The Cowboy Who Wasn't There: E-book Companion Site

Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't Say We Haven't "Told You So"

Remember when I made the prediction that John would continually fall for his own formula with such predictability? A while back I had posted this before John went ahead and decided to work on The End of Christianity:

Books of this type of nature are very much reflective of their titles, and this is intentionally so. John's premise for The Christian Delusion is to quite simply demonstrate that Christianity is based in delusional thinking, not an accurate assessment of reality. Just as well, The End of Christianity is meant to imply that Christianity is a dying movement.

But wait, Sam Harris' book The End of Faith is of the same exact vein. So what grounds does John have for claiming originality or the production of new contributive works?

Is this ultimately the best John has to deal out? The title of his next book might as well be Christianity is Not Great: How Christianity Distorts Everything. This is all in an attempt to divert attention away from the original publication of where this title (and subsequently the premise) is based from, and it seems as if John is fulfilling this predicted line of reason rather unsurprisingly but in a manner which already adds insult to self-inflicted injuries. Sort of like how Stephanie Meyers writes a series of books about old concepts and mythological creatures yet can't get it together to the point of where the story is actually engaging to the reader, or why the reader should even care to begin with. In simpler terms, what does John bring to the table that can't be found elsewhere?

This I posted a week ago right around when John revealed the time that The End of Christianity would finally be published:

It's a sheer disappointment John can't present a work that doesn't:

A. Piggy-back the publications of other, more well known celebrity figures.
B. Start from a point of reference that isn't initially reactionary or an attempt to strongarm the opposing side.

Let's face it though, this is what we have gotten in the past and this is what we are going to receive from John. His whole purpose here is to go out on a limb against Christianity (at least, that's the tentative purpose and it works on the assumption that his blog truly deals with such). Make no mistake my readers, this will be an ongoing pattern to come.

And now:

Hmmm...right before John releases his newest book, he starts work on another (again, with the title derived from a atheist figurehead much more widely known and respected than himself). Is this not an indicator of immense desperation?

Eventually John will run out of inspirational material and will be forced to come up with something from scratch. The question is not whether this is a likelihood or a possibility, but if John has the capacity to execute this task when the time comes.

Does John have enough to muster an offensive force by himself, like he would have you believe? I suppose in John's mind the rapid rate and frequency by which these books are published would communicate to the world that John is a formidable opponent in the academic world. He can take on anything. He's dedicated to the finish and he won't rest until he sees things through.

He lays out his "goal" quite succinctly on the home page to the site for The End of Christianity:

My goal as an atheist author and editor is to help provide the intellectual underpinnings of the New Atheist movement with regard to the Christian faith. As best as possible I plan on leveling broadside after broadside after broadside against the Christian faith in hopes that together we can help sink the good ship Christian in this century. As a former evangelical myself I also wish to introduce my evangelical friends to these skeptical authors.

I think skeptics who are genuine critical thinkers would beg the question: If John's books are based on other people's books which have the intent on changing the mass' minds in regards to religion and faith, then what good do these books serve?

If the books John pens due to their ability to incite inspiration already effectively achieve the objective of demonstrating to many that religious faith is a bogus scam, why does John need to get out there and "contribute" in such a manner? If John needs to do this, then there should be at least one individual out there for every single religion known to man, right? We need an atheist or former believer to write books attacking Islam and the same goes for Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, paganism, voodoo, Judaism, Anglo-Saxon Norse mythology, etc., etc., etc.

Realistically, we are faced by more of a threat from radical Islamic terrorism than we are any other ideology at this point, and on a world wide scale. This is almost indisputable fact. Is the religious right in America a problem for our political system? Yes. Does the Religious Right manipulate and deprive people of their finances and quality of life? Arguably so. These problems do exist and are concerning. But they are not to the extent of such forces as Al-Qaeda, who will stop at nothing to see our climactic demise.

So with that said, I say John is doing a greater disservice on behalf of the community than he is doing a service. In essence, he offers nothing that his audiences aren't most likely already convinced of and are aware about. It's just that many of them would rather cling on to a published work which reaffirms these beliefs more and more and more. That's it in a nutshell.

And as far as John goes by being diplomatic with those he desires to persuade, it seems that he is again reluctant to acknowledge his own vices:

As I see it, John is utterly and direly confused my friends. He confuses competitive teen-like angst as constructively handling his relationships with others and thinks that he is helping to fortify houses by toppling bricks on top of roof tiles.

We can only wonder if and when John will ever learn his lesson.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Motives of Disingenuousness

I'm not a fan of going on a full out crusade against an individual (unless of course, you were Osama bin Laden, prior to getting shot in the noggin ;)), and it's certainly no one's business to point out whenever someone gets caught lying or trying to commit other such "sins" on a 24 hour basis. Some people (like Arnold Schwarzenegger and yes, even Mel Gibson) need to be accepted for being human and thus imperfect.

Almost consistently we have attempted to outline a framework detailing the motives of John Loftus. I'm not a fan of Freudian psychoanalysis either, and despite the claims and suggestions of some who have posted here in the past, I'm not obssessed with John Loftus as a subject of study. No, my intent is on unveiling the true substantiated contents (if they could be called such) which are an extension of John Loftus' bodies of "work", so to speak.

That means if John Loftus is going to lie to make a point about an organization that lies to get their way, I would like to clear things up for people that aren't going to notice it at first. This is not based on an opinionated bias as John has admitted in the past (and sorry, you'll need to search through our archives if you're not familiar with the information I'm alluding too) that lies and deceptional tactics are irrelevant to what the goal or objective is. In that sense, John is very much of a utilitarian mindset.

As regulars have probably noticed whenever I log on here I catch a glimpse of news over at Debunking Christianity, just to see if I could venture even slightly into new material for this blog. Sure enough, I found another post in which there are glaringly loose ends that need some serious fastening:

I am against sexism, most emphatically, without any doubt at all. In fact, one of the main reasons I do what I do is because of what religion has done and continues to do to women. I argue against religion for that reason alone. There are a lot of women bloggers for which I am truly thankful. But it seems as if there are few women scholars to link to in the blog world. Several of the ones PZ Myers links to have not yet earned a college degree, or they have just entered into a master's program. Oh, I know, the women atheist scholars of tomorrow are with us today in training, so yes, let's encourage them by all means. But where are the women atheist scholars of today? We need your voices more than ever. Help us, please. We are mere men.

It seems to me that anyone with basic brain functioning would easily pick up on another pattern John has used, and it's no surprise it deals with partial truth (in essence, constituting lies). Is this really why you have a bone to pick with Christianity John? Doubtful. You've blamed your devestation of faith on a woman you chose to have an extra-marital affair with and you hardly own up to any responsibility on your part. Yet you are seriously suggesting that the reason why you are opposed to faith is because it promotes sexism?

For argument's sake it would be a pleasant luxury to actually trust what John relays to people myself included. But it seems he is only capable of producing face-palm tragedies.

Honestly John, what do you really hope to accomplish with this?

Enlightening others to the realization that Christian is false?

Promoting your name to establish a legacy amongst the New Atheist movement?

To alter the cultural perceptions of "religion" as you would call it?

To convince people that atheism is more of a beneficial philosophy to the mind and body of the individual than theism is by comparison?

These goals are more distinct than I think people would like to acknowledge, especially with regard to the culture wars. And more like a professional politician, it would seem that John will make as many stabs as he can at issues which have little to do with each other and string them together to rally support for himself and the establishment of his own legacy. At the end of the day, as has been established in numerous different contexts and in the not-so-distant recorded past, it still stands to reason that actions speak louder than words.

I am not a prude, nor a feminist (at least in a strict sense), and I am not suggesting that John is a mysognist. But this is fishy to say the least, as are most of John's claims about similar issues. John, you cannot essentially put the responsibility of your deconversion on a seduction which you did not have the willpower to overcome and then expect to at the same time be a champion for the cause of female atheists. Because if your deconversion is based mostly on the actions of women that were involved in your life, how can you be combatting religion on the basis that it is sexist against women? Isn't accusing Linda (your partner in the affair) of being nearly wholly responsible for that point in your lifetime sexist by itself?

John and friends miss the point when I bring such things to light in that they will no doubt interpret this as a mallicious strawman or ad hominen tactic. But this is important to discuss nonetheless. If John is truly concerned with being open, honest, truthful, and rational with his intended audience, he would address these issues at some point. Unless he makes the assumption that they are too stupid to figure these tidbits out for themselves.

And of course, if the latter is true, it is not enlightening to suppose that this would make John out to be more like the enemy than even he himself realizes. Suppose that he addresses sexism in order to illicit ranks from an additional demographic that he has only had slight affiliation with in his writing career. If that is the case and he thinks he can get away with this without being caught, then he would indeed be more of a sexist than he would probably be willing to admit.

And while we're at the heart of this therapeutic breakdown, we might as all well be asking John one simple direct question:

Can you tell us how you really feel?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The End of Innovation

It's a sheer disappointment John can't present a work that doesn't:

A. Piggy-back the publications of other, more well known celebrity figures.
B. Start from a point of reference that isn't initially reactionary or an attempt to strongarm the opposing side.

Let's face it though, this is what we have gotten in the past and this is what we are going to receive from John. His whole purpose here is to go out on a limb against Christianity (at least, that's the tentative purpose and it works on the assumption that his blog truly deals with such). Make no mistake my readers, this will be an ongoing pattern to come. Here's another promo for his third upcoming release in what seems to be in a line for his second series of sorts:

This book has taken a year and a half from conception to find its way into your homes. It's been a lot of work but worthwhile nonetheless. It went to press and will be available mid-July. Tell others about it. It's a pretty damn good book, named after Sam Harris' The End of Faith.

Expect the smear campaign to start soon afterward on Amazon, as it happened (and continues to happen) to my other two books. It's a war over there from deluded believers who think what I'm doing is a much more serious threat to their faith than most others, whether that's true or not (hey, they're deluded so why should we think they know who best to target?).

John, I know I've spoken about this thousands of times before but, this is actually very counter-productive to what you are hoping to accomplish through all of your efforts. You have to accept and come to terms with "smear campaigns". Do you know anybody that has published anything that has gone uncriticized?

And with that said, by utilizing the "deluded" categorization, you are being excessively forceful with your message, and the means by which your package is presented only confirms this and even seems to reveal your desperation for getting others to take you seriously.

I would contend that a true artist and visionary does not go out of his way to promote their works, they let the works speak for themselves. They are not vicious and adamant or invested into getting "into the fight", and doing whatever it takes to win. This seems ridiculous to New Atheists because they perceive their circumstances as likened to a civil rights movement, and civil rights movements are not typically won by being passive. But think about the case of Gandhi, who did not advocate physical retaliation against the oppressive forces of his time.

Tactics can only be successfully counteracted by tactics, and the tactics used in counteraction should be chosen wisely. It is almost never in the case that using the same tactics as the enemy will bring you victory, you must devise a means of circumventing the traps and expectations the enemy has planned for you to bring you to your defeat, and this is still an issue of tactics, except that they are not drawn up in a sloppy fashion.

It is unwise for instance, to stoop to the anticipations of the enemy by playing out your counteraction strategy by going with full head on force, this should be a contingency of sorts you rely on as a last resort. Therefore John, your campaign must be one that innovates, and you have yet to do anything of the sort.

Perhaps you will come to terms with your flawed approach and learn this lesson for the next installment. I would actually be interested if you do start becoming more creative and original. But seeing as you would currently rather mock and choose to ignore your critics suggestions and takes, this could only be considered a pipe dream.