Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Aging atheist syndrome

Over at DC, John Loftus was recently having a cryfest because Jeff Lowder dissed his debate performance with David Wood on the Resurrection.

A few quick observations:

i) Loftus exhibits aging atheist syndrome. I've observed a number of prominent unbelievers who becoming increasingly bitter as they age, viz. Nietzsche, H. G. Wells, H. L. Mencken, Mark Twain, Thomas Paine, Quentin Smith, Richard Carrier, Richard Dawkins, 

Likewise, I wonder if Keith Parsons, Robert Price, Jerry Coyne, and PZ Myers were always this sour. Christopher Hitchens could be charming when he wasn't drunk:

Atheism is a grim worldview, and as the padding of youth wears out, there's nothing to insulate the atheist from the polar night of despair. 

ii) Carrier, Lowder, and Loftus are all very vain, image-conscious men. However, Loftus suffers from an inferiority complex.

Aside from the fact that Lowder is at a better place in life than Loftus, he has too much self-regard to publicly humiliate himself the Loftus so often does. Loftus just can't restrain himself. He has nothing to look forward to. 

He can't stand to be belittled, yet he makes himself an object of ridicule. He brings upon himself the very thing he finds intolerable. If you show people where your buttons are, they will push your buttons. It's so predictable.

iii) When I say he suffers from an inferiority complex, I don't mean that as a putdown. Many men and women struggle with feelings of inadequacy or even self-loathing. In my observation, that usually goes back to childhood. A father they could never please. Lacking social acceptance in junior high and high school.

What's ironic about Loftus is that he pushes away the very thing and only thing that would salve his condition. Everyone benefits from the Gospel in different ways. That includes people who struggle with low self-esteem. The Gospel can compensate for a lack of self-worth. But Loftus shuns the very medicine that would alleviate his pain. 


  1. It used to be fun to go after Loftus because he was such low hanging fruit, but now that you have to get a shovel and dig to get to his level it's too much of an effort. :-P

  2. I'm not so sure that the Gospel can compensate for a lack of self-worth. But it definitely makes self-worth less relevant and less of a concern, in my experience.

    1. Just to be clear, in this life it's possible for a person to suffer irreparable psychological damage at any stage of life. I'm not suggesting the Gospel is a cure-all in that sense. There are psychological harms that can only be healed in the afterlife. But the Gospel provides hope for healing. This life is not the end.