|Richard Cevantis Carrier|
|Born||December 1, 1969|
|Education||BA (History), MA (Ancient history), MPhil (Ancient history), PhD (Ancient history)|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University|
Richard Cevantis Carrier (born December 1, 1969) is an American blogger and a writer on philosophical and historical topics. He is best known for his writings on Internet Infidels, otherwise known as the Secular Web, where he served as Editor-in-Chief for several years.
As an advocate of atheism and metaphysical naturalism, he has published articles in books, journals and magazines, and also features on the documentary film The God Who Wasn't There, where he is interviewed about his doubts on the historicity of Jesus. He currently contributes to The God Contention, a web site comparing and contrasting various worldviews.
Carrier received a PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008: his thesis was entitled 'Attitudes towards the natural philosopher in the Early Roman Empire'. He has published several articles and chapters in books on the subject of history and philosophy (see below). He is a contributor to the Secular Web (one of the main web sites for skeptics of religion on the internet) writing on a wide range of subjects such as the origins of Christianity and the elements of naturalist and atheist philosophy. He has engaged in several formal debates, both online and in public, defending subjects as diverse as naturalism as a worldview, natural explanations of early Christian resurrection accounts, and the morality of abortion.
After briefly assessing Carrier's critique of Mark Steiner's The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem, for example, Russell Howe, professor of mathematics at the Christian academy of Westmont College, argues that Carrier's line of argument plays into the hands of Steiner, though Carrier disputes this. On the other hand, Yonatan Fishman of the Department of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in a paper published for Science & Education, quotes and defends Carrier's demarcation between the natural and the supernatural, which allows supernatural claims (when properly formulated) to be investigated scientifically.
On the origins of Christianity
He is a supporter of the Christ myth theory. In his contribution to The Empty Tomb Carrier argues that the earliest Christians probably believed Jesus had received a new body in the resurrection, and that stories of his old body disappearing from its tomb were developed later. He also argues it is less likely but still possible the original body of Jesus was misplaced or stolen. This work was criticized by philosophy professor Stephen T. Davis in Philosophia Christi and Christian apologist Norman Geisler. The religious studies professor Bart Ehrman has criticized Carrier's suggestion that during the initial formation of Christianity a humiliated messiah figure like Jesus would be expected; Ehrman says that Carrier's evidence of this is based on misreadings of Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9. Carrier's first major book was published in 2012 by Prometheus Books, describing the application of Bayes Theorem to historical enquiry (specifically the historicity or otherwise of Jesus of Nazareth).
Though originally skeptical of the notion, and subsequently more agnostic, since 2005 he has considered it "very probable Jesus never actually existed as a historical person", yet he also said "though I foresee a rising challenge among qualified experts against the assumption of historicity [of Jesus]... that remains only a hypothesis that has yet to survive proper peer review".
In news and media
When reports spread of Antony Flew's rejection of atheism in 2004, Carrier engaged in correspondence with Flew to find out what happened and published an extensive analysis of the situation on the Secular Web, finding among other things that Flew changed his belief into there being some sort of "minimal God" (as in Deism). Carrier also came away with the opinion that Flew's changed ideas were not accurately represented in the book Flew co-authored, There is a God.  It is however worth noting that Flew himself insisted 'the idea that somebody manipulated me because I'm old is exactly wrong. This is my book and it represents my thinking.'
Carrier appeared on national television in 2004, debating William Lane Craig on Lee Strobel's talk show Faith Under Fire on the PAX network (now ION Television), in a segment on the resurrection of Jesus. Also in 2006, The Columbus Dispatch reported that Richard Carrier had been selected as the keynote speaker for the Humanist Community of Central Ohio's annual Winter Solstice Banquet in Columbus, Ohio in December of that year, where he spoke on defending naturalism as a worldview. Carrier is also listed in Who's Who in Hell.
- "Flash! Fox News Reports that Aliens May Have Built the Pyramids of Egypt!". Skeptical Inquirer 23.5 (September-October 1999).
- "The Guarded Tomb of Jesus and Daniel in the Lion's Den: An Argument for the Plausibility of Theft". Journal of Higher Criticism 8.2 (Fall 2001).
- "Pseudohistory in Jerry Vardaman's Magic Coins: The Nonsense of Micrographic Letters". Skeptical Inquirer 26.2 (March-April 2002) and 26.4 (July-August 2002).
- "The Function of the Historian in Society". The History Teacher 35.4 (August 2002).
- "Hitler's Table Talk: Troubling Finds". German Studies Review 26.3 (October 2003).
- "The Argument from Biogenesis: Probabilities Against a Natural Origin of Life". Biology & Philosophy 19.5 (November 2004).
- "Whence Christianity? A Meta-Theory for the Origins of Christianity". Journal of Higher Criticism 11.1 (Spring 2005).
- "Fatal Flaws in Michael Almeida's Alleged 'Defeat' of Rowe's New Evidential Argument from Evil". Philo 10.1 (Spring-Summer 2007).
- "On Defining Naturalism as a Worldview". Free Inquiry 30.3 (April/May 2010).
- "Thallus and the Darkness at Christ’s Death". Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 8 (2011-2012).
- "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200". Journal of Early Christian Studies 20.4 (Winter 2012).
Books and chapters
- Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Amherst, NY Prometheus Books, 2012) ISBN 978-1-61614-559-0
- Chapters in Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth, 2013, American Atheist Press
- Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith (Philosophy Press, 2011) ISBN 978-1-45658-885-4
- Chapters: "Christianity's success was not incredible", "Neither life nor the universe appear intelligently designed", "Moral facts naturally exist (and science could find them)" in The End of Christianity edited by John W. Loftus (Amherst, NY Prometheus Books 2011) ISBN 978-1-61614-413-5.
- Chapters: "Why the resurrection is unbelievable", "Christianity was not responsible for modern science" in The Christian Delusion edited by John W. Loftus (Amherst, NY Prometheus Books 2010) ISBN 978-1-61614-168-4.
- Chapter: "Bayes's Theorem for Beginners: Formal Logic and Its Relevance to Historical Method", in Sources of the Jesus Tradition: Separating History from Myth ed. R. Joseph Hoffmann (Amherst, NY Prometheus Books 2010).
- Not the Impossible Faith, Why Christianity Didn't Need a Miracle to Succeed Lulu.com (2009) ISBN 978-0-557-04464-1
- "Abortion Cannot be Regarded as Immoral". In The Abortion Controversy (edited by Lucinda Almond) Greenhaven Press (2007) ISBN 0-7377-3274-1.
- Chapters: "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb", "The Plausibility of Theft", "The Burial of Jesus in Light of Jewish Law". In The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond The Grave (edited by Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder) Prometheus Books (2005) ISBN 1-59102-286-X
- Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism. AuthorHouse (2005) ISBN 1-4208-0293-3.
- Entries on "Epicurus", "Lucretius", "Philodemus", "Second Sophistic", "Soranus of Ephesus" in Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (edited by Thomas J. Sienkewicz). Salem Press (2002). ISBN 0-89356-038-3.
- Christ myth theory
- Criticism of Christian origins
- Internet Infidels
- Historicity of Jesus
- List of American historians
- List of atheist activists and educators
- Richard C. Carrier, richardcarrier.info, accessed April 17, 2010.
- Carrier, Richard. "Biography for Richard Carrier". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- Biederman, Patricia Ward (2005-09-20). "Documentary Questions the Existence of Jesus" (Reprint). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Columbia University. "Clio Holdings Information". Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Habermas, Gary R. (2004). The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications. p. 298. ISBN 0-8254-2788-6.
- In public he debated Mike Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus (at UCLA); online he debated atheist Jennifer Roth on the morality of abortion (Is There A Secular Case Against Abortion? The Carrier-Roth Debate 2000). He has defended naturalism in formal debates with Tom Wanchick and Hassanain Rajabali (see Defense of metaphysical naturalism).
- Howell, Russell W. (2006). "Does mathematical beauty pose problems for naturalism?". Journal of the ACMS. Retrieved 2007-04-11.[dead link]
- Carrier, Richard (October 5). "Our Mathematical Universe" (Blog). Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- Fishman, Yonatan (2007). "Can Science Test Supernatural Worldviews?". Science and Education 18 (6–7): 813. doi:10.1007/s11191-007-9108-4. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- Stephen T. Davis, "The Counterattack of the Resurrection Skeptics: A Review Article", Philosophia Christi 8.1 (2006): pp. 39-63.
- Norman Geisler, "A Critical Review of The Empty Tomb: Jesus beyond the Grave", Christian Apologetics Journal 5.1 (Spring 2006).
- Ehrman, Bart. Did Jesus Exist? (HarperOne, 2012), pp. 168–171.
- Carrier, Richard (2012). Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. New York: Amherst, NY Prometheus Books.
- Carrier, Richard. "Spiritual Body FAQ". Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- Carrier, Richard (2009). "Comments at Richard Carrier Blogs". Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- Carrier, Richard (2004). "Antony Flew Considers God...Sort Of". The Secular Web. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- Associated Press (2004-12-09). "Leading Atheist Philosopher Concludes God's Real". FOXNews.com. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Mark Oppenheimer (2007-11-04). "The Turning of an Atheist". New York Times Magazine. pp. 36–41.
- Flew, Antony. "Review of 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins". bethinking.org. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "The End of Faith" (Faith Under Fire episode 1, season 1, aired October 2, 2004). Reported by WorldNetDaily.com ("Faith Under Fire hits TV screens: PAX series looks at religion, spirituality, morality"), EvangelicalNews.org (Randall Murphree, "Is God Republican Or Democrat? New PAX Series with Lee Strobel Debates Issues"), and IIDB.org (Richard Carrier debates William Lane Craig on "Faith Under Fire").
- "Speaker will defend godless worldview". The Columbus Dispatch (LexisNexis reprint ). 2006-12-22. p. 03C.
- Smith, Warren Allen (2000). Who's Who in Hell. Barricade Books. p. 186. ISBN 1-56980-158-4.