Luke Over at Common Sense Atheism Hails My Book at the Best Atheist Book of the Decade

Whether it is or not you should be the judge. As you would guess I am flattered to no end and feel undeserving of anyone saying such a thing. Link.

8 comments:

Gandolf said...

John thats why i was suggesting maybe not bothering letting the opinion of Joshua need to matter so much.Its just his personal opinion and maybe might even be the same opinion as some others too.

It dont matter.Means f**k all really.

Im sure you also find you really dont personally like every book you read.And if you dont you say it like it is too right?,whats the use of a review otherwise.And what you says not going to be totally liked always either,its only natural too.

But every review wont always be the same because its human nature we all often have differing tastes.So some folks will like your book others might not.

Met anyone who pleased everyone?.

(song sung by kiwi band scribe)

How many dudes you know roll like this? Flow like this?

Rock a show like this?

Not many, If any

Uh ah, I don't know anybody :)

This is my opinion of these reviews anyway.Cant let them go getting to you,best just to try to learn from them and just keep doing your best.

Gandolf said...

People will still try and knock you down though.

This world full of gods makes people tend to want to all be top dog

Funny that .. wonder why????

go figure :]

Eric said...

Gandolf, let me begin by saying that I think a great case can be made for Luke's rankings. Personally, I would've put John's book at #2 after Oppy's, but I certainly can concede that a strong case can be made for putting John's book at #1.

Re: Joshua's critique, there is this salient difference between Luke and Joshua, though (and I don't mean in any way to put Luke down: he's very smart): Joshua studied philosophy and religion at one of the best universities in the world, while Luke is for the most part (by his own admission) an autodidact in these areas. As I said, Luke is brilliant, but his lack of training (which he says he might rectify in the future) does show in much of what he writes on his blog. And, it seems to me that Joshua's world class training is well evidenced in his posts on these topics. Of course, one could both agree with much of what Joshua has written about John's book *and still* conclude that Luke has gotten the rankings right. So, sure, Joshua is in a sense providing us with "his personal opinion" on the book, but it's an opinion informed by a world class education in philosophy and religion, and that simply must be taken into account.

John W. Loftus said...

Thanks Gandolf, and Eric. I think Joshua and I will be okay after a recent email exchange. I'll probably interact with him, but I'm sure he'll wind up with some real difficulties before he's through.

BTW: I am starting to revise this book for a future edition which is undetermined as yet. I'll do it in pieces, probably posting stuff here that will eventually wind up in it.

Gandolf said...

Hi Eric yes i agree what you say is very fair.Sorry i didnt mean to sound like i compared the way it may have sounded i did.

Yes there is a big difference between these two reviews.

But thats exactly the thing im suggesting.Reviews from different people with different preferences will sometimes even supply oppersite opinions.

Was Johns book aimed at the the very highly educated class of people or was it written more for the more average Joe blogs also to be able to understand.

I too thought Joshua`s critique was fine! you didnt see me suggest to him it wasnt, i just thought maybe he might have missed the point a little of what type of people it was maybe actually mostly written towards being useful.Not saying that his fault after all he is very educated,so i personally would expect him to look for something very scholarly.Naturally that would suit his own taste buds.

However for me personally a book like that would just give me headaches,by the second chapter i would be far more confused than when i first started.Im not so scholarly thats why.

If a very lowly educated person did a critique of a book written more for the very highly educated reader.Im suggesting we might find the critique of this person would maybe feel this type of book wasnt so wonderful either.They might say look its a very great wonderful book if you run out of shit paper while on a camping holiday.However toilet paper is stil much cheaper to buy.

Eric does this help you understand more what i was trying to say.

Gandolf said...

Eric would you say maybe the bible was written mostly more for the scholar also?

Would you say (maybe) that wasnt really the best idea seeing not everyone is always so scholarly.

What do you think.

Eric said...

Gandolf, thanks for the clarification. I apologize if I misunderstood you.

I don't think the Bible was written for scholars, though I do think that people reading it today need the help of scholars to understand it properly. This is especially true if you're reading, say, the Elizabethan English of the KJV. I usually put it this way with respect to the KJV: It's impossible to read Shakespeare today *and understand him* without extensive scholarly notes because Elizabethan English differs subtly from modern English, and because Shakespeare makes a number of allusions (cultural, political, literary, etc.) that would be familiar to an educated Englishman in the 16th century, but that are not at all obvious to, say, twenty-first century Americans. Now imagine reading Shakespeare in translation. Then imagine reading him in a contemporary collection of works that is assembled from thousands of manuscripts, some partial and some complete, but all of which contain parts that differ slightly from the same sections in all the other manuscripts containing those sections. Now imagine that some parts in our collected works of Shakespeare are not in the earliest of these manuscripts, but have become such a part of the Shakespeare tradition, that they're included in all our contemporary collections. And so on.

Gandolf said...

No Eric its fine no apology needed,and i think i understand that you are saying that had i been around and reading the bible back in the era it was written.

The way things were conveyed within this book might not have seemed quite so strange to me as it does now.

Thanks Eric, and thinking about it i feel maybe you are correct.The Shakespeare analogy for use of comparence helped me heaps.