The Implosion of Richard Carrier

Has the breakdown come? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A little over a week ago, I wrote on Carrier’s decision to come out as polyamorous. You see, Richard Carrier, who is the go-to guy practically for atheists in their apologetic defense, has announced that he is divorcing his wife. Alone, this would be a tragedy and nothing that we should celebrate. Divorce is a sad breaking of a union that was meant to last until death do the lovers part. When it is even something that could be necessary, it is a tragedy that it has come to that point.

What made it worse was Carrier working to justify himself and say “I’m polyamorous.” He had been cheating on his wife and just decided that this had to be his orientation. He was a man who wanted to have sex with many other women, including ones he isn’t married to. With this, Carrier falls into the small category of every single married man on the planet. Most of us just learn to control our desires because we care more about loving our wives properly than we do about women fulfilling our own desires.

In my critique, I was told I should later write on what ethics of Carrier that Carrier was violating. As I was doing some checking for that both in his book and online, I found that some had already been doing that. What was most amusing is it looks like the atheist community has been doing the policing. Let me say first then that it’s wonderful to see the atheist community calling out their own, something we Christians need to do too when one of ours steps out of bounds with a major moral failing.

Now keep in mind that in these blogs we’re not dealing with Christians so the language will be that which we do not normally care for, but in these blog pieces, you can see Carrier being demolished. What makes it more amusing is that when Carrier shows up himself, he actually makes it worse. We could have it said “Better to have people think you’re a polyamorous narcissist than to use your keyboard and remove all doubt.”

Our first posting will come from The Yeti’s Roar. Here, the writer has compiled a number of statements of Carrier and even pointed out how some of them have been edited. It has also been pointed out that he has condemned Michael Shermer, but yet he falls at the same level as Shermer and does not seem to see it. His narcissism has also been pointed out and having him like one of his own comments on the blog page did not really help matters.

I invite the reader to simply read the posts and then read all the replies and yes, I’m in that mix as well if you see a familiar name. I happen to share the question of a recent comment on how Carrier will support himself now. After all, since he’s endorsed the Christ-myth idea, he has pretty much killed any chance of getting a job teaching at an accredited university. If he doesn’t wind up speaking constantly at atheist conferences, what then? Will other women be willing to offer the support when how he treats them, especially his own wife who I make it a point to pray for regularly and I hope you will too?

Another blogger who has been blogging about this is Shermertron over at Orwellian Garbage. He has several posts on the prominent internet blogger Dr. Richard Carrier Ph.D. The first one that I ever read was comic gold. What is fascinating about watching this whole affair is that it’s kind of like watching a disgraced televangelist. Carrier is trying to deflect the criticism that he’s receiving and yet, it’s not working. It also reminds me that indeed, marriage is something that is seen as sacred today. You just don’t cheat on your wife.

On that point also, I have made it even more of a vow to honor Mrs. Peters over here. You see, I have long told men in apologetics, and the same counterpart would apply to women in the field, that if you are able to debate every atheist and answer every question in the field, yet you end up not being a loving husband to your wife, then I count you as a failure in ministry. There are plenty of people in the field who can answer the questions that are out there. Of course, do your part, but you are not the only one. Yet when it comes to loving your wife as Christ loved the church, there is only one person who can do that. If you are an apologist who is married, you cannot be both a good apologist and a bad husband. (This is also why I set up a group on Facebook for Christian men who are married, engaged, dating, or hoping to date, so we could learn to love our wives better and encourage one another. My wife has the counterpart for women.)

To get back to this whole spectacle, it will be interesting to see what the future holds. We in the Christian community should celebrate atheists that are willing to call out their own and remember that we need to be doing the same thing. What will happen to all the atheists who put all their eggs in the Carrier basket meanwhile? Will this damage Carrier’s reputation? Will atheist fathers not want their atheist daughters at his talks? Will atheist husbands not want to go to them with their wives not wanting to get near the guy?

Has Carrier by his actions ended his fifteen minutes of fame? Only time will tell, but we can remember to pray in this situation and see what could happen with that. Who knows? Until then, we have a reminder that ultimately, no one is above criticism in this area and we all know that if you’re married, you are to honor your spouse and to say you’re polyamorous is a way of saying “You’re not enough for me.”

Along those lines, it’s worth pointing out who Carrier dedicated Sense and Goodness Without God to.

For Jen…

My buxom brunette
My wellspring of joy
My north star of sanity.

Sure seems real now. She is certainly getting an example of the sense and goodness without God. Apparently, it’s sensible to admit you’re polyamorous, which means living with the unique desire as a married man to have sex with other women, and it’s good to go out in that and try to live as an ethical human being the best you can, despite cheating on your wife.

Again, I do not know what the future holds here, but I am certainly watching. It will be interesting to see where Carrier is twenty years from now and see if it was worth it. I personally do not doubt that Jen will be much better off and will be much happier.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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  • Lambchopsuey

    Well, I’m certainly glad you’re actually DOING something to help his wife and not just sitting there thinking special thoughts and imagining yourself a wonderfully compassionate and superior person because of that. Wait…

  • Sillyputta

    I don’t know or care much about Carrier. But this quote in the argument caught my eye, “. We in the Christian community should celebrate atheists that are willing to call out their own and remember that we need to be doing the same thing.” I am waiting for the Evangelical response to Trump as of 3/28/2018. The silence is deafening.

    • I wasn’t aware that Trump was an evangelical Christian….

      • Munda Squire

        Of course he isn’t,but he sure has their backing.

  • Ellabulldog

    Atheism is a non belief in the assertions of gods by others. That is all it is.

    It isn’t about morals. Religion is no moral system either.

    Carrier’s behavior imo is reprehensible. He was married and cheated. Not the first nor the last. My opinion though doesn’t matter only his former wife’s opinion does and any future women he tries to hook up with. Luckily no children were involved in this mess. In the future women will now know or should know to not get involved with him unless they so choose to.

    Morals are subjective. They do change over time and from culture to culture.

    That an atheist did this or if a theist did this matters not. As the number of cheating theists numbers in the billions over the course of history on what basis are you really making this argument?

    • Yes. Theists have cheated. Let’s consider Christian theism then. If a Christian theist cheats on their spouse is that in line with the teachings of Jesus or not?

      I find it interesting however that you say morals are subjective and then speak about what Carrier did as reprehensible. Who says? Why should anyone care?

      As for atheism….

      “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.”

      William Rowe The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy p.62

      “Atheism, as presented in this book, is a definite doctrine, and defending it requires one to engage with religious ideas. An atheist is one who denies the existence of a personal, transcendent creator of the universe, rather than one who simply lives life without reference to such a being.”

      Robin Le Poidevin Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion p.xvii

      • Ellabulldog

        Are you trying a No True Scotsman in your first sentence? If a Christian cheats a Christian cheats. It means he/she doesn’t care what Jesus said. It happens so often your Jesus seems to not be an effective communicator. Actions matter not words.

        Morals are subjective. I said what I think doesn’t matter. Carrier doesn’t care what I think. He is still going to do what he does. He didn’t care what his wife thought. Or his friends. I don’t care that he wants to sleep with multiple partners. I just think that people make a commitment and should stick to it. My opinion. It is subjective. “Health issues aside”.

        Atheism is a response to the assertions of a theist. If you tell me there is a god I will say I don’t believe you. I may laugh. I may joke and mock. I don’t walk around saying leprechauns and unicorns don’t exist but if you insist they do I would also say I don’t believe you, laugh and mock.

        “as presented in this book” can’t just pick a definition that is not standard to suit you. An atheist can’t deny something that doesn’t exist. An atheist denies the assertions of humans that insist something exists without evidence, reason of any facts.

        Religion is cultural indoctrination. Gods are products of human imagination. They fill a need for mortal beings to deal with their impending death. This we do know and can study. There is quite a bit of anthropology and religious studies to show this. There is much research on why humans suspend their critical thinking for their faith and beliefs.

        • If a person does not do what X says, is it because X is not an effective communicator? Could it be that the person just doesn’t want to? I’m also not saying “No true Christian cheats.” I’m saying cheating on one’s spouse is not in lines with the teachings of Jesus. Why judge Christianity on those who don’t follow its teachings?

          Morality is subjective? If so, then what do actions matter as said previously? Some people give ice cream cones to kids. Some people give illegal drugs to them. It’s all subjective anyway. Some people love their neighbors. Some shoot them. All subjective. Why on Earth should I think morality is subjective?

          As for the definition of atheism, these are professional atheist philosophers. Why should I think you know better what atheism is than they do?

          Your final paragraph is quite amusing. Go look at religion in the Roman Empire at the time of Christianity. There wasn’t fear of death. People expected a shadowy existence or non-existence. That’s also the kind of person that Christianity would not have been appealing to at all. Not only that, that doesn’t deal with any of the many theistic arguments.

          • Ellabulldog

            If people don’t follow the teachings then it fails as a guide. If a weight loss program’s members all gain weight then we will say it is not effective. Christianity has not been effective and fails as a moral system. In fact it was used to hurt others for centuries. Christianity is not just what you want to cherry pick. It is much more than you claim it is and you know it.

            Yes morality is subjective. You think shooting a neighbor is objective? You don’t when that neighbor is German and the other neighbor is French and both are wearing uniforms. Then it is ok right? Subjective.

            What’s an atheist philosopher? Someone can be an atheist garbage man or an atheist string theory scientist. Both just don’t believe the claims of theists.

            Behind every religion is some answer “made up” to help humans deal with their mortality. These after death assertions may differ. Some believe in “reincarnation” while others come up with an “afterlife”. It is universal that humans struggle with the knowledge that their life is finite and in order to cope with reality humans are suckered in by the false hope religions offer. Others come up with religions to control the herd. It helped the alpha leaders when society grew too big and helped to keep people in line.

            No religion says when you die you die and this life is all there is. The Romans believe in “souls” and an afterlife.

          • Ah. Christianity fails as a moral system, but morality is subjective. So it fails at what exactly? As for what it has done, before you claim that I know something, you might want to make sure that I know it.

            ““Militant atheists seek to discredit religion based on a highly selective reading of history. There was a time not long ago—just a couple of centuries—when the Western world was saturated by religion. Militant atheists are quick to attribute many of the most unfortunate aspects of history to religion, yet rarely concede the immense debt that civilization owes to various monotheist religions, which created some of the world’s greatest literature, art, and architecture; led the movement to abolish slavery; and fostered the development of science and technology. One should not invalidate these achievements merely because they were developed for religious purposes. If much of science was originally a religious endeavor, does that mean science is not valuable? Is religiously motivated charity not genuine? Is art any less beautiful because it was created to express devotion to God? To regret religion is to regret our civilization and its achievements.” —An Atheist Defends Religion”

            As for your demonstration, no. I think that shooting an innocent man is murder and wrong. Shooting a man who is trying to actively hurt innocent men is not wrong. It is trying to save innocent lives. That’s something called a “difference.”

            As for an atheist philosopher, they’re someone who studies worldview questions seriously. Are you saying an atheist garbage man knows about atheism as much as a philosopher?

            As for your last two paragraphs, they did not deal with what I said. The Romans believed in souls? Some of them did. The afterlife was nothing glamorous to them and many of them wanted to escape the prison of the body when it was time. There was no wish to return.

            Really. Learn some history.