I do think that there is a fundamental divide between people who think that atheists and theists have a common goal, a goal of understanding one another better, and those who think that the only legitimate goal is the partisan goal of advancing one's own viewpoints. I think that is the dividing line between people like Loftus and people like Lowder.Whoah there! What a load of false propaganda crapola! Did he just say I don't want to understand theists? That is laughable and one of the reasons I think ridicule is an important response to such drivel. I don't care if Vic has a doctorate, either. Here's a clue Reppert, see chapter 3 in my seventh published book in seven years, How to Defend the Christian Faith, which highlights the honest search for truth as the priority for us all, and I mean it. Furthermore, the whole reason my writing gets such wide acclaim is precisely because I do understand Christianity. In fact, I have spent the better part of my waking hours doing so for years, and decades. And did Reppert just say I think the only worthy goal is a partisan one of advancing atheism? Again, refer to what I just wrote above. I'll go farther to state that I'm the last atheist on the planet to say atheists should all do this or that, that there is one one way to be an atheist, that all atheists should do it my way or get to the highway. Cookie cutter mentality is the last thing I have. Of course, since I stand against cookie cutter mentality then Jeff Lowder and I have problems because it's JEFF who seems to think all atheists should be like him, and THAT is our problem. It's also our problem when he calls himself a philosopher when he is not, because he uses that unearned accolade to gain credibility when criticizing me for not boot stepping in complete sync with him.
I don't think there's just one divide between us anyway. There are several of them, which I think are very instructive:
I. One divide is between a mere computer science B.A. graduate like Lowder, who has some depth in the area of the philosophy of religion, and someone like myself who, a) has a wide breadth of knowledge, b) has more degrees in the areas Lowder knows something about than he and two of his cheerleaders combined (namely Jim Lippard and Bradley Bowen), and c) has more years thinking and reading about these issues than any of them have been alive.
There are depth considerations and there are breadth considerations. From all I can see Lowder and his all male white philosophy student cheerleaders lack the breadth I have, and that is more important than having depth. It's the breadth of knowledge I have that causes me to object to the value they place on the philosophy of religion (and to call for its end in the secular universities). But in fact I have studied it in depth as well. I don’t think the philosophy of religion is that important precisely because I’ve studied it in depth, just as I don’t think the philosophy of science is that important even though I basically minored in it at Seminary, as I wrote about here.
It’s the breadth of knowledge I have from years of thinking and reading based on a good solid foundational education that makes the difference. I had more class work with leading evangelical and Jesuit thinkers, theologians, historians, and philosophers to earn my three master’s degrees--including a year and a half of Ph.D. work--than most Ph.D. programs require. [As for the dissertation requirement, just think of my book “Why I Became an Atheist” which is called “a monster of reason and logic” by others]. Lowder doesn’t show any awareness of the things I do, most notably but not limited to cognitive dissonance theory and cultural anthropology.
II. Another divide between us is that Lowder too often disingenuously acts as if he wants an honest dialogue with theists when the real goal is to be respected as more important than he really is (*cough* a self-proclaimed philosopher). With me I don't need to do this because I have the credentials, the knowledge, and a body of acclaimed work. I can honestly argue for my conclusions without worrying if I’m doing so in a way that will get me respect. [As far as respect goes just look at the authors who wrote chapters for me, and/or wrote blurbs for my books and/or asked me to write blurbs for their books.]
Who is Lowder really kidding when he acts as if some new moral argument may succeed? He is an atheist. He no more could change his mind from reading a paper on the moral argument to God's existence than Reppert could change his mind about the Argument from Reason based on one paper. I think it's dishonesty all the way down. It's one of Jeff's biggest cons.
Compared to Lowder I have posted links to several Christian essays on my site, and I have even gone farther than Lowder has on his blog by posting several Christian essays unedited and without comment on mine seen here. But that by itself doesn't mean they could change my mind. The question is fairness, and fairness does not mean one has to be disingenuous or dishonest. I think I'm already being fair to the arguments and there are no good arguments for faith.
III. One other divide between us is that I don’t climb on the backs of important people in order to appear more important, like Lowder has done with me. I don’t need to you see. Lowder doesn't do this with others who are much more abrasive than I have ever been, which tells me this is his modus operandi when dealing with me, to use me for his own self-promoting needs. He had to know I would eventually fight back in a really big way.
IV. One important divide between us is over the harms of the Christian faith, especially evangelical faith. Since it is harmful I think it’s imperative to argue against it and to also persuade others it’s false (using ridicule works). The task must be done now. The time is now. Christian faith needs to be debunked now. It isn’t the time for gamesmanship or self-serving personal goals, and it definitely isn’t the time for him to proverbially shoot people like me in the back, who are on the front lines in this war of ideas, especially when I’m having so much success.
V. I object to someone who self-proclaims himself the Hall Monitor among atheists, as I wrote about here.
VI. I equally object to any self-proclaimed Hall Monitor who is hypocritical when doing this self-imposed job as I wrote about here.
Cheers. unless something else surfaces, most notably Jeff Lowder's further ignorances [see "Lowder" tag below], I think I'm done.