What Do Tiger Woods and Jim West Have in Common?

They're both still missing! ;-) Maybe if and when Jim West comes back he'll deal with what Dr. Hector Avalos and others wrote here. Sorry, but anyone who claims like Jim West did that "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," doesn't deserve my respect. For I am one of those people and I take those attacks personally.

If you see either of them please let us know:


42 comments:

Samphire said...

Your just jealous, John, 'cos Jim's got a bigger hat and Tiger's probably got more girl friends.

Samphire said...

Whoops. That should have been "You're". I'm starting to type like I was a destrict sooperintendent.

Walter said...

I'm starting to type like I was a destrict sooperintendent.

LOL.

For the record that is one big ass hat.

John W. Loftus said...

Walter, it's mine. I cut and pasted it on Jim. ;-) His picture was smaller than mine. It's not that I have a big head or anything...but wait!?

Walter said...

I sounded like I typed that Jim was one big asshat...

Nahh!

Samphire said...

You did a much better job with your golf cap.

steph said...

I think an apology for the post that Suzanne drew attention to is in order and all the other cruel 'humour' is never funny. Calling atheists insane is definitely out of order but so is calling Christians deluded! And actually, with all due respect John, you're guilty of as much ridicule as Jim.

steph said...

You know John, I and other atheists as well as liberal Christians, wouldn't have a problem with you attacks so much is you were more specific! ;-) Many non believers distance themselves from you and your tactics...

John W. Loftus said...

steph you don't know me so quit your whining. Sometimes I respond in kind. I no more have to be respectful to Christians like these as I have to be respectful toward Scientologist or Mormons. So please get the point.

And for the record I am among the most respectful atheists on the web and that is one of the reasons some high profile atheists don't like how I deal with them. These atheists, like Pat Condell and many many others, too many to mention or even list, rail against these type of Christians.

And scholarly atheists, well, have you recently looked at who writes for my edited books? So what some don't like me? No matter what I do some people won't like me. Get the point. It just depends on who's ox is being gored that's all, and it just happens that Jim West is a friend of yours. So what if he is? Defend him them. Let's have a go at this and I will attack you too, atheist or not.

John W. Loftus said...

steph, sorry if I was harsh on you just now. It's just that as an atheist you stepped in between me and Jim West here. You stepped in my line of fire. I was specific. I am talking about Jim West's Christianity.

Cheers.

steph said...

No, I'm not defending Jim on this, and I'm not whining. That's just the point, people who don't 'know' you take offence, just like people who don't 'know' Jim West is trying to be 'funny'. (although the suicide was NOT funny and I would NEVER defend him for that 'freedom to express an opinion'. I never thought his 'humour' about people was funny - but most of the time he intended it to be, and I now have doubts his 'humour' about you was even meant to be funny, so I'm not defending him over that). I'm not talking about 'scholarly' atheists who publish on atheist issues and promote your work, alot of them outside the professional field of religion anyway - except for Price for example. Or high profile internet atheists. Alot of atheist scholars publish on non atheist scholarship and don't appreciate your apparent - APPARENT - (not shouting, just the emphasis) 'hatred' of ALL Christianity. And alot of atheists in the street as well. Sure plenty of atheists like it, I'm just expressing my opinion and I regret that you accuse my of 'whining' and threaten to 'attack' me.

Gandolf said...

The need for folks of always being PC can sometimes be just as dangerous to us.

John W. Loftus said...

steph, the "attack" word should be interpreted as "verbally attack," but I see that's mute now.

Thanks for you clarification but would you like to do a poll on this and then ask the more respectful atheists who respond negatively to also tell us how much they have actually read of what I've written?

As I said, I take attacks like Jim West's personally, just as I did with Joel Watts' post that I am not a Biblioblogger earlier. That's what I do and I have no intention in being a kinder gentler Loftus. In anything, I'm gravitating to the "darker" side.

This Christian bunk is all bunk.

I don't criticize liberals much but I did so in my SBL talk to their faces. I'll not back down from this.

Cheers.

Gandolf said...

We have had this PC unwritten law surrounding faith in little wee cotton bud like cacoon, now already for far far to long.

Its partly why the Catholic Church got to drag the chain so long, in regards to making appropriate apologies and/or compensation for those sxually abused for instance.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

For the record I emailed Jim and asked him to remove one particular post from the internet. I did not expect an apology or response/retraction of any kind, but simply to have the damaging post removed so it couldn't be accessed by the family of the person in the story.

The next thing I knew he had blocked access to his blog.

I will miss those of his posts which really were funny, but many were not. I personally don't have a problem with making fun of either Christians, atheists or cat lovers. A certain amount of robust jousting over ideology doesn't bother me.

I do have a problem with hounding fat people, homosexuals, etc. I also have a problem with those who say something about someone by name that is not true.

The young man in the post that I asked Jim to pull, had committed suicide after the newspaper had published something about him that was not true. This is the problem - irresponsible publication of false information is not a joke. It can have consequences.

It would be great to have the humour back without the cruelty.

steph said...

I think he's a fundamentalist on 'Christian' morals if not on dogma. That's what I find repulsive.

I can email you a list of published secular scholars. They heavily critique fundamentalist and apologist scholarship, and even non believing scholarship where it applies. However there is a difference between critical Christian scholarship and conservative apologetic bunk. Price and Doherty (not a 'scholar') and Zindler (not a biblical scholar) for example. Also Burton Mack, Crossan, Vaage also come to mind ... but interestingly, while we suspect their non believing status they never make their positions clear. They too make pointed criticism of fundamentalist and apologist scholarship whether or not they themselves are wrong as well. ;-) We have read at least some of your work and know your blog. I missed that SBL session. Everything clashed. Pain in the neck.

You took Jim's attacks personally, alot of non fundamentalists take your attacks personally. Even I was beginning to take his atheist attacks personally. And although I'm skinny I definitely was offended at his fat people jokes - I have many tubby friends - and always horrified at his homosexual ones. Jim did alot to publicise and support secular and Christian scholarship over the years. He is sweet humble man in person but I don't much like the internet profile. I will always defend a friend's freedom to express their opinion if I think their intention was not 'bad' but woe betide when I express mine if I think that freedom has been abused too much. I lose that friend.

I know Joel's heading was meant as a joke and an attention grabber just like the title of your blog. Don't be hard on him. He is honest and genuinely keen to learn from people of all perspectives.

steph said...

The cat 'humour' is not funny. Suzanne, I left a very polite but honest comment on that post under yours expressing my horror and giving him the link you had. I asked him to admit he was wrong and take it down. I didn't email him. I was too upset.

Looney said...

Jim's blogged was hacked and deleted a few years back. Probably this happened again, since there was no warning message. Now it does seem to me that Tiger's self inflicted troubles aren't in the same category as Jim's.

Or is hacking and deleting blogs legitimate "debate" among atheists?

John W. Loftus said...

steph, I like Joel now and might even possibly like Jim too if I had any personal conversations with him, who knows? The internet is not a nice place sometimes.

steph said...

I've mailed ya!

steph said...

ps I wish the internet had never been invented. I'd be much happier living at the beach swimming in the sea with fruit dripping off the trees like I used to... with Delilah my cat of course ;-)

Gandolf said...

Our need of PC around matters of faith is part of the reason why superstition is still being promoted in places like Africa in the year ((2010))...And in some places the place is being riddled with tin shack type Churches springing up everywhere with some very evangelical preachers and many faithful eyes glued in reverant thoughts of their upcoming salvation. Who would take their faith/superstitions so literally to be word of the lord.They sometimes get so carried off in the great wonder of the moment,they dont even mind killing their son or daughter etc. If some of the brothers in the lord happen to say they is suspected of being a witch.

And even not far from where Steph lives, down in Wellington a woman died in a exorcism only just back in 2007.

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/20701/exorcism-20

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/
australiaandthepacific/newzealand/5272771/Mother-drowned-during-Maori-exorcism.html

Christians suggest.But why point out the extreme cases.

Well if instead it was about the matter of lead poisoning,would it matter so much if lead poisoning with most people, only happened to make most of them a little bit sick.

No the fact that a build up of lead can end up killing some folks,is what remains the most important factor here.We realize its a dangerous product,if used for the wrong use.

Abusive matters surrounding superstition/faith etc , will not ever likely change much in any great hurry,as history has already proved.While everyone keeps wrapping it all up in sweet lil PC type cotton bud.Giving sweet lil pats of encouragement on the back.

Lead is fine as long as humans know not to swallow it.And faith might even be quite fine if all humans knew not to go swallowing it as being word of any gods.Faith/superstitions/bible/koran/etc might be quite fine for use as our culture,but its dangerous when promoted to be swallowed as anything much more.

Crikey! its now the year 2010 folks.How the hell will matters ever likely change so much unless some folks start getting a little bit stroppy and vocal about it.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I want people to be PC about homosexuality and gender. I don't want to be around those who claim homosexuality is a sin, or women should be subordinate.

But it doesn't upset me to see atheists and Christians having strong words.

I have posted about this here.

John W. Loftus said...

Thanks Suzanne, for posting your link because it's now part of the record here. Jim West will have to deal with it the future if he deals with this post at all.

Gandolf said...

Hi Suzanne McCarthy, yes thats the thing though,it was once thought quite PC to think of women as subordinate .And it was quite PC to think of homosexuals as scum etc.

And it wasnt thought so PC to rock the boat and be daring saying to much about it.

Humans cannot afford to always be PC.

steph said...

Gandolf - I'm working in Nottingham but NZ is my home - for 40 years bar a couple of years travel - and I expect to go home for good one day. One of my 'fellow' bloggers on Dunedin School blogged on that exorcism.

Suzanne - Nobody should be PC about fundamentalism in any shape or form. Nobody should be PC when other peoples' opinions stretch to abusing homosexuals, fat people, suicide victims. Or in fact perhaps they should: it should be understood that it is politically correct to not tolerate those opinions. I advocate directing criticism against those who violate decent human behaviour. I don't see what's PC about not abusing liberal Christians. They aren't the targets. Fundamentalism is with all it's ugly prejudices about homosexuality and suicide, as well as fat people and gender.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Steph,

I think we are in agreement on this.

steph said...

:-)

Gandolf said...

Steph "I'm working in Nottingham but NZ is my home - for 40 years bar a couple of years travel - and I expect to go home for good one day."

Oh choice one !.

You said ."I don't see what's PC about not abusing liberal Christians. They aren't the targets. Fundamentalism is with all it's ugly prejudices about homosexuality and suicide, as well as fat people and gender."

So Steph you think groups of folks who say maybe might just joke about homosexuals quietly amongst themselves a bit, are sort of quite ok.Its not possible this libral group might infact be part of the breeding ground of possibility for some fundamentalist abuse of homosexuals?.

steph said...

Please don't try to tell me what I think Gandolf ;-)

It is never 'ok' to joke about homosexuals. I don't actually know any 'liberal Christians' who would and I know plenty of liberal Christians and even liberal Christian homosexuals. That is a fundamentalist moral prejudice. That prejudice should be vigourously opposed.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Steph,

I would have thought the same, but now I am not so sure. Only a handful of other bloggers ever protested when someone blogged against homosexuals.

With regard to women as well, there were some bloggers that I thought were liberal or at least egalitarian, who wanted to shut down my critique of the teaching of the subordination of women because it was not conducive to unity among Christian bloggers.

It seems to me that for some Christian bloggers, presenting a united front against atheists is more important than helping release women from subordination.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yeah, I am biased.

Gandolf said...

"Please don't try to tell me what I think Gandolf ;-)"


Steph read what i wrote again,you`ll see its got a question mark.

Glad to see you do understand fundamentalist abuse of homosexuals,can sometimes have its roots set in the more libral PC feeling of it being quite ok to joke about them.

The same happens with faith.Fundamentlism has often simply just been a offshoot/division of what was maybe thought more as being liberal faith.

Howard said...

Ad hominem= Losers

Howard said...

LOL.

We're the crazy ones for refusing into things that are identical to fairy tales.

Russ said...

steph,
You said,

Calling atheists insane is definitely out of order but so is calling Christians deluded!

Given the right contexts, it seems to me, that it is quite appropriate both to call atheists insane and to call Christians deluded.

In fact, I can think of one context, the context of a literalist interpretation of the Bible, in which both are simultaneously appropriate. To the Biblical literalist who sees the god of the Bible as a real entity which will eternally damn any who don't believe, atheists must be insane to ignore the threat. To the atheist the Biblical literalist is clearly deluded since the Biblical literalist intentionally ignores most of the Bible which makes him every bit as hellbound as the atheist. The atheist ignores the threat posed by the god, but so does the Biblical literalist.

To the Biblical literalist, "insane" is a good word choice, just as it would be for one intentionally ingesting poison on a whim. To the atheist "deluded" is a good word choice, just as it would be for anyone making statements about themselves that are observably untrue.

Of course the vast variability in the brands falling under the "Christian" label provides for thousands of such contexts where dictionary definitions of words that are commonly considered pejoratives - ignorant, stupid, daft, nuts - are good word choices. Though its use might seem derogatory, the semantics are correct.

This same variability supplies those same Christians with plenty of opportunities to be offended. A critique of any specific Christianity is sure not to apply to most of the others, since the Christianities share no point of doctrine, not even belief in a god. So, they all get their chance to claim offense and shield themselves with the "that's not my Christianity" defense.

Whether it's "I'm offended by the actual meaning of words" or "I'm offended because that's not my Christianity," the religious will take offense. They're professionals at it. It's what they do. It's part of the religious identity.

steph said...

Suzanne: I think some bloggers are independent of each other. I often saw critique of Jim on homosexual issues. From Joel to Roland Boer. To tell you the truth I've never noticed any anti women stuff on blogs. I really don't think there is a united front against atheists. That's just imagination. It was Jim versus John.

steph said...

Russ:

Vigorous opposition should be informed and targeted directly. No need for broad brush.

steph said...

Gandolf:

In that case it would be clearer if you had included a 'do'. ;-)

and YOU say "Glad to see you do understand fundamentalist abuse of homosexuals,can sometimes have its roots set in the more libral PC feeling of it being quite ok to joke about them" I didn't. I didn't say anything like that at all. And why keep spelling liberal wrong? I know no 'liberal' Christians who joke about sexual diversity. If you are so convinced you know self identifying liberals who do, then they are more likely to have derived their joke from fundamentalism.

steph said...

Suzanne - one of the reasons I find most blogging pointless obsession with itself. The whole blogging about bib500, about blogging generally, about other bloggers, - I basically use blogs as a resource to keep up with things going on in scholarship, not blogs. When I see offensive stuff on blogs, I often cringe and ignore the blog. Like with this blog's (no offence John;-) broad brush attacks on Christians (even though I've never believed in the god thing or anything) and Jim's posts on fat people (even though I'm skinny). That's why I think blogs aren't that helpful.

steph said...

Suzanne, again ;-) I think one of the reasons Jim ended his blog was that his increasing moral fundamentalism was raising more objection than he had counted on. There was no united Christian force in his support and there was plenty of opposition - secular and Christian (and objector perspective wasn't the issue).

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks Steph for sharing your perspective on this. It makes sense to me.

I do find that a few people, here and there, are not very happy with my protesting against the subordination of women. I think its criminal, but some don't like my labeling subordination like that.