“Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here, this is the war room!”

Criticizing John Loftus’s “Outsider Test” of religion:

[Loftus] is insisting on adopting a viewpoint that no religious person need adopt nor does adopt when dealing with other religions. At this point, this clearly becomes a normative claim: we ought to adopt a methodological naturalist stance in determine which religion is the right one.

But this clashes with his own definition of religion. He insists in a number of places that what makes religion religion is its link to the supernatural. So every religion that is properly called a religion makes supernatural claims. What Loftus want to do here, then, is start with the assumption not merely that the religion has the burden of proof — that’s his first point — but that the religion is wrong. … [H]e’s building in a structure that forces us to assume that the central defining feature of any religion is actually expressing something that is not true. I can’t see how you could possibly have a fair test that doesn’t merely ask you to consider that it might be false, but also to assume it false.


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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