29 Jun 2014 
#92 Carrier's strange math in "On The Historicity Of Jesus" (OHJ)

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According to Carrier's book "On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt" (page 600):

"The odds Jesus existed are less than 1 in 12,000 [.00833%]. Which to a historian is for all practical purposes a probability of zero."
Let's compare that statement with Carrier's book subtitle: "Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt"
The possibility of having reason for doubt becomes no possibility for historicity!!!
That would make that subtitle a huge lie.

"Even when I entertain the most generous estimates possible, I find I cannot by any stretch of the imagination believe the probability Jesus existed is better than 1 in 3 [33.33%]."
And that .008% can go up to 33%!!! Carrier's generosity X factor multiplies the possibility of the existence of a historical Jesus by as much as about 4000 times!!!

Also from Carrier's book (Preface): "Though I shall argue it’s likely… that Jesus did not in fact existI cannot assume it has been conclusively proved here. In fact, it may yet be proved false in future work, using the very methods I employ ..."
Now, I am very confused.

Note: in the same line, this is what Carrier concluded at the end of his chapter on the epistles (pages 594-595):

"So on this account the evidence of the Epistles, as strange as it is, is still more likely on h than on 'h, by just over 3 to 1 (and thus about three times more likely if Jesus existed, than if he didn't)."

But wait, because Carrier turns around in the next sentences immediately following the above quote:

But I think that's being far too generous to historicity. Given my own estimates (which are closer to what I think the odds actually are), the evidence of the epistles is exactly 100% expected on minimal mythicism and has a probability of 6% on minimal historicity ..."

 Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Carrier} {Carrier's OHJ} {Jesus' historicity} {mythicism}
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