It is really bizarre that Manata's counter examples included the use of taste preference as though truth criteria wouldn't have an impact on the validity of the counterexample. I read that and was like, "He is NOT going with that...Oh wow...he IS."
And his defense of philosophical solipsism (as though there's no reason to have good arguments for our positions on morality and politics), makes me anxious about humanity in general. Do people actually listen to this stuff? "I deeply value x and therefore have the right to not evaluate my value like an outsider." WTF? That's just scary and speaks volumes on where they are coming from. It's like, "Oh, *that's* why you rarely make sense. You don't think you actually *have* to make sense in any kind of impartial way at a fundamental level." Why are they even attempting to convince anyone of anything? "We're Just Expressing Our Insufficiently Critical Christian Selves at Infidels Who Call Us Names" should be the title of their counter-book. I'm surprised anyone would publicly admit to the kinds of things Manata said, but other Christians seem to be applauding. I suppose your OTF really brought that "right to assert conclusion" out of them.
1. WOE never bothers to show that the counter example doesn't work.
2. The really unfortunate part is that WOE went on this emotional tirade and suggested that only a dumb religious believer could say what I said. A problem is that the exact same points WOE complains about was made to me by a famous atheist philosopher (one who may have even blurbed the book, I will keep his identity undisclosed for the time being. If Loftus takes this same tactic, then I let the embarrassing cat out of the bag). In fact, this philosopher made both points about matters of taste as well as values. I think that's sufficient to declaw this little kitty's over-the-top rhetoric.
3. I did not defend philosophical solipsism. In fact, I assumed that is was false.
I'm not sure what he's referring to, but here's two problems:
(a) Is he referring to the point I made in my review of Tarico's chapter? I didn't defend solipsism, I argued that it is a logical consequence of social constructivism, but it would be solipsism with a "we" rather than an "I", as Putnam once said.
(b) Is he referring to the OTF (I didn't think I brought up solipsism)? The OTF says that we should have "the same level of skepticism" towards all of our beliefs. Each one needs to be "tested." I argued that it is absurd to think that we should treat the belief in maya with "the same level of skepticism" that we treat belief in a real mind-independent external world. I quoted John Loftus assigning the latter a higher probability, which means that we shouldn't treat them with "the same level of skepticism." I think solipsism shouldn't get treated with "the same level of skepticism" as all other beliefs, and I don't think solipsism's truth value is equipossible with all other philosophical beliefs, but these are things the OTF requires us to believe (if it isn't a self-serving, question begging, biased argument against religious belief).
As WOE says, we shouldn't treat solipsism this way and test our belief in the existence of other minds since we have reasons and arguments for believing what we do. I agree! That's why I don't need to take Loftus's OTF. His argument leads to treating maya and solipsism in this way, but WOE says that's clearly an error (which he is sworn to wage war on). Likewise, I have reasons and good arguments for Christianity, so I don't think I'll be taking the test today. Loftus's test rests on the genetic fallacy, I showed why this is mistaken even if we grant Loftus's premises about the origin of our religious beliefs.
4. The attitude WOE expresses is odd given that he tried to paint me with the brush as an emotional, angry, hissy fit throwing Christian.