More Hand Waving From Matthew Flannagan on the OTF

[Written by John W. Loftus] Dr. (they hand out PhD's to anyone these days) Matthew Flannagan said: "As to the OTF you'll see I have pointed out that argument is incoherent." Really? No, Really? That's a very large claim of his, akin to the claim to have refuted it. I don't think in these debates of ours I would ever claim to have refuted an argument. Remember, the larger the claim is then the harder it is to defend. Does he know this? A refutation of an argument is a very difficult thing to produce. My response:

Matt, you have only shown that you do not apply the Golden Rule across the board. You flaunt it in defense of a faith that cannot be defended except by special pleading.

Now really, one should not expect a deluded person who has a great amount vested in his faith and wants a full-time job teaching in the states to look at the OTF objectively and say, "You're right, I'm deluded." I don't. You fail to understand it. You falsely criticize it of being too radical even though that's how you approach the other religions you reject. You fail to realize that if Christianity is true and was not made to pass the OTF, then people born into different religious cultures could never reasonably come to believe it thereby being condemned to hell by virtue of being born as outsiders.

You must denigrate science to reject it because it could just as well be called The Scientific Test for Faith. It could equally be called The Consistent Test for Faith, or The Skeptical Test for Faith, or The Golden Rule Test for Faith, or An Objective Test for Faith, or The Burden of Proof Test for Faith or even simply A (or The) Test for Faith. Because the "Outsider" as I described in WIBA is a scientifically minded person, a non-believer, one who does not have faith in a given religion. That, as I've described is the outsider's perspective. And you have failed to offer any alternative way to test one's culturally adopted faith objectively, which, until you do, you are just hand waving.

YOU are a hypocrite. But then, that's what it takes to believe and defend what you prefer to be true. Special pleading is being a hypocrite in my book.

So Matt, I have five sets of questions for you:

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?

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?

If the OTF is incoherent, Matt, then you should have no trouble dispensing with these five questions.


This is an elaborated response from a brief comment I made here.