I recently listened to a 2.5 hour-long debate between two scholars, Richard Carrier and Mike Licona, which alerted me to the fact that Jesus' Resurrection is regarded, at least to Christian apologists, to be very central to the Christian faith (here's an unsatisfactory review). I became far more impressed with Richard's performance than Mike's:
- Mike was the only one who displayed some arrogance (a silly joke here and a chuckle there, unsuccessfully forcing his opponent to use the word delusion instead of hallucination, etc.).
- Richard was more convincing (and the knowledge he displayed of this topic is mind-numbing).
- He was more clear with his arguments.
- He was seemingly more prepared (his opponent probably thought he was going to be a walkover).
- Mike was a bit embarrassing at times when mentioning The Passion of Christ, especially the time when he was praising Jesus (I cringed a bit there), and Richard, by the way, ignored references to that movie.
Based on these points, I vote for Richard as the winner, with the disclaimer that the latter part of the debate was getting too technical for me to follow thoroughly.
- See Luke Muehlhauser's well-argued take on the issue of the Resurrection.
- Luke's blog, Common Sense Atheism (praise), apparently has the largest collection of links to atheist vs theist debates and is therefore a great resource.