Friday, June 18, 2010

Burning Straw Men

John Loftus said,

My claim is that in order to maintain and defend Christianity the Christian must resort to offering possible scenarios at almost every turn. My claim is that the more they are forced to resort to these possible scenarios then the less likely their background knowledge is true which forms the backdrop to legitimately use these possible scenarios in the first place.

Of course this is false since the majority of arguments for Christianity are not based on possibility. However, Christians do make this move when atheists claim that there is a logical contradiction within Christianity, or that it is impossible that such and such Christian doctrine is true, or that this or that could not have happened, etc. It's really sad that Loftus is unable to draw the finer conceptual distinctions needed to be a top-notch atheologian.


  1. Loftus is a joke. It seems many atheists even realize this and work to distance their movement from him.

  2. He certainly has burned through a large number of "co-bloggers."

    The consideration of coherent possibilities is par for the course for many of the arguments the atheists choose to engage in, such as arguing that a good God would or would not do x or y or z.

  3. Chris or Layman: I am wondering, what is your evidence that atheists are burning their connections to Loftus?

  4. James,

    I don't think I was unclear. I didn't say anything about atheists burning their connections with Loftus. My comment was that he's gone through a lot of co-bloggers. He handles most of the blogging himself now.

    Since some atheists seem to think nothing is valid without an expressed metric, I'll add that I just checked his blog and noted the first 20 entries are his alone.

    Is this incorrect?

  5. I had noticed that the long list of skeptics that had been on his blog are now gone, and I don't know why. But it's tricky to jump to conclusions about this.

    Blue Devil Knight, perhaps philosophically the strongest atheist amongst my commentators, has some major differences with Loftus.

  6. Layman, James is a Christian.

  7. An instance of atheist embarrassment with Loftus:

  8. Layman: I read Chris' comment, and I guess because of a framing effect I read your "burned through a large..." without the "through;" or at least, I read your comment as adding further details to what Chris said. But thanks for clarifying my mistake about your comment.

    Victor: Thanks! Luke, over at commonsenseatheism, had Loftus on one of his podcasts. I heard only enough of the "Outsider Test for Faith" to realize that this "novel" idea was too new for me to continue listening. Hopefully, Luke will ask you to do a show on the argument from reason. Cheers.