Carrier vs. Ehrman, round 2

I like Bart Ehrman.  His other books are good.  I just can’t fathom why he’s so suddenly changed gears and seems to be letting his emotions cloud his judgment.

He finally posted a response to Rick’s critique of his book for the whole world to see.  This is good.  It’s what he should’ve done immediately instead of initially dismissing it as ad hominem when it was obvious that Rick had given a substantive reply

His efforts, though noble, have earned Ehrman another roundhouse from Carrier.

Richard Carrier is good at what he does: making solid arguments, chock full of facts, and helping others to learn in the process.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Krisko

    I just got Ehrman’s new book, and the entire introduction is just so irritatingly arrogant. I mean like Richard Dawkins on steroids, arrogant.

    • Bundy

      Carrier is also good at insults, ridicule, and confusing name calling with argument. His review was riddled with it.

      Who ya kidding?

      His jealously of Errman’s greater book sales and distinguished academic post is eating him up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

    Good for Carrier for holding Ehrman’s feet to the fire on this one. You don’t like it when people call your book worthless, Bart? Maybe you should have thought of that before you filled it with factual errors and fallacious reasoning.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Thom Stark might disagree with you on Carrier making solid arguments. Carrier is very forceful, but when one checks his sources, the “chock full of facts” part becomes a lot more questionable.

    As for the roundhouse kick, the only legitimate complaint that I saw was when Ehrman quoted Carrier as saying “mythicist Thomas Thompson meets every one of Ehrman’s criteria” when he had said, “mythicist Thomas Thompson meets every one of Ehrman’s criteria — excepting only one thing, he is an expert in Judaism rather than Christianity specifically.” Even then, Carrier ends up writing as if he himself forgot what he wrote after the em-dash, since he goes on to say “So did he [Ehrman] just ‘forget’ when he says he knows of no one who meets his criteria?” even though Carrier himself already admitted that Thompson didn’t fit Ehrman’s criteria! Other than that, there’s not much of any substance, just a lot of forceful verbiage.

    • Mark

      I think his larger and much more important point was the criteria were ridiculous and unnecessary to begin with.

      • J. J. Ramsey

        What’s so ridiculous about the qualifications that Ehrman mentions?

        If one is going to make a case about Jesus’ non-existence, it helps to be an expert in the relevant fields. Both the fields of study about Early Christianity and the New Testament are relevant, and Classics is, um, sorta relevant. Expertise in ancient Israel (as opposed to more relatively recent Second Temple Judaism) … not so much.

        As for the qualification of teaching in the relevant field at an “accredited institution of higher learning”, well that’s a signal that one can be reasonably understood as an expert in the field, as opposed to merely having a paper-only qualification or expertise that has decayed from disuse or being out of touch with work in the field.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

    JT, I find these “Go Carrier!” posts a bit worrisome from you for several reasons.

    First, what you say about Ehrman in this post itself is inaccurate. Ehrman didn’t initially dismiss Carrier and only later decide to write a substantiate reply, he said from the beginning he was going to write a series of posts.

    Second, Carrier’s posts themselves contain even more bizarre misinterpretations of Ehrman, including imagined attacks on academic freedom (as I explain in one of my posts on the subject.)

    Finally, you can ignore this point if you’ve studied this issue way more than you let on, but from what you’ve written it doesn’t look like you have any kind of informed opinion here. It looks like you’re just backing whatever side in the debate seems most damaging to Christianity, even though Ehrman’s views don’t actually vindicate Christianity anyways.

  • TCSF

    This whole foofaraw is starting to get on my nerves. We need to figure out how to calmly adjudicate what is going on.

  • Corey

    So far, all i’ve seen is Carrier make a lot of substantive points, and baby Bart playing the hurt card and engaging in the take-me-literally game. Ehrman plays those games a lot– apparently he thinks they are too clever and dodgy for mere mortals to keep up– and one need look no further than the penis nosed statue claim. In context, Ehrman was debunking the “silliness” of people that talk about the existence of a penis nosed statue named Peter in the Vatican. Such a silly myth, that the Vatican would keep around a penis-nosed statue named Peter! And which part do you think is being denied here– the penis-nosed statue or the name Peter? Was Ehrman clear about that? Did Ehrman seize a rhetorical advantage by NOT being clear about that? You decide, but first:

    “You lied when you said you never cheated on me at college….”

    “No I didn’t. I never lied; I cheated on you at spring break…”

    See how the take-me-literal game works?

    Then, he carefully juxtaposes mythicists like Carrier with the likes of the Zeitgeist Movie people, while allowing himself to later, in denial, demand a literal reading generally associated with autistic children who literally cannot grasp connotation or figurative language.

    Carrier details his objections, point by point, in an organized fashion, and without apology or paying the proper venerated respect for our lord and magistrate, Bart Ehrman, who cries and promises to slowly reply to “categories” of objection, which can only mean that he will deal with the same overly-generalized versions (read: strawmen) of mythicist argument he already stumbled over in his book.

    I say “go Carrier,” and let’s see if we can get a substantive and honest reply to the specific problems he raises with this book. I think Ehrman needs to sit down and engage Carrier, point by point, just like Carrier engaged Ehrman, and really if it’s too much work, then Carrier wins by TKO.

    • Bundy

      Guys with faces like Carriers should not talk about penis nosed statues so much.

      • Anteprepro

        Hilarious that the guy who said

        Carrier is also good at insults, ridicule, and confusing name calling with argument

        is dropping substance-less ad homs like they’re going out of style. Please, tell us more about how Carrier is wrong because he is an ugly jerk. Enlighten us.

        • sqlrob

          My first (not so serious. I hope.) though was that we found Ehrman’s nym.

        • Bundy

          I am just following in Carriers footsteps!

          And I use ridicule because, as PZ Myers and Saul Alinksy tell us, it works.

          And Carrier IS pansy faced. And, no, it has nothing to do with his arguments. He is just a prick. Ad hom intended.

          • Mark

            Carrier while being extremely cutting in his criticism, is never wantonly so. His criticisms are always centred Ehrman’s arguments and reasoning. What you’ve just done is throw around a moronic insult for no reason other than to try and make yourself look clever. You did not succeed.

    • Anteprepro

      It actually hasn’t been brought up at all in the discussions I’ve read of it so far, but I feel that he pulled the Let’s Be Incredibly Literal card again when talking about Osiris. And it fucking pissed me off. Seriously. His argument is that Osiris doesn’t count as a god who rose from the dead and returned to Earth because Osiris didn’t come back in his previous, dead body. I didn’t realize that the corpse was such a big factor, such that it makes or breaks a comparison to other Back From the Dead stories. I like to note, however, that Jesus’s resurrection bears more similarity to Osiris’s than, say, Lazarus’s, because Jesus’s body post-resurrection, even if it was supposedly the same one, is allegedly also a divine body. Osiris’s post-resurrection body was just more divine and less corpse-y, and apparently that means there is no parallel to Jesus at all, end of story. I guess it inadvertently does seal the deal on the resurrection’s parallels to zombies, though.

      • Zengaze

        See erhmans car review where he demonstrates how a ford escort is not a car because it has seat belts, and the model T didn’t.

        • Zengaze

          Apologies for the misspelling of the name, I meant to say Errorman’s

    • J. J. Ramsey

      His argument is that Osiris doesn’t count as a god who rose from the dead and returned to Earth because Osiris didn’t come back in his previous, dead body.

      Generally speaking, a resurrection is where the body goes from dead to moving around again. The body may be transformed in the process, but the idea is that the the risen body is somehow continuous with the old one. That’s why, for example, the hypothetical cannibal who converts to Christianity was a puzzle for Aquinas.

      Osiris’s post-resurrection body …

      Citation needed.

      • Anteprepro

        …What’s the citation needed for? My reference was the description given of the thing in Erhman’s own article. Is the quibble over whether the new body counts as divine? Or is the “citation needed” regarding calling Osiris’s new body a “post-resurrection body”? If that’s the case, then I’m not sure why that was necessary, since you already presented your argument that resurrection refers to original bodies returning to life by definition. Clarification please?

        • J. J. Ramsey

          I’m saying that a citation is needed for the claim that Osiris even had a post-resurrection body. With resurrection, generally the idea is that one dies and then comes back to life in a body pretty much permanently, or at least until one gets killed again. With Osiris’ case, his body gets torn apart and put back together, but the purpose of this is so that his soul can actually move on to the underworld, and there’s no clear indication that Osiris’ soul went back to his reformed body and stayed there for good. A layperson’s summary of the commonly understood myths about Isis and Osiris can be found here: http://www.egyptianmyths.net/mythisis.htm

    • J. J. Ramsey

      Corey:

      “You lied when you said you never cheated on me at college….”

      “No I didn’t. I never lied; I cheated on you at spring break…”

      See how the take-me-literal game works?

      But your analogy breaks down when one considers the conversation to which this is supposed to be analogous:

      “You lied when you said there was no penis-nosed statue of Peter”

      “No I didn’t. I never lied; There may have been a penis-nosed statue, but it had nothing to do with Peter.”

      In Corey’s example, the cheating is what is of concern, not the location where the cheating occured. In the latter case, though, it’s the connection to Peter that’s of concern. A penis-nosed statue unrelated to Peter is perhaps an amusing art piece, but it has no relevance to mythicism or Acharya S’s “argument” in The Christ Conspiracy, where she makes up the connection between Peter and the statue via some pretty laughable loose association. (See the Google Books preview of her book and search in it for “Peter cock Vatican” without the quotes.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

        That might be worth something if any great number of Ehrmans’s readers was ever going to know anything about this whole exchange. Chances are they won’t, so all they have is what the book says which reads like an outright denial of the statue’s existence.

        • J. J. Ramsey

          Anyone who reads “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else” as “There is no penis-nosed statue in the Vatican or anywhere else” is simply not reading very well. Period.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

            That would be true if people were generally aware of the existence of penis-nosed cock statues representing people other than Peter. They are not. If someone denies the existence of an apparently unique item, you’re not going to think that person meant that it really does exist but has been misinterpreted. If that person meant to say it really does exist but has been misinterpreted but instead said that it doesn’t exist, then s/he spoke extremely carelessly and deserves to be criticized for it, especially if s/he wishes to be considered a trustworthy scholar.

          • J. J. Ramsey

            That would be true if people were generally aware of the existence of penis-nosed cock statues representing people other than Peter.

            No, that’s true, period, because of this thing called the syntax of the English language.

            (Also, saying that Acharya S “misinterpreted” the Priapus Bronze is being too kind. She made shit up about it.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

            So what you’re saying then is that, if I tell you X doesn’t exist and X to the best of your knowledge is a unique item, you will take that to mean that X can be considered to exist as long as you call it Y instead. Got it.

          • J. J. Ramsey

            So what you’re saying then is that, if I tell you X doesn’t exist and X to the best of your knowledge is a unique item …

            That is literally nonsense. If X is a unique item, then only one of its kind exists. If X doesn’t exist, then, well, none of its kind exists, so it makes no sense to describe it as unique.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

            What are you smoking and why aren’t you sharing? I’ll spell it out more clearly for you…

            You’re reading a book. That book describes an item, X, which another author claims to exist. As far as you know, X is a unique item. The author of the book you’re reading claims X doesn’t exist anywhere except in books where people like that other author have made it up. According to your own logic, you would think your book was saying that X does indeed exist as long as you call it Y instead.

        • julian

          That is literally nonsense. If X is a unique item, then only one of its kind exists.

          To the best of your knowledge, you nit. Read what people are saying not what you want them to be saying.

          Christ but you’re a dishonest ass.

          You, in the situation provided, believe something to be unique and there not to be anymore of its kind. Another person is informing you what you believe to be unique doesn’t exist at all.

          • J. J. Ramsey

            julian:

            Read what people are saying not what you want them to be saying.

            Ok, I didn’t read as closely as I might and didn’t give a more careful rebuttal. Let’s look again at what kimrottman said:

            I tell you X doesn’t exist and X to the best of your knowledge is a unique item, you will take that to mean that X can be considered to exist as long as you call it Y instead.

            I’m guessing that X is supposed to be “a penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock” and Y is supposed to be just “a penis-nosed statue.” If this is the case, then she’s just outright misreading what I wrote, and she’s still incoherent. When she says “call it Y,” she’s implying that Y is just another label for X, but X and Y are clearly two different things.

            Sorry, but if someone reads “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else” as saying “There is no penis-nosed statue in the Vatican or anywhere else,” then he or she should take your advice to “[r]ead what people are saying,” the legerdemain of kimrottman and Carrier notwithstanding.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

            When she says “call it Y,” she’s implying that Y is just another label for X, but X and Y are clearly two different things.

            Wut? Are you seriously claiming that we’re talking about two completely different statues?! If so, you’ve lost the plot. Y is just another label for X. Priapus is just another label for the statue Acharya claims symbolizes Peter. They’re. The. Same. Statue. Ehrman and you are saying it doesn’t exist if you call it Peter, but does exist if you call it Priapus.

          • J. J. Ramsey

            Y is just another label for X. Priapus is just another label for the statue Acharya claims symbolizes Peter.

            By that logic, “Richard Dawkins” is just another label for the statue. If Acharya S were to say that the penis-nosed statue in the Vatican is of Richard Dawkins, then by the logic you’ve displayed so far, it would be an error of fact to say, “There is no penis-nosed statue of Richard Dawkins in the Vatican.” After all, “Richard Dawkins” is as much a proper label for the statue as “Peter,” no?

          • http://www.facebook.com/kimmyrafter kimrottman

            *sigh*

            I would be even more certain he meant there were no penis-nosed statues of any kind because, not only do I have no reason to expect there to be penis-nosed statues in the Vatican, I have even less reason to think there is any kind of statue of Richard Dawkins there.

      • Zengaze

        People will spout the craziest shit in defence of their deity. Which isnt really surprising, what is amazing is that they convince themselves that the shit they say isn’t batshit crazy.

        JJ stop being an asshat. Ehrman fucked up, he knows it but it conflicts with the infallibility self image thing he has.

        What is pitiful, and ehrman should be ashamed of it, is the crazies spouting his scramble defence like it was a defence. JJ out of interest are you are theist apologist parrot also?

        • J. J. Ramsey

          Zengaze:

          Ehrman fucked up, he knows it but it conflicts with the infallibility self image thing he has.

          Examples of Ehrman’s self-image of infallibility:

          Let me say at the outset that I am not perfect, that as a full-blooded human being, I do make mistakes, and that nothing I say is an inerrant revelation from above.

          Yes, when I said letter 10 I meant a letter in book 10. This is what you might call a real howler, a cock-up (not in the Peter sense). I meant Book 10. This is the kind of mistake I’m prone to make (I’ve made it before and will probably make it again), that I should have caught.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

    Bart’s a good writer, and generally a good historian. I think calling him “Errorman” here is unfair.

    I think he has not handled himself particularly well in the debate with Carrier, but that’s the exception for Ehrman, not the rule – at least as far as I can tell.

    • Zengaze

      I happen to agree with you, but his refusal to accept academic criticism with regard to his errors, and his obfuscation in what appears to me to be an ego driven, defence of his prized reputation rather than the body of knowledge, means that I consider myself justified, until he does the intellectually honest action of admitting his errors in order to protect the body of knowledge, in referring to him as errorman.

      How many readers are going to come away from this book with an incorrect view, and regurgitate it in their own arguments, as us lay historians depend upon professional historians to do the digging for us.

      • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

        True.

        It is kind of sad watching Ehrman here. On the other hand, it puts me in a state of awe watching Carrier.

        • Bundy

          If you are in “awe” of Carrier you don’t know squat about academic history or philosophy.

          There is a reason Errorman has an academic career with oodles of money and Carrier has to beg for donations.

          That said, if Erroman is so off base, maybe his other books should be reconsidered too! (Gasp!)

          • sqlrob

            His other books should absolutely be reconsidered. When you blow it as badly as he just did, your entire corpus is suspect.

          • Blair

            Agreed.

          • Reginald Selkirk

            There is a reason Errorman has an academic career with oodles of money and Carrier has to beg for donations.

            Certainly there are reasons.
            Scholar of Mormon History, Expelled From Church, Hits a Wall in Job Search

            Mr. (D. Michael) Quinn’s struggles reflect the rising influence of religious groups over the teaching of their faiths at secular colleges, despite concerns about academic freedom. U.S. universities have usually hired religious-studies professors regardless of whether they practiced or admired the faiths they researched. But some universities are bending to the views of private donors and state legislators by hiring the faithful.

            In the 1970s, some universities pioneered the idea of privately funded professorships in specific religions by establishing Judaic-studies chairs. Now many universities have chairs for faiths ranging from Islam to Sikhism. They are usually underwritten by donors of the same religion, who generally expect that the scholar filling the chair will be sympathetic to the faith.

            “Every single department of religion is negotiating with religious communities in new ways,” says Laurie Patton, chairwoman of the religion department at Emory University, a private, secular school in Atlanta.

            Ehrman has been at UNC since 1988, and despite his agnostic views, appears gentle and non-threatening to believers who make up the rich alumni donors and student population. Earlier in his career he was still a Christian ( I don’t know the date when his position evolved to non-belief).
            .
            ———
            .
            A couple quotes from God’s problem by Ehrman show his level of sophistication in fields outside his speciality:
            p. 122: “Since human beings misbehave and hurt others out of their free will (which does exist, even if God does not)…
            p. 125: “
            I don’t know if there is a God. I don’t call myself an atheist, because to declare affirmatively theat there is no God (the declaration of atheists) takes far more knowledge (and chutzpah) than I have.

  • G.Shelley

    There is something a little sad about Ehrman’s defence. He does generally make a good case that he wasn’t incompetent, but just makes it seem as if his wring is poor, or he is being deliberately dishonest. In many ways, he is coming across as a Christian apologist in the vein of Lee Strobel.
    His defence of the penis nosed statue comment is just bizarre, and it demonstrates serious biases in his supporters that they are willing to accept this. Even if he hadn’t repeated the assertion in a podcast and implied she drew it herself, making the whole thing up, penis nosed statues are not so common that the typical reader is going to think “He doesn’t actually mean that the statue doesn’t exist, he just means it does exist, as drawn, but isn’t Peter”

    • Anteprepro

      What is wrong with you? Stop with the paraphrasing, and look at the original goddamn quote (note: the quote is given in Carrier’s latest, so if it was quote-mined and there is more context that makes it clearer, present it).

      [Acharya says] “‘Peter’ is not only ‘the rock’ but also ‘the cock’, or penis, as the word is used as slang to this day.” Here Acharya shows (her own?) hand drawing of a man with a rooster head but with a large erect penis instead of a nose, with this description: “bronze sculpture hidden in the Vatican treasure of the Cock, symbol of St. Peter” (295). There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up.

      Read that again: Acharya says “symbol of St. Peter” which either suggests that “the Cock” is a symbol of Peter, or the statue is. But not, you will notice, actually saying that the statue IS Peter. Erhman, however, says the image was Acharya’s own drawing, that there is “no penis-nosed staute of Peter” and that Acharya loves to make things up. He doesn’t say that the statue exists but isn’t Peter (like normal humans would do), doesn’t argue that it isn’t symbolic of Peter (like someone who wants to actually engage arguments would do), but instead says that no “statue of Peter” exists except in books where people “make things up”. I am sorry, but that doesn’t look like simply contesting the idea that the statue represents Peter. It takes a special kind of sycophant to accept “there is no penis-shaped statue of Peter the cock” as the SOLE rebuttal to a claim that a penis-shaped statue is said to be a symbol of Peter, and believe sincerely that the person who wrote that was being ultra literal and saying “yes, that penis-shaped statue Acharya refers to definitely exists, but it isn’t of Peter”. The fact that there is a podcast where Erhman also seems to suggest that the statue doesn’t exist at all, instead of simply not being a representation of Peter, also puts the lie to his claim. Not that the people who believe that his line makes perfect sense would be swayed by that anyway.

      • J. J. Ramsey

        It takes a special kind of sycophant to accept “there is no penis-shaped statue of Peter the cock” as the SOLE rebuttal to a claim that a penis-shaped statue is said to be a symbol of Peter, and believe sincerely that the person who wrote that was being ultra literal and saying “yes, that penis-shaped statue Acharya refers to definitely exists, but it isn’t of Peter”.

        And who is actually saying that Ehrman’s words could be interpreted as “yes, that penis-shaped statue Acharya refers to definitely exists, but it isn’t of Peter”? What those siding with Ehrman have been saying is that — contrary to Carrier’s claim — Ehrman commits no error in fact in writing, “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else.” Whether there is a penis-nosed statue unrelated to Peter is irrelevant to the topics of discussion in Ehrman’s book (or in Acharya S’s book for that matter), and Ehrman doesn’t bother answering that particular question. Someone who reads Ehrman as categorically saying “There is no penis-nosed statue in the Vatican or anywhere else” is simply not reading English very well.

        • Zengaze

          As far as I’m aware ehrmans current position, after a lot of friendly coaxing to stop being an ass, is that (and yes I’m paraphrasing) how he worded the paragraph regarding the statue was poorly written.

          Consider this, ehrmans book was targeted, not at an academic audience, but at a populist one, which to my mind in no way excuses bad scholarship, in fact I am of the opinion that sloppy scholarship for the masses is far more damaging. Any lay person reading that paragraph would take from it that the penis nose statue was a figment of the imagination. You are disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

          But let’s not get bogged down on just one of ehrmans admitted errors, how about the documents we have that were the sources for the gospels? Did ehrman just have another mind fart on that one too.

          Fanboys disgust me.

          • Zengaze

            Of course the fanboys will say that any reasonable person will understand that we actually do have these documents, if not in the material sense, then in the logical rational sense, by consensus of study.

            Which translates as “we like the idea that these documents existed because it makes or pet hypothesis sound” which is batshit crazy bad science, but then again if you don’t have evidence of something, just make shit up. Like ummmm god.

        • Anteprepro

          Ehrman commits no error in fact in writing, “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else.”

          Only if you accept an utterly implausible, ultra-literalistic reading of the relevant passage and completely ignore that Erhman, also implausibly, happened to use similarly ultra-literalistic word games on a podcast where he also implied the statue referred to doesn’t exist at all.

          Someone who reads Ehrman as categorically saying “There is no penis-nosed statue in the Vatican or anywhere else” is simply not reading English very well.

          Speaking of strawmen, that is NOT how anyone I have seen has been reading it. We are noting that it makes NO FUCKING SENSE to say “there is no penis-nosed statue of Peter” and say ONLY THAT when you supposedly 1. believe that the penis-nosed statue claimed to be “of Peter” does actually exist and 2. are only contesting that the statue is “of Peter”. It is not good English or good logic, at all, to phrase an objection to interpreting an object as representing Peter by saying “there is no such object representing Peter”, heavily implying that the object itself doesn’t exist to anyone who thinks Erhman isn’t playing word games. Because, really, what does that sentence amount to if he isn’t actually disputing the existence of the object, but disputing that symbolizes Peter? He is “refuting” Acharya by simply saying “Nuh uh”. If he was actually saying that the object doesn’t exist, like “love to make things up” heavily implies, then his objection makes logical sense because it is undermining her case completely by saying “that statue doesn’t even exist, so no need to argue further”. Which is consistent with the fact that he ends the subject with that sentence. If you sincerely believe that Erhman meant only to say what he now claims he meant, you are acknowledging that his refutation of Acharya was incredibly weak. It amounts, under this interpretation, to only saying “no, that statue doesn’t represent Peter, moving on”.

          So, seriously, save the fucking “not reading English very well” nonsense.

          • J. J. Ramsey

            Me: “Someone who reads Ehrman as categorically saying ‘There is no penis-nosed statue in the Vatican or anywhere else’ is simply not reading English very well.”

            Anteprepro:

            Speaking of strawmen, that is NOT how anyone I have seen has been reading it.

            Yet Carrier and kimrottman have kept insisting that it would be read that way by others. So have you when you write,

            We are noting that it makes NO FUCKING SENSE to say “there is no penis-nosed statue of Peter” and say ONLY THAT when you supposedly 1. believe that the penis-nosed statue claimed to be “of Peter” does actually exist and 2. are only contesting that the statue is “of Peter”.

            He is “refuting” Acharya by simply saying “Nuh uh”.

            That’s true regardless of whether one reads Ehrman as implying the non-existence a penis-nosed statue unrelated to Peter. Ehrman is making a relatively brief bullet point list of the errors of Acharya S, with each bullet about a paragraph long. He is clearly not aiming at detailed refutation, which makes sense for text in an introduction where he is giving a general overview of mythicism rather than treating it in detail.

            his objection makes logical sense because it is undermining her case completely by saying “that statue doesn’t even exist, so no need to argue further”. Which is consistent with the fact that he ends the subject with that sentence.

            Ehrman doesn’t end the subject with “that statue doesn’t even exist, so no need to argue further.” If I were to be as charitable to you as you have been to Ehrman, I’d conclude that you were making stuff up yourself.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

    Banned Bundy for trolling. His last two comments got around my IP ban. Hopefully that’s fixed now.

    The last two comments of his were deleted as they were…

    1. Pointless

    2. Made after I banned him

  • Craig

    Does Riohard Carrier Exist? Or is he a creation of the Atheist Community?

  • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ JesseW

    (Also posted to Carrier’s 2nd reply)

    One oddity about Ehrman’s blog post making the reply is that he neglected to actually link to the original review he was replying to. And when I added a comment with such a link, it was rejected (all comments are moderated before posting, similarly to this blog).

    I’ve now attempted to post it again, along with a link to this reply. We’ll see if it goes through.

    Here’s a screenshot as proof that I did submit the comment: http://imgur.com/2vGBg

    • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ JesseW

      My comment is now posted. I assume this has nothing to do with the fact that JT highlighted the fact that it previously hadn’t been. Of course not. ;-)

  • G.Shelley

    One thing I missed from Carrier and Ehrmans’s arguments is that Acharya denies claiming it was a statue of Peter, instead that it was a statue of a cock, and that the cock is a symbol of St Peter.
    Which to me seems to be badly written, though I am sure her supporters would claim that it isn’t and no one is going to read that and think she is implying that it was a symbol of Peter.

    Which is kind of ironic given that Ehrman is whining about people doing the same thing – interpreting his statement in a way he claims he didn’t mean. He can’t have it both ways. Either he was right to use it as an example of her incompetence, in which case the people who picked him up on it were also right, or, if the people who are criticising him are wrong because they misread him, then he is wrong for misreading her.

  • Anteprepro

    If I were to be as charitable to you as you have been to Ehrman, I’d conclude that you were making stuff up yourself.

    Coming from the person saying that Erhman’s critics can’t read English? Grand.


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