The Uniqueness of the Approach Used in My Book

A University of Michigan graduate in Philosophy and Biblical Studies is reviewing my book. He starts out by writing:
Unlike reviewing polemical works by someone like Richard Dawkins, engaging Loftus is more interesting to me...The epistemology of religion developed by William Abraham and shared by Loftus (p. 56) is indeed the best – and, luckily, most descriptively accurate – way of dealing with issues like rationality and justification in the context of religious belief. As far as I know, Loftus is the only major published atheist to explicitly argue in this fashion.


ismellarat said...

Can you link to some of those criticisms you received fom the skeptics' side?

You mentioned there were some, but I haven't a clue about how they would have found fault with your approach.

Your two self-published versions kept me captivated for a whole week. I was reading them side by side, lest I miss an excised or added detail in one.

I thought the combination of the odd word processor/college outline-type of formatting you originally used, together with all the cool, partly home-made diagrams - a combination surely to be found nowhere else on this planet - made the original books all the more unique and memorable, even apart from the uniqueness of the text itself.

But even the plain oatmeal version that came plopping out after all that formatting and editing by the Prometheus mushmaker machine is pretty engaging, and I don't see what others on your side of the debate ever saw wrong with it. (The actual *arguments*, I mean...)

John W. Loftus said...

ismellarat, I usually don't tell on myself. Maybe in some future post I will when I argue my case against them. One thing is that I think Jesus actually existed. Another thing is that I don't think evidence alone will convince brainwashed believers, so skptics don't like my use of control beliefs. Nor do they care for my personal story since it makes atheists out to be sinful. Nor do they like the fact that I admit there were emotional reasons for my change. There are other objections, some intellectual. There's one about my claiming that agnosticism is the default position such that anyone leaving the default position has the burden of proof. But then, I'm not preaching to the choir. You know this.


ismellarat said...

Well, since you described the way it actually happened for you, they shouldn't be crying about that.

I thought it took a lot of guts to put out information that people use against you almost as if they'd uncovered it on their own. Christian conversion stories certainly are full of "here's what I was like back then," and I don't see anything wrong with that.

I agree with everything you said here. (Well, maybe "atheists are sinful" is a little hard to swallow. Who knew? ;-) )

I hope to find that the new rebuttal book by The Unmentionables sticks to your arguments alone. This will be interesting!

Eric said...

So far (up to chapter four) Mr. Blanchard's review of your book is the best I've read. He's taking your arguments seriously, he's not misrepresenting you, and he's dealing with the book as a whole, one chapter at a time. Very impressive!