Daily Awesome: Richard Carrier
I think this quote sums up why deeply committed religious folk make bad historians (bad scientists and bad philosophers also, but this particular quote relates to history). What scares me most about the idea that religious people make bad historians isn’t even so much that people like the Christians have probably been writing bad history over the last couple millennia, but that they’ve been actively suppressing it. It makes me shudder to think about.
It makes no difference to me if [Jesus existed]. I suspect he might not have, but then that’s a question that requires a rigorous and thorough examination of the evidence before it can be confidently declared. Believers, by contrast, and their apologists in the scholarly community, cannot say the same. For them, if Jesus didn’t exist, then their entire worldview topples. The things they believe in (and need to believe in) more than anything else in the world will then be under dire threat. It would be hard to expect them ever to overcome this bias, which makes bias a greater problem for them than for me. They need Jesus to be real; but I don’t need Jesus to be a myth.
Richard Carrier ~ Proving History