Travel Fund Outcome

If you want Richard Carrier to visit your city, for any organization you are a member or officer of, check this out. Thanks to generous donors covering my losses from a burglary and exceeding that request by several thousand dollars, I have some money I will apply to the cost of visiting other cities to speak next year (mostly in reducing my honorarium, covering book procurement for resale, and some transportation costs). I promised I’d give these benefits to the cities the donations came from, by proportion. Although unfortunately, as I also noted, I can only do this for North American donors. I received generous support from such countries as Norway, Japan, Poland, England, Germany, and Australia, which I will just count toward recouped losses. Thank you so much, all of you. (But one island nation, which donated unusually generously, might prove an exception–private negotiations for a possible visit are underway; I can’t say more just yet.)

Many cities are receiving the benefits. I have some small discounts, and some large discounts. I’ll describe them in that order…

[Read more...]

Not at Skepticon — So Looking for a Gig!

I won’t be on the roster for Skepticon this year. Which means I have nothing scheduled for November, and I’m looking for an event to do then. So are you in a group, maybe one a long way from Skepticon and thus whose members usually don’t get to go, who’d like to have me out as a speaker around that time? My requirements aren’t too demanding (details here), and if you coordinate with other groups for multiple events or a mini-tour, you can get a discount.

It occurs to me that not everyone might know my basic requirements for speaking (not everyone has read that last link), and I am looking for events in any month of this year or next (although most of this year is booked, I have a few openings here and there, besides all of November).

So here is an excerpt from my booking page:

… For any speaking engagement I require expenses, a $250 honorarium, and (usually) an opportunity to sell my books at your event. If you want to do a teleconference, I charge only $150 (per hour), and no expenses. But even for having me appear in person, normally the only expenses you have to cover are transportation and lodging.

The largest expense is always transportation. I live in California … The lowest expense is often lodging, as I actually prefer to stay as the guest of a local freethinker … all I need is a warm bed and a hot shower. …

Consider teaming up several organizations for a single joint event, or more. I am willing to stay several days for multiple events. You will have to board me for those extra nights, and I charge only $50 for each additional debate or speaking engagement, but informal events are free (e.g. dinner parties, meet-and-greets, etc.). Just feed me copious amounts of alcohol. To give you an idea, I once spoke at a university, the costs of which were split three ways by the campus freethought group and two different academic departments that were interested in the subject of my talk. On another occasion I spoke to two separate atheist community groups in cities near each other, a volunteer driving me between them, and the two groups split my honorarium and airfare. So feel free to be creative. My time is flexible.

Interested? Shoot me an email.

Appearing in San Francisco, Seattle, Alabama, Fargo, Austin, Sacramento, and All Over Western Canada

I have a lot of appearances coming up all over the country. Check it out…

(1) I will be discussing my new book On the Historicity of Jesus and selling and signing copies for my first time ever in San Francisco, California, Saturday the 26th of July (the publisher has confirmed my order of private stock and promises it should arrive in time). I don’t have the exact where and when yet, but good odds it will be the same time and place as my last talk (only this time on July 26, of course).

Note that I can only afford to procure and sell the softcover edition. The hardcover is prohibitively expensive for almost anyone (even me, and I get an author discount). But of course any copies you acquire yourself and bring to the event I’ll sign (indeed, I’ll sign anything you bring, even if not this book). And there should be enough time that if you order now you’ll have it then (see links for buying it through the publisher or Amazon, and the pros and cons of either, here). I mention this because several people have asked me about doing that.

(2) I will be speaking on or possibly debating the historicity of Jesus at this year’s Atheist Alliance of America conference in Seattle, Washington. They haven’t finalized the schedule so I don’t know which day of the conference I’ll be on, but I’ll be attending the entire con, which will be this August 7th-10th (2014). There will be many other great speakers as well, and receptions and banquets and a trip to Mt. Rainier (the schedule’s outline so far is here). Also stuff for kids (so parents might find this conference especially suitable). See the con’s front page online (link above). I hope to help the conference’s book vendor to stock copies of On the Historicity of Jesus (although see italicized note indented above).

Addition:

(2.5) I will be appearing in St. Louis, Missouri and Carbondale, Illinois several times in September: Thursday the 4th, Friday the 5th, Saturday the 6th, and Sunday the 7th. Details here.

(3) [Update:] I will be speaking on the evolution “controversy” in Dothan, Alabama on Friday the 12th of September for the Southeast Alabama Freethought Association. 7pm at Troy State University. Details here.

(4) I will be speaking at Zeteticon in Fargo, North Dakota, the weekend of September 13th-14th. I spoke at their first con a few years ago (before they got a catchier name). I’m eager to see how it’s grown. Other great speakers will be featured. I will be discussing, and selling and signing copies of On the Historicity of Jesus (see italicized note indented above).

(5) I’ll be debating the historicity of Jesus in Abbotsford, BC (Canada), on or about the 20th of September. I hope to be selling and signing copies of On the Historicity of Jesus in conjunction with the event (that will depend on working out trade details with Canada and the venue; see also italicized note indented above). [Update: Details and tickets here. And due to cross-border trade difficulties no books will be sold. So please buy in advance online or elsewhere and bring your own to be signed.]

Addition:

(5.5) The day after that I will be in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) discussing arguments for and against the resurrection of Jesus, for the Society of Edmonton Atheists. That event announcement is here. But keep an eye on their front page for forthcoming details (like the where and when). That’s Sunday, September 21 (2014). See the note about books for the Abbotsford entry immediately above.

(6) I’ll be one of the two featured speakers for this year’s Bat Cruise in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 27 (they have more details here). I’ll be sharing the podium, and the cruise meet-and-greet, with Chris Johnson, who produced the fantastically gorgeous book A Better Life. This is an annual do put on by the Atheist Community of Austin. I will be discussing, and (if the venue allows) selling and signing copies of On the Historicity of Jesus (see italicized note indented above).

(7) As usual, I will be tabling at the Freethought Day Festival in Sacramento, California, this year on Saturday the 11th of October. I will also be attending the fundraising reception the night before (Friday the 10th). The whole festival is increasingly awesome and a must to visit. Full details here. Lots of speakers, entertainers, tabling by numerous groups and vendors, food, the whole deal.

NOTE: I shall be selling and signing copies of On the Historicity of Jesus (see italicized note indented above), but I also plan to liquidate my inventory of marred stock. Take note. That means I’ll be selling tons of copies of Sense and Goodness without God, Not the Impossible Faith, Why I Am Not a Christian, and (yes!) Proving History (and more) at scandalously dirt cheap prices. The downside is they are all (mildly) cosmetically defective in some way. The upside is that I’m selling them all for just $2 (Why I Am Not a Christian), $5 (all other softback titles) and $10 (Proving History). The copies I’ll be selling of Proving History only have damaged dust covers. The books themselves (it’s a hardback) are in top condition. Consider buying several copies of various titles to give to churches, libraries, charities, friends, enemies, or just to enjoy reading them yourself at very little cost. Help me clear it all out without a total loss!

But do note that I will not be selling On the Historicity of Jesus at discount. It’s brand new and expensive for me to stock. So it will be sold at a regular in-person rate (probably $30, which will be lower than the publisher’s list price, and for now it looks like even lower than Amazon’s).

(8) Then I will be touring Western Canada between October 14th and 20th. Exact details are still in development (I’ll blog more when I know more). But the plan is to have me speak in Regina and Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), then Kelowna (BC) and Calgary (Alberta), for four events in all, in that order. Most likely I’ll be discussing my new book On the Historicity of Jesus, which I shall try to sell as well (that will depend, again, on working out trade details with Canada and the venues; see also italicized note indented above).

(9) And of course I hope to be returning for Skepticon this November (21st to 23rd). Details are still in development. I’ll definitely blog about it when I know more. But for those unaware, that’s held in Missouri, traditionally Springfield.  [I'm not on the roster for Skepticon this year. Other events in November or December are developing!]

If any more dates open up, I’ll add them here (plus remark on the addition in comments).

Appearing Near Phoenix for SSA West

The Secular Student Alliance’s Western Regional Conference is coming up, this June 20-22 (Friday-Sunday, 2014), in Tempe, Arizona, near Phoenix (details and registration and everything here). And I’ll be there. Some of my books will be for sale the whole con. And I’ll be around all weekend. But I’ll also be giving a talk on Practical Logic: Making Your Group More Effective, presently scheduled for Saturday the 21st from 5:30pm to 6:00pm.

Description:

Being logical isn’t just for debunking religion. It’s also useful for improving your group’s ability to work together, solve internal problems, and achieve external goals. Dr. Carrier will summarize several important tips on how to do that.

And as in past years there will be tons of other awesome talks and workshops of a consistently useful nature. Events will be held in the ASU Memorial Union at 301 E. Orange Mall (Tempe, AZ).

Appearing in Sacramento Area…with David Fitzgerald!

Next week I will be in a double header with David Fitzgerald discussing different aspects of the historicity of Jesus. The event is Thursday night, May 29 (2014), at UC Davis (in the Sacramento area, California), brought to you by the Agnostic & Atheist Student Association. We will also be selling our books and taking Q&A.

I am writing this from the jungles of Costa Rica, on an iPad, so with considerable difficulty the best I can do is just link you to the event’s Facebook page where you can get all the details: The Historicity of Jesus with Richard Carrier and David Fitzgerald. Please help them out and RSVP there if you will be going.

It will be entertaining!

I’ll Be at ReasonCon: North Carolina

Photo of the Crowne Plaza Hickory Hotel. Looks like a one-floor but fascinatingly modern structure, including a beautuful glass-enclosed arched walkway at front..Although it’s almost sold out already, I will be the keynote speaker at ReasonCon in Hickory, North Carolina, in early May. Details here (also tickets and wait-list options there). As I write, there are only VIP tickets left, and those include the VIP launch party Friday night (9pm, May 2, 2014). [Update: They got a bigger venue after I originally posted. As of 16 April, ninety new free tickets became available. Snatch those up while you can!]. Otherwise, the option exists to submit your name to a wait-list for a free spot at the one-day con on Saturday (9am-5pm, May 3, 2014, with an after-party that night for all, starting at 7pm).

If you still want to attend the conference, and can’t afford the VIP ticks or even they get sold out [and if you find the new free tickets are all gone, too], it can’t hurt to submit a wait-list request to tell them what the demand really was, so if they do this again next year they might be able to accommodate more people, or (less likely but a dim possibility) they might find a way to make room this year and let you know you can get in after all. They also might succeed in streaming it live or recording it for YouTube (that is still in development), but they could still benefit from hearing how many wanted to go but couldn’t. Otherwise, there is some VIP access still available. As I look this moment there are 26 of those left at $65 and 22 more at $100 (the latter comes with free booze, if you are of legal age to take advantage of that). I’ll be at the launch party if my flights meet no delays (although, all told, I will be arriving at the party almost exactly when it starts, after traveling the whole day, so I’ll be on my second wind!).

This event is being put on by the MythUnderstood Alliance, and is the brainchild of Atheists on Air with Cash and Love. It will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hickory (1385 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd SE).

What’s unusual about this event is that I am going to do a marathon Q&A on the historicity of Jesus (up to 90 minutes, unless the audience runs out of questions first), after another 90 minutes of presentation (or near to…don’t worry, there are some breaks in there). I shall be endeavoring to make the latter at least as engaging and entertaining as a bad movie. So it won’t just be dry lecture. I’ll be playing up as many of the funny bits of the bible and modern scholarship as I can. My focus won’t just be on the historicity question, but on the whole broader question of the origins of Christianity: its context, but also what it looks like really happened, what its founding Jews actually thought they were doing by inventing it, and what they invented it for.

And I’m just the keynote! Also speaking that day will be Tracie Harris (of Atheist Community of Austin, Atheist Experience TV show, and Godless Bitches podcast fame) and Ryan Bell (of A Year Without God fame) and teen cult escapee Phoebe Cahours (who has an amazing story of getting away from the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses–it seems her mother dragged her through several infamous Christian cults). Cash & Love will also have some things to say to the crowd. Overall it sounds like a very interesting and engaging day.

Online Course on Naturalism in May

Back by popular demand, I am teaching my online course on naturalism as a philosophy and worldview this May (just a few weeks away). Learn about all aspects of naturalism as a philosophy of life, and how to use it in practical ways and improve on it. In the process you will learn many of the basics of college-level philosophy.

The course begins May 1 and ends May 31. You study and participate at your own pace, as much or as little as you like, and you get to ask me any questions you want about the course topics all month long, and read and participate in online discussions with me and other students. I will direct and comment on readings each week and give weekly course assignments which consist of answering questions about what you’ve learned and what you think about it. The course text you have to buy is Sense and Goodness without God. All other readings and media will be provided to students free of charge (all you have to provide is access to the internet).

Course Description: This one-month course builds the foundations for practical philosophy. Learn how to develop and defend your own naturalistic worldview from studying a model example, and how to employ it in your daily lives and your understanding of the world. Learn the basics of how to develop and test a philosophy of epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics (theory of existence), ethics (theory of morality), aesthetics (theory of beauty), and politics (theory of government), using logical, evidence-based reasoning. Based on assigned readings, lectures, and weekly class discussion online with Dr. Carrier (Ph.D. in the history of philosophy).

Tuition: $59

Must register by April 30
. And the course could fill quickly so register sooner rather than later. It may be a year before I offer it again.

More details here.

This time I’ve signed up with a new educational project, SecularActivism.org. As a growing consortium of teachers and experts, we will be offering an increasing array of college-quality mini-courses in many diverse subjects for the benefit of the secularist, skeptic, humanist, and atheist communities. We aren’t offering this for college credit (so it’s not for pursuing a career). We are offering this for the mere benefit of making this kind of knowledge and learning accessible to more people, in an age when college is becoming prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to a hard working public, and yet precisely when sophisticated knowledge needs to be more widely available.

SecularActivism.org lists several other courses of interest taught by other experts this May (and soon for June and so on), and those offerings will increase in coming months. The site link also contains an option to join a dedicated mailing list that will notify you of new course offerings as they are announced. My own courses I will announce on my blog here.

Participating is not only a good way to add to your learning and exploration of philosophy (and naturalism in particular), it is also a way to help support my continued work in all fields. If we can keep this educational project successful, it may finally bring me some income security. And do our community some valuable good in the process, by making courses of all kinds available to more and more people who most want to keep learning, for their own good and the good of the world.

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!