Friday, January 07, 2011

Proper Historian Vs Nu Atheism

Following on from James's previous post, here is a hilarious discussion between some chap called 'the infidel guy' and New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman. Worth a listen if only to hear the professor get more and more irritated as the discussion goes on.

...and if you really have stamina and a heck of a lot of free time on your hands you can check out this thread on the 'rational skepticism forum' 'What can we reasonably infer about the historical Jesus?'.

This epic is now onto it's 321st page (although that is probably an undercount given it is the bastard child of a similar thread on the now defunct Richard Dawkins Forum)

Discuss this post at the Quodlibeta Forum


Joel said...

Huh, is The Infidel Guy a myther? I've never listened to him, but for some reason I had the impression that his show was respectable and serious.

Sadly, the Christ myth seems to be continuing to gain popularity. Maybe part of the problem is that you don't really learn any historical methodology in college unless you're majoring in the field. Or maybe now that Marxist historical analysis is filling out of favor, people want other narratives of "THE MAN oppressing and deceiving THE PEOPLE."

Anonymous said...

It would be helpful to get a few people who can appreciate the humor of the above interview and who edit Wikipedia to put Wikipedia's "Jesus Myth theory" article on their watch page.

TheOFloinn said...

The guy comes across as a callow axe-grinder. His constantly interrupts his interviewee so that he can express his opinions, rewords what the interviewee has said in a more tendentious or dismissive form, and at one point nearly stumbles into saying that skepticism applies to things that don't fit his own a priori beliefs.

He was unprepared for the interview, had no background ready to hand, was uninformed on the basics of historiography. "I guess (this)" and "I suppose (that)" and "Some people say (whatever)." I especially loved the part where Paul "could have been lying." It's like the guy who points out that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable and takes it to mean that eyewitness testimony is never reliable.

The picture in my mind was a guy in his pajamas in his mother's basement calling people on the phone and likely surfing Wikipedia as he was talking. He seemed half-distracted at points. This is likely not a fair picture.

Duke of Earl said...

I wonder if Ehrman is regretting the work he's done in the past.

After all, it's not that big a step from "we can't trust the Bible's record of Jesus' miracles" to "we can't trust the Bible's record of Jesus."

Looks like he's made a stick for his own back.

Anonymous said...

The huge thread the blogger here references is indeed only a recent one coming at the end of a five-year thread(!) that started on the extinct Richard Dawkins forum and that migrated with unabated fury on to another forum. There are 24 threads in all, all involving roughly the same posters for all that time. Here they are in chronological order:

For those with LOTS of time on their hands,



Ed said...

I think "migrated with unabated fury" might be the punchiest quip I've heard in some time. Well done.