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Thread: Richard Carrier’s “On the Historicity of Jesus” now out

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    Richard Carrier’s “On the Historicity of Jesus” now out

    Which you can find on Amazon.

    Initial reviews are quite favorable, although it looks like a couple of the reviews and mostly comments are few rabid Christian apologists that have showed up to show their distaste in this book, with some obviously never having read it. I finally finished it myself, and think Carrier really did a great job with it.

    I hope others will find the book to their liking, and if so, give it the favorable ratings you think it deserves.

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    Veteran Member tupac chopra's Avatar
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    I've had one interaction with him online about one or two points and found him very likable and open enough to change his mind rather than digging his heels in. Which is rare online haha But , I can't help laughing when I read this, from a review
    Finally in conclusion he brings all his probabilities together and concludes that Jesus had at best a 32% chance of existing

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    He was involved with Infidels.org back in the day. Interesting, for the first time in history since I first interacted with the community here, the discussion forums are not listed in the electronic resources section over at infidels.org

    Can't recall if this is purposeful or not?

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    I still read quite a bit from the Secular Web. Not sure why they divided it up.

    I think Carrier said he put in ten years of research on this book, and it shows. I really enjoyed reading it. To be able to weigh all of the evidence he brings up, one has to retain a lot, or plan on spending more time rereading parts of the NT again to see if it makes more sense with what Carrier shares, but it's still not hard to get the points he is making. I’m looking forward to what mainstream scholars have to say about it.

    Plenty of debate going on in the comment sections at Amazon with this book, mostly with this Christian apologist named David Marshall who has one of the shittiest dispositions I have ever seen. Picture J.P. Holding's twin. He pretty much lives on Amazon, he has given out 150 reviews of books, often promoting his blog in the process or the few books he has out on apologetics, and must have wrote thousands in the comments sections.

    He asked Richard Carrier if he would debate him on if the Christian faith being reasonable. I was surprised that Carrier would waste time on somebody like him. But I’m so glad he did. How he used his germ theory argument in the opening was as brilliant as it gets. After Marshall finishes his opening script which wasn’t all that good of an opening, he slowly starts falling apart, especially in the Q&A section that followed. I counted about three times he had that deer in the headlight look just in the Q&A alone, one time his jaw was literally wide open when it came to a question about C.S. Lewis, and repeatedly had to keep asking what the question was and with Carrier helping him with that too. At least Marshall pretended to be friendly there, unlike what you see on most of his blog or on Amazon. The comment section on youtube was also hilarious. David Marshall spent time in the comment section there too, trying to do damage control, but as one commented, Carrier wiped the floor with him which was pretty much the sentiment of all.

    Is the Christian Faith Reasonable?

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    I don't know about that, the first thing that DM postulates is pretty much a given. The Christian faith is pragmatic. For those who use it for a sense of peace, and understand it, it works. For those who enjoy arguing against religion, it works. In fact, for either group, it is a pragmatic thing.

    The arguers have plenty of little nitpicky things to argue about, which really don't impinge upon the faith itself. The faithful enjoy the sense of well being the faith provides. In fact, you can be faithful, and an arguer, and ignore certain precepts of the faith. Or you can hate the faith, because of some imagined slight, and argue against its various built in inconsistencies (put there by God so you have something to pick away at like a Turkey on Thanksgiving).

    So it serves its purpose. A smorgasbord of ideas, that may be picked away at by either side, and as long as you don't bite a server, you'll enjoy your meal. Which reminds me, I think Mageth has a response for this (remember it from the old board, although I don't remember the response).

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    Certainly believers and nonbelievers have a different set of pragmatic parameters each are working from. What each group considers good evidence is one of the main things that separates believes and non-believers. Believers tend to be more easily swayed by good story telling, power of suggestion, fallacious arguments, personal testimonials, hearsay, peer pressure, etc. This is good evidence to them. Non-believers can be venerable to such things too, but tend to give it a more skeptical look, will often seek out the sciences more, and want and seek out harder evidence before one generally commits to it being more probably true than not.

    With Christian faith giving them peace of mind and is pragmatic in that sense, I have no doubt that many get comfort from their faith, what many may consider as nothing more than a placebo effect, but not sure if it is any more than any other religion, so there is no more reason to accept that the Christian faith is the most reasonable for that reason which was what the debate was supposed to be about, let alone it being true. For many Christians that still believe in a fiery hell surely that also causes a nocebo effect.

    Religion, if practiced in moderation isn’t such a bad thing, I don’t think. Especially if they don’t take it too seriously, but many kind of had to screw it all up by getting it organized, causing divisions, and many of the negative effects we see of it today which seem to far outweigh any placebo effect some may benefit out of it.

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    Believers tend to be more easily swayed by good story telling, power of suggestion, fallacious arguments, personal testimonials, hearsay, peer pressure, etc. This is good evidence to them.
    The above statement often applies to a certain subclass of believers who are caught up in the polarized thoughts of their peer group of fellow religiophobes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    Non-believers can be venerable to such things too, but tend to give it a more skeptical look, will often seek out the sciences more, and want and seek out harder evidence before one generally commits to it being more probably true than not.
    The more intellectually mature among non-believers do believe in confirming various things, and believe in the scientific method as a process of ascertaining whether or not something is true about nature. I've also run across non-believers who make wild claims without bothering to check on their claims, or analyze their claims for inconsistencies.

    Now, I've considered that they may simply be joking, but I was on the vehement, hate filled, anti-religious side of the line for many years, so while it may be a joke to some, it is not to me, because I remember how bad it felt to hate and fear religion. I also remember making many of the same illogical claims, that are not based on reality, that many individuals in the position I used to be in still make today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    Religion, if practiced in moderation isn’t such a bad thing, I don’t think. Especially if they don’t take it too seriously, but many kind of had to screw it all up by getting it organized, causing divisions, and many of the negative effects we see of it today which seem to far outweigh any placebo effect some may benefit out of it.
    I said the same in the past, but the cause is not religion, it is man (well, and God...). Stalin and Mao did not attribute their acts to religion and they managed to accomplish plenty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharakov View Post
    The above statement often applies to a certain subclass of believers who are caught up in the polarized thoughts of their peer group of fellow religiophobes.
    What believer isn’t a part of that subclass especially when they believe in the supernatural? Believe in that, what other false belief system would they be open too? When you look at poll numbers of Creationism in America about 40% indicate a literal belief in it with them also believing in a young earth. About 70% still believe in a literal fiery hell. What do you think inspires them to think like this?

    I said the same in the past, but the cause is not religion, it is man (well, and God...). Stalin and Mao did not attribute their acts to religion and they managed to accomplish plenty.
    You can say man is responsible for a lot of things, but religion is an important tool to get many people to do both good and bad. It is also easier in getting them to believe in many other falsehoods, especially when promises of heaven or fear of hell are attached to the equation. Atheism is not near as an effective tool and no promise of many virgins in the next life is going to get them all worked up to believe and do all sorts of crazy stuff. Speak out against Islam in certain Islamic states under sharia law and see how many go completely off their rocker.

    The more intellectually mature among non-believers do believe in confirming various things, and believe in the scientific method as a process of ascertaining whether or not something is true about nature. I've also run across non-believers who make wild claims without bothering to check on their claims, or analyze their claims for inconsistencies.

    Now, I've considered that they may simply be joking, but I was on the vehement, hate filled, anti-religious side of the line for many years, so while it may be a joke to some, it is not to me, because I remember how bad it felt to hate and fear religion. I also remember making many of the same illogical claims, that are not based on reality, that many individuals in the position I used to be in still make today.
    You don’t think that with Creationists, and what they say and believe in must be joking? I think many atheists who were once formally believers often do go through a militant stage, especially when they start discovering how much of what they were taught that was supposedly the truth was actually based on falsehoods. But still what many consider militant is actually quite mild, and simply are those that enjoy good arguments. Many religious folk are going to take umbrage, no matter how gentle you are simply by just having a different opinion. I know Einstein didn’t particularly care for the crusading atheist, but in today’s climate with all that is going on, I’ve often wondered if he wouldn’t have become more outspoken on such matters himself.

    DM in the debate used miracles still occurring today as to why his belief in Christianity was rationale. No mention if the kind of biblical miracles are still occurring today, and he certainly lowered the scale of what he considered such to make it look like Christianity was being reasonable.

    And since DM didn’t address Carrier’s germ theory, if Jesus was who he was, why couldn’t have Jesus mentioned and explained that to save far more people, than the few isolated cases of supernatural miracles he displayed to save a few? Germs were responsible for half of all deaths in children during those times. Today in America, it is less than 1 in 1,000. This would have been a good time for Jesus to have brought this up if he was who he said he was. Or do we, just accept these stories as having some figurative or allegorical meaning instead of literally happening, although this isn’t the case with DM, and therefore makes it less reasonable.

    I’ve learned no matter how gentle the speaker is, even if it was the late Carl Sagan or now Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting Cosmos, if you want to see hate filled vehement diatribes, look at the responses coming from conservatives about that show. To say nothing of bringing up the theory of evolution and see how they react to it. At what point do you think the placebo effect is no longer working or its positive effects of giving them some kind of euphoric state don’t outweigh all of the negations that a false belief system brings into the equation?

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    Veteran Member credoconsolans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    I still read quite a bit from the Secular Web. Not sure why they divided it up.

    I think Carrier said he put in ten years of research on this book, and it shows. I really enjoyed reading it. To be able to weigh all of the evidence he brings up, one has to retain a lot, or plan on spending more time rereading parts of the NT again to see if it makes more sense with what Carrier shares, but it's still not hard to get the points he is making. I’m looking forward to what mainstream scholars have to say about it.

    Plenty of debate going on in the comment sections at Amazon with this book, mostly with this Christian apologist named David Marshall who has one of the shittiest dispositions I have ever seen. Picture J.P. Holding's twin. He pretty much lives on Amazon, he has given out 150 reviews of books, often promoting his blog in the process or the few books he has out on apologetics, and must have wrote thousands in the comments sections.

    He asked Richard Carrier if he would debate him on if the Christian faith being reasonable. I was surprised that Carrier would waste time on somebody like him. But I’m so glad he did. How he used his germ theory argument in the opening was as brilliant as it gets. After Marshall finishes his opening script which wasn’t all that good of an opening, he slowly starts falling apart, especially in the Q&A section that followed. I counted about three times he had that deer in the headlight look just in the Q&A alone, one time his jaw was literally wide open when it came to a question about C.S. Lewis, and repeatedly had to keep asking what the question was and with Carrier helping him with that too. At least Marshall pretended to be friendly there, unlike what you see on most of his blog or on Amazon. The comment section on youtube was also hilarious. David Marshall spent time in the comment section there too, trying to do damage control, but as one commented, Carrier wiped the floor with him which was pretty much the sentiment of all.

    Is the Christian Faith Reasonable?
    After you posted your original OP, I went to Amazon to put the book on my wishlist and saw DM's review. He's very disingenuous and an out and out liar.

    You can easily see Carrier wash the floor with him, but as Carrier himself commented, DM refused to accept he'd lost and instead goes around telling people he won. Carrier shouldn't bother to give this loser the time of day, but he has to confront him, lest people actually believe in Marshall's lies.

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    When you look at poll numbers of Creationism in America about 40% indicate a literal belief in it with them also believing in a young earth. About 70% still believe in a literal fiery hell. What do you think inspires them to think like this?
    God? Although you should say "who" not "what" when referring to a being.

    You know, I read all this crazy stuff about creationists in America on these forums. And...well, I don't think I've ever actually meet a person who says evolution isn't real anywhere else but in these forums (someone playing the heel, to make learning about evolution fun- God made evolution, so it's fucking cool). Wait- that's not true, this one hot girl I knew was super into Jesus for a couple of months, but I could never really tell if she was pulling my leg or not- she was fun to talk to because she was hot, and she got pretty drunk and she's a close talker, so she basically, ahh hell, she's lovable. Anyway..

    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    You can say man is responsible for a lot of things, but religion is an important tool to get many people to do both good and bad. It is also easier in getting them to believe in many other falsehoods, especially when promises of heaven or fear of hell are attached to the equation.
    Peer groups are an important tool to get people to do good and bad. When people are formed into groups of like minded people, guess what? Group behaviors are magnified. If a whole bunch of the people like raping donkeys, it's going to be part of the code of the group. Doesn't matter if it is an atheist peer group that hates religions, or a religious peer group that hates gays, it's the peer group mentality. Although I really don't recall feeling that much hatred in my life, except when I feared something evil was going to control me. Which might be fun. But at the time... anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    Atheism is not near as an effective tool and no promise of many virgins in the next life is going to get them all worked up to believe and do all sorts of crazy stuff.
    Yeah, atheists just get all worked up about things that obviously are destroying the fabric of society.. Ohh, wait, religions have held people together. So... uummm....

    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    You don’t think that with Creationists, and what they say and believe in must be joking?
    What, a YEC? I'm not advocating the Omphalos hypothesis, but there is absolutely no evidence that the universe wasn't created at some point in the more recent past, booted up from a back up, or whatever.

    Now, 13.8 billion years sounds a little cooler, and I like the stellar evolution stories, etc. I don't know that the whole universe didn't get created with an intact history 60 years ago. I just don't- and there is no way I can tell, although I tend to believe the 13.8 billion year date... because I fucking like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    DM in the debate used miracles still occurring today as to why his belief in Christianity was rationale. No mention if the kind of biblical miracles are still occurring today, and he certainly lowered the scale of what he considered such to make it look like Christianity was being reasonable.
    Yeah, I didn't feel like watching the whole thing. I'd rather read the transcript? Take 1/10th the time. People talk too damn slow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    And since DM didn’t address Carrier’s germ theory, if Jesus was who he was, why couldn’t have Jesus mentioned and explained that to save far more people, than the few isolated cases of supernatural miracles he displayed to save a few? Germs were responsible for half of all deaths in children during those times. Today in America, it is less than 1 in 1,000.
    Watch Monk. That's why (well maybe, I have no clue, and don't speak for God, Jesus, or Plato in this matter).
    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    To say nothing of bringing up the theory of evolution and see how they react to it.
    Once again, don't know if I've ever actually meet someone (in person) who didn't think evolution had at least a bit of truthiness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
    At what point do you think the placebo effect is no longer working or its positive effects of giving them some kind of euphoric state don’t outweigh all of the negations that a false belief system brings into the equation?
    Hmm, well, my belief system, and I acknowledge that I don't know with 100% certitude that it is God, revolves around me being a created being of some sorts. My life is a bit too planned out for me to deny that- and it's not like anyone is getting anything except for love out of me. Although I'll help people out with stuff, and whatever. So... and I feel pretty euphoric at times.

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