News from the Freethought Ghetto
Over at the FTG, for anyone who missed it, Dick Carrier has written a flatulent fact-free reply to Bart Ehrman’s reply to him in which he alludes to something called Hoffman’s [sic] Madness. If you don’t want to read all ten thousand words, here is the bottom line: (1) Ehrman pretending to be nice to him is an attempt–a “deflection tactic”–designed to hide his manifold errors (cf. Courtier’s Reply in the Atheist Sure Fire Response Manual) (2) Hoffmann is Crazy: I can prove it and Ehrman better keep his distance if he doesn’t want to catch it; (3) I am going to write more about this but am hung over from a gig at the Madison Freethought Festival.
Carrier calls it “Round One” showing us that he is a scrappy guy and won’t let scholarship, civility or temperament keep him down for long. You’re alright in my book, Dick. Carrier the Terrier. Hey, in round two it won’t be the trouser leg he goes for:
Steph Fisher, a real New Testament scholar, has cited Carrier verbatim, though Carrier in his latest post professes not to have said any of the things he said: Carrier’s criticisms include “He [Ehrman] not only sucks as a writer but can’t even tell that he sucks as a writer”, “it [Ehrman's book] officially sucks”, “he screwed up”, “like some Christian apologist or the whackiest of mythers” “Ehrman’s book is so full of egregious factual errors demonstrating his ignorance, sloppiness, and incompetence in this matter, it really doesn’t even need a rebuttal. It can be thrown straight into the trash without any loss to scholarship or humanity. It is, quite simply, wholly unreliable”, “I have no choice but to condemn this thing as being nothing more than a sad murder of electrons and trees….”
This comes from a man who compares himself to Aristotle and Hume, thinks the scholarly establishment is out to get him, and that the whole discipline of New Testament scholarship, in his word, is “fucked.” If you have never heard if him, this is what he writes about hiself on the basis of two never reviewed books, two vanity published:
Richard Carrier is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God, Proving History, and Not the Impossible Faith, as well as numerous articles online and in print. His avid fans span the world from Hong Kong to Poland. With a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University, he specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, with particular expertise in ancient philosophy, science and technology. He has also become a noted defender of scientific and moral realism, Bayesian reasoning, and the epistemology of history. For more about him and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.
–That and being Aristotle.
I would write more about my psychiatric state but as you can see from my picture (above) me and the Apostles have work to do in Jerusalem before I die.
[Since posting this, Carrier has entered round two. I hope Ehrman won't, but basically the gist is this: "Notice. I did not say he [Ehrman] was completely wrong, but that he was mostly right, and was only misleading readers by giving the impression that mythicists were on their own here. I also did not mean that this particular incident makes the book crap.” Other things then? because you did call it crap. Actually this is a squirm, a niggle, a bad witness talking after his lawyer has said to shut up. ]