Regarding the Accusations Made by Amy Frank

An accusation has recently been published against me that warrants a reply. In its original form on Facebook  (of which I only had screen caps that were sent to me), dated on or around 15 June 2016, Amy Frank (as identified by her profile; I have only known her by a different surname until now) wrote:

Parents, and younger people who may graciously volunteer for Camp Quest, a summer camp for kids.

Richard Carrier, the man who sexually harassed me and touched me a year ago [2015–ed.] after speaking at ASU [Arizona State University–ed.] is now an official employee of this organization. Campus Quest [sic–ed.] and the Secular Student Alliance are partners, and fully aware of what transpired last year. I’m not even close to being his only victim, and there are even more victims of other speakers of the SSA.

Want to know why he continues to be involved after being banned from being an SSA speaker? He is dating the wife of the Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance.

Corrupt people continue to destroy what could be wonderful organizations. I am officially BOYCOTTING the national Secular Student Alliance until their leadership is completely dismantled. Students deserve to have an organization capable of handling sexual harassment and assault, with no conflicts of interest. Not only is abuse fairly common at SSA events, but the organization itself goes out of their way to undermine the reports of its very own members’ trauma.

I’ve held my tongue far too long. No more sweeping this shit under the rug. Time to own the fuck up and face the music. The victims have had enough.

If you’ve been a victim of harassment or assault at any SSA-sponsored event, please feel free to contact me. I will keep your name confidential.

There are a number errors in this comment.

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The Richard Carrier Exists Tour Begins!

Today I head out across the country. Come visit me on one of my stops!

I am moving to Columbus, Ohio, for good and all. And I’m taking a moving truck and towing my car all the way across country from my current and soon past home in Stockton, California.

Because Christians don’t understand how evidence works, they’ve literally argued that there is no more evidence for my existence than there is for the existence of Jesus their Christ. Never mind that that’s already wildly false. Here is your chance to see how evidence works, and confirm for yourself, as an eyewitness, that I do indeed exist!

This is a modern-day whistle-stop tour. I’ll be driving each day from one major city to the next, and giving a talk, or appearing in some public fashion selling and signing my books, and happily chatting and glad-handing and posing for photos for anyone who wants to verify my historicity.

Here is the tour schedule…

Come join us at any of the above events!

Learn the Basics of New Testament Scholarship & How to Make Good Use of It!

Photo of the aged title page an old 19th century English translation of the New Testament; reads: The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Newly translated out of the Original Greek: and with the Former Translations diligently compared and revised.By popular demand! I am teaching my course, Introduction to Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament online in June. This is for anyone (you don’t have to be an expert) who wants to be better equipped to debate the Bible or understand the Bible. You will learn in it a lot of useful and surprising facts and skills (more on that below).

So if this is something that interests you, click above to register. And if you know anyone who you think would love to take a brief, affordable course like this, let them know about it!

The only required course text (which students should purchase as soon as possible) is my anthology Hitler Homer Bible Christ (available in print or kindle). We will use its contents as springboards for learning and discussing all manner of issues related to textual, historical, and literary analysis in New Testament studies. All other course materials (articles and/or video lectures) will be provided for free, including research papers by various scholars we’ll discuss, and excerpts from critical scholarly editions of the Bible in the original Greek (no prior knowledge of Greek will be required), public online tools, and other readings and resources.

Starting June 1 (2016).

So what exactly will be covered?

Official Course Description:

Richard Carrier (Ph.D.), who has years of training from Columbia University in paleography, papyrology, and ancient Greek, will teach anyone the basics of how to investigate, criticize, and study the New Testament from the perspective of how its text is constructed from manuscripts, as well as how to work from the original Greek without learning anything more than the Greek alphabet and the international terminology of grammar, and how to investigate and make the best use of academic and peer reviewed biblical scholarship.

Students will learn how to: locate words in the Greek text of the Bible, and find their definitions using online resources, and to use that skill to critically examine English translations; check if the manuscripts disagree on what the text says at that point, and what to make of that if they do; talk and reason about disagreements in the manuscripts, as well as the differing valences of words between modern translations and ancient originals; discern what kinds of errors and deliberate alterations are common in the biblical manuscripts; and how to use scholarship on the New Testament critically and informedly.

This course will also be a basic introduction to the contents of the New Testament and its composition, textual history, and assembly. After a month you will have a much better understanding and skill-set for studying, discussing, and arguing over, the content and history of the Christian Bible, as well as learn fascinating and interesting things about ancient history and how we know what we know about it from the perspective of how all ancient writing has been preserved yet distorted in transmission.

As usual, these courses are one month long, and you learn at your own pace and on your own time, and participate as much or as little as you want (many just lurk and read the assigned readings and resulting discussion threads).

There is also a special discount available this year, too. If you are on the staff or an active member of any nonprofit organization, you can receive a coupon code for $10 off the registration. All I need is an email from an officer of the organization (also CC’ing you) confirming you are an active member and would like to receive the discount. I’ll then send you the discount code to use during registration. So let everyone you know who is working for or participating in a nonprofit org about this discount!

Dykstra on Ehrman & Brodie

Rene Salm has clued me in to another important new peer reviewed journal article, by Tom Dykstra (M.Div.; Ph.D. in Russian History), who is best known for his critically acclaimed book on how the Gospel of Mark is built out of the Epistles of Paul (Mark, Canonizer of Paul: A New Look at Intertextuality in Mark’s Gospel, reviewed by Neil Godfrey at Vridar). His new article is “Ehrman and Brodie on Whether Jesus Existed: A Cautionary Tale about the State of Biblical Scholarship,” published in volume 8.1 of the Journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies in 2015.

Comparing the books pro and con historicity by Thomas Brodie and Bart Ehrman, Dykstra makes many remarks critical of both authors, but especially Ehrman, and like Philip Davies, argues for greater caution and humility from historicity defenders. He also dismantles Ehrman’s arguments for historicity. Not always effectively (his treatment of the “Brothers of the Lord” argument is conspicuously weak; and he is, IMO, too sympathetic to the all-Paul-as-forgery thesis), but still often illuminatingly.

Dykstra also opens with a good brief on the Thomas Thompson parallel (which ended in the field’s acceptance of OT mythicism), illustrating how Ehrman’s (and McGrath’s) threats to destroy the career of anyone who even tries arguing against historicity in the field have a frightening precedent in biblical studies that scholars today are still embarrassed by. Even more material on that comes up later as well (pp. 20-21).

Two Interesting Observations

But what I noticed the most about this thirty pages (almost all of it well worth reading) are two things in particular worth calling special attention to.

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The Richard Carrier Exists Tour: Stop 3, Denver!

Photo of the exterior of the Bull & Bush, authentic looking British style pub.I’ve been announcing the events along the Richard Carrier Exists Tour as they are finalized. Last in is Denver, Colorado. That’s my third stop on the move across country. And that’s Thursday night, May 26. Come verify my historicity! Feel free to seek pictures & signatures. I’ll have some books to sell, too.

For this stop, I’m not giving a talk. I’ll just be having a couple of whiskeys at the Bull & Bush pub between 8pm and 9pm (barring any setbacks on the road). We’ll be getting to bed by ten, to get up early for the next stretch, so I won’t be staying at the B&B much later than nine. But I’m happy to chat with anyone who shows up to hang out with me in eighth hour.

-:-

Contrary to my original plan, I’m not doing anything public in Indianapolis, which was to be my sixth and last stop on the move. Instead I’ll be a special guest at Darrel Ray’s Memorial Day Party in Kansas for Sunday the 29th. I’ll be bedding up the next night, somewhere too far and too late to do an event. Then I’ll be arriving in Columbus on the very last day of May, to move in to my new place at last!

And that completes my tour. I now have at the end of my original Tour Post the whole list of every whistlestop on my move, with links. Check it out if you want to see if you are anywhere near my route! I’m appearing in Reno, SLC, Denver, Omaha, and Kansas City, all in the last week of May (2016).

The Richard Carrier Exists Tour: Stop 1, Reno!

Photo of the Reno street arch lit up saying Reno, the Biggest Little City in the World.I’ll be announcing the events along the Richard Carrier Exists Tour as they are finalized. Next in is Reno, Nevada. That’s my first stop on the move across country. And that’s Tuesday night, May 24. Come verify my historicity! Feel free to seek pictures & signatures.

Sponsored by the Reno Atheists, I’ll be speaking on The Existence of Jesus as a Critical Thinking Exercise. Description:

The debate over the historicity of Jesus offers many examples of how to apply critical thinking skills to all debates in history, or about recorded events of any kind. Dr. Richard Carrier will summarize the arguments for and against the existence of Jesus and point out the critical thinking skills exemplified in each and how they can be more broadly applied.

The whole event starts at 5:30pm at the La Fuente Mexican Restaurant on 790 Baring Boulevard, in the city of Sparks (right nextdoor to Reno). Come order dinner and hang out for some interesting ideas.

I’ll also be doing Q&A, and selling and signing books after.

Donations will be asked at the door, and please do give them ten bucks or something. More details and updates here.

The Richard Carrier Exists Tour: Stop 2, Salt Lake City!

Photo of the interior of the amazing Salt Lake City Library.I’ll be announcing the events along the Richard Carrier Exists Tour as they are finalized. Next in is Salt Lake City, Utah. That’s my second stop on the move across country. And that’s Wednesday night, May 25. Come verify my historicity! Feel free to seek pictures & signatures.

Sponsored by Atheists of Utah, I’ll be speaking on The Intersection of Humanism and Polyamory. Description:

Polyamory, like atheism, is becoming more open and acceptable, yet faces similar stigma and misunderstanding. Polyamory acceptance is actually a humanist cause. Ethical non-monogamy in all its forms represents part of the final breakdown of religion’s hold on how humans define and enjoy their relationships, and religion’s attempt to control human (and especially female) sexuality. Dr. Carrier will discuss his experiences with polyamory, and the social and philosophical connections between polyamory and humanism, and how the humanist community can approach the subject supportively and informedly.

Starts at 6:30pm at the Salt Lake City Public Library on 210 East 400 Street, Conference Room 4 (4th floor). You must get tickets in advance. They will not be sold at the door. And there are only sixty. So get yours as soon as possible!

I’ll also be doing Q&A, and selling and signing books there or somewhere after.

Tickets $10 (if you buy before the 23rd) or $15 (if you buy after the 22nd). Purchase here. More details and updates here.

The Richard Carrier Exists Tour: Stop 4, Omaha!

Publicity photo showing the tall buildings of downtown Omaha over a lake at dusk.I’ll be announcing the events along the Richard Carrier Exists Tour as they are finalized. Second in is Omaha, Nebraska. That’s my fourth stop on the move across country. And that’s Friday night, May 27. Come verify my historicity! Pictures & signatures welcome.

Sponsored by the Omaha Coalition of Reason, I’ll be speaking on Science as Philosophy in Ancient Rome. In which I’ll talk about “how ancient science evolved from Western philosophy, and set the foundations for modern science, whose remaining connections with philosophy remain nearly the same. What did they accomplish back then? And what has changed?”

Starts at 7:30pm at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, CPACS Building, Room 101 (6001 Dodge Street in Omaha). The CPACS Building is located immediately southeast of the iconic UNO clock tower.

I’ll also be doing Q&A and selling and signing books after.

Tickets $5 in advance, $8 at the door.

Tickets here. More details and updates here.

Kinky Sexy Stuff: Speaking in Columbus, Ohio, This June

The Space's logo, showing a circle of humanist logos around a red outline of a heart, and in small black wording around the outside the full name as stated in the article.PolyColumbus and The Columbus Space for Alternative Self Expression are hosting a new talk I’m giving this June 14th (Tuesday, 2016) at 7 – 9pm (Eastern time). The Space is located at 180 Outerbelt Street in Columbus.

I will be speaking on Polyamory, Kink, and Philosophy. I’ll be outlining the role and importance of philosophy in kink and poly life.

Topics will include:

  • What should philosophy have to say about ethical non-monogamy and kink?
  • What use does philosophy have for those pursuing either?
  • How can ordinary people become good philosophers?
  • And how can philosophy help them become better non-monogamists and explorers of kink?

From the epistemology of consent to the metaphysics of love and sex to, of course, moral theory, even politics and aesthetics, philosophy has a lot to do with polyamory and other modes of ethical non-monogamy and kink.

Note:

  • Snacks will be available for purchase. Please bring you own soft drinks.
  • All activities at The Columbus Space are open to those 19 and over only.
  • The Columbus Space is a drug and alcohol free zone.
  • Discounts for annual & lifetime members of PolyColumbus? See note here.
  • Get your tickets early; least year when I spoke, it was a packed house!

-:-

The Richard Carrier Exists Tour: Stop 5, Kansas City!

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, by Henri-Léon Gréber, in Mill Creek Park, adjacent to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. From Wikipedia.I’ll be announcing the events along the Richard Carrier Exists Tour as they are finalized. First in is Kansas City. That’s my fifth stop on the move across country. And that’s Saturday night, May 28. Come verify my historicity! Pictures & signatures welcome.

In KC I’ll be speaking on The Importance of Philosophy. Here’s a tease:

Many of us understand and appreciate the value science and its associated fields of study bring to our daily lives, but what about philosophy? Is it a field relegated to the ancients, relevant only in the days of Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and Friedrich Nietzsche—a field with no impact and utility in our lives today? Is it a field only used by the likes of William Lane Craig and Sye Ten Bruggencate to further evangelical Christian apologetics?

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition invites you to join us as we host Dr. Richard Carrier in helping us understand the importance of philosophy and how we use it to navigate the problems and questions that we all face on a daily basis.

Doors open at 5:30pm and the presentation begins at 6:00pm. I’ll speak under an hour and then have a thirty-minute Q&A. I’ll be selling and signing books after. And we can adjourn afterward (to a location they’ll announce at the event) for drinks, food, and conversation. But the event itself will transpire at the Tony Aguirre Community Center on 2050 West Pennway Street Paul & Jack’s Tavern, 1808 Clay Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Details & updates here.