Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FacePalm Quote of the Day #4: Debunking Christianity: The Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) Again *Sigh*

On the face of it, John Loftus' Outsider Test for Faith is a good idea. It's true that many people don't examine their worldviews and presuppositions critically and something that we must do. The problem with the way that John Loftus employs the test ignores his own presuppositions while decrying others'. Take this quote....please. [Begin Quote]
A trial is a good example of an outsider looking in. No thumbs should be on the scales of justice. If there is a conflict of interest a judge or a lawyer should recuse themselves. The jury represents people who are uninvolved peers. None of this describes believers who examine their own faith. The OTF demands the impartiality of agnostic, which is worse on one's own religion but better on the religious faiths one rejects.
In a jury trial not everyone agrees. But that's a jury trial about an event that strictly speaking is "on the boards," that is, it's about an ordinary event rather than a supposed extraordinary miraculous event. The whole reason Christians object to the OTF is because they know their faith will not pass the OTF.
Regardless, someone on a jury should at least be able to justify his decision afterward based on the skepticism of an outsider. One cannot punt to faith when judging the case before him like believers do an every juncture. That is ONLY being fair.
SteveK asks: Why does Loftus think it a problem when rational 'outsiders' conclude that, given the evidence, Atheism is false and Christianity is true?
Those are not our only options! The options are myriad and every bit in between! Besides, a person who rejects Hinduism in India is considered an an atheist, while someone in Saudi Arabia who rejects Islam is considered an atheist, etc. That makes YOU an atheist in the same way since the definition of an atheist is a non-believer. I am simply a non-believer by virtue of the fact that your religion doesn't pass the OTF. I am an atheist just as you are a non-believer in Hinduism or Islam in other countries.
So the choice becomes one between belief and non-belief. There are billions of people on the planet on my side who do not believe in your particular Christian sect. Seems like the jury of impartial peers has spoken.
[End Quote]
This quote gets a "Face Palm" because Loftus still mischaracterizes what "faith" means. He also I think mischaracterizes the historical definition of an "atheism". It' all or nothing. There is no such thing as a relative atheist. Historically, no one has tried to argue "I"m an atheist to all gods but mine". "Atheism" means belief that there is no god. Therefore if you believe in at least one god you cannot be an atheist. Otherwise it's like being a "little" pregnant. You are or you are not.
As for the Outsider's Test of faith...does Christianity pass it? According to Lofus' definition of "faith", Christianity does not pass. According to the Biblical definition of faith Christianity passes with flying colors. Loftus denies the evidence that the Bible presents viable evidence as well as evidence from history, science, and just our five senses. He out right believes that science is the only viable way for people to gain worthwhile knowledge. If that isn't a presupposition that begs proof, then neither is asserting that the Bible is infalliably true. We have plenty of evidence explaining why the Bible is reliable. Yet people who want to take science as the only infallible source of fact about reliable have no way of satisfyingly proving that position is reasonable. Definitely, arguing in a circle.

Debunking Christianity: The Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) Again *Sigh*
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