Why I Don’t Always Trust Israel »« And Then a Burglary Sets Me Back $2000

And Now I Breathe Easier as I Venture on to Seattle

Thank you, everyone, for the amazing help and support that came through. Yesterday I was crestfallen at a $2000 loss. As of now, amazingly generous patrons, supporters, and fans have sent me a total of almost $5000. So I am well above what I needed for a financial recovery. I have updated my original post. Anyone who still wants to patronize my work like the old-school way of supporting artists and scholars certainly can. And you can always support me in the usual ways of commerce. But the loss has been recovered.

I am going to apply the difference (the additional $3000) to offset the cost of arranging speaking engagements (most likely early next year) in the cities donors asked for. So that means, everyone who helped, you will all have made those trips possible and saved local organizations some expenses–and helped them get a speaker they might not otherwise have afforded. (Or two! If they could have fully afforded to bring me out, now they can apply some of that budget to getting another, for some other occasion.)

Again, sincere thanks to everyone. This was far beyond what I expected. It quite caught me by surprise.

Tomorrow morning I fly to Seattle to visit old friends for a week and attend and engage in a formal debate at the Atheist Alliance of America convention. I will be away from the office (and most email) all that time, so I may be out of communication for more than a week. I’ll try to blog from my away location once or twice at least. I was going to be really down on this trip. But now I feel energized and supported. Still violated and annoyed (thefts do that). But breathing easier. And I have you all to thank for that.

So I’m good. As I said in my update to yesterday’s post…

Now go forth and battle the dragons of the world!

Comments

  1. No E-begging says

    Get a better job, so you won’t need to e-beg, because 15-25 thousand dollars a year is peanuts. You’re a well educated man in his, what, 40s? You shouldn’t need to be doing this.

    • says

      I love your fake email address. You genuinely care.

      Why do I do this? Because I care more about the truth and advancing the world of knowledge and helping people with knowledge than about making money.

      All we need is to make a living. We don’t need six figures.

      Meanwhile, asking patrons of the arts and scholarship to support the arts and scholarship is not begging. It’s in fact a job.

    • Slimy Man says

      Pretty cowardly remark there No E-begging. People did not just donate money because they somehow pitied Dr. Carrier, as we might a homeless man on the street. These donations were an investment in Dr. Carrier’s work. He works hard and produces great work, and is underpaid, as many independent scholars unfortunately are. Does that mean we want to see him stop working in this field? No. Does this mean his work ought to produce greater income? Yes. That is why many of us made the investment. He earned it.

  2. helenaconstantine says

    “the old-school way of supporting artists and scholars”

    Remind us the reason you don’t have a tenure track job?

    Oh, its because scholars can see through your nonsense. It won’t come as a shock to you, but the NT is not a midrash on Philo On The Confusion of Tongues, 62ff. You know that as well as I do, but instead of trying to publish actual useful scholarship, for some reason you chose to try and hawk that ridiculous idea to the gullible atheists who know nothing about first century religion. Its sickening to see you beg like this.

    • says

      Why would I want to lose my academic freedom? Tenure is a prison, of backstabbing politics, endless committee meetings, and constant pressure to tow the consensus line. It’s also almost never available in the humanities (since 2008, humanities professorships have been increasingly dissolved and replaced with low-paying temp adjunct positions, and tenure-track professorships are disappearing altogether…only the extremely lucky or well-connected get them).

      Rather than play some political game to “beat” hundreds of other well qualified persons for an increasingly rarefied plum in the prestige economy, I believe in actually advancing human knowledge and making the world a better place. I’d rather be me than Bart Ehrman. He has to lie and deny facts to save his reputation. I don’t. I can tell the truth, and challenge elite assumptions.

      And that’s a better life. As long as there are people who support someone who does what I do, I will go on doing what I do. And as recent events show, there are a lot of people who do.

      As far as your claim that scholars with my qualifications (though you name no one) see through my arguments about the connection between the Jewish theology attested in Philo and in Paul (you of course are too foolish to get the actual thesis right…they share common sources, they are not commenting on each other), so far I’m the one who has gotten those findings to pass peer review and published by a major academic press specializing in biblical studies.

      What have you done?

    • abcxyz says

      It won’t come as a shock to you, but the NT is not a midrash on Philo On The Confusion of Tongues,

      You’re right. The NT is a midrash on the OT.

    • says

      And “the OT” then meant a lot of documents no longer in the OT, like Enoch and whatever it is Paul is quoting in 1 Cor. 2 and so on. I cover that and more in On the Historicity of Jesus.

      What they are referring to here is the evidence in Philo (as documented in my same book) that there was a Jewish theology of a pre-existent Jesus, prior to Christianity. Because Philo wrote around the same time as Christianity began yet has no knowledge of it; so that they share identical theologies at the same time entails they must share a common, now lost, source–possibly indeed a lost “scripture”. The alternative requires positing a coincidence far too improbable to credit (as I explain in OHJ).

    • Slimy Man says

      Cuddle your Bible tightly helenaconstantine. I think you’ll find that the ‘nonsense’ he is spouting is actually very sound. I’m assuming you found reading the book to be a needless inconvenience? Academic journals seem not to find his analyses so far-fetched, and even those who share disagreements with him (e.g., Mark Goodacre) are not so bold as to make the claim that he is spouting nonsense. I thought common sense would tell people that you ought to actually read one’s arguments before attempting to rebut them. So either common sense tells people no such thing, or you lack common sense… I have my money on the latter.

  3. Exotropy says

    (Disclaimer: Forgive me for any grammatical stupidity. English is my second language)

    Mr.Carrier, I’m glad to hear that something good came from your unfortunate encounter with the darker aspects of our society. It’s not often having your car broken into results in ekstra work and money, although being robed leaves one feeling “violated and annoyed” as you describe.

    I’m wondering if your debate next week will be filmed and released to the public? I came from an fairly atheistic family, but in recent years both my sister and mother has become born again christians after lot of depression, alcoholism and suicide attempts, and I got kind of caught in it, and became a christian and regular church attender for a few years. However encountering a lot of your presentations and debates on youtube along with a new found interest in science and technology, quickly converted me into an atheist. My sister has now moved to the US from Norway, and has became nothing less then a god damn creationist…(fuck….)An extremely smart, high IQ, educated, and well read one at that.(how ever that is possible..). Watching your videos, has become a great source of keeping my sanity after encounters with my family. Reading your books is next on my list, which I’m really looking forward to. (but they are not available in my country, so I have to order them from the US.) But watching your videos, has hade a huge impact on my life, which kind of makes me curious…as a young person, raised and emerged in the online realm, where viral content, social media presence and an online identity determines the level of influence a person can reach, your presence seems peculiarly…absent….There is no social media presence, all videos on youtube are uploaded by third parties in subpar quality, not very suitable for sharing and your webpage (as someone interested in web design, forgive me if i’m rude :-P ) looks like it’s made in the early 2000’s with basic html/css. (services like ex. squarespace.com offers amazingly simple tools for creating great webpages). As a young a young person, interested in how content spreads, I’m really wondering if there is a conscious intention behind this strategy?

    One sees, the level of success of atheists like ex. Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, which has spread far into the online realms, Dawkins from an evolutionary biologists perspective and Harris from a neuroscientists point of view, I can help but think that the perspective of a historian would make a valuable contribution to the mainstream scholarship. And with the proper execution and use of modern marketing tools, I don’t see why that couldn’t be you. Entrepreneur and marketer Seth Godin says in his book Tribes, which explains the new kind of leadership required in the 21st century: “In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn’t necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.” The existential fear that makes many christians feel comforted by their faith, may make religion seem like the best/ safest idea to many, but I think we know different. And I know of few who are more of a “fearless heretic” in their pursuit then you, challenging mainstream biblical scholarship.

    Another question I want to ask you as well, as you are also a philosopher, is about transhumanism / futurism / future of philosophy. Silicon valley, seems in many ways to have started taking on the future of philosophy, as they have through their calculations of the exponential growth of information technology, “seen the future”, and that future entails a less biological presence, and an extreme paradigm shift for humanity. From the predictions for the near and distant future of people like Ray Kurzveil and Michio Kaku, Peter Diamandis, and companies like Google, it seems like how we define a human, will soon change, to adopt a form of symbiotic relationship with technology. We have already seen the beginning of transhumanist philosophers, with people like Jason Silva, whom by the way, has a lot of interesting thoughts worth checking out (in my opinion) To Be Human Is To Be Transhuman . A bit longer presentation by him, if you are interested in futurism philosophy We are the Gods Now – Jason Silva at Sydney Opera House
    I’m very curious what you as a philosopher think of this.

    All the best and good luck at the Atheist Alliance of America convention, and thank you for your good work.

    • says

      There are dozens of my videos, including a debate on this topic, on YouTube and elsewhere online (many are linked in my blog, see left margin category list, videos). Books are better. Because videos just summarize. Books contain the actual evidence (citations etc.).

      I’m a scholar and a writer, not a vlogger. Vloggers are welcome to use and benefit from and thus credit my work, as they do hundreds and hundreds of other exerts who also are not vloggers. In fact, 99.99% of the knowledge all vloggers rely upon comes from experts like me who are not themselves vloggers. So the idea that only vloggers have influence is shot down by that fact: without us, vloggers would just be bobble-headed talking whatsits pulling shit out if their ass. Which would not be something to admire, much less pursue the like of. Rush Limbaugh may have tons of influence. That doesn’t mean we should want to be Rush Limbaugh. And insofar as someone on a video channel is not Rush Limbaugh, my role is to help them spread better knowledge. Through my blogging and books.

      We all play our part. If we didn’t, we’d get nowhere. Division of labor is the cornerstone of civilization.

    • says

      As to transhumanism, I’m all for it, provided it is advanced ethically and with competent government regulation, like all dangerous new technologies. Otherwise, the pace and outcome of these advances is hugely exaggerated by many of the people you name. But that is just a question of timescales.

  4. cressida says

    Wow. I’ve donated small amounts to Christina and Zvan when they made their appeals. I was going to donate to you too, but then came back and saw that you’d been indemnified and decided I would save it for another good cause. However, after seeing these bullshit comments, I’m going to donate anyway. It’s not a lot, but I’m going to support people who are on the right side. Good god.

    p.s. “We don’t need six figures” is exactly right. Americans are totally brainwashed in this regard.

  5. says

    To the jerks!

    There are basically two honest ways of making money. The first is to help others make money or earn a living (e.g. entrepreneurs, companies, professional athletes who put people in the stands, etc.). The second is to help others make their lives better or achieve their personal goals, or get smarter… or whatever. The latter is what Richard Carrier has chosen to focus on.

    There is nothing wrong with seeking patronage for one’s artistic or intellectual contributions, whether before of after the fact. Nobody is being coerced. Richard asked openly for help, and got it, quickly and efficiently. He went straight to his supporters, those who appreciate his work and feel he needs this particular bit of help and financial support. It also happens to be much more efficient than what tenured professors do at university. They don’t go through the internet or direct to their supporters (They may not have any!), but instead they go to committees and foundations, most of which are funded by government (from our taxes) and private individuals with the werewithal to help researchers. Except they have administration and management fees, not to mention the internal and external politics.

    It’s much better to go direct, whether by asking through one’s blog for Paypal contributions or crowd sourcing the funding through one of the numerous websites. It’s democratic, non-elitist, direct, and participatory.

    So there!

    To Richard: Keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Richard Martin

    • Geoff says

      The jerks are probably a not unknowns to the topic of Christian origins, just cowards hiding their identities. Thanks, Richard for your work and sticking to your ideals. As someone deep in the world of academia (my wife is a research associate and instructor and I am in my last year of a doctorate), I concur with what you say about tenure track positions!

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