First things first. Mike Licona seems like a nice enough guy, but he's obviously a bit of a nerd. I'm not knocking it. I have nerd tendencies. I'm an engineer. But his attempts at jokes are hard to listen to. I'm talking about his last debate with Ehrman. "Run Forrest!! Run!!" This is not funny, nor is his repeated use of this "There's a Jew an agnostic and a Christian...this is not a joke." He's getting polite laughter and nothing more.
OK, on to some substance. I like it when I hear a debate where the issue of the plausibility of a claim of resurrection comes up. Mike brought it up in his opening statement. He puts 3 facts on the table. They are 1-Jesus died by crucifixion, 2-the disciples had experiences where they thought they saw Jesus post mortem and 3-Paul likewise saw Jesus post mortem.
He then considers different explanations for these facts. One explanation would be hallucinations, but this seems implausible. The reason is that you can't share a hallucination with someone else. The authors of Hallucinations: The Science of Idiosyncratic Perception couldn't find much on shared hallucinations. Also licensed critical psychologist Gary Sipsey (sp?) says he looked at the professional literature for about 2 decades and couldn't find anything on it.
So next Mike compares this explanation to the resurrection hypothesis. There's nothing in the literature that says people rise from the dead, however it's not implausible like hallucinations because there's nothing that says resurrection can't occur. God could raise someone from the dead. So resurrection is more plausible than hallucinations, which find themselves in a negative position.
Somebody please explain to me how this makes any sense at all. Hallucinations are implausible because a couple of people say they couldn't find anything on it. But there's nothing on resurrections, yet they're not implausible. Is this not transparent double standards? If nothing in the literature makes hallucinations implausible, why doesn't it make resurrections implausible?
Well, God could make it happen, says Mike. God can make anything happen. God can make group hallucinations happen. God can make the Lions win. Nothing is implausible if "God can make it happen" is somehow relevant to the discussion.
The apologist says "Sure, Jesus rising from the dead naturally is implausible, but not Jesus rising supernaturally." Then my running 100m in 8 seconds is not implausible, because God could have intervened to make it happen. God could intervene to have you fly in a space ship, levitate, or leap across the Grand Canyon while simultaneously throwing 1000 stones at 1000 targets placed along the perimeter and hitting bullseye for each.
Face facts, Christians. The resurrection hypothesis is implausible. Doesn't mean it didn't happen. Doesn't necessarily means it's not knowable (in theory). But it's implausible. If you want to deny it then deny the nose on your face as well.