This video is some years old and people’s perspectives become more refined over time. So I asked Richard if he still stands behind this video before vlogging. Richard noted, in response:
In the intro of the S.II talk I establish caveats (that the talk itself is tongue in cheek and doesn’t address lots of other issues like the Josephus passages or letters of Paul and so on), but the overall argument is something I will formalize, possibly with some changes, in On the Historicity of Jesus Christ. Obviously that only treats Acts in relation to the question. I’ll have different chapters on extra-biblical evidence, the epistles, the gospels, etc. I give a somewhat serious version of the argument in my online debate with O’Connell (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/carrier-oconnell/)
Richard adds another caveat:
My argument now is that we face a dilemma, either (a) Acts is fiction from the ground up, or (b) it is based on an earlier set of sources; if (a), then obviously Acts is eliminated as evidence for historicity; but if (b), then the earliest sources behind Acts can be shown to have been suspiciously lacking a historical Jesus. Ironically this means the more reliable you deem Acts to be, the less likely Jesus existed as a historical person (unless you deem Acts to be so reliable as to be free of any error or distortion whatever, but only fundamentalists would believe something so absurd of any ancient historical narrative).
It’s a little crass at times, but overall humorous and provocative food-for-thought. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and the Q&A; I like that carrier does not resort to conspiracy theory. In fact in the end, during Q&A, Carrier outlines his problems with the movie Zeitgeist and his frustrations with it are my own.