Wednesday, December 23, 2009
There's also another thing to keep in mind: How one applies these statements and whether or not they choose to make generalizations which make reflect badly on one's self. For instance:
When I went to Bible College I was not educated. I was indoctrinated. While other believers will protest that their Christian college was different, I wonder if that's true. In order to test this let me explain my experience, compare it with what a good education is, and see what you think. Okay? (emphasis added).
Hmm...John's point is a valid one, up onto the impression that John somehow broke free from this indoctrination. Well, the man has three masters degrees, so how did he obtain these if by earning his "bachelors" he was indoctrinated to begin with?
I sense a logical loophole here. John will push his fans and critics towards anything that gives him credibility, and while doing so, he is not hesitant to use his Bible College "education". Apparently John did not only obtain his bachelors through indoctrination, he also managed to pull off a masters in theology.
What does John mean by "Bible College" anyways? If a Bible-based education (which is far from an education in my personal opinion) is so bad, then why advertise a degree in theological study?
Many atheists across the board have argued that theology is essentially a form of baseless indoctrination. It cannot be substantiated like science, and for that matter is deificient in providing concrete answers for many of its core values and assumptions (and these vary depending on specific religions).
John's obsessive compulsiveness never ceases to fail expectations. Another tale of a close Christian friend props itself which is then soon followed by a *cough* self-recommendation (via Dan Lambert) of his book *yawn*.
Dan is forcing his students to think through my book. Some of them come from Bible thumping backgrounds and are a bit annoyed by it. At the end of his classes he schedules a conference call with me answering questions from his students. Many of them are a bit nervous about that part of the class because they picture themselves talking to Satan, or something like that. But afterward they realize I'm just a human being and even a bit funny. Most Christians stay inside the conclaves of church circles and never meet or talk with a known atheist. It's eye-opening to them. They can no longer demonize me.
Yes, it is no surprise to some that many Christians are extremely close-minded. Many of them do not willingly cross the boundaries of faith and venture into alternatives which might give them an advantage in how they deal with criticisms and or would mold their faith perceptions or...dencovert them to atheists.
Someone can prove me wrong if they dare, but I'd say I am fairly self-consistent on matters of ideologies. For me, it isn't about whether someone "converts" or "deconverts", but if they are in fact of a sound mind.
At Lincoln Christian Seminary it was different, of course, and I wrote about that experience in my book. But by that time with the indoctrination I received from Great Lakes Christian College I was aligned with my conservative denomination on most points of doctrine, and I was never asked to seriously question my faith.
And it still remains that the transition from indoctrination to education is a tough one to make out.
Let's make sense out of this: John argues against the gospel's validity concerning supernatural phenomena supposedly "witnessed" by Jesus' disciples. John's background is one he admits of indoctrination. Is John not committing some sort of pothole for himself when he uses these personal arguments to deconvert others?
What would be the point in writing such a book if not to deconvert? Or, how can John expect to educate others when he blindly appeals to his personal experiences, and dismisses the experiences of the disciples?
As I have said before, if a Christian reads through my book and his faith is strengthened then it did him no harm. In fact, it did him good. If however, reading through it destroys his faith, then that faith was not worth having in the first place.
So by his own admission, John's faith was not worth holding in the first place (after all, communal rejection is not good enough reason for rejecting a belief system; this is similar in nature to holding guns responsible for murders where firearms where employed). Which, by the reasoning of anti-religious atheists, should put John in a state of compromise about his intellectual depth. By his own admission, John confesses that his faith was emotionally based, not reasonably based. All the more to ponder why such an individual would be qualified to instruct on such issues to begin with.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
My goodness. Three masters and yet as stupid as one of today's preteens. But let's see, what valid points does John make here?
The Internet: Oops, no, sorry...John is as wrong as a fish without a fishbowl. Unless you interpret this "great impact" of the net as dumbing down the communication skills of preteens and Jonas Brother fans into texting abbreviations and slang.
Music: Yes, it has changed but not for the better. Today's music is overrun with rap (crap) and when it just couldn't get any worse it does: with the magic of auto-tune! So not only do you have music which is predominantly materalistic in an already overwhelmingly materialistic culture, but you also have that same music transformed into an atrocious noise which sounds like a suppository is being rammed up a robot's ass.
Movies: Today's movies are either all action no plot, all gore but no point, and all the same recycled, redone, remade version of a classical movie which contained the two former.
Video games: No big changes here. Video games are still as violent as before but with better graphical details.
Just yesterday a young friend told me that in a newly released very popular video game players are shocked to find on the last level they must kill the Pope! ;-) Hint: This game! Is that not the hoot? Also, the movie The Invention of Lying contains an atheist message. Robert Price has even argued that the changing morals of the younger generation will be the undoing of evangelicalism, seen here.
And popular films such as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have Christian messages to them because they were both written by Christian authors.
And let's just quickly examine recent events concerning the "changing morals of the younger generation":
That is to say, if they have really changed (which I'm not saying they haven't).
What other signs have you detected? There are plenty others.
One sign of detection concerning you John is that you have clearly confused correlation with causation.
Once more from the words of George Carlin (3:01)
Good day to you sir.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
My goal was to overwhelm the believer. I learned this from my mentor James Strauss at Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, IL. He did this to his Seminary students. The syllabi he handed out for each one of his classes were sometimes books in and of themselves. They included extensive bibliographies. Sometimes they were annotated bibliographies. In his classes he was able to remember and refer to these works quite fluently, and he expected us to get many of them for his classes. We were overwhelmed by him and his arguments because of his wide ranging knowledge of the relevant literature.
There's something ironic and pathetic about this expressed methodology by John.
1) It is clear from this that John himself was "overwhelmed" by work at seminary. As we've noted more than once here, John's mental horsepower is mostly aptly described in terms of a hobby horse.
2) It is also clear why John got his backside plastered at places like TWeb, where folks like me and many others do NOT find such work "overwhelming". In fact, this is a lot like Farrell Till used to do when he tried to overload people with rhetoric. John does it a little differently: He tries to overload his opponent with data -- which he hasn't even bothered to sift through or understand himself, which is why he's always lost when you have an elephant to hurl back at him.
In fact, he as much admits he's just parroting things without any real understanding:
Besides, since in order to overwhelm the believer I had to question every key belief of Christianity, my problem was that as a mere mortal I could not have a scholar's grasp on every topic in it. Science is actually my weakest area, especially the creation/evolution debate. So sometimes I merely refer believers to what scholars in their respective fields of research have argued. No one can have a scholars grasp of God and the universe using the disciplines of science, philosophy, theology, ethics, history, the Bible, and apologetics. No one. So I constantly refer my readers to the scholars who argue my case for me.
So in other words, even if John hasn't got the slightest idea what all this vain babble he plasters around means, he'll use it anyway, just to try to "overwhelm" his Christian readers. Now that's honesty in a can for you.
Little wonder he runs like a little girl from TWeb. We've known this about him since the first week he got there.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Membership rates are:
Full Membership: $65.00
Student Membership: $25.00
Associate Membership: $45.00
What are the benefits? Vendor and online retailer discounts.
How does one join? By providing their first and last name/e-mail address and creating a password for their SBL account.
Therefore membership with AAA (I do indeed fit into this category) would make one a certified auto mechanic. It's sixty or seventy bucks annually, you know. But you get benefits on basically everything. It's got to be for something merit-based.
OR John thinks that spending a few bucks to join a club is what gives his life meaning. He "belongs" to a community, and he has to, as it would be impossible for him to do otherwise and not get the recognition he believes he so deserves.
Maybe in John's world, money really can buy everything.
Could it be?
Friday, October 30, 2009
HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Debunking Loftus.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Not for John it isn't. He'll crucify you just for pointing out the error of his ways. But we are now at a point in time where John's reactionary status is only good for "entertainment value" as Holding once put it. And what could possibly be the latest you ask? Well...
Turns out John has been "reporting" some of our pages and posts here to make a point to all Christians apologists that JPH should simply be "ignored" and is not to be taken seriously. Within the past month or more, Loftus wanted to garner support for his anti-Holding rantings. He just doesn't insist on ever quiting, does he? Now when he knows that his control of this blog is at a minimum to non-existant degree, he tries other methods to throw us out of the sandbox for good. I truly and sincerely believe he's out to crush our morale. Tisk, tisk, I say. John's lack of warfare tactics will leave him crippled and disabled and helpless in the end. Just watch and see what we do. We dare you, John.
If you have followed the countless times we've been on John's trail, you already know that if you smell a strange scent abrewing, it's probably because John is a complete skunk. Not the cute Loony Tunes type either, although he may be loony.
Being that that's the case and in the event that you agree wholeheartedly, then we don't need to mention or cite examples of where this is the case. Therefore, you probably have also acknowledged that John's moral radar is badly damaged. Here's just a brief list of the absurdities John has tried to rationalize and justify:
1) The creation of a false blog account, and soliciting it to his readers who were not made aware of its falsehood, in order to rally forces against Holding (Response: "Technically I didn't lie. Prove to me that I did.")
2) Making a posting at the time of his 55th birthday making light of an individual's possible mental defect, and thinking nothing of it except that the person in question, who was taped signing in front of his congregation, was a poor-quality singer.
3) Publicly expressing himself in an insubordinate manner to theme-park employees who were simply doing their job, AND must abide by guidelines established by the park's owners and managers. This was more than likely a juvenile publicity stunt that would later give John bragging rights, but in reality demonstrate how simple minded he just really is.
4) Having the notoriety of making outlandish blog entries, whether out of pure anger or mindnumbing stupidity, and when called out on those, chooses to get rid of their proof of existence FOREVER (however, Dumbass John clearly can't see that many of these deleted pages are quickly 'Cached' and can be viewed by the public even after they've been removed).
5) Taking advantage of his fellow contributing authors, respecting them only in the sense that they help put ink on the pages to his books.
John is the Good Samaritan, now isn't he? So let's experiment. How about we get into contact with John's official publisher, Prometheus Books?
There's the link to their contact form. Be sure to give them your full name and e-mail address so that they can respond and it will eventually get to you. Don't worry about providing your P.O. box number or your physical home address, that won't be neccessary, and these people have allot of time on their hands producing the materials that go into making copies of John's books. Let John know we care by letting them in on his credibility and revered social reputation. He'll thank you for it.
And John, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak on your behalf. :D
Thursday, October 22, 2009
As always, John makes the fundamental error that our like are concerned with ceasing his production of books and the modification of his arguments. It goes without saying he clearly has missed the point. Our concern is getting to the meat of the issues he discusses, his honest integrity, and how he deals with other individuals in the online world. I could give a rat's ass on how many books John has authored or intends to author. This only becomes relevant if he is trying to downplay others to make himself look good, like in the example of *cough* William Lane Craig.
John has a new upcoming book entitled The Christian Delusion which will be released sometime in April of 2010. We may of course take the trouble in pointing out that the title for the book is probably based off of Richard Dawkins' bestseller The God Delusion, but that contention is another matter entirely. What needs to be recognized is how strange it is that prior to The Christian Delusion having been released, John is already in the mood for another book. And...why?
By John W. Loftus at 10/22/2009 There are a few unnamed Christian wannabe apologists out there who viciously attacked me when I first came online before starting this Blog. I was repeatedly told I was stupid, ignorant, and even brain-dead in so many ways it took me by surprise. I was lied about and verbally maligned with everything I said. The treatment I received from them was absolutely appalling. In fact, they still do that to me. But all I just wanted to do originally was to reasonably discuss the issues that separate us. I did not set out to debunk Christianity. I merely wanted to find a place to discuss the issues in a respectful atmosphere.
Oh...that's right. John is upset. Again. *Yawn.*
For reference purposes, I will continually point readers in the direction of the chapter I wrote for The Cowboy Who Wasn't There just so people know the truth about John's B.S.
Had they done this I'm almost certain I would not have started this Blog and I would not have become so passionate about debunking the very faith they use to justify their treatment of me. If you want to motivate me call me stupid. I told them that doing so was like pouring gas on the fires of my passion but they laughed some more. Even now they still laugh. I dare say that they would've lit the fires that burned me at the stake in a previous generation. So I got to thinking about the people who died so that I have the freedom to speak out, and I dedicated my life to making sure I did not trample on their blood by not doing so. I also realized that since I had the means to effectively argue against the Christian faith I could not simply walk away from what I've learned without also sharing it with others who can benefit from it. So there is no turning back.
Although I'm not particularly impressed by these statements, I think I might be becoming a little worried over them. John's bursts of anger are almost comparable to the anger held by Eric Harris and Dylan Kebloid of Columbine High and the Asian man that had killed 32 students at Virginia Tech back in 2007. I'm serious. Who else but a psychologically deranged man would use figurative language in the context of gasoline building upon a flaming heap of rage?
It would be ludicrous to imply that John wants to go out and kill random and innocent people. But what exactly does he want to accomplish, and how does he plan on going about it to accomplish what he wants? Seung Hui Cho, the 23 year old who was responsible for the Virginia Tech murders, wrote a paper for an English class which described a fictional teenager attempting to shove a banana bar through the throat of his sexually abusive stepfather.
Clearly these murderers were about as whacked out as you can possibly get. Survivors of the Virginia Tech massacre have revealed that Hui Cho was not bullied or intimidated in the slightest. Yet he killed. He did what he had threatened to do. Would you be convinced of the sincerity in this man's face when he videotaped himself making these threats (?):
Notice how similar the language is: "I didn't have to do this. I could have left. I could have fled. But no. I will no longer run." (1:27-1:35). Would you take this person seriously? But he was very serious, mind you. He meant every word. He was so self-absorbed he saw himself as a victim. He made himself a victim. And in the end, he made others victims. Everyone else was the enemy. There were aggressive factors involved which didn't exist. Could the same, to a lesser extent, be true in John's case?
I'm not done yet. I'm editing another book.
Given that you're motive is so incredibly simplistic, I don't expect that the topic content will vary that much or differentiate itself from your previous works. We can only imagine what the next book could possibly be about.
Arguing With Online Apologists: Responses to the Criticisms of the Outsider's Test for Faith and Debunking Christianity
While I am just now in the beginning stages and even though some things might change, several authors have agreed to write chapters for it, for which I am honored and excited, including: Richard Carrier, David Eller, Taner Edis, Ken Pulliam, Keith Parsons, Matt McCormick, Valerie Tarico, Jim Linville, and still others. It'll be good, I promise.
I'm happy that they have so much important things to do like help you mass produce books, John! I think we could probably name about most of these guys as authors to your previous upcoming book, yes?
But in the midst of this all, does John not go against his principle of ignoring "sewer rats" and "trolls"? Does he not end up giving us more popularity and recognition when he does not set out to do this? Wouldn't this be in the same exact sense as John thanking us for creating a blog that uses his name?
It's a shame that there isn't a psychiatric test which measures hypocrisy.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
- ApologiaPhoenix on TheologyWeb
Poor John Loftus. Here he just posted a poll where he declares I can be "safely ignored," and what does he go and do?
He goes and gives me even more positive attention.
Here's the setup. In a recent post, Loftus brags about how Ian Boyne of "The Jamaica Gleaner" thinks the atheists are winning the debate war:
I must confess that I find many Christian attempts to rebut criticisms of Christianity pathetically weak and disappointing. I generally find that the atheists and agnostics argue much more soundly and are more intellectually rigorous. I find that the atheists, and especially the agnostics, ponder things more deeply and more profoundly than believers and that they are usually more sophisticated and nuanced in their analyses.
We can debate Boyne's assessment, but there's a point to be made here. John was so excited about this comment that he apparently forgot to read further down (emphasis added):
I think I have read the best of the atheists and agnostics and the best of the theists, and I generally find the former far more intellectually engaging.So when I recommend some Christian thinkers, take me seriously. For while, in my view, the Christian philosophers, theologians and apologists are outclassed by the unbelievers in terms of intellectual rigour argumentation, there are some very serious believers who are very sharp and who meaningfully engage the sceptics.
On the internet, for example, if you go to Christian Think-Tank, you will find highly reasoned, seriously-researched essays dealing with many critical questions about the Bible. Bothered by texts seemingly to justify slavery and genocide? Bothered by texts from the Old Testament which seem to have antiquated and repugnant social law and customs? Shocked by the ethical practices of the Old Testament particularly? Go to that site. There you will find the best scholarship on these matters. These fellows really engage in high-quality apologetics and unlike many apologists they take sceptics' questions seriously and really engage them.
Another excellent site which keeps abreast of every sceptical piece of writing, every atheistic and agnostic scholar or popular writer and which seeks to debunk them is Textron Evaluation and Apologetics Ministry. Bart Ehrman, who is the leading and most-quoted biblical scholar who attacks the authenticity of Scripture, is challenged seriously by these apologists who take him to task over what they term his sloppy scholarship.
Now of course, either Boyne or his spell check got the name wrong (he also called Loftus "John Lotus") but clearly, this is props for my very own ministry here. So I'd like to say, thanks, John! I can now add your endorsement to those from Strobel, Geisler, Eddy and Boyd, etc. and it'll look great on the bottom of my resume'.
You know, sort of the same way you think Geisler recommended YOUR book, right?
Friday, October 16, 2009
What Do You Think of JP Holding?Sure I slanted the poll by how I phrased the questions, but I did give people the option to vote positively if they wanted to. Of the people who know him 81% don't think he's important enough to engage (from 1-3), while 56% of this same grouping think he's a total embarrassment to the faith he seeks to defend. Still an additional 46% of the people who voted don't even know he exists (from 4). Add them together and that means nearly 90% of the people interested in the God-hypothesis don't know him or care to hear about him (from 1-4). That's why I usually ignore him, because if we subtract the 25-30 votes from his ignorant Christian friends who cannot think for themselves who voted for him (from 1, and come on, that is the only reasonable explanation for many of these votes since only ignorant Christian friends who do not know of Swinburne, Plantinga, Craig, Copan, Moreland, and others, would vote that way), then he can be safely ignored. He is no threat to skepticism. My goal is to marginalize him, and I will.
1) One of the best apologists around (I’m an ignorant Christian) 47 (10%)
2) An average dime-a-dozen wannabe apologist 59 (13%)
3) An obnoxious hack who is an embarrassment to Christianity 137 (30%)
4) I don’t know of him 207 (46%)
That is, until he becomes better educated and also comes up to the adult world of respectful discourse.
Consider this: John admits to slanting the questions in order to produce presupposed answers, and based on this fact now argues that the voting participants deliberately and purposefully voted against JP. We ask you rational people, is this an honest inquiry or is it meant to personally attack and demean?
Monday, October 5, 2009
Readers: Is there anything peculiar about this(???):
What do you think of JP Holding?
One of the best apologists around (I’m an ignorant Christian)
An average dime-a-dozen wannabe apologist
An obnoxious hack who is an embarrasment to Christianity
I don’t know of him
This poll literally came out of nowhere. The last post prior to the poll was this.
In fact, it was only a couple of days ago this week where John added a little intro tidbit into one of his latest here. That particular tidbit reads:
I have usually ignored JP Holding for the most part this past year or so and I was just wondering what people thought of him. Check out the following redated post and the poll to the right in the sidebar. Until he comes out of the sewer and up to the adult civilized world of discourse my plan is to ignore him. I call on both Christians and skeptics to do likewise.
Hmm...that's....odd, to say the least. What did Holding do this time to upset John?
Is it this post right here? http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=132208
Funny that post is a result of John's own stupidity. JP is only guilty of posting the thread documenting his idiocy. It's not JP's fault that John is a total asshat.
In response to the poll, Holding posted a parody comeback on TWeb here: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=132677
And so it is in these regards John thinks it's appropriate to bring up Holding's name, for the millionth time.
John's followers seem to be too stupid to figure it out for themselves: Why would Loftus make a spontaneous poll about JPH and then argue that if Holding somehow doesn't change his ways, he's going to be put on "ignore" (something Loftus has said countless times)? Furthermore, why would we CARE??? John isn't and has never been that important. Anyone who thinks that Holding does it just to get Loftus' "attention" is just about as deranged and deluded as Loftus is himself.
What's clear is that John suffers from delusions of grandeur, or delusions of an exceedingly high and undeserved status of significance and worth. But his followers keep lapping it up. They are oblivious to the patterns of behavior. There is simply no good reason that Loftus should have posted the poll in the first place other than Loftus' inability to deal with his own shortcomings when they are made explicit by someone else.
What's the difference between what us TWebbers say and do to what John says and does? The answer: We don't claim to ignore anything John has said or continually says. This blog wouldn't be here if our main objective was to ignore him. It's here to point out what should be obvious to the general public, but the gene pool has determined otherwise. The only claim ever made by this site which even remotely reflects what John has said is in offering civil discussion and debunking the claims coming from the other side. But everything else is a matter of words and actions, and how well the two line up with each other.
John complains about the superstitiousness of modern-day people, and yet his followers don't know or even want to willingly consider the lies and half-truths that John has thrown out to the world under the guise of free speech and civility. He really is just as bad as the Pat Robertson types, and about as intelligent. I would suspect that these claims would eventually end their cycles of repetitiveness and redundancy, but it's best to realize that John is a broken record. We should expect more of these instances to come in the future and we should also expect that John will blame his own faults on what Holding has to say or what he has done in the past. This is just standard Loftus-protocol.
Recently Mike Huckabee (trust me when I say that I would not normally quote this man) said the following on his show:
"You know it's foolish for us to act as though our point of view makes us always right and the other guy always wrong. Having different views is a good thing. But having different standards is not. If something is right, it's right. And if it's wrong, it's just wrong. Diversity is a good thing, but duplicity is not."
The primary error in John's thinking is that this blog is going to disappear and vanish long before Debunking Christianity actually "closes shop" for real. But the truth is is that even after Debunking Christianity goes bye bye for good, we will still be here.
So John, it's time for you to accept the fact that you're not that special. Deal with it.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
1:28 "Even bad people don't need to suffer as much as they do." Why? And what specifically here are we defining as "suffering"? If good people suffer too much, why should bad people suffer less???
One such example of a "bad person" that comes to mind would be in the case of serial killer and well-known cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. During his killing spree, Dahmer is known to have lured young homosexual men into his apartment complex, drug them, mutiliate them, and then dump their limbs into a tub of acid or refrigerate them for later consumption. In the year of 1994, while Dahmer was in prison, he was murdered by one of his fellow inmates as he took a swing at Dahmer's temple with a large freeweight. The man who killed Dahmer claimed it was God who had been giving him direct and specific orders. But that's beside the point. What really matters here is how you go about comparing the fact that Dahmer cannibalized his unsuspecting victims to his own murder at the hand of a dumbbell. Did Dahmer suffer too much, Mr. Loftus?
5:59 John Loftus on The Passion of The Christ: "The film itself was...uh...brutal...uh...I could not reconcile how any person would deserve that kind of punishment for ANYTHING that they did. Even my worst enemy (and I had one at the time). I would NEVER wish that upon her [presumably Linda the stripper]. I would never wish that upon anybody which was so gruesome. I thought to myself 'That's ignorance.'" Ignorance? Maybe I'm ignorant for failing to understand why this is the case. Or is John ignorant for failing to understand the purpose and function of Roman crucifixion? Indeed by modern standards, crucifixion and flagellation are primitive standards of punishment and carrying out justice, based on primitive standards of criminal criteria. But this is also a somewhat ethnocentric projection of Western society and values. The standards held by other distant and foreign nations of the past are what was simply acknowledged and understood by the general populace at the time. Usually a "normal" individual doesn't go out and commit third-degree murder for the same reasons that a citizen in a predominantly Muslim nation does not go out and steal bread or publicly criticize Islam in a derogatory manner. Ignorance applies only in the sense that Loftus doesn't understand or fathom the what and why for the topic he is discussing, therefore no one else does or can, either...
7:17 John on his book, Why I Became an Atheist: "If Barbara Walters can write a 'tell-all' book where she tells about having sex with so and so, and doing this with so and so, why can't I? This is a book of 'tell-all'. This is a 'tell-all' era. So, I tell all, you know [laughs].?" The first chapter "My Christian Conversion and Deconversion" is something I have commented on in my chapter contribution to The Cowboy Who Wasn't There. See if you think that John wrote the book for tell-all purposes.
9:36 Returning to The Passion of the Christ: "I had already decided that such a view was ignorant. But when I saw how well the movie did, when I saw the numbers, when I saw people flocking too it, when I saw churches literally buying blocks of seats just so everyone could go see it...that was just too much for me. What I did was decide to come out." Oh?...
11:36 On Criminal Punishment: "What is the relationship between punishment and forgiveness? We all know of people who have been punished for their crimes where the victim still doesn't forgive him. And likewise, we know of people who have never been punished for their crimes, where a victim has forgiven him, even though he has never been punished. There is no logical relationship between forgiveness and punishment. There is no reason that you have to be punished that I can forgive you. I should be able to forgive you even if you have never been punished." A valid point to be made for modern society. However, as stated before, this is being argued for modern society and not taking antiquity into account. It is also disingenuous to state that the Bible argues that forgiveness and compassion are achieved only through bloodshed. Biblical narratives and analogies today would be considered simplistic as Western modernism would seek out more practical resolutions and not resort to barbaric depictions or violent alternatives. But again, this was the spirit and passion of the age by which people made their cases clear. This was their means of communication and language, and therefore, this is what society operated on as it was best in tune with cultural traditions and responses to the environment. Language evolves like everything else. Therefore it might be said that the violence and barbarism in the Old Testament exists because it was reflective of the environmental conditions of the age, not because people were deranged in their mentalities. Two examples from the Old Testament include:
1 Kings 3:16-28
22:44 John's Reiteration of his Outsider's Test for Faith: "The number one place we get our biases from are our parents and our culture. We grow up adopting them. That's why when you are grown up in a Muslim culture, you will see things from a Muslim perspective. Just like a pair of glasses. And the same thing with a Christian culture or a Hindu culture or any other culture. In fact, if you grew up in some places in America you'd grow up in a snake-handling culture." In fact, religion isn't exclusive in this sense and there is no good reason for John to treat it like it somehow is. This might not be his goal in mind exactly, but consider that cultural academics are more likely to view things holistically (as in wholly) rather than by a culture's individual components. So someone growing up in a Muslim culture not only has a "bias" in showing favoritism to Islam, they probably are also in favor of the economic and political systems of that particular culture as well. Everything from how you eat, dress, speak, walk, and bathe are all a part of one's relative cultural background.The Outsider's Test for Faith tries to break up culture into different segments where they simply cannot be neatly segregated into sections. They are intertwined to some degree or another, but never entirely independent.
44:03 Historical Validity of the Old Testament: "Even evangelicals like Peter Ins, Kenton Sparks, and John Walton, three bona fide evangelical Christians, are now saying that the Old Testament mythology is borrowed from Mesopotamia...They're admitting that these stories were borrowed myths from their day and age. So Adam and Eve never existed." Gasp! John implies this is some sort of problem. It isn't. The evidence of this issue clearly points to the Jews refining the story of Gilgamesh to make their own unique point clear. John apparently also isn't aware that there is evidence of a flood which occured prior to Gilgamesh being transcribed. Of course, he probably isn't arguing against this as a "possibility." But the point being made is that the story was taken from Mesopotamia to build on the original authorship of Gilgamesh with some intentional reformations in mind. The original myths themselves are considered by historians to be based on somewhat factually historical information but exaggerated for the simple purpose of creating a captivating narrative for the masses. It is to depict them in a positively symbolic painting. The Jews took this and used it to convey their own philosophical beliefs. The only problem with this argument of John's is if you do in fact choose to believe it as a literal historical account.
The rest of the video consists of philosophical and theological arguments against God, which I try to distance myself from as it does not pertain to my subject area of study.
Monday, September 21, 2009
What this is, rather, is yet more evidence that John Loftus doesn't do serious checking on anything whatsoever before he opens his big fat yammer.
As James Hannam wrote for me in Shattering the Christ Myth, there is NO doubt about who Shakespeare was -- except among fringe loony tunes, the sort of people who would edit Wikipedia. I'll quote liberally from Hannam (you can find this at http://jameshannam.com/christmyth.htm)
Deep inside the vaguely fascist edifice of the University of London’s Senate House is a room that the university authorities view with some embarrassment. It forms part of the library and is mainly used for seminars and evening studies. I spent many happy hours there myself learning how to read Anglo Saxon manuscripts. Before class began, I once took the opportunity to scan the spines of the books that line the room’s walls. They formed an incoherent collection relating to late Tudor literature, textual criticism, cryptology and William Shakespeare. I learnt from the professor who took our class that the books all belonged to a certain Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (d. 1914) who donated them to the library, with a substantial sum of money, on condition that they remained together in their original cabinets. The library was not too keen on the books but it wanted the cash so the deal was struck.
You almost certainly haven’t heard of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence and neither had I until I found myself sitting in his room. So, why is the University of London embarrassed about him? Well, imagine if the library at Yale had a Graham Hancock Room full of books devoted to proving the existence of Atlantis. Or that Princeton accepted the Dan Brown Collection, containing the source material for the Da Vinci Code. That is how most academics feel about the life’s work of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence – for he set out to prove that Sir Francis Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare.
In fact, you could fill a fair-sized library with all the volumes from the subgenre devoted to showing that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare. It is not just Sir Francis Bacon who is fingered. Christopher Marlowe is the current culprit of choice, even though he died before most of Shakespeare’s plays were written. Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, was a blameless Tudor aristocrat who was no more capable of penning King Lear than I am, but several ‘researchers’ have produced books claiming that he did just that. There is even a special name attached to those who deny the blindingly obvious fact that Shakespeare wrote his plays. They are called anti-Stratfordians.
Capacious though the output of the anti-Stratfordians may be, it has evinced little or no reaction from mainstream Shakespearean scholarship. Most critics do not want to give the harebrained idea any more exposure than it receives already. However, Professor Sir Brian Vickers, in the guise of a book review of the latest anti-Stratfordian tome, gave the whole lot of them a good blasting with both barrels in the Times Literary Supplement in 2005. And Professor Jonathan Bate (1958 –) devoted a chapter in his excellent book The Genius of Shakespeare (1997) to trying to understand the reluctance of so many people to give the Bard his due. It is worth mentioning that Vickers and Bate, eminent scholars that they both may be, agree on almost nothing apart from the absurdity of the anti-Stratfordians. Indeed, I would be reluctant to have them both of them around for tea at the same time in case their disagreement on the virtues of the First Folio descended into physical violence.
Bate suggests there are three reasons why people are prepared to believe that Shakespeare didn’t write his plays. The first is the lack of any original manuscripts. We tend to make a fetish of a certain kind of physical evidence and when it is not present, become unreasonably sceptical about everything else. As it happens, several documents signed by Shakespeare do exist but these not include any of his plays.
The second reason is that most people do not have a sufficient background in the subject to properly evaluate the evidence. Anti-Stratfordians tend to be amateurs who have not read enough on Elizabethan theatre to see just how wildly implausible their ideas are. Let me give you an analogy. I can recognise the difference between a Yorkshire and Lancashire accent without very much trouble because I am English. I would never mistake an Irishman for a Scotsman. On the other hand, when I was living in New Jersey, I was frequently assumed to be Irish and had no idea that Californians sound different to Texans. Distinguishing accents isn’t something you tend to be taught. Rather you learn it by experience and by being immersed in a particular culture. It’s the same with history. If you have been studying a period for long enough, ideas like the anti-Stratfordians’ are as obviously incongruous as a baseball bat on a cricket pitch.
The third reason that Shakespeare is frequently denied the credit for his plays is that after he died, he was deified. His reputation today is so stratospheric that it seems implausible that a grammar school boy from a small town in the Midlands could have achieved what he did. Much is made of the fact he never went to university or that he had bourgeois origins. Surely the man who reached such heights of greatness must have been born of the nobility or at least attended Oxford or Cambridge. The normality of Shakespeare’s life trips us up. He was a successful business man and professional actor as well as playwright whose career we can trace quite accurately. Furthermore, he was recognised as extremely gifted during his lifetime. It made him rich.
... The nature of the evidence brought forward by conspiracy theories is much the same whatever the subject. There is a false belief that we have relatively little contemporary evidence for the life of Shakespeare or Jesus. In fact, we know far more about both of them than almost any other personage of their times, barring military heroes and royalty. Likewise, the theorists tend to present contrived readings of the relevant texts, claiming they provide clues that simply do not stack up to careful analysis. Furthermore, the perfectly good testimony we do have for the orthodox view is rejected by the conspiracy theorist for bogus reasons. For Shakespeare we are told that all his fellow actors were in on the deception. While with Jesus, we are told we cannot trust any Christian text. In other words, the people most interested in both Jesus and Shakespeare, their followers and colleagues respectively, should be debarred from giving evidence.
John makes the idiot statement, "The answer to the question of who wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare depends on which scholar you read and accept. Different scholars on this question will place different probabilities to their own suppositions." NO, JOHN. No "scholar" believes any of this anti-Stratfordian crap -- not any scholar who knows anything abotu Shakespeare. This is yet another example of John's uncritical stupidity (as if relying on Wikipedia was not enough evidence). He has no sense of sifting through authorities critically. That's why he keeps getting gigged for using con artists like Spong as sources. There is NO doubt, here, John, except among, ignorant people. Meaning YOU.
John closes his post with the whiny-whine, "....it is barbaric of God to send people to hell if they get a historical question wrong!" Well, John, keeping in mind that I believe hell to be a state of shame and disgrace, not fire and pitchforks, I don't find it barbaric at all for God to send someone there who is as irresponsible with the facts as you are -- not to mention someone like you who lies constantly, insults and mocks people with disabilities, and can't admit error until you've had all your limbs torn off.
Do you get my point, John?
Friday, September 18, 2009
That's why John Loftus is about to get his can kicked again by me here, for his birthday post titled, "At 55 Today I'm Wondering If I Can Book This Guy in Advance to Sing at My Funeral! LOL"
In case he takes it down....John links to a YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ZU3YpLM18 in which a man in church with some sort of speech impediment works his way through Amazing Grace. The video title (and whoever posted it this way deserves as much scorn as John does) implies that the man is a former crackhead, though it's far from clear that he is. He may have some type of disability; a speech impediment like this one could have any number of causes. But regardless of the cause, to post such a thing in mockery is a disgrace, and for John to make fun of it this way is triply disgraceful.
Let's be reminded that John has a record for mocking people with disabilities. As Truth be Told, our host here, noted in his chapter for The Cowboy Who Wasn't There:
Perhaps one of the most shameful moments for Loftus came after a time after he debated TWeb member "ApologiaPhoenix" (Nick Peters) on the problem of evil. The consensus of TWeb members was that Nick handily defeated Loftus in debate. To set this up, it should be noted that Nick has a disability (Asperger's Syndrome, with some autism). After realizing that he was not the recognized winner of the debate, Loftus wrote:
No one but the ignorant would claim that I am ignorant.
To me Nick is just like a very bad Karaoke singer but doesn't know he is one, so he continues to badly sing out his song of arguments
Because he's handicapped, Christians here won't tell him otherwise. He's going to study to be an apologist, but he will fall flat on his face. There are a great many people in ministry who will fall flat on their faces because no one told them the truth that they should not pursue such goals. Nick is one of them. But since Christians believe God can make clay into gold they encourage him in faith, even though deep down inside they really don't believe it.
Tell him the truth! Save him from pursuing what will be a dead end career for him.
Nick, when you realize you don't have the brain power for being an apologist and your hopes and dreams are dashed, and possibly even you faith, remember who told you the truth. It was me.
Do something else with your life, and I'm serious.
For the record, it should be noted that even at this early stage in his career, several notable names have recognized Nick's talent in this area, notably Norman Geisler.
Although John's arm was twisted to the point that he issued a half-hearted apology for this commentary, it is obvious from this last post of his that he hasn't learned his lesson. I often say that fundy atheists like John retain a certain amount of bigotry from the fundy past, and this is a classic example.
And of course, typical of John, he can't even own up and makes excuses when called down. "Rob R" gave John a good lashing for this that deserves to be noted:
Do we know that this guy actually damaged his mind on drugs? He could've been born with mental retardation.Careful John. You know what scripture says about those who mock the poor (and it would seem the same logic of that consideration applies to the poor of mind).So just what human dignity and worth can we say that he has in a materialistic picture?
Loftus' reply speaks for itself in terms of his arrogance and ignorant bigotry:
You're a killjoy Rob. It's my birffday and I can have fun if I want to. So there.
You're absolutely right, John. It's your birthday. Go out and have some fun. Why don't you celebrate some more by pulling crutches away from people with polio, giving blind people the wrong bill back for change, and kicking Stepen Hawking's wheelchair down a steep incline? How about you start a show titled America's Funniest Disabilities? You'd be the perfect host since you obviously have a very serious one. Unfortunately, there's no cure or medication for the one you have, which is outright bigotry combined with magnified stupidity.
Happy Birthday, John, you jackass.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
On other things, akakiwibear has returned from his blogger dormancy and has requested to be removed from the list of blog staff here at Debunking Loftus. I have respected his wishes and he has now been removed as a contributor to this blog. It is also worth noting that because akakiwibear made this public on his own blog, John determined that once akakiwibear was removed, he could once again comment on Debunking Christianity. I can only make that out as John trying to remove as much vocal opposition as possible, because as much opposed as this blog is to John, I still permit him to comment here.
Harry McCall has also returned in new form: That is, he has severed ties completely with Debunking Christianity because of John's overbearing narcissism. I have been considering the possibility of bringing him onboard to replace our old friend kiwi because McCall is a former DC member and can shed some light on things most of us here wouldn't even know about. Not to mention John's attempts at silencing opposition would be further thwarted. ;) McCall can accept or decline the informal invitation if he so chooses. In the event that McCall does join us, I am hoping that we might be able to bury the hatchet in areas where it has been most prominent, and we can all start on a new foot.
On other non-blogging related updates, Patrick Swayze, the star of "Ghost", "Roadhouse" and "Dirty Dancing" died yesterday after having fought a two year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Swayze knew he was dying and that his death was inevitably in the near-future, but nonetheless is it a tragic loss for the light of the world. R.I.P., Patrick (1952 - 2009).
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Earlier today John added a music app titled "Godless songs" fashioned after the music app I put up on your right, which contains the featured song "Sad, Sad Doubting John" written by JPH and sung by TWebber "Andius" a new favorite of mine. What made this suspect was that the app John had uploaded was from the same exact site mine is: http://www.mixpod.com There would be no reason to be alarmed over this if it weren't for the fact that only after a couple of days of embedding it here, John proceeded sometime either this late morning or mid-afternoon to follow suit. That's just one of many reasons, at least, to suspect that watching eyes are upon our community, even if John claims otherwise.
Now to be truthful here, I did personally send John an e-mail notifying him of the YouTube video version of the song to your right. And was it done in the manner of "sticking it to him"? Almost so. I just happen to know that the outcomes and reactions coming from Team Loftus are almost always of predictability, and I want Loftus to know that he can't just waltz through arenas without first being challenged by a gladiator or two.
Contrary to the first impression you might have from this newest post, John has known for at least a week now of our upcoming plans for him. This isn't necessarily news. And another thing, if John really had so much disdain for TheologyWeb, why does he go through its threads? (Case in point):
JP Holding promises to write a rebuttal to my work. He (or someone with his approval) wrote:
"John W. Loftus continues to be one of the most well-known internet celebrities of atheism ever since the publication of his collective biography entitled Why I Became an Atheist. In it, he argues that he was once a champion of Christian moral values but was later ostracized by his local faith community for committing adultery and was subsequently overwhelmed by intellectual arguments in which he advocates that by these arguments alone Christianity hangs by a very thin rope. For these past years since the publication of his book, Loftus' writings have remained unchallenged, or at least, have been challenged inadequately."
Thanks JP. Is there anyone saying the same kind of things about you and your arguments?
Loftus doesn't even provide a link of where he got that. But the answer is right here: http://thecowboywhowasntthere.yolasite.com That's the companion website, (similar to what Richard Carrier had created for John's new book, The Christian Delusion) to our little "project", by the way. Funny that it had only been created yesterday, while the e-mail I sent out to John is nearly a week old. Loooooks like somebody hasn't been true to their word lately. ;)
Two other points:
A) John expresses his paranoia by supposing that the site was created by Holding, as always. NEWS FLASH FOR THE DAFT: Most of the new Loftus sites that have or are coming out these days (including this one) have been or are created by ME. And another thing, I don't need or require Holding's "approval", Johnboy. Usually what happens in these circumstances is that a website is created first, and I consult JP second. Projecting yourself onto others does the world no good, Johnny...
B) The fact that the paragraph being quoted is only a fragment of what is on the site just makes John out to be a snake in the grass. If that was all that was written, it certaintly would compliment him in such a way as to warrant a boosted ego and sense of self. But here's what John left out for his own convenience:
But like most things with humanity, there is always another side of the story. The upcoming e-book "The Cowboy Who Wasn't There" is a substantial rebuttal (and in some respects, a refutation) to the writings of John W. Loftus and his philosophical arguments against "religion." The Cowboy Who Wasn't There will not only analyze the primary arguments set forth by Loftus, but in doing so will demonstrate how the "New Atheist" movement and their arguments are based on stereotypes and oversimplifications. With a jab of humor mixed in with direct confrontation, the book sets out to convince the reader that emotional stakes can and do run high on both sides of the God debate. This book is not arguing mainly against atheism in favor of Christianity, it also advocates for a middle ground in which both atheists and Christians can have intellectual dialogue safely and respectively. It advocates for the integrity of scholars and the ultimate search for truth despite what may be considered popular and appealing to a specific demographic.
If John had included the rest of that paragraph, there is no way he would have been able to make it look like it was being complimentary, as it was never even intended to be interpreted in such a way. Just because one might describe a person as "well known" doesn't really say that they are of admirable character. Barack Obama won the presidency because he was a popular icon of appeal, not because he was actually a straightforward candidate or the best man for the job. John teaches what again?
At least we now have proof that John just can't let things go. He is always watching for opportunities.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Imagine you are hiking in the woods. As you pass by a pond, you get a glancing view of some scavenging birds as they fly off some ways away from you. You make nothing of it. You keep walking. Then you spot it in the distance—the reason the birds flew away. A deer comes ripping through the bushes as he’s being chased by a grizzly. You hide quickly as best you can. With any luck, you’ll go unnoticed and that deer will be the thing’s lunch instead of you.
As you've seen, not only is he big, but boy does he move! He's strong too. One good swat from him is equal in force to a small piano (about 450 pounds) being swung from the height of a second story window. You know that if caught, he could literally knock your head off! You’d need a good gun to fend him off if he had his mind set on rending your flesh like the skin off a thigh from Church’s Chicken. But thankfully, you don’t have to go up against him. He’s gone now and so you can forget about him just like humans do all the things on planet earth that God creates which are deadly.
So forget about the bear.
Now imagine you are at the same pond, seeing the same birds fly away. This time, you are startled to see a red beast with big red eyes, with scales instead of fur, and fangs and canines just like the bear. If you will, he has a pointed tale and horns. Hiding, you are hoping that this deer-chasing demon is no smarter or more observant than that bear.
The demon is so different from the bear, but strangely, he’s no more or less terrifying than the bear. Let’s switch them; let’s say the bear was the mythical beast and the demon was the evolved creature. Would the raging bear not be exactly as terrifying or more than the demon? Would not someone who was sheltered from nature’s harsh realities feel the same fear as if that someone saw a traditionally described demon? Of course that person would.
So, let’s say you did see that bear. And let’s say you happen to be a Christian, but then it dawns on you (if you’re a halfway thinking Christian) that all this time you’ve been afraid of the Devil when you should have been afraid of (and prepared to face) things like bears—of things that are real and that you have a much higher chance of encountering, of things that are deadly and everywhere, just waiting to bring your life to an end.
And then, for the first time, it starts to occur to you that you’ve been praising a God for building a world for his people that is full of unspeakable horrors. You are now starting to realize that anything you ever saw on Friday the 13th or Halloween or The Outer Limits is no more horrifying than what God has exposed his people to and that we take for granted on this planet.
"Ooooh boy, it sure is! We live in such a vicious cycle of nature!"
Once more, the chances of someone getting mauled to death by a grizzly is slim to nothing unless a person should cross the path of the grizzly, and almost in deliberate fashion. You still have better chances of getting struck by lightning, as popular statistics have shown and demonstrated. The Great White shark is not the beast portrayed in the movie Jaws. Most predatory animals are not out to get humans for the following: 1) We are organisms foreign to their native habitat, and consequently are not a typical or convenient food source for their dietary requirements, 2) Humans possess industrial and mechanical resources and it follows that most animals would rather stick to their business than go around walking the streets of Manhattan or New York 3) We are the most dangerous animal in the world. No other creature has been capable of what we have done to other humans in the history of the world, to include torture.
It strikes me as appauling that atheists would try to argue based on emotions rather than intellect, something they primarily accuse Christians of doing almost all of the time. In his own little way, Joe is arguing about just how "evil" nature is, especially evolution. Hypocrites, perhaps?Alright, so it can be pretty much said that Holman, like Loftus, is ignorant of basic zoology. But ignorance is not perhaps the best word to describe this:
Better rocks than other lifeforms, but maybe plants would be a start. Even...hair grease..would be better than having a deity who has creatures killing and consuming other lifeforms for sustainance.
Sounds like Holman has a thing for P.E.T.A., or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I'm much more Ted Nugent inclined myself. And with that said, what I'm about to say will be addressed to both Holman and the idiots who support P.E.T.A.:
It's funny when animal rights activist complain of people eating other "lifeforms", or that animals have the same basic societal rights and priveleges as do humans (that might be even moreso if humans were allowed to defecate in public; oh wait...dammit). Those poor animals. Humans don't need meat as part of their food intake. Animals should just be left alone! We all need to refrain from the ingestion of animals and animal products. We should just eat plants. If that happened, we'd have no more political scandals, wars in the Middle East, or even human genocide. There you go. Problem solved.
I guess it never occurs to this crowd that plants are LIVING? Yes, living. They're alive. They grow, like humans and animals do. Why would you make such a fuss over the consumption of animals and not defend plants while you're at it? Maybe if PETA and Greenpeace got into a confrontation, their philosophies of non-violence would quickly dissappear, ya think? Exactly...
"Who wants to learn more from Debunking Christianity?"
NO THANKS, I'll invest my money with employed professional professors, not internet bloggers...
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
On second thought, better wait until Sept. 10 or so. By then we'll have something for John that'll make him blow a few more holes in the roof.
Friday, August 21, 2009
In order to maintain "consistency" John makes several response posts to this blog without officially calling us out by name or blog title. He figures no one will notice because his audience is stupid and gullible enough to believe it or to justify John for making these responses out of ambiguity. His expectations and standards he sets for his subscribers may not be far off from what is reality, and in that sense we may call John a realist.
So as of early this morning (by the way folks, I shouldn't even be here doing this this early in the morning; I had ROTC class today but missed out because my alarm didn't go off when it was supposed too) John says:
Around the web I have several detractors. They accuse me of a few things which I’d like to take the time to answer. I’m accused of being an egotistical self-promoting control freak who censors comments at DC and kicks off this Blog anyone who disagrees with me. I’m accused of wanting fame and financial gain and that I am cheating the authors in my new edited book, The Christian Delusion, out of their expected royalties.
I’ve tried to resist responding to such drivel. I know that I cannot satisfy the people making such charges as I’ve responded to some of them several times already. I also know that by responding I’ll give them more fodder. But I just want to respond to my readers so they know the truth even if others won’t accept my answers.
You sure have responded to us "several times already" in a very coherent and specific manner, haven't you John? But another thing you won't voluntarily mention is that this is a fairly new and recent charge being brought against you. So you haven't responded to this one yet at all. You are cunning like a snake but as dumb as a box of rocks, my friend. And whowouldathunk, if John didn't go into some sort of self-justifying modus operandi with the complementary victimization complex.
In the first place, even if these accusations are true, which they are not, they do not make me a bad person. Just think of the things Hollywood stars are accused of every day. I’m not being accused of anything like they are. And these accusations do nothing to answer my arguments. I’m told someone will be publishing a book filled with these kind of accusations. I won’t dignify that person by mentioning his name, but he thinks the justification for doing so is because Elijah, Jesus and Paul railed against their opponents. Leaving that bogus justification aside, the truth is that Christians have accused their detractors of some of the most heinous crimes merely because they attacked their faith. So I stand in a long line of skeptics who have been falsely accused simply because I’m doing so. The real question is why they are focusing on these things rather than answering my arguments. I suspect it’s because they can’t respond to my arguments. If they could do so, then why don’t they?
You never learn, do you, John? But you're preaching to the choir here. Your "arguments" are indiscernable from who you just happen to be. You've made this known on numerous occassions. Your "drive" to debunk Christianity comes from your personal feud with Holding, and nothing more. YOU said that. No one else. You have also said that your goal is to debunk JP's "certain faction" of Christianity, rather than the whole picture. Your arguments are not only based on personal issues of seeking revenge against your long-time internet foe, they are limited in scope, and purposely done so. That in itself pretty much goes for "answering" your arguments.
Am I egotistical? So what if I am? Am I a self-promoter? Why shouldn't I be? Do I want financial gain? Why not? Do I want fame? Who doesn’t? An egotistical person is usually in the eye of the beholder anyway, and since it takes one to know one, the person making that accusation is probably more affected by that disease.
Elementary school logic is not going to get you anywhere from the face of criticism. This is not based on the answerability of your arguments. It's because you're pathetic. You play on the notions of relative perceptions to make justifications for your own immoral actions. You probably would be best described as an anarchist in terms of your political sways. But by playing on relativism, you are digging yourself further into a hole, and sensible people will begin to think less of you. It does not matter whether your "detractors" are atheist or Christian, you'll find something to accuse them of being, while you yourself are portrayed in a honest and ethical light. You're a coward John. Cowards are only good for running, and, as you seem to be a fan of cliches, "you can run, but you can't hide."
The truth about me is that I lack a whole lot of self-esteem. I’m never satisfied with my efforts. I always find fault with them. I continually think I don’t measure up. So when people tell me I did something great I get excited about it. If I appear egotistical then it’s merely because I’m overjoyed and excited that people tell me I did something great. This is what people are telling me about my efforts to debunk Christianity. And fame is a double edged sword, anyway. The more famous a person is the more that person has problems.
We've been saying that all along, John. At least I have if nobody else. But you should probably learn to establish a better self-esteem. I don't have the greatest self-esteem in the world. I certaintly have my own set of potholes. Do I let these things get ahead of my thinking and allow for them to construct personal agendas? No. By your logic, anyone who criticizes you has more problems, or at least they share the load in whatever disease they accuse you of having. So if your "detractors" have a better time dealing with the same disease that you have than you do, it still falls back on your face. You can't escape your inevitable blame here.
As far as financial gain goes, when I got my first (and only) royalty statement for my book Why I Became an Atheist, it said I owe them $1,100. I don't actually owe them any money. It's just that it hasn't produced enough sales to merit any more than the couple thousand dollars they advanced me. Yeah. I’m in it for financial gain…right! I barely make a living as it is. This winter I had some water damage to my house and had to use some of the insurance money to pay long over due bills. I didn't have the money to fix the house completely, so this is what my living room ceiling looks like (see picture). My porch ceiling and a wall in another room look just as bad. THAT’S why I appreciate any financial help I can get from people who click on the donate button in the sidebar.
Alright, we'll give John the benefit of the doubt here. I'm going to check out his donation entry and see what it says as being reflective of this statement. Let's see:
Help me stay alive in these hard economic times. I need your help. I need people who are willing to donate on a regular basis, a monthly commitment if you can. Unless more money comes in I’ll be forced to get a second job. Spinoza ground lenses during the day and researched at night. What if he had to have two jobs? I’m no Spinoza by a long shot, but what if Spinoza never had to grind lenses and could research and write all day long? How much better would his arguments be?
Is it possible for John to get a second job in academia? Expand upon the scholarly credentials perhaps?
Here's what I don't understand: John constantly brags about the reviews his book receives, and now, when it is most convenient, he says that his book doesn't make enough sales. He says that he isn't bringing in enough income due to "hard economic times" (you have your own vote to thank for that one, John). If it is such a matter of difficulty and hardship, why doesn't John just consider free publishing? Does it make him less of a serious author if he were to go with a free publisher like LuLu? I'm not doubting that maybe John doesn't do it merely for profit (although I don't know if I necessarily believe him; how can I trust him about anything he says?), but he could at least make 20 times more than what he does for every book sold. From LuLu's website:
During the publishing process, Users are asked to choose the amount of creator revenue they will receive for each piece of Content sold. If Lulu sells your content, and we receive payment, Lulu will pay you the creator revenue amount you chose. In general, Lulu's service fee is 20% of the gross margin resulting from the sale of Content. The gross margin is the net amount actually received for your Content after freight and manufacturing costs are subtracted.
For example, if a User publishes a book that costs $5.00 to manufacture and chooses to receive $4.00 in Creator Revenue, Lulu will set the price of your book as follows:
|Lulu service fee:||$1.00|
|Final price of book:||$10.00|
In this example, the gross margin is $5.00, of which you get 80% ($4.00) and Lulu gets 20% ($1.00). Regardless of the foregoing, the minimum mark-up for Lulu's service fee is nineteen cents ($0.19). However, if you choose to make your Content free, Lulu waives its service fee altogether. Exceptions to the 20% margin rule may be applied in the case of special offers or discounts to Users who purchase their own Content in bulk.Plus, another benefit is that there is no limit to the amount of content in a given project. So, why not go free?
I think John is relunctant because he wants to have the spotlight that Promotheus provides. I say, however, that it would be much better if John were to have a general publisher, instead of an atheist one. Sure his book is much more likely to be found with an atheist publisher, but aside from this I see no merits in doing so. The publishing company is already in agreement with what John probably has to say. Additionally, I wouldn't appreciate my scholarly work being on par with pornographic literature.
I have a few internet stalkers, several trolls here at DC, a few websites dedicated to trashing me, along with one published book against me and two more promised ones coming down the pike. They say you can tell how famous a person is by the number of stalkers he or she has. Well I have some. Woooo! Hoooo! The problem is that people hate me for what I’m doing. I’m not famous. I’m infamous. Yeah, that’s what I want…right.
Stalkers? Where do you come up with this stuff? Where's your evidence? Proof? Yeah, that's right, you have none. Just a whole bunch of paranoia as far as I'm concerned. And until anything is documented and not something that is just your mere speculation, that's all it ever be.
As far as my new edited book goes, I rejected five chapters written by five different authors for various reasons having to do with word limit concerns, deadlines, and content. These were tough decisions, but I had to make them. By doing so I pissed off one person, maybe more. But I still had to do it.
Fair enough. I wouldn't want to make a defense of McCall by any means, unless it concerns moral deviations.
I only “censor” comments here at this Blog by the same standards any newspaper editor uses when deciding whether to publish a “Letter to the Editor.” That’s because I want a civilized and intelligent discussion of the ideas that separate us, or none at all.
Repeating it does not make it so. The use of the world "asshole" when referring to someone who says something in a way you do not like, is also the wrong way to go about it, if that's your genuine intention.
As far as kicking team members off DC who don’t agree with me goes, I open myself up to this accusation because I allow people to become team members here in the first place. This is my Blog. It’s my house. I invite guests here into my house. If they don’t respect me or if they somehow begin to think they own it, there can be problems. It's something like herding cats.
Agreeably understandable. But it doesn't really address anything if the issue concerns disagreement, as opposed to disrespect, which are two entirely different things.
Nearly all of the other Bloggers who have left DC fall into one of two categories. They either did not publish often enough or they asked to be removed for various reasons unrelated to me.
They didn't "publish enough", John? DC seems pretty staffed as it is. Why insist on having a posting quota if you have so many authors that are willing to contribute in the first place? You don't need one to get going. On average there are about 4-5 posts made every week on your blog, with about 1-3 of those being your own? That's just the typical average. I make most posts around here and I believe some members have expressed their desire to be taken off from the list. I haven't removed them yet because things are liable for change. But it's your blog, John. Unlike you, I won't chastize you for running things your own way, even if I question your motives and boundaries.
There are other accusations. Expect them. Just tell my accusers to produce evidence, think about them, and then tell these accusers to try to answer my arguments.
John wants EVIDENCE? Are you kidding me? This isn't a challenge and anyone asking for this "evidence" will be provided with it asap. I'm not going to repost it for the umpteenth time though, as I and others have beaten this to death before in the past. Contrary to what John might believe, the book that is coming out contains a whole compiled chronology of such evidence of the reasons why John isn't very trustworthy. The book will put an end to the question of whether or not the evidence actually exists, which it does. But it's rather surprising, that John, without revealing any specifics to his blog "trolls" would demand evidence of why he shouldn't be trusted. John, don't make this the end of the road for you, for your own sake.
NOTE: Once again, something of our interest coming from John has come up again. In the same post we've cited here, John removed some comments he didn't approve of, most likely after they had been brought to the world's attention through TheologyWeb, a site John claims he ignores as much as possible. The catch? John claims to be on "vacation" and won't return until August 27, meaning that only his fellow bloggers can post comments. Or can they?
In a long past case similar to this, John claimed at the very end to having put on an act to somehow demonstrate the inferiority of his critics. But surely enough, the only thing he seems to demonstrate effectively is his own inferior mentality.