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Atheism, Book Review, Christianity

Book Review: Why I Became An Atheist, by John Loftus

The six hours I spent today reading Why I Became an Atheist were an up and down experience.  On balance, I feel like I’m happier having read the book than not, and on balance, I think its good parts are more good than its bad parts are bad.   I’ll save my broad statements until the end, and approach the book in sections.

As part of the choir that doesn’t need to be preached to, I learned the most from the first chapter, which is an autobiographical account of John’s childhood, conversion, and subsequent deconversion.  To be fair, there’s a lot more to it than just that, but I’m not going to put spoilers in the review.  I will say that while I was reading, I felt suspiciously like I was reading a “Tell All Expose” from some disenfranchised sports star.  I feel like I learned a lot about John’s personality, and I have to be honest.  Some of it wasn’t flattering at all.  John freely admits to posessing several rather serious character defects, and his writing style itself seems to betray a rather intense desire to justify certain of his actions in the past.   To be perfectly honest, I was getting tired of the “dish the dirt” style testimony, and then he blindsided me by anticipating my discomfort and addressing it directly.

In my discussions with John, he’s often mentioned the need for more than epistemic approaches to deconversion.  I wholeheartedly agree with him on this point.  Most people are religious for emotional reasons, and logic doesn’t often trump emotions.  John has laid his faults bare and presented himself as just another guy who was lucky enough to study logic in military school and catch a couple of fortuitous chance breaks later in life.  I like this approach, and even if I think some of his presentation could be faulted for defensiveness, in the end, that adds reality and a certain charm to it.  I feel like I know a lot more about John than I did before reading.  He intends this book to be read by the “average Joe” who’s had at least some college, and he certainly does a good job of putting himself on a credible level with his audience.  (If America’s current obsession with reality TV is any indication, he’s probably done a very good thing by dishing a little dirt on himself.)

From the beginning, I could feel the influence of Josh MacDowell, Hal Lindsay, Lee Strobel, and his mentor, William Lane Craig.  His writing style is clearly influenced by these writers, much moreso than some of the science writers many atheists will be familiar with.  Again, I think this is a good thing for his target audience, who is much more likely to have read Josh MacDowell than Richard Dawkins.

Formally, the first chapter can be thought of as a prequel.  Chapter two jumps straight into one of the most common theist misconceptions — moral superiority.   He deals with the standard issues of morality originating from God versus nature, and addresses several theist assertions about the nature of morality.  The best moment, in my opinion, is when he turns the question of arbitrary morality against the theist by asking if she would love and obey God if he commanded her to commit horrible acts against her neighbor.

Chapters 3 through 6 deal with the philosophical issues inherent in the question of God’s existence and nature.  As I’ve said, I don’t wish to spoil his book, so I will not treat this as a book report.  Instead, I’m going to raise a stylistic issue.  To be honest, it was all I could do to keep reading during these chapters.  There were times when I felt like I was reading twenty books at once, each by a different author, and each from a different generation.  In his presentation of philosophical ideas, John very frequently quotes various philosophers in midsentence, and the overall effect is very disconcerting.  It was very hard to get into any kind of comfortable reading rhythm, and frankly, very hard to follow his train of thought from one paragraph to the next.   I appreciate John’s thorough documentation of the originators of various ideas, and I understand his desire to let them speak in their own words, but in the end, I’d much rather have read his own words throughout and checked the endnotes if I wanted to read his sources.

Of particular note in these chapters is John’s Outsider Test of Faith, which he has claimed as a new argument for atheism.  In all fairness, I do not think that it is.  It is simply a well reasoned and very thorough explanation of the double standard applied by theists to their beliefs versus those of other faiths.  I wish he had not claimed it as new, for if he had not, I could have unreservedly expressed praise for the idea.

Chapter five deals with the three main arguments for God, namely the ontological, the cosmological, and the teleological.  Again, it feels more like John is interjecting comments into the quotes of previous philosophers.  I wish he had done less quoting and written more of his own words.  In my notebook, I have written the following:  “This is like Atheism 101.  It’s a survey that directs us to authors who will give us more complete answers and explanations.  Yet, it still feels vaguely unsettling to take John’s word that these authorities are accurate.”  In short, I do not feel that the space devoted to these arguments was sufficient to thoroughly address these issues.

Loftus has taken on a monumental task with this book, and to be fair to him, he’s done a very good job of at least addressing every issue that most Christians are likely to raise.  Further, he has certainly made the reader familiar with a plethora of authors to whom they can turn if they wish to know more on a particular subject.  I wonder, however, if the scope of the book has exceeded its reach in this area.  If it sounds like I’m just harping on the negative, it’s because I feel like Part 1 had some problems.  John has taken on so many topics that in order to limit the book to a readable length, he has had to provide explanations that are simply too short to feel fulfilling.  Never fear, though.  There are home runs to come.

Chapter Six deals with the dichotomy between science and religion, and while it is a strong presentation of the state of the “debate,” I felt somewhat disappointed that he did not spend more time discussing the epistemological foundation of strong empiricism and the absurdity of the concept of a non-scientific claim.

I’ll admit that I was feeling a creeping despair by this time.  These are all topics that are near and dear to my heart, and I have opined on them at length for many years.  If I judge them harshly, it’s because they are my forte, and I am a stickler for details.  Thankfully, with Chapter Seven, things got much easier, and much more pleasant.  John’s presentation of the absurdity and ubiquitousness of superstition in Biblical times  is very elegant.  I remember thinking somewhere in the middle of the chapter that this is what John is good at.  Not only does he begin to rely less on the words of others, but his own words are less forced and much more compelling.  Between details of flip-flopping polytheist beliefs, magic, divination, dreams, prophecies, contradictory stories, and errant science (the heart is most certainly not the seat of the mind!) John has made a nearly air tight case for the unreliability of Biblical authors due to their superstitious nature.

As if to add insult to injury, John proceeds to dismantle the concept of divine inspiration by detailing Pseudonymity across both the Old and New Testaments.  Not surprisingly, Biblical discussions are where he shines, and I am happy to say that I was reading easily and enjoying myself.  By the time he thoroughly dismantled the Biblical account of the Exodus and the conquest of Caanan, I had forgotten my earlier disquiet.

I have a note that I wrote to myself as I was reading Chapter 8: The Poor Evidence of Historical Evidence, in which Loftus is attacking the use of the Bible as evidence for the Bible by dismantling historical evidence as a basis for any epistemology.  My note reads:  “This book is good for fundamentalists, [but] not so good for liberal theists.”  I remember thinking as I was reading that many liberal theists would probably put the book down at this point.  The opening section was certainly not the best treatment of the philosophical arguments for God that I’ve ever read, and I doubt they would be convincing to a liberal theist.  However, once John started ripping into the beliefs held by most fundamentalists, I found myself admiring his effort while wishing that he’d confined himself to a smaller target audience.

Chapter nine deals with miracles.  Chapter ten with the self-reinforcing argument from the “Witness of the Holy Spirit.”  (This, more than any other subject, seems to be a direct assault on his former mentor, Dr. Craig.)  Chapter eleven is a short and concise attack on the concept of answered and unanswered prayers.  All three chapters are consistently logical and convincingly straightforward.

Of particular interest to me were chapters twelve and thirteen, as I had been told by John himself that I was to find a brand new approach to the problem of evil.  Sadly, I did not find it, but I was thoroughly impressed with his treatment of the problem.  I was particularly happy with his repeated return to the suffering of animals and the philosophical problem inherent in environmental and inadvertant evil.  These are, admittedly, aspects of the problem that have not been given much emphasis in previous treatises, and I was very glad to see them prominently displayed.

Beginning with Chapter Forteen and continuing through Chapter Twenty-two, John hit his stride again.  Because I think these are his best chapters, I will refrain from detailed comment and let the reader enjoy them without giving away any secrets.  Again, they are certainly best suited for fundamentalists, as they deal with such subjects as the virgin birth, the nature of a god-man duality, resurrection from the dead, and the Biblical account of the devil and hell.

Ok.  In all fairness, I’ll tell you why I don’t care to comment on these chapters.  Biblical argument is not my thing.  John’s really very good at it, and unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of notes in this section.  It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying it.  I was.  That’s just it.  I didn’t feel like taking any notes because I was just enjoying a good read.  Like a runner who doesn’t hit his stride until halfway through a race, John saved his best writing for the last half of the book.  I particularly like his method of quoting biblical stories and interjecting his own commentary to illustrate their absurdity, contradictory nature, and various other faults.  In all fairness, if I had read only chapters seven through twenty two, I would have given this book very high praise.  As I mentioned before, I wish John had confined himself to a smaller audience, specifically fundamentalists and Biblical literalists.  That would have killed two birds with one stone — he would have put only his best writing foot forward, and he would have cut the length down by at least a third.

As an afterthought, I’m going to mention that his last section, Part 3, felt like an afterthought.  I understand that the book needed some closure, and to be honest, it’s too long as it is, so I respect his decision to keep his final thoughts brief.  In fact, I remember thinking that his book really is a fantastic precursor to my own writings, which deal largely with what a person is to do after leaving religion.

On the whole, I really do feel mixed emotions about the book.  When he’s dealing with the Bible or Christian theology, Loftus is a rock star.  I wish he’d written a book half as long that just dealt with those topics.  I appreciated the autobiographical elements, and particularly appreciated his attempt (which I think is largely successful) to present himself as a fallible human being, not a lofty scholar.  In short, I believe I will feel comfortable recommending this book to fundamentalist Christians, but for liberal theists, I will stick with Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris.  I commend John for a very thorough, well researched, and generally enjoyable first writing effort.

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Discussion

18 thoughts on “Book Review: Why I Became An Atheist, by John Loftus

  1. [Loftus] intends this book to be read by the “average Joe” who’s had at least some college, and he certainly does a good job of putting himself on a credible level with his audience.

    Of particular note in these chapters is John’s Outsider Test of Faith, [which] is simply a well reasoned and very thorough explanation of the double standard applied by theists to their beliefs versus those of other faiths.

    Loftus has taken on a monumental task with this book, and to be fair to him, he’s done a very good job of at least addressing every issue that most Christians are likely to raise. Further, he has certainly made the reader familiar with a plethora of authors to whom they can turn if they wish to know more on a particular subject.

    John’s presentation of the absurdity and ubiquitousness of superstition in Biblical times is very elegant. I remember thinking somewhere in the middle of the chapter that this is what John is good at. Between details of flip-flopping polytheist beliefs, magic, divination, dreams, prophecies, contradictory stories, and errant science (the heart is most certainly not the seat of the mind!) John has made a nearly air tight case for the unreliability of Biblical authors due to their superstitious nature.

    I was thoroughly impressed with his treatment of the problem [of evil]. I was particularly happy with his repeated return to the suffering of animals and the philosophical problem inherent in environmental and inadvertant evil. These are, admittedly, aspects of the problem that have not been given much emphasis in previous treatises, and I was very glad to see them prominently displayed.

    Like a runner who doesn’t hit his stride until halfway through a race, John saved his best writing for the last half of the book….if I had read only chapters seven through twenty two, I would have given this book very high praise.

    On the whole, I really do feel mixed emotions about the book. When he’s dealing with the Bible or Christian theology, Loftus is a rock star. I wish he’d written a book half as long that just dealt with those topics. I commend John for a very thorough, well researched, and generally enjoyable first writing effort.

    Written by Rook Hawkins, correct?

    Thanks!

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 13, 2009, 10:24 pm
  2. What? Are you accusing me of plagiarism?

    Posted by hambydammit | February 14, 2009, 3:54 am
  3. No, not at all. I was informed that’s your real name. I would think if you were not Hawkins you would be more upset that you expressed.

    Several things. You repeatedly say that my book is better for fundamentalists. Great, as I said that was my target audience. I said so in the Introduction. They are numerous and obnoxious and political somewhat powerful. If I can move them over into the liberal camp then Harris and Dawkins can take over from there.

    And my goal with the plethera of citations was to overwhelm the believer for only a massive argument coupled with massive documentation can have the intended effect of dismantling a whole worldview. I didn’t say that was my goal since I didn’t want them to know what I was doing. I wanted them to feel what I was doing, and the emotional impact of the number of citations is certainly overwhelming. Who could actually read through every one of the works I refer to?

    You say my book is a “fantastic precursor” to your own work. Okay, fine. Why don’t you emphasize this? Is it fantastic or not? Emphasize what needs to be emphasized. Don’t do double speak.

    Of the Outsider Test you wrote: “I wish he had not claimed it as new, for if he had not, I could have unreservedly expressed praise for the idea.”

    Would you please explain what this has to do with the argument in that chapter? Why, for instance, does it matter what I think of the originality of that chapter when it comes to your evaluation of its merits? Are you saying that merely because I think it’s an original argument that you do not have unreservedly expressed praise for the idea? This is clearly an indication that you did not properly (or objectively) evaluate that chapter, or my whole book.

    And you did not document your claim that I had no original argument in my book. Documentation means giving us the sources where those arguments have been used before (and please note exactly what I said, too). You did nothing of the sort. Where, for instance, have you ever heard of testing the results of prayer by praying to change an event in the past, as but one of them? Document it. You cannot just state otherwise.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 14, 2009, 1:03 pm
  4. Christ on a pogo stick John. I gave your book an honest review which was mostly positive. What else do you want?

    You owe me no explanations or defense. I don’t like the way you quoted instead of using your own words. It’s my opinion based on what I find most pleasant and engaging to read.

    HELLO!!!! JOHN’S WORK IS AN EXCELLENT PRECURSOR TO MINE!!!! HELLO!!!!!! READERS!!!!!

    I only mentioned original arguments because you mentioned them first on your blog. I have read them before. I have written them before. They’re not new. I’m not going to provide you documentation of people writing about the double standard in Christianity. Google it yourself. There are thousands of examples. As for praying about the past, no. I’ve never heard anyone suggest you should pray for that. That’s a new example of an old argument. Look up whywontgodhealamputees.com. They’ve been using the exact same argument (pray for something truly impossible) for years.

    You’re right, John. I do unreservedly praise the chapter. It’s a great chapter. I cannot unreservedly praise you for it because you are either misinformed or disingenuous about its originality.

    To say that I’ve spent more time quibbling over this than I’d like is to say that I’ve spent time at it. I’m sorry you don’t like my review. I did what I said, which was write an honest review as objectively as I could. I failed in one spot to be objective, and you caught me on it. I have admitted my error. I have emphasized what you wanted me to emphasize. I didn’t expect thanks, but for crying out loud, John, do you always take constructive criticism this way?

    Oh, and no, I’m not Rook Hawkins. I didn’t know you were accusing me of being him. I thought you meant I stole the review from him, as anyone who’s ever read his stuff should recognize a vastly different writing style than mine. It never occurred to me that you were accusing me of being him.

    Your sources are… questionable.

    By the way, I wrote to you a couple of months ago telling you why I do not reveal my real name. Since you seem intent on finding out my identity, I’ll reveal more than I’d like to. I own a business, and at least half of my customer base is fundamentalist Christian. I cannot afford for my identity to be public because I literally can’t afford it. One of the reasons I am so outspoken is that I hate that I cannot be outspoken as myself but must use a pen name. I’d appreciate it if you let me continue to do my work while I continue to fight theism in my own way. Let my words speak for themselves. My identity is not important.

    Posted by hambydammit | February 15, 2009, 12:17 am
  5. I failed to be objective in one spot and you caught me on it…

    LOL

    Your word or mine, let the reader decide. Your review is not objective at all and it has nothing to do with whether or not your recommend my book at all. You have an axe to grind. I think there was a historical prophet named Jesus who existed and started the Jesus cult and it grates on your feeble mind that any intelligent educated person would disagree. Nevermind that most honest reviewers say otherwise about my book. That doesn’t matter, does it? The only thing that matters to you is that I should step in line. I left that cookie cutter mentality when I left the church. To me you have the same exact mentality of the institution that I left a long time ago.

    I defy you to provide documentation for your claims. The fact that you won’t should say a great deal about you. It’s because you can’t. Why would anyone take your word for it when your review is skewed so badly?

    I know I wouldn’t, asshole.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 15, 2009, 7:13 am
  6. Thank you, John. I feel confident that I don’t need to say anything else about this, but just so you won’t accuse me of running from this, look again at my previous post. I did give you documentation. Now, since you didn’t understand the documentation, I’ll give you a lesson in basic logic.

    An argument is a form. Here’s a basic example:

    All Men are Mortal.
    Socrates is a Man.
    Therefore, Socrates is Mortal.

    This is a form that can be rendered thusly:

    All M is T
    s is M
    Therefore, s is T.

    We could use another example of the same form:

    All Fish live in Water.
    Catfish are Fish.
    Therefore, Catfish live in Water.

    See? It’s the same argument with a different example.

    Now, take another form:

    If X and Y, then Z.
    X and Y.
    Therefore, Z.

    If we pray for something impossible AND it never happens, then Prayer doesn’t work the impossible.

    We pray for something impossible AND it never happens.

    Therefore, Prayer doesn’t work the impossible.

    1 Substitute “Pray to alter the past” for “something impossible,” and the form is the same.

    2 Substitute “Pray to regenerate an amputated limb” for “something impossible,” and the form is the same.

    I submit to you that whywontgodhealamputees.com presents argument 2 in 2006. Your book is copyright 2008.

    There’s your documentation.

    As for the outsider test for faith, I already explained that it is a very good example of the double standard of Christianity, and I absolutely refuse to provide you documentation of the oldest and best used argument against Christianity since the invention of Christianity. Please don’t make me go through this simple lesson in basic logic again.

    Finally, as you said, it is not for you to decide if my review is objective. It is for readers to decide. I think that given your history of abuse, censorship, and harrassment of me, any objective reader would be impressed that I was so complimentary.

    By the way, did you notice, I said absolutely nothing of your treatment of Jesus in the book? Hmmm… Puzzling, given that I have such an axe to grind.

    Oh, and as a last “by the way” would you like to go back and count the number of times you’ve called me idiot, asshole, or some other colorful euphemism, and how many times I haven’t responded in kind?

    As I said in my review, I stand by your book as a useful resource for fundamentalists. If it isn’t good enough for you that I don’t like you and still recommend your book, well… tough titties. Have a nice day.

    Posted by hambydammit | February 16, 2009, 12:16 am
  7. There are plenty of arguments in my book, dickwad. To have an argument one does not have to state all of the premises, dipshit. Some are implied, crack head. Even the conclusion can be implied, bonehead.

    And it means nothing at all that you never mentioned in your review the origination of our dislike for one another, which has to do with the fact that I think there was a Jewish prophet who started the Jesus Cult–a view shared by the overwhelming number of scholars. You see, I can tolerate disagreement. I cannot tolerate your cookie cutter style mentality. I bristle that some anonymous person like you presumes to tell me what to think and what to do to be a bonefide skeptic. You trample on the blood of every heretic who was ever burned at the stake who gave you the freedom to speak out. I too own a business in a local town, dumb bell. I have the integrity and the courage to speak out using my real name, coward.

    Finally, what does “whywontGodhealamputees” have anything to do with an original argument in my book? I never said that one was one, even though I used it.

    Carry on with your stupidity and with your 3-4 actual hits a day here in this lonely part of the internet.

    It’s people like you whom I wish were on the other side. You said my book was “fantastic,” and you also said that if you thought it so you’d go around the web saying it was. So it seems you also have no moral integrity since I don’t see you doing what you said you would do.

    You are pathetic.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 16, 2009, 4:09 am
  8. Three additional things stupid: 1) Censorship is a legal term as defined by the Supreme Court. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my having to permit you an audience on my Blog. 2) An original argument is probably best described as something written that has never been done before. If all I ever did was to extensively catalog all of the many Ontological arguments for the existence of God when no one in my era has done so, then that is an original work. 3) You have not, and I repeat, you have not documented anywhere previous to my book where someone has made the cases I did in the manner in which I did. I’d provide a link to what I said, but since practically no one reads this narrow-minded idiot’s blog coming from a coward who lacks moral integrity and who thinks he can back me into a straight-jacket because he has the keys to knowledge and skepticism, I won’t bother.

    But I do say to put up or shut up, you buffoon.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 16, 2009, 8:16 am
  9. John, I dislike you because you’re defensive to a fault, you don’t know how to take criticism, you resort to calling people names when they don’t go along with you, and you don’t take the time to read and understand arguments. You just react emotionally.

    I’m not going to get into a shouting match with you, and I’m going to let you have the last word as far as your previous two posts go. I have no interest in explaining to you again that you do not even understand my argument, just to have you misunderstand it again.

    What’s funny is that you still don’t even understand why I’m upset with you about your Jesus claims. I honestly think you’re the only reader of this blog who doesn’t get it, and that would be damn funny if it wasn’t sad. I’ve explained it enough times that it’s certainly not worth doing again.

    So John, my review stands as written, and my opinion of you stands. You’re always welcome to post here, and I will always do my best to address your argument instead of you personally. I wish you could have done the same for me.

    Best of luck to you.

    Posted by hambydammit | February 16, 2009, 6:49 pm
  10. Oh, and one other thing. John said: “It’s people like you whom I wish were on the other side. You said my book was “fantastic,” and you also said that if you thought it so you’d go around the web saying it was. So it seems you also have no moral integrity since I don’t see you doing what you said you would do.”

    I have posted my review which does indeed give the book high praise. I have linked to my review on my facebook page, on the Rational Response Squad website (one of the largest atheist websites in the world), and I have stumbled all of these pages with thumbs up. I’d mention it on your website, but gee golly whiz. I’ve been banned.

    Stuff it, John.

    Posted by hambydammit | February 18, 2009, 11:11 pm
  11. What amazes me is that what matters most to you is that I toe the party line and that I should not speak my mind. Sorry Bubba. That’s completely antithetical to the whole freethinking community. That I do not toe the line and that I do speak my mind is what produced our conflict, admit it. The fact is that my book has the best chance to dislodge the Christian from her beliefs of any other book out there, as so many others have said. But no. That’s not good enough for you since I also think there was a real person who started the Jesus cult.

    I would think that if my book is “fantastic” that you would recommend RRS to have me as a guest on their program and that they would. But again, no. Why? Because I disagree on a very minor insignificant issue which does not have enough force to it to cause any Christian to doubt her faith. And if my one chapter covering several arguments for the existence of God are simply “Atheism 101” then what would you say about Dawkins’s criticisms of these same arguments?

    I feel like I’m back in church again, this time with people like you. You have a pet peeve. It really does not matter to you to change the religious landscape as much as it does to advance your pet peeve. Hell, you just don’t care.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 19, 2009, 12:24 am
  12. John, I’d love for you to come on the RRS show. Really. I’m completely serious. Would you be able to record a show on a Wednesday early afternoon eastern time? I honestly never thought you’d want to come on the show. (Did you know I cohost it?)

    I’m putting my word in print for the whole internet to see that I’ll help you plug your book, and I’ll be happy to endorse it on the show.

    You also have my word that I have no intention of trying to harass you about the Jesus issue. We can certainly talk about it, but in all honesty, I’ve said my piece, and I don’t feel the need to go through the same discussion again.

    I’ll be happy to interview you and let you talk about the book, your life as a Christian, and the reasons you left Christianity.

    You seem intent on believing that I’m out to get you, John, and it’s just not true. Where we agree, we agree, and where we disagree, you think I’m attacking you. Perhaps a live discussion would convince you that I’m really an ok guy, and maybe, just maybe, I can even convince you that I’m not a freaking Jesus mythicist.

    In any case, just say the word, and I’ll arrange you as a guest.

    Posted by hambydammit | February 19, 2009, 12:37 am
  13. No, I did not know you co-host it. I don’t know anything about you at all, although you do seem pretty smart and pretty educated.

    Yes, of course I would like to be your guest. Why would you think otherwise? And I’m completely willing to bury the hatchet and be friends. We have so much that we agree about we should focus on that.

    Posted by John W. Loftus | February 19, 2009, 2:05 am
  14. Consider it done. My schedule is pretty jammed in the near future, but we’ll get it done in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be in touch.

    Posted by hambydammit | February 19, 2009, 9:01 am
  15. Let me see… he called you an asshole, a dickwad, dipshit, crack head, bonehead, stupid and a buffoon.

    But when he heard you co-host RRS, he says: “you do seem pretty smart and pretty educated”.

    hambydammit your gracious reaction is an example to Christians everywhere!

    Please post a link to the interview on RRS, if you have one 🙂

    Posted by Paul McCullagh | August 6, 2009, 3:03 am
  16. Thank you. This review so very closely resembles my own thoughts while reading (I’m currently around chapter 9) that it’s almost uncanny.

    Surely the crass commenter labelled as “John W. Loftus” in this blog is not the actual author John W. Loftus? The remark about being banned from his blog seems to seal it.

    The first thing I said when I read the first comment was “What?” – that’s the only possible response.

    And the quality of his argument is good enough that he resorts to this: “asshole, a dickwad, dipshit, crack head, bonehead, stupid and a buffoon”.

    If I found this blog any earlier, I would easily written off John W. Loftus as a nut-job. And never purchased the book.

    “Carry on with your stupidity and with your 3-4 actual hits a day here in this lonely part of the internet”

    … that can be fixed, very quickly.

    Posted by TheBlindWatcher | January 15, 2010, 8:00 pm
  17. My over-arching thought upon (finally) finishing the book “Why I Became an Atheist” is too many notes.

    Posted by TheBlindWatcher | January 19, 2010, 6:51 am
  18. What an incredibly immature person. Content was fine. Book needed an editor. Author needs therapy.

    Posted by TimP | August 6, 2013, 11:22 pm

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