Sunday, August 13, 2006

Outstanding resource page for the trilemma

This resource page has the Davis original article that I recommended, the reply by Howard-Snyder, and the reply by Davis. So, contrary to what I had thought earlier, you can do your homework on this argument online.


John Sabatino said...

Thanks for the link, Victor. Davis was gracious in letting us host those. Prior to that, we were hesitant to even have the Trilemma as a category. If you know of any other analytic philosophers who have treated this argument (or any decent articles that you think we should link to), please shoot me an email. I think Mcgrew's article "Has Plantinga Refuted the Historical Argument?" might also be useful in considering Howard-Snyder's use of the dwindling probabilities argument.

Edward T. Babinski said...

The part played by biblical criticism is crucial concerning any "trilemma" argument, even moreso than the part played by those who begin by simply assuming "Jesus said he was God." [sic].

Take investigations of James D. G. Dunn, a moderate-liberal Christian, biblical theologian, and author of numerous acclaimed works. In his latest work, Jesus Remembered, Dunn argues that The Gospel of John's narrative is not reliable, nor the claims it makes for Jesus' quasi-divine status. (In his earlier work, Evidence for Jesus, Dunn didn't imagine that Jesus spoke even one word reported in John.) Dunn admits there is little to support the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke, and little evidence that Jesus supported a mission to the gentiles, and no evidence that Jesus saw himself as any kind of messiah. (The term does not even appear in Q.) Nor is there much left of the "Son of Man," except for a few uncertain eschatological allusions. Dunn argues that Jesus did not claim any title for himself. Jesus may have believed that he was going to die, but he did not believe he was dying to redeem the sins of the world. "If Jesus hoped for resurrection it was presumably to share in the general and final resurrection of the dead." There is astonishingly little support for what Jesus' last words were. Dunn admits that Jesus believed in an imminent eschatological climax that, of course, did not happen. "Putting it bluntly, Jesus was proved wrong by the course of events."

Victor Reppert said...

Ed: Your post here proves my point about critics of the argument that don't do their homework. Davis does not simply assume "Jesus said he was God." He provides arguments to the effect that Jesus made divine claims, and appeals to the works of the Jesus Seminar to support his position. Thank you for not paying attention.