Special Edition
Vol. 1, No. 7

There are other accusations. Expect them. Just tell my accusers to produce evidence, think about them, and then tell these accusers to try to answer my arguments. - John W. Loftus

Editor's note: In chapter 1 of Why I Became an Atheist, John Loftus presents a great deal of autobiographical information, but no arguments. As such, our "rebuttal" will amount to a expose' of Loftus' true intentions.

Loftus frequently presents himself as an innocent victim of circumstances and the wicked deeds of others. He presents himself, even to this day, as a reasonable, sane person seeking the better welfare of others -- and as an honest doubter. That is what his Chapter 1 is all about establishing.

The purpose of this rebuttal, then, is to draw back the curtain and show that the real John Loftus is far from the reasonable, honest person he claims to be.

Our compiler and commenter for this essay is "Truth be Told." Though not a Christian, he has little patience for persons whom he perceives to be compromisers of the truth. Some readers may recognize him as the author of a website dedicating to debunking Acharya S; he has also had a few words on another website about Fred Phelps. This time -- he will chronicle the misdeeds of John Loftus for us.

The Personal Agenda
by "Truth be Told"

Several years ago I was once personally informed by Nigerian preacher Joseph Thompson that I would someday "become a great preacher." I couldn't possibly understand the motive or inspiration behind this statement, only that it was awkward that someone with a complete lack of interest in Christianity (or in church to be more specific) like me would be destined to become a preacher.

That very year, however, I had been involved in an almost life-threatening pedestrian car accident. The SUV (something close to either a Chevy Suburban or Tahoe) which had hit me was going nearly a total full-fledged speed of 40 miles an hour at tops. During the moment of impact I was hit on my right side around the rib-cage area, where my body had been flung up in mid-air by the sheer force of the vehicle (something close too if not a Chevy Tahoe) causing me to fall backwards where my occipital lobe was the first part of my body to make contact with solid hard concrete. When I had awoken from the concussion, the fear of death, most likely brought on by intense doses of naturally made adrenaline, created what I might be able to classify as my first "divine experience." While the "rationalist" might at first point to this being purely a state of reactionary shock, I would like to make clear that it was very unreal for an experience such as this to have happened to someone like myself or for the person I was at that timing. I never believed in a divine power with genuine sincerity, despite what I often said sometimes just to appeal to my family surroundings. It does not add up that someone who had no concept or acceptance of a divine higher power should feel what I felt when my life should have ended there on the street. Occasionally, merely thinking about the situation puts me in a state of either divine reverence or agnostic uncertainty, or even both.

The injuries I sustained did not involve any broken or fractured bones or dismembered vital organs. Nor did I suffer any mental impairment as a result. Although my head did suffer some trauma that involved a large buildup of blood, the area of buildup had only been there for less than the time the doctors and medical professionals predicted it would take to fully heal: Two weeks. Additionally, the doctors noted that I would return to 100% typical health and functionality, supposedly stating what had been witnessed in my case was unlike anything seen before in similar accident cases they had dealt with in the past. It was completely unfathomable. It was as if the whole thing never happened.

I have often read and examined some of the "former preacher" stories, and have found many of them to be lukewarm and ridiculously simplistic. Here's one of the reasons why I am contributing to Holding's "Loftus project" and why I am even taking the time out to write a book about John Loftus and his blog, Debunking Christianity. Many of these preacher-to-atheist stories involve too much about being on top of the totem pole. Yes, I suppose a good deal of religion helps foster the mentality of superiority, and some people who align with this thinking do not understand the proper contexts in which it is being used to describe these situations, or they do not consider themselves to be in any shape or form alike to this philosophy (i.e., Holier than Art Thou). But I believe my story of experimentation is unlike these typical stories in a fundamental way. It took some time to develop, but I eventually developed the desire to become a preacher specializing in spiritual deliverance in a way (I had thought) that would best be suited towards serving the needs of the people, not to obtain numbers for the flock or maintain an already established church following.

Before I allow myself to go any further it would probably be a good idea to sort of re-visit my starting point in this brief autobiography of mine (i.e., explaining my lack of interest in church attendance or the Bible for that matter). Although my biological parents have been divorced since I was four years old, I was practically born into Christian fundamentalism. It wasn't long after my parent's divorce that my biological father had met someone and quickly married her within an estimated 7 months or less. The woman who became my father's new wife just so happened to be Catholic, although she did and does not practice any Catholic rituals or adheres to any Catholic doctrines. But if she has anything to do with Christianity, and she certaintly has and still does today, she is what I would describe to be a fundamentalist in her thinking.

The good majority of my stepfamily is hung up on specific details of "Scripture." Not in the most extremist of forms, but very literalist nonetheless. The stories of Jonah and the Whale, Noah's Ark, and any other story that many religious scholars would consider to be figurative in their narrative tone, is something that my stepfamily has defended to the death as being literal and key components to faith. That's really what right-wing Christian fundamentalism is in a nutshell, or so I have learned within recent years from having read other people's stories, discovering for myself that I was not "the only one". I have a list of memorable, but highly moronic, examples of where I have had to submit to the authorities of religious quackery. At the age of six, I remember Linda, my stepmother, getting angry and upset with me for watching the movie "Gremlins" and remarking that it was a "Satanic show." I was too young to really grasp the harmlessness of the film (the movie has a PG rating), and I didn't have any concept of who "Satan" was or what the Bible described him to be. What I did end up knowing was that Gremlins was bad and I wasn't allowed to watch it. And of course, many years later, I would soon realize that I wasn't allowed to watch it based solely on religious fundamentalism.

I was never one for swallowing things uncritically. If something didn't make sense in my mind, I usually challenged it, even if I wasn't too vocal about it. My stepmother would often on occasion comment with cliche' remarks such as "don't think too hard" when I would come up with a plethora of questions that I've always wondered about during childhood. One time I remember the moment I had asked my father and stepmother for the very first time "Where did we come from?", a question I think has been asked by most if not all of us at some point in our lives. My stepfamily, and my stepmother in particular, were brought up and were all about conventionalism and traditional thinking. So as you might have expected already, this isn't a family that has the education, to admit to evolution as being an alternative to human origins instead of Young Earth Creationism, or at least the reasons for why it is considered a valid scientific theory (this is of course a perspective which to the best of my knowledge, is one that I hold independent of the other authors, if the rest could be called "creationists" in any sense). So, my parent's answer (at least the one coming from my stepmom) was about Adam & Eve and the Garden of Eden.

Notable figures in Christian culture such as geneticist Francis Collins, molecular-biologist and Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, and the Brown University biology professor Kenneth Miller, are just a few names out of many that demonstrate that religious faith does not have to impede or intersect scientific inquiry and experimentation. But fundamentalism surely poses an obstacle towards these people, and humanity in general. Without delving into specifics about American culture wars or the politics of public education, I will state that this is my reason for being in the middle of both sides of the fence. I wouldn't doubt there are religious people out there who see that religion is a man-made system, and like all things man-made, has glaring imperfections. Just like atheists and skeptics can make it out that religion has done mankind a great deal of harm, but that it also has its positive and productive aspects. Although fundamentalism is attributed almost exclusively to religion, many synonyms for fundamentalism draw up terms such as "extremist", "fanatic" and "zealot" which are not exclusively characteristic to religion and the religious.

What differentiates me in another fundamental sense from most other deconversion tales (if you would call mine a deconversion) was how easily I was swayed off of my course of further developing my faith. Strangely enough, the number of people that had noticed these so-called "discrepancies" within the Christian faith took a toll on me. That sounds much like Loftus' story, and I think in this respect it is very similar, even if not exactly the same. What follows next is a highly complex issue, one I could not adequately cover within these pages, nor do I have the personal desire to do so. Long story short, my stepmother and I usually never got along: Things were perceived by my stepmother as always being a matter of insubordination and poor parental supervision on my father's part, which is somewhat accurate. But for the most part (as reportedly with most stepmom-stepson relationships) our conflict stemmed from her inability to handle a youth that was not of her own lineage, and from my relunctance to accept her as a motherlike figure, or to conform to the traditions that had been established in her extensive family background.

Eventually these conflicts would boil over to the point where I had to be moved in with my sister, whom I had lived with throughout most of my high school career. Although things in my life began to turn for the better, the lifestyle I had endured living in my sister's household was not a perfect one, either. In many instances, it was even more dysfunctional than what I had put up with previously. Having been partly left to mature and break away from the restrictions that had been holding me back most of my life, I took it upon myself to further investigate the prophecy that had been foretold about me once and see religion with a more objective perspective. I figured that by looking more into some things myself, I would see things more critically and irrespective of what I was exposed to through my prior upbringing.

While I was given the opportunity to see Christianity, specifically, in a new light, I often consulted my feelings of 'religiosity' or what I would consider to be "religious spirituality" as an appeal to my negative emotions and reactions to certain things that were happening externally with my new life. As such, my reasons for "deconverting" from an unsolidified faith base usually involved intellectual criticisms. My biggest dilemma was not that people were having problems with the Christian mentality, but that so many charges had been leveled against it. I never had the necessary space to expand beyond the religious perspectives that had been partially imposed on me starting from a very early age. Without much to defend my developing views or to form certain specific stances on culturally controversial issues, I was confused and without a sense of direction. This is about as specific as I can get when it comes to how and why I had "left" Christianity.

The more exposure I had to apologetics and religious debate, however, the more I started noticing patterns. My background story is what had primarily convinced me that generalizing a whole population based on an ideology is almost never a good idea, which became even more emphasized just by becoming more familiar with "the culture wars" and actively participating more and more in discussions and debates surrounding them. Eventually I made my way across the article rants of well-known New Age spiritualist, Acharya S, the now known psuedonym for Dorothy Murdock, founder of the "Truth Be Known" website (the very name of her website is what started the creation of my pseudonym, Truth Be Told, as contrary to what Murdock thinks, truth is better spoken than relied upon by instinct). Although I had heard and have read about J.P. Holding and his website, Tektonics.org on several different occasions before, TBK was the first site I officially encountered in respect to the "Christ myth" debate, aside from Kenneth Humphreys' JesusNeverExisted.com. This was where I began to see 'the patterns' I had mentioned previously.

Something I have noticed that is very prominent in my involvement over the years is that many Christ myth "scholars" are quick to advertise their credentials. Not in a normal or professional manner either, but in a style of solicitation. In the "About the Author" page, Murdock writes:

"Acharya S, whose real name is D.M. Murdock, was classically educated at some of the finest schools, receiving an undergraduate degree in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin & Marshall College, the 17th oldest college in the United States. At F&M, listed in the "highly selective" category in guides to top colleges and universities, Acharya studied under Dr. Robert Barnett, Dr. Joel Farber and Dr. Ann Steiner, among others."

Get that? An undergraduate degree. At a school most people have never even heard of. The "17th oldest college in the United States" does little to impress me. So does the hype over Ivy League schools. From the blog of Financial Times Press: "Here is the reality: The only Ivy most teenagers are going to come into contact with is the poison ivy variety. While there are 14.9 million undergraduates attending college, less than 55,600 attend Ivy League schools. So right from the start, teenagers face horrible odds if they want to attend these eight schools: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth College, Brown University , Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.

"Unfortunately, what is often missing in discussions when an Ivy League school makes the national news is whether the education at one of these elite institutions is really better than what thousands of other colleges and universities offer. The evidence suggests it isn't. You don't, for instance, need an Ivy League education to succeed in a career, much less in life. A recent survey, for instance, showed that only four chief executive officers at the 50 biggest corporations had Ivy League degrees."

So if schools like Harvard and Stanford have a hard time meeting the expectations of cultural hype, then I'm sure it doesn't really say anything about a person who attended one of the "oldest colleges in the United States", and especially one that no one has really even heard of. But throughout the rest of her page, Acharya makes her brief autobiography centered on these details, providing a list of professors she studied under, and referencing herself as being "expertised" on the world's major religions. Excuse me, but doesn't having an undergraduate degree mean that you've been trained in the basics of the trade (I should know currently being a full-time student myself)??? In many instances, it can even be shown that Acharya is not the expert she passes herself off to be, and has even created articles based on widely spread rumors and falsehoods. In her article "The Roots of Islam", she proposes that the world "Allah" (the name of the sovereign deity in the Islam religion) can be traced back to Babylonian paganism and is actually the name of a "pagan moon god": [Quoting Pagan Rites in Judaism by Theodor Reik] "All Semites had once a cult of the moon as supreme power. When Mohammed overthrew the old religion of Arabia, he did not dare get rid of the moon cult in a radical manner. Only much later was he powerful enough to forbid prostration before the moon (Koran Sure 4:37). Before Islamic times the moon deity was the most prominent object of cults in ancient Arabia. Arab women still insist that the moon is the parent of mankind." The abundance of words and/or quotes in helping establish Truth Be Known's "scholarship" are not necessarily reflective of historical accuracy, or even intellectual honesty.

Carl Medearis, (a Christian speaker whom I have met personally) writes about his first-hand experiences in his book Muslims, Christians and Jesus, an attempt to elaborate on the complexities of Islam from a Christian perspective. Although I have not had the pleasure of reading the book in its entirety, I do enjoy the balance that Medearis affords between Islam and Christianity. Specifically concerning the origins of the word Allah:

It is vitally important to know that Allah is Arabic for "God." Many people wrongly believe that Allah is the name of a god whom Muslims worship --- that Allah is a pagan god or some other strange deity. In fact, the word Allah was used by Arab Christians during Muhammad's time, and it is still used today...There are some who disagree and contend that the word Allah comes from a pre-Islamic name for a moon-god. The word may have connotations from earlier usage, but even if this is so, those meanings have long since lost their definitive quality. Allah comes from the Arabic root Al-Ilah, which simply means "the god" or "the deity."

The word Allah is linguistically related to the Hebrew word Elohim and is also related to the Aramaic Elo and Alaah. The Aramaic word for Jesus used on the cross when he cried out to the Father was Alahi (or Eli in some English translations), which was linguistically closer to the Arabic word for God than our modern use of the English word God, which derives its roots from the Germanic word Gut (or Gutan). ("Before the Pillars" pgs. 30-31 paragraph(s) 2-3).

Chances are if this came to Acharya's attention should would dismiss it because it comes from the writings of a self-admitted Christian author. But compare Acharya's four years of college education to a man who has had 12 years experience living with Middle Eastern Muslims in Beirut, Lebanon. I don't know about you, but I personally believe that field work surpasses that which can be obtained from simply reading books, as books are merely bodies of documenting such.

Most importantly, we must give those with differing ideologies the benefit of the doubt. Loftus too is to blame. Pointing to your atheism as the source of your "character assasination" (in the words of the late Michael Jackson) and referring to yourself as an "atheist martyr" does nothing to justify your cause or make you look as if you are worthy of people's respect. But in John's mind, such things as gleaning sympathy from his audience for having "low self-esteem" is good enough in serving as "answers to his accusers". Yet if someone like myself, far from having the greatest self-esteem in the world, can at least see beyond the lenses of a personal agenda, then I'd expect that John is fully capable, yet unwilling, to change his circumstances. But in order to understand Loftus and others like him, we cannot neglect the fact that such people will not accept any other view of themselves other than that of which they so desperately desire to become.

Sometimes this is not always apparent, or detectable in certain circumstances. For instance, both Acharya and Loftus are guilty of calling out both "theists and atheists", "believers and skeptics" who criticize their work and list of "acheivements." Instead of taking note of the blindspots to their work, they consider it to be absolutist, much like a person with firm convinction in Biblical truths. They are the type of people that will only consider positive reviews of their "work" and discard the mountains of those otherwise negative comments, shoving them under the living room rug and pretending as though they never existed to begin with, or setting fire to their cotents, igniting them with their own exasperated reactionary rage. They are not "scholars" concerned with establishing the truth or unveiling the evidence as is. They are seeking after re-affirmation of what they already "know." It becomes a divisive ideology when challenged by anyone who would speak up against this construct. Some have said, "Without fear and hatred, there is no power." These are how corrupt leaders ascend to positions of immense authority. This is how people are duped by the rhetoric of those they emulate. It becomes even worse of an ordeal if the person on the other side (that is, the person looking down) has a personal agenda already meticulously crafted.

The most important of patterns I began noticing was that many prominent atheist internet figures, such as Loftus, have displayed behaviors that are usually descriptive of fundamentalists, only in their own relative manifestations. The picture became more clear that a spectrum, like mostly everything else in the world, had existed in terms of belief, which even applies to atheism. Some atheists mirror fundamentalist Christians in their motives and objectives, becoming the turning point which would lead me further down the road to objective observation in search of the truth. Such as it is with politics, it does not matter in the end whose party you belong too, but what your values, proposals, and policies consist of. Much is invested these days by hollow guarantees and persuasive rhetoric, and tactical maneuvers with a partisan cause in mind. We must never fully forget that it's not about trashing the other person so much as it is actually getting down to the meat and potatoes of what it is you would do to solve the problem.

With that all said, should we pretend as if people from both sides of the fence do not have to account for certain things, or that one is better than the other based merely on beliefs? I think not. The issues boil down to integrity and ethics at the heart of discussion, not just intellectual arguments. This is why I have stuck to my position. This is how I view and will continually live out my life. This is how a free and rational world should operate. These are the reasons why I have become involved in these affairs, because no matter how much disagreement there is between myself and other people, it is the moral values of someone that reveals volumes. Actions, in all seriousness, speak louder than words.


Who Do I Trust?

Everywhere throughout you come across Loftus, you'll see that the greatest of psychological tactics he employs is getting people to sympathize with himself. As it will be later demonstrated, Loftus takes no blame or shame for his own actions or the consequences that result. He simply regards it as unworthy of his consideration.

Don't just take our word for it, though. Take John's. That's right, you read correctly. John wants people to read his book and review his "cumulative case against Christianity" which he has in his most beloved of works, his book, "Why I Became An Atheist" formerly known as "From Minister to Honest Doubter." The good and yet not-so-good news for John is that we will allow you to expand upon that opportunity. In other words, we will allow you "to test the waters" before actually "diving" into the body of water, if you haven't already. My specific commentary on John's famed book will focus primarily on the first chapter, whilst other authors, especially Holding here, will be responsible for delving into its deeper, more complex sections.

Loftus starts off reminiscing on his deconversion story by stating that it was an appeal to the emotions, and not so much for intellectual reasons: "Some former believers have rejected their faith based upon the evidence itself. My initial reasons for rejecting the Christian faith are not the same ones that others have had...For me there were three major circumstances that happened in my life that changed my thinking. They all happened within the space of about five years, from 1991 to 1996. These things are associated with three people: A woman I'll call Linda, Larry, and Jeff. It was Linda who brought a major crisis into my life. Larry brought new information into my life. Jeff took away my sense of a loving Christian community..." (first paragraph, pg. 25)

Not far off, things start to get a little weird: "I was the founding president of a shelter for the homeless in Angola, Indiana, where I was ministered. It was devoted to giving temporary shelter to people in need. I worked day by day with Linda, the executive director. She practically idolized me. She did everything I said to do, and would call me daily to ask for help in dealing with various situations that came up from running the shelter, along with her own personal issues. I was also having problems with my marriage at the time, and Linda made herself available to me. I succumbed and had an affair with her..."

Loftus does not hesitate to get into the details of his extramarital affair with someone who was an alledgely "a former stripper in her younger days" who "had it in for preachers." Had it in for preachers, Mr. Loftus? Well, he justifies it as a matter of placing emphasis on his positive attributes: "Perhaps because I was a moral crusader in town and stood against abortion and X-rated video rentals, she chose to humiliate me...How many sermons have you heard about Potipher's seductress wife in which preachers wonder aloud if many men could overcome the temptation to sleep with her as she had continually made herself available to Joseph (Gen. 39:6-20)? In order to bolster our confidence in Joseph's faith, they conclude not many men would have overcome this temptation. But when someone like me does succumb to such a temptation, even if it wasn't exactly the same, these preachers are quick to condemn me..."

A sentence or two further, John admits that he "was wrong" in his choice of actions. But oddly enough, he then begins making references to a book written by a professional ethicist: "As far as the affair itself goes, ethicist Richard Taylor wrote a book on Having Love Affairs in which he discusses whose fault it is when there is an affair...I am not excusing myself here, since it takes two, but as he explains: "Though a wife may be ever so dutiful, faultless, and virtuous in every skill required for the makeing of a home, if she lacks passion, then in a very real sense she is already without a husband, or he, at least, is without a wife. Similarly, a husband who is preoccupied with himself and his work, who is oblivious to the needs of his wife and insensitive to her vanities, who takes for granted her unique talents, and who goes about his business more or less as though she did she did not exist, has already withdrawn as a husband, except in name..What must be remembered by those persons who wish to condemn adultery is that the primary vow of marriage is to love, and that vow is not fulfilled by the kind of endless busyness exemplified in the industrious and ever generous husband or the dedicated homemaking wife...The first and ultimate infidelity is to withhold the love that was promised, and which was originally presented as the reason for marriage to begin with..." That's all fine and dandy, but I'm still curious: Who exactly is here to blame? Loftus? His wife? Linda? All of the above?

It seems for matters of convenience, Loftus brings up his marriage and then makes it out as one of the key components which led him to "doubt." But he explains it in such a way that does not seem to come full circle. The narrative is limited in detail, and it is very hasty to jump into the discussion of the affair with Linda. Why?

John expands further on the process of his deconversion by involving his two cousins, Larry and Jeff, respectively. Larry happens/happened to be an officer of the United States Air Force, and for some unexplained strange reason, Loftus thought it would be a good idea to contact him on scientific matters, notably creationism vs. evolution: "I handed him a book arguing for creation over evolution and asked him to look at it and let me know what he thought of it. After several months, he wrote me a thirty-one-page letter and included it with a box full of articles and books on the subject...While he didn't convince me of much at the time, he did convince me of one solid truth: the universe is as old as scientists say it is, and the consensus was that it is between thirteen and fifteen billion years old. This was the first time I really considered the theological implications of the age of the universe. Two corollaries of that idea started me down the road to being the atheist I am today..."

I'm sorry, what? Didn't John say something about his deconversion not being based on any scientific evidence?

"...Some former believers rejected their faith based upon the evidence itself. My initial arguments for rejecting the Christian faith are not the same ones that others have had..."

With stark contradictions such as these, what is there to believe? Take into account that Loftus further states: "Nearly two years later, I came to deny the Christian faith. It required too much intellectual gerrymandering to believe.." John can't seem to make his mind up on who exactly was responsible for his affair, or why he even split from Christianity to begin with! What kind of a testimony is this???

There are many juicy pieces which we could pick from John's book and show that he either has no clue concerning that of which he speaks, or he's being disingenuous. The real gold mine of this chapter, is by far this very quote: "I know that some Christians who refuse to deal with the arguments later on in this book will use the personal information I've just shared to attack my character. No doubt you'll hear that I'm an adulterer, something that took place eighteen years ago of this writing, and that I'm divorced. The truth is I have character flaws. I'll be the first one to admit it..."

C'mon John, just who are you kidding when you wrote this? You know this isn't true, right? You should know yourself better than anyone else, yet...well, we all know this simply isn't true. See "Technically, I Didn't Lie" below for more details on why this is so.

I think this becomes the turning point where John "ups" his tone of voice and begins pointing fingers. It starts to become more clear that his admittance of his "character flaws" are given a sentence or two whilst a rant on Christian hypocrisy or the flaws of humanity are at times given a whole paragraph: "I can be honest with who I am and what I've done. Christians are in denial and live with guilt because they cannot be honest with themselves outside of the private counseling room. But I know the kind of behavior the leaders in every church I served admitted to doing. I suspect that Christians throwing stones at me and are no different than the church people whom I counseled -- flawed just like them..."

Oh I get it. People can't grasp the bigger picture without agreeing with you or saying that you were in the right all along, eh John? Going through just the very beginning of the book, I already have started to get the feeling that the whole thing in itself is a treatise of excessive pleas, spin doctoring, and whining.

Finally, I'd like to close on my commentary on Why I Became An Atheist (at least here anyways) by going after what later feeds into the conclusion of Chapter One: "Today I am guilt free regarding the Christian duties mentioned above. I am grateful for my present life because I'm living life to the hilt. I just don't think anyone can like a passionate guilt-free Christian life. Think about it; according to Jesus, I should feel guilty for not just what I do but for what I think about -- lusting, hating, coveting, and so on. I'd like every person who reads this book to experience the freedom that I have found..."

Note that hate was included in that list. HATE. John thinks that it's okay to hate? Or was John perhaps intentionally referring to ANGER?

Looks like Indiana Jones needs to brush up on his Star Wars: "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." I'm a little shocked that anyone would deliberately want "hate" to be part of their lifestyle. Popular YouTube atheist comedian Pat Condell commented on hate as "fear with attitude", a self-destructive emotion. And while I believe it's perfectly reasonable to hate such things as politics, religious fanaticism, and dishonesty (John doesn't know about that last one, by the way), like most things in life, hate has to be regulated. It is probably the one thing in the world which needs to be regulated the most. Guilt isn't.

I'm not sure even living a "guilt-free lifestyle" as Loftus supposedly lives is something that even the greatest of rationalists would consider. Without guilt, there is no need to feel wrong about anything any one person feels like doing. There are already groups of people out there many of which have zero concern or do not feel the need for guilt or shame: Society calls them gangs.

To suggest that hate tops guilt would be nothing short of a highly radical suggestion. I'm sure John is against terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, which are fueled by hatred for Western values. These people do not feel guilt or shame even if it involves the lives of innocent civilians. Would any reasonable minded person want to live "guilt-free"? I highly doubt it. I don't think you need to take a course in ethics to realize the problem with this sort of thinking. It's probably one of the best reasons of why John shouldn't be trusted. If someone sincerely believed such things, I wouldn't.

And how does John manage to live a life without guilt when he expects his avid readers to take him seriously when he says that he knows of his character flaws and admits to his shortcomings, none of which he has done anyway!?

This is just the introduction to reasons why Loftus is not a credible person of intergrity. My contributions will lay out the basics using Loftus' own words in their proper contexts which will attempt to reveal his ongoing inconsistencies, lies, disingenuousness, and uncritical thinking, which in the end can only mean that if Loftus wishes to have the respect he so yearns for, he must earn it. As most TheologyWeb regulars will inform you, it takes a lot to gain credibility, and it takes a lot more to get it back.


Perhaps you are wondering, "What does a man's ethics have anything to do with his arguments?" Well...at least if you're not wondering this, we know that John has used it in his own defense. But do ethics play a major role in the substance of a person's arguments, and perhaps scholarship? My answer to the question is a definitive yes. Let me fill you in on why.

To begin, nothing could make the picture more clear than Loftus' own words, when addressing his blog audience:

"I want it known by everyone that it was Holding who initially motivated me to debunk Christianity by how he treated me. I decided that I would aim for the jugular vein of a faith that could be used by him to justify his treatment of me. It's to him that I'm indebted to for initially motivating me to do what I'm doing today..." (Taken from a blog comment found on "Debunking Christianity" posted 3:43 PM, July 22, 2009).

See something wrong with the picture here? These words imply that John doesn't really have anything to say about Christianity or religion in general. He's simply out to get his revenge and to vent his anger. And because he outright admits that he runs on the actions and mannerisms of one single individual, how do we discern between truth and exaggerated lie? How do we know that Loftus wouldn't be the type of person who would smudge and modify the truth just to get people to hate on Holding? Why should we trust anything this man has to say about Christianity as a whole if he also admits to tackling one small division of its congregational body and leaving it at that? How can we determine that John will present to us an unadulterated perspective of Christians and the various other denominations of Christianity and not something that was borne out of stereotypes and taken from non-scholarly resources? Is John open to criticism? The right answers to all of these questions are simple: We cannot and John is not. More on that in following.

Aside from the validity of his claims and whether or not John can be trusted, another problematic issue is the desire to make a name for himself and to become widely recognized. There is certainly nothing wrong with this. It is just the method of approach one utilizes in order to get there. John has let the world in on his deconversion many numerous times. And during most of these recollections, John has always referenced his most well-known of former mentors, Dr. William Lane Craig. John's "About Me" section on his blogger profile even reads:

...I majored under William Lane Craig and earned a Th.M. degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1985...

It is a well contested fact that William Lane Craig (whether you love him or hate him) is a very famous Christian philosopher. Loftus isn't recognized as anyone in particular, except in a few very small circles of atheism. So it isn't so surprising that Loftus would want to play off of his name in order to make one for himself. And this wouldn't be such a big deal had it not served as a contributing factor to John's sought out agenda:

I learned from DC member Darrin at the Carrier/Craig debate that Craig said he would not debate his former students. That's what he said. I am now classed with a group of people, i.e., the people comprised of his former students. And Dr. Craig says he will not debate anyone in that class of people. Okay, I guess. But given the fact that I'm probably the only member of this class of people who wants to debate him he might as well have said: "I will not debate John W. Loftus."I've heard him say this before about former students, so it's not really like he's singling me out, or is it? While I was a student of his he said something I thought was odd at the time. This was back in 1985 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He said "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine." Keep in mind that Dr. Craig was on a High School debate team and has been debating these topics for probably just as long as I've been thinking about them. And he had only been teaching a few years before this to actually know of any student who might want to debate him. But that's what he said. Again, he said "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine."
He cannot deny saying this, and I don't think he will.

The way John presents himself in his blog is a little excessive: There isn't really any true connection between John's assertion and fact. Nothing has been proven which shows that William Lane Craig refuses to debate with Loftus out of fear of Loftus' arguments. It is quite simply as I had put it on a blog post on this very topic, "Am I expected to believe that John's former professor who has authored many more books than he ever has is somehow afraid to debate him, or that he even said what John claims he said back in 1985? I'm not buying it, and I don't think anyone else should subject themselves to buying it either." Does John have a tape recording Dr. Craig saying such things? Audio? Official transcripts?

Never mind. Questioning Loftus' sources and thought processes is a bad idea. Who needs logic when you can be John? Here is a comment by DC guest "kiwi" under the same post as quoted above:

kiwi: I can think of many reasons why he wouldn't want to debate a former student:

1) If some of his former students end up being atheists, it reflects poorly on him. So I suppose he would rather not make public that some of his former students are now atheists.

2) If a former student insists to debate him, the student in question probably has an axe to grind. (Not saying it's the case with Loftus, I'm just sayin').

3) If a former student debates him and the student does a very bad job defending his side, makes basic mistakes of logic or such, again, it reflects poorly on Craig as a teacher.

There are other reasons as well; I don't think it has anything to do with Loftus, but with the idea of debating a former student. Craig simply has nothing to gain to do that.

Considering Craig debates with la creme de la creme of atheism and skepticism, he has no reason to fear an amateurish atheist who happens to be a former student.

Loftus' response speaks for itself:

Loftus: kiwi, you sure know how to get a rise out of me. What basis do you have for the mere assertion that I'm an "amateurish atheist"? And are you saying such a debate would NOT be of interest?

"Don't question me! I'LL CRUSH YOU, SWINE!"

It's more along the lines of whether Loftus is really just that important, actually. Well, it goes both ways in all honesty. And if you take a look at kiwi's first point, you'd notice there could be no better way of wording John's motives for getting in touch with his former professor: John's deconversion might serve a "blow" to his old teacher. That's why John's college biography is his fulcrum. I wonder whether, if John did not have the connection to Craig, he would have been able to get as far as he has now. Perhaps John would have a much higher chance of getting his much dreamed about debate with his former professor, if he could be a little more respectful about it. I'm not sure referring to your teacher as someone who is "sincerely deluded" would necessarily do the trick, even if it is just for argument's sake.

One would think, well, with Loftus being an atheist, liberal democrat, and academia proponent that censorship would be below his level. But alas, anyone who knows what I am talking about in full detail would know that his standards of free speech are at an all-time low. John even has the gall to come onto another person's turf and start making demanding requests, as he did on my own blog:

I see Holding is a blog member here and on another site. Is he fixiated on me or something? Hi JP!

You do realize the patent inconsistency with this very site, don't you? Surely this won't escape the attention of any reasonable person. For if my arguments are lame and ridiculous then you wouldn't even bother with me.

This blog will eventually fizzle out like the others. Fleas are what they are and they serve as a compliment to my work.

But if you don't wish to be banned over at DC then come up to the civilized world. We have the HTML text to do so and I will.

March 10, 2009 5:20 AM

As you can imagine, I wasn't very appreciative of John's manipulative psychological tactics. I basically told him off:

Hey John: Have you ever heard of FREEDOM OF SPEECH?

You're on my turf when you post here. I don't have to follow any of your blog's rules while you post comments here. If you want to ban me, you have every right to do so, but don't expect the free reign to come onto my blogs and try to defend your prideful insecurities. My blogs are around to stay for as long as I say they are, and no matter what you try to do to stop me from commentary, I have plans of keeping them up on the net permanently.

Let's see if you can first define what it means in your own words to be an "***hole" without it feeling neccessary grounds to terminate my existence on Debunking Christianity. If you can at least do that, I'll be a little more civil in my discussion (by the way John, would you like to point out specific areas where I have called you any names on this site and its affliates?). March 10, 2009 3:16 PM

I suppose this was the point in time that John decided to go off and start randomly banning people who had a connection with my blog. Tisk, tisk, tisk...

BTW akakiwibear, since you've joined this abusive and obnoxious blog you are banned from DC. Them's the rules.

March 16, 2009 1:25 PM

So there you have it, people. The personal agenda of John Loftus, all explicitly spelled out so much that a chimpanzee could understand.

Origins of the Loftus-Holding Conflict

James Patrick Holding, the founder and webmaster behind the highly popular and well-known Christian apologetics website, Tektonics.org, has come under heavy fire throughout his "online career" by numerous crowds of every different shade and color, whether skeptic or believer. It is without a doubt that those who have become highly critical of Holding have done so out of their own personal experience and what they perceive to be a shameless, self-centered, pompous and a rather arrogant individual. It's not entirely wrong to think or assert such things because these are what may seem to be the ‘evident' personality behind the man. Truth would have it that these are the initial precepts I had assumed about Holding after reading somewhat extensively into his apologetic writings. However, I finally got in touch with Holding, and had seen some of his more positive characteristics and motives behind his series of exchanges with Acharya S, whom had come across to me very early on as an emotional trainwreck more concerned with being right in her own eyes than being right unbiasedly.

All of that said, the same would not turn out to be true with Loftus. In fact, like most things contained within this book, the origins behind the conflict of the two internet titans began on the popular Christian message board "TheologyWeb" where Loftus had introduced himself after having been invited to the forum by Holding himself (where Loftus is known as "Doubting John" or "DJ":


Topic: Is there such a thing as an honest doubter?

Loftus: What do you think? Is there such a thing as an honest doubter? That is, is it possible that someone has seriously examined the evidence and decided that the evidence does not support Christianity? My username suggests that I believe there is such a thing.

Holding: DJ wrote me an email, what, about a week ago with the same basic info as his OP, also asking if I wanted to debate him. I said, "Until I know if we have something to debate about, I can't say, but I'm here on TWeb. How about a copy of your book?" He sez, "Buy it thus way" and I did.

It's second on my "read list" at the moment, right after one I've been dying to read on interpreting the NT in terms of client-patronage models.

Loftus: J.P. Holding, what a pleasure to see you here. I'm new to this so it's difficult at first to get going. But don't you see that Christians will doubt an honest doubter, even though he says to the contrary? I might as well say there are no true believers, contrary to what they claim, right? What's sauce for the goose....

This is no different than people who will deny that a gay person can ever leave that sexual preference, or that someone can walk away from his or her salvation. They either never were that way to begin with, or they didn't really walk away from it at all.

Likewise with honest doubters, they either never seriously considered the evidence, or deep down inside they really do believe.

As a former minister, Christian professor and student of Dr. William Lane Craig, I did believe at one time. Now I am an honest doubter. What do you make of this?

But for there to exist even one honest doubter would be problematic for the Christian faith I think, although, correct me if I'm wrong. If there is even one honest doubter, then there will be an honest doubter in hell, right? So if this is possible, then God will cast people who were honest in their doubts to hell, and that would make God unfair, right? Well, which is it here with me now?

Holding: 'll be honest myself, DJ, and say I don't give a kazoo what Christians (or Skeptics, or anyone) will do in terms of questioning motives of others, because all I care about is what's presented. You say you're honest? Cool. But all I care about is whether you're informed....I don't care if you're Abe Lincoln or Richard Nixon. It doesn't break my leg or lighten my lunch either way....

Loftus: J.P., I edited an earlier post of mine, which presents a dilemna for you. You may want to consider that dilemna. In the meantime, you asked whether or not someone is informed, not whether or not their motives are good. So, was I informed? Does three master's degrees and a year and a half in a PH.D. degree mean that I was informed enough? Informed? I think I was, and I am now, although I'm no scholar, and will probably never be one. How does one know whether or not he is informed enough? Do you know things that I don't know? Why of course you do. Do I? Yes. Who is better informed? Is that the issue? Well then, you are better informed than I, I'll even admit so. I have no problems with that. But I'll bet you there are people better informed than either of us on the Jewish Hollocaust who deny that it ever happened. So it really isn't about being informed then, either, is it. It's about being right, isn't it. A 60 year old man who has a 4th grade Bible education may be right, but just not that knowledgable about Christianity. But he's really uninformed, isn't he? So then, how does one know whether he or she is informed? How? I say I am. You say you are.

Holding: "J.P., I edited an earlier post of mine, which presents a dilemna for you."

OK, I assume this is it?

"This is no different than people who will deny that a gay person can ever leave that sexual preference, or that someone can walk away from his or her salvation."

Actually I don't buy the P in TULIP. I'm a 1.5 point Calvinist...

"I did believe at one time. Now I am an honest doubter. What do you make of this?"

Nothing, until I read your book. I told you by email that I had reservations about your use of Spong as a source. Worst I could say of that particular is you're not well informed, but if you want a snap final judgment NOW, you ain't gettin' it.

"But for there to exist even one honest doubter would be problematic for the Christian faith I think, although, correct me if I'm wrong."

Not sure how this is so.

"If there is even one honest doubter, then there will be an honest doubter in hell, right?"

Yeah, but since I say hell is correspondent to your level of your level of deserved shame, an honest doubter such as you describe would for me not be that bad off. I'd compare your worst possible fate to that of the android on the Star Trek episode What Are Little Girls Made Of? when he was left to fend for himself for gazillions of years.

You do realize that I rate hell in terms of an agonistic environment, right? Or have you not read any of my stuff yet?

"So, was I informed?"

I'll find out when I read your book, bud. Three masters' degree and a Ph D don't mean much if they're not in topics you're making judgments about and if you haven't looked in the right areas. Heck, you of all people ought to know how specialized Biblical studies is. Ph D's correct each other in the lit all the time. I have a Masters in library science but that doesn't guarantee me expertise in physics...but what are your degrees in, exactly? I haven't read it yet in your book of course...

"How does one know whether or not he is informed enough?"

As an information specialist this isn't a hard question for me, because I know how to gather and assemble data and when I've done enough work with the necessary sources per each issue. But I don't think its hard anyway, and even if it were, it sure isn't hard to tell when you are more informed that person X is.

"So it really isn't about being informed then, either, is it. It's about being right, isn't it."

You don't get to be right without being informed...your hypothetical 60 year old man may be "right" about X....but if you started asking him to defend his position, you'd find out that being right won't help much, practically speaking, if you can't show that you are, against a wrong position...for your own sake and for that of others.

So then, how does one know whether he or she is informed?

We debate and find out. Sorry, but I don't find your epistemic nightmares particularly frightening....

Loftus (post #15): I graduated from Great Lakes Bible College in 1977 with a B.R.E. degree ("Bachelor of Religious Studies"). Then I attended Lincoln Christian Seminary, Lincoln, IL, and graduated in 1982 with M.A. and M.Div. degrees, under the mentoring of Dr. James D. Strauss, with "Theology and Philosophy" majors. Then I attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and graduated in 1985 with a Th.M degree, under Dr. William Lane Craig, with a "Philosophy of Religion" major. At Trinity I also studied with Dr. Stuart Hackett, Dr. Kenneth Kantzer and Dr. Paul Feinberg. I also took classes at Marquette University in a Ph.D. program with a double major in "Philosophy and Ethics," but didn't finish. At Marquette I studied with Dr. Ron Feenstra, Dr. Marc Greisbach, and Dr. Daniel MaGuire. I have taught extension classes for Lincoln Christian College, Lincoln, IL, and I taught for Great Lakes Christian College, Lansing, Michigan.

Anyway, I too must go for now. This was fun.

Loftus (post #16): One more thing JP, You wrote: "You don't get to be right without being informed...your hypothetical 60 year old man may be "right" about X....but if you started asking him to defend his position, you'd find out that being right won't help much, practically speaking, if you can't show that you are, against a wrong position...for your own sake and for that of others."

I quote Spong not because he's an authoritative source, but because he communicates well. But as I consider what you just wrote above it puzzles me, for either you don't communicate very well, or you've just said something I have never heard an informed Christian say before. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, I reply. People are right about a lot of things which they don't or cannot defend too well. "practically speaking"? What is more practical than in being right and getting into heaven, even if one is not well informed? Even a child's faith is not an informed one.

Holding: Well, DJ, that depends on what kind of member of the Body you want to be. Some folks want to be the rear end in the Body of Christ, and stay children; thus they may indeed be right, but as disciples, they'll end up with only 1-2 cities (I'm sure you catach the allusion to the parable of Jesus there) because all they did was work hard enough to get a little more with the money given them, or at worst, they buried it. American Christianity is full of rear-enders who sit around sucking up junk like Purpose-Driven Life and Left Behind novels and I don't have a very positive idea of what's going to happen to some of these people when they are called to account. There's a joke about the rich man who went to heaven and saw guys who were janitors and poor missionaries on earth getting mansions in heaven, so he figured he'd get a lot more. He ended up with a shack instead, and as the angel with him said, "We did what we could with what you sent us."

To put it another way, for the leader of a nation in a position to change things, being "right" about a dictator who commits genocide being evil is fine, but the leader just twiddling his/her thumbs about it isn't.

Loftus: I studied with Bill Craig in the areas of the philosophy of religion, but I read his other works too, and have in my library 20-30 books defending Christianity and its historical evidences, and I just do not believe it anymore.

By the way, the first review of my book: "From Minster To Honest Doubter: Why I Changed My Mind", just came in from the webmaster, Dave Van Allen, at exchristian.net. Here's what he wrote: "Let me start off by stating categorically that this book is an absolute "must have" for anyone who has left the Christian faith or is having serious intellectual doubts about the Christian religion.

While the book starts out explaining some of his experiential reasons for leaving Christianity, the 216-page volume goes far beyond a mere personal testimony and dives deeply into the elemental contradictions and concerns that weaken the underpinning of "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3)

Most readers will not find Loftus' book one that can be adequately absorbed in an evening. Written in the style of a collegiate thesis, the plethora of scholarly works referenced in this publication places it amongst the better resources for the honest student. To do the volume justice one must be willing to follow the research that has been carefully documented by Loftus. For those without the time or interest to explore the mountain of references, this book will, none-the-less, provide a significant store for future study when time or necessity dictates.

Loftus does not come away from Christianity with the deep bitterness that affects many in de-conversion, but rather retains admiration for the good influence Christianity had on his own youth. Loftus deals evenly with the issues, carefully explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each argument.

Loftus' coverage of the problems inherent in the claims of Christianity is comprehensive. If you are an honest seeker, or an honest doubter; if you truly believe, or truly doubt; I highly recommend you add this book to your collection. Regardless of your agreement or disagreement with the content, you will certainly be given some meaty food for thought."

Loftus: You asked: BTW did you answer my question about whether you have enough books to buy from you direct?

Yes I do. At the risk of an advertisement you can go to amazon, type in the title of my book: "From Minister To Honest Doubter" and click on the "New & Used" button. Those ship in 1-2 days directly from me. I'll even included another essay I have just recently written titled: "The Historical Evidence for Christianity: Is It Enough?"


"Technically I Didn’t Lie"

Of all of the Loftus chronicles, this one has become the most infamous. On May 29 of 2007 at 1:53 PM, Holding posted a thread on TheologyWeb titled "Doubting John: He Still Lies Today!", which had asserted that John deliberately created another blog in order to rally support from his unsuspecting readers:

Exhibit 1: Entry in "Debunking Christianity," Doubting John's blog, dated 5/22/07:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspo...p-holding.html

I recently noticed another blog that apparently started up in March which is very critical of J.P. Holding, here. I personally do not like Holding, but I'm probably not going to waste my time on him, except to point out what others are saying about him.

Exhibit 2: http://jpholding.blogspot.com/

Notice that there's no name attached to this blog, no one who takes responsibility for it whatsoever. Yet DJ says he "recently noticed" this blog. Hmmm. Note also this quote:

There are several sites dedicated to exposing James Patrick Holding's disgusting and depraved tactics, along with the way he dishonestly mischaracterizes his skeptical opponent's arguments. This Blog's purpose is to draw the attention of search engines so that people can come here and find out about J.P. Holding

Exhibit 3:

http://www.blogger.com/feeds/4637087.../posts/default

Hmmmm.....this seems to be some kind of source code and material for the site noted as Exhibit 2...look, the very same quote appears:

There are several sites dedicated to exposing James Patrick Holding's disgusting and depraved tactics, along with the way he dishonestly mischaracterizes his skeptical opponent's arguments. This Blog's purpose is to draw the attention of search engines so that people can come here and find out about J.P. Holding

And my goodness....whose name do we find there in the code?

feed>

id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4637087862117528188

updated>2007-05-26T09:37:42.003-07:00

title type="text">J.P. Holding

link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="http://jpholding.blogspot.com/"/>

link rel="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#feed" type="application/atom+xml"href="http://jpholding.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default"/>

link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="http://www.blogger.com/feeds/4637087862117528188/posts/default"/>

-

author>

name>John W. Loftus

>This is undeniable proof that Loftus had deceived his viewers on the opposition against Tektonics.org in an attempt to inflate his own credibility. Already, we have come across Loftus’ deceptive tactics in an attempt to either conceal or exaggerate the truth. But...it doesn’t stop there.

One would think that having been faced with this evidence, Loftus would have come clean and had admitted the truth. However, his responses show otherwise:

Technically, I didn't lie.

Prove to me I did.

Besides, it doesn't matter that you know I started the Blog. I don't care. People will still visit there regardless, and I will continue sending people there.

You are the dishonest one.

Posted on March 29 of 2007 at 5:29 P.M.

I would like to go into further detail to this comment later on in the book. For now, it’s pretty obvious Loftus’ "response" consists of blatant self-contradiction. Making sense of it just wouldn’t be the sensible thing to do. You can’t make sense of something that doesn’t make sense in the first place, sort of like what Loftus would make of the Judeo-Christian Bible.

I will do you the reader a courtesy by posting a list of subsequent posts made by Loftus in the same thread without providing any unneccessary commentaries. Actually, I will let you decide on what reactions you would have had in response to these:

(Quoting the original post by Holding):

Funny, when I go there I don't find the link. Is it broken?

And why is it you asked the moderators to ignore the fact that the blog lists your real name, when it also reveals my name? Why is it they will allow a link to my real name and only allow a link to your real name when you allow it?

I do not allow it, and I ask that the moderators stick to their policy about privacy and moderate all such links wherever they find them.

Posted May 29 of 2007 at 6:02 P.M.

(In response to Xena Bauer (currently going by "dizzle")

Technically speaking it isn't a lie since I did in fact recently notice (as in "see" "read" or "observe") that Blog. Just because I did not say everything I knew about that Blog does not make what I said a lie. Where does anyone have an ethical duty to say everything that he or she knows? If you can make that case, then anyone who does not say everything he knows about any given topic is lying.

You and others are so slipshod about such basic distinctions as these, it's no wonder you argue the way you do.

Read through Sissla Bok's book on Lying. It'll open your eyes to some basic distinctions.

Posted May 29, 2007 at 6:41 P.M.

Xena Baeur/dizzle post:

This is rich from DJ's blog:

I will not purposely distort or misrepresent another person's argument to make myself (or my views) look good, nor will I badger another person with ad hominems.

.... but apparently you will pretend as if "others" are posting sites critical of Holding WHEN IT WAS YOU!

Let's look at the context, shall we?

Looks as if Matthew Green is on the attack against J.P. Holding ...

I RECENTLY noticed ANOTHER blog that APPARENTLY started up in March which is very critical of J.P. Holding, here. I personally do not like Holding, but I'm probably not going to waste my time on him, except to point out what OTHERS are saying about him.

The context is so clear that you are simply making yourself look even more deceptive rather than simply admitting you tried a fast one.

Posted May 29, 2007 at 6:56 P.M.

(In response to lilpixieofterror’s comment; post #48):

Look, I'm an atheist. With you and yours I never had any credibility to begin with. So it's not surprising you say that I don't now. In fact, you would've been honest if you had said that before this thread, because from your perspective you wouldn't believe me no matter what I said.

Like I said, technically I did not lie. Prove to me that I did.

In any case, look at Holding's credibility. He has very little of it when you consider the number of people who say so.

Let's see, compare one time when I didn't tell the whole truth (because I was under no obligation to do so), with the number of dishonest things Holding has said and done, and you judge me not to have any credibility?

There's no parity there.

I say wake up and smell the coffee. Stop idolizing Holding no matter what he does. It's gullible, and not becoming of an intelligent person.

Posted on May 29, 2007 at 7:17 P.M.

(Second response to the same lilpixieofterror comment; post #50):

Like I said, it doesn't matter when the Blog was started.

Posted May 29, 2007, 7:20 P.M.

(Loftus’ generalization of TheologyWeb and his response to JardinPrayer; post #57):

I really do not care what people here at a backwoods site like Tweb think of me.

I don't know any of you.

I really don't.

I do not get a fair hearing here.

I do not get a fair moderation here.

Even now, you as a moderator should be doing your job to moderate Holding's links, but rather than do that you write what you did, and you'll only moderate it after you're sure evryone sees it.

There's no fairness here.

And I do not care what you think of the Blog.

Posted on May 29, 2007 at 7:25 P.M.

(To finish our list of quotes, another classic post from "Doubting John"; post #132):

As Elvis would say, "Thank you, thank you very much."

You see, even bad publicity is publicity.

I love it, sorry.

Posted on May 29, 2007 at 8:04 P.M.

We’re almost positive that you do, John.

So in John’s mind, as he has clearly expressed in his own words, as long as he is gaining popularity, whether this be good popularity of bad popularity, it’s good either way. What kind of a person sets this up for themselves unless they have serious psychological problems?


April "Don't Be Fooled" Day

A more recent notable event in Loftus chronology was something of my own doing, with Holding's help, of course. Shortly after my Debunking Loftus blog was set up, within the first two months of its establishment, John set out to inform me of his list of prophetic fulfillments that he had in mind for me: I would sever ties with Holding because Holding is such a meanie and because I consider myself a non-Christian. Serious business:

John W. Loftus said...

Just a reminder this will be YOU apologizing someday.

March 23, 2009 12:33 P.M.

Let's just say it was Loftus' little prediction which got my hamster wheel spinning: It was nearing the end of March, and April was just around the corner. This meant the First of April. And, as you've probably already guessed, that means April Fool's Day: The holiday of prankery. Thus, the inception of a fantastic idea was to become another shameful reality for Loftus to face. Or as I explain on my blog:


This year, it dawned onto me that I should probably consider that "April Fools" was just around the corner. This previous week (not far off from when I made my last post) I had concocted a scam in hopes of fooling DJ based off of this line of reasoning. And...it worked.

But let's give credit where credit is due as to why it worked, specifically. I had originally planned to "fake" a conflict with Holding on TWeb to set the realism of what would later become the trap. Obviously, the draft that Loftus got a hold of was still being in development at the time that me and Holding were working together to perfect the scheme. Because of my limited diskspace and the fact that the current computer from which I am blogging from is related to a family relative's business company, and the likeliness that I probably wasn't going to come up with a perfected document within a day of my allowable free time, I had momentarily posted it here on Blogger in order to copy and paste the text so that Holding could examine it and give me suggestions on how it could be better modified.

Unsuspectingly, Ed Babinski, a DC contributor and another frequent commentator on this blog, had subscribed here. Even though the posted draft was probably on here for about a minute and a half, Babinski quickly rushed to the 'Copy and Paste' manuever and sent an e-mail to John, as explained in his post. To both myself and Holding's suprise, John fell for it. DJ just so happened to be more gullible than Holding had previously posited in the past. Even I was sure that DJ would not fall for such a simple plan. And yet, he had.

Well John, I appreciate your somewhat selfless motive in trying to reach out to me and "save" me from Holding, BUT WHAT ON EARTH makes you believe that I would abandon JP for you? Do you not understand that these issues are centered upon moral character, and not philosophical stances? The fact that you make this out to be the case shows you're in serious case of self-delusion. This is a moot point when you fellow non-Christian TWebbers such as Anon and The Moonshield that seem to get along with Holding just fine. More recently, CodewordConduit (who has also commented on here a few times herself) distanced herself from your destructive behaviors which end up decreasing your crowd of potential allies. So where do you get off assuming that I will follow in the same exact path as Matthew Green? Do you have anything to justify this? If not, why do you make the assumption?

There can't be much said on just how much John's "You bully me because I'm an atheist" is a moot point to boot. It's obvious. The more and more John insists on "engaging" us at TWeb, the more he embarrasses himself. He has no one to blame. But he does try (and is certaintly welcome, as it is his own right to risk his reputation) to save face:

I guess April Fool's Day is an excuse to lie, eh? Only the lie was not offered on this particular day, but a few days ago. Why not lie on, say, July 1st then wait to reveal that it was a lie next time April 1st rolls around? Now with your ignorant example everyone has a right to lie if they want to any time of the year, right? All they have to do is wait until April Fool's day to "confess." Oh, and tell me, gerrymanderers, if this isn't the case then exactly how many days can separate the lie from April 1st when you reveal it as a lie? I'm all ears.

As I've already mentioned on TWeb, the reasons for this "lie" being predetermined prior to April 1st is that this was already planned and prioritized. Without responding to a word I said (because I'm a "sewer" rat not worth responding too of course), I guess DJ didn't really take the time to read anything I typed because he manages to ease his way around the issue by implying that this was sloppy work of some kind. Oh, and just like his Big Blog Lie thread, he double-posted in order to gain some personal salvage. But we all know better than for it to actually work this time:

At least when I was confronted with a lie I owned up to it. What do you think Holding and TBT will do?

Ha. Beautiful.

Re: A childish favor to ask (March 25th 2009 , 08:47 AM)

Funny you should suggest this. I had a very similar idea myself to "apostasize" on the blog on April 1, but I thought it rather too obvious. Your idea is much more subtle and may have a better chance of working; and if he falls for it, it will indeed, as you say, make him all the more obviously someone who does not think things through. The only catch is that one of his followers on the blog may check the calendar and tip him off. All that collective non-intellect together (eg, Deist Dan) can't even build a Lego barn individually, but together they may figure it out. Sounds good. If you proceed, let me know who else is in on the secret so I don't inadvertantly tip any hands. At a minimum I'd suggest letting Nick (Phoenix) in on it, and the rest of our crew.

Take care,

JP

Not enough for ya, John? Well then...

An idea! ( March 25th 2009 , 05:19 PM)

OK, here's the deal....

1) I'm due to review "Losing My Religion" by William Lobdell for my E-Block subscription e-zine. I just started reading this evening.

2) DJ LOVES this book: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspo...at-review.html

3) I've already read enough to see that Lobdell isn't credible....he's not as bad as DJ by far, but he's not an intelligent critic either.

4) Tomorrow sometime in the morning, I'll give him a Screwball Award.

4) Later tomorrow, you post in the Screwball thread something to this effect: "I hate to disagree with you here, JP, but while you may be right about Lodbell this way," etc etc etc, "I think he is honest and credible," etc. (If you like this plan), I'll send you some details about the book so you can sound like you read it.)

5) I'll act a little surprised and offer to email you my review.

6) Friday, Saturday....all quiet. I'd suggest limiting your interactions here on TWeb; and in particular, IGNORE ME.

7) Sunday or Monday: Drop the bomb on the blog. Say we had a major falling out by email over my "dishonest" review of Lobdell. I'll write you a quote from me to use in which I "tell you off." For realism, don't forget to remove sidebar links to my site, my one post, and my name as an admin. (I'll save a copy of my post.) Say I'm "off" the blog and you're considering what to do with it, and also reconsidering your stint on TWeb. Then do not post there or on TWeb until....

8) Wednesday the 1st....when you drop the bomb! If you do this, it would be good to let the other blog members like aki know what we're doing and ask them not to post either.

I'll be offline shortly and back in the morning....let me know what you think!

Take care,

JP

John once brought up the "issue" (if you could call it that) that him getting pranked like this is the same as what he tried to pull with his blog shenanigans. It's more of the same "I'm being treated unfairly" type bullcrap.

I guess April Fool's Day is an excuse to lie, eh? Only the lie was not offered on this particular day, but a few days ago. Why not lie on, say, July 1st then wait to reveal that it was a lie next time April 1st rolls around? Now with your ignorant example everyone has a right to lie if they want to any time of the year, right? All they have to do is wait until April Fool's day to "confess." Oh, and tell me, gerrymanderers, if this isn't the case then exactly how many days can separate the lie from April 1st when you reveal it as a lie? I'm all ears.

Here are some major distinctions between my little concoction and John's big white fib:

It was clearly a joke from the beginning. While not everyone was made aware beforehand, some were in fact notified prior to the event. Here's some proof:

lilpixieofterror: "That's funny, I got an IM from TBT all about this April fools prank on March 25th. If TBT wants to give me permission, I'll show you a screen shot of that PM just to show you that you and your little buddy is downright wrong. Do you really want me to do that DJ or are you just letting your ego get control of you yet again?" (April 1, 2009, 9:06 P.M.)

Mountain Man: "Sorry, John, but TBT sent me a PM a week before the trap was sprung letting me know what was up. Hate to burst your ego." (April 2nd 2009 , 08:25 AM)

In John's case, he both lied to his readers about the second blog and had no intentions of revealing to anyone that it was all fabricated.

Now that April Fools has come and gone, everyone that was fooled now knows that it was all a prank. As can be proven, JPH and myself admitted to the whole scheme of things. John...regardless of what he claims rather delusionally...did not and denied it in the face of the undeniable.

John...He's "Losing It"

Shortly after, John blew a cap. His sense of loss and defeat left him with the burning fury to make a "close-shop" notice to all that was Debunking Christianity. His language and professionalism for a blog that tries to be "scholarly" is of note, too:

I am f##king tired of being shot at from both sides of the fence for five years because I actually want to reach the opposing side. If you are a skeptic and you want to take pot shots at me then f##k off. I do not care. I really don't. There are many sites and books that preach to the choir on both sides of the fence. Fine. Go to them. That is not what I'm doing here. Get the point. I'm about ready to quit. I really am. I no longer care. I've done my part.

Try guessing where this post is today. Go on, guess...still haven't figured it out? The virtual trash is where it's at. Yep. It's gone from the public eye for good. John has even managed to demolish all evidence of its existence by somehow getting it erased from the cached pages on Google.

Hey, he's the one that does these things to himself. Why should we be blamed for something outlandishly foolish that he might happen to say, realizes the social consequences of (some of) his writings, and then tries to dispose of it forever?

And of all things that must be covered, J.P. is right about this one:

Don't Be Fooled on April Fool's Day: Take the Outsider Test for Faith

The Outsider Test for Faith argument can be found in my book, or online in an edited version right here. I've recently defended it from some of Dr. Victor Reppert's criticisms. One Christian minister encourages believers to take the test! I also provided an example of what it means to take the test. So let me just say on this April Fool's Day that taking this test is the best and probably the only way to know the truth about what you believe. And here's why...

Oh he tries. He tries very hard to ignore us. But at the end of the day, you know it bugs him like a unrelenting sickness. John can't being toyed with, and we know it. ;)

Where we being dishonest like John? No. Where we being unethical? Maybe. You could take it in a variety of different ways. But comparing apples to oranges still leaves you with just apples and oranges. Even if it what some people could label as "smearing" another person, we proved our point that John is an opportunist. So, in that sense, do I view it as deceptive and unethical, like John's sockpuppet blog? Not at all, and no apologies will be provided (at least not any that John will accept, anyway).

Generic Inconsistency

John's word is about as good as John is a Denebian slime devil, but I guess in many ways, that's already been demonstrated and doesn't need mentioning. Although, it is in many instances that such inconsistency varies at levels, with some being rather easy to detect and at other times deceptively difficult. This probably explains why John has a fan base in the first place; if people did know the truth entirely, it would be a different story altogether.

But I certaintly don't say these things as part of a personal vendetta to get John at his soft spots. I even feel sympathetic for John in realizing that much of his logically inconsistent mindset is unapparent even to himself. Or, the other alternative might be that he is simply in self-denial and might be a little bit manipulative. The latter is more probable.

What sort of notable inconsistencies is John full of, you ask? Let's begin:

"I'm done here. I don't need you. You're just wasting my time."

A prevalent comeback John makes (usually when he has nothing better to say and has felt the loss of an argument) is that he is going to put an end to the conversation and then proceeds to walk out of a discussion much like a coward in surrender. Sometimes (note sometimes) John sticks to this promise, but not very often. And most definetly not when it concerns the TheologyWeb forums:

If you either cannot acknowledge this problem because you refuse to, or because you're not bright enough to, then I'm simply done here.

Okay, I'm done here too. It seems as though your mission is to get doubters like me off of TWEB.

If you want to continue policing this website I'm going to keep you very busy. Good luck to you and your girl Tophet.

The way Christians have treated me on TWEB caused me to reach out to others. Perhaps soon Christians will be a minority on this website. Ha! Won't that be a hoot! Then the shoe will be on the other foot.

(By the way, TheologyWeb is a Christian website created by Christians.)

dizzle: Didn't you say you were never coming back here?

Loftus: Which time?

Hmmmm...yeah...it was all a matter of timing, huh John? I guess we can never trust all of those instances in which you did say you were leaving for good and never did...and you still haven't.

Most recently, John's attempts at "ignoring" us have changed course like the ocean tides. John's followers are probably unsuspecting of his moves at attack (even when they contradict his own word) because they are so far and in between, and can be done quite subtlety. A recent Amazon.com review of Holding's book "The Impossible Faith" is demonstrative of this:

Anyone who reads much of what Holding says on the web knows that he majors in ad hominems against those who disagree, and it should be well known that I do not like him. He's a non-credentialed arrogant hack who has gained a following mostly from the uninformed. No wonder he had to self-publish this book. He claims that one of the reasons Christian publishers won't publish it (which leads me to think he tried to get it published) is because, in his own words, "I won't write Left Behind style crap, and the market for Christian lit is glutted, unlike the atheist market." I think there is another reason.

The book reminds me of one of the good college term papers I've read, which I'd give him a "A" on if I were grading it, but that's it. "Good," in so far as he read a few books and strung together some decent information from which I learned a little. "College term paper," in so far as he lacks a breadth of knowledge on the issues he writes about beyond that level. Among Christian publishers who are looking to publish in the area of apologetics, they are looking for something better.

On the back cover Holding claims to have 17 years in apologetics ministry. If he's 38 years old now (a guess), then that means he started his ministry when he was 21 years old. What can that mean? That a 21 year old on the web arguing for Christianity has an apologetics ministry? Hardly. He also claims "It is impossible to estimate the evangelical impact that is possible because of The Impossible Faith." Since he capitalizes and italicizes the words, "The Impossible Faith" here, it's hard not to escape the conclusion he's referring to his own book. Such wildly overstated self-promotional claims usually come from college sophomores who think they know everything simply because they're not yet informed enough to fully grasp the serious objections to their own arguments.

On the last quoted paragraph I'd like to make a note: Holding states quite specifically that he was 37 at the time that "Is there such a thing as a honest doubter?" was fresh and new, which was back in the year 2005. 37 + 5 = 42, not 38, John...This would have meant that 17 years ago, Holding would have been 26, not 21, John...That's old enough to probably have close to a master's completed, John...

John tries to ignore the likes of us TWebbers and sees it fit to dismiss everything we say as not being worthy of his time or input. That's funny, because...

Want To Stick It To JP Holding? By John W. Loftus at 7/22/2009

I usually ignore JP Holding and I think others should too, as much as possible. He reminds me of a little boy who throws tantrums because he isn't the center of attention. My review of his book The Impossible Faith is on Amazon. If you read it you'll see that my review has gotten the most positive votes, thanks! This bothers him. Just look through the comments and see what kind of person he really is! If you think it's a good review I would appreciate your positive vote. Then it will be there on the front page of his book forever. ;-)

From yours truly, at Debunking Christianity.

"Look! I can get the majority of people on my side!"

Loftus, this is world. World, this is Loftus. Meet John, he's a freethinking skeptic who commits to such fallacies as argument ad populum. By this alone, one would get the impression that John believes in objectivity (as in, the fact that he can rally the majority makes it a universal observation). Inhale and exhale deeply, if you must:

Ouch! Holding's alleged list of my character faults really hurts me deeply. )-: But to respond to him makes me look like the childish juvenile he is, so I won't. Let me just remind the reader of the first sentence in my review: "Anyone who reads much of what Holding says on the web knows that he majors in ad hominems against those who disagree, and it should be well known that I do not like him." He's proving my point. He makes atheism look good. (Amazon.com review of "The Impossible Faith" posted July 24, 2009 at 3:30 P.M.).
DJ vs. JP: A comparison in book sales (October 10, 2006, 9:54 A.M.)

I just noticed that my book ranks #92,706 in Books sold at Amazon.

And Holding's book? It's ranked #695,113 in Books sold.

Just thought you'd want to know.

It's not about intelligence!

Just so I'm clear here. People should agree with what we believe or they're stupid, right?

My...oh...my. There's a lot of stupid people running around here.

And....only the intelligent can be saved.

Dumb people don't have a chance.....

And yet Jesus came for the downtrodden...the poor...the outcast...and the unintelligent (it's in there somewhere). (September 26, 2006, 3:09 P.M.)

Submit Your Candidates for July Screwballs of this Month

If I had been treated politely and respectfully on this website then I would've carried on a debate in the thread "Is there such a thing as an honest Doubter" and that's all. But if you'll read through that thread and see how it degenerated to ridicule and accusations you'll see. (July 08, 2005, 9:12 P.M.).

Parting Thoughts From Doubting John

Some think I'm a coward. Some think I'm arrogant. Some just don't care. With such gracious responses like those it makes me want to come back into the Christian fold and re-convert—NOT! (July 26, 2005, 4:50 A.M.)

Doubting John's Argument Against The Resurrection

And what if I exegete this verse in a way you disaprove [sic] of?

Does that make my former Christian faith suspect?

Do you think you've got me now? (July 19, 2005, 1:21 A.M.)

"You're not worthy of answering my arguments. You're too young, not educated enough, etc..."

As cute as this little sentiment of reasoning is, John takes it very seriously. Earlier in the section, "Origins of the Loftus-Holding Conflict," I had taken a quote from John which accuses Holding of not being of the appropriate age range to deal with his arguments effectively: "Age will have a way of mellowing you. Mark my words. Save everything you write at this point in your life, because you will sometimes be embarrassed by it later on in life." I think the only one that should be embarrassed by this is Loftus, seeing as this has become a part of his modus operandi whenever he spots the opportunity to bring up "age" as a relevant piece of the discussion:

If anyone thinks this argument effectively deals with mine then he is probably a sophomore in college like Nick was when he wrote it (I presume, correct me if I'm wrong). No sophomore could actually understand the relevant issues involved. I'll predict Nick himself will cringe if and when he gets into a master's program or gets a doctorate and later reads this paper.

This comment was taken from my blog under the post "John Loftus and the Problem of Evil" which was published by "Nick", a popular moderator at TheologyWeb who goes by aliases such as Apologia Phoenix and PhoenixFawxes, although he is more commonly identified with the former.

As one blogger, Stevegemma1973 to be exact, was quick to point out, Loftus had been up to no good. Yoda probably would have put it best: Seems double standards in him abide they do:

What? Then why do you have a blurb from a college freshman/sophomore both on your website and on the back of your book?

Here's the review from which the quote by Chris Hallquist on the back of your book was pulled. Note the date: 2006.

http://www.secularstudents.org/node/550

Here's a link to Hallquist's website, which lists him as a senior in college this year:

http://www.uncrediblehallq.net/about/

And here's a link to your website, on which you quote from Hallquist -- then a freshman in college -- complimenting your book:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspo...e-atheist.html

D*mn, John -- you really will say whatever it takes to 'win' an argument; you don't give a d*mn about the truth.

March 18, 2009 4:18 PM

In the event that this book should provoke Loftus to go about *ahem* editing anything that might corroborate Stevegemma's comments, I shall paste a copy of the exact quote in reference from the "Debunking Christianity" link:

The following recommendations are by skeptics in no particular order:

Luke Muehlhauser of Common Sense Atheism thinks my book ranks among the four best books on both sides of this debate.

Christopher Hallquist, president of Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: "The Outsider Test for Faith chapter should earn Loftus a permanent place in the history of critiques of religion."

Uh-oh....spaghettio.


The Initial Discussion: Revisit

Loftus frequently claims to have not been given a fair shake by Holding. One need only check the original thread in which they first had a discussion to see that this is not the case. It is easy to see a progression in which Loftus refuses Holding's challenges and gradually descends into irritation, losing the veneer of reason as he progresses. Here are some exemplary highlights:

Holding: P. 4 -- I have a lot of respect your admission here that you know some scholars could "piecemeal" your arguments and that you "lack the scholarship to deal adequately with all of the issues involved." This is a huge admission that 95% of the people I have run across in your relative theological position refuse to make.

Holding: p. 5 -- Amen on the comments that the average American can't grasp a mildly complex argument. I've never seen Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown but it was the same when Judge Wapner was doing People's Court years ago.

Holding: p. 12 -- Dr. Boatman said you were arrogant? Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality profile? I bet I know why he thought so....

Holding: p. 15 -- For newcomers here can you briefly explain your position as a deistic existentialist, and what you said here about prayer and God?

p. 19 -- Have you still not asked Jerry why he didn't call you on this? I had a friend not call me when someone wrote him about me with some accusations, but it was because he found them so spurious that he saw no need to contact me about it. Could that have been why Jerry didn't call you?

(For my part, I wasn't in need of any encouragement, as you say you were, but that's just the way I am....)

Also, funny how you had a thing with the Church of Christ on baptism. Your position on it was sound and in line with Jewish ideas respecting the totality of the mind and body as a unified whole.

Loftus: I think you are understanding me, and that's all I guess that I can expect for now.

Loftus: J.P: So, tell me in general terms what you think of my book. We can talk about specifics as you feel you may want to. But I'd first like to know before we get into any specifics what your general impression of my book is. That's a fair question, isn't it? What do you think of it?

Quote:

"I DO trash people who are a) dishonest or b) refuse to admit that they are in over their head. Others, however, do not fall in that category of "fundy atheist". You're one of them, from the looks of everything so far."

Good!

Quote:

If I were where you were, I'd have honest doubts too.

Very Interesting! So then, if I were raised as a Buddhist in India, then after understanding my story you might likewise say the same thing, eh? By the way, I really object to my going to any hell, however described by you, that condemns me for my honest doubts, or for the meager number of sins that I have committed in my life--although, as you know from the book, I've done some bad things, nothing of which deserves any kind of hereafter punishment in any shape or form that lasts for eternity.

Quote:

You see, I have the same "problem." To me you don't sound arrogant, no. But that's because I don't view honest self-appraisals as arrogant.

Sweet!

Quote: So, tell me in general terms what you think of my book. We can talk about specifics as you feel you may want to. But I'd first like to know before we get into any specifics what your general impression of my book is. That's a fair question, isn't it? What do you think of it?

Quote: I think it's a story of an honest doubter, just like the title says....though the level of scholarship isn't up to standard (as you allow for) it serves well as an account of your journey. If I were writing a review for Library Journal, that's what I'd say....

Loftus: Now you cannot really tell me that you do not know what I mean by "core beliefs" even without my spelling them out here.

Holding: Actually, DJ, I needed the reminder, which is why I asked for correction as needed. Yours is far from the only book I have read this week (and it isn't the most technical one...no offense). My short-term memory is one of my weakest assets and I make no bones about it; so no disingenuousness here, just a brain at work, and I'm sorry if that offended you.

Loftus: I have found some of your comments off base as to what I had written earlier--that is, commenting on a point I did not make. I won't bother to spell them out.

Holding: Why not?

Loftus: And I did spell out what I wanted to debate in my previous posting and you ignored what I said in your last posting.

Holding: OK. So I can assume that what's on pages 153 and following are not "minutia"? If so, then I do see some points of debate we can pursue more formally:

153 -- You remark on the incoherence of the Trinity and the Incarnation. I would reply generally that the Trinity is perfectly coherent within the understanding of Jewish hypostatic Wisdom theology, and that the Chalcedonian definition is also comprehensible in terms of ancient concepts of identity.

I wrote an article on the former aspect at http://www.tektonics.org/jesusclaims...tydefense.html and feel I can defend the latter based on what is in this.

Do you want to debate this?

153-4 -- You address the problem of evil. That's outside my scope so I won't offer on that.

154 - you say that the atonement can't be defended. I say it is perfectly defensible within the agonistic tenor that governed the ancient world (and still governs 70% of the world today) and their acceptance of noble sacrifice for the whole. Spong's assessment of the doctrine is grossly misinformed.

I wrote an article on this at http://www.tektonics.org/af/atonedefense.html

Do you want to debate this?

154 -- You dispute the idea of salvation only through Christ. I do happen to think that there is a broader avenue for acceptance rooted in faith in particular principles, so I don't hold the belief you are criticizing.

154 -- re "faith seeks understanding" -- I do agree with the burden that Christianity needs to be proven more reasonable, so I'd say we have nothing to debate.

154-5 Reasons to defend the faith --

One) I do not believe in.

Two) I do. Do you want to debate on the resurrection?

155 -- your problems for resurrection --

One) All of these sorts of questions were addressed by rabbis and Christian writers centuries ago. Do you want to debate this?

Two) I agree we need our bodies. The Bible says as much when it depicts the intermediate state as one in which we are performing at a lower level of function. So maybe there's nothing to dispute here; maybe there is.

Three) If the issue of animals is of importance to you, it can be discussed, but I don't see it as important.

Loftus: So this is the question: At what point can someone say they really know for sure that Christianity is true?

Holding: When the evidence points to it being true beyond a reasonable doubt, DJ. I mean, not when some weirdo tries to argue that Jesus may have had an evil twin brother who stole his body from the tomb and faked the rez appearances; and if you don't think that's a viable way to decide, then you can speak to our legal system about their deficiencies. But I don't think you will, because your book's premise is that you think there are reasonable doubts. So you clearly don't dispute the epistemic system.

Loftus: My point is that you can never know the Christianity is true.

Holding: Sorry, DJ, but as I think I said, that epistemic panic-button bit doesn't follow through with me. You wrote a book because you thought you could say with enough certainty that Christianity was NOT true, so that you could abandon it, so unless you're going to apply the same epistemic test universally, I don't buy the Pascal's-Wager-in-Reverse routine. Pascal's argument is bad forward and it is bad backwards too, unless it is just used as food for thought. And if you do apply it universally, I have all sorts of questions for you that will "prove" that you don't exist and that your book really once may have been full of recipes for Mexican food.

Loftus: You say that our sins condemn us, and yet in order to be saved we have to have the correct view of biblical history.

Holding: What do you mean, "biblical history"? If you're saying, you have to believe that Solomon really did have 4000 baths in his temple tub, then no, you don't. Salvation is contingent on acceptance of a bare list of principles that can be boiled down to one thing: Loyalty to YHWH. Is there anything hard about that?

Loftus: J.P. I find it amazing that you don't see the force of anything I've said regarding historical knowledge and the belief in miracles. As my Christian scholar friend, James Sennet, once said about the problem of evil: "if this problem doesn't keep you from sleeping at night, then you don't understand it." Sennet wrote the only book I know of about Alvin Plantinga's philosophy--it's one in which Plantinga himself wrote the foreward to it, and recommended it.

And while my historical evidences problem isn't like the problem of evil, I know it has a great deal of force that you simply refuse to acknowledge. G. K. Chesterson said, "it isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." You, J.P. cannot see the problem.

The problem is that history is subject to all kinds of interpretations and biases which are a necessary part of doing history--one simply cannot step outside this. And while I believe some histories are better than others and more accurate than others, this is no way diminishes the problem of historical knowledge, and you should at least be bright enough and honest enough to admit this. If you either cannot acknowledge this problem because you refuse to, or because you're not bright enough to, then I'm simply done here. If you can research like you say you can, then check of a few studies on the historiography of theories of history.

But the problem is compounded even more when there are claims to the miraclulous in history. You simply cannot look into the past and say to me you believe every report of the miraculous in history. Tell me, how do you determine whether or not the event happened? Go ahead, tell me. Some claims support a particular religion. Do you have the time and the scholarship to study out every miraculous claim in history? No one does! Have you ever taken seriously the claim that Allah miraculously spoke to The Prophet? If you have, then since you approach history from the Christian faith you are already predisposed to reject such a claim, that is, your historical framework will not allow you to accept the Muslim framework for understanding history. So you apply Hume's standards when approaching all other miracles in the past as well as the present, except your own!

But your own faith is a historical one too, subject to various presuppositions. The question is where you get your presuppositions. You say you get them from historical events that supposedly occurred in ancient times. Really? The truth is that you got your presuppositions from your upbringing in the Christian faith, or if you had a later conversion in life you gained them from those people whom you liked and trusted to inform you, and they got them from others. That's what allows you to see the past as evidence for you in the first place, because you come to the past with the presuppositions to see Biblical history as evidence for you, just like Mormons and Muslims do with their history.

And all you can say is that you are right about history and they are wrong. And because they are wrong they will suffer for it for all eternity in some way or another. But they think otherwise, don't they? And I think otherwise than they. Now just because we all disagree doesn't mean we are all wrong, either. Somebody might be right, right? But there is this huge historical problem, and you just don't see it, or refuse to acknowledge it.

Loftus: JP, it was nice to talk with you. But you seem much more interested in winning something, than in being honest, in my opinion. I'll let anyone who wants to wade through this thread to this point to be the judge of this themselves. I teach logic classes and your answers are filled with red herrings, straw men, oversimplifications, and you simply miss my points far too often.

You are the answer man. Everything is cut and dried for you. Nothing, not even the problem of evil presents a problem for you. I suspect that you are young. Age will have a way of mellowing you. Mark my words. Save everything you write at this point in your life, because you will sometimes be embarrassed by it later on in life.

You are so sure of yourself, aren't you? Remember this, I was too. In some ways I was like you, although, I would always admit when someone had a good point that I would have to take into further consideration, and I always treated people with respect, and still do. And I furthermore treated a person's questions with the same seriousness that they themselves treated them, even if I disagreed.

This is a waste of my time.

Go ahead, declare victory! 'cause that's what you'll do. Put another notch in your belt, too. But I think anyone who will trudge through this thread to this point will see my frustration. I'd like them to comment on it too, so here's a couple of questions:

Here's one question: Did JP treat Doubting John's questions with the fairness and seriousness that DJ's questions deserved? If the answer is "No," then answer the further question: Why is it that DJ considers continuing on with this thread a waste of his time? Is it because he was outgunned by the Big Man on campus? Or was it because JP was not being honest with DJ and that his answers were filled with red herrings, straw men, oversimplifications, and that he missed my points far too often.

JP, you are very irritating, and it's not because you're correct, either.

JP Quote: "This comment by DJ speaks for itself: "Please, don't send any long bibiographies since I won't read the books on huge lists -- never did." How can he say things like this and ask us to say that he has any credibility as a commentator?"

My quote is from personal correspondence to my mentor, James D. Strauss, which is in my book as an example of what I believed at the time I wrote it (Aug '96).

The fact is, you don't know Strauss at all. He would regularly come to class holding two or three new books hot of the press and he would say to us, "These books are indispensible" for understanding something about the Christian world-view. I must have bought 2/3rds of those he recommended, and I must've read over 1/2 of the ones I bought, and certainly large sections of the others. I was a reading machine.

Furthermore, Strauss would hand us syllabi for our classes that would be anywhere from 40-60 single spaced pages containing in them lists of books necessary for that particular class, and I took half of my classes under him at Lincoln Christian Seminary. Then during each class he would bring in other lists of books--pages and pages of them.

While I bought and read as many books as I could, with my reading schedule I couldn't read all of what he recommended--no one could.

So my comment to him in that personal letter is nothing more than saying to him that if he were to ever respond to the letter reprinted in my book "do not send me another list of books," rather, correspond to me by answering my questions.

And you are simply treating me unfairly by insinuating in this latest post that I am not well read, as evidenced by my long lists of quotations from some good books, as well as one book out of the many many others that communicates what true scholars are saying, Spong. Spong, in my opinion, understands things better than you do, and communicates better than you do, although I recognize that both he, and you are not scholars.

[In your next post you'll probably focus on Spong again like you did earlier when you singled out the fact that I quoted from Spong (3-5 times, I'm guessing) . You'll ignore or play down everything else I wrote here--although, now that I just wrote that, you'll probably not do it. But in these posts of yours, that's what I've received before--commenting on a minor point rather than the major points of what I said.].

So for future readers of this thread, please understand that JP is not being fair with his evaluation of my book. Similar examples of him doing this could be multiplied, but this one galled me. JP is not an honest man. I, however, and an honest man, and an honest doubter. I suppose that just like the Apostle Paul was pleased that the gospel was being preached from mixed motives, that you can too, and he'd be pleased.

I suppose the Christian principle of "charity" doesn't similarly apply to "intellectual charity," or if it does, then it doesn't apply to doubters like me either. But then some of the scribes in Jesus' day didn't think that the term "neighbor" applied to people outside their faith either.

I don't know why I bother here. But go ahead and continue being unfair with me. Some day it may come back to haunt you. I just hope you remember the things you write--please, save them all. You will be embarassed.

Holding: Sure thing, DJ. Fries with that bombast?

Um hm, Sure, DJ. Your study habits changed from one minute to the next, huh? You who just told me you didn't want to spend 5-6 years reviewing the "minutia"? Reading machine? Sorry, no. Your own words speak against you on that account; your problem here is that you don't like that someone is calling you on the carpet for being such a poor student of the literature.

Maybe "skimming machine" but not "reading machine" and definitely not "comprehension/absorption machine". It's no mystery why you retreated into popularist literature and quote that rather than credentialed scholars. I'm sure that 49 on the verbal part of the GRE has some relevance here....

Pffft. Good books? No, DJ, you have a mix of good books, outdated books, books you barely use, and garbage written by popularists who would never survive peer review. Spong is a perfect example of the latter. I don't care how many times you used him; that you consider him usable at all, for anything but critique, in a serious treatment of any subject, is a remarkable deficiency and speaks fot itself.

You put 'em in, DJ. So obviously they are not so "minor" that you didn't want to alert your readers to them. Dave Van Allen isn't very credible as a witness, either. His arguments against Christianity are rather more pedantic than even Spong's.

You're a manipulator, DJ, who uses this "honest John" routine to enable yourself and your manipulations.

You've had your chance, DJ. The minute you posted that excuse about not debating "minutia" you showed your hand. There's nothing of honesty in refusing to check yourself or in printing and distributing that which you refuse to defend. I gave you rope, and you hung yourself. Don't go crying now that you're swinging in the air after putting your neck in a noose.

"Some day it may come back to haunt you. I just hope you remember the things you write--please, save them all. You will be embarassed." "....but if we were to judge them by our standards of hermeneutics they wouldn't measure up—that is, we would be laughed at by our contemporaries if we employed the same methods in scholarly studies—try it and see!"

DJ, don't be so silly. Modern preachers use this "standard" all the time in their sermons. We call it "homiletics" and the means is little different in principle than midrash or pesher. You can hear preachers using "midrashic" or "pesher" technique in every sermon in some cases. I'm reading a popular book by Randy Alcorn (Heaven) right now and his treatment of some of the OT passages is ourtight midrash. So don't try that game with me.

Besides, serious scholars aren't laughing. If you had read Richard Hays' book on Paul's use of the OT, you would have seen a rather germane discussion of how the use of the same techniques ought to be consistently regarded as authoritative today.

You're also playing games by limiting the use to "scholarly studies". There's quite a difference in genre between a laudatory biography like Matthew and a modern dissertation; and again, the issue is also who has the authority to make midrashic use of Scripture.

"In one sense, JP is to be laughed at by how he exegetes my book--it's just like how Matthew treated the O.T."

Oh, do stop the crying, DJ. Your games of psychological manipulation and bombast won't make an impact on intelligent people, especially when you refuse to be forthcoming on the bulk of these alleged "offenses" and have to make convoluted, self-contradictory excuses to defend those that you do specify.

Evaluate what had taken place here:

Holding calls John out on his errors.

John refuses to answer most of these accusations.

Holding demands that John be more forthright.

John accuses Holding of personal incredulity and redirects the argument onto issues such as age, education, and life experience. John assumes that people will turn out to be the same just as he has as a result of his own past.

Holding confirms he is not impressed.

John makes it an issue of being "treated unfairly" and that Holding will be embarrassed in the future upon reflecting from this dialogue.

I do credit your own judgement in coming up with conclusions to this matter, but was John at any point in time reasonable to begin with?


The Gravest Insult

Perhaps one of the most shameful moments for Loftus came after a time after he debated TWeb member "ApologiaPhoenix" (Nick Peters) on the problem of evil. The consensus of TWeb members was that Nick handily defeated Loftus in debate. To set this up, it should be noted that Nick has a disability (Asperger's Syndrome, with some autism). After realizing that he was not the recognized winner of the debate, Loftus wrote:

No one but the ignorant would claim that I am ignorant.

To me Nick is just like a very bad Karaoke singer but doesn't know he is one, so he continues to badly sing out his song of arguments

Because he's handicapped, Christians here won't tell him otherwise. He's going to study to be an apologist, but he will fall flat on his face. There are a great many people in ministry who will fall flat on their faces because no one told them the truth that they should not pursue such goals. Nick is one of them. But since Christians believe God can make clay into gold they encourage him in faith, even though deep down inside they really don't believe it.

Tell him the truth! Save him from pursuing what will be a dead end career for him.

Nick, when you realize you don't have the brain power for being an apologist and your hopes and dreams are dashed, and possibly even you faith, remember who told you the truth. It was me. Do something else with your life, and I'm serious.

For the record, it should be noted that even at this early stage in his career, several notable names have recognized Nick's talent in this area, notably Norman Geisler.


An Unlikely Testimony

Eventually John's narcissistic personality and his superiority complex began to catch up to him, and we now have a description of how John treats his fellow bloggers. The testimony comes from one of the most unlikely of sources -- Harry McCall:

When John was asking members of his blog to consider contributing a chapter to his forth coming book, he emphatically stated that, without exception, any person who contributed a chapter and quoted anything from JP Holding would be rejected from his book...no exceptions! Period!!

Now, I happened to visit his DC blog for the first time in weeks and John not only has JP Holding’s name on top of a Aug. 3 blog post, but he is even quoting his nemesis in pint and in a full length song as linked and played on You-tube. (I can help but feel John is singing along and maybe even dancing to the You-tube video…of course, in the privacy of his own home.)

His latest post is (Aug. 4) is a self praise / ego booster drawn form his last published book (and his forth coming book mentioned above).

Secondly, his obsession with William Lane Craig is nothing short of scary. I have only seen similar obsessions with Hollywood movie stars who are usually stocked by a deranged fan.

I have noticed that most all comments from pro-DC people to the above named posts are in praise of John and his intellectual ability (as they are excepted to understand it... a requirement if one is not be banned from DC and especially expected of all contributors).

Maybe, there is indeed no god in Heaven. Just maybe god lives at DC and is called John Loftus! And just maybe this god is “revelating” his Divine Word via his canonized books.

However, the sad irony of the situation is that while John calls God a Moral Monster (based on the way God treated his followers (the Israelites) in the Hebrew Bible); John himself has become exactly the same as he blogs against: A tyrant who, once is angered by as comment, will cut them out of the Lambs Book of Life: His DC blog. As proof, his ego and unrighteous wrath has laid waste to 25 of his very own DC blog contributors.

Finally, Although John seems to have kicked God off his judgment seat in Heaven, John himself has now rushed in only to take up the seat and place himself upon the throne of intellectual judgment. And this new god has labeled William Lane Craig as the newest Canaanite to be purged from the intellectual Promise Land.

John, in his ever-so typical rationalizing, writes in response:

Tell ya what Harry. YOU start a blog and see what it takes for it to get noticed on the web. Hint: You must promote it repeatedly and regularly. Try it. I'm serious.

Then invite a bunch of “cats” there and try to herd them. Offer them a spotlight. Give them a chance to shine and be read by a potential audience of about 40,000 readers a month. Then see what that's like. I have tolerated a lot of junk being written by team members I didn't care for, just like others may not like some of what I write. Eventually you’ll have a few disgruntled people leave and blast you too.

Then edit a book. See what that’s like when you offer a few no-name authors a chance to shine and to be read by an even greater potential audience. See what happens if five of the authors you invited do not write on the topic assigned, and/or submit it too late to do anything with it, and/or write poorly, and/or argue poorly. See how that would feel like when you merely wanted to help their voices be heard. See what YOU would do when your back was against the deadline wall by people who did not share the same commitment you did to see this work through.

And see how YOU would respond to a disgruntled former Blogger/author who comments at sites like this one dedicated to his demise. What would YOU say? What would YOU do? I think Truth Be Told and Holding will have a falling out someday. Watch what happens then. What which one of them will try to rise above the fray during the midst of that falling out.

I think the Native American proverb is wise on this point: “Never criticize a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins.”

So I won’t criticize you. As I said, my friend, as of this date I would still have you back at DC.

Further on down the road:

Harry, don't expect Andius to be honest in telling you that he is not me, but he is not me, nor am I him, nor have I ever posted as him. If I remember correctly he is the person who created the "Sad, Sad, Doubting John" video song. Again he is not me. And again, don't expect Andius to be honest with you. He'd probably rather stir up trouble by not responding.

I haven't heard the song you just mentioned Harry (as far as I know) so I cannot comment on it. But somehow I suspect from what I see you think it's about your life. It certainly has little to do with mine. Are you wallowing around in self-pity for a life deluded by faith?

Last night on "Boston Legal" a lawyer was defending a lost cause of a case. The advice of his female lawyer friend was this: "You can only play the hand you were dealt with." Life is the hand dealt to you, Harry, and you can only play the one you were dealt with. Even if you think you played your hand poorly earlier in the game, you can still play it out well beginning now. There are many people who have done so later in life, and who did well with their lives. Again, I wish you well.

Yes, there are several people who have changed their minds because of our efforts at DC. The good news is that even if it's one person or two they have influence in future generations so we've not only changed them but in 100 years we may have changed 1000's of people through them. Think of the long term effects.

Harry deals more effective blows to John's cause:

John’s hits have gone up since he and his lot started tagging their posts with, sometimes up to six topical tags to be scattered over the entire World Wide Web.

Hell, Michael Jackson get over a million times that many hits per month and the fellow has been dead for three months! So, it not that one needs to even be alive to get hits on a blog.

So let see Ismellarat: John gets 40,000 hits per month on a blog totally created to “De-Bunking Christianity” and yet I know of no one who ever read a post and said something like: “Man, that was a spiritual awakening for me. I’m now a born again atheist!”

I was told by a source closed to John that the whole reason John started DC was he got burnt on T-Web! Now John wants to tell me my motivation is “Sour Grapes”!

Yet it was he who requested I write a free chapter for a book whose copyright he controls and, any contributor must ask copyright permission to quote something they wrote in it!

So if my attitude even is, according to John, Sour Grapes, then just what is his very own creation of DC when compared to his experience at T-Web???

Know what Ismellarat, we country folks in the up state of SC have a saying in relation to John DC blog and his Sour Grapes theory. It’s call: A Kicked Dog Hollows!

Now, just to set the record straight, here is the email I sent John ending my relationship with him:

John,

After considering my relationship with you and my part as a member of the team at DC over the last 2 years, I am hereby requesting you to drop me as a contributor to your blog as I‘ll not be either posting nor committing there again. I would suggest you ban me form DC (as if I care) and you would be well advised to delete all my Posts.

You asked me, a full time electronic technician to write a FREE chapter in you forth coming book to help boost you status in the atheistic world. I was generous enough to help; even spending many nights and weekends plus, using up 30 hours of my very limited vacation time to help you and you NEVER once said Thank you.

You totally misrepresented the chapter to me. You knew damned well - ahead of time - the three topics I told you I was going to write on and you even encouraged me to do the extra one on Gehenna as Sacrifice as Part 3. Now you deny it! (That’s bullshit and you know it!)

Again John, you knew full well from my Bogger stats that I make my living is in electronics and yet, in the end (as proof from the over kill review from Hector Avalos) you demanded I write a dissertation level chapter for your damn book (which I tried my best to do) and then you come up with this f**king statement: My own judgment is that you don't write well enough even if this chapter is geared for the university student, and that's my final judgment on the matter.

Well, screw you! You bastard! (SEE FILE!) (I attached one of several articles on electronics I had written for a international magazine.)

Any so-called relationship that I had with you and your egotistical blog ends with this email.

I hope you get your pot of ego gold at the end of your illusionary Professional Atheist rainbow.

Even more notable is when Harry calls out John for one of his latest disgraces (essentially, making light of one's own disability):

I read John’s Damage Control excuse for making sport of this person on his 55th birthday, and I must say this is simply par for the course for John at DC.

The video is listed twice on You-tube as: Never Let A Crackhead Sing At Your Wedding - HILARIOUS and Never Let A Crackhead Sing At Your Funeral

There is no doubt in my mind that this young man is handicapped either mentally challenged, physically or both. Yet this young Man is very religious.

It is apparent that this young man is in a white church (As seen by the lady’s hand and heard in the background voices). Plus, since there were NO jeers and laughter from the congregation, this tells me that even though handicapped, he is bringing his Widow’s Mite offering in the form of a song to honor HIS Lord and Savior; Jesus Christ.

Moreover, the fact that this young man had a resounding Amen, Amen, Amen from the pastor and applause from the congregation also tells me that this small gift of struggle and praise was accepted with deep affection by this congregation.

Unlike some hard core atheists I know (who would drowned a baby in the Baptismal Font if they could to prove a point against God), the fact that this young man was allowed to struggle though his song proved the love that Christianity can offer to the out cast and down trodden.

While You-tube and John’s birthday spoof made sport of this man’s infirmities, the fact that this congregation allowed him to sing his heart felt song made him feel like a million dollars in the eyes of his God. I’m sure this small event gave meaning to his life often mocked by a narcissistic and uncaring world.

In short, John’s DC excused is that these sub-human individuals should be kept out of sight and forgotten. (And by-the-way John, this was a loving and caring church he was singing at and not American Idol!)

Secondly and on a more personal level, I was never sure whether DC really was about Debunking Christianity or promoting John’s ego or, I might say, promoting John’s ego at the expense of Debunking Christianity.

I know that when I first started at DC, I found that John deleted one of my posts for no reason at all.

A another time, when I new to the blogging world and not sure just how to post a topic and edit it under the Google format, John would send me an email telling me how sick and tired he was of cleaning up my posts and that, if I wanted to continue to posting at DC, then I’d better get my act together!

A third time, when I would edit and format something on DC’s pre-posting Google sight, I failed to realized that when I cut it to pasted it on the DC blog without SAVE, the original copy was still left in edit mode.

This set John off in a rage and, without warning, he not only filed a complaint with another DC contributor (who told me what John said about how stupid I was). John sent me an email telling me: “Clean up your damn crap!”

There were many times I had to stop and ask myself: Why the hell am I even here at DC???!! John’s only use of his DC contributors is if they can advance his ego though his blog by letting the world know John IS THE MAN!

Plus, (I also thought to myself) as a pastor, John must have been a tyrant! Frankly, I would hatred to have been an assistant pastor at John’s church under his direct control! (The wrath of Yahweh in the Hebrew Bible poured out on the disobedient Israelites is compatible to John’s own wrath against anyone who makes an honest mistake or happens to be handicapped.)

The fact that 25 former contributors left DC in the three years of its existence provides us with the fact that DC has a turn over rate of 8.3 contributors per year; an extremely high rate for any blog (Wonder why?).

Even now, a quick count of the last 28 posts (Starting at Sept. 19) shows that , John wrote 26 while only 3 or a mere 10% were posted by only 2 of the 8 others. In other words, if we consider the remaining 8 DC contributors to be pistons in an 8 cylinder engine, then John DC blog is running on one cylinder!

In retrospect, the reality is that John’s labeling many sincere Christians who asked a honest question at DC as “idiots” and other derogatory names is in entirely on par with the way he views this handicapped man.

Just might it be that if this handicapped young man was not black, he just might not have been on You-tube labeled as a “Crack Head”? Might this reveal Stereo Typing of ethic groups?

Happy birthday John and may you never have a disabling stroke! But, incase you do, we might just see you posted in a video on You-tube as you struggle with your new handicapped life giving a narcissistic world a good laugh!

John, the pacifistic philanthropist, rebuts:

Harry is as good at determining the circumstances around the guy who cannot sing as he was when he claimed that I was posting as Andius. The truth is that I didn’t think that guy was mentally challenged when I posted it and I’m not sure the evidence is there for the claim that he is. None of us know much at all of the actual details of that video to make any blanket statements. But I do have a much greater love and respect than God does for anyone who is mentally or physically challenged. I would never let something like that happen in the first place and/or I would certainly heal them instantly.

Harry, I’ve already answered several of your accusations in this post and also here in this thread. Why do you continue repeating them when I’ve already answered them? The fact is that any blog having more than one contributor will probably have problems between bloggers. Hell if we want some statistics this very blog lost one contributor already, akakiwibear, who recently wrote on his own blog: “My diversion to Debunking John Loftus was a mistake. I should have watched to see how the blog developed - it is simply not my style. I may not agree with JWL, but I do not know him, to like or dislike, so I am not comfortable with the personal tone on Debunking Loftus.”

So given the fact that this Blog has been up and running for, oh, three months, then statistically this blog is doing worse than mine has.

And as far as your experience blogging with me goes, I’m sorry to have to state for the record that you were the slowest learner I ever worked with at DC. I gave you simple instructions on how to post a comment and yet you hung the blog up twice. I also think one of your posts hung the blog up so badly I had to switch from the green colored standard blog format to the one we have now. Sure I can get a bit irate about that. It’s my house and you were acting like a drunk in it. I can surely tell someone to straighten up or ship out of my house. After all, as ismellarat just wrote, why didn’t you start your own blog rather than use mine to give you access to over 40,000 visitors a month? Other bloggers have used me as well. They come on to DC just to promote their own blogs. When they get a big enough audience they quit DC. But I don’t mind if they do. It’s good with me. People have been using others since the dawn of time. If we each get something out of the relationship everyone is happy. What surprises me is that you didn’t realize this. I’m not a user. But we all use people from time to time. You used me, ya see!

So when it comes to following simple instructions you just don’t do well, do you? What’s not to understand about: “Harry, please write for me a chapter on child sacrifice?” And what’s not to understand about: “The deadline for your chapter is July 1st at the latest.” I don’t see anything difficult to understand about what I had asked you to do. Why do you blame me when I didn’t accept your chapter for publication? It IS sour grapes what you're now doing. You are exhibit "A" that shows me correct when I say that skeptics do not have a corner on rationality. you'r enot acting rational here with this.

As far as I’m concerned Harry, you’re not doing me any damage here in this rat hole sewer. These people hate me for what I stand against. Your comments here do little more than confirm what Holding has always said about you. So if you’re longing for some respect you won’t get it here. You’re being used. I guess you just don’t understand that. Holding will trash you at the first opportunity that presents itself when you get out of line.

Cheers, Harry. Come back home. I haven’t changed at all. I’m hoping you have.

More baseless assertions rather than facts.

Then:

Since no one has linked to what I thought was funny about the guy who cannot sing here it is. We may not agree on whether the church leadership did wrong, if you disagree with me, but you can hardly say I don't care for handicapped people when I merely think church leaders should be honest with people about their abilities and potential.

With regard to Nick Peters this is the same thing I was doing with him. He lost that debate with me miserably but rather than say anything critical about his performance all he received was unqualified praise for beating me when he didn't. TWebbers basically lied to him.

There are people in ministry who fail miserably because no one told them from the outset that they shouldn't pursue it. As a result, some of them lose their faith while others become depressed and/or have to start all over again in another career at a later time in life. I was telling what I thought was the truth at the time.

For the record, it does look like I was wrong about Nick though. He does indeed seem to be doing well as an apologist so far. But if you'll remember, I also said he could thank me for telling him what I did if it inspired him to become a good apologist, since all he ever got was unqualified praise for a lousy attempt at defending his faith a few years back.

Although a complete jackass, John wouldn't be complete himself if it weren't for his total lack of intelligence.


More may be added to this survey over time.

Return to the main menu for this response to John Loftus' book Why I Became an Atheist.