The Instigator
warpedfx
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Iamthejuan
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Was the resurrection of Jesus really historical?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Iamthejuan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,912 times Debate No: 21232
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (2)

 

warpedfx

Con

FORMAT: Round 1 is their intro and their initial arguments followed by rebuttals in the following rounds ending with conclusions in the last round.

For Christians perhaps nothing is quite as important to their theology as the resurrection of their figure, Jesus. Apologists such as William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas argue that the event is historical and under the historical method it should be taken as the most plausible and probable explanation for the events that transpired during the times that eventually lead to the rise of one of the biggest religions in the world. But is it? If there could be a scenario that fits the accepted facts by the majority of historians (empty tomb, women witnesses, Joseph of Arimethea entombing Jesus in their family tomb, the changes in the apostles etc) that in fact does not require a supernatural explanation, doesn't this therefore invalidate the resurrection?

Before we begin it's worth pointing out that the supernatural explanation is the least revelatory and the least probable explanation due to its vague nature as well as the fact that it is invoked in the violation of natural laws. Though this does not exclude the possibility of the supernatural, it also does not allow it to trump natural explanations since thus far there are no real ways to evaluate the probabilities of the supernatural explanations.

So, are there any arguments against Jesus's resurrection? If so, is there another scenario that could explain the events without recalling a bona fide resurrection?

Argument against Resurrected Jesus
1. Rotting corpse
Perhaps one of the most overlooked evidence against the resurrection is one of science. Dead people don't come back from the dead- of course, this is accepted as being normally true, but since it's a miracle invoking the supernatural that's not an issue. But what about a corpse that's been decomposing for 72 hours in the Palestinian heat is harder to buy, especially when it's one that's been flayed to a pulp. At that stage of putrefaction the brain is effectively mush- even if the body could've somehow had life breathed back into it, there's no way it could be that it was functional in any way. It's one of the reasons why zombies would not be particularly anything like what the silver screen portrays.

2. The fallibility of memory/problem of eyewitness testimony
This argument ties closer with a Humean point. Is it not more probable that the person simply perceived or remembered an event wrongly? This problem is in fact highlighted by Laura Engelhardt in her commentary of talk by Barbsts Tversky and George Fisher in the article "The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony" in which they are quoted as saying:

"The process of interpretation occurs at the very formation of memory—thus introducing distortion from the beginning. Furthermore, witnesses can distort their own memories without the help of examiners, police officers or lawyers. Rarely do we tell a story or recount events without a purpose. Every act of telling and retelling is tailored to a particular listener; we would not expect someone to listen to every detail of our morning commute, so we edit out extraneous material. The act of telling a story adds another layer of distortion, which in turn affects the underlying memory of the event. This is why a fish story, which grows with each retelling, can eventually lead the teller to believe it." [1]

So we have established that memories are fallible and that recounting their story in fact changes their memory often without them recognizing it. Well, what prevents this from being the case with the apostles?

3. Gospel evidence of sightings or trickery of memory?
In the synoptic Gospels- known as the earlier renditions of the narrative than the much more Grecian and gentile Gospel of John provides several examples of the sightings of Jesus. Keep in mind, the sightings are really what the resurrection idea was driven by. In Luke 24:13-24 they recount a story known as the Road to Emmaus in which close figures to Jesus- two of his disciples purportedly met a figure on the road and had a theological discussion. They had dinner together, and it was then that "then their eys were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight." In Mark 16:12 it is quoted as saying: "Afterwards Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country". How could this be? How could people who had spent 3 years together living with him and essentiallly having him within their sights for the whole time suddenly not recognize him? Was he a shapeshifter like Mark seems to suggest? Is there another explanation?

The alternate possible scenario:
so what's the other explanation, then?

Well here's one which I believe is more probable:

After jesus was crucified he was taken down (after being confirmed dead, maybe he wasn't but it's not important because the romans were very good at killing people so even if he wasn't dead he was very soon after) to follow the tradition of no desecrating the body during passover and joseph of arimethea provided a temporary tomb for the time. after 3 days the arimethea simply remove the body since it is after passover and bury him in a common grave, putting a messenger to let them know the body wasn't there anymore (it was removed). women come to take care of the body, and sees an empty tomb. they mistake what the messenger tells them and becomes convinced that jesus had risen. when other disciples find the empty tomb they reach a similar conclusion and by talking amongst themselves through confirmation bias they claim they've seen jesus here and there (like how people claim they saw elvis) and some mistakenly remember eating dinner with a religiously bent figure (maybe another messiah type, they were common during those days) as having dinner with jesus. through retelling their anecdotes the story grows and exaggerates. pretty soon, convinced that jesus was alive again they begin forming a rudimentary set of oral traditions- collection of saying, the basic narrative, etc. To "set it in stone" if you will. Meanwhile the body is beyond recognition and jesus is simply another anonymous corpse in the sea of corpses.

I welcome any challenge to my argument against the resurrection of Jesus.

Iamthejuan

Pro

First of all, hello!

Secondly, to directly refute your stance on the topic as stated, "Was the Resurrection of Jesus historical?":

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The Resurrection account most certainly fits this definition.

The Bible is the most massed produced and sold book of all time (the Gutenberg press was created specifically to print the Bible), and there are more copies of it (and the gospels) ranging over a wider time span than any of the other sources of history on which we rely when writing our textbooks. It was not written as religious text, but as poetry, records, and communication. It's reliability with regards to history and science have been proven over the beliefs of the masses and the skepticism of modern day scientists (descriptions of dinosaurs and a round earth that spins, sodom and gommorah, global flood, etc.). You can not easily dismiss it as a valid source of history without dismissing pretty much everything we consider history.

I don't see why a rotting corpse would be a problem for the creator of our universe. This, to me, is similar to the argument "none of this could have happened because there is no God to do what we see as miraculous". I know this is a fundamental issue that prevents atheists (which I realize you may not be) from ever agreeing with deists on matters like this, but this area will only take us to "Does God exist'" which is a different debate altogether. I honestly don't see it as relevant myself.

Fallibility of memory? Look, first people tried to say that the Gospels weren;t written til 200 years after Jesus death and Resurrection. We have now proven it was withing 50-60. The Gospel writers would have easily been proven a hoax, not to mention nobody would have died for Christianity. Do you know how many of the early Christians lived and died? It was nothing like the Church we see today. Those people were truly persecuted (it still happens in other countries) but innocent people died for their faith in Jesus. Contrast this with the worlds next biggest religion, Islam, where Mohammed went into a cave, wrote the Quran, and rode out sword in hand forcing people to convert or die. You simply can't dismiss the Bible as just another religious text meant to start a religion. Jesus was anti-religion, and his teachings certainly contradict the very nature of man. If the Gospel writers had just been trying to create a religion for power or money, they could have found a way outside of angering the Romans (and the Jews) and driving away many who did not have a heart of compassion and forgiveness.

Ultimately, it does come down to this; do you believe we were created? If so, you should ask yourself if you are in a position of knowledge to set limits on God's power or his purpose for our existance? The story that is the Bible is made up of 66 different books of letters, poetry, history, and most importantly, mans walk with God from start til -. It makes more sense than anything I have ever read, and while some scientists have been determined to undermine SPECIFICALLY the Bible, they have failed over and over.
Debate Round No. 1
warpedfx

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and for pointing out the flaw in the title of the debate as being somewhat vague and possibly misguided. However, I hope it's more or less clear the intent is to discuss what is effectively "whether we can truly say that Jesus rose from the dead".

That being said, I still note certain errors and flaws in my opponent's defense of the historicity of the surrection.

1. the Bible
Though it's true that the bible is indeed one of the most widely distributed book of topics ranging from poetry to science and IS a historical document of which there are some historical truths, it's also worth pointing out that like any other historical documents information is gained not simply by going "historical document therefore true" but by carefully and critically analysing the data by gauging the probability claims as well as through the historical method. It is through this we are able to ascertain, despite the host of obvious mythical elements and fabrications that the historical method has not been able to establish as true, that Jesus most likely existed at all. That being said, does this make the bible and especially the New Testament a reliable historical document? My opponent makes the mistaken notion that the bible is one regardless of the fact that its scientific claims are at best vaguely metaphorical, at worst false. What historical truth there is (and they are there) in the documents are to be strained out, much like other ancient documents from its hosts if vague metaphors and contradictions.


2. The rotting corpse
I do agree that given the existence of the supernatural that it's possible, albeit remotely, that there was a rotting corpse. Howeer, it's also worth noting that this isn't so much an argument against the supernatural but that in the presence of natural explanations which are by definition more probable than the supernatural via Ockam's Razor, why is the supernatural- an unproven claim- even needed? Furthermore, how do you evaluate the supernatural? In fact, what differentiates supernatural possibilities from hypothesizing and fabricating? What makes the academics function as it does is due to its rigour, and with the supernatural such rigour is impossible to maintain. To claim the supernatural one must assume every time they lose a key that it's either a. they misplaced it or b. a key imp had stolen it away to be a trickster. With the supernatural one is forced to accept possibilities that strain credibility even further.

3. Fallibility of memory
My opponent unfortunately has not dealt with the argument present in this aspect at hand and instead went on to proseltyzing his beliefs. Furthermore, we do not know how many of his disciples truly were martyred and had chance to recant. Nero used the Christians as a scapegoat and targeted Christians as thus. The New Testament delivers conflicting accounts of how several of the apostles died. Did Judas die by falling and exploding or by hanging? Was Bartholomew beheaded in India or crucified in Armenia? Even if all such contradictions were to be resolved and indeed they did die for their faith, all that requires is that they strongly believed Jesus to have been resurrected- not that Jesus truly was.

4. The non-sequitur conclusion
My opponent ends with what is ultimately a non-sequitur, asking if I believed we were created. Not only is this irrelevant to the discussion at hand it's ultimately a cop-out of my opponent's inability to address the historical aspects of the resurrection.
Iamthejuan

Pro

Ok, so I do realize that your intentions were to debate whether Jesus really rose from the dead. I believe the evidence says that he did. The fact is that a plethora of people willingly became Christians, and we have many Roman records of their early persecutions as well as accounts by other historians of the time. To say that so many people would have died for something they were brainwashed into believing doesn't make sense. Consider Jim Jones and his cult; most people know that they committed suicide by drinking poisoned kool-aid, but most people don't know that the majority of people present put up a resistance, and many of them were forced to drink the poison or simply shot. Even though they had all been brainwashed by Jim Jones, they weren't ready to die for what they had thought they believed up to that point. Christians throughout history have died for their faith; this is proven fact. We don't really see this kind of ferver in the U.S. today, but that is because we live in a fast paced narcissistic world. In other countries, there are still Christians dying for their beliefs, and around the world we can still find tales of miracles and supernatural events, though we try to act like that stuff doesn't exist here in the U.S.

To try to prove or disprove the ressurection with physical evidence is futile, because there is no physical evidence left (unless you accept the shroud of turin, which is an interesting topic for either side to study). The fact is that many people have accepted it as true, because the story of Jesus makes sense for one from a creationist standpoint, and also because of the direct effect that faith in jesus has had on our lives. It is a matter of faith, which makes sense if you believe the Bible. I could try to explain why I believe God puts heavy importance on faith and doesn't just pop out of Heaven to say hi every morning, but that is an entirely seperate topic also that would take up alot of space.

I don't think you really understand where I was coming from. You are basically saying the Bible can't be reliable because it includes the supernatural. Our world has plenty of supernatural in it, if not we would not have the word supernatural. Everything would be natural. If our universe had made it's-self or were eternal, then that would also be supernatural by definition. This ties into what I was saying about the rotting corpse; we are starting from different viewpoints and looking at the same "evidence" through different lenses. I have no problem believing that God could have done anything he wanted to at any point in history. You don't believe in God, therefore any text that recounts supernatural events or miracles must be unreliable. However, if you simply google "supernatural events throughout history" you will find that there have been many highly documented cases of the supernatural in our world. We live in such a technology driven world that we fail to even see what a miracle life is. We could argue in circles all day, but will never agree unless one of us decides to change the lense through which we are looking.

As for fallibility of memory, I think you are trying to build bridges with your psychiatrist's study there. That study was dealing with an old trick lawyers and salesman alike have used for centuries...it's called the power of suggestion (in court it is called leading). Are you saying that somebody after Jesus died went and led his disciples into writing altered accounts of what happened? It would be more likely that the Gospel writers had been liars of their own accord. For one thing, I think most of us remember things pretty well, especially big things like people being healed of sickness or coming back from the dead. In any event, if the Gospels had not been true, how on Earth did Christianity grow and flourish in a society that was completely hostile to them, and against the resistance of both the Romans and the Jews? I don't buy your idea that the gospel writers just remembered things that didn't happen, and honestly, I think it would make more sense to outright accuse them of lying.

As for conflicting accounts, I realize that the Gospels DO actually have some minor conflictions. By minor, I mean completely irrelevant to the Gospel story. Furthermore, these "discrepencies" only further add to the legitimacy of the Gospels. If they had been written just to start a religion, they would have been uniform (and much more friendly to human nature). Instead, it shows that each of the individual authors remembered some of the smaller details slightly different. I am sure that Bartholomew could not have died in India and in Armenia, but I don't think it matters. At the time these Gospels were written, there was no telephone or internet. Communication took forever. Did you ever play the game in school where you whisper something in someones ear and let it go around the circle? Multiply that by a hundred. Of course, that game doesn't work right if you say something really memorable, (just like a ressurection would be highly memorable).

Creation is absolutely relevant. I understand that you think I did not address your points, but I feel that I did, and that you have not made an open minded consideration of what I said. If you believe in God, then miracles are not a problem. It is that simple. If you don't believe in God, then of course the Bible and Greek mythology and ghosts and goblins and all that are just fairy tales.

You can't prove Jesus did not ressurect. I can't prove he did. All I could really do is tell you why I do believe it is true, which is what Jesus asked me to do. God doesn't want to prove his own existance; he did that by making such a complex yet perfectly balanced universe. he wants us to prove it to each other by loving as he said to love.
Debate Round No. 2
warpedfx

Con

My opponent has yet to really address my argument in any detail, nor has he seemed to realize the debate at hand is a historical one. To begin with, he tries to argue that early Christians willingly died for their beliefs which is supported by, according to him, Roman records and historians. This is only half true. We do have cases of Christian persecution, but how many were really close to Jesus? As I've pointed out previously, the deaths of the apostles are at best unclear, with contradictions and inconsistencies. Furthermore, strong conviction of the truth of something does not mean it IS true- take the 9/11 bombing. My opponent would agree that such actions doesn't lend credence to the truthness of Allah and of Islam so why is it different here? He claims there are still supernatural tales and such, but what he doesn't note is that there are more being either debunked as hoax or revealed as natural. To claim it is supernatural then to demand it be disproved is simply shifting the burden of proof and arguing from ignorance- a fallacy.

He further blabors the point by claiming it is a matter of faith and that demand for evidence is futile. Well, I ask my opponent, why did you accept this debate if you are unwilling to discuss it? This is not a pulpit from which he can preach. He further goes on to make other points regarding natural vs. supernatural, claiming an eternal universe would be supernatural (which would then simply render the distinction meaningless) aswell as a host of irrelevant arguments. He further strawmans my argument by saying that I think the bible is unreliabe because it contains supernatural when in fact my entire point was that in presence of a possible natural alternative, the supernatural explanation is therefore discarded as superfluous. My opponent claims we begin from different perspectives, and I would agree which is why I believe my position is the much stroner one. He begins from the supernatural, an unproved but often claimed position that can't seem to distinguish itself from ignorance of the natural world. I take the more skeptical approach. I don't discount the possibility of the supernatural but at the same it is unneeded at this point.
Iamthejuan

Pro

Ok, so since my opponent has not posted anything new since his opening statement, I will just recap.

Round 1: My opponent's 3 main points are
a. The corpse would have been too rotten for even God to ressurect.
b. People accidentally remember huge events that never happened.
c. Actually, his 3rd point was really just a continuation of the second.

Then he goes on to give his own hypothetical "what probably happened".

I then replied to each of his main points in order, paragraph by paragraph.

Round 2: He does not respond to any of my points, instead he goes on to talk about how the Bible is mythical, but failing to acknowledge that this is strictly his opinion. He accuses me of not addressing his argument at all, which gives me the impression that he only skimmed my post enough to formulate the reply that was already in his head. That I am a silly Christian that can't answer his questions (even though I did). Then, he goes on to talk about how we can't scientifically evaluate the supernatural. REALLY?! That was one of my main points bro. Supernatural is by definition beyond science. I mean, you asked me to prove it was historical; I did. And I took it upon myself to go on and address what I knew you meant to say. So I continued to indulge this debate, even though I defeated his original thesis in my opening remarks. I responded to each of his main points again, trying to use lamen's terms.

Round 3: Once again, my opponent only accuses me of not responding to his replies. I gave thought out paragraphs complete with introductory sentences throughout my argument, but it is like he is pretending they aren't there for anyone to scroll up and read. He is now demanding that I present evidence to him that Jesus Christ ressurected 2,000 years ago. What kind of evidence could be produced? If that was his qualification for a debate on this issue, then it is a catch 22, which means it is a pointless debate to have.
He then repeats some of what a said (though a bit distorted), and basically attacks me for saying it without actually refuting anything I have said. He briefly alludes to my "host of irrelevant arguments" which I never made sense he said before that I have made no arguments. I guess these non-existent arguments are irrelevant because they must be new to him, and he needs time to digest this new information properly, I have to say that I have had much more challenging debates with atheists. To put it quite frankly, this topic is only a sub category of "Is there a God", and the instigator tried (and technically, failed from the title) to crate a scenario in which he had already won by just refusing to accept that some people can believe in something they can't physically see. Furthermore, he seems to be operating under the assumption that most people would agree with him about the irrelevancy of the supernatural in our world, and hence, our lives. Since only about 14.5% of the worlds population are atheists, you can not rely on the idea that it is the other 85% of us that are being foolish, and this has been the only real point that he has advocated here. Trying to put people dying horrific deaths for believing in Jesus on the same level as people blowing themselves up because they were brainwashed from birth shows clearly that my opponent are lacking in any sort of coherent response to what I have said.

Please go back and read the arguments, and you will see I have addressed all of my opponent's points twice now. If he decides to use the final round to make any sort of new argument, I welcome the chance to explore other areas of this topic.
Debate Round No. 3
warpedfx

Con

I must point out the reason why I have not made any new arguments since the opening statement is due to the fact that they were not addressed at any point. Instead my opponent has devolved to a creation/religion preaching ground where he admitted that he had no evidence to support his case and that faith is required. He further displays his ignorance of my arguments by making strawman versions of my argument.

Case in point:
He claims my 3 main points are that:
a. The corpse would have been too rotten for even God to ressurect.
b. People accidentally remember huge events that never happened.
c. Actually, his 3rd point was really just a continuation of the second.

A. If he read my first rebuttal he would have understood that I addressed this strawman pre-emptively when I said that: "I do agree that given the existence of the supernatural that it's possible, albeit remotely, that there was a rotting corpse. Howeer, it's also worth noting that this isn't so much an argument against the supernatural but that in the presence of natural explanations which are by definition more probable than the supernatural via Ockam's Razor, why is the supernatural- an unproven claim- even needed?"

I suppose I could concede I forgot to add the qualifying phrase of "walking" but the overall concept is there and to claim otherwise is just folly. Instead he ignores and fails to address the main point that to claim supernatural is an intellectual dead end that is not only unnecessary but impossible to address since to claim supernatural means one must assume the supernatural for every event and not simpy some. Every time one loses the key one must not only investigate the natural explanations but also the supernatural as well. Given the fact that one cannot with any real degree ascertain which supernatural examples are more probable, one must assume they are all equally probable. For all my opponent knows, he must assume it could either be he lost his keys by misplacing it, or it's also equally possible that a key djinn stole it and hid it in his magic pocket as a trick. If that sounds absurd, good. That's the point. By accepting the supernatural one must accept all of supernatural possibilities to be consistent.

B. and C. My opponent claims that my argument was that "people accidentally remember huge events that never happened." But is it huge? I have made quite a detailed argument supporting this position from the gospels listing how such discrepancies in their testimony, from stating Jesus as some shapeshifter to the people simply not being able to recognize somebody they worshipped and lived with for 3 years makes much more sense when given the understanding that perhaps it was due to a failure in memory. The article I cited in the opening statement makes clear that memory distortion is a very real and often recognized problem. My argument was that given the propensity of memory failure in remembering details often wrong and the stunning lack of examples of a resurrection, it's odd that my opponent would nonetheless go for the more improbable option without the requisite evidence to support it. To drive the nail the coffin shut to this strawman, I must also point out ultimately this argument is a strawman of my own. Mine was not memory inventing an entire scenario but a misremembering of details. It could be as simple as the apostles meeting someone, probably a preacher, down the road to Emmaus and then later becoming convinced that the man was Jesus.

Given this, how could my opponent argue that I only skimmed his arguments? He raised irrelevant points from the resurrection by asking if I believed in god. I did not say the bible was mythical, I said it needed to be treated like any other ancient historical documents and that its truth value needs to be extracted than accepted at its face as my opponent would like to claim was necessary. He further misses the mark when he says I claimed to have said we can't "scientifically evaluate the supernatural." which apparently was his point. Not t mention I have not mentioned this- I said we couldn't evaluate supernatural at all, scientifically or not. He then failed to defeat a single point I've made here by not demonstrating comprehension of my point or of probabilities at all and instead attempting to bring up points that were not necessary to the argument at hand.

To top it off, he effectively ends his argument with an argument from popularity- a formal fallacy. He claims that "[s]ince only about 14.5% of the worlds population are atheists, you can not rely on the idea that it is the other 85% of us that are being foolish, and this has been the only real point that he has advocated here." My points, especially with regards to the suicide bombers were that conviction of the truth of a concept does not itself validate the said concept as true. He simply ignores that and argues a point I never made with the said analogy.

In short, my opponent failed to address my scenario and instead attempted to relate it to other examples that ultimately failed to match up and instead attempted to bring in entirely irrelevent scores of arguments that had nothing to do with whether resurrection was historically probable.

VOTE CON
Iamthejuan

Pro

A wise man I know once said "if you talk more than you listen, how is it that you know so much?".

My opponent has made it clear that he is not in fact here for a debate. It is apparant that he is not used to having these conversations with Christians who have actually studied history and science, and rather than just admitting that he has no response, he accuses me of writing nothing at all in the hopes that he will be able to solicit votes from people who are only skimming the arguments.

I never said there was no evidence; I said there was no physical evidence. Just like there is no physical evidence for anything in our history books outside of what we have read. We rely on what has been written down. I provided historical examples and common sense reasonings for why you can't simply write the Bible off as mythology, and he responded to none of my points except to say that they were irrelevant while simeultaneously not there (because all I did was proselytize). My opponent first says he acknowledges the possibility of the supernatural, which would not be necessarry unless he recognized that Christians do believe in the supernatural, but then rules it irrelevant without providing a logical reason for making such an illogical statement. He basically tries to create within his argument rules that automatically declare him the winner of the debate. I did not accept the debate "there is no physical evidence of Jesus' ressurection"; nobody would. It would be as pointless as arguing on the existance of God. The point of debating is not to say "haha im right"; the point is to learn and try to understand other people's points of view, and maybe even learn something that you had not considered before. My opponent here only has the desire to make his point of view heard, and is unable to open his ears (metaphorically, since it is actually his eyes that seem to be deceiving him).

I addressed each of my opponents points specifically, twice, and made a few of my own. He has done nothing except whine about me not following the rules of his debate that he has been adding as we go along. He accuses me of proseltyzing for bringing up the errors in his argument that a supernatural God could not ressurect a corpse if it were rotten. He can't understand simple concepts, like when I said a self-created universe is supernatural. He says this is also irrelevant, for example, when the whole core of his argument is that "there is no supernatural and this is why the Bible is unreliable". The honorable thing to do would be to admit that your argument doesn't work for you anymore than it has worked for everyone else who has tried to use the same reasoning in attacking religion. If it did work, we would not be having this debate, because everyone would be atheists.

Your suicide bomber analogy is majorly flawed. There is a big difference between people who were brainwashed from birth to believe it is their duty to die in the service of their religion, and people who willingly converted as adults in spite of assured persecution and mockery. You are focusing on the fact that Muslims die for their beliefs too, but ignoring the fact that they were brainwashed to do this. The Christians who died for Jesus within the 2 centuries after his death were dying horrific deaths that they did not deserve simply because that's how much they believed in this Jesus. This is nowhere near the same thing, and you are ignoring the point altogether that Christianity would have been a cult that went nowhere if it had not been true. The Romans and the Jews alike were against Christianity; all they would have had to do was crucify a few Christians and the rest would have been like "well...maybe not"...unless they believed it to, and they were in a much better position to know. Also, if the Romans wanted to get something done, they would do it. They wanted the Christian "cult" to end, and if they could have produced a corpse (whether half rotten or not) they most certainly would have. If they could have found witnesses to testify against the gospel story, they would have. Instead, we see historians of tthis time period marveling at this newly emerged faith and it's impact amidst persecution.

An argument of popularity? Come on. Your whole point is that the supernatural invalidates the Bible, so I mentioned the fact that 85% of the world belives in the supernatural. I even explained to you how atheists also put their faith in a supernatural universe, but I know, all of these things are irrrelvant.

Of course I did not address your hypothetical scenario; why should I? It is nothing more than a hypothetical sscenario that you created, and I rebutted the basic theory behind it anyways in my arguments (that the gospel writers remembered all of this stuff that didn't happen). You have not presented any evidence. Your one link was to a study that proves that people can be suggested into remembering things incorrectly, but it is a major strectch and purely assumption to say that this is what led to the writing of the gospels. I do not need to offer rebuttal to something that is pure speculation to begin with, and illogical to boot.

Even though my opponent has provided no good reason for me to do so, and I doubt he will read them for himself, I will still post a few links that argue in favor of the ressurection, if only for our readers to consider. Many will find the first link particularly interesting I am sure.

Next time, I advise that my opponent have the guts to post the issue that is really on his mind, which is that he believes there is no God and that we should consider anything supernatural to be a farcity. Though I doubt he could handle a debate of that scope when he can't even have an honest debate here on this topic.

http://www.av1611.org...

http://www.westarkchurchofchrist.org... <<
http://toptenproofs.com...
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
/Warped; you can not say the supernatural is invalidated in the presence of natural explanations.//
The supernatural EXPLANATION is invalidated in the presence of natural explanation.

//Christians are not saying that the natural explanations are less likely, we are saying that something supernatural happened.//
I know. But before you can say the supernatural occurred you need to first discount all natural explanations. Otherwise the natural explanation by default wins out.

//And just because I agree that something supernatural did happen, and that it does still happen, does not mean I always have to attribute everything to the supernatural.//
I never said you should, but rather you have to take into account everything supernatural as possible explanations for EVERY event. Lost your keys? maybe it was the supernatural. how do you know it wasn't? forgot something? how do you know it's not the supernatural at work? want to sit on that chair instead of the other one? supernatural.

//You are arguing that the supernatural invalidates the Bible, and it would make more sense if you admitted that that is your stance.//
LOL but it's not even closeto my position.

//You did not debate the historicity of the ressurection because I shot that down in the first round//
no you didn't. you went on about things that did not address my argument and instead continued to strawman me. You miss the point that my scenario and my evidence for them are very well established. it doesn't matter that the bible wasn't written 200 years after jesus's death but rather 50. mine dealt with the eyewitnesses themselves. it wasn't an invention of totallly new scenarios but misremembering details of what happened. you didn't shoot any of them down- in fact you didn't even deal with them at all. you strawmanned.
Posted by Iamthejuan 5 years ago
Iamthejuan
Warped; you can not say the supernatural is invalidated in the presence of natural explanations. Christians are not saying that the natural explanations are less likely, we are saying that something supernatural happened. And just because I agree that something supernatural did happen, and that it does still happen, does not mean I always have to attribute everything to the supernatural. You are arguing that the supernatural invalidates the Bible, and it would make more sense if you admitted that that is your stance. This is why our whole debate centered around the supernatural. You did not debate the historicity of the ressurection because I shot that down in the first round, so you had to make it about the scientific premise, but you fail to realize that we deem things supernatural when we can't scientifically explain them, and this happens all the time. Your eternal universe would be supernatural; I have already proven this with scientific law. Your big bang singularity is supernatural, which is why it is the singularity (which any cosmologist will tell you is the point before the big bang and hence before time and before natural law and therefore supernatural).

Maybe my vote did come from bias, but yours didnt? your voter agreed with you before the debate too. So what? That is why I said I don't care about winning on this site, because it is all about who is on at the time. I would much rather if you were an open-minded person, and at least willing to truly examine my argument and realize that there is a whole other side to this issue that is also based on science and reason.
Posted by Iamthejuan 5 years ago
Iamthejuan
I just have to say that i am disappointed nobody voted on this debate. Lots of people vote on similar debates, and it would have been more fair to vote for the better argument than to not vote at all simply because maybe your side did not make a good argument. I recognize that on this site I am in the minority, but I know alot of people viewed this, and the fact they didn't vote says alot.
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
//First of all, use english, I have no idea what votebomb is. I know I did win, even though few people voted, but I could ultimately care less about winning a debate on this site. I just debate for fun.//
I did use English. Votebomb is when a person simply votes one side due to his ideological bias essentially. It happens on both sides and it's clear SuburbiaSurvivor did. It's not your own fault but it's still done by others on the site.

//Your whole argument was centered around the fact the Bible recalls something supernatural, and therefore is probably incorrect.//
Or that the supernatural explanation is invalidated in the presence of an alternative natural explanation which is by default more probable. Oh, and the writers described earth as a circle, not a sphere.

////Also, the Big bang is the start of the universe according to atheist scientists. You did not address my point, you simply said "they don't consider the big bang to be creation". //
this isn't ducking or dodging but pointing out an important distinction. In fact, most physicists DO NOT consider the big bang to be a beginning except maybe at best as the beginning of spacetime- an arrangement OF the universe not its creation of it and its materials. Learn the distinction.//
how is this not a refutation, for example?
Posted by Iamthejuan 5 years ago
Iamthejuan
You did it again! I posted scientific law and you simly said "i know nothing about science" without challenging the accuracy of what I said, or refuting it. You are so inherantly biased and you can't even see it!
Posted by Iamthejuan 5 years ago
Iamthejuan
First of all, use english, I have no idea what votebomb is. I know I did win, even though few people voted, but I could ultimately care less about winning a debate on this site. I just debate for fun.

Your whole argument was centered around the fact the Bible recalls something supernatural, and therefore is probably incorrect. This is based on YOUR belief that there is no supernatural. If you are going to argue that the recording of supernatural events invalidates a source, then you have to prove there is no supernatural, which most people disagree with. You also have to recognize what I said, that the majority of history is based on religious documents, because only religious leaders and noblemen (who were also bound by their religion at least in the public eye) could write.

Yes, poeple believed the earth was flat, but the writers of Job and Psalms describe the earth as a sphere. Interesting.
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
is it just me or did suburbiasurvivor basically votebomb? lol
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
again with your statistical belief malarkey- that means nothing. previously everyone believed the earth was flat. what you are committing is the argumentum ad populum.

"In logic, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it; which alleges: "If many believe so, it is so.""
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
//Warped, I would post links to prove what I just said to you, but I don't think you have the attention span to read all about quantum theory and the singularity, etc.

It is very simple FOR EVERY ACTION THERE IS AN EQUAL REACTION, FOR EVERY REACTION THERE IS A PRECEDING ACTION. It is not rocket science, it is basic science.//
something tells me you know little to nothing about what cosmology ACTUALLY states. I've actually done my bloody research by reading the works of cosmologists like Vilenkin, Guth, Borde, Gratton and Hawking thank you.

//It is very simple FOR EVERY ACTION THERE IS AN EQUAL REACTION, FOR EVERY REACTION THERE IS A PRECEDING ACTION. It is not rocket science, it is basic science.//
this is newtonian physics. It's also wrong. It works pragmatically but modern physics now go by the general theory of relativity.

//Also, the Big bang is the start of the universe according to atheist scientists. You did not address my point, you simply said "they don't consider the big bang to be creation". //
this isn't ducking or dodging but pointing out an important distinction. In fact, most physicists DO NOT consider the big bang to be a beginning except maybe at best as the beginning of spacetime- an arrangement OF the universe not its creation of it and its materials. Learn the distinction.

//So if the universe is eternal, and somehow creating dimensions of it's own accord, then it sounds to me like your eternal universe IS God. //
uh, what? Do you even know how quantum mechanics relate with pre-planck cosmology? you're in way over your head, buddy. For one, look up quantum nucleation paper by Alexander Vilenkin. The fact that no current cosmologists suggest a violation of the first law, and the fact that you tout a long-discredited MISUSE of the second law of thermodynamics show you haven't a clue what you're talking about.

Also, saying the universe needn't a beginning of existence doesn't make it "god". god by your own definition requires
Posted by Iamthejuan 5 years ago
Iamthejuan
"In short, the universe as an Initial Field Density could have existed 'timelessly'."

So if the universe is eternal, and somehow creating dimensions of it's own accord, then it sounds to me like your eternal universe IS God. Just like a thorough study of quantum theory lleads one to realize that the singularity IS God.

"I am the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega" - so while this may sound like a crazy idea to you the atheist, it does not at all contradict with the belief that we were created by intelligence, and that is why we see intelligence in every aspect of life and creation. The fact there even are laws of science proves that there is a lawgiver. To say that so much intelligence and comlex life and organized systems like gravity and time came into existance at random is the highly illogical route to take, which is why only 15% of the world has accepted what you guys seem to think everyone should accept at face value.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
warpedfxIamthejuanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con proved there is no physical evidence and pro basically said well you can't prove the supernatural, that's basically a concesion as you cannot prove the point. Also as con said there are other possibilities with the supernatural if it existed anyway, so even if pro is correct it still may be distorted info. So con win as cons main point stood in the end.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Pro for the sources he gave in the last round. Arguments to Pro because Con basically convinced me that Jesus's resurrection couldn't have been anything other then supernatural. Pro made a better case that it was supernatural, and Con did little to refute it. I enjoyed the overall conduct though. An interesting debate to read for sure.