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

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ole' Yeller Strikes Again

For the new year John somehow thought it would be a great idea to re-post his "Outsider Test for Faith" with some additional updates. These key "changes" he makes are found in his recommendation for atheist and counter-Christian apologetics literature. And...once again, he isn't shy of speaking highly of his own published works, and putting them at the very beginning of his list of recommendations:

The problem this year is that I have five books published in five years and I cannot resist the supposition that my books are the best, sorry. Wouldn't you?

That depends on the criteria of comparison that is being used and just how intellectually honest a person is, John. It's all too easy to make the argument that your books are the best because they are your books.  And if you were to look at this with an honest lens, you would realize that it doesn't get much more complicated than this. You tell us (the readers) as the author of these groundbreaking books why they are the best. It isn't a matter of asking the readers if they would judge your books to be best if they were in your shoes or if they happen to be fans of your blog (though the only reason anyone could be a serious fan of yours would be for strictly entertainment purposes). What standard are you using to make such a statement? And why should I take it seriously?

In response Christians typically reply to this yearly challenge with their own list of books. So let me state for the record that I have probably read more Christian apologetics books and articles in 40 years then most of them will read their entire lives. So for comparison purposes, if a Christian apologist responds with such a list then tell us just how many atheist books you have read in comparison to me? I'd like to know. I've probably sold or thrown away more of them than you have read. I've probably read 300-350 Christian apologetical works and thousands of articles. 

Again John, you fail to realize that advertising what you view to be accomplishments and things of worthy note are not actual indicators of your credibility or even your smarts. Someone who continually speaks of their educational history in the manner in which you do would know better than to do that, especially if you are a philosopher. And as a philosopher, this shows your ignorance, tackiness, & carelessness that you would even employ such tactics.

Even if what you say is mostly true, none of this shows that you have a grasp or understanding of these read materials. For instance, I have read John Hick and one of my philosophy classes was based largely on his works. Your critique of Hick among other things glossed over some of his core arguments & contentions. So to say that you have read more than the average joe is not something that should be used to impress or inflate...but it is a dead give away as to how desperate & pathetic your want for recognition is. 

You might notice that there aren't any philosophical books on this year's list. That's because I only have respect for a scientifically based philosophy, that's why, although I value philosophy in general.

Another thing to be aware of here also doesn't add to your case when you admit to being an asshole and having limited perspective when at the same time you tout your merits as a "philosopher." How on earth can you manage to criticize someone like Hick with scientific philosophy when their focus is epistemological & theological philosophy? Oh and by the way, I think it would be a really good idea if you decided to become better versed in ethics, because you could use some friend! 

Again, what do you have to lose?

Time & critical thinking skills???


Friday, January 4, 2013

Are Beliefs That Important?

More and more often you see commentators on here that are not of a religious persuasion much like myself. While just about anyone can come on here and post comments at their own risk, more and more of these people mention just how unwelcoming John's DC blog really is.

One comment has recently grabbed my attention:

This guy is making male feminist allies look bad, he's making non-theists look bad by trying to align himself with us, and he's completely undermining his own attempts at calling himself a rational thinker.

I hate to break it to you, John, but you are NOT a friend of feminists and you are NOT rational. You're trying to be a diva when you're nowhere near good-looking enough to get famous for having tantrums, and you're trying to be respected for your IQ while your EQ is pathetic. Grow up. Feminists DON'T want a paranoid whiner like you trying to speak for us.

We've always repeatedly contended that John's blog doesn't live up to its self purported reputation. But it goes even deeper than popularity contests or theological debates. What about the atmosphere of the establishment itself? Is it not peculiar that there is an increasing consensus amongst visitors of this being their experience as posters on behalf of DC?

This is one of the reasons I do not subscribe to the New Atheist Movement, and I'm not even hesitant to say opposed to it. The core argument at hand is a dispute between two different viewpoints and their domination or exterminating the other. Generally Christians and atheists both contend that the other's belief systems have worked as a crippling force to the framework of Western society.

But it doesn't take a large stretch of the imagination or a doctorate degree to realize that this battle is an ongoing one with no end in foreseeable sight. Religion is certainly never going to go away. Secular values will continue to permeate systems of law across the world as we try to accomodate the compliant and the variety of their beliefs & lifestyles. So it is a vicious cycle that will seemingly never end, yet both sides continue to hammer away at each other thinking they are fulfilling achievements & accomplishing important life goals.

A simpler analysis accounting for why we have these problems and their pervasiveness would perhaps be rooted in the psyche of mankind. The wretched human brain. Psychology reveals that no one person is immune to the forces of corruption & mind-altering effects. The differences exist only in the level of susceptibility a person may be exposed too or their biological composition, state of mind & environmental influences. Focusing on the negative/positive influences religious & spiritual beliefs have on the brains seems to be so limited & narrow in scope it is too similar to the mentality of those who would advocate the War on Drugs. Is it really worth our investment to focus our energies on harmful mind-altering drugs when alcohol (one of the three top worst drugs for the human body) remains legal?

By emphasizing what a person does or doesn't believe, we appear to be focusing on the small details of the painting without realizing the bigger picture. What is that bigger picture? Human nature and the human brain will likely offer the most substantial answers we may be all looking for.

Debunking Loftus Is Back

After a hiatus of almost two years time, Debunking Loftus has been re-activated and is now back in the works. Some new projects are going to be underway to address some changes. I don't have any specific details in mind for now, but stay tuned!