Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Self-promotion by assassination

Jerry Coyne wonders why there’s such a heated debate between Bart Ehrman and Richard Carrier over mythicism. Actually, that’s not hard to divine. Borrowing a leaf from the waning days of the Roman Empire, Carrier is simply practicing the art of self-promotion by assassination. In pop atheology, Carrier is a private to Ehrman’s general. Ehrman is a best-selling author. He’s been featured in Time magazine. Appeared on NBC’s Dateline, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, The History Channel, National Geographic, as well as NPR.

The quickest, surest way to move up the ranks is to assassinate your commanding office, then take his place.


  1. If Ehrman didn't want to get shot down by an "inferior," he shouldn't have challenge Carrier to a duel.... "Assassination" is inaccurate; it's called "starting a fight and getting your ass kicked."

  2. I love the smell of atheists bashing each other in the morning!

  3. I think the "assassination" idea has a lot going for it.

    But really, I think a better comparison may be that Timecube guy. Like Carrier, he's an atheist with an extremely high opinion of himself, and who is willing to throw down against anyone, at any time, who he becomes aware of. It doesn't matter how badly his argument gets skewered, he'll just keep going.

    I don't doubt that Carrier would like to be more prominent. I don't doubt that he thinks tangling with Ehrman may be a ticket to prominence (or at the very least, infamy.) But at the end of the day I think the real driving force is "Carrier's pretty obsessive about things, and will just argue anyone at any time and he'll treat anyone who disagrees as crazy or wicked".

    Really, pretty standard crackpot stuff.

  4. Here's my question: How did Carrier get a Ph.D. at a supposedly reputable university?

    Or another related question: When did you first notice that seeing someone with a Ph.D. behind their name didn't necessarily mean that they were that intelligent and smart?

  5. Here's my question: How did Carrier get a Ph.D. at a supposedly reputable university?

    By paying money as long as they asked him to and doing as he was told for as long as required.

    He's resilient. But yeah, that's about all.