Hays (and later Jason Engwer) takes issue with my saying they evaluate other religious faiths using just David Hume‘s evidentiary standards along with a methodological naturalist viewpoint. Any reading of Christian literature on the so-called “cults” will show this statistically. They claim to evaluate these other religious faiths and miracles as if they are demon produced. Really? How is that anything by way of an objective standard? Yep, demons can account for these other faiths and their miracles. Demons are everywhere. Hays and Engwer can even demonize their opponents, even most other Christians. Such a view is scary to me for certainly they think I am possessed of demons. Yeah, that solves everything when you cannot answer a man’s arguments. Demonize him. Demonize them all. This is such a barbaric view to me.
He's misrepresenting my argument. I didn't say that Christians "evaluate these other religious faiths and miracles as if they are demon produced". Rather, I referred to conclusions that are reached about non-Christian individuals and belief systems. See page 47 of The Infidel Delusion. I referred to arguing for something like demonic influence in another religion. I didn't say that we should begin with an assumption of demonic involvement. I didn't suggest that "Demons are everywhere." And I mentioned supernatural possibilities other than demonic involvement. For example, I cited the healing of Naaman and Caiaphas' prophesying in John 11. Were those cases of demonic influence? No, they weren't. What about Cornelius in Acts 10? There were supernatural events in his life before he became a Christian. Do Christians consider those supernatural events demonic? No. In a recent thread here, I discussed some of the paranormal phenomena documented by researchers like Stephen Braude, and I specifically made the point that I don't think all of it is demonic. In the past, when discussing near-death experiences, I've acknowledged that we have convincing evidence for the experiences of some non-Christians, and I didn't argue that they're all demonic in nature.
But even if I had argued that every supernatural element of a non-Christian individual's life or a non-Christian belief system is demonic, the fact would remain that Loftus was wrong in what he argued in The Christian Delusion. I and many other Christians don't take the sort of presuppositional or Humean approach toward non-Christian systems that Loftus suggested we do.
Do I think Loftus is possessed by demons? No. And I never suggested it.
If God exists then he can do this by other means besides using objective argumentation. But how likely is it that there is a God who does this in the first place? The evidence of billions of non-Christians who have adopted what they believe based on where they were born speaks like a megaphone against his existence or of him doing just this.
How so? I was arguing for one means among others that God could use. I didn't suggest that He only or always uses that means. And where people are born is something within God's sovereignty (Acts 17:26-27).
He just doesn’t get it, does he? How do we know that we have eyewitness testimony? There is a huge difference between seeing a miracle take place before our very eyes in which we can determine it was not a trick of the eyes, from hearing a story that stems from one source which is repeated told by different people for decades across different lands in a ancient pre-scientific culture.
I was commenting on the value of eyewitness testimony during the initial stages of examining a belief system. Read what I wrote on pages 47-48 of The Infidel Delusion. As I said there, I was addressing "initial observations", since Loftus had referred to things we note when we first examine a belief system. If Loftus now wants to appeal to later observations that can overturn what our initial observations suggested to us, then I can respond the same way to Loftus' initial observations. Does it initially seem unlikely that my worldview is the correct one out of the many that exist? Later observations can help me weed out other belief systems. If Loftus is going to appeal to later observations, after we consider eyewitness testimony in more depth, then I can appeal to later observations as well in order to weaken the force of Loftus' initial observations.
Since Loftus missed my point, and since I've already addressed objections to eyewitness testimony like the ones Loftus has raised in previous discussions with him and elsewhere in The Infidel Delusion, I won't get into that here.