Since he explained why he would not be replying again on the comment thread at Debunking Christianity, I figured I would cross-post it here, so as not to leave anyone in suspense.
Leah, I’m not interested. I don’t know who you are. I don’t care to discuss strategy online when this scholar is reading what we write. And I don’t care to discuss whose questions are better. I know what I’m doing. That scholar agrees.
Leah, had you said what you would ask and told us why there would be no problem at all. After all, we will debate 20 questions/ issues, so there is plenty of room to take up your issues. But what you did instead was to say you were embarrassed with my questions and you argued yours were better even though you were clueless as to who I was debating and what my strategy is. Then you had the gall to talk about how Christians will react to me, and how atheists should react to me when you had no clue how I would react to you.
Here’s what I predict based on cognitive dissonance theory. You will take up a personal campaign against me in order to prove yourself right. Facts do not change people’s minds. They only force people who are wrong to dig in their heels. Only people who are aware of what they are doing have a good chance to change it. Do you?
I don’t have any personal problem with Loftus, and, to the best of my ability, I’ve tried to focus on our difference of opinions, not on any personal or ad hominem attacks. We’re playing for the same side, after all.
It’s frustrating that we didn’t manage to have a dialogue on this topic, since Loftus and I have near identical goals: we both think Christianity is false and that some of these beliefs have extremely destructive . Our approaches are opposed, but, in my mind, that’s all the more reason for us to have a conversation, since we both want to optimize our approach. I would have liked to hear why Loftus had chosen the approach he did and whether he thought my criticisms were completely wrongheaded or whether he felt that the benefit of his approach outweighed the potential harms I discussed. After all, until he replies, I’m going to keep on using tactics that he believes are counterproductive.
Since he’s embargoed the topic until he finishes the book, I’m glad to take it up with site visitors who disagree. I’m confident we won’t spoil the debate by discussing it among ourselves; I think our arguments are strong enough to not need the element of surprise.
A final note, since this discussion became much more about possible rudeness than anti-apologetic best practices: whenever you’re reading my blog, please keep in mind Hanlon’s Razor and never attribute to malice what could be explained by stupidity or carelessness.
If you find my comments wrongheaded or just plain disrespectful, please comment and give me the chance to correct myself. I added an addendum to my first post when I realized that my use of the word ‘embarrassed’ was making a much stronger, more confrontational statement than I intended.<
I am sorry, John Loftus, that I offended you. That was not my intention, and I'm sorry that my comments in any way precluded a discussion, which was my actual goal. If you decide you'd like to take up the question of tactics later, I'll be here.