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Christianity

The continuing saga of John Loftus

I have been “temporarily banned” from speaking to John Loftus. Read all about it on his website: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2009/01/five-original-arguments-in-my-book.html

I really don’t have a lot to say about it besides this. Which is more disrespectful? To offer harsh but constructive criticism, or to selectively edit, quote mine, and ignore constructive but harsh criticism.

I will be reviewing John Loftus’ book, and judging from the reviews I’ve already read, I suspect my review will be good. I make no bones about the fact that I have a strong dislike for Loftus’ cavalier attitude towards epistemological rights. I suspect that I don’t like him as a person based on our limited interactions. Bearing that in mind, I want to point out two things regarding his accusations towards me:

1) Richard Wagner was a douche. Plain and simple. He was an arrogant, self important, grouchy antisemitic crank. Even so, his music, whether it is personally fulfilling to any individual or another, has a valid and necessary place in the history of music. I have written critical reviews of various Wagner pieces as part of classes, and I always did my best to separate the man from the music. To that end, I fully intend to approach Loftus’ book as it stands. I hope — I really, truly do hope that it’s a good book. I suspect that it is.

2) As I have said many times (and have yet to be published on his website in saying), my biggest gripe with Loftus on his website and in his miscellaneous writings is that he seems to think that his ability to write a convincing anti-theistic treatise gives him the epistemological justification to make pronouncements about much more difficult topics.

To put it bluntly, it doesn’t take much actual logic to be an atheist. Most five or six year olds can comprehend the arguments, and some of them can even come up with them on their own. To be certain, it is one thing to grasp the arguments, and it is quite another to be able to explain them in a compelling and emotionally satisfying way. John was a preacher, and from all accounts, I imagine he was good at it. Preachers are good at making compelling emotional appeals, and I agree with John that this is something that’s needed in the atheist literature. He’s absolutely right that some of the more erudite atheist authors go straight over the heads of theists. We need people with charisma and an ability to communicate to the theist masses.

There is a concept I want John to grasp, though. It is one thing to present an argument in a simplified way. I do this all the time in discussing evolution. The math simply isn’t necessary for most people to grasp the concept. Neither is the specifics of how various organic compounds interact with each other on a molecular level. What’s important, however, is that I do not do the concept itself injustice by either oversimplifying it to the point that it is wrong, or by simply stating it wrong in the interest of easy communication.

A great example of this is the term “survival of the fittest.” There are hundreds of thousands of people — maybe more — who think evolutionary survival of the fittest addresses issues like eugenics (speaking of Wagner) and political theory. It most certainly does not. In any sense. However, it has been oversimplified and simply taught wrong for so long that the idea still has great carrying power. It doesn’t take much to see how dangerous the wrong interpretation of this idea is. Properly understanding everything one is saying — particularly when one is admittedly communicating to ignorant masses — is crucially important. We cannot judge what kind of butterfly effect will result from a single idea that is “dumbed down” because “it’s not really important.”

So, once again, on to the crux of my problem with John Loftus. I have read his comments about mythicism and his responses to mythicists, and it is clear to me (and to the mythicists that I’ve spoken to about his comments) that he either doesn’t grasp the mythicist arguments or is incapable of responding to them. This can only mean two things:

1) He is not competent to make a judgment about Jesus’ historicity
2) He is competent but unwilling to address opposing arguments.

In either case, his opinion does not and should not count as authoritative. John thinks this is about me agreeing with the mythicists. It is not. I have given mythicists the same kind of grilling, and I am not fully satisfied with their answers. I am reserving judgment until at least after the Jesus Project publishes their findings, and possibly longer.

John also thinks this is about me being overly erudite. It isn’t. Half the reason religion is as powerful as it is is that lots of people believe unsupported statements. My problem with John is that he seems to be a little drunk with his own successful conveyance of very simple logical arguments to the point that he believes himself qualified to address much more complicated and in depth scholarly topics.

So, in conclusion, I’ll be spending several hours over the next week reading his book — in the bookstore, and then putting it back. I’m not giving him my money. Sorry. I will be writing as objective and comprehensive a review as I can, and I will do my best to be fair because he’s right. We do need someone to make some breakthroughs with Christians, and it seems he’s got the emotionally appealing chops to do so. However, I will continue to object strenuously when he tries to play by theist rules and win an argument by emotional bombast, intimidation, and self-aggrandizement.

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Discussion

15 thoughts on “The continuing saga of John Loftus

  1. “So, in conclusion, I’ll be spending several hours over the next week reading his book — in the bookstore, and then putting it back. I’m not giving him my money.”

    I was going to ask you if you could find it in the library, but my university doesn’t carry it. I was interested in reading it as well as I’ve only seen his summary on internet. I look forward to your review.

    Posted by SirMoogie | January 24, 2009, 3:13 am
  2. Hamby said Preachers are good at making compelling emotional appeals, and I agree with John that this is something that’s needed in the atheist literature. He’s absolutely right that some of the more erudite atheist authors go straight over the heads of theists. We need people with charisma and an ability to communicate to the theist masses…..What’s important, however, is that I do not do the concept itself injustice by either oversimplifying it to the point that it is wrong, or by simply stating it wrong in the interest of easy communication….My problem with John is that he seems to be a little drunk with his own successful conveyance of very simple logical arguments to the point that he believes himself qualified to address much more complicated and in depth scholarly topics. [EDIT: fixed formatting — HD]

    You make me laugh. You assume I present emoptional simplistic arguments because I was a preacher, or becuase I don’t publish that much of my book on my Blog. Okay, I guess. But it’s ignorant. You disagree with reviewers like Avalos, Beversluis and Carrier, but upon what basis? Faith, I tell ya. You don’t like me because I think there was an apocalyptic prophet who started the Jesus cult and that ANYONE who thinks that is ignorant! So becasue I think this way with the overwhelming scholars you conclude something in advance about my book despite what respected scholars have said it. You DO have an axe to grind and THAT’S why you are temporally banned from my Blog. Wasn’t it YOU who said: “Funny, eh? Knowing what you’re talking about? Neat concept”?

    Hamby said: I’ll be spending several hours over the next week reading his book — in the bookstore, and then putting it back. I’m not giving him my money.

    HA HA HA. YOU are a thief AND a joke. Authors don’t make money off their books unless they are really good sellers. I make 50 cents per book. The money goes to the people who edit, print, distribute and sell those books some of whom are atheists and need your support. Will you break the backing of the book while reading it? Will you smudge it so no one else will buy it? Will you buy it if you spill coffee on it, thief.

    Hamby again To put it bluntly, it doesn’t take much actual logic to be an atheist.

    *Ahem* Agreed. YOU are a case in point.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | January 24, 2009, 8:30 am
  3. Another thing, Hamby probably prides himself on being a rational objective weigher of the evidence, so let’s just compare his upcoming review of my book with the ones seen here. My book may or may not be all that these reviewers say it is, but I doubt Hamby’s review of it can be trusted since he cannot be objective about it.

    I dare say that despite the fact that he personally doesn’t like me, speaks before becoming informed, and is a thief, he should want to encourage skeptics to get it in the interests of our common cause if these reviews of it are even close in approximation. To do otherwise in the face of these more objective reviews means he’s only interested in himself. He doesn’t care what can help change the mind of a Christian.

    So here’s a challenge. Let’s see how objective and rational Hamby really is. If he cannot show himself to be objective and rational with regard to my book then may I humbly submit he cannot be objective or rational with regard to many things.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | January 24, 2009, 10:34 am
  4. Gosh. John has me on a technicality. I called my local library, and guess what? They have his book. Seems like someone has donated it out of the goodness of their heart. So, I will read it in the comfort of my own home without being a thief.

    Cheers.

    Posted by hambydammit | January 25, 2009, 2:05 am
  5. Wow! That Loftus guy comes off like such an asshole. I read his pronouncement about his brand new ideas and how his book was so freakin’ badass that it destroys all other atheist tomes without knowing anything about him, and my first response was “this guy’s an ass.” Learning he was a preacher, I suppose it makes sense since being egotistical is a prerequisite for such a position.

    I should also point out that I don’t know who Hamby is either apart from having just read 2 essays by him and thinking that I like the way he writes.

    So, my point is, Dubya (since I’m pretty sure you’ll read these comments again), it’s not just Hamby or people who take his side because they’re his friends. It’s just that you come off like an ass. Your book may be great and I’d love to read it (but being unemployed, buying books seems irresponsible, though I will give you the 50 cents you’d make off the sale if you email me the word doc of the draft you submitted for publishing [actually, I may even double your money and send you a dollar]) but that doesn’t lessen my opinion that you seem to be an ass. The reviews from people I respect attesting to the quality of your book do not lesson this idea. Even if your book is as good as you claim, it doesn’t lessen this idea. And banning people just reinforces it.

    Posted by KaylaKaze | January 25, 2009, 11:50 am
  6. Kayla, yes, I’m an ass toward assholes. It’s like you stepped into the middle of a debate Hamby and I have had for, oh, the last two months and you read two of his essays and pronounce judgment. Okay, I guess. He has called me ignorant and stupid so many times I cannot count, even though the ONLY reason he has done so is because I agree with the overwhelming number of scholars that there was real person behind the Jesus cult. He’ll say otherwise; that it’s my arguments that are ignorant, but my arguments are the same ones as those coming from the overwhelming number of scholars who disagree with him.

    You cannot imagine how I feel from the treatment I’ve received as a scholar from a non-credentialed hack like him simply because we disagree about one issue, a non-issue if you ask me, since Christianity is delusional regardless of what we conclude about a historical question. It would be akin to us agreeing about almost everything of importance (which is something we should be very very happy about since this type of agreement is rare) and then almost totally dismissing me and pre-judging my work without ever reading it, because we disagree over something like what happened at Custer’s last stand. Conspiracy theorists are usually like this. They are zealots with special inside information that no one but the enlightened are privy to. They cannot let anyone think for themselves even while claiming to be freethinkers and promoting freethinking.

    I abhor the fact that we skeptics are in a minority and he wants to arbitrarily set up a line in the sand where if you’re not in his specific minority camp that even though many people think my book helps his cause the most he wants to dismiss it, and he does, even though his opinion apparently doesn’t matter since practically no one visits this blog of his.

    BTW: I’m highlighting what others have said about my book and trying to explain why they think the way they do. It may or may not be all that they say it is, as I said.

    And NO, I am not legally able to email you my book.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | January 26, 2009, 3:01 pm
  7. My point wasn’t what you’ve said to Hamby (and I’ve now read your past issues now, and to me it sounds like you’ve been nothing but unreasonable). My point was in the way you say things, not to Hamby, but in general. You don’t come on the scene acting like king shit and getting pissed when people tell you maybe you’re not as all that as you seem to think you are. You think you have some magical connection to Christians that others don’t. It has nothing to do with Hamby. It’s all you. Atheists are often accused by theists of being arrogant, but we all know that it’s pretty arrogant of them to think the super-creator of the universe loves them and cares about their sex life. When you gave up Christianity, it seems you never lost that arrogance.

    I’ve read the “debates” you two have had on mythiscism and Hamby is absolutely right: if you’re not qualified to speak on the matter as a scholar, don’t act like you are. You need to learn how to say “I don’t know”. That, I think, is one of the hardest things for someone coming from a religious background to a skeptical one to learn to do. I also hear your concern about Carrier possibly screwing up his reputation, however, that’s his choice. If he has to put himself on the line in order to do what he thinks is intellectually honest, then so be it. We didn’t get where we are as a society by keeping to safe and comfortable ideas. And yes it IS a non -issue… so stop talking about it as if you have more knowledge about the subject than anyone else. Hamby has stated over and over that he is neither a mythiscist nor a historist; that he is not qualified to speak on the subject. Is his word not good enough when he states what he thinks? Does he need to get a tatoo? Take out a billboard ad? Walk through Harlem naked with a breadboard reading “I am not a mythiscist”?

    And from what I’ve read of your credentials, you shouldn’t talk about people being non-credentialed hacks. Degrees from bible colleges (ehm, excuse me, SEMINARIES) aren’t worth the toilet paper they’re printed on. And, in my personal opinion, degrees in theology and philosophy by themselves are as worthless as degrees in leprechaun anatomy and unicorn husbandry. Sure there are some people I respect who have such degrees, but I don’t respect them for their degrees but for what I’ve learned from them (and I would say and have said the same about their degrees).

    Just out of curiosity, have you read what atheists have said about numerous other atheist books that have been written over the years? Your positive reviews are nothing special. Maybe your book is all that and a bag of chicken, but I doubt it. So I ask you right now: Do you think Why I Became an Atheist is better than The God Delusion, End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, Demon Haunted World, or any other 4+ star rated books of similar ilk on Amazon? Do you think the people who gave you positive reviews think your book is better?

    Posted by KaylaKaze | January 26, 2009, 3:43 pm
  8. Kayla, now you’ve got me in a catch-22, for if I answer your last set of questions with a resounding yes, you will conclude I think I’m king shit.

    While those specific books you mentioned are all good ones for different reasons, when it comes to convincing Christians they are wrong my book will do more then all of them put together, but only if it’s read. The other books are doing much more for our cause than mine will ever do simply because mine is not a bestseller.

    I think that’s what some of the reviewers have said in so many words.

    So you can imagine why I am so upset that these other books get the press and the recommendations from the skeptics and mine doesn’t. There are books on both sides of the fence that are only preaching to the choir. Mine is not one of them. Just yesterday I received an email from a Christian scholar who is planning on writing a review of my book for a scholarly journal and he congratulated me for not arguing against any straw men. In fact he said he didn’t see me arguing against any straw men at all throughout my whole book! I don’t know if you can appreciate such a compliment but most of the times when trying to argue against a position one of the most often charges is that the opponent is merely arguing against a straw man.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | January 26, 2009, 4:02 pm
  9. I’m one to always say if the you can back up your arrogance it’s well deserved and you should be arrogant. So I suppose I’ll have to judge for myself on your book (or just ignore it altogether, since, to be honest, I don’t really care all that much). I personally don’t think any book will change the Christians minds unless they’re already in a position to have their minds changed. They’re notoriously good at ignoring logic and facts.

    And lastly, I’ll apologize, because, after considering the situation, I realized that perhaps out of frustration of not having had a theist to rip apart in quite a long time, I might have been more aggressive towards you as I should have been. You may or may not be an ass, and I think you have been unreasonable and reactionary in the situation with Hamby, but I have no real stake in the matter and probably should’ve left my opinion to myself. Then again, maybe we all have a stake in a situation where someone publishing “in the name of atheism” (obviously that’s not really how it is, but that’s how it’s perceived by outsiders) starts holding firmly onto any idea on which there is insufficient evidence and attacking someone for having a differing opinion, or even for saying “Hey, we don’t know one way or the other. Leave the subject alone and let the people who know what they’re talking about fight it out.”

    Well, whether I have a stake in the Hamby situation or not, I probably shouldn’t have called you an arrogant ass. I could’ve at least been more tactful.

    Now, you said “The other books are doing much more for our cause than mine will ever do simply because mine is not a bestseller.” Now, I’ll admit I don’t know much about publishing… but are bestsellers decided by the Illuminati or something? I may be too naive but I always thought a book became a best seller because it was good and sold well.

    As for lack of straw men, what straw men have you seen in other books? I can’t think of any. I know what a pain it is to argue against straw men because Christians use them all the time. And I’ve also heard Christians make up straw men and then claim the atheist is attacking that straw man when the atheist said nothing of the sort. Hearing a Christian say you had no straw men either tells me this Christian is incredibly reasonable for his ilk or your book is failing in what you say you want it to accomplish. I must say I’m very curious about it.

    Posted by KaylaKaze | January 26, 2009, 4:25 pm
  10. Thanks Kayla, no apologies necessary. Sometimes I can indeed be an ass.

    Bestsellers are not always the best books. They’re the most popular books. They have a marketing machine behind some of them. PB doesn’t have a marketing budget. I’m an unknown author which is doubly a problem, along with the fact that it’s not geared to the masses as much as college and university students.

    The reason you cannot think of any straw men in the “four horsemen” books is because you are part of the choir they are singing to. (sorry) I haven’t the time to go through them with you.

    Take the following blurb for what it is which says the same thing as what that other Christian scholar emailed me about my book:

    Dr. Mark D. Linville, Christian philosopher and contributor to the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology: “Of the spate of books coming from the so-called ‘New Atheists’ that have appeared in the past few years—Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, et al—John W. Loftus’s critique of Christian theism is by far the most sophisticated. Where, say, Dawkins might be found attacking a man of straw, Loftus understands and assesses the arguments of today’s premier Christian apologists and philosophers. Evangelicals cannot afford to ignore Why I Became an Atheist.”

    I can only plead with skeptics like Hamby and others to set aside our differences and get behind my book with all they’ve got, if it it what these scholars say it is. It’s not about money for me. I will probably only ever be a thousandaire from it’s sales (big deal). My goal is to change the religious landscape.

    Cheers.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | January 26, 2009, 4:38 pm
  11. I’d like to encourage you, John, and everyone else reading this to make sure you’ve read my posts closely. John, in particular, you should notice that both here and on your site, I have continually said that I suspect your book is good and that I anticipate writing a generally positive review based on the other reviews I’ve read.

    It sounds like you’re speaking with a slightly cooler head right now, John, and I’d like to encourage you to take a few minutes to go back and reevaluate our discussion. I want you to know I’m still very upset with you for not publishing all of my posts in their entirety on your site and for selectively editing and publishing (at least) one other one. (I haven’t kept up with every post, but I know of one for certain that I posted in its entirety here.) For the reader, I’m going to condense what to my memory is the gist of most of the posts that John has not published on his site:

    1) John accuses me of being “on the mythicists’ side” and “having an axe to grind” because of it. I cannot state this more emphatically or any more clearly than I already have: I am not a mythicist. Period. End of story. I do have connections within the Jesus Project, and I am looking forward to their published findings. However, my personal opinion on the existence of a historical Jesus has been well articulated, and it does not in any way include a statement on mythicism.

    My issue with John is that he is making the job of the Jesus Project, et al, more difficult by promoting the consensus that Jesus was historical even though he is not qualified to address the mythicist position. That’s it. The question of Jesus’ historicity is one to be dealt with by scholars who have the knowledge to do so, not by someone who’s good at “preaching atheism” (forgive me) and refuting apologetics. Now, before anybody gets their panties in a bunch, I’m not casting aspersions at preaching atheism. John, I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have great respect for your willingness to take on Christians on their own turf, so to speak. I preach to the choir. Just look at my blog. My deal is writing for people who have already left Christianity and want to know the answers to questions Christianity claimed to answer but didn’t. I don’t debate Christians for the most part. It’s too aggravating for me.

    When this little internet war started, I said, in as many words, that I would continue to promote your site and your book, John. You may have a hard time believing this, but I’m a team player in this. If you don’t change the “hearts” of believers, I don’t have anybody to preach to. Your book is a necessary antecedent to what I want to do, which is teach non-believers how to have meaning, morality, and happiness without the crutch of religion. My stance on this has not changed. I think you’ve behaved like an ass to me, and I think you behaved like an ass towards several people who have respectfully disagreed with your stance on Jesus. I don’t expect you to be perfect, John. I’m not. I’m asking you to use your head instead of your emotions to reevaluate your epistemological rights and stick to what you know and are good at. If your book is good, and all indications are that it is, I will promote it.

    I really have been battling theism since you were thumping it on your pulpit, John, and I am very well versed in what I write about. In one of the posts of mine that you didn’t publish, I explained the necessity for my internet anonymity, and I hope you respect that. I also hope you will take it from someone with more experience in this than you, and more knowledge of argument, logic, and epistemology that you are overstepping your bounds — not in your book, from what I am led to believe — but in your blog, and in your claims about your book. This leads me to big point number two.

    2) You have accused me of attacking your book without having the knowledge to do so. This is a misguided accusation. To be precise, what I have questioned (not attacked, John. I really hope you learn to separate constructive criticism from attacks.) is your claim that you have original arguments against Christianity. There are two very good reasons I have the justification to ask you that question: 1) You outlined the five “original” arguments, and all of them looked quite familiar to me, and 2) Before you even became an atheist, I had stopped writing about busting theist arguments because I’d discovered just how few original arguments are even possible!

    Put simply, John, when one makes a positive claim, the number of rebuttals is limited by the complexity of the claim itself! That is, when a Christian says, “God is supernatural,” there are only so many ways to attack the claim: I can say that “God” is an incoherent term. I can say that “supernatural” is incoherent. I can assert materialism. I can reduce the claim to the absurd. I can attack it with epistemological paradox. I could list a few more, but honestly, the list isn’t much longer. When I am done making a list of counter-arguments, I really am done because there simply aren’t any more aspects of the claim to attack.

    People have been refuting Christianity since a few minutes after it was invented, but we live in a wonderful world where we are not hanged, burned, or mutilated for doing so. Still, philosophers have had two millenia to think of all the things wrong with Christianity, and to be honest, the claim of an original argument seems very sketchy. Trust me, John, if you’ve thought of an original argument, I’ll be the first to shout it from every rooftop I can find. That would be a huge addition to philosophy. I suspect, and will hopefully verify in a few days, that you’ve found interesting and perhaps even new ways to present arguments that have been around for a long time.

    Let me wrap up my mini-sermon. John, I know you think I’m busting your balls unnecessarily, and that I’m trying to make you look bad in front of other atheists. That’s not what I’m doing. You’re certainly in the wrong on the Jesus thing, unless you’ve been holding out and have a scholarly refutation of mythicism. I’m trying to save you from both public embarrassment and justified criticism from the atheist community. We atheists are sticklers for precision and accuracy, and I’ve tried to explain to you that your reputation as an atheist author is going to hinge on your ability to stick to what is true, verifiable, and justifiable. When you go out on limbs, people are going to hack them off, and you’re going to take a fall. The correct thing for you to have done was to swallow your pride, back off of the Jesus thing, and stick to what you know. The thing with “arguments” may seem trivial to you, but it’s really important. You’ve said how important it is to reach Christians where they are, and I agree with you. Now, remember when you were a Christian how you would take even the slightest misstep by an atheist and use it to justify your own Christianity? Well you’ve made two missteps, and I’m trying to help you fix them before you lose face with the people you’re trying to reach.

    If you’d like, I’ll provide you links to see where I’ve backed off of claims, admitted I was wrong, and changed my position when the facts were against me. Professional humility goes a long way in the business of changing hearts and minds, John. It also goes a long, long way to making you into the kind of person people want to promote — not someone who we promote despite having personal issues with you.

    I would love for us to come out of this as at least professionally friendly, John. I don’t like making enemies. However, my commitment is to truth and reality, not to any one author or figure within atheism. Please, take a few minutes and consider that a little professional deference on what you claim as a minor issue in your own mind would go a long way, especially since the number of people calling you an ass around the internet is growing each time you refuse to address mythicism directly. Prove that you’re not. Back off and stick to what you know. That would be a very professional, rational, and grown up thing to do.

    Posted by hambydammit | January 26, 2009, 6:09 pm
  12. Hamby, if you would not continue to demean me, even now I could be friendly with you, but you continue. Still, I’ll try. I am both older than you think and I’m more knowledgeable than you think. You keep referring to me when preaching as a Bible-thumper. You don’t know the difference, but I suppose I cannot fault you for that, since to you all preachers are Bible thumpers. Listen, I did not name my book. PB did. They thought by using the word “preacher” it would sell better. While it’s true I was a preacher I was also a philosophy instructor, and an apologist, but since people might not know what an apologist was and “philosophy instructor” was too long, they chose the word “preacher.” YOU have no respect for preachers, do you? They are all ignorant Bible thumpers, right? You have misjudged who I was and who I am.

    As far as original arguments in my book goes, you jumped down my throat for saying what I did after having a knock down series of arguments about the historicity of Jesus. I can only think you did that because you wanted to continue to irritate me.

    What I said was this:

    “For people looking for new arguments I actually think I can count five new ones that have probably never been used before in one book (at least not in the way I do that I know of).”

    Read each word carefully, okay?

    If you disagree then all you need to do is provide evidence for your claims. It would be of interest to me to learn who used any one of these arguments before I did. I have done extensive research into producing an anthology of contra-Christian writings and I haven’t seen them argued before in the way I did.

    And if you judge that my arguments are not entirely new, then my take on them is surely new, and the fact that all of them are in one book cannot be denied unless you find another volume using all five of them in the same way. 😉

    I hope that if you find my book to be a good one you will still put aside our differences and help me promote it, although, I’m not sure at all who is listening to you on your blog.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | January 26, 2009, 7:23 pm
  13. Honestly, I don’t think there’s much I could add to what you’ve written, John. I give you props for at least addressing one of my criticisms. Am I to assume that this is some kind of a left handed attempt to tell me I’m right and that your arguments are new spins on old ideas? If so… um… thanks? Or, are you still trying to “win the argument” by showing me that your statement could be interpreted as meaning that your arguments are “new spins” not “new arguments”? I’ve written a couple of political speeches in my time. Don’t try to sell me that, ok?

    As for the rest of it, I will let my readers — all… let’s see… 139 today — judge for themselves who is making coherent arguments and who is responding with emotion and unfounded accusations. (How in the world would you know what I think of “all preachers?”)

    Anyway, it’s off to work, then to the library. I’ve got a book to read.

    Posted by hambydammit | January 26, 2009, 7:39 pm
  14. Hmm, classic!

    1) incite opponent
    2) opponent incited
    3) Opponent: you are incited, that is evidence you are wrong.

    Argument.

    Nobody wins with these. John was smart to ban you.

    Posted by Joshua | December 17, 2009, 7:58 pm
  15. Oooh… Hoping to see some more fireworks, are you? I gather you followed the link from my facebook posting on his wall. Somebody did. Did you notice how he called me “friend?” Notice how I mentioned how excited I am about his new book and that I think it will be great? Looks like you’re the only one with an axe left to grind.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Posted by hambydammit | December 17, 2009, 9:05 pm

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