According to John Loftus:
“We are all good people.”
God doesn’t share your opinion.
“We are all former Christians”
All nominal Christians.
“al but one a minister”
Yes, like I said, a dumping ground.
“people you would have at one time looked up to for spiritual guidance and help, wisdom and a moral example.”
Nice try, but wrong. I became a Christian by reading the Bible all by myself. When, as a young Christian, I began asking questions of the ministers I knew, I quickly discovered that I could ask questions they couldn’t answer.
Hence, I’ve always had to find my own answers by doing my own research.
“We now all agree Christianity is baseless. You may think this way in the future too”
Well, anything’s possible. It’s possible that I’m a closet reprobate. It’s only the grace of God that made me a Christian in the first place, and only the grace of God that keeps me in the faith.
However, I’ve been a Christian from my teens to middle age. In that time I’ve read all the usual objections to the Christian faith. So it would be quite a trick for you to catch me off-guard.
On an existential level, I’ve seen my share of personal suffering and family tragedy. I’ve also buried three of the four people I ever really cared about, and the fourth is likely to go sooner rather than later.
So both emotionally and intellectually, there’s nothing left, humanly speaking, to trip me up before the finish line—except my own sin.
As I said before, God, and God alone, is the only one who keeps me from straying.
“and when you do, you'll remember us, just like we remember the infidels we argued with when we were believers like you.”
If I were ever to become an apostate, the camaraderie of other apostates would have all the value of one death row inmate giving a pep talk to another death row inmate.
“We have arguments that when taken together cumulatively show your faith is wrong headed.”
What you have is a flotilla of leaky little dinghies that are just as leaky when taken together or considered separately. They’re taking on water and sinking beneath the waves.
We’ve responded to your all arguments as they come up.
And if, for the sake of argument, my faith is wrongheaded, what difference does that make? In that event, you and I will share a common oblivion. In the long run, you are no better off for being right than I am for being wrong. Once we’re dead it’s as if we were never alive.
“We treat our opponents better than you do here on the web.”
That’s subject to interpretation.
I generally write two types of essays. The first type is academic in style, giving a position a high-and-dry treatment. Nine times out of ten, this sort of essay is ignored.
The second type is more satirical. Nine times out of ten, this sort of essay provokes a response.
If you don’t care for the barbed humor, you could always try your hand at the first type of essay.
Incidentally, guys like you are not entitled to a kid-glove treatment. If you kept your doubts or disbelief to yourself, or shared them in private, this could be handled in a more pastoral manner.
When, however, you launch a public attack on the faith from the platform of your former faith, especially as a one-time minister, then you forfeit the kinder-gentler approach that would be accorded someone who, for whatever reason, lost his faith, but didn’t try to drag everyone down with him into the whirlpool.
A lifeguard will do his level-best to rescue a drowning man—unless, that is--the drowning man tries to drown his rescuer.
If you want to go down with the ship, be my guest. If you want to take others with you, I’ll give you no quarter.
“That fact alone is very interesting to me, as evidenced by this post I'm commenting on.”
Actually, the fact that you comment on this sort of post rather than my more substantive critiques is quite revealing as to your inability to address rigorous counterarguments.
“Keep it up. Show yourselves and your faith to be exactly what we have come to believe about it.”
Once again, you’re firing blanks. If atheism is true, it has no payoff. All loss, no gain.
If you choose to spite yourself, that’s your problem, not mine. If you’re right, you lose by winning. If you’re wrong, you lose by losing. Either way, you lose.
If I’m wrong, I have nothing to lose. If I’m right, I have everything to gain.
This is not, of itself, a reason to believe in something, but it is a reason not to invest all one’s time and effort in a losing proposition.
I’m a natural-born cynic. I’ve always been a cynic. I was a cynic before I became a Christian, and I’ve remained a cynic.
I’m much too cynical for your humanistic happy-talk. I was too cynical for humanism even when I was an unbeliever.
It is not merely as a believer that I hold you in contempt. I can dust off my old unbelieving uniform from the attic and hold you in equal contempt.
I can run to your right both as a believer and an unbeliever. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. You’re just canon fodder.
You and Exbeliever flirt with unbelief, like riding the rollercoaster in the amusement park. It’s safe for you to toy with atheism because you enjoy the cushion of a nominally Christian culture to soften the fall. You play at atheism from the shadow of the steeple.
But left to its own devices, infidelity turns cannibalistic and eats it own alive. There’s no padding. No railing. No safety bar. It’s all rollercoaster. Sheer speed and dizzy altitude converging on a splatter point below.
You and Exbeliever get all weepy when we slap your fingers with a ruler. Reread what I posted by Quentin Smith. If you stare atheism square in the face, with glint-eyed honesty, it’s all pins and needles, broken glass and razor wire. No safety net. No security blanket. No tummy rubs or back pats.