Thursday, March 14, 2013

David Marshall responds to Loftus's OTF book

For those interested, here. 

13 comments:

William said...

Loftus does tend to confuse science with naturalism. I wish Marshall had not made almost the same mistake, by confusing science with epistemology (it's there in the text, c. paragraph 46).

Beam me up, Scotty.

John W. Loftus said...

Even though you didn't link to my response, at least Marshall quotes it in the comments directly below his hatchet job of a "review." I didn't expect he or you would agree Vic. The book wasn't written for apologists like you. It was written for those rare believers out there who are willing to be honest with their faith.

Let me just highlight one thing I said:

No one should take any Christian apologist seriously who claims these two works of mine are shallow or intellectually lazy. This is empty rhetorical bullshit. It's the same kind of bullshit we would expect when an ex-Mormon or ex-Scientologist storms their gates with the truth. Yet, because of "reviews" like Marshall's most believers will not read them. You see, that's the REAL goal, and it works. The rank-and-file Christian trusts Marshall rather than me. After all, I'm just a lowly baby-eating atheist.

Heuristics said...

John: You get a critique against you of the type: "these two works ... are shallow or intellectually lazy".

Your response to that is to write a little bit of rhetoric? Do you not think that you show the criticism correct by doing so?

Why not highlight instead how you went in depth and went over every possible viewpoint of the question?

David B Marshall said...

William: Science (as generally understood, in the narrow sense) is a particular way of finding certain kinds of things out. How is that making "almost the same mistake" as conflating science and naturalism? A good scientist, or a good historian, philosopher, or gossip, can of course subscribe to many different beliefs.

David B Marshall said...

John: I never said you were "lowly." Now put down that child!

But I don't mind if people read your book, and also my chapter showing how, in its original, non-question-begging version, Christianity passes the OTF with flying colors, in four different ways. In fact, I'm pleased that you're resurreced my old argument (from Jesus and the Religions of Man), and lent it such interesting significance. I'm hoping to write more on this subject.

William said...

Marshall: Science is a systematic group of methods of learning about the world, which includes the empirical knowledge itself, the people who use them, and the institutions that organize much of it.

I dislike both John's attempt to appropriate the prestige of science to boost his naturalism and your apparently patronizing attitude toward its value because you seem to feel you have a closer connection to its historical origins.

Both views distort.

Why not just clarify the wording of that sentence in your writings?

David Marshall said...

William: What paragraph is that? I don't usually look things up by paragraph number, and I'm not quite sure where to look.

I'm actually rather fond of some branches of science. I just find Loftus' blind worship of it, as if it were more than a tool for finding certain kinds of things out, and his attack on me as a "science denier" so ludicrous, anything but a satirical response would seem out of place.

William said...

Needs revision for coherence and accurate use of words:

"
(l) Who said there was "epistemic parity?" Loftus simply shows again he does not really understand my argument at all. Science is an epistemology. Religion is not, but analogous to the grounds of all epistemologies (four steps of faith), and relies (like John's own Secular Humanism) on specific results from various kinds of testing...
"

David B Marshall said...

William: My point is that I am not claiming that "science" and "religion" or "faith" are comparable ways of finding things out, as Loftus seems to suggest. Science is a way of finding things out, pure and simple. Religion, by contrast, relies on or can be evaluated by means of all the various methods we have developed for learning things -- science, philosophy, history, and everyday methods like asking a friend what they saw, sticking your finger up in a breeze, or looking out the window. (Also, perhaps, on divine revelation, which like other methods of learning can be both a source of knowledge, and a source of claims that must be tested by other sources of knowledge.) When it comes to knowledge derived from the mind, senses, and other people, Christianity and Secular Humanism can be compared, but "science" and "religion" cannot: that would involve a category error.

Do you follow my point, now? Sorry for my obscure choice of words in that paragraph.

Morrison said...

The "Outsider" Test is a stacked deck.

Loftus clearly says that if anyone should pass it, then they did not understand it. (p. 8)

And he says that if you find any contraditions between the book and previous formulations of the test on his blog or in his other books, then he has simply "changed his mind" or is "expressing himself better".

Just So.

Longstreet said...

No one should take any Christian apologist seriously who claims these two works of mine are shallow or intellectually lazy. This is empty rhetorical bullshit. It's the same kind of bullshit we would expect when an ex-Mormon or ex-Scientologist storms their gates with the truth. Yet, because of "reviews" like Marshall's most believers will not read them. You see, that's the REAL goal, and it works. The rank-and-file Christian trusts Marshall rather than me.

LOL!. I don't think you or your writings are shallow and lazy because Marshall says so. I think you're shallow and intellectually lazy because I've been reading your crap from waaaay back in the day when you threatened over and over to leave Theology Web forever. You've left a trail of foolishness and sloppy thinking everywhere you've been.

Remember the time you reviewed your own book on Amazon? Or all the times you name-dropped Norman Geisler's recommendation of your first book? You never got around to mentioning WHY Geisler recommended it though, until you were called on it. Do the phrases "emotional reasons" and "high-school level" ring a bell?

How 'bout the time you sock-puppeted your own blog?

After all, I'm just a lowly baby-eating atheist.
Nah, you're just a worn-out joke. And you have no one to blame for that but yourself.

It was written for those rare believers out there who are willing to be honest with their faith.
Talk from you of honesty is rich. You're the one who became an atheist apologist because a bunch of Christians wouldn't give a hug and tell you it was okay that you cheated with a church co-worker.

Oh dear. I've poured gasoline on the flames of your passion.

LOL!

Papalinton said...

Morrison
"The "Outsider" Test is a stacked deck."

Oh! For Goodness Sake! The "Outsider" Test is a stacked deck in the same way that the Grand Theft Auto legal prima facie test is a stacked deck against people wanting to steal cars.

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