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Old 05-26-2001, 02:14 PM   #21
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madmax: Well your certainly entitled to your opinion of course.

SWL: Thanks again, madmax. That's what I was sharing.

madmax: Naturally most of us will find that opinion worthless until such time as you actually back up your accusations in regards to Mr. Carrier.

SWL: Well, I really don't have the time to do point-by-point responses to Carrier's articles right now (but perhaps in the future). But, I'll note quickly - anyone who thinks a 2% historical probability makes for a 'very good chance' that an event occured as Carrier does in his recent article on the death of Jesus, is IMO wacky. He also makes an argument to the effect that: "the obvious symbolism of a stranger named Simon bearing the cross of Christ instead of Simon the disciple who thought he would bear that cross (8:34), is too elegant to be a historical fact)." But actually, John 8:34 says nothing of the sort concerning Simon.

There are many more areas where I think Carrier is sloppy - his erroneous claims as concerns a necessary (or even probable) contradiction between an alleged resurrection body composed of pneuma and the physical manifestations in the Gospels fails miserably in light of the fact that angelic beings, whose primary mode of existence was pneumatic, were concieved of as indistinguishable from humans time after time in manifestation on earth in Jewish tradition. And also the fact that Luke himself sees no contradiction between Paul's vision and his physical resurrection appearance accounts shows that he himself accepts that Christ can manifest in different forms post-res. I think Carrier's article "Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire", which was discussed extensively on another list I'm on, is puerile dreck for several reasons and when I get the time, if anyone's interested, I'll post them.

As concerns his article on BB cosmology, Victor Stenger (atheist physicist and Sec Web member) informed me in personal correspondence:

"He sent it to me for comments, but had a closed mind to all I said. He simply does not know what he is talking about. He does not know any physics or cosmology. He has not examined the latest literature, for example on the cosmic microwave background. His viewpoint is reminiscent of that of the anti-evolutionists. Find a few outsiders with degrees who express doubts and conclude that some great controversy exists that is being covered up. Well it's not the case with
evolution and not the case with the big bang."

SecWebLurker


 
Old 05-26-2001, 03:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SecWebLurker:
madmax: Well your certainly entitled to your opinion of course.

SWL: Thanks again, madmax. That's what I was sharing.

madmax: Naturally most of us will find that opinion worthless until such time as you actually back up your accusations in regards to Mr. Carrier.

SWL: Well, I really don't have the time to do point-by-point responses to Carrier's articles right now (but perhaps in the future). But, I'll note quickly - anyone who thinks a 2% historical probability makes for a 'very good chance' that an event occured as Carrier does in his recent article on the death of Jesus, is IMO wacky. He also makes an argument to the effect that: "the obvious symbolism of a stranger named Simon bearing the cross of Christ instead of Simon the disciple who thought he would bear that cross (8:34), is too elegant to be a historical fact)." But actually, John 8:34 says nothing of the sort concerning Simon.

There are many more areas where I think Carrier is sloppy - his erroneous claims as concerns a necessary (or even probable) contradiction between an alleged resurrection body composed of pneuma and the physical manifestations in the Gospels fails miserably in light of the fact that angelic beings, whose primary mode of existence was pneumatic, were concieved of as indistinguishable from humans time after time in manifestation on earth in Jewish tradition. And also the fact that Luke himself sees no contradiction between Paul's vision and his physical resurrection appearance accounts shows that he himself accepts that Christ can manifest in different forms post-res. I think Carrier's article "Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire", which was discussed extensively on another list I'm on, is puerile dreck for several reasons and when I get the time, if anyone's interested, I'll post them.

As concerns his article on BB cosmology, Victor Stenger (atheist physicist and Sec Web member) informed me in personal correspondence:

"He sent it to me for comments, but had a closed mind to all I said. He simply does not know what he is talking about. He does not know any physics or cosmology. He has not examined the latest literature, for example on the cosmic microwave background. His viewpoint is reminiscent of that of the anti-evolutionists. Find a few outsiders with degrees who express doubts and conclude that some great controversy exists that is being covered up. Well it's not the case with
evolution and not the case with the big bang."

SecWebLurker

</font>
Well perhaps I'll check out those writings of his more closely to see if your view of things matches what he has actually said in those instances. In the meantime I'll await the posting of whatever essays you wish to offer against Mr. Carrier's positions. I for one, don't believe that ANY historian is completely unassailable. History simply isn't a hard science. Its a field of maybe's and possibilities, not one of certainties.

As for the cosmology stuff, I'd have to look more into it, but it appears that Mr. Carrier doesn't have any credentials in that field so he may very well be outside his expertise when/if he speaks about it. It would depend on the context at hand.

Your original accusations however concerned his historical expertise so I would find all that to be irrelevant.




[This message has been edited by madmax2976 (edited May 26, 2001).]
 
Old 05-26-2001, 03:09 PM   #23
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Talking

I know, SWL. You're shocked, shocked to hear that a theist pissing on a freethinker is not terribly credible to a skeptic. And of course that's a generalization (good catch); as was the original remark to which it was directed.

[This message has been edited by JubalH (edited May 26, 2001).]
 
Old 05-26-2001, 03:19 PM   #24
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madmax: Well perhaps I'll check out those writings of his more closely to see if your view of things matches what he has actually said in those instances.

SWL: Feel free.

madmax: In the meantime I'll await the posting of whatever essays you wish to offer against Mr. Carrier's positions.

SWL: Sure thing, madmax. I definitely plan on rebutting his "Why I don't believe in the resurrection" essay after I finish my current research into the subject.

madmax: I for one, don't believe that ANY historian is completely unassailable.

SWL: I didn't say Carrier was "completely unassailable".

madmax: History simply isn't a hard science. Its a field of maybe's and possibilities, not one of certainties.

SWL: Here we agree.

madmax: As for the cosmology stuff, I'd have to look more into it, but it appears that Mr. Carrier doesn't have any credentials in that field so he may very well be outside his expertise when/if he speaks about it. It would depend on the context at hand.

Your original accusations however concerned his historical expertise so I would find all that to be irrelevant.

SWL: Not so. I stated: "Most of what I've read from him is very sloppy. He's more of an on-line apologist for freethinkerism than a serious historian or thinker."

SecWebLurker
 
Old 05-26-2001, 03:26 PM   #25
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JubalH: I know, SWL. You're shocked, shocked to hear that a theist pissing on a freethinker is not terribly credible to a skeptic. And of course that's a generalization (good catch); as was the original remark to which it was directed.

SWL: Hi Jubal. No, I don't think I was making any generalizations - just expressing my opinion. I wasn't for instance, judging anyone by my own experience of others who subscribe to their worldview (like some people in this thread). I don't think I'll be wasting any more space on this thread quibbling back and forth with you, but I will say that I think your "When its a freethinker vs. a theist, I take the side of the freethinker from the get-go" mentality is naive. Try to just look at the arguments...

Take care...

SecWebLurker

 
Old 05-26-2001, 03:49 PM   #26
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SecWebLurker: Your criticisms of Richard Carrier are harsh and attack not only his work but his character. Such accusations are very easy to do from the anonymity of a pseudonym. How rigorous is your own historical scholarship?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As concerns his article on BB cosmology, Victor Stenger (atheist physicist and Sec Web member) informed me in personal correspondence</font>
And who, precisely is Victor Stenger? Why are you repeating his personal correspondance? How can we be sure you're not taking his comments out of context? I know I am accused of "closed-mindedness" by many of my ow colleagues with whom I merely disagree. Harsh disagreements are common in academia, but an academic should be unafraid to attach his own name to his own criticism, and make his scholarly credentials public.

Larry Hamelin

[This message has been edited by SingleDad (edited May 26, 2001).]
 
Old 05-26-2001, 04:47 PM   #27
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Ah, SWL, the old no-more-to-discuss-but-I-get-the-last-word gambit. [Yawns]

Anyway, the mistake you make is assuming I don't read freethinkers critically. Untrue. For example, as I've said several times, I've not been close to convinced by Doherty, though I find him intriguing and don't dismiss the hypothesis out of hand.

But, back to the point under discussion. What you said was:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I don't consider him [Carrier] a serious historian (I wouldn't care if he had a PHd. which he probably will one day) because most of what I've read of his is just sloppy freethinkerism, as I said - much of it completely out of his field...</font>
If you don't understand why that's a generalization, I really can't help you.

As to why it's unfair criticism, others are doing a much better job on that (and know more about it) than I. Ignore me. Answer them. Or, better, apologize and move on.
 
Old 05-26-2001, 07:38 PM   #28
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SWL: Not so. I stated: "Most of what I've read from him is very sloppy. He's more of an on-line apologist for freethinkerism than a serious historian or thinker."

Its true that you did level more than one accusation at Mr. Carrier. However I dismissed the first slight ("very sloppy") as nothing more than your subjective opinion. It simply doesn't hold any weight. (Historical study can by its very nature be a "sloppy" business.)

The second accusation in regards to his historical expertise is more to the point and what I considered worthy of attention. Carrier does have degrees in historical studies so that would make this a more serious acccusation.
 
Old 05-26-2001, 10:09 PM   #29
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:

Its true that you did level more than one accusation at Mr. Carrier. However I dismissed the first slight ("very sloppy") as nothing more than your subjective opinion. It simply doesn't hold any weight. (Historical study can by its very nature be a "sloppy" business.)</font>
I suppose, since I am a theist, it should not come as a surprise that I do not find Carrier's work to be very convincing. That said, I have read some of Carrier's work, and I agree that he has been very sloppy in some of his statements, some of which are almost incomprehensible coming from a scholarly historian.

I will offer a couple of examples from my discussion of a review he did, From Review of the Bible Unearthed

First, Dever attacks the book for saying nothing new, yet he cites not even a single book aimed at "general readers" that advances a complete synthetic history of Israel based on key archaeology completed since the 1990's. There is none.

As I stated in my response to that review, what Carrier says here is simply false, and given that Carrier prides himself as an historian of antiquity his ignorance in this matter is quite astonishing. There are numerous popular books that have been written in the 1990's about ancient Israel and the Bible that do, in fact, take into account recent archeological finds. Further, these books directly refute many of the conclusions reached in The Bible Unearthed.

Next, he says:

First, books for laymen rarely have footnotes or endnotes. Dever is betraying his elitism again, or else his ignorance of what non-scholars like to read.

Once again, this kind of statement is astonishing. I have found the absense of footnotes, end notes and references, even in books written for laymen, to be far and away the exception, not the rule, even in popular books. In fact, I am left to wonder what Carrier considers to be a book written for "laymen", since I can think of at least a dozen titles that are by no means written for scholars alone that contain many such notations. I listed a few in my post, and ironically, one of them includes the book I reference in refuting his first point, namely, Who Wrote the Bible? (Harper Collins, 1997) by Richard Elliott Friedman.

Personally, the only book that I own that would be considered written primarily for laymen, and did NOT include footnotes is The Four Witnesses by Robin Griffith-Jones, and I found their absense to be extremely annoying. Yet, even here, Griffith-Jones did quote extensively from primary sources, and offered citations.

It is this kind of sloppy writing, especially when attached to a scathing review of another scholar's review that I found very troubling. I would hope that Carrier would be more careful in his work.

Brian Trafford (Nomad)

[This message has been edited by Brian Trafford (edited May 26, 2001).]
 
Old 05-26-2001, 10:50 PM   #30
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Smile

(Withdrawn in favor of Sauce for the goose ...)

[This message has been edited by JubalH (edited May 27, 2001).]
 
 

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