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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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Sunday, June 10, 2007

John W. Loftus replies. He thinks this helped?

It appears this previous post didn't sit well with Mr. Loftus. Let's take a look at the comment he left there.

The hypocricy never ends, does it? Would you please be as honest about your faults as I about mine? I didn't have to admit anything. There is no evidence I was deceptive, and I didn't have to blog about it.

Now, tell us about your faults. And deal with my arguments.

Make sure you read that previous post he was replying to and the links contained therein so you have the background before I continue. A note about some of those links,  John W. Loftus deleted all of his evasion, pathetic rationalizations, comments and his replies to those comments at his blog as well as his original post that started all of this. His "apology" post now simply says, "Like I said, I'm moving on", the date has also been changed and blogs that linked to that post are gone as well. It's one thing to try and move on, an actual apology and repentance would do that, but trying to erase history, because it makes you look bad, in place of proper contrition, does not.

My first take on this is that it would appear he didn't even bother to read my post, as he really didn't address the points I made. I'll now reply fully with John's comments in bold and my comments in regular font.


The hypocricy never ends, does it?

I suppose my readers are wondering where this came from. You may have missed it but in John's admission that yes, he did create the blog that he tried to deceive his readers about, he also had this to say (emphasis mine, in red):

I am more revealing about myself than probably any other atheist on the web precisely because I have a healthy self-esteem, and as a former minister I know that everyone has personal problems. If anyone wants to point his finger at me, he is being a hypocrite. People can hide by not revealing anything about themselves, and even hide their true identity, but I know different. We are all human beings. We all have problems. (source deleted by John W. Loftus)

So, according to John W. Loftus, since no one is perfect no one can say he did something wrong, or else they're a hypocrite. Sorry, but I don't care how many Masters Degrees you claim to have, this definition of hypocrisy is just a convenient attempt at preempting justified criticism by way of cheap psychological manipulation. If I had said, it was wrong for you to create a sock puppet blog, when I was doing the same thing, then yes, I would be a hypocrite. That is not what happened, so just grow up.

Would you please be as honest about your faults as I about mine?

Honest? Regarding this matter, only after you were called out and yet you still quibble over it being deceptive sort of maybe but not lying and even so, that it was ok to do it and imperfect human beings aren't allowed to criticize anyway.

Also, I don't care for putting one's faults out there as some sort of game of one upmanship. For example - Oh yeah, I'll raise your dishonesty by my cheating on taxes for 10 years, try being more revealing than that! It also appears you use this look at me being open gambit as simply cover for your moral failures, as if it completely erases what you've done. Finally, it's not that I've ever said I'm perfect or that I've never had moral failings, so go bark up another tree.

I didn't have to admit anything.

True, you could have continued being deceptive and lying and screwing your credibility. I'm not sure you're really helping yourself much with this kind of reply though.

There is no evidence I was deceptive,

You have got to be kidding with that.

and I didn't have to blog about it.

Of course you did, you needed to play that, I'm revealing myself and on one is perfect so no one can criticize me game. Of course you've haven't really apologized yet, so all that's left is this justification, rationalization and blaming others and trying to preempt criticism with that silly definition of hypocrisy.

Now, tell us about your faults.

I don't put them out there in pity party, look at me! manipulation fashion as you do.

And deal with my arguments.

Did you actually read my post that you replied to? I noted that I had addressed and rejected your arguments before I even really knew who John W. Loftus was and that Doubting John on Tweb and he were one in the same, and I provided a link to that post.

I really hope you can get over yourself. This inability to just say, "Hey, I screwed up, I'm sorry", is not helping you and certainly doesn't lend itself well to someone claiming to be an honest skeptic.


As noted at the beginning of this post, John W. Loftus has attempted to erase history. You can see by the links to the Tweb thread at my previous post, what transpired, as well as additional dishonesty at this Tweb post, which documents the point JB made in comments to John W. Loftus here after John replied to my post.

That he still claims to be an honest skeptic after this, is sad enough, but as I've looked over this matter and into his interactions on Tweb before this, I see more of the same, beyond even lying. A collection of his past utterances can be found near the bottom of this page.

One point, among many, that's been made on Tweb is that he puts arguments out there that have been answered before, as if nothing has been said to refute them. The FAQ at the top of his blog contains some arguments from the various contributors as well as himself against Christianity. However, you can see at the previous link above, that much of what Loftus has argued in his book has been replied to quite well. Also, for someone who has claimed to have been preparing to be an apologist for the faith, yet they say they never understood the faith, is "rather paradoxical" as JB noted here.

I'm inclined to agree with you that it's rather paradoxical for someone to devote themselves so fully to defending a position that they concede they don't understand. For that matter, if he really lacked an understanding of Christianity (which seems painfully obvious from many of his objections), why was he so certain in that past that "Christianity was true and could withstand all attacks"?

Maybe not quite a contradiction, but it could be considered at least a very pronounced mental tension on his part. Or, one of the two statements could be mere bravado put in there to give the impression desired in the context, without necessarily corresponding to the reality of how he typically thought after obtaining those degrees.

Perhaps he will reply to this, or maybe just continue his version of moving on, though it would be better that he sincerely apologize and admit to wrong doing, rather than his current actions. When even some who are not Christians are saying he's lost credibility with them (here and here), you would think he would modify his behavior. Instead, he's tried to erase history on his blog and now has the complete blindness to irony, that he's posted about atheistic ethics. Such posts, in the context of this drawn out experience, would overall amount to well-crafted satire, were it not for the unfortunate and quite sad fact of the matter that the man is actually quite serious.


Filed under: Religion -- Christianity -- Apologetics

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