Two Negative Reviews of the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF)

I find that people who disagree with a reasonable non-double standard test for religious faith cannot be reasoned with, for obvious reasons. How we test a truth claim has a great deal to do with the kind claim we're testing. Sometimes a poll can settle one type of claim. Other times we can settle a different claim by traveling somewhere. Counting spoons can test a certain type of claim, while sitting on a fluffy pillow can test a different one. Logic and/or math can test other types of truth claims. In testing some types of claims we rely heavily on one discipline of learning, while testing other claims we rely heavily on other disciplines of learning. Some claims demand testing from several different academic disciplines. It depends on the type of claim we're testing that determines how we test it.

This past week I spoke to a group of students (including two ministers) at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I started by asking them this question: "How many of you know which religion is true?" A few hands were raised. I continued, "How sure are you that your religion is true?" The overwhelming response was "100%". It's the typical response when it comes to religious faith because faith is basically immune from testing. It has no method for determining truth. With faith anything can be believed or denied without any evidence at all. No wonder there are so many mutually exclusive religions in the world. Testing one's religious faith is anathema to the minds of overwhelming numbers of believers since faith pleases their imagined gods. Of course it does! Faith pleases the gods because the gods cannot allow testing. They cannot allow testing because the gods are all made up by kings, priests, prophets, philosophers, guru's, shamans, witchdoctors and so forth, who only want blindly obedient followers. In some cases the gods ask believers to test them (see Malachi 3:10), but those tests are not real ones given the plethora of cognitive biases human beings have to count the hits, and to discount the misses.

So how can believers test their faith should they really want to know if their religious faith is true, given the nature of religious faith? With the The Outsider Test for Faith.There is no better alternative. If you think there is one then what is it? It's the type of test geared to test religious faith just as geologists test the age of the earth with rock samples, just as neurologists test brain states with CAT scans, just as economists test economical theories with the results of economical policies. You cannot test the age of the earth with a CAT scan, nor can you test economical theories with rock samples. We develop appropriate tests for each different truth claim being tested. It's that simple.

Anyway, here are the negative reviews. See what you think. They are both bogus reviews, obviously so. Or, do you think they have anything legitimate to say at all by way of a response?

Negative review one.

Negative review two.

Contrast those two reviews with what Richard Carrier said of it:
Though this idea has been voiced before, Loftus is the first to name it, rigorize it, and give it an extensive philosophical defense; moreover, by doing so, he is the first to cause a concerted apologetic to arise attempting to dodge it, to which he could then respond. The end result is one of the most effective and powerful arguments for atheism there is. It is, in effect, a covering argument that subsumes all other arguments for atheism into a common framework. LINK.