Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
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11-06-2015, 02:19 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 02:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  True, but indirectly many of Carrier's point are addressed in that video ... it's one of the interesting things about it that they seem to agree about some things.

I can concur as I have heard Price agree with many of Carrier's assertions on multiple occasions in his podcast "The Bible Geek."

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11-06-2015, 02:22 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
I can't remember the link on youtube but Ehrman was giving an interview where he was asked whether he would debate Carrier or Price. He basically said that Carrier is a dick because he attacked him personally and he is not interested in debating him but Price he would be OK with. I would love to see those two discuss it. Seth had Price and Carrier on the podcast a while ago and they were both disappointed with Did Jesus Exist? This was a good podcast.




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11-06-2015, 02:24 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
Quote:Bart Ehrman addresses some of Carrier's claims


I noted that Price mentioned an exact criticism of Ehrman that I've made before...although Price was more polite about it.

( I've said that Ehrman has spent a career trashing the validity of what we have in the way of xtian bullshit but now acts like he has been pissing in a small pond and says "it's okay - I found a clean spot for you to drink from!" Sorry, Bart. No sale.)

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11-06-2015, 02:44 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 02:22 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  ...
This was a good podcast.




Probably my favourite of Seth's podcasts.

They're all having so much fun.

Smile

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12-06-2015, 09:30 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
Thank you all for remaining within the spirit of the question. I was terrified to even post this thread because of the rabid reaction of certain people (elsewhere) to the mythicist "debate." I have been compared to a 9/11 Truther and a Holocaust Denier for merely finding the subject interesting and keeping an open mind about it.

Mythicism jerked me out of theism, so I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for it. But that doesn't make it true or accurate. I am not a mythicist in the sense of being sure Jesus never existed at all. But I do believe the historicists doth protest too much regarding the quality of their evidence. The problem is, the historicists have the experts on their side. The overwhelming majority of experts. The suffocating majority of experts. And they are, without a doubt, MUCH better qualified to evaluate the evidence than I am. So I have to confess that my belief regarding the quality of their evidence is at best ill-informed.

I'm seeking to improve my knowledge of the evidence. I read Carrier's book because the subject and the argument entertains me. Do I think he succeeded in making an ironclad case for mythicism? No. Do I think his case is as strong as he concludes in his book? Again, no. Am I qualified to dispute him? No. BUT, the experts who ARE qualified to rebut his argument, I trust, will do so.

I don't know if my ambivalence is coming through. What I am tired of is the quick descent into personal insult leveled at me just for being ambivalent.

For now I trust the overwhelming consensus of the experts. Whether I am right or wrong to do so is inconsequential: There IS a Jesus of Myth. That is not even in question. The only question is whether there was a Jesus of history. On that, I guess you could call me an agnostic historicist. I believe there was. But I don't claim to know it. Certainly not with the confidence of Bart Ehrman, whose book on the subject struck me as amateurish. It's something I could have thrown together (and if it's something I could have thrown together, then it's not good enough).

My opinion.

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12-06-2015, 09:49 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(12-06-2015 09:30 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  There IS a Jesus of Myth. That is not even in question. The only question is whether there was a Jesus of history. On that, I guess you could call me an agnostic historicist. I believe there was. But I don't claim to know it.

You summed up my thoughts pretty well, although I'd say I'm just slightly on the other side of the fence. I think there probably wasn't a historical Jesus, but I'm also waiting for the experts to evaluate Carrier's (and other) arguments. My impression is that the historical consensus that Jesus did exist is based at least as much on tradition as evidence and that the stories, like much of the bible, borrowed bits and pieces from other legends to create the character so either conclusion is possible.

I find the question very interesting and certainly far from settled. I do think it'll be a few years yet before significant scholarly rebuttal to Carrier's book surface. Any historian worth listening to is going to take time to really research the question.

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12-06-2015, 10:12 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(12-06-2015 09:30 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Thank you all for remaining within the spirit of the question. I was terrified to even post this thread because of the rabid reaction of certain people (elsewhere) to the mythicist "debate." I have been compared to a 9/11 Truther and a Holocaust Denier for merely finding the subject interesting and keeping an open mind about it.

Mythicism jerked me out of theism, so I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for it. But that doesn't make it true or accurate. I am not a mythicist in the sense of being sure Jesus never existed at all. But I do believe the historicists doth protest too much regarding the quality of their evidence. The problem is, the historicists have the experts on their side. The overwhelming majority of experts. The suffocating majority of experts. And they are, without a doubt, MUCH better qualified to evaluate the evidence than I am. So I have to confess that my belief regarding the quality of their evidence is at best ill-informed.

I'm seeking to improve my knowledge of the evidence. I read Carrier's book because the subject and the argument entertains me. Do I think he succeeded in making an ironclad case for mythicism? No. Do I think his case is as strong as he concludes in his book? Again, no. Am I qualified to dispute him? No. BUT, the experts who ARE qualified to rebut his argument, I trust, will do so.

I don't know if my ambivalence is coming through. What I am tired of is the quick descent into personal insult leveled at me just for being ambivalent.

For now I trust the overwhelming consensus of the experts. Whether I am right or wrong to do so is inconsequential: There IS a Jesus of Myth. That is not even in question. The only question is whether there was a Jesus of history. On that, I guess you could call me an agnostic historicist. I believe there was. But I don't claim to know it. Certainly not with the confidence of Bart Ehrman, whose book on the subject struck me as amateurish. It's something I could have thrown together (and if it's something I could have thrown together, then it's not good enough).

My opinion.

Have you read any other authors on the subject besides Carrier? If I am to assume that you haven't I would suggest both Earl Dougherty's "The Jesus Puzzle" and also Robert M. Price's "The Christ Myth Theory and it's Problems. Thumbsup

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12-06-2015, 11:11 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
I read the Christ Myth Theory and Its Problems. I may look at the other book.

One place where I think the mythicist argument falls apart, irretrievably, is Paul's reference to James as "the brother of the Lord." To use Carrier's terminology, I think that reference is 100 percent probable on minimal historicity and 0 percent probable on minimal mythicism. That alone should settle the issue. I just don't see any way around it.

But again, me = layman. Not qualified to argue either way.

Thank you all for the reasonable estimate of when we'll see expert rebuttals.

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12-06-2015, 11:19 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(12-06-2015 11:11 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  One place where I think the mythicist argument falls apart, irretrievably, is Paul's reference to James as "the brother of the Lord." To use Carrier's terminology, I think that reference is 100 percent probable on minimal historicity and 0 percent probable on minimal mythicism. That alone should settle the issue. I just don't see any way around it.

You don't put any creedence in the fictive kinship argument? It is common today for Christians to call each other "brothers and sisters in Christ" and if that kind of language was used at the time then calling James the brother of the Lord is possible under mythicism. Carrier argues that that is what was meant and, from what I (also as a layman) understand of his claim, I'd give it at least a small percentage.

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12-06-2015, 11:52 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
Quote: But I do believe the historicists doth protest too much regarding the quality of their evidence.


I keep asking what that evidence is and all I ever hear in reply is pious bleating about the fucking bible.

What Carrier has done is exhaustively critique the sources that they claim are so important and rip them to shreds. I'm less impressed with his Bayes Theorem shit, probably because I always hated math but that's on me, not Carrier.

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