An Exposé of the Dishonesty and Hypocrisy of Jeff Lowder

I must keep this short, so I want to say from the outset that Jeff Lowder is a valued atheist intellectual, even if I'm right about everything I write below. I am most grateful that he used his B.A. degree in computer science to co-create Internet Infidels, a huge repository of scholarly essays debating the merits of religious propositions. But Jeff Lowder and I have had a series of fights, which I wrote about previously in An Open Letter to Jeffery Jay Lowder. Anyone interested should read that post. We made a bit of a truce for a time then it started bursting out in the last few months. It came to a head with something he posted on his popular blog. [Click on the above image]. He wrote a post titled "Loftus says I'm not Making an Impact." After a day he deleted it when I called him out on it. Then he apologized. Them's the facts. Lowder says it was an honest mistake. I don't believe that for a minute. I'm sure his fan boys do. Cognitive bias theory predicts they will. So let me explain.

Received, Jerry Coyne's New Book "Faith vs. Fact"

Yesterday I received Jerry Coyne's sure to be a classic book, Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible. I'm loving it!

Since his book is such a bestseller I also appreciate his high endorsement of the Outsider Test for Faith.

He described it and wrote, "This rational and quasi-scientific approach is promoted by the ex-preacher John Loftus...Given that beliefs matter, the wisdom of this approach is unquestionable. But if it's used honestly, its outcome is inevitable." (pp. 85-86)

Socrates Would Not Be Recognized As a Philosopher So Why Should We Recognize Jeff Lowder?

I'm opposed to Jeffery Jay Lowder claiming he's a philosopher, which he does. This is a screenshot of his Twitter profile claiming he's a Philosopher of Religion. He only has a B.A. in Computer Science earned in 1995 from Seattle Pacific University. I have a great deal more qualifications to claim I'm a philosopher, but I don't do so. It's for others to say, and they say that of me once-in-a-while. I rarely even see a real philosopher claim he/she's a philosopher. It's an accolade others bestow on you, and/or given to you by the university you teach at. So Lowder is arrogant to say so. It does not matter what others say or how many of them say it.

One of the responses from his echo-chamber of a blog is to compare Lowder to Socrates. If Socrates was a philosopher without credentials then Lowder can be one too. Lowder even "liked" such comments! *cough* Lowder is someone who, as far as I can tell, never read a paper at a philosophical conference, much less published in a philosophical journal. And he never taught a philosophy class either. He doesn't even have a Wikipedia page! ;-) At best he's self-taught, which isn't bad, but there is a big difference between a directed philosophical program taught by experts and being self-taught. It's much worse than this when it comes to Socrates. He not only didn't have any academic credentials, or write anything, he was rejected by the scholars of his day. More than this, if Socrates came to life he wouldn't be able to write a philosophical paper that would pass peer review. If you look at his reasoning--brilliant and original that it was for his day and the reason we hail him as a philosopher--his arguments in Plato's Dialogues are at an introductory college/university level, not the highly technical philosophical level demanded by today's philosophers. In fact, Socrates probably wouldn't even be able to understand most philosophy today. He wouldn't know anything about Oriental philosophy, that's for sure. Nor would he understand a great deal about either the Continental or Analytic traditions in philosophy. He wouldn't be able to understand much of the Philosophy of Religion, since a great deal of it is based on the new religion (to him anyway) of Christianity. And modern discussions of ethics and justice have by-passed his brilliant and original contributions significantly, as they have to his arguments on behalf of immortality and the afterlife. Socrates would have to catch up on the history of philosophy before he could even make a contribution. For surely one cannot understand Immanuel Kant without first understanding David Hume who awoke him from his dogmatic slumbers, as but just one of many examples. And Socrates didn't know anything about modern science either.

My point is that the era of Socrates is long past. This is a new era with better levels of argumentation by those recognized to be scholars. It's been said that Aristotle was the last person who knew everything that could be known. That day is gone too. We now live in an era of specialization and in this era there are recognized standards requiring credentials along with a certain quality of work. My claim is that Lowder doesn't meet these rigorous standards, and even if he did he should keep silent about it. Otherwise, doing so makes him look bad.

The reason why this matters and that our disagreements are important to be forthcoming.

All Religions Cannot Be Right


Professor Brian Cox On Ridicule


Some Recommendations of My Work

I find it very interesting that when disagreeing with each other we fail to mention any good in that other person. That's not what we would do in person and it does not fairly represent the total contributions we each make. It's also why I get upset when being nitpicked to death by people who have not done what I have accomplished so far. Sometimes it's just a pissing contest though. For people who think the Secular Outpost and I aren't on the same team as atheists, you would be wrong. Here, see for yourselves:

Let's Have a Head to Head Face Off!

I've read the comboxes of a lot of atheist and Christian blogs, and I can say without fear of contradiction that the people who comment here at DC are, over-all, some of the most educated, intelligent and respectful ones you'll see out there. Kudos to them. This is the case even though I have vigorously defended the value of ridicule. Yes, my commenters will ridicule from time to time, as I do. But it still is as I say. Think otherwise? Then let's have a head to head faceoff. ;-) Join us. Comment. Both Christians and non-Christians. See for yourselves. Come away from those other blogs you regularly visit. [Bible thumpers need not apply. If all you do is mindlessly quote-mine the Bible you deserve any ridicule we throw at you. Someone on your side of our debates needs to properly inform you how to deal with us.]

Encouraging News About The Outsider Test For Faith

The word is getting out! Here's a message I just received on Facebook:

"Your Outsider Test For Faith was the final straw that showed me the error in my thinking. Thank you! I had to submit my Christianity card and join the irreligious." LINK.

Dr. Victor Reppert's Concise Explanation For Why He Believes

I have allowed Christian scholars to post here at DC without my initial comments. [See tag below]. The following is one single comment left by Dr. Reppert in my combox. I thought it was worthy of further consideration. Dig in. I expect he'll defend what he wrote. I've taken the liberty to number his paragraphs for ease, should you wish to discuss them. Please, no ridicule.

Ridicule Forces Believers to Re-Examine Their Faith

Here is an example, a spoof not a real ad:

The "ad" got the producer convicted in an English court for harassment. See below. I'm sure the publicity from this ad forced some believers to re-examine why they believe. The question for them would be "How can anyone be so cocksure they aren't going to hell that they would do such a thing?" Am I right or am I right?

Another "Stupid Atheist Meme"

  • Ed Brayton: This is fucking inane. Cat's don't pray! Some atheists (not me) are just stupid.
  • Jeff Lowder: I agree. I consistently criticize atheists when I think they are being rude or straw manning theists or theistic arguments.
  • Victor Reppert: Who's to say God answers all prayers anyway? He has his omniscient reasons.

On Ridiculing the Ridiculous Ridicule Deniers

The saying at left is an example of ridicule, in case it isn't obvious. The same goes for this post of mine. The saying was submitted by a person named Chris to a committee of three seeking permission to use it on his Facebook page. The members of the committee include Victor Reppert, Jeff Lowder and John Loftus. Reppert demanded this committee should exist and wanted to be on it. He argued that a person who uses ridicule must be able to defend the basis of the ridicule before using it. Lowder cannot recognize some kinds of ridicule and argued it isn't as effective at changing minds as a reasoned debate. Loftus didn't want on this committee but in order to break any deadlock, he begrudgingly agreed under protest.

Let's listen in as they discuss this submitted piece of ridicule.

Sir_Russ Dismantles Victor Reppert On Ridicule

Vic complains about the commenters here at DC, saying they attack him. They most certainly attack his ideas. By contrast his commenters personally attack atheists and have little substance beyond that. So compare them to what sir_russ wrote below. There is some snark going on in it, but his reasoning and writing are very good.

Another Very Nice Review of "Christianity is Not Great"

It begins like this:
This anthology of counter-Apologetic essays merits a place on the bookshelf of every atheist, lay-student of comparative religion or Christian coming to question his belief. (Or just seeking to understand the worldviews of non-Christians.) In cataloguing the harms done by this religion, and the scope for addressing them, it is close to encyclopaedic. Crucially, it is an anthology of specialist and often scholarly contributions from writers addressing a particular field, and thus avoids a trap into which much humanist literature falls: The cult of the individual ego. Finally, the book indicates how atheism and humanism provide a model better suited for ameliorating the harms done by Christian belief. Click here to read the rest.

Victor Reppert and Jeff Lowder Again On Ridicule

Reppert still doesn't get it and it stuns me. Maybe he refuses to consider anything I say because I'm, well, an atheist, and he knows atheists are wrong about everything! ;-) He thinks one must come up with a argument and be able to defend it--on the Harvard Yard or something?--before being entitled to ridicule a belief. For one must be careful not to end up ridiculing a true belief. Of course, Reppert surely wants to be on the committee that decides which beliefs are false and deserving of ridicule, I'll bet.

Is he serious? I think he is.

God Hates Counterfeit (False) Religion Even If It's Christianity!

God (just like His Church) Never Changes!
Dear Christian . . . if you thought that faith in Christ alone will get you to Heaven, you haven’t got the whole truth.  Based on what Father Tom told me over the phone (see link belowand from a brochure handed out by the tour guide at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral at this past week’s Greek Festival; you’re screwed, big time! You see, when Jesus made this famous statement in Matthew 16: 18, Jesus assumed the reader knew the context; that he (Jesus) was speaking in Greek on behalf of His Greek Orthodox Church; thus Jesus never meant for his teachings to be perverted by the many false Christianities. 

Jerry Coyne's Book Is Now Available

Get it today!

Professor Keith Parsons's "Rules of the Use of Ridicule"

Previously Professor Keith Parsons advocated the use of ridicule, saying:
A single belly-laugh is worth a thousand syllogisms” said H.L. Mencken. Fundamentalism and fundamentalists should be ridiculed in the media, by comedians, or wherever. You don’t have to worry about fairness, since, as Poe’s Law famously notes, no satire can possibly be more absurd than the real thing. Come on. You just can’t come up with anything more ridiculous than someone who honestly thinks that all human woes stem from an incident in which a talking snake accosted a naked woman in a primeval garden and talked her into eating a piece of fruit. Again, most ridicule would consist of pointedly drawing attention to what they really believe. Nothing could be fairer than that. As a sign admonished on The Simpsons, put the fun back in fundamentalism. Laugh it to death. LINK.
Now I present for your consideration his rules for ridicule:

Quote of the Day, By Faisal Saeed Al Mutar On Ridicule

Let's put ridicule into perspective. Faisal Saeed Al Mutar lectures on Muslim issues around the world. His focus is on Islamic problems in the Middle East and how they can be solved. On Facebook he wrote: "If you hold ridiculous beliefs, your beliefs deserve to be ridiculed. You have rights, your beliefs don't."

Now Victor Reppert has gone on record as stressing ridicule is unwarranted. So what does he advocate when it comes to Muslim militancy? A lot of us, me included, don't know that much about Islam. But we know killing and maiming others is wrong. Does Vic really think ridicule should not be used by us against these Muslims? Most of us don't really know any other way to express ourselves. I think ridicule can open the Muslim mind up to consider arguments to the contrary. It can be the grease that helps unscrew the mental bolts that shut off a reasoned discussion of their faith. And if Reppert can see this with regard to the faith of others, then he should have no principled objection to the use of ridicule itself.

Bertrand Russell Used Ridicule Effectively, as Does Julia Sweeny, George Carlin and Bill Maher

The list of people who advocate and/or use ridicule effectively should be more than enough to convince the deniers. British atheist and Freethinker George William Foote (1850-1915) wrote:
Goldsmith said there are two classes of people who dread ridicule–priests and fools. They cry out that it is no argument, but they know it is. It has been found the most potent form of argument. Euclid used it in his immortal Geometry; for what else is the reductio ad absurdum which he sometimes employs? Elijah used it against the priests of Baal. The Christian fathers found it effective against the Pagan superstitions, and in turn it was adopted as the best weapon of attack on them by Lucian and Celsus. Ridicule has been used by Bruno, Erasmus, Luther, Rabelais, Swift, and Voltaire, by nearly all the great emancipators of the human mind. ["On Ridicule" Seasons of Freethought, 2013, page 260. See the tag "Ridicule" below for others who embrace it.]
To see what Socrates, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, Erasmus, and modern thinkers like Keith Parsons, Richard Carrier and Stephen Law said about ridicule click here. There are more people who advocate it, or use it, than can be named, including Bertrand Russell.

More On the Effective Use of Ridicule

If you have ever read Plato's Dialogues you know Socrates ridiculed his opponents. Anyone who has read the ending of the Euthyphro dilemma sees this plainly:

According to The Bible, God (Not Satan) Is Both Evil And a Moral Failure

Damn, these facts are in the Bible!
(Disclaimer: Let me say from the start, I’m an atheist . . . I consider the Bible a literary fraud and that the characters discussed below never existed.)
Based on a general reading of the Bible, especially the section labeled the Old Testament, the Hebrew god Yahweh (given the Christian title God from the LXX) is portraited as a debauched immoral character, often lacking any ethical conscious while theologically (not Biblically), the figure of Satan unjustly condemned. 
To illustrate my point, I’ll breakdown the Bible’s own characterizations God and Satan so the reader can see for him or herself who is really morally debauched  (I have left out the Book of Revelation due to the fact that the narratives in this Biblical Book have not taken place, being projected to some apocalyptic future which is theological speculation). Below, is a short list, though any student of the Bible who has a concordance or Bible dictionary will be able to find many more.

You Don't Like Organized Religion? Okay Then!


"Let No Facts Pass..." Funny!


Dr. Massimo Pigliucci Has Disengaged Himself from the Atheist/Skeptical Society

His opening lines:
Groucho Marx, one of my favorite comedians of all time, famously wrote a telegram to a Hollywood club he had joined, that said: “Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” I have recently considered sending such a letter to the skeptic and atheist movements (henceforth, SAM), but I couldn’t find the address. LINK

There is a Greater Probability Jesus Didn't Exist Than That He Arose from the Dead

When it comes to miracles, at best they are virtually impossible events (not necessarily impossible). This is the case even if they have occurred on rare occasions throughout history, and even if the resurrection of Jesus was one of them. But an improbable event is always going to be more likely than a virtually impossible one, always! So while I am not a mythicist with regard to the existence of Jesus, it's still more probable Jesus never existed than that Jesus arose from the dead. Even if we lowered the odds that Dr. Richard Carrier arrived at in his magisterial book, On the Historicity of Jesus, from 33% to 5%, it's still more probable Jesus didn't exist than that he arose from the dead.

What would it take to accept that Jesus arose bodily from the dead?

It would take an overwhelming amount of strong historical evidence to overcome our concrete personal experience that dead men stay dead, the kind of evidence that convinces reasonable people George Washington was the first President of the US. There's little doubt about Washington's Presidency. Why is there so much doubt about the resurrection of Jesus?

More Americans are Leaving Christianity to Become Agnostics and Atheists

“Between 2007 and 2014, when Pew conducted two major surveys of U.S. religious life, Americans who described themselves as atheist, agnostic or of no particular faith grew from 16 percent to nearly 23 percent. At the same time, Christians dropped from about 78 percent to just under 71 percent of the population. Protestants now comprise 46.5 percent of what was once a predominantly Protestant country.
See the full report HERE

Ten Reasons Why My Books "Aren't More Famous"

I received an email from a specialist at one of the leading hospitals in America who said this:
I´ve read many books on the topic and all of your anthologies - I'm reading the last one right now. I'm very puzzled how they aren't more famous. Anyway, I'm writing to you just because I appreciate your work at a very high level, it's really impressive.
I've heard this from others. What do I make of it? Here are some of my thoughts.

Christians . . . It’s Worse Than You Think!

(Every few years, I like to remind Christians of their Biblical reality.)

According to the God’s Word, the Bible and based on modern statistics, this is what Christians have going for them in God Almighty): 

My Book Pictured Inside a Drawer at a Marriott Hotel by an Admirer


My Debate With David Wood On the Resurrection of Jesus


John Davidson - Openly Secular