Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Pseudo-Outsider Test

But it applies more forcefully to religious faiths, that's why it's called what it is. Why? Because religious believers do not dispassionately evaluate their faith. Why? Because they have such a vested personal interest in defending what they believe. Why? Because they assume what needs to be proved. Why? Because they do not have any good evidence for them. Why? Because they amass many possible arguments together in a pile then conclude they have a probable case, which is a huge non-sequitur.

Needless to say, that caricature reflects the extrinsic perspective of a hostile outsider. Loftus is judging "religion" (or Christianity) by the insider standards of a militant atheist. What a lark!


  1. Steve,

    Don't you define atheists as stupid by definition? I can see why Christians would be offended by what Loftus has said since not every Christian is like that (and certainly many atheists aren't any different), but you don't appear to be sporting better virtues. Do you expect to be taken seriously here or are you just mindlessly venting no matter the level of apparent hypocrisy?


  2. Did I say I was offended? No. Loftus never had the capacity to offend me.

    I'm merely pointing out that the OTF is a charade. And Loftus exposes his own charade the moment he tries to justify his lopsided application of the test. For his justification is, itself, a textbook case of hidebound insularity.

    The "do I expect to be taken seriously" routine, which Loftus also trots out from time to time, is a form of social pressure which is only effective on folks with low self-esteem who crave the affirmation of their peer group. Maybe that's still important to you at your age, but it has no purchase on me.

  3. Did I say you were offended? ;)

    "I'm merely pointing out that the OTF is a charade."

    Where did you point that out? You've quoted Loftus and called his statements a caricature as though it's not perfectly justified to call out the many brands of Christian special pleading when it comes to epistemology. If you poke Loftus, he'll start talking about the spectrum of Christians out there. Whereas if we poke you, you seem to default to the questionable position I linked to in my first comment. This looks a lot like the hidebound insularity supposedly you are against. Perhaps you are only (ironically) against non-Christian hidebound insularity?

    So, feel free not to care I suppose, but that's what it looks like from an outsider perspective. Being against the OTF (which boiled down just means not asserting your conclusion to people who disagree with you), being against appeals to fairness (as though you are "above" that), and brandishing bigoted statements yourself while criticizing others for the same is, to use your words, "a lark!" I'm not your keeper, so feel free to carry on. It's not like it'll change my opinion on Christianity.


  4. Loftus' pejorative characterization of Christians (or "religious" believers) simply begs the question. And it also begs the question to exempt unbelievers from the same string of allegations. Loftus is the one who's assuming what he needs to prove.

    As to my not changing your opinion of Christianity, given your irrational defense of his blatant special pleading, it's of course true that I can't reason with unreasonable people like you.