B. Prokop's first comment discredits him from being a legitimate critic of the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) for a few reasons.
1) By claiming I plagiarized from GK Chesterton Prokop shows he has not read my book.
2) If the OTF is stupid but essentially plagiarized from GK Chesterton, then Chesterton originated a stupid idea.
3) If Prokop actually believes we can legitimately develop a test for something but exclude a negative result then he is the stupid one.
4) If Prokop doesn't have the money to buy any of my books he should know how to get them through the Interlibrary loan system.
5) If he's not interested in reading one of my books then he should not comment as he did, which reveals his ignorance.
6) If I'm indeed defending a stupid idea then I'm in good company with several credentialed scholars who blurbed my book:
"Over the past ten thousand years there have been tens of thousands of religions and thousands of gods. Which one is the right one? To believers in each one they all appear unique. To an anthropologist from Mars they all look the same... . This clever book gives you the intellectual firepower you need when engaging believers, pointing out, for example, that they are religious skeptics, too—of all those other faiths. Some of us go one faith further in our skepticism. You will, too, after reading this testament to the power of reason." --MICHAEL SHERMER, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Believing Brain...in other words, all of these scholars would have to be stupid too. Now I may be wrong but I am not stupid. The only ones saying otherwise are ignorant, willfully so.
"A must-read for believers and any atheists who want to debate them. Superbly argued, airtight, and endlessly useful, this should be everyone's first stop in the god debate." --RICHARD CARRIER, author of Proving History
"Loftus makes a convincing case that believers who are willing to honestly apply the outsider test cannot but fail to see the irrationality of their faith." --VICTOR J. STENGER, author of God and the Atom
"Without doubt one of the best books I've ever read on faith. A masterpiece." --PETER BOGHOSSIAN, author of A Manual for Creating Atheists
"Because one's religious faith is almost completely an accident of birth, believers should be highly skeptical about whether their own faith is correct. This eminently sensible principle, outlined in Loftus's admirable book, is rarely followed in practice; but if it were, then the dominance of religion in our world, with all its bad effects, would be severely eroded." --JERRY A. COYNE, author of Why Evolution Is True
"The Outsider Test for Faith is an ingenious way of helping the religious take a step back so that they can fairly and impartially examine what they believe, which can only be a good thing." --STEPHEN LAW, author of Believing Bullshit
"John Loftus has done it again! He has produced a lucid and exhaustive explanation of the simple proposition that individuals should examine their own faith with the same skepticism they show toward the claims of other faiths. No significant objection is left unexamined and no major objector escapes unscathed. This is a potent antidote to those who elevate faith above reason, and superstition above science. It is a bravura performance." --HECTOR AVALOS, author of The End of Biblical Studies
"John W. Loftus will be remembered a century from now for The Outsider Test for Faith." --DR. FRANK ZINDLER, former president of American Atheists and editor of American Atheist Magazine
"Perhaps the most intractable argument against Loftus's outsider test for faith is some version of 'I can't do it. I can't get far enough outside of my emotions and beliefs to examine my own religion like I would any other.' As a psychologist I find that credible. We all have a very imperfect and fragmentary ability to see ourselves as others see us. But this in no way undermines Loftus's foundational argument that the outsider test should be the gold standard." --DR. VALERIE TARICO, psychologist and author of Trusting Doubt
"John Loftus has written a bold book based on a simple premise: the unexamined faith is not worth believing... . He demands that believers examine their own faith with all the rigor and skepticism that they direct toward other faiths. To those who condemn the beliefs of others while elevating their own dogmas, Loftus's message could come straight from the Gospel: remove the beam from your own eye before you seek to remove the speck from another's." --DR. KEITH PARSONS, professor of philosophy, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and author of God and the Burden of Proof.
Lastly, contrary to David Marshall and B. Prokop, to say there are millions of converts coming to a particular faith does not show that faith has passed the OTF, for a few reasons.
1) Then mutually inconsistent religious faiths like Scientology, Mormonism and Islam would all be shown true since they are growing exponentially.
2) Since people are raised to believe by their parents, the fact that later on in life wayward people come back to the faith they were raised to believe says nothing significant.
3) There are people of faith who switch religions in part, because they share a similar religious outlook. But that says nothing objective about that religious outlook.
4) Hardly anyone studies the various religious options in any depth from a skeptical disposition before choosing to believe one of them. If they did this intellectual feat it would be more significant than a dramatic conversion to a religious faith inside a culture that already embraces that faith. The exceptional few who claimed to have done so don't undermine the rule that almost no believers do this. Even then, even if few people may have done so doesn't exonerate anyone else from doing likewise, since we must all do it for ourselves. We should do it since people who claim to have done so eventually embrace mutually different religious faiths. Moreover, since we have no access to their minds we cannot say their claims are true. Depending on what we conclude from the OTF, we can however, argue that these few informed converts didn't actually take and pass the OTF.
5) What David Marshall and Prokop need to do is show that prior to conversion these converts shared a reasonable doubt about the religious faith they were about to critically examine. This is a reasonable doubt that I explain in my book. It's reasonable. Everyone should share it. It's the adult attitude.