Double Standards and Hypocrisy!!


Christian apologists aspire to be experts at excusing their god from ineptitude, ignorance and incompetence, when they would never consider doing the same with other gods with whom they don't agree. Am I right, or am I right?

The reason this is wrong, since I was asked, is that it's using double standards and hypocrisy in the quest for which religion is true, if there is one. Aspiring apologist David Pallman responded:
John W. Loftus hardly. We all try to rationalize our own belief systems first and seldom try to rationalize belief systems which we seldom (if ever) encounter. That's not a double standard. This is, perhaps, the lamest objection I've seen from you yet. đŸ™„
But David Pallmann, you say what an alcoholic says who claims we are all alcoholics. For surely I just introduced you to the multifaceted number of religions you reject, but refuse to consider, even after learning about them. This is another exercise in hypocritical excuse making.

Two Fantastic Quotes from Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll: On Willful Disbelief & A Designer In Need Of Design

#1 On Willful Disbelief: Can we control our thought? Can we tell what we are going to think tomorrow? Can we stop thinking? Is belief the result of that which to us is evidence, or is it a product of the will? Can the scales in which reason weighs evidence be turned by the will? Why then should evidence be weighed? If it all depends on the will, what is evidence? Is there any opportunity of being dishonest in the formation of an opinion? Must not the man who forms the opinion know what it is? He cannot knowingly cheat himself. He cannot be deceived with dice that he loads. He cannot play unfairly at solitaire without knowing that he has lost the game. He cannot knowingly weigh with false scales and believe in the correctness of the result.

The Bible quotes Jesus with having said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” The Christians say that it is the duty of every person to read, to understand, and to believe this revelation – that a man should use his reason; but if he honestly concludes that the Bible is not a revelation from God, and dies with that conclusion in his mind, he will be tormented forever. They say,” Read,” and then add: “Believe, or be damned.” Suppose then I read this Bible honestly, fairly, and when I get through I am compelled to say, “The book is not true.” If this is the honest result, if the book and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and the brain do not agree? Either God should have written a book to fit my brain, or should have made my brain to fit his book. The brain thinks without asking our consent; we believe, or disbelieve, without an effort of the will. Belief is a result. It is the effect of evidence upon the mind. The scales turn in spite of him who watches. There is no opportunity of being honest or dishonest in the formation of an opinion. The conclusion is entirely independent of desire. We must believe, or we must doubt, in spite of what we wish. --From Col. Ingersoll to Mr. Gladstone

Cruelty, Crime and Abuse in the Name of Jesus


It never seems to stop

How does religion get away with it? It relies on the ignorance, gullibility and, yes, the complacency of those are committed to piety. And the consequences can be calamitous. In an article I posted here in January, Humanity’s Urgent Need to Outgrow Religion, I mentioned the plan to spend big bucks to build what amounts to a theme-park at the supposed site of Jesus’ baptism—but the developers have been careful not to call it a theme park. It’s a scam, a prank, a joke, because nobody knows where Jesus was baptized, in fact the gospel of John omits any mention of Jesus setting foot in the River Jordan. Yes, John the Baptist is there, but mainly to announce that Jesus is the “lamb of God who takes way the sins of the world.”  


But a baptism theme-park is a minor offense. We keep being hit with news about the cruelties, crimes, and abuses done in Jesus’ name. Three headlines of recent vintage illustrate the ongoing problem.

Musings of Daniel Mocsny

Lately Daniel Mocsny wrote a few separate comments for us. Here are some of them. Enjoy!

Come to the GCRR Virtual Academic eConference on ReligiousTrauma!

Are you suffering from religious trauma? I did, and still do (see below). Visit this virtual academic econference live on Zoom, hosted by the Global Center for Religious Research, on June 10-11th. It will bring together clinicians, researchers, and survivors from all over the world to discuss the latest research on religious trauma.

Here's a 15% off coupon code. Go to THIS LINK, buy a ticket to the econference, and use the promo code LOFTUS at checkout. Thanks to the work of Darren Slade for this event and the code!

The Genetic Fallacy

Here is an excerpt from my book The Outsider Test for Faith. There are a lot of gems like this tucked away in that book! Enjoy!

A Hugely Defective Gospel Sequel


A high quotient of fake news


The red flags in scripture are all over the place, and easy to spot. By this I mean story elements that alert readers to be suspicious. If we came across these in a Disney fantasy or in Harry Potter story, we’d say, “Very entertaining, but not to be taken seriously.” There are so many red flags in the gospels, and they show up in the first chapters of each. In Mark, a voice from the sky tells Jesus, “You are my beloved son”—right after his baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus had sins? A god yelling from the sky doesn’t sound at all like a real-world event.

The Lord's Brother


Let's explore the relationship between Paul and James. First, calibrate your sarcasm detectors for Paul's attitude regarding circumcision.

Galatians 5:11-12 NIV
11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Jeruel Schneider's "The Holy Shit of the Bible" is a Shitty Book! No Shit!

Tom Jump contacted me to blurb a book for which he had written the Foreword. Jeruel Schneider wrote it and titled it, THE HOLY SHIT OF THE BIBLE: A Countdown of the 75 Best Obscenities, Absurdities, and Atrocities. Now THAT got my attention! So I looked into it and indeed I could happily recommended it, saying:
This book is full of shit. God's shit. The Bible is full of it. Two billion or so Christians are ignorant of it. Hopefully this ingeniously conceived book by Schneider will get their attention. He hopes, like I do, that by throwing this shit against the wall of an indoctrinated brain, some of it will stick. But don't be deceived, it's a well-written, well-informed book, concerning 75 well-informed choices of the shit we see in the Bible.
You can get it on Amazon.

In his Introduction Schneider aptly reminds us what Thomas Paine had said: “Any system of religion that shocks the mind of a child cannot be true.” Let's call this type of book the shock genre of counter-apologetics. Remember what Paine said as you read it.

His book is a countdown from #75 down to #1. It's a great bathroom reader! You get to read a little shit while you're, you're, taking one! Here is a sample. Enjoy.

CiarĂ¡n Mc Ardle Argues Michael Jones of "Inspiring Philosophy" Should Not Be Allowed to Sit At the Adults’ Table

CiarĂ¡n Mc Ardle sends me emails. Here's an interesting one he sent: In a recent video [Link Below], "Inspiring Philosophy" essentially argues that Christians never really believed in Young Earth Creationism until recent times.

In a hundred years time, there will be an Inspiring-Philosophy-esque apologist who will claim that no Christians ever really believed in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Plenty of quotes could be adduced to prove this. Even in the New Testament, Saint Paul seems only to believe in a spiritual resurrection. Quotes could then be adduced from Popes, saints, church fathers et al, spanning the 2,000 years of Christianity so as to lend credence to the notion that Christians never really believed in a bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was always viewed by True ChristiansTM as mytho-history.

The Role of the Bible in Destroying Faith


Deceptive translators don’t want readers to see the problems 

There has been a meme floating about on the Internet: “If you ever feel worthless, remember, there are people with theology degrees.” These degrees are granted by a huge variety of religious schools, ranging from fundamentalist Protestant to Vatican-loyal Catholic. So among those holding these degrees—what else would we expect?—there is substantial disagreement regarding what god is like, how he/she/it expects people to behave, how he/she/it wants to be worshipped. This is one of the reasons Christianity has splintered into thousands of quarreling brands.

On Tithing To Receive Back

The whole process of tithing in order to get back is rife with problems. I have a dear Uncle who swears that by sending his tithe of $200+ per month to a televangelist his life has improved greatly in the last year or so. His eyes well up in tears over it. Apparently, he switched giving his tithe from one of them to the other. And he doesn't go to church since none of them are good enough. He gives. He gets. The proof is in the results, right?

There must be a few million believers like him who prop up these televangelists who have it easy. The believers who donate to them don't care if they're already filthy rich, since it's all about what they get out of giving to them.

My Rejection of Christianity Passed the Threat of Hell.

Christian believers need to know that my rejection of Christianity passed the threat of hell. That means I had to be very sure I was right, otherwise I could find myself in hell when I die. So there isn't a significant objection they can put forth that I haven't considered before.

The problem is that blog posts, FB posts, essays and papers cannot show them this, otherwise they need to be 500 to 1000 pages long. My detractors are just uninformed about what they read from me, and I cannot show them this is the case since it requires reading a few books of mine, and they won't do that. Discuss please.

"Aliens and Religion" A New Book by Johno Pearce and Aaron Adair!

Look what came in the mail today!! This is an impressive work! It's an ingenious attempt to reach believers who are otherwise impervious to reason, which has a good chance of succeeding. Bravo Johno Pearce and Aaron Adair! LINK

If It Looks Like a Cult, Walks Like a Cult, and Quacks Like a Cult…


It’s a cult!


With well more than two billion followers, Christianity ranks as humanity’s biggest religion, and thus to many it also qualifies as one of the great religions of the world. Look at all it has going for it: 2,000 years of momentum, churches in every city and town—in the countries where it predominates—as well as massive cathedrals that draw vast crowds. From my own experience, I can say that those in London, Paris, Milan, Rome, and Barcelona are indeed magnificent. Some of the great composers have set Christian stories and rituals to music, e.g., Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi. A massive propaganda engine promotes the faith as well: Sunday school, catechism, and professional apologists whose primary goal is to explain away the incoherencies that sabotage Christian theology, i.e., its many claims about god are in jarring conflict, and cannot, in truth, be reconciled. But the apologists are slick enough to make it look good.

Keith Augustine and the Case Against Afterlife Claims

Previously I had written about Keith Augustine's devestating research into afterlife claims, right here. Now Keith has combined his findings into one massive essay at the Secular Web for sharing! Please share! Help end faulty reasoning on behalf of these claims and with it, debunk them, because all apologists can do is use faulty reasoning to defend them.

Paul and James Corresponding


Thank you, John Loftus, for the invitation and opportunity to express some of my ideas.

Dr. Steve Mason has said on a couple of MythVision Podcasts that some of the epistles have passages that seem to be responding to something that has been asked or stated here and uses a telephone analogy to describe it here. He makes a point that this lends authenticity to the epistle, but we can only guess what has prompted the response. This article attempts to show that Paul and James were interacting in that way.

My Paper On "God and Horrendous Suffering" Made it Into a Christian Philosophical Journal

My article "God and Horrendous Suffering" just came out in the "Trinity Journal of Natural & Philosophical Theology." It sums up a bit of my book by the same title. LINK. In the next issue I'm told they will have an article responding to mine, but that I can have the last brief response.

Teachings of Jesus that Christians Dislike and Ignore, Number 4


They just say NO to their Lord and Savior


When you’ve been nurtured on ideas since early childhood—they’re a source of comfort and derive from adults whom you trust—it can be hard to see that some of the ideas may be truly weird. This is especially true of the gospels, which remain, for far too many of the faithful, unexplored territory. There may be passing familiarity with gospel stories, based on texts read from the pulpit and heard in ritual. Of course, Christian children’s books have played a major role in making the best Jesus-script well-known, e.g., in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), and “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16, may or may not be Jesus-script: there was no punctuation in the Greek manuscripts.)

My Rambling Thoughts On Free Will, Determinism, and Making Choices

I had a nice discussion on metaphysical free will, determinism, and making choices that matter. What follows are my rambling thoughts because it was a discussion, and I was finding different ways to communicate. I just don't want to clear up the repetition. It begins with this quote which I dispute:
My message to you is this: pretend that you have free will. It’s essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don’t. The reality isn’t important: what’s important is your belief, and believing the lie is the only way to avoid a waking coma. Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has.
― Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
Since we’re alive we must make choices, even if they are determined ones. So why not make those choices good ones, even though those choices are determined ones? At the time we choose we don’t know which ones are determined to be. So the fact that they are determined doesn’t affect which choices we make. Live then, as if it’s all up to us, knowing it’s not up to us. It doesn’t change how we should live by knowing that our choices are determined.

In other words, an action is not yet determined until we choose to do it. We must choose to act throughout our days. Therefore, we are participants in which actions take place. I don’t know in advance which actions I will choose throughout my days. So I am learning as I choose which actions were determined beforehand for me to make. It’s a discovery we make by making our choices.

Keith Augustine On The Fallacious Reasoning of Christian Apologists In Survival After Death Cases

Keith Augustine is the executive director of Internet Infidels, a mega site of helpful articles, debates, commentary, and book reviews. Their main outlet is The Secular Frontier. Along with Michael Martin, Augustine edited a masterful book investigating the afterlife. If you like my anthologies you will love this one, titled, The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Now that Martin has died, Augustine is probably the leading secular expert in after-life claims. If you're interested in life after death cases, you need to be reading what he has to say!

Given that his book is expensive Augustine has written a 3-part blog post (#1 here, #2 here, and #3 here) on 16 items that will be helpful for readers. He begins Part # 1 like this:
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. — Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish” (1943).

In my critique of the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) essay competition on the “best” evidence for life after death and my response to the summer and winter commentaries on it, I made reference to striking similarities between the arguments made by Christian fundamentalists and survival researchers (i.e., those who purport to investigate survival of bodily death scientifically). In this three-part guest post, I’d like to highlight or elaborate on fifteen or so examples of how those at the forefront of “scientific” research into an afterlife—or in BICS’ framing, the survival of human consciousness after death—have consistently used fallacious arguments that mirror parallel arguments prominent among fundamentalist Christians.

Reading the Gospels as Informed Adults


Rise above the credulity expected in Sunday School

For many, many people, reading the gospels eyes-wide-open for the first time can prompt serious doubt—and their departure from the Christian faith. It’s awfully hard to divest the gospels of that aura of holiness promoted by the church: the gospels are the greatest story ever told—their authors were inspired by God himself. It’s not uncommon for congregations to stand when the ritual includes a reading from the gospels. 


But an adult mentality can kick in, i.e., the assumption that I can “spot a fairy tale when I see one.” For example, eleven verses into Mark, chapter 1, we read that a “voice came from heaven” announcing to Jesus—at his baptism—that he was God’s son. But very few of us believe that gods make announcements from the sky. In Matthew, chapter 1, verse 20, we’re told that an angel of the lord tells Joseph in a dream that Mary is pregnant by the holy spirit. Most of us have weird dreams from time to time, but we don’t believe they’re messages from a god.

Dr. Sy Garte On the Similarity Between Political and God Beliefs

I had heard of Sy Garte before, but never had any contact with him until yesterday on Facebook. I had posted Bill Flavell's Ten Things We Know about Gods, which I thought was very good. Then Sy decided to inform us about some things. I present to you my discussion/debate with Garte:

Sy Garte: Substitute Political beliefs for gods and religion. Or art, Or love. In other words anything human. The ones that still work also work for religion, that ones that don't work, don't work of any of them.

JWL: Let's focus on political beliefs. Science and reason are helping us accept what is probably best for people. Once we strip politics of religious doctrines it clears our heads to reject homophobic, bigoted, sexist views based on Mill's harm principle. Once we also strip politics of religious certainties it also helps us based on Mill's harm principle.

"Why Does Creation Groan?" by John R. Schneider in "Christianity Today" is An Extremely Unsatisfactory Answer to Animal Suffering


I like John Schneider, since he's willing to think oustide the box. But he still defends the indefensible when it comes to animal suffering for a cover article in the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today. In Why Does Creation Groan?, Schneider offers readers a quick glance at a book he wrote on the subject.

Schneider does a lot in his book, arguing against apologists who say there was "only one way" for their God to create the universe, given his divine goals. This is noteworthy, but it's not as if it's a big difference, since Schneider goes on to defend the way his god chose to create the universe after all.

Anyway, I wrote the editor about his article. Here's an longer version of what I said:

Goddess Timeline

We must go further back in time before patriarchal religions existed folks. The evidence shows women goddesses were worshipped not male gods. Take that Yahweh. Checkmate! Seriously of course. God is/was a woman!

Spanish Translation: Ten Things Christians Wish Jesus Hadn’t Taught


Aimed at Catholic, Pentecostal and Evangelical audiences

The church has always promoted an idealized Jesus. Magnificent cathedrals, with depictions of Jesus in stained glass and sculpture, illustrate the success of this strategy. For its first 1,500 years laypeople didn’t have access to the gospels, so they trusted what their clergy told them about Jesus. Even after the Bible was finally widely available—due to the printing press and translations into the languages of the people—careful reading of the gospels doesn’t seem to have caught on. Surveys have shown how little churchgoers read their Bibles.

If We Can't Do Science This Way, We Can't Do It At All.

Emailed to me by CiarĂ¡n Mc Ardle: In this video Randal Rauser accuses Ehrman of being “woolly” for not admitting of the supernatural when doing New Testament History, which is why I link this video [below].

Eugenie Scott, when debating Kent Hovind on the radio defined science as a limited field of inquiry with limited scope.

Science assumes, for the sake of enquiry, that all phenomena are natural and that all phenomena are the result of natural causes. Only this way can science proceed.

God’s Bad Habit of Oversleeping


And the Christian bad habit of being OKAY with it

On Saturday, 10 June 1944—four days after the Allied landing at Normandy—the rural village of Oradour-sur-Glane, in Vichy occupied France, was surrounded by an SS Panzer division of German soldiers. They rounded up all of the residents, forced the men into barns and stables, the women and children into the church. Then, with machine guns and fire-bombs, they murdered all 643 of them: 462 women and children were killed in the church. The women had felt safe in the church, because, of course, that’s where God is paying the closest attention to those who worship him. So how could a caring, attentive, powerful, competent god have allowed this savagery to happen? “God is good, God is great, but since he works in mysterious ways, he allowed the German soldiers to do their job that day.” Such a response illustrates the all-too-common incoherence of Christian theology: it doesn’t make sense.

In Memorium of Dr. Hector Avalos Written by Dr. Christopher Rollston

A Memorium of Dr. Hector Avalos was written by Dr. Christopher Rollston in the journal he edits, which included Hector Avalos's very last article.

Rollston starts with a personal comment on Facebook, saying,
Two years ago yesterday, Dr. Hector Avalos passed away. He was a distinguished scholar and a cherished friend, and he passed away much too early. In the current issue of MAARAV, I wrote an "in memoriam" regarding him. I have pasted it in below.

In addition, I should like to mention that in this issue of Maarav, one of Hector's final articles (perhaps his final article....I'm not entirely sure) is published, one entitled "By Him" or "Against Him/Them" in El Amarna 364:23?: Implications for the Destruction of Hazor. It's a very fine article and I sort of look at this as a core love of Hector's: history and philology. I'm so glad that this article appeared in Maarav. He had hoped to live to see it in print....this was not to be...but I'm so glad that it appeared within our pages. And again, the full "In Memoriam" is pasted in below.

CiarĂ¡n Mc Ardle asks of Randal Rauser, "How is 'Progressive Christianity' Substantially Different from Atheism?"

This came to my attention by my friend CiarĂ¡n Mc Ardle. He sends me an email from time to time. Hopefully you'll like his comments below on this interview:

David G. McAfee's Review of "The Case Against Miracles" on Amazon

I will be keenly interested in what people say about "The Case Against Miracles" now that a good deal of people downloaded the free book off Amazon yesterday. David G. McAfee reviewed this book a few years back saying;

The Case Against Miracles’ is the Best Anti-Apologetics Book Around!

If you are ever forced to deal with Christian apologists, who spend their lives defending the Christian religion with philosophy and (often incredibly bad) reasoning, then you need this new book by atheist author John W. Loftus.

Let’s start with the obvious: The Case Against Miracles has some of the biggest names in the atheism and skepticism communities. Not only is it edited by Loftus, who also edited The Christian Delusion, but it contains blurbs and essays by Michael Shermer, Dan Barker, Peter Boghossian, David Fitzgerald, and other legends.

Michael Shermer, "How To Think About the Resurrection: Was Jesus Really Raised From the Dead?"

I hope readers are taking advantage of my offer of a free copy of the Kindle edition of The Case Against Miracles. The offer is only for today! Go ahead, make my day!

This morning in my feed was the latest essay by Michael Shermer, titled How To Think About the Resurrection: Was Jesus Really Raised From the Dead? It is a must read essay by him! In it he quotes me and recommends my book. As you should know, Shermer wrote the Foreword to The Case Against Miracles.

Get a Free Kindle of My Book "The Case Against Miracles"


I’m giving away free copies of my book on Easter Sunday! Just click here. It’s received some high praise!

Barring any glitches it’ll be free on Amazon all day April 9th, from 12 AM until 11:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time. I’m hoping you’ll recommend it to others. THAT would help pay it back.