Idiot of the Year Nominees Now Being Accepted

Suggest them here or over at Atheist Revolution. Jim West anyone? After all, look what he thinks of atheists:

He wrote:
In comments on Psalm 14, John Calvin writes:
The fool hath said. As the Hebrew word נבל, nabal, signifies not only a fool, but also a perverse, vile, and contemptible person, it would not have been unsuitable to have translated it so in this place; yet I am content to follow the more generally received interpretation, which is, that all profane persons, who have cast off all fear of God and abandoned themselves to iniquity, are convicted of madness (emphasis is Jim's).
Well said, John. Atheism is insanity. Hence, there’s no more point in arguing with (or even discussing things with) an atheist than there is in walking into an insane asylum and attempting to carry on a lucid conversation with persons utterly devoid of the gift of lucidity.

I venture to say Jim West just doesn't personally know an atheist. What a complete intellectual buffoon to be quoting with approval the writings of someone who sanctioned the killing of heretics.

If Jim West had the political power does anyone doubt what he'd do with it? There's no point talking with someone as deluded as this. As far as I know he's more pleased I'm linking to him so his rankings go up. That seems to mean more to him than anything.



Lynn said...

I vote for Carrie Prejean.

Leah Elliott Hauge said...

Is Ray Comfort already on the list?

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

*savors moment* It is so nice to be profiled 4,000 years before having been born.


christophermencken said...


John W. Loftus said...

Since Jim West has censored a previous comment of mine (I should've known) let me post another another one he'll be sure to censor as well:

Censor my previous comment if you want to. At this point I don't care about Alexa rankings.

Remember this, I was once where you are now. I was brainwashed by my culture and parents to believe as you do. Had you been born in a different family in a different culture you'd be defending different beliefs with as much passion.

I am the antidote to that kind of thinking. The emperor has no clothes on! All you can do is close your eyes and cover your hears and keep repeating to yourself "I know what I know."

The problem is that the choice are not between your fundamentalism and atheism. The choices are myriad with every represented religious and non-religious viewpoint in between.

Come out of your cave and think about what you have been raised to believe. If what you believe is the truth you should have no fear in doing so.

WAR_ON_ERROR said...


To your above censored comment:

Do you suppose that approach translates well across the divide on an individual basis? I can understand laying out the general case as you have in your book (that I just got for xmas and have been reading)for instance in the outsider test chapter, but to say that to someone in particular? If you tell me that you've had great success in that way in the past, I'd be amazed. If you tell me you've driven them to further levels of insanity (telling yourself they "should" have responded differently), *that* would square well with my own past experience. So I question your tact. Why not leave things at a playful, teasing level?


Harlan Quinn said...

so they are saying that it is justifiable to eternally punish the insane?

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

Harlan Quinn,



John W. Loftus said...

Ben, Jim repeatedly censors my comments. This last one was but another example. I suppose you'd write someone off if he did that to you too. Some people just aren't worth talking to. You did read his comment didn't you? We're at an impasse. Care to engage him? Go ahead. He's yours.


Harlan Quinn said...

I nominate Alvin Plantiga as a representative of all apologists. Plantiga calls himself a philosopher and has a position at notre dame yet insists on choosing a religion when all religion depends on unauthenticated internally incoherent text.

Hey, you can assert that god is a basic belief as much as "other minds" are till you're blue, but the only way to pick a religion is to commit to the reliability and informational quality of a set of scriptures or "internally incoherent data set" that hasn't been updated in 1600 or so years.

if anyone is interested in following it, I'm going to be doing a Information Quality Analysis on Pauls Deconversion story in January over at QuIRP. I'll be taking one piece at a time, making the datasheet available in real time, and posting the results as a blog entry after each step. I'm almost done with Acts 9:3-8.
Basically, I'll be measuring the deviance between instances and giving it a reliability score. If there is no deviance, it will score 100%, if there is deviance, it will score lower. If there are contradictions, then those parts should be discarded because its too far back to cross-check them.


Harlan Quinn said...

oops, that should have been "conversion" and not "deconversion".

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

He must have gotten rid of all the comments. All I see is his post.

IMO, people like that don't need to be directly challenged or called out. They need exposure to friendly atheists over long periods of time to figure out for themselves they aren't insane. Raising the stakes with any form of egotistical confrontation closes those doors immediately as you've just demonstrated. You don't have to get the last word in anywhere and you don't have to rub it in. You've read Proverbs 25:22. It makes straight forward sense.

From a personal standpoint, I don't go through all the trouble to make awesome arguments just to have them rejected wholesale because their brain has shut off by me inflaming their anti-atheist prejudices. I respect myself and my arguments more than that. And yours, too, incidentally. I'm only on page 79 of your book, but it seems to be just the level of book I'm looking for that I would actually recommend to someone. (that's saying a lot if you knew me)

You don't have to post this comment if you don't want to. I'd rather you listen to me and extend the range of your long term effectiveness online, than me get credit for making more sense than you.

Regardless, I look forward to reading the rest of your book. And I'll be sure to post my review online.


John W. Loftus said...

Ben, thanks, I appreciate this.

You must know there are some people I cannot reach. He's one of them. So I have figured out quickly it would be fruitless to try.

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

Better luck next time.


John W. Loftus said...

Ben, just to be clear here, I never said my goal is to reach everyone. I know I can't. There are some people who cannot be reached by anyone. Jim West is probably one of them. Besides, I don't care what deluded people think of me, although I would prefer to be friends. His choice. there have been a number of Christian scholars who don't think much of me. So what? I can only deal with those who will deal with me.


steph said...

"I don't care what deluded people think of me". You call people deluded and expect them to be your friends? You really are nasty. Don't take yourself so seriously.

John W. Loftus said...

Why is it nasty for me not to care what deluded people think of me? I am personal friends with many Christian scholars, because that's what I prefer. If however one of them thinks I'm asylum crazy and I respond by saying I don't care what you think, why is that nasty?

A deluded person, by most dictionaries, carries two definitions. One is a psychological disorder, the other simply says a person is wrong. While I think most Christians are brainwashed I have only ever used that word by the 2nd definition.

How is this nasty?

steph said...

If you can't see it, I won't try to explain it. I know no credible Christian scholars who would desire such friendship. It's sad but one day I hope you let go your vengeful crusade against Christianity and just appreciate the good things in life while we're here.

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

It took me a while to notice you use the term "delusion" in its least pejorative form. Like I just realized that earlier today, reading your book.

John W. Loftus said...

steph, yes it's true, and I've even allowed some of them to post something unedited and without comment here at DC, like Craig Bloomberg, Douglass Groothuis, James Sennett, John F. Haught and even William Lane Craig. I have more scholarly Christian friends then most Christians have.


Ben, yes, I use the word deluded on purpose. There is a double meaning to it. As I said, I do think most believers are brainwashed to believe, but I intend it to merely mean they are wrong. This is legitimate usage even though confusing to some.

John W. Loftus said...

Ben in my forthcoming book, The Christian Delusion I make it clear how I use the word delusion so no one who reads it will be confused any longer.

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

If I could be so bold as to suggest a poll. I'm curious as to whether you can really relegate the confusion level to only "some."

Ask the question, "Before you read the options on this poll what did you think of John's regular use of the term 'deluded' in reference to Christians?

A: I knew John meant "just wrong" all along.

B: I was only temporarily confused, but then I realized he meant "just wrong."

C: It never occurred to me he wasn't insulting Christians until now.

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

Oh okay. I read your last comment after I posted my last comment.

John W. Loftus said...

Ben, that's the irony of it all. Some things are meant to muddle the waters. It's like the title to this blog. It gets attention. That's why I chose it. Sometimes I want to raise a few hairs and then once I do then I can teach them a few things.

I do it all of the time, in more areas then you know. It's done on purpose, and I know what I'm doing.

Once I get people's attention then I have a chance to teach them what I know. And once I do that they are more willing to consider what I have to say afterward. But I must first get their attention.

Listen. You can have the best product to sell in the world but unless you get people's attention it'll do you no good. That's what I know about blogging and writing and arguing.

John W. Loftus said...

Ben, I just decided that in my forthcoming book with that title I had to let on about that word.

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

hehe, well I do use "WAR_ON_ERROR" for similar reasons. Of course, I recognize I have about .02 seconds to prove I actually mean it. :D

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I would like to outline my concern with Jim West's blog. Here he posted about a story of a young homosexual who committed suicide. His conclusion was that death is the very high price of sin.

I attempted to post a comment to the effect that this young man was falsely accused by the Toronto Star of physically assaulting two children. In fact, this was not true. Here is the citation,

"The Star, it must be acknowledged, got the charges wrong in a Friday digest item that said Dewees had been charged with sexually assaulting two 13-year-olds. There was no assault alleged by police. The distinction is important though it's doubtful – this too can never be ascertained – such an error (corrected) had much impact on Dewees' state of mind."

(This was reported in the Star, which downplayed the role of its own false reporting.)

I attempted to post this additional information on Jim's blog but it was censored. I had just finished talking to my sister who explained that all the streets in her neighbourhood had shut down for his funeral. This young man attended our high school, attended church with my sister and her three sons, attended the camp we went to, and lay down in front of the train in the subway station we used most of our life.

This young man was much loved. The evidence indicates that he was a homosexual, and that he committed suicide in the few days following an untrue and vituperative report in the newspaper that was not withdrawn until after he died.

There is possibly evidence that he had made a sexual remark to a 16 year old boy. This will never be decided on now.

I suggest that a 16 year old girl attending any church would have also recieved some kind of sexual remark from a member of the church, unless she was seriously deformed. Heterosexual males do not have anything on homosexual males, when it comes to morality.

When Jim West reported that the death of this young man was the price of sin, I tried to comment with the facts, but it was not posted. Perhaps my comment was too 'boring' for Jim.

If death were the price for making a pass at a 16 year old then there would hardly be a pastor left standing in North America.

No, it appears that Jim meant that this young man's sin was that he was a homosexual and Jim posted a totally inappropriate reaction to this man's death.

This could have been the son of anyone of us here. This is not something to gloat over.

I would like to cut and paste here what someone else wrote to Jim about homosexuality.

Jim, you have a fear of and resulting prejudice against the homo-erotic, hence homophobia. It’s not pretty because it leads you to say odious things that sustain hatred and prejudice against a class of people to which I belong, a do most of my friends and so I am always conscious of the hurt and malice that goes with such prejudice even if you aren’t. I live with the consequence of your prejudice every day and in my long life I have seen the very great cost in lives traumatised and wounded as a result of the prejudices you promote.

Jim answered,

Second, I reject his false assertion that I promote prejudice. Rather than spewing such generalities I challenge him to provide even one example of my inequality or unfairness.

I have given my example of Jim's unfairness. He reported that this man committed suicide because of sin in his life, but did not post my comment that this young man committed suicide because he was falsely accused of the physical assault of children.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I wrote,

I attempted to post a comment to the effect that this young man was falsely accused by the Toronto Star of physically assaulting two children. In fact, this was not true. Here is the citation,

I meant that it was not true that he had assaulted two children. There was no report or hint of assault, but this is what appeared in the newspaper. I don't even know if the newspaper ever apologized for printing false information.

The power of a false report is terrible. This is the lesson from this young man's death. I challenge Jim to go back and remove his post with the young man's name in it.

What if the man's mother found this post by googling her son's name. This is vicious and damaging pain that is being caused to a fellow human being.

Even now this post of Jim's is available on the internet for anyone to access. I am asking Jim, for the sake of truth, to remove it and therefore prevent the mother from finding it at random and being exposed to the hateful content in that post.

Gandolf said...

Suzanne McCarthy said... "This could have been the son of anyone of us here. This is not something to gloat over."

Suzanne i agree wholeheartedly.