Stupid Things Richard Carrier has Said and DoneA polemic years in the making
(edited for clarity and content)
Over the many years D.M. Murdock/Acharya S has been writing books and publishing online, she's always been open to constructive criticism and to making necessary adjustments, as she's done with incorrect or inaccurate details
. Yet, many of her critics reveal they don't know either that fact or her work overall. As an example, critic Richard Carrier's behavior over the last 10 years has been unethical, nasty and hateful, having no place in academia or in today's mythicist camp. In fact, Richard Carrier owes Acharya an apology!
The fact is that we would not have an issue with Carrier, were it not for all his error-filled criticisms and his unjust, over-the-top malicious smears targeting Acharya S/Murdock (and others), going around in his lectures telling people not to read her work while never having actually studied it himself, along with his admitted willful ignorance refusing to study astrotheology. Other negatives are his bizarre and megalomaniacal demands that no one read other mythicist material and that everyone should listen only
to him. Carrier appears to believe he is already a legend ... (in his own mind). Even when Carrier has defended Acharya (such as in the case with Bart Ehrman etc.), he still insists on making loaded derogatory comments and smears and we are just sick and tired of it and demand more integrity and character from our own mythicist camp. The time has come for scholars and others to finally call him out on it.Richard Carrier playing pirate: "Arggh, matey!"Luxor Brouhaha: Carrier Worked with WRONG Inscription
This sustained abuse started overtly in 2004, when Carrier criticized a paragraph about the famous Nativity Scene and inscription at Luxor, Egypt, from Acharya's first book, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold
(1999; 115-116) (see also the revised, second edition
Richard Carrier: "I was asked by someone...to check up on a claim made by some authors on the internet that the nativity of Jesus derives in part from a very ancient Egyptian inscription at Luxor...
"First, the inscription in question does exist, and is thoroughly discussed in Hellmut Brunner's Die Geburt des Gottkoenigs: Studien zer Ueberlieferung eines Altaegyptischen Mythos
(2nd ed., 1986). The inscription relates the royal myth of the Birth of the God King, which represents a cycle repeated with every new Pharaoh. So far no surprise. But in her book, Acharya S claims:
Inscribed about 3,500 years ago on the walls of the Temple at Luxor were images of the Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, Birth and Adoration of Horus, with Thoth announcing to the Virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus; with Kneph, the "Holy Ghost," impregnating the virgin; and with the infant being attended by three kings, or magi, bearing gifts. In addition, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis - the original "Madonna and Child."
Carrier: "The individual who asked for my investigation was kind enough to mail me a copy of Brunner's book, for which I felt an obligation to check the claim that concerned him. I skimmed the relevant sections
..." (Emph. added)
"Brunner's Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication" (2004)
Take note how Richard Carrier makes no mention of ever actually reading Acharya's "Christ Conspiracy" himself, he merely worked with the quote provided by e-mail. He also never tried to contact Acharya S himself to ask her any questions - and he still hasn't to do this day. Description reads: 'The Annunciation, Conception, Birth and Adoration of the Child'
Carrier goes on to claim that the paragraph from Acharya's book is basically all wrong. First, as we can see from the image above, Murdock did not fabricate the parallels but was citing the work of Dr. Samuel Sharpe, an Egyptologist and translator of the Bible:
"In this picture we have the Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth, and the Adoration, as described in the First and Second Chapters of Luke's Gospel; and as we have historical assurance that the chapters in Matthew's Gospel which contain the Miraculous Birth of Jesus are an after addition not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that these two poetical chapters in Luke may also be unhistorical, and be borrowed from the Egyptian accounts of the miraculous birth of their kings."
Dr. Samuel C. Sharpe, Egyptian Mythology and Egyptian Christianity (19)
Secondly, Acharya responded to the above criticism by Dick Carrier in the article "The Nativity Scene of Amenhotep III at Luxor
," catching him in a really
sloppy mistake, which she included in her long, scholarly analysis of the subject in her book Christ in Egypt
...in "skimming" Brunner's [German] text, as he puts it, Carrier has mistakenly dealt with the substantially different Hatshepsut text (Brunner's "IV D"), demonstrating an egregious error in garbling the cycles, when in fact we are specifically interested in the Luxor narrative (IV L)....
This fact means that Carrier worked with the wrong inscription
and that his Luxor criticism therefore is "hopelessly flawed
" - to use his own language in describing an article of Murdock's about Nazareth - yet, I've seen no apology from Carrier. In fact, he seemingly became enraged by being caught in this mistake and doubled-down in his blog, "That Luxor Thing," to which Acharya subsequently responded as follows:Parallelophobia, personal attacks and professional jealousy: A response to Richard Carrier's 'That Luxor Thing'Is Jesus's nativity an Egyptian myth?What Egyptologists (and other scholars) say about Egypt's role in Christian originsMyopia is not expertiseStumping for Utter Ignorance
In a nutshell, Murdock proves Carrier's shallow analysis to be illogical and unscientific. Since his Luxor critique revealing his sloppy scholarship
, he has actually become far more nasty, hateful and malicious; thus, my long critique here. Again, Carrier's criticisms of Murdock's work have included egregious errors
. Therefore, one should be very skeptical of his criticisms, as he is not a reliable or credible source on Acharya's work. Disingenuous Carrier Has Not Studied Murdock's Work
In fact, even though he dishonestly pretends to be an expert on her work, Carrier has never read one single book by Acharya S/Murdock
, and the information he obtains of her work apparently comes mainly from emails asking for his opinion, as well as lies and gossip from Christian apologist websites.
It's also important to reiterate that, at this point, Carrier has been criticizing Acharya's work for at least 10 years since 2004; yet, he has never proven anything of significance wrong
, mostly because he's never even studied her work! Carrier also has rarely acknowledged that she may be right about anything
- all signs of biases and ulterior motives. In fact, he's so quick to criticize her work that he consistently makes mistakes, which he NEVER apologizes for
We expect far more integrity, character and ethics from the mythicist camp. It appears Carrier's agenda is merely to "poison the well."
Somebody needs to explain to him that part of being a good scholar is also having good ethics and that the treatment he gives to Murdock, a female fellow mythicist, has been disingenuous and unethical. Atheist and freethinking women
should especially be pissed.Cranky Credentialism
It's also noteworthy that while the credentialist
Carrier did finally receive his Ph.D - after about 10 years - I'm not aware of him ever having any job as a professional historian or having actually contributed anything uniquely important thus far to the subject. In fact, Carrier himself admits towards the end of the Nuskeptix video
that he has never held any job as a historian. So, in one sense, while he invokes the fallacy of credentialism
and makes disparaging remarks about people "self-publishing on the internet," he himself is basically a glorified blogger and self-published author for the most part. Were it not for his brief appearance in the movie, "The God Who Wasn't There," nobody would know who he was; yet, he's constantly treated with kid gloves.
Speaking of "The God Who Wasn't There," I may be wrong but I suspected for years that Carrier sabotaged any potential role Acharya may have had in that film, as its producer, Brian Flemming, told her via email that her book The Christ Conspiracy
was one of the first he'd read on the subject. So, why didn't he include her?If Information Doesn't Come from Carrier, It Can't Be True?!
Unbelievably, the dictatorial Carrier has the nerve to proclaim the following, so astonishing that it bears repeated emphasis:
"The first thing to know is, forget about all the other mythicist theories ... So, I say, if you want a simple rule: Basically, if you don't hear it from me, be skeptical of it."
- Richard Carrier, "The Historicity of Jesus," youtube.com/watch?v=XORm2QtR-os (3:10)
There are plenty
of other scholars performing work as good as and often much better than Carrier's, including Murdock. No wonder fellow mythicist Earl Doherty declared that Carrier has an "ego the size of a bus."
Carrier has apparently been telling people not to discuss Murdock's work or even mention her at all. In response to a request to John Loftus at his "Debunking Christianity" blog to post her mythicist position video
for open discussion, Loftus remarked:
That admission of censorship looks like Loftus's polite way of saying that Carrier is going around telling others not to discuss Acharya's work. Loftus was putting his life on hold for years in order to suck up to Carrier? How many others has Carrier told not to discuss it? His utter arrogance and conceit are out of control! He frankly is an embarrassment to all of us freethinkers and mythicists.
Ironically, Loftus and Carrier later got into it, and the pugnacious Carrier implied John was "insane," which is a standard default position he uses to smear people who disagree with him:
Because trust me, you look insane there. And if you don’t see that even after that reexamination, then you are insane. And all I can recommend then is that you start talking to a therapist.
This is why Loftus’ response looks so insane to me.
The weirdest part of all this, which really makes John look crazy, is that I know John actually agrees with the central point Natalie in fact actually made... he resorts to fallacious and petty attacks on her, and ignores the actual content of her calm replies, and just responds ever more insanely every single time.
It takes some pretty extremely inexplicable behavior for me to conclude and publicly say that someone’s behavior is looking insane, and John’s is well over that line by now. I’m deeply worried.
And that's what Carrier spends his time doing - bickering and fighting, calling people insane, going nowhere. Meanwhile, Murdock is up to her eyeballs actually doing difficult research in multiple languages.
Ignoring that fact, when dealing with Murdock's work Carrier himself "resorts to fallacious and petty attacks on her, and ignores the actual content of her calm replies, and just responds ever more insanely every single time."
And I wonder how Loftus - who invited Acharya onto his blog and allowed her to be abused until she left - feels now?'Abandon' Everything Carrier Doesn't Understand or Like!
Further encouraging censorship and ignorance, in a book review for a friend Carrier foolishly proclaims:
"...every Jesus mythicist who attempts to make an astrotheological argument for the origins of Christianity
and (especially) the construction of the Gospels is just engaging in a Rorschach inkblot test ... so the whole attempt should be abandoned
- Carrier, posted HERE
This is one of the dumbest
things I've ever read. Carrier says it's ethical to insult people, so... Only a COMPLETE IGNORAMUS would make such a comment. We have tons of facts and credible evidence from antiquity that show astral mythology/religion or "astrotheology"
, both pre-Christian and into the Christian era, specifically about Jesus and Christian doctrine. Here is proof of Richard Carrier's utter ignorance on this issue and why he should never be considered a reliable or credible source of information regarding astrotheology: Star Worship of the Ancient Israelites'Celestial Being' = the SUN!
While thus denying that the Christ myth has its origins mainly in nature worship and astral mythology, Carrier's latest conclusion is that Jesus was originally a "CELESTIAL BEING
," an idea that did not originate with him but came from Earl Doherty
"The most credible alternative theory of Christian origins is that Jesus began life as a celestial being
, known only through private revelations, who was believed to have been crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens."
- Carrier, posted HERE
While he attacks her personally, Dick basically admits that Acharya's thesis and mythicist position
are the "most credible alternative theory
" of Christian origins. Yet, he engages in ludicrous nitpicking to stay far away from the obvious fact that the "celestial" Christian SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Malachi 4:2) is a blatantly obvious SOLAR HERO, contending instead that this logical and scientific observation should be "abandoned!"At the solstices/equinoxes, the sun is a celestial being crucified and resurrected in the "lower heavens"
If Carrier actually did due diligence as a historian
, he would discover that the solar mythological or astrotheological origins of the Christ myth have been written about many times over the centuries
, including by renowned freethinker Thomas Paine and many others:
"The fable of Christ and his twelve apostles...is a parody of the sun and the twelve signs of the Zodiac, copied from the ancient religions of the Eastern world.... Every thing told of Christ has reference to the sun. His reported resurrection is at sunrise, and that on the first day of the week; that is, on the day anciently dedicated to the sun, and from thence called Sunday..."
Thomas Paine, The Complete Religious and Theological Works of Thomas Paine (382)
"The cult of Sol Invictus, the 'Invincible Sun,' became dominant in Rome and in other parts of the empire during the early part of the second century A.D. And evidence abounds that Roman sun cults influenced Christian thought and liturgy."
--Christian theologian Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Signs of the Times (6/10)
"Christ too was sometimes pictured as a sun-god."
--Christian theologian Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, "Was Yahweh Worshiped as the Sun?" Biblical Archaeology Review 20/3. (1994; 90).
Much more on the subject can be found in Murdock's scholarly survey, Jesus as the Sun throughout History
All this excellent scholarship
been abandoned by Carrier, who admits he's never studied the subject of astrotheology and has no interest in doing so. This means he is IGNORANT about the large body of Jesus mythicist scholarship and history
of this subject going back hundreds of years and should not be running around proclaiming himself an expert. Carrier Has No Interest in Studying Astrotheology
In a 2014 video, Nuskeptix "Christ Myth Theory" Video Chat
(53-54m), Carrier admits he has no interest in pursuing or investigating astrotheology
, as he finds it "dull." That's basically an admission that he has never studied the subject
. Therefore, Carrier is not an expert and is unqualified to comment on the subjects of astrotheology and its relationship to mythicism
with any authority or competence whatsoever. He says he "could never write a book on the subject"
- ain't that the truth!
Since Carrier is so deferential to Doherty - who actually has read
some of Murdock's books - maybe he should listen to Earl's comments about Murdock and astrotheology, as here:
"A heavenly location for the actions of the savior gods, including the death of Christ, would also have been influenced by most religions' ultimate derivation from astrotheology, as in the worship of the sun and moon. For this dimension of more remote Christian roots, see the books of Acharya S."
- Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man: The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009; 153)
Or how about these?
"I have no objection to postulating a 'prehistoric' (i.e., prior to our earliest horizon on Christianity) phase to the heavenly Christ cult in which [b][size=120]observations of the heavens helped shaped the Christ myth... Acharya has that aspect of things sewn up!"
"Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together this rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion.... We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book [Christ Con] will help bring that about."
"Personally, I was fascinated by the window she provided onto the old History of Religions school of the 19th century, something we've largely lost sight of since mainstream academia circled its wagons in the early 20th century and drove them into eclipse. I think Acharya has done invaluable work in bringing them back into the light, as she has the unduly neglected field of astrotheology."
- Earl Doherty
Richard Carrier is simply not a reliable or credible source on the subjects of Jesus mythicism, astrotheology or Murdock's work. His irrational war on astrotheology
and Acharya S based on his own admission of biases and willful ignorance is an embarrassment and disservice to the entire field of mythicism. If Carrier is not interested in the astrotheological origins of religious concepts, perhaps mythicism is not the best field for him. 'Book'-Burning Censorship
This is the same guy giving lectures telling people not to read Murdock's work and advocating extreme censorship about the first/religion part of the first "Zeitgeist" film ("ZG1.1") - which advocates a solar mythological origin for the Christ character - saying: "Zeitgeist and all copies of it should be burned"
. Yet, Carrier has recently started discussing the "celestial Jesus
!" How can he not realize that is just another way of saying "astrotheological Jesus
I liked Carrier's last few videos and even posted them in my Jesus Challenge
thread, but he apparently has no idea that his work on Jesus is very compatible with Murdock's work in astrotheology and mythicism. This issue of ignorance probably exists because, again, Carrier has yet to read a single book of Acharya's but smears her regardless, perhaps out of professional jealousy, biases and misogyny.
His behavior is unprofessional, intellectually dishonest and an epic disservice, and he needs to be called out on it.
(In 2013, Carrier actually did one thing helpful - surprisingly - and that was to write a blog asking for his followers to help Murdock get her Facebook account back, after it was suspended for posting a "virginity testing" photo
. Acharya wrote him a short comment thanking him for his help.)We're Just Creating "More Work" for Carrier?!In this video clip
, Carrier complains that efforts like "Zeitgeist," part 1, just make "more work" for him. The fact is that Carrier himself makes a lot more work for us having to esssssplain his sloppy and egregious errors
on a subject he happily admits he's never studied! How pathetic can he get? It's blatantly obvious that Carrier is just not the go-to guy on mythicism.
Since he apparently doesn't want to do the hard work, maybe he should just drop out of the field - we can only hope, as he is poisoning the well and making mythicism look bad.
For those who are not too lazy and dishonest to actually study the subject, here is the important documentation for ZG1.1, including primary sources and scholarly commentary:No, Zeitigeist has not been refuted!Top 10 myths about the religion part of ZeitgeistZG1 SourcebookPrimary Sources & Scholars cited in the ZG1 SourcebookRebuttal to Dr. Chris Forbes concerning 'Zeitgeist Part 1'Zeitgeist Part 1Oblivious to Scholarly Practice of Citing Previous Work?
Carrier and his fanboys love to harp on the fact that, in certain instances, Murdock refers back to her own work in her citations. For example, in order to cover up the fact that he didn't even read the paper he's pretending to critique - in this case, Murdock's lengthy ZEITGEIST Sourcebook, Carrier lies once again by claiming:
Most of it consists of Murdock citing herself (as if you didn't know, Acharya S is D.M. Murdock).
From my count, her work only constitutes 78 out of the 345 footnotes, or about 23% of the overall citations, which means that 77% - almost 4/5ths - of it is not her citing herself. To say that "MOST of it consists of Murdock citing herself" is therefore quite inaccurate and unscientific.
In fact, the Sourcebook's bibliography is jampacked full of primary sources and scholarly modern commentaries, which you can see for yourself here
Earth to Carrier: In citing her own works, Murdock uses a SCHOLARLY PRACTICE so she won't have to reproduce everything she's already written. Do Carrier and his fanatics never read scholarly books? Professional scholars, historians, archaeologists and scientists refer back to their own previously published works all the time.
As a major example, the scholar Dr. Ramsay MacMullen is arguably the best Roman historian in English alive today. In this 331-page book, published by Yale University, he cites his own work at least 60 times, sometimes four or more on a page:Corruption and the Decline of Rome by Ramsay MacMullen
There are more examples by other scholars and scientists here: http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 433#p18433
The rest of Carrier's criticisms of the Sourcebook
are about the same quality: Lies and dismissals based on the fact he didn't even read it and certainly doesn't know the subject matter.Bayes Theorem Hypocrisy
Carrier also constantly bludgeons Acharya to death for discussing 18th and 19th-century writings, which is a strawman since she actually works with the earliest known evidence from thousands of years ago to the most current scholarship. Ironically, Richard's pet "Bayes Theorem" originates from the 18th century! "Bayes' theorem is named after Thomas Bayes 1701–1761"
How much more hypocritical can he possibly be? It appears Carrier is unaware of the fact that Acharya's discussion of 18th/19th century works were discussing PRIMARY SOURCES!
Others following Carrier's work have pointed out problems with the Bayes Theorem methodology, including that it can be used equally effectively to prove Jesus's existence
The fact is that the 17th to 19th centuries represented the "Age of Enlightenment," during which some very important scholarship in mythicism was done, including by Thomas Paine, as well as Charles Dupuis, Count Volney and, evidently, Thomas Jefferson
Washington even was glad to have Volney as his guest at Mount Vernon, and Jefferson occupied his Sundays at Montecello in writing letters to Paine..., in favour of the probabilities that Christ and his twelve apostles were only personifications of the sun and the twelve signs of the zodiac.These are important facts that we would expect a historian purportedly interested in Jesus mythicism to study, as Murdock has done.
(Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country, 290)
In fact, she is much more of a historian
of Jesus mythicism than Carrier, who gleefully admits his ignorance and shallow scholarship.Ignore Pre-1950 Scholarship
Instead of studying the subject to gain expertise in comparative religion and mythology dating back thousands of years, Carrier admits to confining his knowledge to the past several decades
. Recounting his scholarly training, he says:
The first day I arrived in the office of my graduate advisor at Columbia University, Professor William V. Harris, a very distinguished scholar of ancient history, one of the first things he said to me is (paraphrasing, since I can't recall his exact words--this was now about ten years ago), "Don't rely on anything written before 1950 or so unless you can confirm what it says from primary evidence or more recent scholarship."
"In fact, almost every historical work written before 1950 is regarded as outdated and untrustworthy by historians today."
"History Before 1950"
(See also: viewtopic.php?p=25176#p25176
and http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 171#p25171
How can Carrier claim nobody should study and discuss pre-1950's works, when much of the 18th/19th century mythicist material came out during the brilliant "Age of Enlightenment," the same time as when Bayes came out with his theorem? That's like biologists not studying Darwin or Mendel because they're "old" and "outdated!"
Of course, we shouldn't rely entirely
on scholarship from any single source or era, and primary sources and modern scholarship definitely should be consulted as well, which Murdock does all the time - in their original languages.
Carrier wouldn't know that fact, because he hasn't studied her work and just repeats lies about it.
But, ignorance is not expertise! To be an expert, you have to study a subject inside and out, not lazily confine yourself to a tiny percentage of the research on a subject. Also, while historical texts may need constant revision, the subjects of religion and mythology generally do not - and those are the subjects we are dealing with here. Methodology Mania
This discussion brings up another fallacy that Carrier and his ilk like to beat Acharya over the head with: methodology. While ranting erroneously that Murdock's "methodology" is flawed - in reality, she uses the best methods available to date, in a manner taught by the best academic institutions, such as those of which she is an alumna
- Carrier himself admitted:
(1:43:50) "Well, part of my project for the Historicity of Jesus was I realized that the methodology in Jesus studies is hosed basically, and I'm not the only one to notice this. Many scholars in the field have pointed out that the methodologies that have been used to study Jesus are hopelessly flawed."
(1:45:55) "I have, like, 50 pages in my book Proving History on why the 'criterion of embarrassment' is logically fallacious and does not work in Jesus studies at all."
If no one has any proper methodology
- not even Carrier, according to critics of his Bayes Theorem proposition - why single out Murdock for special venom? We don't want to suggest irrational bigotry, prejudice, professional jealousy and misogyny
, but rationality and integrity don't explain this sordid behavior, so...Peer-Review Ploy
Another strawman that Carrier and his uncredentialed supporters also bludgeon Acharya with is "peer review." Meanwhile, here's what Carrier fan Neil Godfrey has to say about peer review:
"If Peer-Review Does Not Work for Science Why Does It Work for Biblical Studies?"
The editors of the ACP Journal Club find that less than 1% of studies in most journals are “both scientifically sound and important for clinicians.We have little or no evidence that peer review "works," but we have lots of evidence of its downside.Peer-review does not detect errors.
Again numerous studies have demonstrated this. Papers have certain errors deliberately inserted into them (mixes of major and minor) and are then sent to peer review, and the rate of detection of those errors is so often very, very low indeed
So if Carrier and his supporters concede that methodology
and peer review
related to Jesus studies are "hopelessly flawed
" and do not work, the only reason they would continue their dishonest smears of Murdock is to "poison the well" and character assassinate her, which is very unethical. Again, they MUST be called out on it by others.
Unknown to those who don't know her work but still lie about it, significant parts of Murdock's work have been "peer reviewed"
- if there even are any peers with her breadth and depth of knowledge and abilities in this subject. A discussion can be found at this link:Acharya S: Peer Review and Scholarly Journal Publications
Here's a handy list:
At least two articles in the Journal of Higher Criticism
, reviewed by Drs. Robert M. Price and Darrell Doughty (deceased)Two articles
in the Migration & Diffusion Journal
, reviewed by Dr. Christine Pellech
"A Pre-Christian 'God' on a Cross?
," reviewed by Dr. Francesco Carotta
"Buddhism's Relation to Christianity: A Review
," reviewed by Drs. Christian Lindnter and Michael Lockwood
"Was the Persian Goddess Anahita the Pre-Christian Virgin Mother of Mithra?
," reviewed by Drs. Payam Nabarz and Kaveh Farrokh
"Maya mythology and its relationship to Christianity
," reviewed by Dr. John Hoopes, professor of Mesoamerican anthropology at the University of Kansas
Two articles in Bart Ehrman & the Quest of the Historical Jesus
, reviewed by Dr. Robert M. Price and Frank Zindler
Murdock's books themselves have been read by a variety of people who are intelligent and educated, and who endorse her scholarship, including Dr. Robert Price, Barbara G. Walker, Dr. Michael Lockwood, Earl Doherty, Dr. Kenneth Feder, Dr. Robert Schoch, Rev. David Bruce, Rev. B. Strauss, Rev. Jon Burnham, Rev. Carlton Pearson, and David Mills
We support quality methodology and peer review to whatever extent it does work, but Acharya knew there were serious issues with both long before Carrier/Godfrey started talking about it. As he is not the first (or best) in the field of mythicism, Carrier was not the first to point out the problems with methodology and peer review, and he's talking out two sides of his mouth by using these strawmen to knock down her work.Carrier Trashes a Book He Helped Write
In response to Bart Ehrman's ridiculous anti-mythicist book, Did Jesus Exist?
, edited and published by ex-American Atheist president and mythicist Frank Zindler: Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist?
Displaying an astonishing lack of class and integrity, Carrier wrote a viciously scathing review of the book for which he himself was PAID to contribute to, as one of 7 authors.
In his petulant review, Carrier remarks:
I required a disclaimer to be included (in the Foreword generally and in the first paragraph of my chapter specifically), since I do not endorse much of what gets said elsewhere in this book. I was sure of this even before I read it.
..http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 859#p27859
Carrier was so sure that the book would be beneath him, even before reading it, based on what? His abject bigotry and unfounded biases against other people included in it?
His deliberate ignorance of other mythicists' work? In either case, his puerile and egotistical behavior is exemplified once again.
Carrier "fanboy" Tommy Verenna aka "Rook Hawkins" felt the need to follow his master and piled on with his own vicious and jealous "review." (Here's more of what Carrier's influence looks like in those who consider him their "hero": Rook Watch (Rook Hawkins/Tom Vern) Smears Acharya S
Perhaps editor Zindler should ask for that disclaimer money back and do a 2nd edition leaving Carrier out completely? Let this be a fair warning to others in any possible future projects, demonstrating that neither Richard Carrier nor Tom/Rook have the capacity to play well with others
, as Carrier will demand to be paid and then write a scathing review dissing all the other contributors. He next tells others not to buy the book, but goes on to instruct his fans who do plan to buy the book to use his link
, so he gets a kickback anyway!
Never mind the fact that Zindler's wife of 48 years had just passed away
. Carrier & Tom both could have at least waited a few months before pissing all over this response to Ehrman. They could have said a few positive things about the book before blasting it and all the mythicist authors in it. I've said before and I'll say it again, both Carrier and Verenna are an embarrassment to all freethinkers and mythicists
everywhere and owe us all an official apology.
(See: freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=27870#p27870)Nazareth Nonsense and Strawmen
Here's a perfect example of Carrier speaking out both sides of his mouth: Nazareth.
In his outraged review of Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus
, Carrier writes on the "Nazareth Obsession," referring to the scholarship as by Rene Salm and Frank Zindler demonstrating there was no real town of Nazareth that a historical Jesus of Nazareth" could come from:
One of the worst contributions is by Salm, yet this is representative of the kind of problem frequently encountered in this book. Here he burns over 40 pages attempting to argue there is no evidence for Nazareth in the early first century and yet never once even mentions, much less addresses, the priestly inscription (of around 300 A.D., in Hebrew) proving it existed in 70 AD–when it was recorded as one of the towns that took in priests after the destruction of the temple and the outlawing of its rituals. There was no temple to house priests nor any temple cult for priests to attend after the first Jewish War, so obviously they were more likely relocated in 70 AD, not 132 AD (much less later)–although some scholars have attempted "arguments from incredulity" for the latter conclusion, I find those arguments quite dubious myself....
An inscription from 300 AD does not
prove Nazareth existed in the early first century, regardless of its claims. Building on the scholarship of previous centuries, Salm and Zindler show there's no hard archeological
evidence for a Nazareth of any significance at the supposed time of Jesus. Salm addressed Carrier's petulant attack here
In fact, numerous chapters by several authors in this anthology attack the historicity of Nazareth, and none of them mention this inscription (Murdock, on page 390, is even explicitly unaware of its existence). This is the kind of thing I’m talking about: what use is any of this lengthy and disorganized argumentation against Nazareth if it can’t even be bothered to address the best evidence we have for it? There are many other faults in Salm’s chapter (many errors of logic), but that one is fatal enough. Which is a shame, because buried under his fallacies and hyperbole and omissions of key evidence are some valid points about the shoddiness of the archaeology of Nazareth and its demonstrably suspect motives. (Although the latter still cannot sustain the certainty Salm exhibits.)
Note to future mythicists: if you are going to write a chapter or article on a subject, make it comprehensive enough to be required reading on that subject. That means: don’t leave key evidence out of it, and be a better Devil’s Advocate of your own arguments as you write them, to ensure they aren’t easily shown faulty or hyperbolic, and that they exhibit the caution and self-awareness of their weaknesses any good scholar should rightly expect.
Note to Carrier, if you're going to lie
about someone's work, maybe you should realize that the real facts
are in books owned by hundreds of people who can check on what you've said! Here Carrier is misrepresenting Murdock's work AGAIN. Saying that Acharya is not "even explicitly unaware of its existence" is a misrepresentation of what she wrote in that chapter on p. 390. She never illogically says, "I am explicitly unaware of the Nazareth inscription's existence." What she actually
Despite all of this speculation, there exists no hard scientific evidence that the polis or "city" of Nazareth as depicted in the New Testament even existed at the time when Christ was supposedly being raised there. Although there exists a centuries-later "historic Nazareth" in Israel, archaeological explorations during the past century have failed to demonstrate any such city of the time in the general vicinity. In reality, it appears that Jesus was made to be “of Nazareth” so that he could be called a "Nazarene" or "Nazoraean/Nazorean," a member of an ancient pre-Christian sect, of which the Old Testament hero Samson was said to have been an adherent as well.
The 'City' of Nazareth?
The apparent fact that Nazareth was not a bustling "city" at the time of Christ's purported existence has been demonstrated through historical records and archaeological evidence. As independent scholars Frank Zindler, René Salm and others have shown via thorough analysis, there is no mention of a "Nazareth" or "Nazara" in the Old Testament or even in Josephus centuries later. The first reference to Nazareth in Jewish literature does not occur until the ninth century AD/CE, "only in two songs of lamentation...as the seat of a priestly division..." It seems that, after the "city" became the subject of interest because of the gospels, only then do we find the area inhabited to any significant degree, evidently beginning no earlier than the fourth century AD/CE.
This is textbook example of a STRAWMAN, as Carrier misleads his readers with false claims and then knocks them down. He doesn't tell his readers that in the bolded sentence Murdock is CITING Swiss theologian
Dr. Ulrich Luz, et al., Matthew 1-7: A Continental Commentary
(Augsberg, MN: Fortress Press, 1989). Even if the so-called Nazareth inscription is factored in - and Murdock can easily drop in one sentence to mention it - it is worthless in establishing a bustling town in the early first century that Jesus could have come from. Hopelessly Flawed Behavior
Carrier disses Murdock's essay on Nazareth with his typical hand-waving dismissals, calling it "hopelessly flawed
," a favorite phrase of Carrier that indicates he may not have read what he's critiquing and is too lazy to do so.
As is the case with his constant personal attacks calling others "insane" and "crazy" (more below), narcissistic Carrier tosses out the vague dismissal "hopelessly flawed" in instances regarding the work of other
people besides Murdock:
Zagzebski herself is a sort of reliabilist, by way of her virtue theory, which I think is hopelessly flawed. (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4915)
[Atwill's] facts and reasoning [are] hopelessly flawed...
Unfortunately for those who read them, Carrier's reviews and critiques themselves generally have been "hopelessly flawed."Carrier Bashes People, While Presenting Their Ideas as His Own?
I've also noticed that Carrier likes to bash people, claiming their research is "hopelessly flawed," but then he seems to present their ideas as if he just came up with them! While he rips into Murdock and Salm's work on Nazareth, he turns around and pretends that he's the great expert on the subject and basically says the same things found in the mythicist scholarship on Nazareth for the past couple of centuries!
...but her chapter on Nazareth is hopelessly flawed (even when it contains some worthy insights)...
He grudgingly admits that Murdock's essay on Nazareth contains "worthy insights," which he seems to go on to pilfer and present as his own. In her article, Murdock does a scholarly survey
of the uses of the relevant words "Nazareth" and "Nazarene" in the New Testament Greek. She concludes that the most common description of Jesus is not "of Nazareth" but "the Nazarene" or some variant. Carrier pretends as if there is next to nothing valuable about her scientific analysis and then declares the same conclusion about "of Nazareth!"
Here's Carrier in his own words implying there's no credible evidence of Christian claims regarding Nazareth, while promoting his book On the Historicity of Jesus
at the Catholic website "Strange Notions":
Jesus was probably not originally a Nazarene (Greek nazarênos), but a Nazorian (Greek nazôraios), based on a now-lost scripture (Matthew 2:23). This was actually one of the original names for the Christian movement (Acts 24:5) and remained the name of the original Torah-observant Christian sect (Epihanius, Panarion 9). It clearly did not mean "from Nazareth" (Christians did not hail from there, and the words do not share the same roots). Scholars speculate on what "nazorian" may have meant (Proving History, pp. 142-45). But its attachment to the town of Nazareth appears to have been an invention of the Gospel authors. At the very least, we have no evidence otherwise.
Some of that is almost exactly what Salm, Zindler and Acharya have written!
And if Jesus is a myth, of course he was "probably not originally a Nazarene," but, as Murdock shows, the mythical figure in the New Testament definitely appears to have been created in order to make of him a Nazarene, as part of the same priesthood represented by Samson in the Old Testament. Ahem, Samson the SOLAR MYTH.
Over in the "The Nazareth/Bethlehem Debate" thread, I responded that I cannot agree with Carrier claiming Acharya's chapter on Nazareth (pages 389-404) is "hopelessly flawed" - that's just another over-the-top, absurd insult that we've come to expect from him. Carrier doesn't explain a single error to show why it's "hopelessly flawed" at all. Having read the chapter, I thought her points on the Samson parallel of a "Nazarite/Nazarene" as well as a specific religious sect (pages 401-4) and the blatantly obvious solar mythology that went with it was quite powerful, rendering the concept of a town or city of Nazareth for Jesus to be from, completely obsolete, which is pretty much what Carrier himself was saying about Nazareth. So, what's the point for her to mention the so-called evidence that Carrier himself claims is irrelevant anyway?
Carrier has a 10-year history of smearing and "poisoning the well" with Murdock and her work. It just seems like when she writes about some things, Carrier comes unglued and feels the need to criticize them, but it's perfectly fine when he
says the same damned thing.
Once more, Carrier really needs to be called out by other scholars for his consistent display of unethical, disingenuous and malicious beahviors and smears. His shallow scholarship and personal attacks are ethically on par with the bottom of the Christian-apologist barrel, J.P. Holding. I am sick of this arrogant jerk constantly getting a free pass on this kind of rubbish.
Yes, I am harsh here, but we've been dealing with this same garbage for many years
. Acharya S and the rest of us here have repeatedly demonstrated how many
critics of her work have been wrong, but they never acknowledge it or offer any apology after several years of malicious smears
. I'm only harsh like this when they really deserve it. Any acrimony here is in response to the harsh and acrimonious treatment she's been dealt constantly over the years. Carrier certainly deserves it, because he's constantly telling people NOT to read Acharya's work (and others) and to dismiss it BEFORE reading it for themselves. He inspires his readers and listeners of his lectures - as well as his "fanboys" (as they
like to call others) - also to tell people not to read it as well. I've witnessed it myself. We are completely sick and tired of this unethical behavior. We do fight back, and we will continue to do so until the prejudice and misogyny stop. We would prefer to see fellow mythicists working together
, but this fiasco is ALL on Carrier - he
started it, and he
continues it. Carrier Calls World-Famous Scholar and Others 'Insane'
As we've seen, Carrier's nasty temperament and contempt extend well beyond his attacks on Murdock, showing the antisocial problem is clearly on his
end. Commenting on one of his blogs (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664#comment-274023), Carrier made a jab at Dr. Robert Eisenman - unlike Carrier, a tenured professor
famed for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls - by calling the professional scholar
"insane" and essentially tells people to ignore him.
When Eisenman found out about the contemptuous insults, he responded, "Richard who?" Eisenman had never heard of the amateur
historian Carrier, which seems to be the norm within academia, so perhaps Richard should come down off his high horse. But, again, as Doherty observed, he's got a bus-sized ego, so we don't expect that to happen anytime soon.
Note that this particular blog, in which he harshly critiques the "Caesar's Messiah" thesis by Joe Atwill
- a "crank myther," as Richard calls him - Carrier uses the word "insane" five times and "crazy" a dozen or so times to describe other writers and commenters. It seems only Carrier and those who toe his party line are not "insane" and "crazy,"
according to his egotistical and bilious assessments.
In his assessment of critics of his books, Carrier refers to a couple of them as "insane" as well:
Casey, Maurice (conclusion: grossly illogical, probably insane).
Fisher, Stephanie (conclusion: didn’t read the book, lies about it; doesn’t understand math; probably insane).
Since Carrier's not read any of Murdock's books but constantly lies about them, can we call him "probably insane" as well? In his rebuttal of Stephanie Fisher, Carrier asks again, "Did she not even read my book?" We can relate, Richard.
Here's a snapshot from Carrier's blog about Fisher:
Since that's what you do to Acharya, Richard, how does it feel? That's the childish world of slinging mindless insults, gratuitous insults, intemperance and "slanders" - should be libel
, which is written - that you
have created and that you
the hypocrite have failed "to actually engage" with Acharya's books and constantly produce "immature" reviews.
Here and in another place (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3951, freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1117), Carrier calls critic and former fan R.J. Hoffman a "nutter" and "insane," saying: "It’s shit like this that convinces me Hoffmann is off his rocker." Not that we would disagree
, but we can see that Carrier slings around personal attacks all over the place - it is his habit. Here's part of Carrier's response to Hoffman:
Carrier complains repeatedly that Hoffman is lying about his work - he seems to be outraged
! Again, we can relate, as he himself lies constantly about Murdock's work
Here Carrier says he will never work with Hoffman and recommends others do not as well:
I found his delusional and paranoiac behavior disturbing (well beyond just ordinary sane behavior), and I will never work with him again, and I recommend no one else do either.
Ironically, Carrier engages in the same sort of unprofessional behavior as Hoffman. Maybe both need to be avoided and ignored? 'Ethical' Insulting?
When called on his constant insulting behavior, the bully Carrier insults the critic - what else is new? He is hot-tempered and appears to be perpetually enraged.
Carrier is so renowned for his abuses that he felt the need to write an entire blog justifying them (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2289):
Here he concedes some
overuse of personal attacks, which he tosses about freely, especially in his comments. But his pattern again shows a hot-headed, ill-tempered individual who consistently attacks others and then ridicules them when they respond, sometimes the same way. More petty character assassination and lies
As we can see, Carrier (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664#comment-54444) does the same sort of character assassination in his relentless personal attacks on Acharya, as here:
Murdock is a mixed bag. She also cites outdated scholarship, is not up on current research as much as she should be, and has a vicious temper (and like Atwill can never admit she’s wrong and gets outraged at any criticism and doesn’t seem to ever change her mind or learn anything). She typically (but not always) under-documents her most controversial or unusual claims, and, in my findings, generally because they don’t have any evidential or logical basis, yet she’ll mix in with those claims that are genuinely established; the problem with this is that laymen can’t tell when she is saying something that is well documented and when she is saying something that has no support at all (even her citations sometimes don’t help with this). So reading her can be more disinformation than information. I’ve written on Murdock before (here, here, here and also briefly here; as well as in here, where you can search the name to find two refs).
Talk about not actually engaging a book! It's all just a personal attack. Carrier makes it sound as if he knows Acharya's work and is sooo moderate about it, by saying she's a "mixed bag," making it look like he's an expert on her work and actually written something intelligent about it.
To reiterate - and I really shouldn't need to say this more than once, but the "fanboys" keep ignoring it - CARRIER HAS NEVER READ A SINGLE BOOK BY D.M. MURDOCK
. He is NOT an expert on her work and not a fit critic of it in any way, shape or form. (The reader will find below positive
testimony after testimony by PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACTUALLY READ MURDOCK'S WORK.)
Carrier dishonestly pretends to know what he is talking about, but his next sentence is FULL OF CRAP that reveals he hasn't studied her work AT ALL. She does NOT cite "outdated scholarship." She does her due diligence in studying a subject back to its earliest discernible roots all the way to its most current analysis. It is Carrier
who not only relies on an old theorem but also has not bothered to study the HISTORY OF JESUS MYTHICISM. How pathetic and ridiculous for a "historian" not to even study the history
of the subject he pretends to be an expert on! Murdock Meticulously Cites Her Scholarship
As other examples of how false is Carrier's assessment above, Acharya carefully cites her work - she's got 1800 footnotes in her Moses book
alone - and is actually MUCH more up to date on the current research than he is. Carrier himself is deliberately ignorant of the massive body of mythicist literature and the ancient primary sources from which it draws, yet he pretends that his nitpicking makes him some kind of omniscient expert, scoffing and sneering at supposed errors and omissions by others. This guy really has an ego problem and an inferiority complex!
Like others who have complained that Murdock's books are "too scholarly,"
Price said she tends to "over-document her case,"
as in her book Christ in Egypt
- which Carrier doesn't want others to read because she points out his "egregious error" in the Luxor inscription there. Price says:
I suppose I ought to supply a couple of minor criticisms. My main one is that, as in the case of the great Robert Eisenman, she seems to me to over-document her case
, almost to the point that I fear I will lose track of the argument. But, like all good teachers, she periodically pauses to draw the threads together. And of course the danger is implied in the scope of the subject.http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... _egypt.htm
Although Carrier wouldn't know it because he hasn't studied the work he dishonestly pretends to be an expert on, Murdock's books alone include 7,456 footnotes, 2,314 bibliographical sources, 456 images and nearly 3,000 pages of material
! That doesn't include all her ebooks, articles and forum posts. (viewtopic.php?p=29132#p29132
Regarding Murdock's scholarship, Price said on Facebook in June 2014:
"No one who has read the work of Acharya can meaningfully suggest her work is not researched or not scholarly. That is just libel. Her work is fascinating, and she has completely transcended the weaknesses of her earliest work." - Dr. Robert Price
In reality, it is Carrier who is oblivious to the existence of many ancient texts and artifacts that demonstrate the Christ myth
, which Murdock constantly publicizes, using state-of-the-art technology, including news alerts and book searches in many different languages. Her book Who Was Jesus?
draws from the most current scholarship on the subject of who wrote the gospels and what modern scholars, including many Christian authorities themselves, say about them. But Richard wouldn't know that fact, because he's not read Murdock's work and is only relying on nasty and vicious trash for his "expertise" on the subject. Carrier Points Fingers at Himself
Which brings me to the absurd ad hom about Acharya's purported "vicious temper." Here Carrier's only pointing fingers at himself, because not only did HE start the whole thing that she responded to sometimes very directly
, but he himself is very petulant and temperamental, making rude and vicious remarks about many others in this field. Carrier drew first blood, over and over again, before Murdock even responded. In thousands of writings, including books, ebooks, articles, forum, group and social media posts, Acharya has demonstrated her very cordial and professional
temperament, even when attacked harshly with all kinds of vile personal attacks and character assassination - including and especially that dished out by the mouthy Richard Carrier.
Again, Murdock has constantly adjusted her writing where necessary, so to say that she "gets outraged at any criticism and doesn’t seem to ever change her mind or learn anything" is a malicious lie
Carrier keeps repeating, because he doesn't know her work
! Although it takes quite a bit of prodding, I've seen Acharya become outraged - at INJUSTICE, such as what innocents suffer under religious fanaticism and such as what dishonest extremists like Dick Carrier's engaged in over the years. His real gripe is that she won't listen to him
when he makes his sloppy errors trying to "correct" her work. He's frankly inferior intellectually and erudition-wise, so of course she'll ignore him. And that fact apparently enrages Carrier
. Murdock constantly learns new things
- does Carrier believe she's omniscient and doesn't need to study the thousands of primary sources and scholarly commentaries she uses in her writings?
The rest of what Carrier's says in this paragraph is more of the same dishonest rubbish, because, again, he hasn't even read her work - I can't believe I have to keep saying that. He and his fanboys should be ashamed and embarrassed
but they're shameless, and they go around repeating the same LIES that Carrier spews. Carrier's comments here constitute libel, pure and simple.
He continues with his derogatory remarks about others, as this seems to be his vicious temper at work attacking whoever he feels is a threat to his avowed dominion in the subject, which he's already tried to establish by telling everyone not to read other mythicists' work. Here he has a go at Price and Doherty, whose work we admire:
Price is more solid, and typically a much better read (and a more valuable read), but I still find many of his claims under-documented and his arguments often weaker than they need to be, his methods are often a cipher, and he is bad at clarifying (e.g. he will defend many different mutually-contradictory theories without explaining what we are supposed to conclude from the fact that he does that, such as whether he thinks they are all equally likely or whether he thinks some are more likely than others but that all are more likely than historicity, or if he even thinks they are more likely than historicity rather than only just as likely or unlikely but likely enough to be uncertain of historicity, etc.; and that’s not the only confusion Price will lead you into, it’s just the one that I often notice the most). He also never thoroughly defends a single coherent theory of Christian origins, making him a moving target for critics (contrast with Doherty, who does a generally good job at this, and is the best mythicist to read, although he still stubbornly falls short of dissertation quality argumentation and just complains when I say that rather than trying to work out how to formulate and document arguments in a way that would pass a fair peer review–such as learning to stop crowding strong arguments with weak arguments, and instead drop the weak arguments and just shore up the strong arguments).
Carrier wouldn't even know what is a "much better read" or "more valuable read" when it comes to Murdock's work, which is what he's comparing Price's to here in his disparaging comments, because HE'S NOT READ ACHARYA'S WORK. How totally dishonest can he be?
He repeats the same stupid stuff about Price, as if he's all-knowing: King Richard, looking down upon his inferiors! Those comments "under documented" and "weak" reflect his own pathetic reviews of other people's work.
He rarely specifies a problem and constantly makes unsubstantiated claims about others, without really studying their work, as he repeats the same stock dismissals and general disparagement, calling people "insane" and "crazy."
Dr. Price is 10 times the scholar as Richard Carrier, and the insecure Carrier, who seems to be suffering from an inferiority complex, knows it. His run-on sentence about Price and strong-weak arguments babble sound like something out of Monty Python, with the crew arguing with themselves.
The sad thing is that Carrier fans repeat all over the place the same defamatory garbage he does
- which apparently originates from vicious Christian apologists, of all people! With his lies about Acharya's work, Carrier seems to rely on the false claims by Christian fanatics
such as J.P. Holding, Mike Licona, Chris White and Keith Trash - we've debunked those fanatics thoroughly on this very forum. These are all their
arguments! That's even more embarrassing than before! Does Carrier's comment below sound familiar?
"You have someone make up a fake quote or misrepresent a document, misrepresent the evidence, then, they'll put it on a website or put it in a book that's published by what people think is respectable publisher and then hundreds, thousands of Christians will read this and believe it because they assume, ahh, this guy wouldn't lie; he wouldn't have made this stuff up and so they go on and repeat it and so you get the lie repeated many times mostly by people who aren't lying who really do think it's true but they just didn't check."
- "The God Who Wasn't There" (2005), Richard Carrier at chapter 17 or 37:37 https://youtu.be/ik7GRQ9hoVY?t=37m37s
I'm reminded of Richard Carrier's criticisms of Acharya's work. He consistently makes sloppy and egregious errors in his criticism of her work but he repeats it even after being made aware of it and it seems like nobody is checking or making any attempt to call him out on it, which in the end marginalizes Acharya S/Murdock and her work while creating a caricature of her of his own making. For shame! This is not want mythicists want or need at all. Mythicists Should Work Together
I think I've provided enough examples here to demonstrate the stupid and insulting things Richard Carrier has said and done, not only to Acharya but also to many others. The bottom line is that Acharya S/D.M. Murdock has never done a damned thing to Richard Carrier
beyond responding to his sloppy and egregious errors in his intellectually dishonest tirades against her. In fact, she's tried repeatedly to incorporate as many pieces of this large puzzle as possible, including the works of modern mythicist scholars such as Price, Doherty, Humphreys, Walker and others whose contributions are important and who are more socially responsible and ethical than others in the field. (In other words, they're not sociopaths
, like some people...)
The bottom line is that we mythicists did not come this far to be discriminated against by other mythicists.
I'm reminded of Acharya's review of Jesus: God, Man or Myth? by Herb Cutner
Those Who Have Read Murdock's Writings are Quite Supportive
...the mythicist school was fought tooth and nail, and almost buried, save for the few daring individuals who kept it alive over the past decades. Cutner is one of these rare and courageous individuals who risked the malevolence and vitriol of the clergy and its zealots. In his synopsis of the historical-versus-mythical, Cutner notes that the clergy's "adversaries" were dispatched in the most unprofessional and puerile manner:
Long ago the celebrated Dr. Bentley, in trying to dispose of Anthony Collins, had found one very fine method: convict your Freethinking opponent of fraud, ignorance, and bad scholarship, and his thesis falls to the ground. I should say rather, try to convict your opponent by this method, for some of the mud thrown is sure to stick.... By thus concentrating on mistakes of grammar or Greek, the reader is unwarily led away from the main issue which is exactly what the critic wants. Over and over again Christian controversialists have pursued this method, as if it always mattered greatly that a present tense of Greek should be the imperfect, or that a date should be conjectured as, let us say, 1702 when it ought to be 1712 in the opinion of somebody else.
Indeed, there is hardly a mythicist who has not experienced such treatment, even at the hands of other mythicists and/or freethinkers, another fact highlighted by Cutner, who shows that the early modern mythicists were viciously attacked not only by Christians but also by other "rationalists" and "freethinkers" who, in their attempts to remain "respectable" with the Christian elite, mindlessly fell in line and displayed a real lack of critical thinking. Professional jealousy also factors into this type of vitriol, as various scholars want their particular interpretation to become that which is accepted by the establishment.....
While Carrier lies and defames people whose work he hasn't bothered to read, in fields he hasn't studied, those who have
read Murdock's work often refer to it in glowing terms and other positive reviews. Here are a few examples, some of which we've seen already:
"I find it undeniable that many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations."
"I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock..."
- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D'shttp://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... _egypt.htm
"Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together this rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion."
"We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book will help bring that about."
- Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle
, review of Christ Conspiracy
"Your scholarship is relentless! ...the research conducted by D.M. Murdock concerning the myth of Jesus Christ is certainly both valuable and worthy of consideration."
- Dr. Kenneth L. Feder, Professor of Archaeology, Central Connecticut State University, Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology
"I can recommend your work whole-heartedly!"
- Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus
and The New Testament Code
"I've known people with triple Ph.D's who haven't come close to the scholarship in Who Was Jesus?
- Pastor David Bruce, M.Div, North Park Seminary, Chicago, HollywoodJesus.com
"Thirty years ago, when in divinity school, I might have had second thoughts about becoming an Episcopal priest if a book like D.M. Murdock's Who Was Jesus?
had been available to me."
- Bob Semes, Retired university professor of History and Religion, Founder and Executive Director of the Jefferson Center
"...I have found her scholarship, research, knowledge of the original languages, and creative linkages to be breathtaking and highly stimulating."
- Rev. Dr. Jon Burnham, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX
"The Christ Conspiracy
—very, very scholarly and wholly researched—is a book for today..."
- Rev. B. Strauss, ex-Catholic Priest, Chicago, IL
Here's a ton of positive feedback from other folks who actually read Murdock's books - these comments come in all the time: Emails I Have Loved
I'd rather leave on a positive note, since I'm interested in the betterment of the world. Unfortunately, because Carrier continues to say and do stupid things, this lengthy polemic will be a continuing saga...Further ReadingWhat is a Mythicist?Why I Am a MythicistThe Evemerist vs. Mythicist PositionAstrotheology of the AncientsReligion and the Ph.D.: A Brief HistoryWere George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Jesus Mythicists?
Here's the thread on Carrier's book: On the Historicity of Jesus* Richard Carrier is out of control and cannot stop himself:Richard Carrier is at it again in Amazon commentsRichard Carrier Exposing His Ignorance and Biases Again* This post has been peer reviewed!
Ya know, Carrier may not know it (since he has never actually read her books, but I have read Carrier's books) but he agrees with Murdock/Acharya S on about 90% but, people would never realize that by listening to Carrier since all he has to offer are malicious smears and an endless stream of derogatory comments on her work. They both agree that Jesus is most likely a mythical character and that the bible is mostly myth.
I suppose it could potentially be a worthwhile endeavor to sus out what they agree upon instead of always focusing on the few differences. It could be funny to ask him to explain what he can acknowledge Acharya S is correct about instead of smearing her all the time because that alone could expose the fact that Carrier has never read her books. At this point, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Carrier attempted to claim they don't agree on anything ... just to be a dick.viewtopic.php?p=29324#p29324