According to Bethrick:
“Though I have not read all of Steve’s opinion pieces, I’ve not found anything in what I have read of them that I would call “rigorous counterarguments.” Indeed, it’s not at all clear to me what it is he thinks he is trying to prove, other than that he has deep resentment for John Loftus for some reason. When I first discovered Triablogue some months ago, I was looking forward to reading at least somewhat interesting material since I thought James Anderson was associated with it, and from what I can tell James tends to focus on issues rather than on personalities.”
i) There’s no doubt that Dr. Anderson moves in a higher orbit than I. I’m a tuna wagon to his Lamborghini.
One of the privileges of team blogging is that I get to recruit some folks who are way more talented than me. I’m just a pitch-hitter until the A-team takes up the bat. Then I’ll be happy to watch the action from the dugout.
ii) That said, I focus on issues and personalities alike where Debunking Christianity is concerned precisely because Loftus and his crew focus so much attention on their own personalities. If they are going to make their personal testimony such a large part of their case against the faith, then it’s only fair game to reply in kind.
iii) But they don’t respond to my issue-oriented pieces either. They prefer to characterize what I’ve written instead of quoting and rebutting what I’ve written.
And they characterize what I’ve written in very ad hominem terms even as they loudly profess to deplore ad hominem tactics.
I’ve mounted a two-pronged counteroffensive in which I respond to them on their own turf, whether in issue-oriented pieces or ad hominem pieces.
According to Exbeliever:
“Here is what he's posted so far: Why does John Loftus ask so many dumb questions?, Debunking Loftawful bunk, Social conditioning, Exbrainer, To the ends of the earth, God can damn well damn anyone he damn well pleases, Autobiographical Atheism, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Loser's Club, Baby Atheism.”
Actually, Exbeliever missed a couple of beats:
According to Loftus:
“Walton…You're shameless, but that's what I've come to expect from Christians and one of the many reasons I'm not one anymore.”
i) Actually, Walton is one of the few Christian bloggers I’m aware who’s taken on Debunking Christianity. For this he is to be commended when so many other bloggers choose to sit out the fight.
And he has a lot of another good stuff on his blog. Check it out.
ii) In addition, Loftus, as well as Exbeliever, still labor under the flattering illusion that they are entitled to deferential treatment.
But they do not deserve our respect either as a matter of Christian ethics or secular ethics.
a) To begin with, I have a simple rule: I give respectable arguments a respectful hearing while I treat disreputable arguments with disdain.
b) Secularism has no basis for morality. Astute unbelievers in flashes of momentary candor, like Mackie, Russell, Kai Nielsen, and Quentin Smith, admit this.
So if we were to treat Loftus et al. according to a secular worldview, then we could treat them anyway we please.
They lack the courage of their convictions. They talk atheism, but they don’t walk atheism.
c) As to Christian ethics, we are not dealing here with some know-nothing teenager or confused collage student whose view of the Christian faith is based on hostile, thirdhand sources.
Someone like that should be gently corrected and patiently instructed.
BTW, I happen to know some well-informed teens and twenty-somethings. I’m talking about those with no Christian background.
No, what we are dealing with over at Debunking Christianity is hardened unbelief by those who sin in full knowledge of the light.
The Bible doesn’t treat everyone the same way. There are degrees of guilt and aggravating circumstances.
If you read what the Bible has to say about open apostates and false teachers, they come in for a very different treatment.