What Is the Point of Me Saying Christians are Deluded?

0 comments
Here's a recent exchange:

David Bolen: Calling people deluded doesn't help them change their minds, and often prevents it.

John W. Loftus: Oh, okay then, indoctrinated minds, brainwashed minds. You see, deluded minds do not know they are deluded. Putting them in the same category of other people whom they are convinced are deluded, tells them what someone like me thinks of their faith. And no one can say I'm ignorant.

David Bolin: I agree, deluded minds do not know they are deluded. That is why calling them that just offends people and makes it more likely that they will not change their minds, even when they are actually deluded. That also applies to calling people indoctrinated and brainwashed.

John W. Loftus: I have earned the right to tell it like it is. That's my point. I put the full weight of my education and works into it. All they need to do at that point is learn who I am. It's not an ad hominem because I'm an expert, an intellectual on these matters. Now keep in mind I only do this on a mass basis, never in person.

David Bolen: I doubt you've convinced many people, with that method. Also, for all the people you have convinced, you probably made a lot more people more stubborn than ever. If you were more polite you could help a lot more people.

John W. Loftus: No. The people you're thinking about cannot be changed. Read this and then click on the tag 'Ridicule' below it. LINK.

Another Anthology Accepted for Publication With Prometheus Books

0 comments
Yep that's right and thank you, thank you very much! This will probably be my last anthology. In fact, after publishing eight books in eight years it'll probably be my last book. How many times should I kick a dead horse, right? Christianity, especially the evangelical kind, was already dead in the water before I began writing. Christians just don't know it yet. Eventually they will. I'm glad to have sped up this process by administering doses of reality to deluded minds. This new anthology is along the lines of the others I've produced, named after a NY Times bestselling atheist author. This one is based on the late Victor Stenger's book, God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist.He even submitted a chapter for it in hopes I would do an anthology on his book. It is his last known essay. It's tentatively being called, "Christianity: the Failed Hypothesis." Table of contents and list of authors can be seen below. It should be out one year from now.

(Liberal) Implicit Egotism Fallacy or Bias and Islam

0 comments
I was talking recently to a fellow liberal who happened to be a Hindu making correctly scathing attacks on UKIP (a right-wing pseudo-libertarian UK political party similar in many ways to the Tea Party), media bias and misrepresentation and, you guessed it, Islam. Again I was somewhat frustrated that an intelligent and informed guy was getting so much right and yet made one big error. I see it so often and have been involved in debating it here and here that I had to answer my critics here. The problem is so common that I am formally going to name it as a fallacy or bias (though no doubt it already exists and you readers will tell me).

What I'm Doing in My New Book, "How To Defend the Christian Faith"

0 comments

Rich and Powerful American Christians Manage to Please Jesus by Being Persecuted

0 comments
On Friday, at a Rally for Religious Liberty in Iowa, Ted Cruz lamented the woes of living under liberal fascist tyranny in the United States.

Calls For Ending the Philosophy of Religion Are Doing Nothing More Than Advocating For the Secularization Of Our Secular Universities

0 comments
I've written on this topic several times before, collected here. But I don't think I've articulated my viewpoint in any single post better than I do in this one. I'm not surprised there is still a lot of misunderstanding about what I'm talking about. So here's another attempt--a book may need to be written on it.

My position seems to be the same as Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay when it comes to ending the Philosophy of Religion (PoR) discipline in the secular universities. The classes covered could be taught under the umbrella of the Philosophy discipline itself (with no need for a subdivision of PoR) or in the Comparative Religion departments, and especially science classes. Just think of it this way. We don't have PoR classes on Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism, Mithraism, Norse theology, Haitian Voodoo, Paganism etc., in any secular university that I know about. We don't see this for good reasons. Now think real hard about why, okay? The main purpose of the PoR discipline is to examine the evidence and the arguments for religion. Evidence. Arguments. Its main purpose is not merely to get students to understand religion. Rather, it seeks to assess the claims of religion by looking at the evidence (if there is any) and the arguments (if there are any good ones based on the evidence). By contrast, the main purpose of classes in Comparative Religions departments is to understand religion.

Satire At Its Finest: Chris Matheson Tells The Story of God Most Excellently!

0 comments
[Re-dated post since this book is now available]

Chris Matheson is a screenwriter whose credits include the movies Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Rapture-Palooza. If you have never seen the classic movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure do so soon, as it's EXCELLENT! The WIKI page for it is here.

Chris will release a book in just a month, where he writes a comedy about God from the biblical texts themselves, titled: The Story of God: A Biblical Comedy about Love (and Hate). I was very honored to see it beforehand and write a blurb for it, along with Jerry Coyne, Lawrence M. Krauss, Peter Boghossian, Michael Shermer, and others.

Below I'll whet your appetites with the lines from the first section of his hilarious and intelligent book. Humorously he points to some incongruities in the biblical text itself so we can laugh. This is satire and ridicule at it's finest and I highly endorse it. Will it convince people like Randal Rauser? *Cough* It's not meant to. [Rauser has still failed to respond to Tristan Vick's book, The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbit's Foot, for which I also wrote a blurb.]

Quote of the Day, by Jeff Taylor in Salon Magazine

0 comments
"Faith should, in fact, become a 'character issue.'” You'll find this quote in his latest column, These religious clowns should scare you: GOP candidates’ gullible, lunatic faith is a massive character flaw. Whoah, talk about abrasive ridicule! He's serious. Now for the quote in context:
Discussing religion freely and critically will desacralize it, with the result that the public professions of faith of which our politicians are so enamored will eventually occasion only pity, disgust and cries of shame! or, at best, serve as fodder for comedians. Faith should, in fact, become a “character issue.”

The advances of science have rendered all vestigial belief in the supernatural more than just obsolete. They have shown it to indicate grave character flaws (among them, gullibility, a penchant for wish-thinking and an inability to process information), or, at the very least, an intellectual recklessness we should eschew, especially in men and women being vetted for public office. One who will believe outlandish propositions about reality on the basis of no evidence will believe anything, and is, simply put, not to be trusted.

"Is Josh Duggar the Biggest Family-Values Hypocrite Ever? Not Even Close" by Jay Michaelson

0 comments
Duggar has been exposed as a former child molester, porn addict, and with the Ashley Madison hacking leak, an adulterer. But is he the biggest hypocrite ever?

Jay Michaelson suggests other numerous candidates for being the biggest hypocrites ever, like,
What about megachurch Bishop Eddie Long, who, while preaching against homosexuality, sexually abused at least three teenage boys in his charge? And what about megachurch pastor Ted Haggard who, while likewise preaching against homosexuality and drug use, bought crystal meth and had sex with a male escort/masseur for three years? Or George Rekers, who, while preaching similarly, was caught with a rentboy on vacation in the Caribbean? For that matter, what about the entire Catholic Church hierarchy, which, while preaching against homosexuality, covered up the systemic sexual abuse of thousands of boys in Europe and America—and still maintains a “gay mafia” in the Vatican today?
Yes, that and more, like John Paulk, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Henry Hyde, Mark Foley, Bob Livingston, or TV evangelists Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and a whole host of others!

Michaelson:
So it’s not surprising that for many of us, there’s a profoundly gleeful schadenfreude when hypocrites are exposed. (Along with profound concern for the LGBT people in repressive regimes whose lives are now in danger thanks to the Ashley Madison hack.) Women, progressives, and queers have had to sit and listen to the likes of Duggar, Huckabee, Santorum, and Fischer talk about us, as if the outright lies they spread about our lives are somehow deserving of deference. So you can’t blame us for smiling when they take a fall.
True Dat! But Michaelson isn't smiling. He's hoping mad instead, for two reasons.

Who Is To Be Considered a Philospher?

0 comments
Daily Nous is a site maintained by Dr. Justin Weinberg, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. Recently he weighed in on who should be considered a philosopher, and he had some trouble with it. Calling everyone a philosopher (which might technically be true) lowers the standard into oblivion. It would be an injustice to call Joe Sixpack and William L. Rowe both philosophers in the same sentence. However, there are people recognized as philosophers because they truly are philosophers. They have met certain criteria in this highly specialized discipline. Weinberg tells us,
Let's stipulate that someone is a philosopher who as a PhD in philosophy, or working on a graduate degree in philosophy, or having a regular appointment in a philosophy department LINK
In a similar vein, Dr. Hector Avalos recently commented on who should be considered a biblical scholar. Avalos tells us,
In general, a scholar is one who, at minimum, has the equipment needed to verify independently the claims made in the relevant field. Usually, it is standard to have undergone some certification process as reflected in graduate degrees and peer reviewed published work. Self-proclamation as a “scholar” is not standard academic procedure.
The words for "philosopher" and "scholar" must have meaning, so philosophers and scholars working in those fields are best qualified to define them.

[Edit: When defending Jeff Lowder, Richard Carrier recently claimed he had a PhD in philosophy. That's what I saw. Later Carrier changed it. Since he changed it I've decided to delete what I said since I can't now verify the change.]

Why David Marshall is not a Biblical Scholar

0 comments

An Apologist should not be confused with a "Scholar"
The recent post about David Marshall’s lack of expertise, when compared to Matthew Ferguson, points to a broader issue of who counts as a “scholar.”  
Since some of my posts were referenced in that discussion, let me just add my own comments on why David Marshall would not qualify as a scholar of the Gospels, while Matthew Ferguson would.
In general, a scholar is one who, at minimum, has the equipment needed to verify independently the claims made in the relevant field.  Usually, it is standard to have undergone some certification process as reflected in graduate degrees and peer reviewed published work. Self-proclamation as a “scholar” is not standard academic procedure.
In the case of biblical studies, one needs, at minimum, the ability to evaluate the primary biblical sources independently. That, in turn, means that one must have the ability to read biblical texts in the original languages.

Peter Boghossian's Blurb for My Book "How to Defend the Christian Faith"

0 comments
Actually, Dr. Boghossian wrote the Foreword to my book. Yes, I was honored, and humbled. What he wrote is very instructive and helpful as can be. Taking a blurb from it here is what he said:
How to Defend the Christian Faith is the Omega of literally thousands of years of intellectual history devoted to the defense of Christianity. It is the ultimate corrective mechanism for the Christian faith, and the definitive guide to Christian apologetics and for Christian apologists. You will never have to read another book about how to defend your faith—and, after reading this book, you may never want to.
The other blurbs are reproduced below:

Why Haters Hate: Kierkegaard Explains the Psychology of Bullying and Online Trolling in 1847

0 comments
Brain Pickings is a pretty good site focusing on reading and thinking in general. It's written by Maria Popova who has previously written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, and some others. I subscribed. You should too. Her postings are intelligent, they cover a wide assortment of topics in her brain, with no agenda I can determine except the love of reading, thinking and writing. They are her brain pickings.

She wrote an essay based on a Søren Kierkegaard's diary entry of 1847, that applies to us today.
In an immeasurably insightful entry from 1847, 34-year-old Kierkegaard observes a pervasive pathology of our fallible humanity, explaining the same basic psychology that lurks behind contemporary phenomena like bullying, trolling, and the general assaults of the web’s self-appointed critics, colloquially and rather appropriately known as haters.
What did Kierkegaard write? The money quote:
There is a form of envy of which I frequently have seen examples, in which an individual tries to obtain something by bullying.
In Kierkegaard's case, people were envious of his fame. So they sneered at him until he paid attention to them.
If, for instance, I enter a place where many are gathered, it often happens that one or another right away takes up arms against me by beginning to laugh; presumably he feels that he is being a tool of public opinion. But lo and behold, if I then make a casual remark to him, that same person becomes infinitely pliable and obliging. Essentially it shows that he regards me as something great, maybe even greater than I am: but if he can’t be admitted as a participant in my greatness, at least he will laugh at me. But as soon as he becomes a participant, as it were, he brags about my greatness.
Then Kierkegaard says, "That is what comes of living in a petty community."

Kierkegaard tells of three young men who sneered at him as he approached. He noticed they were smoking cigars and asked one of them for a light.
Instantly, all three doffed their hats and it would seem I had done them a service by asking for a light. Ergo: the same people would be happy to cry bravo for me if I merely addressed a friendly, let alone, flattering word to them; as it is, they cry pereat [he shall perish!] and are defiant… All it amounts to is play-acting. But how invaluably interesting to have one’s knowledge of human psychology enriched in this way.
Of these petty people who disrespected him until they could participate in his greatness, Kierkegaard later wrote: "They show me respect precisely by showing me that they don’t respect me."

Now this doesn't describe why all haters hate, but it describes a very interesting phenomenon to me. Petty, small-minded, envious people will hate. So hating is an indication that one is a petty, small-minded, envious person. Conversely, in order to turn haters around--to flush them out so to speak--acknowledge them, ask them for a hand, or a light. That's if YOU care. ;-)

Richard Dawkins With Peter Boghossian

0 comments

A Deathbed Deconversion?

0 comments
Hey, how about this for a change, a deathbed DE-conversion? Yep, that's correct. Here's a message I received on Facebook yesterday after accepting a friend request (from someone who may comment):
Former clergy here sir. Your writing strongly helped me through my deconversion which came to a head on my deathbed with stage 4b cancer. I had hoped I would get a chance to express my gratitude. I appreciate the add.
Interesting, eh? It sometimes works in reverse! I thanked him for his encouragement and wished him well with his health, he additionally wrote:
If you received any encouragement from my message it is only a partial payback for "Why I Became an Atheist". I recognize the tremendous amount of research and reflection that went in to that book. You took a large hit for the rest of us. Great work. You are to be admired.

Vic Reppert On the Fundamental Divide Between Jeff Lowder and Me

0 comments
I do think that there is a fundamental divide between people who think that atheists and theists have a common goal, a goal of understanding one another better, and those who think that the only legitimate goal is the partisan goal of advancing one's own viewpoints. I think that is the dividing line between people like Loftus and people like Lowder.
Whoah there! What a load of false propaganda crapola! Did he just say I don't want to understand theists? That is laughable and one of the reasons I think ridicule is an important response to such drivel. I don't care if Vic has a doctorate, either. Here's a clue Reppert, see chapter 3 in my seventh published book in seven years, How to Defend the Christian Faith, which highlights the honest search for truth as the priority for us all, and I mean it. Furthermore, the whole reason my writing gets such wide acclaim is precisely because I do understand Christianity. In fact, I have spent the better part of my waking hours doing so for years, and decades. And did Reppert just say I think the only worthy goal is a partisan one of advancing atheism? Again, refer to what I just wrote above. I'll go farther to state that I'm the last atheist on the planet to say atheists should all do this or that, that there is one one way to be an atheist, that all atheists should do it my way or get to the highway. Cookie cutter mentality is the last thing I have. Of course, since I stand against cookie cutter mentality then Jeff Lowder and I have problems because it's JEFF who seems to think all atheists should be like him, and THAT is our problem. It's also our problem when he calls himself a philosopher when he is not, because he uses that unearned accolade to gain credibility when criticizing me for not boot stepping in complete sync with him.

I don't think there's just one divide between us anyway. There are several of them, which I think are very instructive:

Apologist Doug Geivett Wishes Josh McDowell A Happy Birthday

0 comments
Dr. Geivett did so on his blog by sharing one of his quotes:
Having convictions can be defined as being so thoroughly convinced that Christ and His Word are both objectively true and relationally meaningful that you act on your beliefs regardless of the consequences.
Well now, that quote would be a good inspiration during the witch hunts wouldn't it, what, with the blood curdling screams, the welts and the smell of human flesh and all. Or, think Crusades.

Happy birthday Josh McDowell. He's 76 years old today.

Ravi Zacharias Lied About Having Honorary Degrees and Being A Visiting Scholar at Cambridge

0 comments
I like this guy, the Friendly Banjo Atheist, who exposed the dishonesty of a popular Christian apologist named Ravi Zacharias in the video below. Zacharias received honorary degrees not real ones. That's like receiving honorary praise as "a philosopher" to subsequently turn around and dishonestly call oneself a philosopher. The dishonesty can be easily seen in Zacharias. It should equally be seen in Jeff Lowder. [See "Lowder" tag below].

Recent Discussions of Mine On Facebook

0 comments
First a quote that started some discussion:
The real problem of religious faith is the global and geographically situated religious diversity among thinking adults who reasonably disagree with each other. When religions collide it's like meeting one's anti-matter twin.
Then comes the intervention, as Peter Boghossian calls it:

Prayed Up, But Not Paid Up! A 92 Year Old Woman (Whose Membership Spans 50 Years) Kicked Out of Her Church

0 comments
"BAINBRIDGE, GA:  A 92-year-old woman is no longer allowed to worship at the church where she was a member for more than 50 years because she was not tithing. Josephine King said that was the reason she was kicked out of Bainbridge's First African Baptist Church.  Her family members said they hope the situation will bring change to churches across the nation."  Story and Video HERE

Praise For Yuval Noah Harari's New Book, "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"

0 comments
Yuval Noah Harari's book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, looks brilliant.When I get some time off from reading about Christianity I'm going to read this 400+ book. Take a look for yourselves. Just published in April and it already has generated nearly 600 Amazon reviews. But that's not the interesting part. Look at the published reviews. Doesn't look like there's anything better if you're interested in the history of humankind's evolution (which in itself presents the facts vs faith.

Peter Boghossian On Changing Minds, Doubt and Mockery

0 comments
In this excellent talk Dr. Boghossian endorses the Outsider Test for Faith:



Peter Boghossian is making a huge-huge-impact! His concepts and persuasive strategies are changing how atheists deal with Christians such that he could be considered to produce a sort of Copernican revolution. I recently wrote the book How to Defend the Christian Faith. If I was asked to write a book on how to deal with believers with the goal to change their minds, I would say Boghossian has already written it, titled A Manual for Creating Atheists. Taken together these two books kick ass, so say I about his book, so say several others about mine.

A Good Review of David Marshall's Book, "How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test"

0 comments
Keep in mind Randal Rauser highly recommended Marshall's book, so I should ask again why I'm wrong in saying Rauser will say and endorse anything in order to defend his Christian faith. No educated intellectual should think Marshall's book is worthy of a blurb. No educated intellectual worthy the name would have written it.
When I consider the original "Outsider Test for Faith," (OTF) by John Loftus, I get it. It's a self-check to test yourself for bad reasoning such as special pleading (your religion alone should be given a pass against the tough questions, but not the religions of others), confirmation bias (counting the hits, but forgetting the misses), cherry-picking (selecting the bits that suggest an idea is true, but neglecting the bits that cast doubt) or arguing that an idea must be true simply because it's popular. As long as there are outsiders to Christianity who reject its tenets, (quite aside from the truth values of Christian claims), doesn't it seem reasonable for a Christian to want to understand the objections of an outsider to Christianity?

David Marshall takes this "Outsider Test" and turns it on its ear to come up with four, or perhaps eight different "debugged and polished up" OTFs (I am unable to reconcile his "theses" to his "tests")....If the OTF were a smog test, and Marshall's Chevy Jesus with bad rings and a lazy catalytic converter didn't pass the first time, instead of fixing his car, he's decided to jimmy with the test itself. And when will this test be ready? When it's finally a test his out-of-tune Chevy Jesus can pass. This is how Marshall gets Jesus to "pass" his re-engineered OTF.

How is this even a test anymore? Isn't it a validation of the blue smoke emanating from the tailpipe? The purpose of the original smog test was to keep the skies cleaner by making it illegal to operate a polluting vehicle. Marshall, in this volume argues that dirtier skies are actually better. And now that he's tinkered with the test, lowering the bar to allow it to pass, if his religion now seems to pass, should that come as a surprise? If other religions also seem to pass, we also shouldn't be surprised. That's what happens when you make a test super easy to pass. Isn't this a reflection of his amazing test-designing skills? Too bad this tells us nothing about the emissions of vehicles. As a result, he seems only to argue that people ought to want to have at least a certain amount of pollution in their intellectual skies...In the process of lowering the bar, he appears to argue that all religions pass his re-jiggered OTFs because he feels that they all more or less are true. At first, one might think that Marshall is going to propose that by rationalizing the most universal aspects of religions, it would be possible to form a mosaic religion that is either the original religion, or else one that is truer than any one existing religion. But instead, he argues that Christianity already IS that religion. If he wanted to avoid special pleading, here's where he proved he couldn't do it.

Karl Gilberson's Blurb For My New Book

0 comments
For years I have despaired about the sorry state of Christian apologetics, and even sorrier state of Christian apologists. If there be Christian truth, it lies beyond the reach of rational inquiry, and perhaps that is OK. In How to Defend the Christian Faith,John Loftus lays waste to a colosseum full of bad arguments, including my own tentative efforts at the problem of evil. (Loftus says I am “ignorant” but less ignorant than Ken Ham, which was a relief.) Believers should read Loftus’s engaging assault on their intellectual champions. They will be dismayed at how often they agree. I know I was.
Karl Giberson is Scholar-in-Residence in Science & Religion at Stonehill College, and author of Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible's First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World.

I've Set Up A Patreon Account for Donating

0 comments
There are people who desire to payback when helped. I suspect some of you feel this urge so I've created an Patreon account to donate for the writing this site offers on a daily basis. If we have helped you and you wish to see more and more content, here is your chance. Now I'm a novice at this so be patient as I learn how to better the Patreon page. If you cannot donate through Patreon you can always send a donation via PayPal to loftusjohnw@gmail.com. I'd love to raise up a few hundred people who would donate $5 per month (you can set it up automatically on Patreon or Paypal). Just ask yourself how much have you've been helped by what we do here at DC, then donate appropriately. Share the love. I sincerely thank my readers and commenters for encouraging me for nearly ten years to write and write and write. There have been times I wanted to quit but your encouragement kept me writing. Some of you have encouraged me by saying what I do is unique and powerful, and that few people, if anyone, is doing what I'm doing. I appreciate that and will write for as long as I'm encouraged to do so. So please encourage me by donating. I'd like to do this as a part-time job, so visit my Patreon Page if you'd be so kind. [If that link doesn't work someone tell me].

Killer Quote From Robert Ingersoll On The Darwinian Problem of Evil

0 comments
Robert Ingersoll's birthday would have been yesterday. He would have been 182 years old. Yet what he said and wrote still resonates with us.

I wrote a chapter on the problem of animal suffering for The Christian Delusion (chapter 9). I sure wish I had known of the following quote of Ingersoll's so I could include it. Turns out, professor John Schneider sent me the quote yesterday and prefaced it with these words:
I have a killer quote from him that should intimidate any thoughtful believer in the Christian God and make them think along lines that evangelical theology cannot even begin to do, much less cope with the problem he raised in the light of Darwinism.
Here 'tis:

Christian Apologists Lie, Here's What I Mean By That

0 comments
David Marshall just doesn't understand, but then what's new? He wrote:
John: You called two of my friends, honest men both, "liars." That does bother me, because they ARE my friends, because it is false, and because I hate to see you acting like that. If you have some special meaning for the word "liar," of course you can't expect the wide world to be cognizant of that - it looks like a cheap smear from here.
David, in my new book I have a whole chapter titled "When All Else Fails Lie." It's a fact that people whose brains lie to them will in turn speak lies. A fact. Your brain lies to you, so you also lie. You don't know that's what you're doing but you do. That's the sense in which I say you or Tim McGrew or Tom Gilson and others lie. It's nuanced but accurate. It's what deluded people do.

A Message From Kenneth Who Comments Here

0 comments
Don't you think more Christians would be willing to participate in these sites if the atmosphere was a little more welcoming? I know you are an advocate for ridicule, but it's kind of a turn off. If the stray christian wanders onto this blog, comments, and then gets blasted with crude, rude, insulting, ridicule.... how many do you think will stick around for the rest of what you have to say?

I'm an extremely avid reader, and I can say with confidence that you haven't gotten half the attention your work deserves. The Christian community needs to grapple with what you have to say. I think that more Christians would engage here if they felt like it was a safe place for them to dialog...
My response:
Fair enough kenneth. Thanks. I appreciate your kind words. I do wish people would use less snark and ridicule and more dispassionate reasoning. I do think the commenters here are better on average than anywhere else. I should take what you say to heart. It's just that I used to be as you describe. I'm just jaded after nearly ten years of suffering what I consider to be fools.

On Lowder's Stupid Atheist Meme #4: “Let’s Put an End to the Philosophy of Religion!”

0 comments
Jeff Lowder again, with another so-called "Stupid Atheist Meme." One of the reasons I have publicly exposed Jeff Lowder's dishonesty and hypocrisy is because he has successfully convinced people into thinking he's a philosopher when he is not, which I consider his biggest con. He has a college degree in computer science and is well-read in the area of philosophy of religion, okay. But I have found him to be ignorant many times. His biggest ignorances have to do with taking positions against those I have taken, so it does matter that people see who he really is. For if he's considered a full credentialed philosopher with a Ph.D., then what he says is taken more seriously than what I say. His all white male philosophy student cheerleaders defend him because he has successfully conned them. They say there have been many philosophers in the past who didn't have Ph.D.'s, like Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes and Aquinas, which I know all too well. That is irrelevant. I'm arguing Lowder lacks the depth and breadth necessary to have earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

What I'm writing is helpful. One person wrote:
I have been using the Internet Infidels for about 15 years now. The essays therein has helped me in my philosophical path from "angry antitheism" to a more moderate nontheism. And in all those time I have thought JJ Lowder is a philosopher. I don't know why I had that impression, but I did. Maybe subtle hints in his online writings made me believe that he is one. If you had not exposed his actual academic background, I would still think he is a PhD-toting analytic philosopher. LINK.

My Intervention With Christian Apologist John D. Ferrer

0 comments
Ferrer seems young to me but he teaches at a community college, is respectful and fairly smart. He unfairly reviewed my book "The Outsider Test for Faith" though. On Facebook I wrote this teaser:
Yes, Christian apologists are lying. But no, I don't think they consciously realize it. The answer to this dilemma is in how the brain works. It lies to us. It didn't evolve to arrive at the truth in the first place. It evolved because of the value of survival. I describe this process in chapter 3 of "How To Defend The Christian Faith". What an amazing and fruitful study the brain must be!
Below you can read Ferrer's comments and my "intervention" as Peter Boghossian calls it. Or, you might be able to see it by following this link (the discussion is ongoing). I think my intervention is very effective even if it was very short. So far Ferrer has not responded.

Why Do Tom Gilson and Tim McGrew Disagree With What Peter Boghossian Actually Does?

0 comments
Here's a comment I left on Tom Gilson's blog Thinking Christian, where Tom expresses his and McGrew's disagreement with Boghossian's actual practice of using questions to get people to think deeper about what they believe. Do Tom and Tim represent the Thinking Christian or not? Do they advocate thinking? Or are thinking Christians not needed? Yes, I'm serious!
Tom, I don't think you should be disagreeing with the actual practice of what Boghossian does, regardless of his motivations. You mentioned Josh McDowell, who does this same thing. As a result Dustin Lawson, McDowell's former protege, left the faith. So? You should still do what Josh McDowell does if you think truth will win out. In my forthcoming book which you should read titled, "How To Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist", one of the most important chapters is "Become an Honest Life-Long Seeker of Truth." You should advocate the same thing. Here's a link to info about it.

The very fact that you disagree with what Boghossian actually does leaves me wondering if you think it's wrong to start the "hapless Christian" on an intellectual journey. If you represent the "party of true reason" you should be happy he does this because truth should win the day. In fact, he might be sending Christian people to read your book(s).

You should pick up more converts from Boghossian's efforts. You should pick up better informed Christians from his efforts. What am I missing?

Whether It’s an Apparition of The Virgin Mary or an Apparition of Bigfoot: What’s the Difference?

0 comments
Bigfoot  Sighted in North Carolina
Reported in the Citizen-Times:


Tourist claims Bigfoot sighting in Henderson County
“A reader in Henderson County sent in this video showing what he believed to be Sasquatch. Spotted Thursday morning near Hendersonville. Aug. 6, 2015
HENDERSONVILLE – A Boone man vacationing in Henderson County says he spotted – and videoed – what he believes to be a Bigfoot.
You'll have to be the judge on this one. Eric Walters just asks that viewers keep an open mind.

Hemant Mehta May Not Understand the Problem, But Here's A Solution

0 comments
Earlier I had written a post where I expressed a reservation that atheists are largely talking to themselves about atheistic concerns, rather than trying to convince Christians to abandon their faith. While I didn't single Hemant Mehta out or anything, he kindly responded, explaining Why I Don’t Explicitly Debunk Religious Arguments. He agrees that counter-apologetics are important and should be done. However, in his response he says why this isn't his focus. Here are his six reasons with key explanatory quotes from him:

1) It’s been done in this medium.
There are no arguments Christians have that I can’t find strong rebuttals to via a Google search. People have been writing about things like Pascal’s Wager for a looooong time. So doing that on this site, when those explanations already exist to my satisfaction on other sites, seems unnecessary.
Yes, in a way Christian theism was dealt a death blow by Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), then fatally stabbed by Thomas Paine (1737-1809] and burned to ashes by Robert Ingersoll (1833–1899). The death of God was facilitated by others, including many Christian thinkers themselves, until he was declared dead in the 1960's. This all happened long before the so-called new atheists, who opened this debate up for discussion to the wider public. But if the arguments for Christianity have all been demolished--and I agree they have--why were the new atheists needed? For publicity? If so, I'd say even THAT is a good enough reason to never lose sight of the goal, to try to reach believers with solid counter-arguments they have never heard before. Yes, many Christians have never heard any good counter-argument to their faith, or if they have they didn't take it seriously. So Christians must be made to deal with them at every reasonable opportunity.

There is now a second wave of atheist scholars who are following on the heels of the new atheists, some of whom have written chapters for my anthologies. Why are they needed? Answer that question and you'll see why we must always be diligent in the cause for doubt. The answer is because Christian scholars are extremely resilient. They are experts in obfuscating legalese who can find loopholes for the possibilities of faith no matter how small. And they are being heard by rank and file Christians who don't know any better. They have so fine-tuned their arguments to make it appear their faith is reasonable, despite the arguments of Hume, Paine, Ingersoll, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Dennett and some others.

I have written a book to be released soon detailing exactly what these Christian apologists are doing to maintain the fires of faith, called How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist. You cannot make a big impact into future Christianity if you don't understand what their scholars have been doing. Most atheists have basically fallen asleep at the wheel while driving toward a secular society. In my opinion most atheists think religion and Christianity have already been debunked such that there is no need to continue to man the fort, no need for watchmen at the gates, and no need to make sure our weapons have been upgraded to resist the next onslaught from the believing barbarians. {Good, eh?} That is our big mistake, and I'm not joking.

Now for the rest of Hemant's reasons, which have common themes to them.