Saturday, June 25, 2011

Debunking Christianity: Dr. Flannagan Just Does Not Get it, The OTF Again and Again and Again...

Dr Flannagan must have really struck a nerve!  Sheesh!! He was way more kinder and open-minded the Loftus himself. Look at his original review and compare it to Loftus' "rebuttal"

Christian philosopher Matthew Flannagan wrote a review of The Christian Delusion for Philosophia Christi, the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He offers nothing but canards against the OTF. Was he not paying attention?

Matt, first, the OTF does not undergird all the articles in the book. How can you come to that conclusion? Please explain this delusion of yours.

Second, the OTF uses the exact same standard that YOU use when rejecting other religions. If there is any inconsistency at all it is how YOU assess truth claims.

Third, the first three chapters show us from anthropological and psychological data how we come to our beliefs, all of us. That is indeed something you must wrestle with since YOU are the one claiming one particular religious faith is true out of all the others.

Fourth, the OTF is an argument I can only make in our day and age. It would have little or no force during the Catholic Middle Ages where everyone was a Catholic

Fifth, without the present anthropological and psychological data that we all accept the OTF would have less force than it does too. Unless I could have come up with this data on my own I could not make this argument, so in that sense I was lucky to be born when and where I was born in order to make it.

Sixth, doubt is the adult attitude given the facts that form the basis of the OTF. One cannot subject this doubt to further testing. It is what makes testing our ideas possible in the first place. It is a filter that strains out the wheat of what's true from the chaff of what's false.

Seventh, we human beings are in the same boat, epistemologically speaking. We are not all that rational. We believe what we prefer to believe and we defend that which we were raised to believe. We seek to confirm what we believe rather than disconfirm it. Even contrary evidence or the lack of evidence is seen as evidence that we are right. See this.

Therefore doubt is the adult attitude. This should be simple and non-controversial. Because we are not all that rational we should all be skeptics, demanding hard cold impartial evidence for that which we believe. That's how you approach all other religions.

Why the double standard?

Now remember how Flannagan ended his review

This review has been fairly negative; however, despite the problems inherent in this book, which are substantive, The Christian Delusion is still worth reading. The book is a comprehensive and representative expression of contemporary skeptical thought from some leading free thinkers in a single volume. Given the pervasiveness in our culture of the line of argument advanced in this book, anyone who wants to understand the position of contemporary free thinkers could not do much better than to read it.
In my opinion, Flannagan was way more charitable although he fundamentally disagreed.  The only double standard I see is Loftus'.

Debunking Christianity: Dr. Flannagan Just Does Not Get it, The OTF Again and Again and Again...
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