|First image hit, though this is Pilate washing his hands. SOURCE.|
4.5 stars. Not even a pandering apologist and hostile Christian crowd can phase the Carrier Biblical Machine in this lively but potentially polarizing debate. BEST
Very long WOE review
This is one of the best debates I have heard. Usually people on both sides cite Carrier's debate with Licona in 2004 as being a great and lively debate and I would say that that one falls below this one*. This debate is also really long and I enjoyed the format. Be careful with the Q&A section, though...I'll explain that in a bit.
This is Carrier's best performance. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy his debates and think he actually comes out on top in most of them but he came off as smooth and polished and presented himself well, here.
Though I still think he suffered from a few issues that plague his debate performance in general, but not as much in this one. For example, Carrier's too smart for his own good. The one thing I can give Jacoby (though just barely and I'll explain later) is that he knew how to read the audience and cater his talking points to them. Richard Carrier said some things that believing Christians could easily misconstrue and find insulting and many of them in the Q&A confirmed this.
In particular, a lot of people were hung up on Carrier referring to the early Christians as schizotypal, word that just has to be either dropped for a term or description with less baggage, or mentioned with the constant caveats that this isn't just schizophrenia. I wouldn't be surprised if even a more neutral-minded audience also got a bit irked by the term.
Jacoby seems like a nice guy but he employed several sleazy tactics in this debate that I think he should be embarrassed and ashamed about because he seemed perfectly fine fanning the anger of the crowd to throw Carrier under the misconception bus in order to come out on top.
Jacoby should be embarrassed for: not being prepared. Carrier had to correct him on several mistakes and misconceptions he made when he mentioned things from Carrier's book. He also rambled in his opening and then it seemed like at the last second he took out a Sparks Notes book on Bill Craigs' arguments for the resurrection and spouted that out, whether it was even relevant or not
Jacoby should be ashamed for his tactics in the debate. He definitely fell apart after his opening speech and resorted to playing on the audience's misconceptions. Several times Carrier explained what he meant by some of the terms he used only to have a bunch of other questions come up making them same mistakes. This isn't the fault of the audience because they were not a more academic crowd and even I am not familiar with the term schizotypal. And yeah, as I mentioned, Carrier is just too smart for his own good sometimes and doesn't always drive points home in a succinct manner because he'll take them for granted.
But Jacoby exploited this. Jacoby exploited the good nature of his audience and of Carrier in order to score points in this debate.
One of the bummers that kept coming up was that Jacoby disputed Carrier's claims that Jesus said that those within his generation would see the second coming by stating that those parts of the bible are apocalyptic writing and can be considered metaphorical and not literal. Wouldn't noting that the most cited document used to describe the life of Jesus is filled with apocalyptic writing that should not be taken literal kind of help support the claim that he is an apocalyptic prophet? I need to look more into this "apocalyptic literature" retreat because it just seems so weak.
Great debate otherwise!
*Note that I think that Licona did a much better job and was more professional and prepared in his debate against Carrier.
RE: 7-5-2013: Added some reviews on the debate.
RE: 8-6-2013: I lowered the score, I have too many 5 star debates.
8-15-2015 More clarity attempts like the many others attempted on this day. I also added a link and toned down my annoyance of Jacoby's behavior.