I just posted the following to the Internet Infidels Discussion Board:
Originally Posted by Ahab
And I would recomend it to anyone as a great example of the intellectual mush that passes for christian apologetics today.
To me it seems that its primary purpose is to provide a morale boost to those already convinced of the truth of its message. Secondly, to help dissuade those wavering believers from leaving the faith.
VR: Mr Carrier and I have profound disagreements; we both think the other mistaken. However, I think he would probably not use the term "intellectual mush" to descibe my book, (You've read it carefully I'm sure) and I am sure he does not think that much is to be gained by speculating about the motives of our intellectual opponents. I present and defend my arguments because I believe them to be good. I probably could have made stronger claims on behalf of my arguments (and some of my supporters think I should have) but I want to defend claims and positions that I really do think are defensible. I have no doubts about Mr. Carrier's sincerity, nor do I have any concern at all to speculate about his motives. He thought I was making an argument from motive against naturalists, but I was able to show him that I reallly think motive arguments can be addressed to all sides all day long and that they come out to a wash.
If my arguments played a role in someone's conversion, or if they prevented an otherwise wavering believer to remain a Christians, of course I would welcome that, but I am primarly concerned, like Mr. Carrier, in defending what I think is true. If I thought something else was true, I would be defending that. Some of my favorite discussions about theism and Christianity have been with atheists who have come, after the discussion, not to give up their atheism, but simply to recognize that Christianity, or C. S. Lewis, or theism, or what not, had more credibility to it than they had previously thought. To me, that's a huge success, even if the person remains an atheist for the rest of their lives.