Day Ten of the Thirteen Days of Solstice

We're celebrating the 13 days of Solstice rather than the 12 days of Christmas. I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each one of them in reverse chronological order, leading up to the 25th of the month. [See Tag Below] Stick with me to the end of this series when I write about my experiences in book publishing, the need for self-promotion and how to do it right (if it can be done right), plus what royalties authors can expect.

I had wanted the subtitle to be "How to Know Which Religion Is True If There Is One, since I don't think there is one. But that was rejected by my publisher for some ignorant reason I forget now.

Most of my books were conceived and tested on this blog in debates with believers. This is the case with this book more than any other. Here's the Amazon link to my book. In it I'm arguing for a fair test to help believers examine their own faith honestly, without any special pleading or double standards. I am arguing that every honest seeker should embrace it. This should be seen in the first few pages of my book. While I think the test leads to unbelief, that's a separate debate.

Chapter 1: What is the Outsider Test for Faith?

Chapter 2: The Fact of Religious Diversity   

Chapter 3: The Fact of Religious Dependency

Chapter 4: The Perspective of the Outsider
Chapter 5: Objecting to the Facts  

Chapter 6: Is the Test Self-Defeating?

Chapter 7: Does the Test Have Hidden Faith Assumptions?

Chapter 8: Does the Test Unfairly Exempt Other Things We Hold Dear?

Chapter 9: Debating Christianity Based On the Test

Chapter 10: Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?


The Outsider Test is designed to help believers see the need for requiring sufficient objective evidence. It helps them be open-minded rather than close-minded to it. It's the antidote for a number of cognitive biases that we know hinder people from considering the truth of their indoctrinated religions. It asks them to evaluate their own religious faith as if they were nonbelievers or agnostics, people born as outsiders, who seek to treat their own faith as reasonable people do to the faiths they reject. It challenges them to do unto thy own faith as ye do to the faiths of others. ;-) You can read the discussions I've posted on it right here. I've also written chapters on it in a few of my books, such as Why I Became an Atheist, The Christian Delusion, The End of Christianity and How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist.

If someone already accepts the requirement for sufficient objective evidence that person doesn't need the outsider test. To the degree then, that belief is involved--especially the kind that blinds people from seeing the requirement for sufficient objective evidence--to that same degree the belief should be subjected to an outsider's perspective. And there is no better way to know who needs the outsider perspective than the believer who adamantly refuses to require sufficient objective evidence for their beliefs. In other words, to the degree believers reject the outsider perspective is to the same degree they are the ones who need it the most.

Read the blurbs for it right here! Dr. Richard Carrier said it's my "greatest contribution to the philosophy of religion and atheism." Perhaps though, that accolade should go to my book, Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End. Time will tell.

Look at my Wikipedia page. Under the heading The Outsider Test for Faith it ends by saying,
This test has been disputed by Norman Geisler in "From Apologist to Atheist: A Critical Review",[6] Thomas Talbott in "The Outsider Test for Faith: How Serious a Challenge Is It?",[7] Mark Hanna, Biblical Christianity: Truth or Delusion?[8] Matthew Flannagan, "A Review of the Christian Delusion",[9] and David Marshall, How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story.[10]
It might give the false impression that those criticisms are decisive against my book. The problem is that I dealt with their criticisms IN MY BOOK, many of which can be read here. Don't just take my critic's words for it, as some do. See what Jonathan Pearce says about it:

John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 13 critically acclaimed books, which are not very popular judging from the meager sales. At this season I'm retired with a fixed income and would appreciate a one-time solstice gift to help me get by. If my work has benefited you at all, it would encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I can. My marriage has suffered because my wife often complains I spend way too much time online. But if I could make a little money doing what I do she probably wouldn't complain any more, and you would see me writing more.

Please support my work this season by sharing my posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying my books at Amazon then telling others about them! As an Amazon Associate John earns a small amount of money from purchases made from Amazon. Buying anything through them helps fund my work here, and is greatly appreciated! The ads here don't bring in much money at all. Since most people use an adblocker I'm thinking of doing away with them altogether. I hope this season of the year brings you cheer, peace, good health, and healthy relationships! Thanks for your support!