ally, since I am a cop and just finished my Master's. This is exactly how we investigate crime scenes. We gather the facts, come up with theories to try to explain the facts, and the one that explains the facts the best, we go with.

My opponent states that I am assuming the accounts we have are accurate. Nope. I am not basing my argument on the accuracy of the gospels or their inspiration at all. So that is a straw man. All I am basing my argument on is well attested historical fact that are admitted to by nearly all critical scholars that have studied the subject.

The next one is science. My opponent states that all we know of physics and biology it is "impossible" for a dead man to rise. In fact he says "This involves a direct violation of everything we know about science. It cannot possibly be true,"

I would agree with my opponent if all that existed were the natural realm. But I am not sure how my opponent is soooo sure that the supernatural does not exist. Science can tell us nothing of the supernatural. In fact what he is saying is that dead men stay dead. And I would agree, if all that exists is the natural physical realm. And I would even agree that as the norm, dead people stay dead, but that is not what I am arguing. I am arguing what happened in Jesus' case. So in order to prove that Jesus didn't rise from the dead, he would have to provide at least as historiography goes, an alternative explanation of the accepted facts, or disprove the facts I have provided. Actually I don't know why he has a problem with them, not one of the facts I have mentioned is supernatural or even spectacular! And are regarded as historical facts even by skeptics (as I already pointed out and used their references).

>The laws of physics cannot be blatantly suspended for the desires of anyone in any circumstances. Not ever. No resurrections or virgin births or ascensions to heaven. No conversations with God up mountains. These things did not happen for the simple reason that they cannot physically have happened.<

Again this is an a-priori argument. How does my opponent KNOW these things? Hmmm? Again I would agree if God didn't exist (who created the laws of physics in the first place), but it is up to my opponent to prove he doesn't exist. Just to sit there and say it is impossible is not an argument. And I am arguing that the theory that Jesus was resurrected fits the facts better than alternative explanations. If that is so, then by the rules of historiography, it is reasonable to believe that the resurrection did infact happen.

So, what do we have so far? Well it seems that my opponent agrees that Jesus died by crucifixion. He seems to have problems with my other facts, however, since he offers no counter evidence at all, they stand. Second, my opponent offers no alternative explanation, so the resurrection theory still stands. All my opponent tried to do is say that it is scientifically impossible. But science is incapable of proving anything historically, it cannot prove Lincoln was shot, or Washington crossed the Delaware. Nor can it disprove the supernatural. The only way to disprove the resurrection, is to do it historically. The way to do that is to either get rid of my fact by giving historical evidence that is greater than what I have, or, barring that, provide an alternative explanation that takes the facts into account better than the resurrection. You see, if there is a better naturalistic explanation, then one can say that something naturalistic probably happened, therefore no need to believe in the supernatural, however, if the facts point to the resurrection then indeed it is reasonable to believe in the supernatural. But one cannot believe or disbelieve a-priori, which is what my opponent is doing, he is showing his bias without weighing the evidence beforehand. In fact, in a debate, one of the world's leading atheists, Richard Dawkins himself commented that there are serious arguments that point to God's existence. Apparently the arguments are good enough for Anthony Flew to give up on atheism.

Again notice what I am NOT doing. I am not saying that the bible is historically trustworthy, nor inspired (though I do believe it is), what I am doing is using what is accepted as fact (none of which by the way is supernatural) based upon historical evidence and using historical guidelines that critical scholars use to see which theory best explains the facts and basing my argument on that. To say otherwise is committing a straw man.

First we must get the facts, and then weigh the theories to see which direction the facts point to.
Ste93

Con

First of all, it doesn't matter how many sources claimed that the resurrection occurred; it cannot physically have happened and therefore the sources are wrong. It may also be worth noting that these works have probably been translated many times, and the way we interpret them may not be as the authors intended. We can safely deduce that if they really mean to say the resurrection occurred, they definitely must be wrong.

Have the laws of science ever previously been violated? No they certainly haven't, so why should we believe they were in this case, based on anecdotal evidence. Looking at any ancient accounts of history, they may be true or they may not be, or perhaps they have some truth. The laws of physics however, cannot be inaccurate, by virtue of the universe we are currently in! We are here, now alive in this world, because of the laws of physics, they cannot be wrong per se. By definition.

Here is the situation: either the ancient text is wrong or everything we know about science has lost its integrity. Which is more likely? Clinging to ancient writing in the face of certain knowledge is insanely irrational and even quite pernicious.

My opponent thinks it is my place to prove otherwise. That is absolutely ridiculous! You are claiming that the laws of physics were violated; you are making a massive claim and supporting it with ancient writing. Massive claims like that require enormous evidence, and no ancient writing will suffice.

As for the whole business of the empty tomb. This is an incredibly weak argument. You are assuming that the events depicted in the concerned sources did indeed occur. And even if they did, that certainly doesn't prove that the laws of physics were violated! There are many cases that police and detectives around the world have to deal with where the situation is very complex and they can take decades to solve. We wouldn't dream of concluding that the laws of physics could be suspended because we do not know the whole truth. Like I have said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And ancient mystery that has not been shown to be true, goes absolutely no way to doing this.

My opponent also mentions the so-called supernatural realm, which, in my opinion is an insult to human intelligence. Supernatural? Seriously? There is no certain evidence for anything supernatural whatsoever. Unless you can prove that the supernatural realm exists, you can't use it in your favour.

When I said that the resurrection defied everything we know about science, I didn't mean it violates each and every law of science, I meant in violates the principles of science. We know that the laws can't be suspended on request; the resurrection violates this.

'It is up to my opponent to prove he doesn't exist.' What?! You have a degree, credit me with some intelligence! You are asserting the existence of something, it is your responsibility to prove it, not mine to disprove it. If that were the case, we would have to disprove the existence of tooth-fairies and pink unicorns and flying spaghetti monsters. You can't prove that something doesn't exist! You can justify believing in anything by saying that!

I agree that we should draw conclusions from evidence and reason. But if a conclusion points to something ridiculous, like the laws of physics went on a coffee break for 5 minutes, then we need to take a course in how to infer successfully, or, as is more likely, the evidence is so anecdotal that no reasonable conclusions can be drawn. If you can't prove that the bible is definitely true, then that undermines any conclusions you draw from it. When the conclusions lead to impossibilities, that strengthens my view that the bible is not an accurate account of history.
Debate Round No. 2
Bible-Defender

Pro

Well this is certainly turning out better than expected!
First a straw man. I am not saying, nor have I said that the resurrection because the bible says so! Plz point to where I said that! Again a straw man. I am not basing my argument on the textual reliability, general historical reliability, or inspiration of the bible. Again another straw man.

>Have the laws of science ever previously been violated? No they certainly haven't, so why should we believe they were in this case, based on anecdotal evidence.< Again I ask my opponent how does he KNOW this? Is he omniscient? That is what we are trying to discover! If the evidence points towards the resurrection, then, yes, something miraculous happened, if something else can explain the facts better than the resurrection theory, then something else happened. My opponent simply refuses to engage me on this.

You claim it is absurd for me to require any sort of historical evidence on your part. Quite wrong sir, according to the rules of historiography, BOTH sides are to put forth arguments, evidence and theories that best explains the facts. And the one that does, is the one that probably happened.

Again I quote skeptic historian C. Behan McCullagh says in his book "Justifying Historical Descriptions":
"If the scope and strength of an explanation are very great, so that it explains a large number and variety of facts, many more than any COMPETING explanation, then it is likely to be true." Yes competing explanation, which would have to come from you. However, you have as yet to be forthcoming.

>You are claiming that the laws of physics were violated; you are making a massive claim and supporting it with ancient writing. Massive claims like that require enormous evidence, and no ancient writing will suffice.<

If my explanation of the fact I provided above outshines yours (you have as yet to provide what you believe happened on Easter) then yes the laws of physics have been suspended. That is what SUPERnatural means, it supersedes the natural, not ANTInatural. Again if God exists, then he can indeed suspend the laws when he desires. Again you show your antisupernatural bias when you say that no ancient writing will suffice, especially when earlier you said that ancient writings may be true! I believe that I do have good evidence. The five facts that I gave earlier, since there is no alternative explanation for them by you, point directly to the resurrection. But until you engage in the historical debate (which this debate is supposed to be about), my facts stand, and since no alternative explanation is given, the resurrection wins out, and if that is so then the supernatural exists.

>Like I have said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And ancient mystery that has not been shown to be true, goes absolutely no way to doing this.<

Again I believe I do have such evidence, but since you refuse to engage with me and see which theory better fits the facts I provided......

>There is no certain evidence for anything supernatural whatsoever. Unless you can prove that the supernatural realm exists, you can't use it in your favour.<

Argument from silence. If the resurrection theory surpasses alternative theories to account for the facts, the the resurrection is historically probable and thus the supernatural. And I do not use the supernatural to support my case, I go in the opposite direction.

>You can't prove that something doesn't exist! You can justify believing in anything by saying that!<

Exactly, then you cannot be so dogmatic can you? You claim that the laws of physics can't be suspended upon request. I agree. Humans cannot suspend the laws of physics, but if God exists, the they can be. Even the great former atheist Anthony Flew admitted as much. And as I stated in my previous post, even atheist biologist Richard Dawkins said that there were strong arguments for the existence of God. So to be so dogmatic a-priori is unwarranted and shows your bias.

So, the buld of your argument is that the laws have never been altered. But I want to know how you know that. Indeed you are completely unwilling to engage me in a historical debate on the resurrection, one that would point to the probability of the supernatural or not! And since you knew, especially after reading my opening statement, are simply unwilling to engage me on the matter, is indicative of the weakness of your position.

Again I quote a skeptical historian: "Third, evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms--it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object is established not by nonexistent evidence but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist."
-Hackett, "Historians' Fallacies", Harper: 1970 p.62

In other words if the resurrection didn't happen (as you claim) then something else did (was the body stolen? etc.) You too have to provide an alternative and back it up. In fact that is how it is done in science as well as CSI, and history.

>If you can't prove that the bible is definitely true, then that undermines any conclusions you draw from it.<
That is not how history is done, neither crime investigations for that matter! Again the facts I provided are admitted as facts by virtually all CRITICAL scholars that have studied the subject!

1.Jesus was indeed crucified and buried. This is attested to not only in the Gospels, but also by Paul and extra-biblical sources. And is admitted to as fact by almost all scholars.
2. Jesus' disciples believed that He rose from the dead and appeared to them. This is attested to by the fact that they willingly suffered for that message. That is accorded to in Acts, as well as extra-biblical sources and is also accepted as historical fact by nearly all scholars.
3. Paul, who was an enemy of the church suddenly changed. This is stated by Paul himself in a number of N.T. texts and have claimed to have seen the risen Christ. Usually people will convert on the word of someone else, that is a secondary source. But Paul's conversion is due to something that he himself experienced. That is a primary source. Again, almost all scholars accept this as fact.
4. James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, suddenly changed. This is attested to in the Bible, and extra-biblical source reports that he was a strict Jew. The Bible also testifies that after the Resurrection, James became a leader of the church.
5. The tomb was found empty. This is accepted by the majority of scholars also (Gary Habermas did a study on the state of scholarship to date. He reports that 75% of scholars agree that the tomb was indeed found empty).

My opponent simply refuses to refute any of these they stand. And since he refuses to even give an alternative theory, the resurrection still stands! Science has not disproved the supernatural in any way! And my opponent has repeatedly made use of straw men and special pleading as well as shown a-priori bias in his dogmatic stance against the supernatural without engaging me historically. What if the resurrection is right? Then his worldview is wrong. But since he simply refuses to engage and see if the resurrection probably occurred or not, I can't help but feel I am winning the case.

So in the hopes of getting things started I'd like to ask, what do you think happened on Easter morning? If not the resurrection then what? Lets see which explanation best fits the facts and thus point to what probability happened, something naturalistic, or resurrection, based on secular historical guidelines I provided. Is my opponents case really that weak? Is that why he refuses to offer an explanation? I hope I am wrong.
Ste93

Con

I think you're missing my point. My point is it doesn't matter what happened on Easter morning; it doesn't matter which texts say which things about the resurrection. So what if James was convinced. So what if the tomb was empty (there is not even consensus on this) It does not matter. This debate does not concern the details of these events (whether or not they occurred), it concerns the truth of the resurrection. We cannot conclude that the laws of physics have been violated from these; we would need a huge amount of evidence to justify such a massive claim, and a few ancient texts is nowhere near enough.

I am saying that the resurrection defies the laws of physics and therefore cannot have happened. I'll explain further:

My opponent asks how I KNOW the laws of physics have never been violated. That's the same as asking how I KNOW that 2+2=4. It's an analytic statement; it's true by definition. The laws of physics are LAWS. Just like mathematics, they must be exactly correct at all times for the universe to be as we see it. How could you justify saying they were broken temporarily at one point in the universe because Jesus wanted them to be because of what some ancient writings say?

The laws of physics are mathematical. Every aspect of this universe is the way it is because of mathematics. One thing that is certainly true of mathematics is that it is consistent. Always. It has to be by definition. Mathematics could not work of it was not consistent. As the laws of physics are mathematical laws, they must be consistent. There is no possible situation in which mathematics is not consistent and therefore the laws of physics must always be consistent. Ergo, the laws of physics cannot be violated. What more can I say?

Some people may find the stories you quotes convincing. But what is far more certain, per se, is that the laws of physics cannot be violated. There is far more evidence for this than there could ever be for the resurrection.

'I believe I so have such evidence.' You think an ancient mystery is enough to prove the inconsistency of mathematics? You're evidence is not strong enough.

'both sides are to put forth arguments evidence and theories that best explain the facts.' Again, you are missing the point. I am not trying to put forward a theory (and this subject of this debate does not require me to), what I am doing is dismissing yours. You are the only one putting forward a theory, so the burden of proof is on you too prove it and not on me to disprove it. I have backed up my problems with your theory using reason, so I have done what is necessary.

You keep asking me to engage more with the history, but there's nothing intelligent to be said. If something isn't possible, then it can't have happened, regardless of how convincing details may be. I refuse to offer an explanation because this debate is not about what happened after the crucifixion, it's about whether the resurrection occurred and I have provided sufficient evidence to refute it. That's all that needs to be done. Whatever really did happen is not within the scope of this debate. It makes no difference to the point I am making.
Debate Round No. 3
Bible-Defender

Pro

Well again, since my opponent doesn't even wish to refute any of the five facts that I have proposed, they still stand.
It most certainly does matter what happened Easter morning. IF the resurrection occurred, then the laws of nature were indeed superseded that day.



Says who? It most certainly can. If it can be shown that the resurrection did happen according to secular guidelines, then, one can reasonably believe that it occurred. If no other theory as to what happened on that day accounts for the data as well as the resurrection, then the facts are evidence for the resurrection. Likewise, if something naturalistic can be shown to account for the data as well as or even better than the resurrection, then we can be reasonable to be skeptical.

>You think an ancient mystery is enough to prove the inconsistency of mathematics? You're evidence is not strong enough.<

Says whom? You won't even engage the evidence I DO put forth! All you have been doing is saying "it's impossible" and refusing to put forth any kind of competing historical theory that can be weighed against the resurrection or even try to refute the facts I have proposed!

Yes, I ask my opponent how he knows that the laws of nature have never been superseded. He would have to have knowledge that on Easter morning, the laws of nature wasn't violated. I wonder how he knows that. Which scientific discovery states that on Easter, the resurrection didn't happen. Well, there isn't. In fact, science has nothing to say on these matters.

Another thing my opponent misses is that science is very limited! Science can't answer questions about value. Science can't answer questions of morality. Finally, science can't help us with questions about the supernatural. The prefix "super" means "above." So supernatural means "above (or beyond) the natural." The toolbox of a scientist contains only the natural laws of the universe; supernatural questions are outside their reach.

Not only that but the scientific method is limited in it's ability to observe and test. It cannot for example tell us that Caesar was emperor of the Roman Empire. Science is limited to the here and now. So to say something didn't happen in the past is outside the prevue of science. Indeed science cannot tell us whether all things that happen are not by an omnipotent God or purely by natural forces.

>How could you justify saying they were broken temporarily at one point in the universe because Jesus wanted them to be because of what some ancient writings say?<

Science deals with what normally happens. Not the way they MUST happen. Laws are descriptive, not prescriptive.

Again my opponent simply makes an a-priori assumption of atheistic naturalism without engaging the evidence. It is nothing more than a anti-supernatural bias.

My opponent keeps saying that it is impossible. I wonder how he knows that the laws of nature just can't be superseded. The only way I think he could know that is if he KNEW that there is no omnipotent God that could indeed supersede the natural laws that He created! But that would be self-refuting. He would have to be God in order to KNOW that there is no God. But, if one cannot KNOW that there is no God to intervene, then one cannot be so dogmatic, and that opens up the possibility for the supernatural.

Indeed, if you want to know what happened in the past, whether what is reported is naturalistic in nature, or supernatural, science has no say. To discover what probably happened lies in the realm of historiography. Science deals with what we now know, not what happened in the past.

So again my opponent just refuses to engage me on the historical level, which is what this debate is about, and my opponent knew that coming into the debate.

Here is what I think. The reason why my opponent will not put forth his own theory (and thereby proving that the laws of nature weren't violated on Easter morning.), is because he feels that what naturalistic theory he puts forth will stand up to the guidelines of historiography. Which is quite telling of my opponents position.

SO to recap, this is supposed to be a debate on what the historic probability of the resurrection, based upon guidelines put forth by secular historians. It is supposed to be what the historic evidence point to and which theory accounts for the data.

So, here are the facts that are uncontested thus far:
1. Jesus was crucified and died and buried
2. The disciples had what they believed to be experiences of the risen Jesus
3. Paul, an enemy of Christians, suddenly converted
4. James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, suddenly converted
5. The tomb was found empty.

The historic question remains, what accounts for those facts? Why did the disciples really believe to have seen Jesus alive? Why did Paul suddenly convert? Likewise James? How did the tomb become empty?

Something must have happened, nothing happens in a vacuum.

"If the scope and strength of an explanation are very great, so that it explains a large number and variety of facts, many more than any competing explanation, then it is likely to be true." – C.B. McCullagh, "Justifying Historical Descriptions"

"But if the evidence is support of an explanitory hypothesis is strong, and there is no alternative hypothesis supproted nearly as well, it is reasonable to believe it is probably true"- C.B. McCullagh, " The Truth of History"

Ok, one theory is that Jesus was raised from the dead. It takes into account the death of Jesus, why the disciples really believed in the resurrection, why Paul suddenly converted, why James converted and the empty tomb.

The opposing theory is?..................... Nothing.

So, according to historiography, since there is only one theory that accounts for the facts better than the opposing hypothesis (in this case there is no opposing theory to compete with!) the resurrection wins out.

The implications? That means that on that day, God interceded and suspended the laws of nature. Jesus also claimed to be deity and that the resurrection would be the vindication of those claims. In other words, according to the rules of historiography, the resurrection probably happened (since there is no competition from my opponent), therefore Christianity is probably true and it is reasonable to believe in it.

All my opponent has done so far is engage in straw men, and show an anti-supernatural bias a-priori, and has not shown one piece of historical evidence that the resurrection did not happen. How could he do that? Well, historical evidence that something else happened, or put forth a competing theory that takes into account the data better than the resurrection. THEN we would be in a better position to say that the laws of nature were not superseded that day. However, until my opponent does, the topic of the debate, which is based upon secular guidelines, point in the opposite direction.
Ste93

Con

Ok fine, I'll play it your way, since I have nothing else to do in this debate. You clearly think that two thousand year old stories are more reliable as evidence than the consistency of mathematics. For some reason, this point is not getting across to many people, so I'll change tactics a bit.

Right, your 5 facts:

1. 'Jesus was indeed crucified and buried...' More accurately, Jesus was probably crucified and buried. There is not enough evidence for us to be certain, but it is likely. This is not evidence that the resurrection occurred, so I am confused as to why my opponent would mention it. This may have happened, but it does not suggest in the slightest that the resurrection did.

2. 'Jesus' disciples believed that he rose from the dead...' Well so what if they believed it? People throughout history have believed many things, it doesn't mean they're true. There are several options available here:
1. The story is not true i.e. it was contrived. (this does not contradict science)
2. Jesus did not die in the first place. (this does not contradict science)
3. The disciples were honestly mistaken i.e. they believed they did see Jesus, although it may have been someone imposing as him, or any other reason why this may be so. (this does not contradict science)
4. The resurrection did occur. (this does contradict science).

There are many explanations that do not contradict science, but you choose to believe the one that does. You may think these other options are not likely, but they are statistically more likely than a violation of science (by a long, long way). There comes a point when one must ask 'is this reasonable? Is it rational to think this, in all objective honesty?' If a resurrection was claimed today, how many people do you think would believe it? Even if there was considerably more evidence, 'these thinks don't happen to us.' It's okay to believe it happens two thousand years ago, but for it to happen today would be impossible. This is obviously nonsense. There is no reason why a resurrection would be more likely to occur when technology is not advanced enough to record it. It's worth noting that resurrections, ascensions to heaven etc don't happen anymore. Why is that? (It is also worth noting that the resurrection, as well as every single other miracle in the Bible, can be found in a religion that preceded Christianity, which undermines the Bible's integrity).

3.'Paul, who was an enemy of the church, suddenly changed...' If this is true, then there could be many reasons for this. People have changed their minds before, it is a common thing. This may be a major change of mind, but it certainly is not irrefutable evidence that the laws of physics can be violated.

4.'James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, suddenly changed...' This is the same argument as 3, so I won't bother repeating myself.

5. 'The tomb was found empty....' What does this prove? Nothing. If only 3 in 4 scholars believe it to be true, then it's hardly unequivocal. In any case, there are rational reasons that could be applied. The body could have been moved from the tomb, for example. Jesus magically coming alive is not the most rational reason, because it contradicts science.

None of these facts come close to proving that mathematics can be inconsistent. I'm concerned that most people in the comment section (and indeed my opponent) do not understand the implications of the point I'm making. I shall explain it further, for the benefit of those who are not knowledgeable of science and mathematics.

In the words of the admired philosophy writer Mel Thompson, 'We know nothing with absolute certainty, except those things that are true my definition.' The consistency of mathematics is one of those things: it is true by definition. But what does this mean? What does it mean to say that the consistency of mathematics is true by definition? I shall explain:

We don't need to acquire any empirical evidence for us to be certain that 2+2=4. This is an analytic statement. The left hand side of the equation and the right hand side are the same thing, expressed in different language. 2+2=4 is true by definition, in the same way that 4=4 is true by definition. The fascination thing about mathematics, which those of you who have studied it will understand, is that it all fits together. It all works perfectly without any contradiction. Many, vast myriad applications of mathematics are known to us, from pure algebra (calculus, trigonometry etc) to science, and every single application works without affecting any other aspect of mathematics. None of mathematics would work if it was not consistent. Indeed, the only reason mathematics does work is because it is consistent.

You may be wondering why the consistency of mathematics is so important in a debate concerning the resurrection. The resurrection is not only a historic claim, it is a scientific claim (indeed, god is a scientific claim). It is a scientific claim because if involved direct violation of science.

The world around us only exists because the laws of physics are consistent. Just like mathematics, if the laws of physics were not consistent, the world as it is could not exist. I'm not sure it means anything at all to say that any world could exist where the laws of physics were not consistent. It would lead to paradoxes; impossible situation. And impossible situation (again, by definition (and therefore we can know with certainty)) are impossible.

The laws of physics are entirely mathematical; a violation of physics would (by definition) lead to a violation of mathematics, which is impossible (by definition). What I have done here is shown that it is impossible for the resurrection to have occurred, and it is impossible by definition.

My opponent (rather desperately, it appears) decides to scrape the bottom of the barrel and claim that supernatural effects were responsible. How can you (indeed, how can anybody) justify this? I would love to be presented with unequivocal evidence of anything supernatural. This argument is a terrible one because it relieves one of any responsibility of explanation. It was magic, and I, as a mere human, cannot possible comment on it. This is not an argument, it is an excuse. An excuse for those who are not capable of explaining, or, more to the point, refuse to accept the logical explanation. As I hope readers are aware, if my opponent is claiming supernatural responsibility, then the burden of proof is on him to do this. He must prove that anything supernatural is possible. Not by quoting texts; they have nothing to do with science, but by demonstrating that anything supernatural is possible (they must be logically and mathematically possible, as these things are true by definition alone, and not by any other reason). A contradiction appears almost instantly! People claiming supernatural responsibility are faced with a problem; what they are arguing against (the consistency of mathematics, in this case) is ONLY true by virtue of its own nature. The reason the universe is consistent is because it must be, per se. I'd like to see an argument against this.

Although my opponent and I have approached this problem from very different angles, our respective evidence is of different degrees of certainty. Ancient texts may be convincing evidence for some things, but the consistency of the laws of nature is far more convincing; there is more evidence that the laws of physics are consistent than there is that the resurrection occurred. I have been asked to offer an alternative explanation, but why? This would not help my argument. It would be irrelevant. I have offered in my explaining some possible explanations. I do not think there is enough evidence for any particular explanation over any other, but I am quite certain that the true explanation is one that does not undermine the whole of science and mathematics.
Debate Round No. 4
Bible-Defender

Pro

Finally my opponent wants to discuss the historical side of things. Too bad he waited until the last round to do so.

>1. 'Jesus was indeed crucified and buried...' More accurately, Jesus was probably crucified and buried. There is not enough evidence for us to be certain, but it is likely.< Absolutely correct. However, something can be considered a histroical fact when the reasons for a position are more than the reasons against it.

The disciples's sincere belief that he rose from the dead. Again my opponent agrees to the fact, but lists 4 possibilities.
The truth of the story. It couldn't have been contrived. Since they willingly suffered torture, repeatedly and martyrdom rather than recant shows that they were sincere. Liars make poor martyrs. Jesus didn't die? That is called the swoon theory and no scholar uses that argument. The disciples were honestly mistaken. A number of problems with that one. The first being what about Paul and James? An impostor? Really? Certainly his family, and foes alike would have recognized a fake, and it fails to account for the empty tomb. That leaves the last, that the resurrection occured. That offers no problems with any of facts, it takes into account of them all.

Paul, my opponent simply states that he might have changed his mind, but the question remains, why did he change his mind? So this point still stands.

James, since my opponent offers nothing to refute this, it stays.

The empty tomb. Again my opponent just brushes this off. 75% is a sizable majority of critical scholars. But I also have provided historical reasons for the empty tomb. And this has not been refuted. Now, I agree, this as well as the other facts, if left alone doesn't automatically prove the resurrection. But as my opening statement says my case is cumulitive. Something has to acccount for all of the facts.

Again why I choose to believe in the resurrection is because of SECULAR historiographical rules.

"A position is demonstrated, when the reasons for accepting it significantly outweigh the reasons for not accepting it... A finding of historicity is essentially a default position, meaning that we have no other reasonable way to account for the presence of a story in the text."
-Robert Miller, "Historical Method and the Deeds of Jesus: The Test Case of the Temple Demonstration." Forum 8 (1992): 5-3

And:

"If the scope and strength of an explanation are very great, so that it explains a large number and variety of facts, many more than any competing explanation, then it is likely to be true." C. Behan McCullagh, "Justifying Historical Descriptions"

Also he states: "But if the evidence is support of an explanitory hypothesis is strong, and there is no alternative hypothesis supproted nearly as well, it is reasonable to believe it is probably true" McCullah, "The Truth of History."

My opponent claims again and again about science. But as I have pointed out, science has nothing to say about history nor the supernatural realm. Science cannot prove that Alexander the Great existed or did any of the things accredited to him. My opponent says that he is more certain of his position. Again I ask how is he so certain that on Easter the laws of nature were not superseded? What scientific discovery proved that this didn't happen on Easter?
All my opponent has done is claim a-priori that the laws of physics cannot be violated. But in order to do that, he must disprove the existence of the supernatural! But that cannot be done. So to say a-priori that the laws weren't violated is a logical error. And science has nothing to say concerning historic events. Therefore the only way to see if the laws of nature were indeed superceded or not is to conduct a historical investigation using established historical procedures that I have laid out.

Another thing is that if God does indeed exist, then miracles (suspensions of the laws of nature) can happen as Anthony Flew admits. Indeed, if God exists and created the universe (um that would include creating the laws of nature) then He would be above said laws and can supercede them when he wished. But the question remains, did He?

That is a historical question, something that science cannot answer, but only historical investigation can.

My opponent refused to offer an alternative explanation, though this was to be a debate on the historicity of hte resurrection, in which case an alternative case should be provided (which would bolster his argument that the laws of physics weren't violated). Here is why I think he has evaded to do so, he has none that competes with the resurrection. In fact he even admits as much.

> I do not think there is enough evidence for any particular explanation over any other, but <

Here I disagree totally. We have enough evidence (5 facts) that attest to the fact that SOMETHING happened. The question is what accounts for those facts? As stated above by critical scholars, the theory that best explains the facts is the one that probably happened. If my opponent put forth an alternative that explains these facts better than the resurrection, then I would have to admit that the resurrection probably DIDN'T happen. However, in this debate, no has been forthcoming. Since the only resurrection has been put forth as a historical explanation, and since it takes into account all the facts, then, by historical standards it is historically probable.

>How can you (indeed, how can anybody) justify this?< Appeal to Emotion.

>This is not an argument, it is an excuse. An excuse for those who are not capable of explaining, or, more to the point, refuse to accept the logical explanation.< Blatantly false and nothing more than an Ad Hominem. There was no logical alternative explanation given in the entire debate to discuss! Just a-priori assertions.

>This argument is a terrible one because it relieves one of any responsibility of explanation< Absolutely false. It is certainly responsible to look for a natural cause first. However, if there is none, then one is justified in accepting, even temporarily, a supernatural cause. Not only that but is an Appeal to Consequence of Belief.

>He must prove that anything supernatural is possible< That is what this debate is for. If the resurrection is historically probable, then the supernatural is possible, especially since Jesus himself said that the resurrection would be evidence of His deity. And as intellectual "greats" as Dawkins and Flew and others admit, there are strong arguments for God's existence ("God VS. Science", TIME Nov 18, 2006 P. 53) and said at Oxford "A serious case could be made for a deistic God." So I think my opponent should take a pause for a second when one of his heroes admits such a claim.

>I am quite certain that the true explanation is one that does not undermine the whole of science and mathematics.<

Nothing more than an Argument from silence.

So, in closing, we have five facts that have bee uncontested. This is supposed to be a historical debate, therefore the rules of historicity apply. The rules state that the theory that explains the facts better than the competeing theory is the one that probably happened. However, disappointingly, no other theory was posited, and since the resurrection does indeed explain the facts quite well, then according to critical historical guidelines, it is what probably happened. Meaning that the laws of nature, were probably supeceded.

Now my opponent knew that this was to be a debate on the historicity of the resurrection. His refusal to interact on that level is quite telling. In closing I would quote James D.G. Dunn regarding the historical alternative theories: "Alternative interpretations of the data fail to provide a more satisfactory explanation." If that is the case as admitted even by critical scholars, then the resurrection, according to critical guidelines, is the more probable one.
Ste93

Con

It would appear that rational scientific evidence is not getting me anywhere at all in this debate. I feel rather disappointed because the reasoning I used has been given no consideration whatsoever. I felt the need to repeat it a lot because it was being ignored. If my evidence was acknowledged, then I would have been happy to move on to analysing your historical accounts. Evidence is evidence and indeed science is stronger evidence than ancient writing because we can actually measure it. Someone commented that the universe in infinite. Well, I am certainly knowledgeable in science enough to know that that is certainly not so. The universe is finite (and it is expanding) and mathematics cannot be inconsistent, which I am tired of repeating. So if you must insist on still doubting it, please go and do some research.

What I shall do now is to present alternatives explanations to rationalise why the resurrection is believed to be to be true, in contrast with common sense.

First of all, the reappearance of religious figures post-death is very common throughout religion, suggesting it is a psychological human phenomenon and historically common; it is not specific to Christianity.

If you read through the scriptures, you will find that Paul has nothing to say of the empty tomb (and his account was the earliest) and the other gospel accounts have more and more far-fetched accounts as they go on, which could suggest that this has been contrived. However unlikely it may be, it is more likely than the alternative. Also, the accounts of Jesus' reappearance are mostly unspecific; he appears as a figure but his appearance doesn't have any significant effect. The visions of Jesus were limited to a group of disciples, who would surely have been in a traumatic state of mind at the time (perhaps something like PTSD), as their saviour, who they believed was the embodiment of gods, had been killed. They would have felt very emotional. This is speculation of course, but I think it is quite reasonable to suppose they felt this way; there is no reason to think they would have been feeling any other way. It is common for people who are suffering from PTSD to experience hallucinations, as many soldiers who have been in traumatic situations have noted. Indeed, what the scriptures tell us of Mary suggest that she had a mental illness (demon-possession); it would not be a surprise if she saw a hallucination.

All of these things, however, are consequences of the resurrection; we are interesting in the actual resurrection, whether it happened. There is no evidence (in any sense) that the actual resurrection occurred. The best you can do is infer the resurrection from the historical accounts of its consequences. There is no account from Jesus saying how he felt to be alive again, what had happened whilst he was dead (we have to infer this as well) or how he could have predicted this event. In fact, there is little evidence that Jesus even claimed to be divine. We can't rely on the Bible, as the books that are in it were chosen because of their content. There are non-canonical gospels that have accounts that contrast with the four canonical ones. Why should we assume that the four canonical gospels are more likely to be true than any of the others? The collection of books in the Bible was contrived, so they appeared to confirm the beliefs of Christians. There is little non-Biblical evidence that Jesus claimed to be divine.

It is quite possible that the consequences of the resurrection that my opponent has mentioned, did indeed happen without the resurrection occurring. The resurrection is not necessarily a pre-requisite. They could have been mistaken about the resurrection; the consequences could be based on hallucination etc. The resurrection doesn't have to have occurred for the rest of the accounts to be accurate. So, you may be able to justify the claim that these accounts are true (to some extent) but you still haven't shown evidence that the actual resurrection occurred. Saying the resurrection did occur is indeed a useful way of explaining the events depicted in the ancient texts, but it that is far from showing that it did actually happen.

The point I have been trying to make, that has been consistently overlooked, is that the resurrection cannot have happened, because it is impossible. Everyone that has argued against my evidence has done so very badly. It is almost like they are being obtuse. No-one has presented any scientific reason why science could be violated. Not a single one of the explanations that have been offered in the comment section has come anywhere close to doing so. This may be because these people are not very scientifically well educated, but I suppose that people who believe in the resurrection for religious reasons, will find any reason they can to try and defend it, which although quite natural, is perniciously irrational. No historically certain fact has ever been shown to contradict science, so why would you be so certain that this one does, given the evidence you have. As I said at the start of this debate, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to justify them. If a resurrection was claimed today, we would not be inclined to believe it, because of common sense. These things do not happen; we are not familiar with them. We would need a lot of evidence to convince us. If the evidence presented was of the same standard as that offered for Jesus' resurrection, then I highly doubt that any of us would be convinced. I think a better explanation as to why people believe in the resurrection is their religious faith. If someone has spent their entire life believing something, and living their life in accordance with it, then I'm sure it would be difficult to dismiss it on the grounds of reason. It would, however, be more honest for them admit that they do not believe in the resurrection because of the evidence available, but because of their faith. Perhaps this argument is too embarrassingly weak to offer any dignity, but at least it would be more honest.

Science is very useful in providing evidence, because its theories are open to being disproven. There are many tests that can be done on a scientific theory to test it. If the theory explains a lot, makes new predictions and cannot be shown to be wrong in any case, then it is a very good theory. Evolution is an example of this. The laws of physics are the same; they are open to be disproven. It has not once been demonstrated that they are not consistent, they explain a lot and they make predictions about the universe (which have all been shown to be true), so if it is suggested that they are not consistent, then we should be inclined to doubt that claim. When the claim is backed up by some 2000 year old writing, from which the claim can only be inferred, then the case against the laws of physics is very weak. You simply do not have enough evidence to justify this extraordinary claim.

My opponent says that science cannot comment on history. What science can do is tell us what cannot have happened. It tells us that the world is not flat and ergo any account of this must be wrong. We can be sure that the world is not held up by 2 tortoises called Esmeralda and Keith. Whatever evidence these events claim to have, science demonstrably has more. We know that the world did not begin in a cosmic egg and we know, through honest scientific enquiry, that the resurrection of Jesus cannot have happened. It not reasonable to suppose this, and it is not intellectual honesty.
Debate Round No. 5
168 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CosmicAlfonzo 6 years ago
CosmicAlfonzo
Proving or disproving is dependent on how god is defined.

If you are to debate the pantheist concept of god, it would be pretty easy to prove because it obviously exists. One could argue that it is almost pointless or misleading to theists to call it god though. =p

If you are to debate the deist concept of god, it would be impossible to prove or disprove either way... It is also a pretty pointless belief to have if you ask me.

If you are to debate the theistic concept of god now.. It gets complicated, because it's hard to find to find two theists who agree even when they are the same religion. If they seem to agree, further questioning usually reveals that they have different understandings of symbolism involved.

Though I suppose you could say that about most discussions.

People suck at communicating, we are destined to be replaced by robots. XP
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
"tom "
time
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
Once upon a tom Pat said this."(very poor) Spanish."
:D........XD......LOL......................... And so did Pat learned not to joke about V0Antras sensitive side. The End.
Posted by Pat 6 years ago
Pat
He's actually 15. At least that's what he told me in his (very poor) Spanish.
Posted by Pat 6 years ago
Pat
I love it when people claim to be able to prove/disprove God. I won't deny I've tried to do it in the past. The point is, not everybody can be convinced. Philosophy has debated the existence of God for many a millenia.
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
"Isn't it funny that no one is even paying attention to this debate anymore? I guess that shows how bad it was."
That's common among all debates with many comments
Posted by MIKEHARRIS 6 years ago
MIKEHARRIS
Isn't it funny that no one is even paying attention to this debate anymore? I guess that shows how bad it was.
Posted by Bible-Defender 6 years ago
Bible-Defender
Yeah, I just didn't want to leave anything out. The new title of the debate is The Resurrection of Jesus meets the criteria of historicity. It is almost identical, I feel that the argument is a good one and no need to reinvent the wheel. But I promise the next time I will change it up a bit.
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
I don't see what's wrong with this, the opening statement only looks better, the essence of the arguments are identical:
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Bible-Defender 6 years ago
Bible-Defender
Accept my debate already will ya
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by wiseovvl 6 years ago
wiseovvl
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:70 
Vote Placed by Trojanman13120 6 years ago
Trojanman13120
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:70 
Vote Placed by CosmicAlfonzo 6 years ago
CosmicAlfonzo
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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 
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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:60 
Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:23 
Vote Placed by TheMasterDebator 6 years ago
TheMasterDebator
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:70 
Vote Placed by warpedfx 6 years ago
warpedfx
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
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:60 
Vote Placed by Doulos1202 6 years ago
Doulos1202
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:70 
Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by Floid 6 years ago
Floid
Bible-DefenderSte93Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 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:07