Published on the Secular Web
(1999, 2005) [Part 4A of a larger Review of In Defense of Miracles.] The Project Beckwith’s chapter has one objective: to answer the question “can history be inspected for the occurrence of miracles?” (87) Of course, this question must follow the prior question of whether any miracle can ever be recognized at all (see The […]
(1999, 2005) [Part 4D of a larger Review of In Defense of Miracles.] When is Prophecy Miraculous? Robert Newman contributes a chapter on Old Testament prophecy, with the general idea that certain predictions found there are so uncanny that they are in themselves miracles. He begins by outlining the usual criticisms of this idea and […]
(2003) Richard Carrier Introduction The Event Basic Survey and Score Note on Debate Strategy First Point: “Argument from the Universe” Second Point: “Argument from Absolute Morality” Third Point: The “Trial” Defense vs. the Argument from Evil Fourth Point: Shoring Up Agnosticism Q & A: Pitching Balls for the Home Team Addendum on Muslim Apologetics Handout […]
This is a rebuttal of Rea's claim that naturalism "is without rational foundation." This essay shows that adopting the "research program" of basic empiricism is universally appealing, and since naturalism as a "worldview" follows from adopting basic empiricism and applying it to the facts of the world, naturalism has a rational foundation. Rea's conclusion that naturalism must abandon materialism and realism about material objects and other minds because naturalism cannot "discover" intrinsic modal properties is also disproved.
Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity (2002) What follows is a critical review of The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus, a work by Earl Doherty (Canadian Humanist Publications: Ottawa, Canada; revised edition, 2000). This does not address anything on Doherty’s […]
(2000) Richard Carrier Copyright 2000, all rights reserved. Introduction What follows is an ongoing project, of which only the first installment is now available, but more will be added as promised over the coming years. In the end, what you will find here is a complete summary of the rise and development of philosophy, and […]
(2000) Richard Carrier Copyright 2000 all rights reserved The earliest civilization that could be called “Greek” was the sophisticated bronze-age empire of Mycenae, an inheritor of the more near-eastern Minoan society that preceded it. The downfall of the Mycenaean culture in 1200 or 1100 B.C.E.–to war, famine, or disease, or some combination thereof–left an ensuing […]
Bush Abandons the People By Richard Carrier Everyone knows the popular axiom that the most taboo topics of conversation are sex, religion, and politics. This, of course, is because most people don’t think and make no effort to be informed. Instead, all too often people wield blind, passionate opinions, and adamantly refuse to listen to […]
Bad Science, Worse Philosophy: the Quackery and Logic-Chopping of David Foster’s The Philosophical Scientists (2000) Richard Carrier The following material examines arguments officially and formally refuted in Richard Carrier, “The Argument from Biogenesis: Probabilities against a Natural Origin of Life,” Biology & Philosophy 19.5 (November, 2004), pp. 739-64. Note the clarification added to Addendum C […]
The Date of the Nativity in Luke (6th ed., 2011) Richard Carrier It is beyond reasonable dispute that Luke dates the birth of Jesus to 6 A.D. It is equally indisputable that Matthew dates the birth of Jesus to 6 B.C. (or some year before 4 B.C.). This becomes an irreconcilable contradiction after an examination […]
What is Atheism Really All About? (1996) Richard Carrier "He who decides a case without hearing the other side, even if he decides justly, cannot be considered just" — Seneca What is an Atheist? An atheist is a person who does not believe that any gods exist. Why don’t you believe in God? There […]
Why I Don’t Buy the Resurrection Story (6th ed., 2006) Richard Carrier Main Argument What follows is a half-hour lecture I have given on several public occasions, first at Yale on 26 October 2000 at the request of the Yale College Humanists and Secularists. It was followed by a Q & A session of nearly two hours. […]
Review of The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark (by Dennis R. MacDonald; Yale University, 2000) By Richard Carrier An Incredible Book This is an incredible book that must be read by everyone with an interest in Christianity. MacDonald’s shocking thesis is that the Gospel of Mark is a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an […]
by Richard C. Carrier Fundamentals of Agreement and Disagreement Jen Roth has composed her case well, and I can see this debate will be of great value to everyone, not only secularists. I will begin with the major points of fundamental agreement and disagreement between us. Roth is quite right when she identifies the two […]
Abortion is not Immoral and Should not be Illegal by Richard C. Carrier I. Disputed Facts In Jen Roth’s first rebuttal, several factual arguments are made that I do not believe are correct. I will address these first. However, these factual disputes are not very major–they do not go to the heart of the debate. […]
Abortion is not Immoral and Should not be Illegal Closing Statement by Richard C. Carrier Conclusions on the Main Issues The present debate is about two things: what the facts are and what the universally shared values are that relate to those facts. After all that has been said in this debate, there does not […]
Richard Carrier [The following article was originally published in the Fall 1996 issue of Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, published by the Institute for Critical Thinking at Montclair State University (Upper Montclair, NJ).] William Reinsmith’s paper “Religious Life and Critical Thought: Do They Need Each Other?” was well written and very communicative, but I […]
Antony Flew is one of the most renowned atheists of the 20th century. He is now considering the possibility that there might be a God--sort of. What's going on? Carrier has had direct contact with Flew and tells us what's going on; it's certainly not, at least not yet, what some theists would like to think.
Michael Corey claimed in a recent debate that the Koran predicted the expanding universe. But did it? Only if you employ a liberal reading of the original text. Carrier uses the same interpretive methods on the poetry of Lucretius to show that Epicurus was a far more amazing prophet of modern science than Mohammed. Yet if Mohammed really had a pipeline to God, surely he would have done better than a mere mortal who used nothing more than human reason and observation.
A recent find, an ossuary (or bonebox) may be evidence that Jesus existed. Carrier compares the facts and arguments, pro and con, and offers his expert opinion.
We don't seem to win much notice in the press, but when we do, its good press. Carrier surveys the few instances he could find. Some are quite interesting!
It's been over two years, but it's not too late: VHS copies of the debate between lawyer Edward Tabash and renowned apologist William Lane Craig are now available at the Secular Web. Debaters, aspiring debaters and fans of theism-atheism debates everywhere will definitely want a copy!
Richard Carrier looks at a prime example of the "genre" of medical literature that declares Jesus died, and finds it hopelessly wanting, especially for their incompetent historical method.
When Cupid's arrow strikes, is it mere molecules in motion or have we finally found our soul mate? Carrier explores nature's greatest mystery -- amore! -- as well as the notion of physical beauty, impulse, biology, and Hollywood's obsession with sex.
What ever happened to Solon? An Ancient Greek who founded democracy and the concept of equality, Solon's work is the true inspiration behind America. His moral code far outshines Moses' Ten Commandments and would be a much more appropriate document to place within our public schools. It is time that the long forgotten Athenian be resurrected.
Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian in this nearly 40-minute interview with historian and freethinker Richard C. Carrier as Carrier responds to New Testament scholar Dennis R. MacDonald's statement that fellow atheists like Carrier have misappropriated his work, MacDonald's forthcoming definitive reference on the metahistory on the mythologized Gospels, the scholarship of Robyn Faith Walsh on mythologizing Jesus, the penal substitution model of atonement (where Jesus 'sits in' to brutally bear the punishment for our sins), how to square Paul the Apostle's words with a mythicist picture of Jesus as just another mythologized iteration of dying and rising gods, whether the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas is early or late compared to the canonical Gospels, and how Jesus Seminarian John Dominic Crossan's take on that issue compares to that of Mark Goodacre. Check out this fascinating interview with a historian as he shows his wide-ranging command of the historical record!
Join host Edouard Tahmizian for about 45 minutes with historian and freethinker Richard C. Carrier as they canvass whether God is the origin of evil per Edouard's Secular Web Modern Library paper "God is Either the Efficient or Final Cause of Evil," the astonishing new trend among some Christian apologists called equal ultimacy, which maintains that God is still perfectly holy even if he is the direct cause of sin, how God could hardly be perfectly good if he knowingly imbued his creatures with a disposition to sin, and how atheists derive their moral principles. Tune in for this fantastic interview with a long-time freethought activist!
Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian for this roughly half-hour interview with prominent historian and freethinker Richard C. Carrier about whether or not the Jewish polemic in Matthew's gospel alluded to by Justin Martyr corroborates the existence of a historical Jesus, about what (assuming that there was a historical Jesus) happened to Jesus' body after his death, about what reasons we have to think that the Josephus quote mentioning Jesus was entirely (rather than partially) forged, and about why the empty tomb narratives were invented, or why contemporaneous sources never call out the fictional nature of Jesus, if Jesus never existed, among other things. Check out this very informative interview!
In this nearly hour-long interview with the prominent historian and freethinker Richard C. Carrier, Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian and fellow Internet Infidels board member John MacDonald talk with Carrier about his conversion from Christianity to Taoism before he adopted metaphysical naturalism, his mystical experiences, the literature on the historicity of Jesus and Jesus mythicism, the original intent of the authors of the canonical Gospels, and much more! Tune in for this fascinating discussion with a long-running scholar and freethought activist.