Green Room

Video: The historical case for the Resurrection

posted at 5:47 pm on April 2, 2013 by

It’s about a year and a half old and it’s also over 90 minutes, so you’d better prepare yourself for a very long scholarly presentation on why the historical record lends itself to conclude that Jesus returned from the dead as Christianity attests. It’s timely not only because of Easter, but tangentially because of the New York Times’ ignorance of it. Dr. William Lane Craig offered this presentation alone to a British audience during a sponsored tour.  Craig teaches at Talbot School of Theology in my birthplace, La Mirada, California, and has written a number of books on the topic.  He has also held a series of debates with a number of theologians and atheists, including the late Christopher Hitchens, but Richard Dawkins refused an invitation, accusing Craig of “self-promotion” … which for Dawkins is quite an accusation.

Hat tip to my friend Ted Balaker:

If you don’t want to go through a long presentation and a Q&A session, you can jump right into one of those debates, this one with Dr. James Crossley, over the historical record. It’s longer than the first video. Fortunately, this has a comprehensive summary of both arguments and all the rebuttals in outline form, written and published by Wintery Knight on Sunday:

Briefly, Craig’s argument is structured thus:

Contention 1 of 2:

Fact 1: The burial

  • The burial is multiply attested
    • The burial is based on the early source material that Mark used for his gospel
    • Scholars date this Markan source to within 10 years of the crucifixion
    • The burial is also in the early passage in 1 Cor 15:3-8
    • So you have 5 sources, some of which are very early
  • The burial is credited to a member of the Sanhedrin
    • the burial is probable because shows an enemy of the church doing right
    • this makes it unlikely to to be an invention

Fact 2: The empty tomb

  • The burial story supports the empty tomb
    • the site of Jesus’ grave was known
    • the disciples could not proclaim a resurrection if the body were still in it
    • the antagonists to the early Christians could have produced the body
  • The empty tomb is multiple attested
    • it’s mentioned explicitly in Mark
    • it’s in the separate sources used by Matthew and John
    • it’s in the early sermons documented in Acts
    • it’s implied by 1 Cor 15:3-8, because resurrection requires that the body is missing
  • The empty tomb was discovered by women
    • the testimony of women of women was not normally allowed in courts of law
    • if this story was being made up, they would have chosen male disciples
  • The empty tomb discover lacks legendary embellishment
    • there is no theological or apologetical reflection on the meaning of the tomb
  • The early Jewish response implies that the tomb was empty
    • the response was that the disciples stole the body
    • that requires that the tomb was found empty

Fact 3: The appearances to individuals and groups, some of the them hostile

  • The list of appearances is in 1 Cor 15:3-8
    • this material is extremely early, withing 1-3 years after the cross
    • James, the brother of Jesus, was not a believer when he got his appearance
    • Paul was hostile to the early church when he got his appearance
  • Specific appearances are multiply attested
    • Peter: attested by Luke and Paul
    • The twelve: attested by Luke, John and Paul
    • The women: attested by Matthew and John

Fact 4: The early belief in the resurrection emerged in a hostile environment

  • There was no background belief in a dying Messiah
  • There was no background belief in a single person resurrecting before the general resurrection of all of the righteous at the end of the age
  • The disciples were willing to die for their belief in the resurrection of Jesus
  • The resurrection is the best explanation for the transformation of the disciples from frightened to reckless of death

Contention 2 of 2:

  • The resurrection is the best explanation because it passes C.B. McCullough’s six tests for historical explanations
  • None of the naturalistic explanations accounts for the minimal facts as well as the resurrection

Be sure to read it all, even if you don’t want to watch it all.

Recently in the Green Room:

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Just playing devil’s advocate, but non-Christians would point to fact 4 as problematic:


There was no background belief in a dying Messiah
There was no background belief in a single person resurrecting before the general resurrection of all of the righteous at the end of the age
The disciples were willing to die for their belief in the resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection is the best explanation for the transformation of the disciples from frightened to reckless of death

Though Judaism had no concept/acceptance of a dying Messiah, such a figure did exist in various religions predating Christianity – one can make a solid theological argument as to why this is so, but that’s for the supporter of the resurrection to make, not the denier. As for the actions of the disciples following Jesus’ resurrection, we need look no further than Islam to see the fervor of individuals abused in their infancy and transformed, especially following Mohammad’s death, spreading Islam by the sword.

Also, on a side note, many non-Christians – specifically atheists and agnostics – try to poke just as many holes in WCL’s logic and lines of thought and argument as WCL and other apologists poke in many atheist’s logic and arguments.

Again, just playing devil’s advocate.

Logus on April 2, 2013 at 6:02 PM

William Land Craig is a charlatan of the highest order. He sounds impressive but once you listen to the guy…

William Lane Craig on the slaughter of the Canaanites.

The guy is a joke Ed.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Lane… (the d and the e are beside each other on the keyboard… derp)

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:26 PM

As for the actions of the disciples following Jesus’ resurrection, we need look no further than Islam to see the fervor of individuals abused in their infancy and transformed, especially following Mohammad’s death, spreading Islam by the sword.

Logus on April 2, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Ah, but “spreading Islam by the sword” & gaining worldly power is very, very different than what Jesus’ disciples accomplished.
The early Christians–witnesses to the resurrection–multiplied converts despite severe persecution. They never fought back.

itsnotaboutme on April 2, 2013 at 6:28 PM

The guy is a joke Ed.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Then why is Dawkins afraid of him?

Why do a variety of audiences repeatedly show him to be the debate winner?

SauerKraut537 is a joke Ed.

itsnotaboutme on April 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

While I agree with most of the points Dr. Craig raises (or at least the summary of them, as I haven’t watched the videos), I don’t really buy into the notion of Markan priority as he seems to do. I think there’s a much better case to be made that Matthew and (most likely) Luke were written earlier.

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

The early Christians–witnesses to the resurrection–multiplied converts despite severe persecution. They never fought back.

Many have died for what they believed in, despite it being untrue.

But who would die for what they know is a lie?

itsnotaboutme on April 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

William Land Craig is a charlatan of the highest order. He sounds impressive but once you listen to the guy…

William Lane Craig on the slaughter of the Canaanites.

The guy is a joke Ed.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Maybe he is a joke (I really don’t know), but what about the specific points he’s raised on this particular subject, as quoted on this very webpage. What do you say to them? Your ad hominem does nothing to refute them.

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Then why is Dawkins afraid of him?

itsnotaboutme on April 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

LOL! Dawkins isn’t afraid of him.

Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Watch the video I linked and learn why he’s a joke. There are hundreds of videos out there tearing him to shreds.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Many have died for what they believed in, despite it being untrue.

But who would die for what they know is a lie?

itsnotaboutme on April 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

They don’t “know” it’s a lie. They believe it just the same as all the people that you actually consider nuts who died for their beliefs.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

They don’t “know” it’s a lie. They believe it just the same as all the people that you actually consider nuts who died for their beliefs.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Which leads to kind of an interesting question, I think. Just a thought exercise. How many atheists would be willing to die for their belief in no god?

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I really hesitate to do this, but as an “historical case” for a miraculous event, this is just incredibly weak.

Just some quick points for example:

Fact 1: The burial

The burial is multiply attested

The accounts of the burial are progressively embellished from one gospel to the next, earliest to latest.

The burial is based on the early source material that Mark used for his gospel
Scholars date this Markan source to within 10 years of the crucifixion

Most scholars date Mark to the range of 70-80AD. 10 years from crucifixion is an extremely hopeful Christian viewpoint.

The burial is also in the early passage in 1 Cor 15:3-8
So you have 5 sources, some of which are very early

None of the gospels was likely written within 40 years of the event – and the borrowed from and embellished one to the next.

The burial is credited to a member of the Sanhedrin
the burial is probable because shows an enemy of the church doing right
this makes it unlikely to to be an invention

Its just as reasonable argue that it’s exactly the type of invention that would be used to lend credence to the story.

Fact 2: The empty tomb

The burial story supports the empty tomb
the site of Jesus’ grave was known
the disciples could not proclaim a resurrection if the body were still in it
the antagonists to the early Christians could have produced the body

Victims of crucifixion were typically buried in mass graves. This argument is built on top of the suspect story of the tomb itself.

The empty tomb is multiple attested
it’s mentioned explicitly in Mark
it’s in the separate sources used by Matthew and John
it’s in the early sermons documented in Acts
it’s implied by 1 Cor 15:3-8, because resurrection requires that the body is missing

Same argument as above.

The real problem here is that the gospels were not written as “history” in any modern sense. The contradictions between them, and the incredible variations in their core messages and the way that Jesus and his message are portrayed make this clear.

I think these books have great value, but trying to make them into something they are not just trivializes them.

I’m NOT saying that Jesus was not resurrected (I don’t believe he was, but that’s a different issue). I’m saying these “historical” arguments are so weak as to be laughable, and I think they do more harm than good to the dialogue between believers and non-believers.

peski on April 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

How many atheists would be willing to die for their belief in no god?

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Good question, I don’t know a good answer to that, but I imagine a percentage of them, probably a good percentage, would.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Good question, I don’t know a good answer to that, but I imagine a percentage of them, probably a good percentage, would.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Somehow, I doubt it. Christians have a lot to lose by disavowing their beliefs, but atheists have nothing to lose by disavowing theirs, except face. It comes down to Pascal’s wager: If you believe and God exists, you win eternal life. If you don’t believe and God exists, eternal damnation. If you believe and God doesn’t exist, you only win oblivion. If you don’t believe and God doesn’t exist, you lose nothing.

Or to put it another way, being an atheist entails absolutely no intellectual rigor or ethical risk whatsoever. I think the atheist who would die for his beliefs is an utter fool.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 6:49 PM

And if you swallow this one, well whatever…

None of the naturalistic explanations accounts for the minimal facts as well as the resurrection

Feel free to believe what you like, but a miracle is never the best explanation for disputed “facts” in a 2000 year old collection religious documents.

peski on April 2, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I think the atheist who would die for his beliefs is an utter fool.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 6:49 PM

You know, I actually think a lot of them would say they believed in god if it meant they got to live, because they treasure life and know how precious it is (being as they only get one go at it, as far as anyone “knows”). Some of them, though, would stand on principle and die for their belief. Of that I have little doubt.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

itsnotaboutme on April 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

very true bro.

Steven McGregor on April 2, 2013 at 6:59 PM

You know, I actually think a lot of them would say they believed in god if it meant they got to live, because they treasure life and know how precious it is (being as they only get one go at it, as far as anyone “knows”). Some of them, though, would stand on principle and die for their belief. Of that I have little doubt.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

My thoughts on the matter are strictly opinion. I’m not going to sit here as if I have the one right answer. But does it seem sad to anyone else that an atheist would literally die for nothing? And if that’s not true, then what would an atheist be willing to die for and why?

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

The early apostles would have known if it was a lie. They were afraid at the time of the execution and hid until after the resurrection. If it was a lie, why did they suddenly become so bold as to invite persecution and death?

Rose on April 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM

And if that’s not true, then what would an atheist be willing to die for and why?

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Atheists seek truth, just like anybody else. There are some things I would die for (my wife, my child, etc.), and some I would not. My opinion about the existence of God or the afterlife or some other religious creed is not on the list.

Personally, I find it sad that a Christian might be willing to die for his belief in the daddy/king God in the sky. I understand it, but it’s sad.

That said, the real evil is the person who would ASK you to die for such a reason. Caesar of a certain era tortured and killed Christians. Nazis tortured and killed Jews. The Catholic church of a certain era tortured and killed “heretics” of all sorts. Those are the evil ones, not anyone who rightly or wrongly refused to submit to their creed.

peski on April 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

While I agree with most of the points Dr. Craig raises (or at least the summary of them, as I haven’t watched the videos), I don’t really buy into the notion of Markan priority as he seems to do. I think there’s a much better case to be made that Matthew and (most likely) Luke were written earlier.

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

steebo77, what are your reasons for discounting Markan priority? I’m honestly curious—I’d love to hear them.

WesternActor on April 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

That said, the real evil is the person who would ASK you to die for such a reason. Caesar of a certain era tortured and killed Christians. Nazis tortured and killed Jews. The Catholic church of a certain era tortured and killed “heretics” of all sorts. Those are the evil ones, not anyone who rightly or wrongly refused to submit to their creed.

peski on April 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

And of course, the scourge of our lifetime – Islam.

peski on April 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Atheists seek truth, just like anybody else. There are some things I would die for (my wife, my child, etc.), and some I would not. My opinion about the existence of God or the afterlife or some other religious creed is not on the list.

peski on April 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

There are animals that die defending their young. That isn’t a special quality unique to humanity. In fact, I think even atheists would tend to view a parent who would not defend their children’s lives as an affront to nature.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 7:15 PM

There are animals that die defending their young. That isn’t a special quality unique to humanity. In fact, I think even atheists would tend to view a parent who would not defend their children’s lives as an affront to nature.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 7:15 PM

I’m not sure what your point is. I could guess, but there are several possibilities.

Let me clarify what I said for you instead. Under certain circumstances, I hope that I would be willing to die for a friend, even for a stranger. To die for my country – although that’s a truly academic exercise, since it’s very unlikely I’d ever be asked to at my age. There are things that I would be willing to lay down my life to defend.

I don’t know if I would be willing to lay down my life to defend my right to NOT believe in God – but how would that be any different than the question of whether I was willing to lay down my life to defend my right to believe in God?

peski on April 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

steebo77, what are your reasons for discounting Markan priority? I’m honestly curious—I’d love to hear them.

WesternActor on April 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

First of all, it seems to have originated in the simplistic notion that Mark is the shortest Gospel and therefore must be the earliest. I don’t see why that’s a necessary conclusion.

I could also see how someone who had read both Matthew and Luke could easily arrive at a document that looks like Mark.

I’m also not really satisfied with the idea of a Q source, which Markan priority needs to explain common material in Matthew and Luke. If there had been a book of the sayings of Jesus, I think it would have survived, at least in fragmentary form.

Furthermore, all early external evidence seems to suggest that Matthew wrote first. Papias supports this in the late first century/early second century, as do Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, and Augustine.

One theory, favored by Augustine, put the order as Matthew, Mark, then Luke. I personally find the “Two-Gospel Hypothesis” the most compelling explanation, which puts Luke second and Mark third.

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Also, I find it much easier to believe in a lost earlier Hebrew version of Matthew (a book which we know for sure exists) than in the Q Source.

steebo77 on April 2, 2013 at 7:38 PM

But does it seem sad to anyone else that an atheist would literally die for nothing? And if that’s not true, then what would an atheist be willing to die for and why?

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

I don’t think its possible to literally die for nothing, but who says their death would be for nothing?

You originally asked, “How many atheists would be willing to die for their belief in no god?”

I assume this is a choice where you die if you fail to change your belief?

If so, it would appear in your hypothetical situation that the only person with an interest in putting this choice to a non believer would be a believer. Is that a safe assumption?

Other than that, it’s kind of a goofy question don’t you think?

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Feel free to believe what you like, but a miracle is never the best explanation for disputed “facts” in a 2000 year old collection religious documents.

Aren’t you then a priori ruling out the supernatural and not really being a “freethinker” about this issue? I think the evidence for Christ’s resurrection are pretty convincing; however, I think people of goodwill can disagree. However, one I see something like this, I really question if the skeptic in question is really being open-minded.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM

LOL! Dawkins isn’t afraid of him.

Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

This issue has been addressed. It seems like Dawkins himself is confused about whether he has debated Craig: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/12/dawkins-vs-dawkins.html

There are plenty of sophisticated atheists for whom the theist should take seriously, Dawkins isn’t one of them. This quote comes from atheist philosopher of science Michael Ruse:

…The God Delusion made me ashamed to be an atheist

The fact that you are wasting your time defending him is kinda sad.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I really question if the skeptic in question is really being open-minded.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Having an open mind means being willing to hear new ideas – not having to accept them.

The mind shouldn’t be just like a bucket letting everything in without discrimination – that would be gullability. It should be like a sieve applying a critical filter to what we’re told and rejecting what is unjustified.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Other than that, it’s kind of a goofy question don’t you think?

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Not at all. It’s a thought exercise.

Christians believe that the willingness to die for one’s belief [e.g. in God] is a hallmark of character. So the question is simply this: If I held a gun to an atheist’s head and told him, “start praying now or you die,” would he disavow his belief in no God in order to save his own life?

Understand that there are many Christians who would deny God in a heartbeat to save their own lives. That’s not the point I’m trying to make. It’s just a variant of the old “there are no atheists in foxholes” assertion.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I don’t know if I would be willing to lay down my life to defend my right to NOT believe in God – but how would that be any different than the question of whether I was willing to lay down my life to defend my right to believe in God?

peski on April 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

That’s what I’ve asserted all along in this debate, Peski. It takes just as much faith to believe that there is no God as it does to believe in any one religion’s god. But I will tell you this: if 33 years of the life of a carpenter’s son from Nazareth was enough to get people to lay down their lives in his name for well over 2000 years, that must’ve been one hell of a con, if it was a con to begin with.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Having an open mind means being willing to hear new ideas – not having to accept them.

The mind shouldn’t be just like a bucket letting everything in without discrimination – that would be gullability. It should be like a sieve applying a critical filter to what we’re told and rejecting what is unjustified.

Yet, if you already rule out a miracle before examining the evidence, then you aren’t really being open-minded at all. Proffer an argument as to why miracles are impossible, then you can be justified in ruling out a miraculous event as being the best explanation.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM

It was a round table event where they didn’t know who’d be there… Big deal. Sounds like a bunch of gossip to me, but Dawkin’s explanation of why he doesn’t want to debate him is his own. I accept it, it makes sense. Craig is an apologist of the worst kind.

The PTSD those Israeli soldiers had to endure after having to kill all those Canaanites! Oh, the horror!

Did you even read Dawkin’s article? Did you see the lame apologia Craig spouted about the topic?! He’s a charlatan of the first order.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Proffer an argument as to why miracles are impossible, then you can be justified in ruling out a miraculous event as being the best explanation.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Every miracle ever performed has had a valid natural explanation for it.

The miracle of prayer to cure people of cancer? You know, the type of story where someone goes in and gets diagnosed with cancer. They go home and are scheduled back for other tests, etc, etc, etc… In the meantime, they’ve had hands laid on them in deep prayer sessions with the faithful… Eventually they go back for more scans and the doctor says they’re clear, they don’t have cancer anymore! Invalid causal connection alert!

It couldn’t possibly be that the first scan they went and got was simply a case of mixed up charts? Have you ever been scanned for an MRI or CT scan? Usually these are offices dedicated to scans… They do hundreds of scans a day, hundreds of patients. Sometimes scans get mixed up, rarely, but they do.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Yet Dawkins considered this to be a debate with Craig when he wrote to Patrick Coffin, but he told Craig when they met in Mexico that he didn’t consider it a debate with Craig. So Dawkins is talking out both sides of his mouth.

Be honest, Dawkins is trying to cover his rear because he knows that if he debated Craig he’d get curb stomped. At least Harris and Hitchens had the guts to take him on, even though according to one atheist website, “Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.” (http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=1230)

If Craig’s apologia for the Old Testament atrocities is so easy to shred apart, then it should be easy for Dawkins to do so. Yet, Dawkins is pretty selective in his outrage. Here’s Dawkins talking positively about infanticide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YWkJ6cZ0FY8

How about adultery: http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/1926-banishing-the-green-eyed-monster

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Every miracle ever performed has had a valid natural explanation for it.

The miracle of prayer to cure people of cancer? You know, the type of story where someone goes in and gets diagnosed with cancer. They go home and are scheduled back for other tests, etc, etc, etc… In the meantime, they’ve had hands laid on them in deep prayer sessions with the faithful… Eventually they go back for more scans and the doctor says they’re clear, they don’t have cancer anymore! Invalid causal connection alert!

It couldn’t possibly be that the first scan they went and got was simply a case of mixed up charts? Have you ever been scanned for an MRI or CT scan? Usually these are offices dedicated to scans… They do hundreds of scans a day, hundreds of patients. Sometimes scans get mixed up, rarely, but they do.

I haven’t heard you proffer one for the Resurrection. Please, oblige us. (Give you 3-1 if you don’t head straight for infidels.com next).

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

What a joke. The historical record doesn’t have any evidence that Jesus is anything more than a story told by Paul.

Count to 10 on April 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

There is a great little book out there that really does a fantastic job dissecting the reliability of the New Testament documents

http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Documents-they-Reliable/dp/1604598662

I read it many years ago. Lost the hardcover copy and ordered a digital copy for my Kindle. Harder to lose.

LL

Lady Logician on April 2, 2013 at 9:15 PM

“Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.”

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Craig’s arguments were pretty poor in that debate. However, a debate isn’t about who is right, or even who has the best arguments, it is about who presents them better and who responds to their opponent better. Showmanship! THAT is what Craig is good at. It’s not the substance of what he says so much as how he goes about it. Do you realize that you can watch a video of Craig from 5-8-12 years ago and his shtick is exactly the same today as it was then. Word. For. Word.

Watching him is like watching the Gish Gallop. The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time.

Hitchens isn’t a structured debater, he’s not point counter-point like Craig is, but overall he won that debate… I can’t find it but I believe there was a poll of the attendees afterwards and it moved Hitchen’s direction on the question of the debate.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 9:17 PM

What a joke. The historical record doesn’t have any evidence that Jesus is anything more than a story told by Paul.

Ahh, the Jesus didn’t exist crowd. The ancient history equivalent of 9-11 truthers. Nevermind, Josephus (yes, I know one of his quotes about Jesus was modified, but many historians accept a modified version of it),Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Mara bar Serapion, Thallus, Lucian, Celsus, and Rabbinic Sources, and the Gospels and the Apostolic Fathers, and the noncanonical Gospels. Yeah, He was faked.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Showmanship! Craig had a list of ARGUMENTS with PREMISES that draw conlusions using LOGIC. Even Harris admits that Craig puts the fear of God into atheists. Hitchens admitted that many unbelievers take him quite seriously. It’s the internet trolls who seem to dismiss him.

Hitchens rambled on HIS usual schtick. Religious people do bad things. God is a dictator. Celestial North Korea etc. etc. You claim there was a poll, which I haven’t seen and you can’t produce. I produced a quote by an atheist who is no fan of Craig’s clearly admitting he won. Winning a debate doesn’t make Craig right per se, but Hitchens is no slouch. Debates do serve a purpose and yes, Craig is very good at it, but that doesn’t discredit his arguments because he is good at presenting them.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I haven’t heard you proffer one for the Resurrection. Please, oblige us. (Give you 3-1 if you don’t head straight for infidels.com next).

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Because many cultures had characters who were resurrected before him. Why don’t you believe those tales? Why is Jesus’s tale so believable yet these others aren’t? Use that brain of yours and apply a bit of comparative mythology to the situation and look at the similarities between the tales of Horus/Osiris compared to Jesus’ tale. They are strikingly similar!

Kind of makes one go, hmmmmm… Let’s see, Horus/Osiris is a religious tale that predated the Jesus tale… Wait! Did the Jews steal an older religion’s tale, add a bit of their own flavor to it and call it Christianity?!

Dude, religions scab ideas off each other. Hardly surprising since we’re all apes mimicking each other.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Because many cultures had characters who were resurrected before him. Why don’t you believe those tales? Why is Jesus’s tale so believable yet these others aren’t? Use that brain of yours and apply a bit of comparative mythology to the situation and look at the similarities between the tales of Horus/Osiris compared to Jesus’ tale. They are strikingly similar!

Kind of makes one go, hmmmmm… Let’s see, Horus/Osiris is a religious tale that predated the Jesus tale… Wait! Did the Jews steal an older religion’s tale, add a bit of their own flavor to it and call it Christianity?!

Dude, religions scab ideas off each other. Hardly surprising since we’re all apes mimicking each other.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

None of those other religions maintained their influence for 2000+ years, Kraut…for better or for worse.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Even Harris admits that Craig puts the fear of God into atheists.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

It was a subtle joke, which you apparently, and self interestedly, missed. You heard what you wanted to hear. ;-)

The only fear he puts in them is the fear of the Gish Gallop. He employs so many logical fallacies in his arguments that it’s almost painful to watch, and I’m sure even more painful to try to overcome in a 20 minute/10 minute/5 minute rebuttal. Harris wiped the floor with him too.

Craigs so slick and shifty with his contradictory explanations, he’d make even Slick Willy proud.

His signature argument, the Kalam argument, is only good enough to get you to a logical god being a possibility. He then tries to shoehorn Christianity in as the ONLY possible explanation of this god that could be.

LOL! There is no way in hell that the god that could be is bible god, or koran god, or ANY other religious text purporting to speak for the creator of the entire cosmos.

These gods we “found” in our species historical infancy are a joke when compared to the cosmos we now know. We now know that the vast majority of stars that they could see are actually other galaxies like the one we inhabit.

They’re one and all, sad sad jokes. I imagine the god that could be is sitting “up there” laughing his/her/its arse off (if he has an arse) at all the crap being said about him. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 9:36 PM

None of those other religions maintained their influence for 2000+ years, Kraut…for better or for worse.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Longevity of influence is no arbiter of truth. I’m sure that people believed in wind, fire, water and earth a hell of a lot longer than that.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Ahh, the Jesus didn’t exist crowd. The ancient history equivalent of 9-11 truthers. Nevermind, Josephus (yes, I know one of his quotes about Jesus was modified, but many historians accept a modified version of it),Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Mara bar Serapion, Thallus, Lucian, Celsus, and Rabbinic Sources, and the Gospels and the Apostolic Fathers, and the noncanonical Gospels. Yeah, He was faked.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

If someone were to walk in a room with the leading antiquity historians and proclaim that Jesus didn’t exist without any new evidence, that person would be laughed out of the room. In fact, historians are certain two events happened in Jesus’ life, his baptism and his crucifixion. Even most leading atheist concede that a historical Jesus existed.

midgeorgian on April 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Because many cultures had characters who were resurrected before him. Why don’t you believe those tales? Why is Jesus’s tale so believable yet these others aren’t? Use that brain of yours and apply a bit of comparative mythology to the situation and look at the similarities between the tales of Horus/Osiris compared to Jesus’ tale. They are strikingly similar!

Kind of makes one go, hmmmmm… Let’s see, Horus/Osiris is a religious tale that predated the Jesus tale… Wait! Did the Jews steal an older religion’s tale, add a bit of their own flavor to it and call it Christianity?!

Dude, religions scab ideas off each other. Hardly surprising since we’re all apes mimicking each other.

The Horus/Osiris thing again. Osiris is nothing like Jesus. Osiris was killed by his brother. His wife put him back together, had conjugal relations with his corpse and gave birth to Horus. I mean really. This Christianity being ripped off other religions is nonsense. There are no tales of dying and rising Gods whole tales predate Christianity. I believe in Jesus because of the historical evidence. Not the conspiratorial ramblings of internet trolls.

It was a subtle joke, which you apparently, and self interestedly, missed. You heard what you wanted to hear.

He was admitting that Craig was a formidable opponent. Hitchens admitted likewise. Harris did ot wipe the floor with him. You keep saying Craig’s arguments are weak yet you never point out where they go wrong. Craig does not claim the kalam proves Christianity. I don’t know where you guys get this stuff from, please enlighten me if you have a clip of him saying otherwise please show me.

You keep saying the Gods of revealed religions is a sad joke yet you don’t offer arguments as to why that is so. I believe in the God of Aquinas, Avveroes, and Maimonides. You apparently don’t believe in the God of the 5 year old. Neither do I.

Mike Rathbone on April 2, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Longevity of influence is no arbiter of truth. I’m sure that people believed in wind, fire, water and earth a hell of a lot longer than that.

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 9:38 PM

I didn’t say it was an arbiter of truth. But it is one important distinction which, even taken alone, makes Christianity different than “all those other religions.”

Indeed, you can accept the historicity of the gospels and still be an atheist.

gryphon202 on April 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

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