Monday, May 11, 2015

Organized Disrespect

John, do you actually read your combox? When I got into the David Wood discussion, I was called intellectually dishonest, a Liar-4-Jezus, and then we get this gem from Sir Russ:

You, Victor, are one of the people doing evil things due to religion. He said that I was one of the people who put meat on the bones of the claim that philosophy is dead.

And how about this one?

What did your PhD actually prepare you for? To ignore the world around you while you lie to perpetuate ignorance and superstition?

And he gets all sorts of applause when he says things like this? Some called it his finest work.

And you complain about Ilion???? I didn't think it was possible to make Ilion look like Miss Manners, but I see it done every day on Debunking Christianity.

And it's worse than this. This isn't an accident. You advocate ridicule, you support doing more than just criticizing religious arguments, you advocate philosophy departments taking philosophy of religion out of their curriculum. You don't want to criticize religious beliefs, you want them marginalized, so that if people hold them it's OK, so long as they shut up about it and keep it out of the public square.

This goes beyond not being nice. It is a programme, instigated by Dawkins in his TED speech in 2002, of what I call organized disrespect. All sorts of ridicule can be done in gentle and humorous ways which is not particularly offensive, and is not designed to express contempt.;  I even ridiculed myself with a Dennett Lexicon entry:

reppert v. To enhance the reputation of a popular apologist by "finding" sophisticated arguments in his writings. "Who are they going to reppert next, Francis Schaeffer, or Josh McDowell?"

But Dawkins (and you follow him on this) advocates "sharpening barbs so that they really hurt." It is ridicule designed as propaganda to persuade without real argumentation. It is an attitude that makes real and honest exploration of our religious disagreements an impossibility. This is not honest and passionate debate, this is the behavior of a schoolyard bully. And I think reasonable atheists should see it for what it is. In the course of honest debate, particularly where there is such passionate interest on both sides, people can lose their tempers and be rude. Or they can be trigger-happy in their charges of intellectual dishonesty. But this is a bridge further, and it needs to be identified for what it is. Christians should realize that in dealing with this sort of thing, that their opponents do NOT want to meet them fair and square on a level playing field.

44 comments:

cl said...

It is ridicule designed as propaganda to persuade without real argumentation.

Yes, yes, and YES! You absolutely friggen nailed it with this post, Vic. This happens precisely because folks like Loftus and Dawkins lack what it takes to really grapple with the arguments.

So they resort to insult and mockery, and win over high-school mentality converts like some of the ones you recently banned.

unkleE said...

Yes, I agree totally too. I am finding many atheists are so sure they are right that they don't even value evidence any more, their scorn is enough. (Fortunately these are by no means all atheists I meet.)

I guess my question, Vic, is why you continue to lock horns with John when he behaves this way? The atheist converted love that sort of behaviour, but everyone else can recognise rudeness and lack of evidence and argument when they see it. I wonder whether ignoring him until and unless he resorts to honest argument, mightn't be a better response?

Victor Reppert said...

I had to call out the obvious hypocrisy in his statements, and to show people on the fence what they really are.

Crude said...

And it's worse than this. This isn't an accident. You advocate ridicule, you support doing more than just criticizing religious arguments, you advocate philosophy departments taking philosophy of religion out of their curriculum. You don't want to criticize religious beliefs, you want them marginalized, so that if people hold them it's OK, so long as they shut up about it and keep it out of the public square.

Loftus doesn't even regard holding religious beliefs as 'OK'. He wants them eradicated in every way he can manage it.

And the best part? Loftus will head for the hills when he gets mocked, and then cry about how unfair it all is. He's not even a true militant, which is bad enough - he's a militant only when he can get away with it unscathed. Otherwise, he bolts.

Ilíon said...

VR: "John, do you actually read your combox? When I got into the David Wood discussion, I was called intellectually dishonest, a Liar-4-Jezus, and then we get this gem ...

And you complain about Ilion???? I didn't think it was possible to make Ilion look like Miss Manners, but I see it done every day on Debunking Christianity.
"

Surely, you've seen the new Geico commercial: "When you're an 'atheist', you lie. It's what you do."

Ilíon said...

Ilion's Brother: "I had to call out the obvious hypocrisy in his statements, and to show people on the fence what they really are."

Need I say more?

SRV said...

As an owner of Bershire Hathaway stock, I would love to see that Geico commercial.

Victor Reppert said...

I still make a sharp distinction between New Atheists and other atheists. I have had numerous fulfilling discussion with atheists all my adult life.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Said it before, saying it again: some people lack the insight and manners of a chat-bot.


http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/the-mgonz-test/

Ilíon said...

VR: "I still make a sharp distinction between New Atheists and other atheists."

The only meaningful between a "New Atheist" and "other atheists" is that the "New Atheist" don't even try to come across as honestly engaging the matter of the reality of God. The "old atheists" were no more intellectually honest, nor civil (as you guys like to go on and on about), than the "new" ... they just hid it better.

Consider two highly regarded old-style so-called atheists --

Consider Bertrand Russell and his Celestial Teapot -- while Russell was certainly a fool (as witness the Celestial Teapot pseudo-argument), he was no idiot, and he was no ignoramus: he knew full well that his Celestial Teapot pseudo-argument had nothing to do with anything Christianity (or Judaism) has ever said about anything, much less about God. He wasn't stupid, and he wasn't ignorant: he was intellectually dishonest.

Consider Anthony Flew and his Invisible Gardener -- same deal as with Russell, simply substitue his name and the name of his pseudo-argument.

And there is *nothing* respectful about employing intellectual dishonesty when one is pretending to argue about some matter.

VR: "I have had numerous fulfilling discussion with atheists all my adult life."

It rather depends upon what one means by "fulfilling discussion", doesn't it? But whatever precisely you mean, if the "discussion" touched upon God, then the so-called atheists' minimum prerequisite for the "discussion" even happening was that you implicitly or explicitly take the stance that The Question admits of no resolution.

You might as well have been having a chin-wag about the weather.

Victor Reppert said...

Somebody's conversations with Antony Flew must have done some good.

Ilíon said...

Not quite good enough, it seems to me. But God desires to redeem all men; so, one hopes that perhaps ceasing to shake one's fist at him is enough to get a person's name written in the Book of Life.

But, whatever good those conversations may have done, they weren't directly about God; there was enough space (so to speak) that Flew could participate without getting spooked. It took him decades -- during which time, how many souls were lost in direct consequence of his intellectual influence? (*) -- to finally admit that atheism cannot, even in principle, account for the world as it is and he himself as he was.

(*) Now, and of course, everyone of those lost souls made a deliberate choice to reject God, using Flew's "arguments" as cover. Still, how horrible it is to have helped others to destroy themselves.

DougJC said...

"It is ridicule designed as propaganda to persuade without real argumentation"

Well, let's go further. It's Holy War, a moral movement based on loyalty and oppression which employs the language of moral persuasion in the form of ridicule and other-condemning moral emotions such as contempt, anger and disgust. It's an ingroup/outgroup distinction of good -vs- evil. Dawkins/Loftus want you to know that you're not just wrong, you're bad to be wrong. The shame and the guilt of your wrongness is what's important, here, not the argument itself.

Okay, but fortunately theists never use other-condemning moral persuasion, right? No, Dawkins is obviously borrowing a fairly successful religious tactic and using it against religion.

Truth is, I can't see that it does any good to shame atheists or theists for using other-condemning moral persuasion if they truly see themselves as Holy Warriors. The best thing is to avoid them, ban them, fence them off.

Victor Reppert said...

Or just ignore them.

SRV said...

But God desires to redeem all men; so, one hopes that perhaps ceasing to shake one's fist at him is enough to get a person's name written in the Book of Life.

So, should I now call you "Brother" Ilion?

SRV said...

Now, and of course, everyone of those lost souls made a deliberate choice to reject God, using Flew's "arguments" as cover. Still, how horrible it is to have helped others to destroy themselves.

Yes! Think of those whose intuition tells them there is something more to life, something more than nature, something more than just blind material forces at work in the universe, but then along comes a Sean Carroll, or Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking or Dawkins or some other believer in the false religion of scientism, and tells them that no, science, physics, evolution, have proven beyond reasonable doubt that there is no God, no hope for an afterlife, no cosmic purpose to existence. If anyone deserves Hell, it not the murderer, or the rapist, or the thief, it those men.

SRV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Wilcox said...

To be honest, I don't see significant difference between Christians and atheists when it comes to demeaning, name-calling, and attacking of motives and character.

Just look at the history of the Christianity. Christians have spent the last 2000 years attacking not only non-Christians, but each other. Especially check out Calvinists, Luther and his followers, Roman Catholics. Whew.

In my own life, somehow I've managed to earn the ire of various Christian denominations as well as atheists. How lucky can you get;-)?

Who have been thoughtful, considerate, willing to listen and empathize, and opposed to intolerance and violence, yet hold their own view strongly?
A wide variety of individuals--some atheists, agnostics, Baha'i, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, a Christian Scientist, one Muslim, some Hindu, Buddhists...

Ilíon said...

I think I've linked to this before -- Two modes of intellectual discourse: Taking everything personally v. debate as sport

planks length said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
planks length said...

For a real taste of the level of atheistic (non)arguments, just take a look at Wizard Suth's comment at May 11, 2015 3:40 PM under the heading Do You Believe in Magic?, in which he compares Holy Scripture to a Spider Man comic book.

'Nuff Said. If the Wizard can't see the difference, he needs to go back to school - preferably to about the second grade, and acquire some reading (and thinking) skills.

And if he truly cannot see any difference, then there is no hope for him, and he needs to be ignored. Better yet, let us hope this first comment of his is also his last.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

For a real taste of the level of atheistic (non)arguments, just take a look at Wizard Suth's comment at May 11, 2015 3:40 PM under the heading Do You Believe in Magic?, in which he compares Holy Scripture to a Spider Man comic book.

Because, hey, it's like a totally valid conclusion to draw on the basis of such a non-representative, biased sample.

Or you could consult these scholarly resources if you're interested in applying the principle of philosophical charity:

LINK

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

To be honest, I don't see significant difference between Christians and atheists when it comes to demeaning, name-calling, and attacking of motives and character.

Ditto.

Crude said...

To be honest, I don't see significant difference between Christians and atheists when it comes to demeaning, name-calling, and attacking of motives and character.

Then it should be easy to find the prominent example of modern Christian leaders who publicly endorse Dawkins' brand of hate speech, and who are praised rather than criticized by other Christians for exactly that reason.

Let's see 'em.

Keep in mind, Dawkins and company set the bar high here. It wasn't just that they called someone names, or that he mocked and belittled anyone in an event. He explicitly endorsed mocking, belittling, humiliating and hurting people in public, for the purposes of scaring off and converting others. He and the other leadership endorsed flat out treating religious belief as a mental illness that should be cured by the state.

Given what you said, it should be trivial to find an example of a Pope doing exactly that. Perhaps Francis did it when I wasn't looking? PJP2, maybe? Or how about Benedict XVI? People loved to mock him.

Ilíon said...

Planks Length: "For a real taste of the level of atheistic (non)arguments, just take a look at Wizard Suth's comment at May 11, 2015 3:40 PM on the "Do You Believe in Magic?" thread, in which he compares Holy Scripture to a Spider Man comic book."

I haven't seen that one yet, though O have seen the one that starts "I have no interest in philosophical discussions that have no basis in or relation to reality. I only care about what is actually true, i.e. that which is consistent with reality."
Nevertheless, it was clear to me from his very first post -- which I expect that you and most others here whould have read as innocuous -- that this is his attitude.

B. Prokop said...

Back from Atlanta! (Boy, was it ever hot down there.)

Don't know where to post this comment - so much has happened on this site while I was gone. But THIS ARTICLE (apparently written by an atheist) is quite relevant to the discussion of Loftus belittling conversion stories. If I am correct about the author being an atheist (I'm not certain after scanning his blog), then he is an example of one of Victor's hoped-for "reasonable atheists" who are embarrassed by the gnus.

Sample quote from article: "Religious convictions, in many cases, are held not because they’re true but because they’re meaningful, because they’re personally transformative. New Atheists are blind to this brand of belief."

Jezu ufam tobie!

grodrigues said...

@B. Prokop:

I have only skimmed the article but my reaction is with "friends" like these, I much prefer the company of my enemies.

David Brightly said...

Yes, it's the mocking, belittling etc, for the purposes of scaring off that make it a political movement. Also, that it makes sense to refer to 'leaders' and, by contrast, 'party members'. This language is rarely, if ever, used of philosophical standpoints.

Ilíon said...

grodrigues: "... my reaction is with "friends" like these, I much prefer the company of my enemies."

As witness the sample quote B.Patonthehead provided: "Religious convictions, in many cases, are held not because they’re true but because they’re meaningful, because they’re personally transformative. New Atheists are blind to this brand of belief."

Such a "brand of belief" would be a brand of post-modernist "MY truth" bullshit, and would be contrary to the entire spirit and history of Christianity. It may be that play-acting "Buddhists" in LA can hold religious "convictions" not because they are true, but "because they’re meaningful, because they’re personally transformative". But Christianity demands a bit more rigor in this regard.

B. Prokop said...

Hey Ilion and Grodrigues,

Good grief, guys! I didn't say I agreed with the dope. I said (I hope) that here's an example of an atheist who has no patience for his gnu fellow non-believers.

Also, I thought his comment on religion being "personally transformative" was interesting, vis a vis Loftus's denial of such.

What most atheists (like im-a-blockhead) fail to realize, is that there is truth and there is Truth (and finally, there is "I am the Truth"). Two plus two equals four is certainly a truth, but there ain't no way it's going to change your life, give you the strength to throw away the bottle, or whatever personal demon you may have. "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth" is also a truth, but it actually rather resembles my math analogy in many ways. It may conceivably change people's lives, but usually only in concert with many other truths.

But then we come to "The Lord is my shepherd" and "I am the Good Shepherd", and kablam! we have not Truth to Power but Truth with Power. And that's what makes the atheist cower before Holy Scripture and insist it not be quoted in their presence, lest their rickety house of cards come tumbling down.

John W. Loftus said...

Hey Vic, what exactly is wrong with doing everything I can to disabuse Christians of their faith when I know that 1) their faith is terribly wrong, and 2) their faith is harmful for our future?

All one has to do is have the passion I do and share 1 and 2 above.

You don't like this? So noted. It's the same organized disrespect the Church has handed out to anyone who disagreed WITHOUT THE TORTURE AND VIOLENCE TO COMPEL BELIEF! Ours is based on knowledge plus persuasion, which includes--at times--ridicule, just as we ridicule the KKK and believers in Zeus.

Cheers.

Oh, and complaining about those who comment on my blog smacks of the "You Too" and the "guilt by association" fallacy

B. Prokop said...

The latest PEW survey on religion drives yet another nail into the coffin of the absurd claim that atheism is somehow a "default position". Turns out that while 1 in 5 individuals raised in a religious household become atheists as adults (still way too high a number), a whopping 50% of people raised by atheists eventually become believers once they leave their childhood homes.

Hmm... Seems to me that, if atheism were genuinely the default position, those numbers ought to be reversed.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Crude said...

Turns out that while 1 in 5 individuals raised in a religious household become atheists as adults (still way too high a number)

They become irreligious, which is damn different from atheist.

Crude said...

Loftus,

Hey Vic, what exactly is wrong with doing everything I can to disabuse Christians of their faith when I know that 1) their faith is terribly wrong

Except you don't know that at all, and your track record with argumentation is by all measures pretty damn sad. In fact, the only thing you know - or should know - is that you made a serious economic mistake trying to become the world's next Richard Dawkins. Hell, you're not even going to be the world's next PZ Myers, and his star is already falling like a rock.

2) their faith is harmful for our future?

Not only do you not know this, but all evidence speaks against it. You'd think you would have realized that after seeing atheists turning on each other with the same ichor they all thought, once upon a naive time, was reserved for Christians alone.

It's the same organized disrespect the Church has handed out to anyone who disagreed WITHOUT THE TORTURE AND VIOLENCE TO COMPEL BELIEF!

Riiiiiight.

This country has existed for centuries, absolutely dominated by Christians until near recently, without that happening in any meaningful way. Meanwhile, the entirety of the history of formally atheist governments is one of mass murder, torture, and torment.

In your defense, I think Victor is wrong to accuse you of organized disrespect - because, to be frank, you don't have many people to organize. You're in the ghetto of internet atheists, and that's where you'll remain the rest of your life.

That, my friend, is a fact.

Oh, and complaining about those who comment on my blog smacks of the "You Too" and the "guilt by association" fallacy

No, you joke. The claim is that you whine like crazy when people mock and belittle you, squealing about how unfair it is - yet you endorse using those tools shamelessly.

I'd say you're a guy who can dish it out yet can't take it, but you can't even dish it out all that well. Hence you losing every debate you've ever taken part in. Hell, you got rolled by Randal effing Rauser, the liberal Care Bear of Christianity.

Now, run away back to your ghetto to lick your rhetorical wounds. Oh but wait, first say 'I'm done with this thread' no less than five times, each time posting again. You may be a mediocrity, but at least you're predictable.

B. Prokop said...

"They become irreligious, which is damn different from atheist."

Correct. Incredibly sloppy on my part. Apologies.

Victor Reppert said...

No John. If I believe that faith is right, and that it is beneficial to the future of those who believe, there are still certain things that I ought not to do to promote it. I follow Lactantius on this:

"Religion being a matter of the will, it cannot be forced on anyone; in this matter it is better to employ words than blows [verbis melius quam verberibus res agenda est]. Of what use is cruelty? What has the rack to do with piety? Surely there is no connection between truth and violence, between justice and cruelty . . . . It is true that nothing is so important as religion, and one must defend it at any cost [summa vi] . . . It is true that it must be protected, but by dying for it, not by killing others; by long-suffering, not by violence; by faith, not by crime. If you attempt to defend religion with bloodshed and torture, what you do is not defense, but desecration and insult. For nothing is so intrinsically a matter of free will as religion. (Divine Institutes V:20)"

Yes, I am saying you too. I am saying that Christians have the same reasons for not going onto your site as "thoughtful atheists" might have for going onto mine. Only, in my estimation, it's far worse, because the disrespect is a strategy, and the ad hominems are far worse.

You can debate and discuss, or you can use other means. But debate and discussion involve following certain rules, in particular, the principle of charity. So some people can debate and discuss, and some people can ridicule, but they don't mix, if not in theory at least in practice, because argument requires the principle of charity and ridicule precludes it.

John W. Loftus said...

Besides what I think of of Christianity's largely unevidenced and harmful faith Vic, we agree that violence should not be used to coerce assent. I accept that you reject violence. You need to accept that I do too. I wrote a blurb for Ronald A. Lindsay's excellent book, The Necessity of Secularism: Why God Can't Tell Us What to Do, which should settle that question about me, since he eschews violence in promoting secularism.

Now if you wish to compare me to Lowder go ahead, but he is not making the same impact that I am, and you know it. The reason you mention him is because he fails to understand the same things you do about the use of ridicule in our cultural wars. I defend the use of ridicule, yes. It's ignorant NOT to do so, as I've argued right here (see also the tag "Ridicule" below that post). My guess is that Lowder just doesn't fully accept 1 and 2 above. He's wrong about THAT too! And unlike Lowder I think genuine inquiry begins the day people reject faith-based answers, not before. Until inquirers do this they fail to have a reliable method for knowing the truth about existence, the nature of nature, or which religion is true if there is one.

This is all a bit funny to me though. There are always people on your side of an issue you wish were on the other side. And since those people exist, you love to mention them when it suits you, including people like Thomas Nagel (how many times have you quoted him in the last two months?), Nietzsche, Camus, and Sartre. In case you missed it, there is a second wave of atheists following in the wake of the so-called New Atheists who are doing the heavy lifting in arguing against religion. You should pay attention. And given that 25% of “millennial” Americans are atheists, agnostics, or don’t see religion as personally important you and your colleagues are failing as apologists.

As far as the "You Too" goes, all I was saying is that if you want a more reasonable debate you should consider banning Crude and Ilion. Just look at what Crude said above, which is nothing more than a personal attack on me. As far as what I do in my house, that's my house. Like you, I don't want to ban people. I don't think it's worse on my site though, even with my justification of ridicule. But that's the way I see it, and that's the nature beast we must work through if we're to have an intelligent debate. And I do reason with you. You cannot say I don't. I reason with Christians in general. But I ignore people here. You should ignore whoever you wish to ignore on my site too.

Crude said...

Loftus,

Besides what I think of of Christianity's largely unevidenced and harmful faith Vic, we agree that violence should not be used to coerce assent.

What you also need to do is owe up to the fact that A) the Christian track record of 'using violence to coerce assent' is pretty damn good in the US, and B) the atheist track record of 'using violence to coerce assent' is wretched on the whole. As it stands, you can't even bring yourself to owe up to its history, which is as clear as day.

Now if you wish to compare me to Lowder go ahead, but he is not making the same impact that I am, and you know it.

John, you're not making much of an impact at all, and you know it. The New Atheism wave came and went, and you simply weren't part of it - your impact amounts to a footnote in an entry about Myers, who was always at best a distant internet-only third to Dawkins.

I defend the use of ridicule, yes.

See, this is the problem. You defend the use of ridicule - against everyone but you. When -you- are ridiculed, suddenly it's a terrible, horrible thing that no one should tolerate, and you're leaving until it stops.

That's called 'being a tremendous hypocrite', John.

In case you missed it, there is a second wave of atheists following in the wake of the so-called New Atheists who are doing the heavy lifting in arguing against religion.

What you're saying here is 'Well I was pretty much unknown before the New Atheism. I was utterly ignored during New Atheism. But just you wait, now there's something major coming and I'm going to be part of THAT one! Just you wait and see!'

But... you're not. There's not even much of a second wave, and they're certainly not doing any heavy-lifting in any intellectual sense. There are, at best, politically active irreligious, who typically abandon intellectual discourse altogether. And you're not part of THAT group either in any meaningful way.

And given that 25% of “millennial” Americans are atheists, agnostics, or don’t see religion as personally important

Given that atheism has already split into the 'Atheist+' faction and the 'Anti-SJW Atheists' factions, do you realize that you've hit a point where even being an 'atheist' doesn't mean you get support from the atheist community - which as always, is a small subset of the 'non-religious' community?

Just look at what Crude said above, which is nothing more than a personal attack on me.

Actually, John, it's a statement of facts, a portion of the mockery you green-light against Victor, and answering your claims while pointing out your hypocrisy. Like this:

And I do reason with you. You cannot say I don't. I reason with Christians in general. But I ignore people here. You should ignore whoever you wish to ignore on my site too.

'You just just ignore people like I do, Victor. Except I keep stamping my feet saying I won't come here if Crude and others remain, because they use ridicule against me. Which I think is totally fine on my site. I'm not a hypocrite!'

And actually, no, you don't reason with Christians in general. You ridicule them in general. You beg them to talk about your book, and when they point out the tremendous flaws, you attack them personally.

Do you think your patterns are not obvious?

B. Prokop said...

Aw, Crude...

Now you've most likely gone and scared him away! And just when things were starting to get interesting. He's probably "unsubscribed" by now.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Then it should be easy to find the prominent example of modern Christian leaders who publicly endorse Dawkins' brand of hate speech, and who are praised rather than criticized by other Christians for exactly that reason.

This strikes me as an uncharitable reply to Daniel Wilcox. First, I took Wilcox's statement to be about the average Christian vs. the average atheist. That is the interpretation I had when I wrote "Ditto."

Second, a person does not have to "who publicly endorse Dawkins' brand of hate speech" in order for it to be true that there is no "significant difference between Christians and atheists when it comes to demeaning, name-calling, and attacking of motives and character." There are plenty of other ways to demean, call names, and attach the motives and character of atheists. I've lost count of the number of times a theist (almost always a Christian) quotes the Psalms to justify calling atheists "fools" or quoted the Apostle Paul, writing in Romans 1, to argue that *all* atheists suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

John Loftus wrote:

Hey Vic, what exactly is wrong with doing everything I can to disabuse Christians of their faith when I know that 1) their faith is terribly wrong, and 2) their faith is harmful for our future?

And then later wrote:

Now if you wish to compare me to Lowder go ahead, but he is not making the same impact that I am, and you know it. The reason you mention him is because he fails to understand the same things you do about the use of ridicule in our cultural wars. I defend the use of ridicule, yes. It's ignorant NOT to do so, as I've argued right here (see also the tag "Ridicule" below that post). My guess is that Lowder just doesn't fully accept 1 and 2 above. He's wrong about THAT too!

Regarding 1, I have no idea why you think I don't "fully accept" it. As for 2, I haven't done the sort of detailed study of the benefits and harms of religion in general (and Christianity in particular) to have an informed opinion yet. My focus is on whether its true, not whether it is harmful or beneficial.

And unlike Lowder I think genuine inquiry begins the day people reject faith-based answers, not before. Until inquirers do this they fail to have a reliable method for knowing the truth about existence, the nature of nature, or which religion is true if there is one.

What on earth are you talking about? Where have I written that "genuine inquiry does or does not begin on the day people reject faith-based answers"?

Most important, what does any of this have to do with what Dr. Reppert wrote in his post? The only reason my name even came up in this conversation is because Dr Reppert wrote this:

Unlikes Jeff Lowder, You are in no position to lecture people on my site for their manners.

What does my position on genuine inquiry have to do with Dr. Reppert's statement quoted above? Are you suggesting that because Christianity is both false and harmful (including the alleged fact that it precludes genuine inquiry), that your alleged lack of manners are justified because it's justifiable to do whatever it takes in order to get people to leave the faith?

B. Prokop said...

"Are you [Loftus] suggesting that ... your alleged lack of manners are justified because it's justifiable to do whatever it takes in order to get people to leave the faith?"

He does more than suggest this - he trumpets it. Loftus is on record as not just defending, but actively calling for ridicule and the abandonment of good manners. And there's no "alleged" about it. Surely you've been to his website. It resembles nothing so much as Der Stürmer, with Christians taking the place of Jews.

Jeffery, I'm sorry if you've even been accused of being a "fool" on account of your atheism by some fool of a Christian misquoting the 14th Psalm. All that accomplishes is to show how ignorant the insulter is about his own scriptures. Psalm 14 is not in the least bit directed against atheists, but rather against the wicked. The psalmist is taking note of the fact that a wicked person will comfort himself with the thought that there will be no retribution for his evil deeds, and that is what earns him the name "fool".

"The fool hath said..."

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Jeffery, I'm sorry if you've even been accused of being a "fool" on account of your atheism by some fool of a Christian misquoting the 14th Psalm.

Thanks.

B. Prokop said...

Damned typos! That should have read "ever been accused" - not "even".