How to Think about Historical Evidence about Anything, Part 1: The Credibility of Testimony

Note: So far as I know, no one working in New Testament scholarship, apologetics, counter-apologetics, or ancient history is applying the concepts in this blog post. As will soon become obvious, most of the ideas in this blog post are not mine, but if other people find these techniques useful, I would appreciate being given credit for the idea to apply them outside of their source discipline. 1. Schumian Framework for Decomposition of the Credibility of Testimony Suppose witness W testifies E* … [Read more...]

Why Nobody Should Believe that Jesus Rose from the Dead

First of all, extradordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but there is only weak evidence that Jesus rose from the dead:The evidence that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem and died on the cross on the same day he was crucified is weak. The evidence that Jesus was alive and walking around in Jerusalem less than 48 hours after he was crucified is weak. IF the evidence that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem and died on the cross on the same day he was crucified is weak and the e … [Read more...]

Response to William Lane Craig – Part 14

Here is my main objection to William Craig's case for the resurrection of Jesus:In order to prove that Jesus rose from the dead, one must first prove that Jesus died on the cross. But in most of William Craig's various books, articles, and debates, he simply ignores this issue. He makes no serious attempt to show that it is an historical fact that Jesus died on the cross.  For that reason, Craig's case for the resurrection is a complete failure.Here is WLC's main reply to my … [Read more...]

I Don’t Care – Part 6

Aquinas is often thought of as a rigourously logical and systematic thinker.  This is only half-true.  There is a good deal of vaguness, ambiguity, and illogical thinking in his book Summa Theologica, as far as I can see.Here is a cautionary note from a philosopher who is an expert on Aquinas:From the concept of God as ipsum esse subsistens, Thomas deduces certain other properties which must belong to God [i.e. in order to prove that "God", in the ordinary sense of the word, exists].  T … [Read more...]

I Don’t Care – Part 5

The famous Five Ways passage by Aquinas in Summa Theologica does not contain five arguments for the existence of God. Rather, it contains ZERO arguments for the existence of God.  There is actually only one argument for the existence of God in the Summa Theologica, and the reasoning in the Five Ways passage only represents a tiny piece of that very long and complicated argument.The Five Ways passage presents arguments for these five metaphysical claims:(MC1) There exists a UFC being.   … [Read more...]

Summary of the Craig-Price Debate on Jesus’ Resurrection (1999)

(Redated post originally published on 16 October 2011)This is yet another old debate summary from my archives. I'm not sure when I wrote this, but I'm guessing it was between 1999 and 2002.THE CRAIG-PRICE DEBATE: DID JESUS RISE FROM THE DEAD?The Veritas Forum Ohio State University, 1999Curiously, the audiocassettes do not mention Robert Price's name, or even a debate at all. Instead, the label on the tape reads, "Intellectual Foundations for Belief in Jesus Christ by William … [Read more...]

Response to William Lane Craig – Part 13

In Part 10, I argued that Robert Funk was not as certain about Jesus' death on the cross as Craig claims, and I pointed out that three of the seven groundrules proposed by Funk for investigation of the historical Jesus are skeptical in nature, showing that Funk has a generally skeptical view of the historical Jesus.In Part 11, I argued that Funk's specific skeptical beliefs about the Gospel of John imply that gospel to be completely unreliable, and that this by itself casts significant doubt … [Read more...]

Summary of the Craig-Parsons Debate, “Why I Am/Am Not a Christian”

(Redated post originally published on 14 October 2011)This is a repost of a debate summary I wrote a long time ago. (I think I wrote this in 1998.) While I tried to be accurate, I don't claim this summary is perfect. If anyone identifies any errors, omissions, or anything else that requires editing, please feedback alerting me so I can fix the summary accordingly.One thing you will notice is that I tried use a consistent numbering scheme throughout the different speeches, to make it … [Read more...]