Appearing in San Luis Obispo

On Saturday, April 19 (2014), at 4pm (until 6pm), I will be presenting my case that a historical Jesus probably didn’t exist for Atheists United of San Luis Obispo (California), and taking questions from the audience. They say seats are limited, so it would help to join their meetup group and RSVP or let the organizers know you are coming (details for either here). Donations will be greatly appreciated (they rely on them to cover expenses). This will be held at the Senior Citizens Center-San Luis (1445 Santa Rosa Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401: map).

I will be selling and signing copies of Proving History and Hitler Homer Bible Christ. (Unfortunately On the Historicity of Jesus will not be printed until June.) Of course I’ll also sign anything you bring. See you there!

I’ll Be Debating the Historicity of Jesus in Ottawa, Canada

The Center for Inquiry Canada is hosting two events with me in early April in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), sponsored by CFI Ottawa.

The first will be a debate between myself and Zeba Crook, professor of religious studies at Carleton University, on whether it’s likely a historical Jesus existed. Details here. (Although, amusingly, we certainly aren’t debating whether “a man named Jesus live[d] in Palestine 2000 years ago,” since plenty of men named Jesus did; of course, we’re only debating the particular Jesus claimed to be the author of Christianity). The next day I’ll be taking questions and speaking on various matters of philosophy for the Philosophy, Phood, and Phriends meetup. Details here.

The debate will be held on Saturday, April 5 (2014), at 7:30pm, at the Centrepointe Chamber Theatre (101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, ON K2G 0B5; the theatre is located at the back). Admission is $15 (or just $5 if you are a CFI member; and new members can also get a free ticket). The format will be something like 20/20-10/10-5/5 (openings-rebuttals-closings), with the first to speak chosen at random on the day. Written questions will be taken from the audience.

The philosophy meet will be on Sunday, April 6 (2014) at 11:00am, in the CCOC Meeting Room (OPSEU Local 464, 2255 St Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa, ON K1G 6C4 464 Metcalfe St., near the Museum of Nature). $10 admission includes food and drinks ($5 for members of CFI). “Bring your questions–suggested topics include: metaphysics, naturalistic philosophy, morality, counter-apologetics.”

There may be copies of Proving History for sale at the first or possibly both events. But I will sign anything you bring (so you can buy any of my books online now and have them in time for that).

Appearing in San Jose Next Week

I will be speaking and taking questions on the best case to be made that Jesus didn’t exist, for the Atheist Community of San Jose next week, Wednesday, 2 April 2014, from 6:30 to 9:30pm (although I’d love to hang out later with anyone who’s free to do so, even though it’s a weeknight). Details here. We’ll be meeting in a banquet room at Harry’s Hofbrau (390 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA).

Description:

Dr. Carrier’s new groundbreaking book On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt is the first book extensively challenging the historicity of Jesus to be published by a peer reviewed academic press (through the University of Sheffield). He also has several peer reviewed academic papers on the subject, which are now reprinted (along with many other papers of interest) in his other new book, Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013.

Dr. Carrier will briefly summarize his thesis and argument, explaining why he suspects Jesus never even existed as a historical man but was always imaginary. He will then answer questions from the audience.

The latter as well as Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus will be available for purchase. The latter demonstrates the invalidity of the methods and arguments used to argue for historical facts about Jesus, and presents a more reliable and testable way to argue for historical facts, using Bayes’ Theorem (in a way explained for non-mathematicians).

I will of course sign anything you bring, too.

Unfortunately, Sheffield-Phoenix is running behind in its production, so I won’t have copies of On the Historicity of Jesus to sell yet. But I will be talking about it.

On Skeptic Fence Live Tonight

Tonight at 9pm Eastern Time I’ll be a live guest on the Skeptic Fence web show. Promo and details here. The show will air here. It starts at 8. But they’ll be covering news items the first hour, then bringing me in for the second hour. We’ll be talking about Hitler Homer Bible Christ and the historicity of Jesus.

Appearing in San Francisco Next Week

Photo of the San Francisco Club Quarters Hotel marquee and overhang at night.On Saturday March 29th (2014) at 4:30pm I will be giving an impromptu talk about my new book Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013 and taking questions from the audience. Officially we’ll go until 6pm, although Jen and I will be having dinner at a nearby pub afterward and then grabbing a few drinks at the bar before heading home. Sponsored by the San Francisco Atheists. Details for the event are here. Description:

Dr. Carrier will talk about the contents of his new anthology, Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013, which contains essays and academic papers on subjects as diverse as what purpose historians serve in society and how history can actually be an experimental science, to exposing bogus Hitler quotes and demonstrating some early non-Christian references to Jesus are fake. He will also talk about how he was independently funded to research and write about how the Gospels contradict each other on dating the year of Christ’s birth, and how we know the ending of Mark is a forgery, and other topics, including future research now going on in Sweden due to Carrier’s journal publication of his results on those bogus Hitler quotes. He will be selling and signing books and taking questions from the audience.

The talk will be given in the Niantic East meeting room of the Club Quarters Hotel (lower level, take the elevator down to LL), on 424 Clay Street (San Francisco, CA), near Battery (adjacent to the Elephant & Castle Pub, and near the Embarcadero Muni and BART station). You are welcome to bring drinks purchased at the bar. Open to the public. Cash donations will help them cover the room rental. Several of us will likely end up at the Elephant & Castle Pub after (that’s where Jen and I will chow down and then hang out for a bit).

Historicity Stuff This Weekend

Two quick notes: (1) Tomorrow (Saturday the 15th, 2014, 8pm Central Time) I’ll be guesting on a Google hangout whatsit with Robert Price to talk about the “Christ myth theory,” with some stop-ins by David Fitzgerald, Neil Godfrey, and Raphael Lataster. Deets here. (And now the video is on YouTube.) And (2) the Society of Non-Theists at Purdue were impressively quick to get the video of my talk online (about why we conclude Acts is historical fiction and not a genuine history of early Christianity). That’s now here.

Appearing in Manteca (California) Next Week!

Picture of the library, small, lots of plants, 70s brick architecture.Next week I will be giving a talk in Manteca, California, on my book Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. I’ll be selling and signing copies of that and Hitler Homer Bible Christ. Admission is free. But they do ask that you bring an item of canned food for Second Harvest.

Event description: “Learn what makes good evidence, how conflicting evidence is examined, and how we can mathematically ascertain the validity of a claim using Bayes’s Theorem. Plus, Jesus.”

Time and location: Wednesday, 19 March (2014), 8pm-10pm. Manteca Library, 320 W. Center St. For more see the official event Facebook page and the SH event page and the SAAF event page.

Brought to you by the Mid Valley Humanist, Atheist, and Freethinker Colloquium (in conjunction with the Stanislaus Humanists and the Stockton Area Atheists & Freethinkers).

I’ll also be in town that afternoon and the next morning. If anyone wants to get a gathering together to chat anytime in that window, feel free to email me. No guarantee I’ll be available, but for this occasion it’s okay to ask. (Just not at the last minute, since I’ll be AFK from that Tuesday night on.)

Appearing Next Week at Purdue!

Photo of an attractive building and lawn on the Purdue campus that looks very old school and Cambridge like.I will be speaking at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) this coming Wednesday (12 March 2014 at 7pm, Physics Building, Room 203). I will be talking about one of the chapters in my upcoming book, On the Historicity of Jesus, one of the lesser discussed: How We Can Tell the Book of Acts is Fake History. I will survey evidence and scholarship on the point. Details at that link. I will be taking questions from the audience. But not selling books (see below).

Brought to you by the Society of Non-Theists (an SSA affiliate). It’s open to the public. Some members of the Lafayette-Tippecanoe Atheists and Secular Humanists will be there, and their meetup page for the event also has a map link and more description, although their map link doesn’t take you to the specific building, which I believe is this, although I’m not sure.

[Video of this talk is now online.]

FtBCon 2: Bible Study (or Taking the Bible Seriously as Fiction: A Read-Along)

At noon today, California time (2pm Central) I’ll be drinking fine scotch, while teaching the people about the literary weirdness of the New Testament, in Bible Study (or Taking the Bible Seriously as Fiction: A Read-Along). Please grab your bible, tune in, and read along with me. (The link to the video feed is the “Official Session Page,” down the right margin of the Lanyrd event page.) I will not be taking questions during the show. But any questions you do have, post them here, and I’ll get to them all eventually (but please heed my comments policy).

Here is a select reading list for anyone who wants to dive further into this kind of thing:

And for beginners in New Testament Studies:

Enjoy!

FtBCon 2: Philosophy for Everyone

At 10am PST today (noon Central) I’ll be hosting the panel Philosophy for Everyone. Please tune in and watch. (The link to the video feed is the “Official Session Page,” down the right margin of the Lanyrd event page.) Questions can be directed to us by using the Pharyngula chatroom during the show. If you have questions that don’t make it into the program, post them here if you want to hear my reply–or if you want to ask a question of one of the other panelists that didn’t get answered on the show, follow the links in their bios to find their websites or twitter addresses. Please be polite and productive in your queries!

Of relevance to the subject of this panel is the talk I gave for Skepticon just last year, “Is Philosophy Stupid?” To delve even deeper into philosophy, see my recommended readings (especially, for beginners, the first page). Check that out for more on what philosophy is and why it’s important (and how academic philosophers are often doing it wrong). After the show, if the panelists have suggestions for further reading or additional resources, I will also add them here.