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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Thursday, May 31, 2007

John W. Loftus - liar

Or, what's that flushing sound? That's just the credibility of John Loftus swirling down the drain.

Who is this John Loftus? Don't let him know you were unaware of him or his mental prowess, especially if you're a Christian, might cause his personality flaws to flare up; the end result being that he'll consider you an enemy, liar etc. and therefore justify lying when dealing with you.

That sounds harsh, but that's just how the truth happens to be sometimes. John Loftus is the author of "Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains" and the main contributor at the blog Debunking Christianity. The charge of liar is due to his most recent online activity. For some time now, oh Lofty one, has been posting on TheologyWeb forums and especially in the Tekton Ministries area of the forums. He has this fixation with J.P. Holding, the founder and main author of Tekton Ministries that's been ongoing for a while now. This was expressed (once again) in a blog post by Johnny, about a week ago, wherein he had this to say.

I recently noticed another blog that apparently started up in March which is very critical of J.P. Holding, here. I personally do not like Holding, but I'm probably not going to waste my time on him, except to point out what others are saying about him. (source)

Unfortunately for John boy, J.P. Holding did a little investigating and it turns out this blog by "others" that little Johnny just happened to notice, was actually created by John Loftus, not by someone else. John John's first reply to the allegation was this (emphasis in bold mine):

Technically, I didn't lie.

Prove to me I did.

Besides, it doesn't matter that you know I started the Blog. I don't care. People will still visit there regardless, and I will continue sending people there.

You are the dishonest one

That's an interesting reply from someone who's claimed to teach lawyers how to think. One has to wonder how soon it will be before his former students are disbarred or at least desperately quibbling over what the word is means. I wonder if he would think such a response is appropriate in court?

Judge - and the verdict is, John W. Loftus you are guilty of perjury.

Johnny - Sorry your honor, but you first have to prove to me that I lied.

(TheologyWeb members know that Johny would continue with the next sentence)

Btw I'm intellectually superior to you and I have a book you should buy.

Unfortunately for Mr. Loofus, he didn't step back from that foolish reply at the beginning and instead continued to descend down a path that only further undermined his reputation. You can see this from the very long thread here. The relevance to his credibility was brought out quite clearly by one of the TheologyWeb members in this post from that thread.

John also complained that it is not right for people to dismiss his book because he deceived people this time. Of course it is right, and here is why. It is an analogous situation. We are not talking about John lying on his income taxes or his employer (and I am not insinuating he does either, just using examples that likely a lot of people do), but specifically LYING IN HIS WRITING AT HIS BLOG AGAINST CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANITY. That is what his book is about. His whole book posits himself as an "honest" doubter, yet he is dishonest on this VERY SAME SUBJECT - this is relevant. John stated:

In any case I feel justified in being deceptive because I was dealing with enemies, and as such I did not need to tell the whole story (and this is where I was deceptive), especially based upon my consequentialist ethics. The whole reason I did so was to expose Holding without being soiled, which I still consider a good teleological goal.

So... we know that John thinks "debunking Christianity" is also a good teleological goal. By his own admission, it is justified to LIE to achieve that end. Thus, a very good reason not to trust what he says in his book - he might consider you an enemy after all.

Layman at Christian Cadre comments on this matter as well with their post.

In my opinion, it was worse than a lie. Loftus knew he was deceiving his readers and crafted his blog post for just that purpose. The cleverness he apparently thinks he used to frame the description to give him "technical" deniability only confirms the intentional nature of the deception. When a blogger uses his own blog to deceive his readers to promote an agenda he claims distance from, he has lost credibility and the respect of his readers, assuming the audience is worthy of respect. There are many blogs out there and I am honored by those who make this one a part of their online reading. Our readers are not pawns in our personal, or even ideological, agendas. They--be they Christians or skeptics or undecided--deserve more than that. They deserve respect. Loftus has proven that he has a different view. (source)

But still, little Johnny continues his downward descent. He's now posted to his blog (the Debunking Christianity one that is), admitting that he did in fact create the other blog. I've decided I'm only going to address a few of the issues raised in his post. While I had considered addressing his justifications point by point, I think if you take the time to read what he said and his replies to comments there, you'll see how badly he's pwnd himself with the pathetic rationalizations and martyrdom attitude.

Note to John John, we don't dismiss your arguments because of your personality flaws. They fail all by themselves. In fact, I rejected some of your arguments before I knew that John Loftus of Debunking Christianity and the whining punching bag Doubting John at TheologyWeb, were one in the same, as can be seen in the last paragraph here.

He's also tried to justify this by expressing his complete disdain for Holding and therefore it's ok to lie to him as Holding himself lies all the time. We'll put aside the lack of substance to little Johnny's accusation and merely consider that someone who's claimed to teach philosophy and bragged about his debating skills apparently has no clue concerning the ad hominem tu quoque fallacy.

Furthermore, as his obsession, J.P. Holding noted:

Um, the problem here is, this would give DJ license to lie to ME. But he didn't. He lied to everyone who was reading his blogs -- whether Christians or atheists or whoever. The whole world was who he lied to, not just me

The sum total of all this is that John Loftus had little credibility on TheologyWeb to begin with, at least in the areas I've frequented, but apparently decided, while sinking his reputation even more, that a larger audience on the Internet should be clued in as well.

For that I thank him.


*update 06.10.07*

The link to the John W. Loftus post at Debunking Christianity, has been edited in an attempt by John W. Loftus to erase history that makes him look bad. I cover this more in a new post here.


Filed under: Religion -- Christianity -- Apologetics

Trackposted to: Right Pundits, Perri Nelson's Website, The Virtuous Republic, Azamatterofact, guerrilla radio, DeMediacratic Nation, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, The Florida Masochist, Colloquium, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, Pet's Garden Blog, Blue Collar Muse, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Wake Up America, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, stikNstein... has no mercy, Pirate's Cove, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, High Desert Wanderer, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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