It’s simple, really. Just let him keep talking.
John refuses to engage in rational debate. He wanted to push the lying issue, but the problem is that I've done nothing wrong and so one will be hard pressed to make a case against me. In fact, to the extent that one does, one will come out looking rather foolish.
Three things Paul. 1) When we skeptics write about you lying, we are offering what you call an internal critique of your behavior. It makes no difference if we are godless heathen without a moral compass. You claim to have one, so we've asked you to defend your claim. You cannot offer up a red herring that turns it back on us in this situation. That's a different argument, one we've tried to discuss reasonably with you before to no avail. Stay on topic, please.
A bunch of things:
1. I’ve made many points, forget what you call the red herring and deal with the others. Actually, this is your red herring.
2. I’m at a loss as to how this is in internal critique. Here’s some statements you’ve made, John:
S1: “For the record, I do not post anonymously or under a different name, I do not lie to make a point, and I do not knowingly or purposely misrepresent my opponent's views to ridicule them.”
S2: “ See, once he admits he does it, then it calls into question every anonymous post here at Triablogue. We simply no longer know whether it's Manata defending himself. And that's the whole reason I don't do it.”
And here’s some statements your fellow “skeptics” have said:
S3: “Lying for Jesus. Cute. Thinking Gods thoughts again. The unrepentant heart of a psuedo-Christian.”
S4: Why should anybody read the frantic scribblings of an admitted liar? "Apologetical" tactic = lying. Arguing for the faith by lying. Just like the Apostle Paul.
S5: “I suspect “Brother Blark” is you. (You can deny it, but hey—lying is in your creed, right? That is what stinks about the loss of credibility.)”
a) Where in S1-S5 is an “internal critique?”
b) Exactly what is the internal critique supposed to be? That I lied? But if you’ve paid attention to Steve’s posts, John Frame’s paper, and my posts then you’d know the case was made that “not all lies are wrong, even according to the Bible.”
c) Maybe your internal critique is that I “claim to be a Christian but I sinned. Well, (i) this begs the question against (b), and (ii) how is this even remotely and “internal critique” given the fact that, assuming you’re right, I sinned? This is what the Bible predicts. So, you’re claim actually assumes the truthfulness of my worldview and the falsity of yours. Hence you’re just confirming biblical data about man.
d) Take S3 and S4. Is this what you thought was an “internal critique,” John? If so, the problem is that S3 and S4 tell us that God and the apostle Paul are liars. Hence, if I’ve sinfully lied then it’s not an “internal critique“ to point out that I’m acting just like God and the apostle Paul!
e) Dagoods claims in S5 that “lying ruins your credibility.” Am I to understand that John Loftus believes that if Christians lie then they have no credibility but if atheists do then they retain theirs? I mean, exactly what here is supposed to be an “internal critique?” Do you even know what one is, John?
3. I did defend my claim, now it’s your turn to rebut it. See here:
You’re falling behind, John.
2)Although I did wrong as a Christian and had an illicit affair with my first wife, something you won't understand given the nature of that affair and the accusations when I cut it off, I am a changed man. I am completely and thoroughly faithful and monogamous to my wonderful wife. I love her with all I've got. You see, the past is the past. I deconverted, just as you converted, and all my past "sins" are as if they are no more. It would be as if I continually brought up your past when you went around beating up strangers with a baseball bat. I don't do that, unless you first bring up my past, and you do that all of the time (I did it just now in response to your claim that I am a liar. I am not a liar. I lied, yes. We all do. But that was pre-deconversion days, friend, and you know that with such a (de)conversion we all change! ;-)
This is interesting on many levels:
4. If the past is the past then why did you claim that :
C1: “I dare say, you'll never be able to escape your past.”
C2: “Just like those who have been molested usually become molesters, so also, those raised in an environment like yours with the hate you express will usually beat their wives. These are facts, based upon science and probability.”
So let me get this straight, you can escape your past and your influences, but child molesters and people who had violent upbringings can’t?
5. Before you had an affair you were “completely and thoroughly faithful and monogamous to my wonderful wife.” And you “love[d] her with all [you] got. I can play the same game, John. So, why should anyone believe you, you’ve been a proven liar (and let’s note that my parody is in a different league than lying to your spouse). You started this game, finish it.
6. It would be “as if I continually brought up your past when you went around beating up strangers with a baseball bat. I don't do that…” Here’s some more quotes, John.
Q1: “You were an evil person, Paul, there's no other way to describe it. And it seems as though you still are glorying in those days…”
Q2: “You're still beating up on people aren't you? You're beating up on someone again, and liking the power you get from it. Aren't you so cool?”
Q3: “But now a former bully is bullying still, this time with Biblical precedent (Ps. 139.21). This could get scary for me.”
Q4: “I don't think people who randomly beat others with a baseball bat, with the goal to beat someone from every state in the nation, change behaviors permanently that quickly.”
And so it appears that you in fact do “continually bring up my violent past.”
7. You don’t “bring up my past” […] “unless you first bring up my past, and you do that all of the time.”
The problem here is that this is the first time I’ve brought up your past. Indeed, I just heard about it from Steve’s review of your book (which you still haven’t responded to, btw). So, I never took shots at your family. I took shots at your intellect, yes, I did. Given how you portray yourself, this is fully warranted. If you admitted you didn’t know much about Christianity, and that you were a sincere and honest thinker, it would have been different. However, your “intellectual achievements” are a cornerstone of your atheological tactics. Then, when you claim that God made the earth in 7 days, you rightly should be called on the carpet. I mean, that’s in the first chapter of Genesis man. So, a guy who brags about his intellect, and how much he knows about Christianity, makes huge errors on basic issues which every Sunday school kid knows, rightly deserves to have that thrown out there for all to see and, rightly in my opinion, laugh at.
8. You claim, “I am not a liar.” But, above (7) I just showed another lie. You claim to not “bring up peoples past unless they bring up yours” but in fact we saw that just the opposite is the case. Furthermore, when Frank Walton posted your picture you said, “Frank, are you sure that's me?” This obviously is misleading. So, John, this is the game you chose to play. I want rational debate, you want to name call and push this lying issue. Fine. You lost.
3) One last thing. While I do think you are a present embarrassment to Triablogue and should be given the boot, what I think doesn't matter one bit, now does it? I know I wouldn't have someone with your ethics and attitude on my blog for one minute. But hey, I'm just an "unprincipled moral heathen," right?
All I ever want from you (or anyone who disagrees with me) is a respectful discussion of the ideas. That's all. But you have never given that to me.
9. As I said before, if I were you I’d want Steve and I gone as well. Heck, all of the T-bloggers have fed you’re your lunch, you probably want T-blog to shut down.
10. What “ethics and attitude?” How about if I was a member of your blog and I said this about someone:
John Loftus: “Mark my words, Paul, you will beat your wife when she disagrees with you in the future. If I were her I would be scared to marry you.”
John Loftus: “Berate me all you want to. [Paul’s] wife may thank me, which is more than she can say about you.”
John Lofus: “As far as I'm concerned you have already hit your wife or threatened her, and yet you have the gall to berate me for warning you about this possibility.”
John Loftus: “"She (my wife) must be the silent type, the agreeable type, the humble/submissive type, and the doting wife."
What if someone had the above attitude? So, you can see that your claim about the ethics and attitude of bloggers if pretty laughable. John, you’re loosing on every front. You wanted to play this game and not the reason giving game.
10. You claim that, “All I ever want from you (or anyone who disagrees with me) is a respectful discussion of the ideas. That's all. But you have never given that to me.” Oh cry me a river. You’re like the Rodney King of atheist/theists debates. I’ve never stooped to your level. I’ve always critiqued you intellectually and mocked you intellectually. That’s fair game, not other people’s wife. Get real John. I think you seriously live in a delusion. You constantly scream at people in all caps, you pick on their wives, you call them idiots, and yet you claim you want a love fest.