The Instigator
cabio
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Magicr
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The Resurrection of Jesus

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
cabio
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,972 times Debate No: 24678
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

cabio

Pro

I will take the position that the hypothesis that Jesus rose from the dead is the most likely hypothesis concerning the historical events pertaining to that time period.

I bear the burden to support the above. Con will bear the burden to support that Jesus' resurrection is not the best hypothesis or that it did not happen. Both of us bear the burden of responding to each's claims.

Round 1 is for acceptance only. Round 5 is for summarizing why each believes their position to be the most correct. No new arguments are allowed. Responses to Round 4 is allowed.
Magicr

Con

I accept.

Definitions:

I believe it is always important to ensure that both parties in a debate are using the same meanings of words. Since my opponent did not provide any definitions, I have provided some here. The dictionary I have used is thefreedictionary.com. Anyway, the definitions:
Jesus- A teacher and prophet whose life and teachings form the basis of Christianity. Christians believe Jesus to be Son of God and the Christ.

Resurrection- a supposed act or instance of a dead person coming back to life.

Dead- Having lost life; no longer alive

Historical events can be broken down to

History- A usually chronological record of events, as of the life or development of a people or institution, often including an explanation of or commentary on those events.

and

Events-
Something that takes place; an occurrence.

I look forward to an enjoyable debate.



Debate Round No. 1
cabio

Pro

Thank you Con for accepting. I look forward to our interaction.

I accept your definitions.

The hypothesis I will argue for concerns that following Jesus' crucifixion, he appeared to a number of people within ordinary vision in his physical body. The Resurrection Hypothesis (RH) is that a supernatural event of some nature and cause best explains the historical relevant facts and passes historical criteria used when determining probably historical events.

Historical Criteria for Weighing Hypotheses

I would like to present a number of historical criteria that are used by historians when determining what likely happened in the past. I have listed them in order of importance or weight.

1) Plausibility. Given our relevant background knowledge, plausibility is the degree of compatibility with that knowledge. It is the ability for the hypothesis to be implied by the background knowledge.

2) Explanatory scope. This looks at the number of facts that the hypothesis adequately explains. It is the ability to account for all of the data.

3) Explanatory power. This looks at the quality in the explanation of the hypothesis concerning the facts. The less vagueness or effort in the explanation, the better the explanatory power. The question is, how much forcing does it take to make the hypothesis fit?

4) Less ad hoc. This criterion looks at the amount of assumptions needed to make the hypothesis flow from the data. The least assumptions, the better. The hypothesis that stays within the confines of the known data is less ad hoc.

5) Illumination. I will define this criterion but may not use it. It is not needed, but is like icing on a cake if we have it. Illumination is when a hypothesis sheds light on other areas in question. It gives solutions to other issues, along with the issue at hand.

Historical Facts

I would like to present three minimal facts concerning the fate of Jesus. These are held as true by almost all historians and scholars.

1) Jesus died by crucifixion.

2) Shortly after Jesus' crucifixion, the disciples had experiences that they believed were of the risen Jesus.

3) Within a few years of Jesus' crucifixion, Paul had an experience which he believed to be of the risen Jesus and which led to his conversion.

Weighing the Resurrection Hypothesis

1) Plausibility. A historian cannot rule upon the veracity of supernaturalism. That is left to other fields of knowledge. Without presupposing nor a priori excluding supernaturalism, a person trying to decide as to the historical nature of a past event should select the best hypothesis for the historical facts. One's worldview must be set aside as best as possible when weighing history. Now, background knowledge includes that Jesus was known to having performed acts that many regarded as miracles, that Jesus himself believed to have a special relationship of some type with God, and that Jesus himself also believed he had been chosen by God to as an eschatological agent to bring in a new kingdom. Given this and other background knowledge, the RH is plausible.

2) Explanatory scope. The RH easily accounts for Jesus death, the appearances to the disciples, and the appearance to Paul. It has explanatory scope.

3) Explanatory power. The historian does not need to force the RH to fit with the above three mentioned facts. It falls in line nicely and without any tension.

4) Less ad hoc. The only accusation of ad hocness involves its connection with the supernatural. However, as explained above in 1), the historian cannot delve into the veracity of the supernatural, but must do their best to leave all biases behind. Therefore, the RH passes.

The Resurrection Hypothesis passes the criterion for historical events and explains the facts.
Magicr

Con

I will be arguing that there is a lack of evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was resurrected from the dead.

Historical Criteria for Weighing Hypotheses

I will accept these criteria as the historical criteria for weighing the hypothesis and will basically restate my opponent's explanations in my own words so that I may better apply them to manner in which I present my argument.

1. Plausibility- Does it make sense that it could have happened this way?

2. Explanatory scope- Does it explain the issue at hand?

3. Explanatory power- How well does it explain the issue at hand?

4. Less ad hoc- Similar in a way to explanatory power. Are there things that need to be added in order to keep the hypothesis from being falsified?

5. Illumination- Does this shed light on other issues at hand?

The order we look at the issue is important. The first two ask whether this answer is plausible and if it answers the question, the last three ask how well does it answer the question. If we determine that it is not possible for this hypothesis to have taken place or if we determine that this does not explain the problem, then the last three really matter. Thus, if the answer to the first two questions is no, then it is not a good theory.

Historical Facts

First the big question: Did Jesus even exist?

I will say that it is likely that Jesus did exist as per the definition that was accepted.

The biblical account:

Unless my opponent can provide evidence that the biblical account of Jesus' life is accurate, there is no historical reason to believe that it is.

"These are held true by almost all historians and scholars."

Because my opponent has provided no proof for any these claims, I am under no obligation to accept them.

Weighing the RH

1. Plausibility, does it make sense that it could have happened this way?

Does it make sense for someone to rise from the dead? No, it is clearly an extremely supernatural event.

Supernatural- 1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world. 2. Attributed a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces. 3. Of or relating to a deity. 4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous. [1].

It takes no scientist to see how all of these definitions apply to the RH:

1. People do not come back from the dead in the natural world.

2. RH relates to Jesus' power to violate the natural force of death.

3. RH certainly relates to a deity.

4. RH certainly relates to the immediate exercise of divine power.

"A person trying to decide as to the historical nature of a past event should select the best hypothesis for the historical facts."

Of course, but my opponent has yet to prove his "facts." There is no evidence to warrant such a supernatural act.

"Now, background knowledge includes that Jesus was known to having performed acts that many regarded as miracles, that Jesus himself believed to have a special relationship of some type with God, and that Jesus himself also believed he had been chosen by God to as an eschatology agent to bring in a new kingdom. Given this and other background knowledge, the RH is plausible."

How do we know that Jesus performed these "miracles?"

How do we know that Jesus believed he was the messiah?

My opponent provides no evidence to support his claims of background knowledge.

I have shown that RH refers to a supernatural event, and that there is no evidence to back up the claims of background knowledge. Therefore, RH is not plausible.

2&3. We cannot access these until we are sure the facts are accurate.

4. Less ad hoc. It is clearly a supernatural event. Most, if not all scientists would agree. Besides, the resolution does not state that we must limit ourselves to historical analysis. We must analyze the veracity of the supernatural, and my analysis above shows this to be supernatural. The RH does not pass.

The RH does not pass the criterion and more importantly, there is no proof of the "facts."

Source:

[1]- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...



Debate Round No. 2
cabio

Pro

Historical Facts


1) Jesus died by crucifixion. This is accepted by almost all scholars.


John McIntyre: "Even those scholars and critics who have been moved to depart from almost everything else within the historical content of Christ's presence on earth have found it impossible to think away the factuality of the death of Christ."


Gerd Ludemann: "Jesus' death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable."


John Dominic Crossan: "[There is not the] slightest doubt about the fact of Jesus' crucifixion under Pontius Pilate." "That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be."


Geza Vermes: "The passion of Jesus is part of history."


Paula Fredriksen: "The single most solid fact about Jesus' life is his death: he was executed by the Roman prefect Pilate, on or around Passover, in the manner Rome reserved particularly for political insurrectionists, namely, crucifixion."


Bart Ehrman: "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea Pontius Pilate."


2) Shortly after Jesus' crucifixion, the disciples had experiences that they believed were of the risen Jesus. This is accepted by almost all scholars.


Paula Fredriksen: "The disciples' conviction that they had seen the Risen Christ... [is part of] historical bedrock, facts known past doubting."


E.P. Sanders: "That Jesus' followers (and later Paul) had resurrection experiences is, in my judgement, a fact."


A.J.M. Wedderburn: "It is an indubitable historical datum that sometime, somehow the disciples came to believe that they had seen the risen Jesus."


Bart Ehrman: "Why, then, did some of the disciples claim to see Jesus alive after his crucifixion? I don't doubt at all that some disciples claimed this. We don't have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about twenty-five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don't think he is making it up."


Gary Habermas has cataloged the opinions of hundreds of scholars concerning this consensus, including Baggett, Borg, Braaten, Carnley, Charlesworth, Craffert, Dunn, Lapide, Ludemann, Montefiore, Vermes, Viney, and Wright.


3) Within a few years of Jesus' crucifixion, Paul had an experience which he believed to be of the risen Jesus and which led to his conversion. This is accepted by almost all scholars. (Marxsen, Crossan, and Ludemann are all skeptical of what happened, but their quotes here show they accepted that Paul had such an experience.)


W. Marxsen: "One can say with some certainty that Paul understood the resurrection of Jesus as having happened through an act of God. To use our term, he regarded it as an event. "


John Dominic Crossan and J.L. Reed: "To take seriously Paul's claim to have seen the risen Jesus, we suggest that his inaugural vision was of Jesus's body simultaneously wounded and glorified... we bracket that blinded-by-light sequence and imagine instead a vision in which Paul both sees and hears Jesus as the resurrected Christ."


Gerd Ludemann: "The objectivity that his account assigned to the event in no way impugns the fact that his report details a subjective rather than an objective occurence."


Bart Ehrman: "There is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."


The majority of scholars accept these three claims as historical facts.


Weighing the RH


1. Plausibility. Con argues that the RH is not plausible since it is a supernatural event.


An historian cannot rule upon the veracity of supernaturalism. That is left to other fields of knowledge, such as philosophy. A historian must try to set aside all biases and presuppositions and simply try to find out what happened in history. Without presupposing nor a priori excluding supernaturalism, a person trying to decide as to the historical nature of a past event should select the best hypothesis for the historical facts. One's worldview must be set aside as best as possible when weighing history. According to Ben Meyer, the historian who allows his presuppositions (such as anti-supernaturalism) into the equation "finds himself in a situation which does not allow him, as historian, to come to grips with history, for he cannot know whether or not the possibility he dutifully omits to consider offers the best account of a given constellation of data." A historian, acting only as a historian, cannot a priori exclude supernaturalism. (Neither can they presuppose it.)


Con also asks about the background knowledge concerning Jesus.


Jesus was known to have performed acts that many regarded as miracles.


C.A. Evans: "Scholarship has now moved past its preoccupation with demythologization. The miracle stories are now treated seriously and are widely accepted by Jesus scholars as deriving from Jesus' ministry."


E.P. Sanders: "[Of six] almost indisputable facts, [the second is that Jesus] was a Galilean preacher and healer." "Jesus performed miracles."


Rudolf Bultmann: "There can be no doubt that Jesus did the kinds of deeds which were miracles to his mind and to the minds of his contemporaries."


M. Borg: There are "very strong" reasons to believe Jesus was a miracle worker of some sort.


John Dominic Crossan: "Jesus was both an exorcist and a healer."


Robert Funk: One of the "basic facts" was he was a "charismatic healer and exorcist."


Graham Twelftree: "There is now almost unanimous agreement among Jesus questers that the historical Jesus performed mighty works." "If we can be certain of anything about the historical Jesus it is that his contemporaries considered him to have performed wonders or miracles." "There is hardly any aspect of the life of the historical Jesus which is so well and widely attested as that he conducted unparalleled wonders."


John Meier: "The miracle traditions about Jesus' public ministry are already so widely attested in various sources and literary forms by the end of the first Christian generation that total fabrication by the early church is, practically speaking, impossible."


Jesus himself believed he had been chosen by God as an eschatological agent to bring in a new kingdom.


G. Theissen and A Merz: "There is also a consensus that the 'honorific titles' which the historical Jesus possibly used to express his status must have come from Jewish tradition. The titles 'Son of Man' and 'Messiah' in particular arise in connection with the historical Jesus... Finally, there is a consensus that Jesus had a sense of eschatological authority. He saw the dawn of a new world in his actions."


Twelftree, Meier, Dunn, Sanders, and Ehrman also attest to the consensus.


Given this background knowledge, the RH is plausible. Given that a historian must bracket their worldview, the supernatural cannot be disqualified a priori. Therefore it is not implausible.


2. Explanatory scope. Con did not address this. The RH passes this criterion as explained above.


3. Explanatory power. Con did not address this. The RH passes this criterion as explained above.


4. Less ad hoc. Con again reiterates that because the RH involves the supernatural it is ad hoc.


I have addressed this above already. Only if one has a priori presuppositions against the supernatural can one rule out the supernatural. We are not here to determine the veracity of the supernatural, but which hypothesis best explains the facts, according to historical criteria. Someone determining a historical event cannot rule on the supernatural but must be open to all possibilities. One cannot presuppose nor a priori negate the supernatural.


The RH passes the criterion for historical events and explains the known facts.


Con also agreed to the burden of arguing that Jesus' resurrection is not the best hypothesis or that it plainly did not happen. Con has yet to make their case.

Magicr

Con

Well, we're doing a little better. Now we don't just have claims all by themselves, we have unsourced quotes from scholars. But not only does my opponent have to show that some scholars believe it, he must give actual evidence proving that these facts are true.

1. How do we know that Jesus actually died? Why couldn't he have just been in a coma? This would explain a "resurrection."

2. How do we know what the disciples experienced?

What is clear, however, is that the resurrection experiences contained in the last three gospels are inconsistent [1].

3. See the first part of number two.

Because my opponent simply provided unsourced quotes from scholars, not actual evidence, I am still under no obligation to accept these "facts."

Many scholars may accept these claims but we can't just go off of their word, because they don't all agree:

Ex. There is debate over whether Jesus was buried or not [1]. If he was not buried, then that would explain an empty tomb.

My opponent must provided evidence to back up his claims.

Weighing the RH

1. Plausibility.

"A historian cannot rule upon the veracity of supernaturalism. That is left to other fields of knowledge such as philosophy."

I will repeat what I said in R2: There was no limitation to only looking at this from a historical perspective. Let us look at this as scientists. Can someone rise from the dead under the laws of nature? No. According to all four definitions of supernatural provided in R2, this event was supernatural.

"A historian, acting only as a historian, cannot a priori exclude supernaturalism."

Must a historian only act as a historian? No. A large part of being a historian is looking at science. The science says it is not a natural event for a resurrection to occur, therefore it is supernatural. It is as simple as that.

As far as the background knowledge is concerned, once again my opponent has provided unsourced quotes, not actual evidence.

As scientists we can look at the event and say that it is supernatural. Supernatural events are implausible by nature.

2 & 3. I did address these. I said we cannot access these until the initial facts are proven, which has not yet happened. I will say for number three, however, that we are making a stretch by saying that the supernatural occurred.

4. Look at number 1.

The RH does not pass the criterion, and still more importantly, the facts have not been proven.

I do have a burden of proof to argue that either Jesus resurrection is not the best hypothesis or that it plainly did not happen. I stated at the beginning of R2 that "I will be arguing that there is a lack of evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was resurrected from the dead." That is my case. Unless my opponent can prove that this supernatural event occurred, I contend that there is no reason to believe that it happened.

Question:

Is a resurrection not a supernatural event?

Source:

[1]- http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
cabio

Pro

Con, thanks for your response and continuation of this debate.

Historical Facts

1) My original claim was that the majority of scholars and historians agree that the three facts are historical truths.

2) I backed up my claim with numerous quotes by scholars who say the same thing. Many of these are hostile to my argument, but still agree to the historicity of these three facts.

3) What I have done is considered a proper appeal to authority and is accepted in argumentation and is considered as a type of proof for a claim.

The majority of scholars accept these three claims as historical facts. For the sake of this argument, I will as well. The next question is, using the historical criteria for weighing a hypothesis, what hypothesis best accounts for these facts?

Con asked how we know whether Jesus actually died, or if he could have been in a coma?

1) The first fact agreed upon by the majority of scholars friend and foe is that Jesus did in fact die by crucifixion. Con may disagree, but he is going against the scholarly consensus and therefore does not hold the same weight as my argument.

Con asked how we know what the disciples or what Paul experienced?

1) We do not need to know what it was exactly that the disciples experienced. The second fact agreed upon by the majority of scholars friend and foe is that the disciples had an experience which they believed to have been of the risen Jesus. Whether it was or not is not a part of my argument. An alternative hypothesis to the RH must take into account the fact that they had this experience. This is also true of Paul's experience.

Con claimed there are inconsistencies in the gospel accounts of the appearances to the disciples.

1) This is a red herring. I said nothing about the gospel accounts. The fact I presented is that the majority of scholars believe the disciples had such an experience.

Con said we cannot go just off the scholars word.

1) I have shown above that it is a proper debate technique and can be used as a proof when the scholars are properly experts and there is a majority. One (such as Con) may still disagree, but they disagree with scholarly consensus and therefore Con's argument does not hold the same weight in a debate as does the consensus.

Weighing the RH

Plausibility and ad hocness.

1) Con claims that he can look at this argument from outside the historian's perspective and therefore can rule out the supernatural.

A) I have not presupposed the supernatural but have followed the argument to where it leads. I have therefore had an open mind.

B) Con has a priori ruled out the supernatural and thus does not have an open mind because of his bias. This undermines carefully applied method, which is C) below.

C) Con agreed to using the historical criteria for weighing hypotheses. Ruling out a priori the supernatural was not one of the agreed upon historical criteria.

D) A historian examines the data surrounding a claimed historical event. That event may be, such as in the case of the resurrection, a miracle type of event. If that miracle event fulfills the agreed upon historical criteria, it can be warranted as historical, even if it leads to a supernatural hypothesis.

E) To rule that the evidence cannot point towards a supernatural event because that would be implausible or ad hoc is to allow one's presupposed biases to cloud one's judgment.

Only if one has presupposed a priori biases and prejudices can one argue that the RH does not fulfill the agreed upon historical criteria. An open mind, with a bracketed world-view, understands that the RH passes on all accounts and therefore passes as a likely hypothesis.

Con has yet to give an alternative hypothesis that would explain the consensus facts and the agreed upon historical criteria. By default, the RH so far leads.
Magicr

Con

Summary of previous rounds and Historical Facts

In R2 my opponent provided the historical criteria and his three basic facts. Then he explained how the facts match to the criteria.

I responded by questioning the validity of the facts: If these facts are not, in fact, really facts, then there is no reason for the RH My main contention in this debate has been that there is not enough evidence of these facts.

In R3 my opponent provided a number of *unsourced* quotes from a number of new testament scholars. First of all, the quotes are unsourced to neither I, nor the reader, is able to look at the quotes in context. Secondly, just because a bunch of scholars agrees on something does not make it true. At one time the scholars thought the world was flat and the sun went around the Earth.

I challenged my opponent to explain how we knew all of these things. I asked him a few simple questions within my argument. If these are such simple facts, it should not be a big deal to respond to my simple questions. I asked things like:

"How do we know that Jesus died?" and "How do we know what the disciples experienced?"

My opponent chose to evade answering my questions in R4. He said things like Well, scholars agree on this so your argument doesn't have much weight, and here's the big one:

"We do not need to know what it was exactly that the disciples experienced. The second fact agreed upon by the majority of scholars friend and foe is that the disciples had an experience which they believed to have been of the risen Jesus. Whether it was or not is not a part of my argument."

Okay, we don't need to know exactly what the disciples experienced, but if all these scholars agree on it as a fact, then we must have a pretty good idea of what went on. All I am asking my opponent to do is explain some of the ways that we are able to know this.

Many experts agree on these facts. As I said above, many experts also heat was an invisible liquid at one point. Where's the proof that its not? Friction generates heat too. All I am asking my opponent to do is to provide a little bit of evidence, beyond just "what the experts think."

Weighing the RH

1. I have a priori ruled out the supernatural. My opponent is saying that we cannot a priori rule out anything. Then why do we have the plausibility criteria? The purpose is to examine a hypothesis and see whether it makes sense. To do this, we must use our knowledge of the world and of science to determine whether this hypothesis is logical and plausible.

Could it have happened this way? No.

Why? Because science tells us that it is against the laws of nature. In order for us to accept the supernatural, we must have an explanation on how this could have occurred.

2. Until we are sure we know what the facts are, we can't say whether it explains that facts.

3. Same as number 2.

4. How many assumptions do we have to make? We have to assume the supernatural is possible. That's a pretty large assumption.

My opponent has not proven that we must reject science a priori, therefore the RH does not pass.

"
Con has yet to give an alternative hypothesis that would explain the consensus facts and the agreed upon historical criteria. By default, the RH so far leads."

I did not agree to give an alternative hypothesis. I agreed that I would simply argue that the resurrection did not happen because there is not enough evidence to confirm the facts, therefore there is no reason to believe that it did.

Conclusion

1. How do we know any of what we know? My opponent has yet to say. He only says that the scholars think so so it must be true.

2. Until the facts have been proven, it is difficult to evaluate the hypothesis.

3. My opponent has not sufficiently shown why we cannot rule out science a priori.

The RH is implausible and the facts are not concrete enough.




Debate Round No. 4
cabio

Pro

Con, thank you for the debate. It has been enjoyable and I have learned a few things for the next one.

Historical Facts

In R2, I presented three historical facts. These are held as true by a majority of scholars. In R3, I quoted a large number of these scholars who agree that there is a consensus on these matters. Many if not most of the scholars I quoted are hostile to my conclusions to this debate, yet they still agree on these minimal facts.

The facts are:

1) Jesus died by crucifixion.

2) Shortly after Jesus' crucifixion, the disciples had experiences that they believed were of the risen Jesus.

3) Within a few years of Jesus' crucifixion, Paul had an experience which he believed to be of the risen Jesus and which led to his conversion.


Sources for the authority quotes

McIntyre: "The Uses of History in Theology" p 8

Ludemann: "The Resurrection of Christ" p 50, 47

Crossan: "The Historical Jesus" p 375, 332; "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" p 145; "In Search of Paul" p 8

Vermes: "The Passion" p 9

Fredriksen: "Jesus of Nazareth" p 8, 264

Ehrman: "The Historical Jesus" p 162; "Jesus Interrupted" p 177-178; "The New Testament" p 301

Sanders: "The Historical Figure of Jesus" p 280, 157; "Jesus and Judaism" p 11

Wedderburn: "Beyond Resurrection" p 13

Marxsen: "Jesus and Easter" p 86

Evans: "Authenticating the Activities of Jesus" p 12

Bultmann: "Jesus and the Word" p 124

Borg: "Jesus, A New Vision" p 67-71

Funk: "The Acts of Jesus" p 527

Twelftree: Mcknight's "The Face of New Testament Studies" p 206; "Jesus" p 258, 345

Meier: "A Marginal Jew" p 630

Theissen: "The Historical Jesus" p 512-513


Defense of appeal to authority

To make the debate different than the usual, in my proofs, I used the accepted tactic of a proper appeal to authority. Con has continuously denied this as an accepted evidence.

I agree that a consensus of scholars does not create fact. That was not my intention. My claim was that a majority of scholars, friend and foe, accept certain historical statements as fact.

BUT, when a there is a majority agreement on a certain issue, from all the relevant sides, by the relevant experts, when in a debate, such an opinion is very valuable and needs serious attention to be negated. When pertaining to historical religious matters, there is probably no greater heterogeneity.

According the "The Introduction to Critical Reasoning" p 118-119 and the "Introduction to Logic" p 333-334, such a tactic is properly used and is a strong form of argument when the authority figures are experts in the topic and when there is a strong consensus among the authority figures. One negative concerning the bias of the authority figures exists. This can be overruled when the authority figures come from all sides of the argument, yet still agree. I have done this concerning the experts I have quoted.

I have used a proper appeal to authority in justifying three minimal facts. I have justified my use of this tactic as being accepted in argumentation. I have negated the effect of bias by using mostly experts who disagree with my hypothesis.


Conclusion concerning the historical facts

I have provided three facts concerning Jesus' fate. They are agreed upon by a majority of diverse experts. I have defended my use of a proper appeal to authority. Therefore, my accepting such propositions as fact is highly supported and bears much weight in this debate.


Weighing the RH

In R2, I presented several historical criteria upon which to judge hypotheses concerning Jesus' fate. They include plausibility, explanatory scope, explanatory power, and less ad hoc. Con agreed to these historical criteria. In R2 I also pointed out how the Resurrection Hypothesis passes all of these criteria.

Con's only disagreement involves the supernatural and he has based his entire conclusion on this. My responses included:

1. Con admitted to a priori ruling out the supernatural. I quote from theskepticsguide.org: "Claims are not a prior dismissed because they are not currently explained by science."

2. Plausibility as I explained is the degree of compatibility with our background knowledge pertaining to the situation. I gave some of the background knowledge pertaining to Jesus that is again accepted by a majority of scholars, and showed that the RH is plausible.

3. If one cannot bracket their worldview and biases, they cannot be sure of their conclusions. Con cannot set aside his presupposed prejudice against the supernatural. He presupposes its falsity. In my argument I have not presupposed the supernatural.

4. However, let's assume we can allow our biases to make a priori judgments as Con did. A large percentage of the experts concerning Jesus fate believe in the supernatural. Therefore, given their biases, part of their background knowledge would include the possibility of the supernatural, thus making the RH very plausible. I did not allow biases and presuppositions in this argument concerning the historical experts. Neither should Con if he has the goal of being as objective as one can.

5. Con agreed to using the historical criteria presented in R2. None of those included the supernatural. He has gone outside the agreed upon parameters.

6. A historian examines the data surrounding a claimed historical event. That event may be, such as in the case of the resurrection, a miracle type of event. If that miracle event fulfills the agreed upon historical criteria, it can be warranted as historical, even if it leads to a supernatural hypothesis.


Conclusion concerning weighing the RH

Only if one has presupposed a priori biases and prejudices can one argue that the RH does not fulfill the agreed upon historical criteria. I have shown that to be objective one must try to set aside all presuppositions. An open mind, with a bracketed world-view, understands that the RH passes on all accounts and therefore passes as a likely hypothesis.


Conclusion - Conclusion

I presented three minimal facts concerning Jesus' fate. Using an appeal to authority properly, I supported my claim that these are considered facts by a majority of diverse scholars. I then presented a number of historical criteria in which to assess a hypothesis concerning Jesus' fate. The Resurrection Hypothesis accounted for the three facts and passed the historical criteria. VOTE PRO!

Moreover, in accepting the debate, according to R1, Con agreed to bear the burden of support in proving that Jesus' resurrection is not the best hypothesis or that it did not happen. Con has since only tried to refute my argument. In order to prove the best hypothesis, one must compare it with another. He acknowledged he has not provided another hypothesis. Neither did he give any support to the idea that the resurrection did not happen. Con failed to bear his burden which was agreed upon. By default, he lost the debate. VOTE PRO!

VOTE PRO!
Magicr

Con

Historical facts:

My opponent has, as he claims with great importance, proved that a number of scholars hold these three claims to be true.

I thank him for finally sourcing the quotes.

Appeal to authority

These three facts are of the utmost importance in this debate. If there is no evidence for these facts, then there is no reason to even search for a hypothesis to explain them. Because of their extreme importance to the debate, we must very good evidence to support them. Unfortunately, the only evidence my opponent has chosen to use in support of them is to appeal to authority.

My opponent does justify the use of appeal to authority, and I am not questioning that this is a valid form of evidence. What I am saying is that this is not strong enough evidence. I have given my opponent several opportunities to answer specific questions about how we know these "facts," but he has not done so. He simply appeals to authority. I hope that readers can see that he has ignored the two questions I posed in R3 in favor of deferment to scholars. I would consider this a drop of my argument that although there is a consensus among scholars, there is a general lack of evidence presented in this debate.

"I have used a proper appeal to authority in justifying three minimal facts. I have justified my use of this tactic as being accepted in argumentation. I have negated the effect of bias by using mostly experts who disagree with my hypothesis."

These facts are not minimal. They are essential to the debate. His tactic is accepted, but it is not strong enough to justify these important facts.

Conclusion concerning the historical facts

As Christopher Hitchens liked to say "Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence." I am not saying that his claims are extraordinary, but he has not justified how we can know so much about an event from so long ago. He only presented one kind of evidence: Expert testimony. While this is important, it leaves one wanting more evidence.

Weighing the RH

1. It is impossible for someone to rise from the dead.

2. This simple science is part of our background knowledge pertaining to the situation.

3. I am not convinced that I must set aside my scientific knowledge in order to evaluate the plausibility of the claim.

4. Not sure that his point makes sense.

5. I agreed to use the historical criteria, but did not limit myself to only using those criteria. I have not gone beyond the agreed upon parameters.

6. There is not strong enough evidence to support the data in the first place. Regardless, the supernatural is simply not plausible.

Conclusion concerning the weighing of the RH

It is not an a priori bias. It is science. It is implausible for someone to rise from the dead. The Rh cannot properly be held up to the criteria because the basic historical facts do not hold up to much scrutiny.

Conclusion - Conclusion

I hope readers and voters can see that these three facts are far from minimal: They are the framework of the debate. I contend that this appeal to authority was not enough evidence to support these facts. Additionally, my opponent dropped my questions concerning the "facts."

I said in R2 that if something is implausible, then it does not pass. My opponent did not challenge this. It is implausible for someone to rise form the dead. The RH does not pass.

Note: I fear that some readers and voters will look at this debate and say that I took it out of the context of weighing the hypothesis. I wish to remind these people that the historical facts are imperative to being able to properly weigh the hypothesis. I contend that the facts were not adequately proven. At no point did I agree to present an alternative hypothesis. All I agreed to do was to argue that there is not enough evidence for these facts and the RH. I believe that I have done so.

Vote Con!!
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by angrypenguin75 4 years ago
angrypenguin75
Con continued to insist that Pro was not providing evidence and that the testimony of several scholars could not be counted as such. Consensus in personal testimony, though, especially when offered by scholars who share an array of biases, is very much a form of evidence.
Posted by cabio 4 years ago
cabio
My apologies. I forgot to provide an actual link to my skepticsguide quote. Here that is: http://www.theskepticsguide.org...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
cabioMagicrTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The last couple of rounds were close, in which, if was the standard of the whole debate, would make it a lot more difficult to vote. However, the first few rounds (until round four) was simply wasted bare assertion followed by bare assertion by PRO, with CON only able to give a weak case in favour of himself, due to a massive lack of work to deal with. The point is "most convincing", and the first few rounds just made me confused, not convinced.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
ConservativePolitico
cabioMagicrTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A long and interesting debate. Throughout, Pro gives overwhelming evidence from historians and other factual sources to show the plausibility and probability that Jesus was Resurrected. Con's arguments seemed short and underwhelming compared to Pro's arguments. For Pro's use of many good, documented historical sources he gets the source points and the argument points for Con's inability to fully refute the brunt of Pro's sources and arguments.