Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Appearing in Berkeley

On Sunday April 19 (2009) I will speak for the East Bay Atheists at the Berkeley Public Library (Central Library, 3rd Floor Meeting Room, 2090 Kittredge St., just a block from the Downtown Berkeley BART station along Shattuck) in California (obviously) from 1:30 to 3:30pm (that includes introductions and Q&A and everything else). The subject will be Not the Impossible Faith: Why Christianity Didn’t Need a Miracle to Succeed. I'll be selling and signing that book after the event for the cut-rate price of $20 (you won't find it for that price anywhere else, though I see Amazon has thankfully slashed Lulu's exhorbitant price tag).

What will I speak on specifically? I will take everyone on an amusing tour of my latest book, which exposes the lousy scholarship and probable dishonesty of the infamous online Christian apologist J.P. Holding. In the process, you’ll learn all kinds of useful and interesting things about the ancient world and the earliest Christians, and why their religion was a natural success––all contradicting Holding’s book, The Impossible Faith, which argued Christianity was so badly conceived it could never have succeeded unless it had irrefutable proof that Jesus had risen from the dead. Poppycock! There will also be some sidelines on J.P. Holding and Christian apologetics in general, beyond the treatment of the book.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information see the East Bay Atheists Meetings Page.

10 comments:

quine said...

Richard,

If I could use this space to clarify a response you made to my comment in a another post: you stated that it is important that the resurrection appearances are only mentioned, not described, in Paul's writing, which are our earliest written source mentioning them. Since Paul died around 65 A.D, and the resurrection appearances are described in detail in Luke (which was written around 75-80 A.D), is it your position that the "legend" of the physical appearances arose in this 10-15 year period, while, (presumably) contemporaries of Paul who were close to him were still alive to notice that Luke's account is vastly different than Paul's notion? Thanks.

Philip1978 said...

Richard

I have recently been reading a lot of your essays online and also your comments regarding Earl Doherty's Jesus Puzzle book and I am very impressed with what I have been reading.

I live out in England so making it to Berkeley might be a bit of a hard thing to do - so I did the next best thing and ordered a copy of your book!

:)

I wish you all the best of luck in your speech and I look forward to reading your book.

Cheers

Philip Priestley

AIGBusted said...

I hope this talk will be recorded and posted to youtube.

Pikemann Urge said...

Two spam posts in a row! Looks like you're moving up in the world, Richard!

Anyway, I don't think Holding is dishonest - but I do think that he can be successfully and completely refuted on much of what he writes about.

Apologetics, IMO, is a religion's best way of killing itself. The more you try to prove Christianity 'true', the closer you are to killing it. Non-Christians aren't killing the faith. Christians are.

Philip1978 said...

Pikemann Urge

I have read very little of Mr Holding's views but from what I have seen shows him to be incredibly dishonest - this link to Ebon Musings shows some very good examples of that.

http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/holding1.html

I probably need to read more of his work to make a more persuasive argument but from what I have seen I am not impressed.

Richard Carrier said...

Philip Priestley: Thanks for the kudos.

Quine: I've replied in a more appropriate thread, after my post on Not the Impossible Faith.

AIGBusted: I doubt there will be any recording. Sorry.

mikespeir said...

Do any REAL apologists ever reference anything Holding says?

Pikemann Urge said...

Mike, they probably don't for two reasons:

1. Holding contributes nothing original (and maybe doesn't pretend to anyway)

2. Most of Holding's work is about citing experts in their field to make a case - he's using them, not the other way around

Zach Weston said...

Hello Dr. Carrier,

I attended your debate at Northwest Missouri State, and would lead with i'm sorry you felt attacked at the debate by the crowd, it truly made me feel sick. So, i have a question, it may be simple, but just wondering. Why is 1 Peter never brought into an apologetics debate...Peter being an eyewitness and a writer of an Epistle. Thanks for your time. I appreciated your dimeanor at the debate and am glad you and Craig got to spend some time together. Also got a kick out of your movie faves and activities...monty python, classic.

Richard Carrier said...

Mikespeir said... Do any REAL apologists ever reference anything Holding says?

In print? Not to my knowledge. I made the point in my talk that they tend to distance themselves from him, or so it seems. Maybe he can adduce evidence to the contrary. You'd have to ask him.

Pikemann Urge said... Mike, they probably don't for two reasons: 1. Holding contributes nothing original (and maybe doesn't pretend to anyway) 2. Most of Holding's work is about citing experts in their field to make a case - he's using them, not the other way around

But they all do that, too (both 1. and 2....I made a particular point of noting that curious fact in my review of In Defense of Miracles many years back). So that can't be a motivation here. I suspect they avoid him (insofar as they do) because he is rude, sleazy, and not an expert (with regard to the latter, for example, you won't see Craig or Habermas citing Josh McDowell, either, even though he is the most widely read and respected Christian apologist in the world--or at least was before the 21st century--second only to C.S. Lewis).

Zach Weston: Thanks for the kind words. See my reply to your duplicated query here.