The Purpose of this Blog

I want to briefly take a moment to state the purpose of this blog. I understand the value of a good promotional name so I named it Debunking Christianity. The blog name is primarily to grab attention, and it has done it's job well. We now have about 20,000 visits a month. That's just 10,000 visits less than the massive Secular Web gets. But if you spend any time here at all you will quickly learn we are not abrasive with those who visit and comment (unless provoked).

It's true that this is a blog where we argue against Christianity, and I've already expressed my motivation in doing so. But on many Christian and skeptical blogs and sites there is a systematic policy of demeaning and belittling anyone who disagrees. On these sites a person can quickly see that the authors there do not care what others who disagree think. They don't care about them as persons. They mischaracterize what others say so much that it's obvious they don't even try to understand. We see this on both sides of this great divide. It's a shame, really. We can learn from each other, if we treat each other as persons who simply disagree. Many Christian sites and blogs assume that those who disagree are stupid or in rebellion against God so they are treated disrespectfully. They think they have Biblical justification for treating them so. But this is clearly counter-productive if they want to reach people who disagree. I think there is room for sites and blogs of this kind, on both sides of our debate. I personally don't visit them much. These sites preach to the choir. These sites confirm what the authors want to believe.

But that is not us here at DC. I want a discussion. Yes, we will argue with each other, but it is primarily meant to be a discussion. So if you want a relatively safe place to discuss these issues where you will not be maligned (unless provoked), then join us in the discussion. If we fail to understand your points, let us know. We do not purposely try to mischaracterize what you say like other sites do. We first try to understand. Then we will respond to a fair representation of your argument as best as we possibly can. This is what it means to treat others as we ourselves want to be treated.

Before you comment be sure to read "Our Policy" here at DC.

9 comments:

Paul M. Harrison said...

John,

I tend to think of ex-ministers as still being ministers at heart - wanting to respectfully teach, guide, inform, and protect - except now it is from another persective. It is an utter waste of time to spend your life bitterly "attacking" people or systems you disagree with, but it is not a waste of time if you feel you are serving mankind by informing and learning.

Preacher said...

I think you guys have done an awesome job at having a decent discussion, and at some times argument about the Christian faith.

I personally came to this site because I had doubts about Christianity that wouldn't go away, and I wanted to know more about why someone would choose not to believe it. It was amazingly helpful to find other people dealing with the same issues that I was.

Keep up the good work!

Robert said...

I am having serious doubts. They are intering with my life to the point that my parents are talking about not helping with college.

They are even wondering if I should continue in college, although my grades are good.

Any thoughts?

John W. Loftus said...

robert, I don't have enough information to tell you what to do. You might want to keep quiet about your doubts, but at some point you have to do what you have to do. They will either let you travel your own path or not. You're an adult now. You have choices to make. But you cannot easily suppress your doubts just like they cannot easily doubt.

I just got an email from someone who read my book and he's planning to buy his parents a copy.

He's probably in the same boat as you are. He wrote:

I just purchased and read (and re-read) your book, Why I Rejected Christianity. Thanks for the great book! I have read numerous publications on this topic, but I don't believe I've ever seen as many great reasons to reject religion in one place. The chapter on unanswered prayer had me nearly cheering in my chair. Brilliant stuff!

I plan to buy a copy for my parents once I receive their promise to read it. I don't believe it will sway them in the least since they are nearly blinded by dogma and indoctrination, but I'm interested to hear their view on it.

Robert said...

You have misundertood me.

My parents, while they claim to be "freethinkers" and "liberal", are in fact committed atheists.

My doubt is in the atheism they have raised me in...that all existence, life, and mind, can be explained by mindless processes is.

So far as I can tell, none of this has been demonstrated.

When I voiced this after coming back from spring break my freshman year, now just past, they blew up.

John W. Loftus said...

No robert, you misled me.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi all,
I agree with Johns article (as usual). I sometimes will revert to trying to reduce a commenters argument to the ridiculous (which is an accepted debate tactic), but I am always conscious of treating our clients with respect.
I see my participation in this site as a privilege and an opportunity to try to help spread the principles of "critical thinking".
I have the same motivation now as I did as a christian, I want to make the world a better place.

I promise and pledge that if I am charged with objectionable behaviour I will default to a level of professionalism that should be acceptable to continue whatever discussion is at hand.
However, please be advised, that just because I tell you things that you don't want to hear, that doesn't mean I don't respect you.
I have been there, and done that, thought about it and changed my mind.

Personally, generally speaking, I view my participation as a game of strategy and do not get emotionally involved.
Would you like to play a game of dialogue?
;-)

On a more serious note, my motivation for contributing to this site is because I am trying to reverse the influence that I contributed to by voting along the lines of the 'moral majority' and the 'republican right' for the past twenty years.
I believe in an ethic more along the lines of those of Game theory, and am looking for the most successful outcome for the largest population and I still adhere to the 'golden rule' where applicable.

snakey said...

I agree....ex ministers can't seem to stop 'ministering'...one way or the other.
but I think...no one can 'change' another's mind...you have to do that for yourself.

I guess that's what you folks are doing here? - satisfying your own needs?

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

My own purpose here is maybe slightly different. I'm not an ex-minister but a frustrated 'teacher wannabee.' My goal was best expressed by the exchange between Bryan and Darrow at the Scopes trial:
B: I don't think about what i don't think about.
D: Yes, but do you think about what you do think about?

That's what i am trying to do here, get people thinking about their beliefs, about their religion.

Yes, I happen to be so sure I am on the 'right side' that I assume the more people think, the more they will come over to 'my side.' But even if they do not, the mere act of analysing their premises, checking their sources and the sources I quote to challenge them, etc. will be good for them, and give them at least a more intelligent -- and less gullible -- belief.