John Loftus vs David Marshall: "Does Christianity Pass the Outsider Test for Faith?" Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my discussion/debate with David Marshall on the Unbelievable? podcast. LINK. Part 1 can be found here. Since Part 1 was aired last week I've written a three part review of David Marshall's book to be read here, seen in reverse chronological order. There the listener can see exactly why my last comment in Part 2 of this program was that Marshall's book is "entirely irrelevant to the evidence demanded for testing one's faith. And I find that even though Randal Rauser has switched sides apparently, by recommending this book...Marshall doesn't even understand the problem." Now aside from what I've written earlier about Marshall's book, there are three more important things to say about it.

Things concerning the first. Marshall amasses a lot of facts with regard to the good that Christians have done in the world. His argument in a couple of chapters goes as follows: Christians have done X. X is good. X was done because of Christianity. He confuses correlation with causation, a known informal fallacy. I could dispute many of his examples, but even if not, there is no causation here simply because there is a correlation. He never even attempted to argue there is causation, for it would require more than merely saying Christians did X.

Things concerning the second. Marshall is a hypocrite. Now I don't take pleasure in saying this or anything else I consider to be the truth. But he is. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. For he criticized my anthology Christianity Is Not Greatbecause we didn't tell readers all of the good things Christians have done. Our focus was on the harms of Christian faith. This focus was justified since many Christians are beating the drum day and night about how great Christianity is, like Marshall himself. As I said earlier in response:
Consider my book one that tells the rest of the story. It really hasn't been told before, not by Christian apologists like Marshall. It represents the corrective to their non-objective telling of Christian history. So they shouldn't complain about this to us. If they had told the whole story of the church, we wouldn't have to do so. We're under no obligation to tell the other side of the story when they refuse to tell the side we're telling.
So when I saw this book of Marshall's you can imagine my surprise when he did exactly what I said apologists like him do. They don't tell the whole story. Well, okay, I wasn't surprised. This is typical Christian apologetics. Just like when it comes to prayer, where Christians count the hits and discount the misses, Christians also count the good things Christians do and discount the bad things they do. They cannot continue doing this if they want intellectual respectability. Anything that Christians do which is good cannot be attributed to Christianity, if anything that a large number of Christians do which is bad is not to be attributed to Christianity.

This is the same viewpoint of Karen Armstrong, who argues the harms done in the name of Allah, for instance, don't have anything to do with Islam because, by definition, prior to examining the objective evidence itself, a true religion does no harm. She knows this by faith, not evidence, the very thing about religion that causes so much harm in our world in the first place! That's why I say faith itself is the problem. It's a pretend game played by intellectual children. In this make-believe game of hers, she arbitrarily absolves religion from all moral criticism. Of course, she neglects to see the truth, for hers is a religion also, and her religion is doing harm. The nature of that harm is hard to see but it's certainly there. For the true nature of the problem with militant Islam is in not recognizing it as a religion. Only by recognizing the problem can we develop helpful responses to it. Since she's in denial her non-response is sure to end up costing more lives in the end, the very thing she says religion doesn't do.

Things concerning the third. Marshall didn't write a balanced book. He could have, and by doing so he would show me how it's to be done right. He could have told the other side of the story. He didn't write about the contributions to society by non-believers agnostics and atheists, something like the following video. Watch and consider it. We are atheists and our name is Legion. The question Marshall needs to answer is why he thinks the good that Christians do is evidence for his faith, but the good that atheists do is not evidence for atheism.