Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

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SEG
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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by SEG » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:57 pm

marcuspnw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:31 pm
No, you can create a fallacy of argument from authority even when the authority has the expertise in question. Advertising is full of them.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:57 pm
That's a fair point. The difficulty here though is that Richard Carrier is using mathematics on historical claims regarding singular events. SEG has been unable to find a single mathematician who will endorse what Carrier has done. If he can find such a mathematician it will not prove Carrier is right, and that is where the parallel with advertising would come in, because you can generally find at least one expert to endorse even the most eccentric of views. Similarly finding mathematicians who criticise him, and there are some, does not prove his is wrong. But it has to be significant that the balance is against Carrier. The book was peer reviewed by a mathematician so there must be someone out there who at least can confirm it does not contain mathematical errors.

It is not impossible that Carrier is a towering genius who has single handedly developed a revolutionary way of doing history which will be widely adopted in the future but it seems on the face of it improbable. You could probably do a Bayesian calculation on it. You would need to look at all the people who thought they had single handedly revolutionised a field of study and then check how many of them really had. That would give you the prior odds of Carrier being right. But applied mathematics often has progressed by people finding new applications for branches of mathematics that were thought not to have any or not to have any in this sphere. The famous example is G H Hardy a pure mathematician who proudly declared that none of his theories were the slightest use to mankind, and then it was found after his death that his theories had applications in biology and quantum theory. Maybe Carrier is like those people who found use for Hardy's theories in unexpected ways, and maybe mathematicians are not yet ready to accept this. But the odds are against it at present and SEG has freely admitted that he is not competent to judge Carrier’s maths.
No, I'm not and obviously neither are you. You have missed my whole point on this and gone on an irrelevant tangent as usual. I don't have to find mathematicians that agree with his findings and he doesn't have to be a "towering genius as you put it to single handedly develop a revolutionary way of doing history which will be widely adopted in the future". If you had bothered to have read his book, you would know his reasons for challenging the consensus on the historicity of Jesus and would not have to appear to be so ignorant on the subject.

If you want to discuss it seriously, at least do what Og did and borrow it if you can't afford it. Spouting uninformed comments makes you appear dull.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:04 pm

SEG wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:57 pm

No, I'm not and obviously neither are you. You have missed my whole point on this and gone on an irrelevant tangent as usual. I don't have to find mathematicians that agree with his findings and he doesn't have to be a "towering genius as you put it to single handedly develop a revolutionary way of doing history which will be widely adopted in the future". If you had bothered to have read his book, you would know his reasons for challenging the consensus on the historicity of Jesus and would not have to appear to be so ignorant on the subject.

If you want to discuss it seriously, at least do what Og did and borrow it if you can't afford it. Spouting uninformed comments makes you appear dull.
Once you have admitted you are incompetent to discuss a book you have implied also that you are incompetent to recommend it. If you are not competent to understand Carrier's arguments why should I care about your opinion?

Og3
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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Og3 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:24 pm

SEG wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:29 am
Og3 wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:59 pm
If Jesus of Nazareth was not actually the Son of God, and did not literally and bodily rise from the dead, then we are merely following the random teachings of a madman. And as the apostle Paul says, that would be pretty pathetic.
To make it much worse for your faith, the very earliest account of this dreamy itinerant Paul is as a persecuting Jew rampaging through Jerusalem after Christians. How do we know of this story? It is recorded in just one book, the Bible. Who commissioned him, when, and why did it happen? No-one knows.

Perhaps the apostle Paul himself was a madman or a made up figure from the random teachings of an unknown madman.

Have you ever considered that the whole lot of this was just made up Og?
Yes, I have. I gave it a very detailed and thorough examination. I gave you an account of that detailed and thorough examination. I led you point by point through the logic which led me to the REASONABLE INFERENCE that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical person who was crucified for the sins of mankind and bodily raised from the dead on the third day.

And you dismissed all of my logic A Priori as gullibility. Which you are welcome to do, though it is not logical to do so.
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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Og3 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:30 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:04 pm
SEG wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:57 pm
No, I'm not and obviously neither are you. You have missed my whole point on this and gone on an irrelevant tangent as usual. I don't have to find mathematicians that agree with his findings and he doesn't have to be a "towering genius as you put it to single handedly develop a revolutionary way of doing history which will be widely adopted in the future". If you had bothered to have read his book, you would know his reasons for challenging the consensus on the historicity of Jesus and would not have to appear to be so ignorant on the subject.

If you want to discuss it seriously, at least do what Og did and borrow it if you can't afford it. Spouting uninformed comments makes you appear dull.
Once you have admitted you are incompetent to discuss a book you have implied also that you are incompetent to recommend it. If you are not competent to understand Carrier's arguments why should I care about your opinion?
Moonwood's point here is very solid, SEG. Either you are qualified to discuss the book, in which case he is also, OR you are not, in which case you cannot judge whether or not he is qualified.

And from his postings, I can say that he has a far better philosophical, rational, and historical basis for his judgment than you have. So, in essence, you are setting up Carrier as a "towering genius" that neither of you can aspire to -- dragging Moonwood down to your own level, and setting both of you equal to zero, with Carrier set as infinite by comparison.

That's not rational of you, and Moonwood is correct here.
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SEG
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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by SEG » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:35 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:04 pm
Once you have admitted you are incompetent to discuss a book you have implied also that you are incompetent to recommend it. If you are not competent to understand Carrier's arguments why should I care about your opinion?
Except that I haven't admitted anything of the sort and you damn well know that I didn't. As you may recall I said " I wouldn't stick my nose in and tell them HOW do their work, as I'm not qualified to do so. Either do you guys." Of course we can ALL comment on any book we like that is relevant to this forum. You landed yourself on new territory when you were supposing what Carrier's objectives were without lifting a page from his book, which made you look uninformed. I really don't think you have a clue what Carrier's objectives were in writing those two books, do you? For a person that claims to be so well read, I would expect you to be aware of his main arguments and how he comes to them. From your last observation, it looks like you are reaching from a lack of information.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by SEG » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:51 am

Og3 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:30 pm
Moonwood's point here is very solid, SEG. Either you are qualified to discuss the book, in which case he is also, OR you are not, in which case you cannot judge whether or not he is qualified.
Of course he is qualified to discuss the book, like all of us here. The thing that sets him apart from us here is he is pontificating about it without having read it!
And from his postings, I can say that he has a far better philosophical, rational, and historical basis for his judgment than you have. So, in essence, you are setting up Carrier as a "towering genius" that neither of you can aspire to
No. Carrier isn't necessarily a towering genius, but a hell of a lot more qualified than any of us here (ok, sorry, you may be an undisclosed towering genius, you shy thing you!)

It seems Moonwood has become your own towering genius and doesn't even need to read the book that we have both read to spout opinions in this thread.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:48 am

SEG wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:35 am
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:04 pm
Once you have admitted you are incompetent to discuss a book you have implied also that you are incompetent to recommend it. If you are not competent to understand Carrier's arguments why should I care about your opinion?
Except that I haven't admitted anything of the sort and you damn well know that I didn't. As you may recall I said " I wouldn't stick my nose in and tell them HOW do their work, as I'm not qualified to do so Either do you guys."
As no one had suggested that you do that, and as OG didn't attempt to do that and as I certainly didn't then the comment taken literally was irrelevant. As you gave it as a reason for not discussing the Maths with OG I took it you meant it in a more indirect way that discussing the Maths would be in effect telling Carrier how to do his 'job' as a historian.
Of course we can ALL comment on any book we like that is relevant to this forum. You landed yourself on new territory when you were supposing what Carrier's objectives were without lifting a page from his book, which made you look uninformed. I really don't think you have a clue what Carrier's objectives were in writing those two books, do you? For a person that claims to be so well read, I would expect you to be aware of his main arguments and how he comes to them. From your last observation, it looks like you are reaching from a lack of information.
Carrier has discussed this frequently in articles and on his blog so unless these contradict the book there should be no issue. It says on the blurb for his book
The author demonstrates that valid historical methods—not only in the study of Christian origins but in any historical study—can be described by, and reduced to, the logic of Bayes’s Theorem. Conversely, he argues that any method that cannot be reduced to this theorem is invalid and should be abandoned.
that's pretty unequivocal. He is advocating a methodological shift. I don't see how you could think otherwise.

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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:14 pm

Incidentally I was not discussing Carrier's book save indirectly I was addressing Marcus's comments on arguments from authority. He had pointed out that the argument in the form X is an authority and X says p, which happens in advertising, is not valid. I was pointing out that the argument being used here was X says P but the majority of relevant authorities differ therefore X is likely to be wrong. That's not fool proof logic but it is sound as an inductive argument. When it is X contra mundum X may be right but then it tends to be the case that either X is badly mistaken or X is towering genius who is going to revolutionise science. SEG you mentioned Kepler. The kind of links Kepler forged between astronomy and geometry were examples of genius. He began from the theory that the ratio of the planets orbits were correlated with the relative dimensions of the perfect solids - you know, the kind of thing you said no one would think - and worked from that outwards. Galileo was another example. These people were breaking the rules of conventional science, and history has favoured their views (sort of), so it does happen. But then there are people who have introduced new ideas that floundered - from this group there would be Kepler's sometime mentor Tycho Brahe who was the most accurate astronomer of his day but proposed a theory of planetary orbits that has been consigned to the dustbin of history. So Carrier could be like Kepler and Galileo or he could be like Brahe. Time will tell.

Og3
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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Og3 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:29 pm

SEG wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:51 am
Og3 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:30 pm
Moonwood's point here is very solid, SEG. Either you are qualified to discuss the book, in which case he is also, OR you are not, in which case you cannot judge whether or not he is qualified.
Of course he is qualified to discuss the book, like all of us here. The thing that sets him apart from us here is he is pontificating about it without having read it!
And of course, you NEVER spout opinions about books you've never read, right? (**Mandatory Trap Warning**)
And from his postings, I can say that he has a far better philosophical, rational, and historical basis for his judgment than you have. So, in essence, you are setting up Carrier as a "towering genius" that neither of you can aspire to
No. Carrier isn't necessarily a towering genius, but a hell of a lot more qualified than any of us here (ok, sorry, you may be an undisclosed towering genius, you shy thing you!)
So in what way is Carrier qualified as a mathematician or a theologian?
It seems Moonwood has become your own towering genius and doesn't even need to read the book that we have both read to spout opinions in this thread.
I respect Moonwood -- he's very sharp and well-read. I don't know his qualifications, but I respect the content of his posts, both intellectually and for his apparent integrity.

I also respect Marcus, on the other side of the coin, who also appears to be well-read, lest you think that respect is a symptom of Kripkean Dogmatism.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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Re: Observations and notes regarding On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Post by Rian » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:46 am

marcuspnw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:31 pm
Rian wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:15 am

SEG, it looks like there's a bit of misunderstanding going on. Og3 is correct about the FALLACY of argument from authority. He's NOT saying that an authority is never wrong. He's saying that the FALLACY of argument from authority is when the authority isn't really an authority.
No, you can create a fallacy of argument from authority even when the authority has the expertise in question. Advertising is full of them.
Are you talking about the expert authority lying? Do you have a reputable link to support that? The Stanford link didn't say that, and the other ones I looked at didn't say that either. Maybe they didn't consider lying a fallacy?

Anyway, I finally found one link to an .edu site that added something like "if the authority can't be trusted to tell the truth", but most sites don't put that in; I guess they're not considering lying. Is that what you mean?

(p.s. - funny that I'm asking you for an authority to back up your claim about what the fallacy of argument from authority is! :D )

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