Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Facepalm of the Day #99 - Debunking Christianity: Only Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan Can Set the Record Straight

facepalm Pictures, Images and PhotosGee, I guess Dr Matthew Flannagan and Dr Paul Copan really got under John Loftus' skin. I'm not going to comment on every single red herring and mistake Loftus and Dr Avalos have made, I'll leave that to Dr Copan and Dr Flannagan if they'd like. I doubt it'll make a difference, Loftus and Avalos have already made up their minds and don't really want discussion and understanding. There are several points that I think need to be pointed out.

I get comments and emails from skeptics who think Christian apologists do not really believe what they defend. They think the case is so bad that apologists must be lying for ulterior motives, that they are liars for Jesus. Here is a case in point for two apologists, Paul Copan, President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Matthew Flannagan. I'm not accusing these two apologists of lying for Jesus. But it sure makes it appear that way when they won't or can't answer some simple questions both Hector Avalos and I have posed to them.

Notice in this above paragraph, Loftus claims not to be calling either Copan or Flannagan liars. However, I have never seen anyone prove that Christianity has no merits worthy of believing it. Loftus and others are overstating the case.

Here is the post Dr. Avalos wrote, Underhanded Biblical Interpretation: Deuteronomy 25:11-12 in Context, where he asked his simple questions:
In case Dr. Copan wishes to respond, here are a few questions for him:

A. Why did you ignore the evidence of the Septuagint in your attempt to understand the meaning of Deut. 25:11-12?
B. Can you show us another clear instance where QATSATS + KAPH means “shaving pubic hair”?
C. Do you regard uniqueness of law as a reason to interpret it non-literally?
D.Where else do you find the expression "your eye shall not have pity" when someone endures punitive shaving?
E. Would you accept non-literal interpretations of the Near Eastern texts you regard as more brutal than the Bible?

Matthew Flannagan entered the fray right here, upon which Hector asked him:
But to be clear: Do you believe Westbrook takes Lev. 24:17-22 literally?

Yes or No?

Please do give us a Yes or No, even if you wish to elaborate later. It will make our discussion more efficient.
In the comments section Flannagan has a useful idiot named BenYachov who helps the cover-up by diverting attention away from Flannagan answering such a simple question.

What does BenYachov being an idiot have anything to do with if he's right or not? Further, the only proof Loftus gives for BenYachov being an idiot is the Loftus disagrees with him. If anything that is a point in BeYachov's favor. Also I see no reason for assuming anything negative on Flannagan or BenYachov's parts. Sad. It's like Loftus didn't understand anything Flannagan or Copan has written. There is nothing wrong with asking for clarification or for more information but don't ignore what has already been said without response.

No wonder many skeptics think apologists lie for Jesus in defense of their faith. Do they? Only Copan and Flannagan can set the record straight.

I thought that there was no accusation of Copan or Flannagan being liars? Well, may be suggesting it isn't the same as merely asserting it?


In my case, Matthew Flannagan wrote a comment saying: "As to the OTF you'll see I have pointed out that argument is incoherent." I don't take kindly to such hand waving and I certainly don't want him going around claiming such a thing elsewhere, so I challenged him about his understanding of the OTF, and asked him five sets of questions:

I personally don't have a problem with the OTF. I think God gave us a gift with it. Unfortunately, Loftus is unable to correctly apply it because he doesn't know what Christians believe. Everytime I see a posting in which he attempts to apply it he never correctly evaluates what Christianity claims.
1) Do you or do you not assume other religions shoulder the burden of proof? When you examine Islam, Orthodox Judaism, Hinduism, Scientology, Mormonism, Shintoism, Jainism, Haitian Voodoo, the John Frum Cargo Cult, Satanism, or the many African or Chinese tribal religions, do you think approaching them with faith is the way to test these religions, or would you agree with the OTF that a much fairer method is by assuming they all have the burden of proof, including your own?

This is all a well and good question, but Loftus doesn't know what faith is. I'm not sure how he can evaluate what he does not understand.

2) Do you or do you not think that a consistent standard invoking fairness is the best way to objectively come to know the correct religious faith, if there is one? If not, why the double standard?

3) Do you or do you not think that if Christianity is true it should be detectably known and supported by the sciences to the exclusion of other false religious faiths?

4) Do you or do you not admit that if you reject the OTF then your God did not make Christianity such that it would lead reasonable people who were born as outsiders to come to believe it, and as such, will be condemned to hell by virtue of where they were born? If not, and if outsiders can reasonably come to believe, then why is it that you think the OTF is incoherent?

5) Do you or do you not have a better method for us to reasonably settle which religious faith is true, if there is one? If so, what is it?
Do you know what his response has been?

*crickets chirping*

The OTF is not a problem. I think it's a good idea. I just doubt Loftus' ability to look past his own blinding presuppositions to accurately apply it. The one thing that is missing is a test for revelation.

If Flannagan ever does any more of this hand waving about the OTF and he has not answered my questions, then he is indeed a liar for Jesus!

Yes, indeed let us contemplate what handwaving looks like. Loftus throws out personal insults and suggest mental defficiency and hope no one realizes that he has no idea what Christians believe or what the Bible teaches about salvation, the nature of God, or what saving faith is. That's Lofus' M.O. Too late. We see it. Notice Loftus writes that if Flannagan does not answer his questions (he doesn't like his answers) that Flannagan is a liar. But I thought that he wasn't calling either Flannagan nor Copan a liar? Oh, they aren't liars as long as they do what Loftus thinks they should do. I see.

Please help us guys, show them you don't lie for Jesus. You don't, do you?

Another accusation. I don't fault Loftus. I mean without Jesus, it's all he has.

Debunking Christianity: Only Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan Can Set the Record Straight
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