I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment of the OTF:
I think the OTF is seen to fail in the mind of those who are afraid of the implications.
For those interested in the truth, it’s a good test. Believers clearly set a low bar for evidence when it comes to their own supernatural beliefs, but they raise the bar when it comes to other supernatural beliefs and no evidence is sufficient when it comes to any claim which negates their beliefs. The OTF reveals this bias.
The believer wants to think that the atheists rejects their beliefs for bad reasons, when in fact, atheists reject the believers beliefs for the same reasons believers reject other religions and superstitious claims. Obviously, people believe in the magical things they do because of indoctrination, confusing correlation with causation, and confirmation bias. Christians can see this readily when they consider Greek Myths or reincarnationists– but their indoctrination blinds them in regards to their own, equally unsupportable supernatural beliefs. If they are indoctrinated well enough, they become too afraid of thinking outside the faith– afraid that they’ll suffer forever if they do so.
Every cult member can tell you why they are sure their religion is the really true truth– but none can tell you what evidence would get them to believe a competing claim– that’s because no evidence would or could suffice. They are brainwashed. Christians can see it with the Muslims and the Scientologists, but their indoctrination makes sure they deny it in themselves. The OTF illustrates this, however– which is why we see so much kicking and screaming around it.
The OTF is just a tool to help a believer counteract the biases of his indoctrination, so that instead of endlessly trying to prop us his belief, he’s got a brain more willing to consider whether his supernatural beliefs are any more likely to be true than the supernatural beliefs he rejects (such as reincarnation). As far as the empirical evidence is concerned, the answer is “no”.
I understand why this would bother someone more interested in keeping the faith rather than understanding what is real. Magician, James Randi points out that the easiest people to fool are those who are certain they cannot be fooled. I know I can be fooled. And I don’t feel like fooling myself any more. I think those against the OTF are those with a strong interest in continuing to fool themselves.