Richard Carrier vs David Marshall - "Is the Christian Faith Reasonable?"

Of this debate Dr. Hector Avalos said to David Marshall: "I’ve seen your debate with Carrier, in which you were clearly outmatched intellectually, theologicaly, historically, and scientifically." Having seen it myself I agree.


David B Marshall said...

Baloney. The truth is, Carrier failed to lay a glove on one single major assertion I made. True, I also failed to answer his Argument from Suffering. The difference is, I knew that, while Carrier confusedly thought he had answered my arguments.

Carrier didn't answer my arguments for God or for miracles. He said, bizarrely, that they were "irrelevant." The probable truth is, he wasn't expecting them, so he tried to sluff them off. How can God or miracles be "irrelevant" in a debate between a Christian and an atheist, with half the audience being atheists or agnostics? "Inconclusive," maybe, but clearly relevant: a necessary if insufficient proof that Christian faith is reasonable -- on his own premises, as I showed. Carrier was forced, in essence, to argue against his earlier self.

Nor did Carrier answer, or even understand, my remaining argument for the gospels and for Christ, though he spent most of his rebuttal time "addressing" it. In fact, he completely and unambiguously misunderstood my argument.

Carrier also proffered four alleged fictional "parallels" to the gospels, which he claimed possess "ALL" of the characteristics I ascribed to the gospels -- without having read my analysis, clearly. He claimed I was engaging in cherry-picking of texts that fit my model. He didn't seem to realize one of the texts he named -- twice -- was in fact part of that analysis. I have since analyzed those three "new" texts as well, and found his claim completely untrue, a mile from the truth in fact:

And here's the detailed analysis:

What Carrier did was repeat his usual talking points, quickly and glibly, and his choir chuckled and nodded their heads, as they should have. But my arguments for the reasonableness of Christian faith went virtually unapposed.

The transcript of the opening talks and the first two rebuttals is now on my website, along with full analysis of all Carrier's major claims. As Dr. Carrier rightly pointed out, it is not of course possible to go into great detail in a few minutes on stage, and one needs to dig deeper afterwards.

While Carrier failed to defeat or even address my arguments in any real way, he was, I will gladly concede, generally gracious and professional in his personal demeaner, and put on a good show. But I was pleased to find (since for me, this was only a probing) that such a bright and widely-read skeptic seemed to have no real defense against the arguments I am and will be making against his anti-Gospel books.

David B Marshall said...

Here is the transcript of my opening statement, BTW, for those who prefer to read (as I do). I think this also links to Carrier's first statement, both our rebuttals, and several "fact-checks," mostly of Carrier's claims.

David B Marshall said...

Oops! Here it is:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

how many of jesus' deciples would have rushed to the nearest sink after hearing jesus' reply to the pharisees about hand washing? jesus gave the deciples easy escuse for why hand washing is not important when consuming food. jesus the ignorant christian god didn't know anything about germs, we know this because his focus is ONLY on the ritual aspect of it and he cannot DERIVE any benefit from hand washing when he replied to the jews. the deciples were being christ like when they kept their hands unclean. the christians are pharisee like when they wash thier hands before meal.ACCORDING to jesus ,eating with UNWASHED/UNCLEAN hands isnt a problem because what is important is the internal thoughts which come out and not what goes in.that this is what is on his mind is proof that he was ignorant about germs