Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Craig v Cavin Jesus's Twin BEST CHECK

This debate ( audio | 1h33m20s ) is the earliest debate on the res that I have heard Craig participate in. In took place at UCI in 1995 and Craig's opponent was Robert Greg Cavin.

4 stars. BEST CHECK

PhilVaz 3/5
CSA review: bad

I should mention that the title is misleading, kinda. This was a regular resurrection debate but the difference is that Cavin I guess, is known for upholding a theory that Jesus had a twin that impersonated his brother after his death.

Craig does eventually use his usual arguments but does a few things different. This debate is almost 20 years old so that could account for this but Cavin does defend a pretty novel argument and agrees with 3 of the "facts" Craig usually brings out. One change is that he does a more thorough challenge against Bayesian probability, though it is actually pretty weak. He also significantly fleshes out his historical criteria he uses from McCullough, which others have argued is dishonest of Craig. He also pokes fun at the twin theory by calling it the Dave Theory after a movie where a body-double named Dave becomes the President when the pres is put in a coma.

Cavin doesn't really completely rely on the twin theory. It seems like it is just a more elaborate thought experiment that is supposed to be kind of weird in order to emphasize the point that something as bizarre as Jesus having an unknown twin who impersonated his brother after his death is still more probable than someone rising from the dead. Cavin doesn't do that great of a job making this explicit but he does do a good job on a couple of things that I would like to see others do in a debate against Craig on the res: he really deflates Craig's arguments about not using Bayes Theorem in history, pointing out that Craig does not address this and keeps arguing against him as if he is still using BT, using more interesting arguments against the resurrection.

Continuing from what I mentioned above, Cavin brings up the super powers that Jesus possesses after he resurrects and the possibility that Craig needs to explain how the laws of thermodynamics could be suspended and other issues of probability usage that can be applied to historical research. Like Luke says in his review of the debate, Cavin does a good job of pointing out how Craig only dismisses and weakly argues against these particular arguments, which show Craig's position to be completely ad-hoc.

But alas, Craig just got away with too much stuff or Cavin just didn't nail him as thoroughly as I'd like on some of his BS. One thing I think Cavin coulda done has to do with his own twin theory. Craig argues that the narrative of the bible doesn't allow for Jesus to be switched as a baby because he was born in a manger and this is documented. Cavin responded to this and I won't recount it here but the response I wish he gave certainly relies on the fact that I have hindsight and have seen Craig's later debates so I don't blame Cavin for not taking it up: Craig has in several debates claimed that he doesn't argue against Biblical Inerrancy. But if he is gonna use it to counter Cavin's claim with the manger or counter the more general claim that Jesus had super powers after he rose then it is perfectly legit to call into question the accuracy of the NT.

I rated this debate so high because if features Craig using a slightly different framework, Cavin did a good job is showing the logical issues with Craig's case and presented a more-novel approach to this debate that I haven't seen from others.

Technical: Decent AQ. The people who recorded were probably on Craig's side because they would leave in the clapping after Craig's speeches but not the ones after Cavin's :P

A list of mini-reviews of Craig's debates can be found here! 

A list of mini-reviews of Craig's debates can be found here! 

1 comment:

Don't be a jerk!