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Thread: Challenge to Gary from LutherWasNotBornAgain

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Challenge to Gary from LutherWasNotBornAgain

    I have challenged this person to come and debate me here. Thus far, he has refused. I am sure he will still refuse, but the thread is open. It would be a debate on the resurrection of Jesus. His blog can be found here: http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/

    I would prefer here as opposed to his blog or mine since none of us can be said to control the data.

    We'll see if he shows up or not.

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    Ok, Nick. You win. I'm here.

    I have three stipulations:

    1. Don't ask me to read someone's book (an apologist, theologian, etc.) as part of your debate strategy. Make the argument yourself. I don't mind if you quote them or even copy and paste an excerpt, but I'm not interested in reading your favorite apologist's book.

    2. I'm not interested in playing philosophical head games. What I mean by this is that I am not going to debate you on such silly premises as "How do you know, Gary, that you exist and are not simply a figment of someone else's imagination?". My basis of reality is the scientific method and reason, which is the predominate worldview in western civilization. I am open to the possibility of the supernatural, I do not exclude it as impossible, I just do not believe it as PROBABLE. If your initial argument is to attempt to force me to prove that I exist, or some such silly philosophical trick, I'm not interested.

    3. If we are going to debate the "evidence" for the Resurrection, we must agree on what constitutes "evidence". My definition of "evidence" is the type of information that educated persons of western civilization would require to believe any other historical claim. For instance, people in western civilization do not believe that Alexander the Great invaded India simply because they have a "presence" within themselves that tells them he did.

    Agreed?

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Ok, Nick. You win. I'm here.

    I have three stipulations:

    1. Don't ask me to read someone's book (an apologist, theologian, etc.) as part of your debate strategy. Make the argument yourself. I don't mind if you quote them or even copy and paste an excerpt, but I'm not interested in reading your favorite apologist's book.

    2. I'm not interested in playing philosophical head games. What I mean by this is that I am not going to debate you on such silly premises as "How do you know, Gary, that you exist and are not simply a figment of someone else's imagination?". My basis of reality is the scientific method and reason, which is the predominate worldview in western civilization. I am open to the possibility of the supernatural, I do not exclude it as impossible, I just do not believe it as PROBABLE. If your initial argument is to attempt to force me to prove that I exist, or some such silly philosophical trick, I'm not interested.

    3. If we are going to debate the "evidence" for the Resurrection, we must agree on what constitutes "evidence". My definition of "evidence" is the type of information that educated persons of western civilization would require to believe any other historical claim. For instance, people in western civilization do not believe that Alexander the Great invaded India simply because they have a "presence" within themselves that tells them he did.

    Agreed?
    Sure, though with 1 I will certainly recommend scholars and books that they have written as proper citation. Here are some other rules of TheologyWeb.

    ONce the debate starts, there is a debate thread and there is a commentary thread. Participants in the debate thread are not allowed to post in the commentary thread until the debate is done. You may read it to your heart's content, but you may not post there. This applies to both of us. When the debate is done, then we can post.

    I propose a debate of five rounds and our posts must meet the requirement of post length. If a post is too long, it will say so.

    Once a post is made and approved, then at that time, the other person has five days to respond. I can tell you already some days I will not be posting. I will not post on Sundays. I take a break from debating on Sundays. I will also not be posting on the 24th this week. My wife and I celebrate five years of marriage that day and sorry, but she's much cuter than you are.

    If this is fine, then the moderators can set up a debate with my arguing the positive which is "The evidence is enough to conclude that Jesus rose from the dead." You will be arguing the negative. Again, I propose five rounds.

    Mods. If Gary agrees, start the thread when you are ready. If you start it today, I will make my opening post tomorrow.

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    I'm a little confused. You said this was just you and me on neutral ground. Why are moderators involved? Are there "debate rules" that I must follow or the moderators will delete my comments? I am not a professional debater. I don't know the "rules" of debating. My original proposition is that one does not need a PhD to know the Bible is false when it makes supernatural claims such as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. I am willing to discuss the evidence for these supernatural claims and let the readers decide who "wins". If this is a formal debate, I need to read the rules first. Where are they and how do I know the moderators are unbiased?

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    tWebber Irate Canadian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I'm a little confused. You said this was just you and me on neutral ground. Why are moderators involved? Are there "debate rules" that I must follow or the moderators will delete my comments? I am not a professional debater. I don't know the "rules" of debating. My original proposition is that one does not need a PhD to know the Bible is false when it makes supernatural claims such as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. I am willing to discuss the evidence for these supernatural claims and let the readers decide who "wins". If this is a formal debate, I need to read the rules first. Where are they and how do I know the moderators are unbiased?

    Well, this is the challenge thread . The mods will start and close the debates. The Campus Decorum (i.e the rules) are here:http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/fa...rumadminremark

    Finally, the mods only intervene if Campus Decorum is broken.

    ETA: Mod's will never delete your content unless you break one of the above rules ( which 90% of of the atheists have never done).
    Last edited by Irate Canadian; 07-20-2015 at 12:06 PM.
    "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
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    "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


    I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I support the :

  6. Amen mossrose, Jedidiah, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I'm a little confused. You said this was just you and me on neutral ground. Why are moderators involved? Are there "debate rules" that I must follow or the moderators will delete my comments? I am not a professional debater. I don't know the "rules" of debating. My original proposition is that one does not need a PhD to know the Bible is false when it makes supernatural claims such as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. I am willing to discuss the evidence for these supernatural claims and let the readers decide who "wins". If this is a formal debate, I need to read the rules first. Where are they and how do I know the moderators are unbiased?
    The debate will be solely between you and Nick. Other than that, the rules for the debate are up to the two of you to decide, and are not determined by the forum or the forum moderators. The mods will not interfere with the debate, just so long as the general rules of the forum are obeyed (ie, regarding profanity or spamming).

    I know I'm a complete stranger, so I'm not sure if it means anything, but I will say that my experience on TWeb has been quite positive, despite the fact that I am an avowed non-believer. I've found the moderators to be fair and irenic in their operation, and I've never had any of my posts edited, emended, or removed even though the content has often been in direct opposition to the beliefs which those mods hold.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every hidden truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    tWebber Irate Canadian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I'm a little confused. You said this was just you and me on neutral ground. Why are moderators involved? Are there "debate rules" that I must follow or the moderators will delete my comments? I am not a professional debater. I don't know the "rules" of debating. My original proposition is that one does not need a PhD to know the Bible is false when it makes supernatural claims such as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. I am willing to discuss the evidence for these supernatural claims and let the readers decide who "wins". If this is a formal debate, I need to read the rules first. Where are they and how do I know the moderators are unbiased?
    If I remember correctly, the order of debates is that you have your opening statements, your rebuttals, and a closing statement respectively.
    "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
    -Unknown

    "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


    I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I support the :

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    Ok. I'll take the plunge. However, Nick, if there are other "debate rules" please bring them up now.

    Nick, I don't want you to go to a lot of trouble making your opening statement and then be disappointed or angry with my response to it, so let me bring this up at the beginning. I am not going to research every point you make. If it is an issue that I feel warrants research and investigation, I will do so. However, if one of your points seems irrelevant to me, I will ignore it, or respond with "so what". For instance: You seem to believe that it is very important for me to know that from the very beginning, early Christians had a high Christology, proving that something really dramatic had to have happened for first century Jews to come to this belief. My response will be: "So what. A few Galilean Jewish peasants came to believe that their traveling rabbi was the Son of God. Unusual, but still within the realm of natural events. This belief does not require a supernatural act to have occurred."

    This may irritate you that I am not willing to provide evidence to prove that 1.) the earliest Christians did NOT believe Jesus was the Son of God, or, 2.) that it is possible that at least a few first century Jews could be convinced to believe a man can be the Son of God or even God himself.

    My point is, that I don't have to prove this to you. I only have to demonstrate to you that a small group of first century Jews believing a dead man has been resurrected and is now Yahweh is more PROBABLE than that his dead flesh was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern god. My belief in what is real and what is superstition is based on probabilities of the claim being true, based on the evidence available and based on past human experience with such claims. Bottom line: you cannot prove with 100% certainty that a few first century Jews would not believe this story unless they had really seen a reanimated dead man. That's my point.

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Ok. I'll take the plunge. However, Nick, if there are other "debate rules" please bring them up now.

    Nick, I don't want you to go to a lot of trouble making your opening statement and then be disappointed or angry with my response to it, so let me bring this up at the beginning. I am not going to research every point you make. If it is an issue that I feel warrants research and investigation, I will do so. However, if one of your points seems irrelevant to me, I will ignore it, or respond with "so what". For instance: You seem to believe that it is very important for me to know that from the very beginning, early Christians had a high Christology, proving that something really dramatic had to have happened for first century Jews to come to this belief. My response will be: "So what. A few Galilean Jewish peasants came to believe that their traveling rabbi was the Son of God. Unusual, but still within the realm of natural events. This belief does not require a supernatural act to have occurred."

    This may irritate you that I am not willing to provide evidence to prove that 1.) the earliest Christians did NOT believe Jesus was the Son of God, or, 2.) that it is possible that at least a few first century Jews could be convinced to believe a man can be the Son of God or even God himself.

    My point is, that I don't have to prove this to you. I only have to demonstrate to you that a small group of first century Jews believing a dead man has been resurrected and is now Yahweh is more PROBABLE than that his dead flesh was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern god. My belief in what is real and what is superstition is based on probabilities of the claim being true, based on the evidence available and based on past human experience with such claims. Bottom line: you cannot prove with 100% certainty that a few first century Jews would not believe this story unless they had really seen a reanimated dead man. That's my point.
    Historians don't go with 100% certainty. We go with reasonable probability. I cannot prove with 100% certainty that Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March, but I am certain it happened.

    Mods. If there are any points I left out for preparation, please say them now. Until then, if this gets started, I will post an opening argument tomorrow.

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    I'll set up the debate thread and comment threads shortly and will post links to both here.

    The Debate thread is set up and ready to go here - http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...hoenix-vs-Gary

    Comment thread is here - http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...hoenix-vs-Gary

    Remember, Only Debate participant are allowed to post in the debate thread and Debate participants are forbidden to post or respond to comments in the commentary thread.

    Good luck gentlemen. Whomever is going first may now post his opening.
    Last edited by Littlejoe; 07-20-2015 at 01:42 PM.
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