Video of debate with Bill Victor.

Here’s the debate I did in Springfield, MO a few weeks ago at the Baptist Student Union against Bill Victor.  It was over whether or not we should believe in the resurrection of Jesus, so much of my opening is taken from Richard Carrier.

For the moment that reminds me why I do what I do for a living, click here.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Tod Spindloe

    can’t go far wrong if you’ follow Richard Carrier’s reasoning, that guy is amazing! His video why the gospels are a myth is fantastic!.. anyway, ta for posting the vid, I’ve been waiting for it as much as Iron Man 3 :)

  • SansDeus

    Looks like the camera person is bored about 5 minutes in. Or they didn’t care about hearing your part J.T. :
    Also some of your time seems to be missing as the audio/video skips.

    • Rhubarb The Bear

      Seconded… they seem to be fascinated with that bottled water.

  • Glodson

    It was over whether or not we should believe in the resurrection of Jesus…

    This is just an educated guess, so stop me if I’m mistaken, but I’m guessing you went with a no type of response. I know, I am tots out on a limb here.

  • watcher_b

    I’m at work, so I only saw the clip where you asked “if God told you to kill me, would you?”

    I’ve been thinking on a different track with that question, and Bill touched on what I’ve been thinking. There is a certain level of evidence that Bill, I assume, requires in order to be sure that God in fact wants him to kill someone. He does Not require that same level of evidence in order for him to devote his entire life in service and worship to this same being.

    If anyone were to demand my undying devotion and service I would require an impossible amount of evidence in order to convince me to do so.

    • Jasper

      I wouldn’t care if it was God or not ordering me to do something like that. I’d demand due process… because who knows if I’m being trick

      • watcher_b

        that’s exactly what I’m saying. You require due process because you demand a particular kind of evidence presented in a particular kind of way. Same with Bill, it seems, in the video. He would require certain evidence that it was in fact “God” telling him to do this murder. Why doesn’t Bill require the same kind of evidence, at the very least, when it comes to devotion, service, and worship?

    • Gehennah

      I’ve asked a Christian the same thing before in a debate, and he flat out told me yes he would. So I asked if he’d kill a small child, he said, yes. So I asked if he’d kill his own child, and he said yes. Then I asked how much evidence would be required, he said he’d have to be told be god. The scary thing about this is that he claimed god talked to him all of the time.

  • Compuholic

    Bill seems to be a nice guy. But did I hear you say that he is an academic and has a doctorate? Shit like that scares the hell out of me. One can only hope that he is employing more refined reasoning and skepticism in his academic writings.

  • John Eberhard

    Oh, Son….can you spell a-b-a-t-t-o-i-r?

    • Glodson

      Well, he can now.

  • baal

    The middle kanji is ze/kore (rightness). What are the other 2?

    • neatospiderplant

      Hey! I wasn’t the only one trying to figure that out. I think the bottom part of the one on the right is friend, but with the glare, I can’t see the top of it.

    • Glodson

      Is that the character over JT’s head?

      • baal

        It is.

        I’m sure were the kanji printed on the water bottle, the glare wouldn’t be an issue.

    • neatospiderplant

      Could the one on the left be god? Again, I can’t be sure with the glare. If so, then hey, I found god!

  • Park James

    JT, you actually made me feel bad for the guy when you asked him if he would kill you by God’s command. I didn’t know I was capable of that feeling towards a theist embarrassing themselves. Thanks, I guess…

    • Katet

      I had exactly the same reaction. I don’t know if you were there, but the tension in the room was palpable.

      It was clear that he hadn’t done much debating, or else he would have done the typical theist stutter-shuffle around the question. I was just amazed he managed to step in it that hard.

      • Rain

        Yep he seemed much less sociopathic than your typical baloney enthusiast. Seemed like a nice feller. Sadly if he expects to be a star on the baloney-peddling circuit then he must learn to be more of an obnoxious a-hole.

      • Park James

        Yea, a more experienced debater would have acted all incredulous, offered some type of non answer, and then asked JT a question about some obscure theological writings. At least that’s what William Lane Craig would do.

  • Tod Spindloe

    50 mins in the question of why was the account of the empty tomb not contested by romans or others.. Richard and others answered this pretty convincingly by the dates that the gospels started to be widely dissiminated, ie 70 a.d ish.. 35+ years after the event, who is going to still be able to challenge events that late afterwards..

  • Rain

    Bill Victor has a blog and his take on the debate. And some of the comments on there are interesting too.

    (I had seen that blog before, but I wasn’t 100% sure if it was Mr. Victor or not.)

    • Tod Spindloe

      it’s interesting to note his reaction, he realises JT gave very strong points, but later on thought of counter points… What he doesn’t realise is JT has responses to those counter points as well as seen from previous debates/correspondence.. But at this moment in time he is still able to believe his world view is coherent.. If he does continue the apologetics line, as Rain has noted he will either be forced to acknowledge the lack of evidence after all or move down the reality denial route already being trod by his apologetic predecessors..

  • Onyx Ony (Just Ony)

    Havent read the comments since I’m still not done watching the vid….. But who taped this? It’s like theres a prank at play to get you to drink the water… pun pun pun but seriously! Its like theyre trying to make you look bad/distract the viewer from your points(im only 15mins in, forgive me if it gets better).

  • Gehennah

    I gotta say I did enjoy watching Bill squirm when the first question about why didn’t anyone else notice all of the saints coming back.