A Question for John W. Loftus

Positively shocking. Loftus cough out a dumb argument? Unheard of.

Referring to this article, where scientists have discovered a gene that predisposes people to promiscuity, Loftus says:

While it isn’t a forgone conclusion that people with this gene will cheat on their mates, the presence of that gene makes such a temptation harder to overcome. Imagine that, some people (half of us) have a harder time overcoming such a temptation and yet God supposedly judges us all equally. That doesn’t seem fair now does it? I wonder if the incarnate Jesus gave himself that gene since he was “tempted in every way, just as we are.” (Hebrews 4:15) 😉 (source)

This argument (if you can call it that) is absurd.

This actually helps my position on homosexuality. I’ve argued that it is probably inborn, but by virtue of being inborn doesn’t automatically make it desirable. Nor should anything become socially acceptable based entirely on the fact that it is inborn.

Infidelity is a negative trait. So are addictive patterns of behavior, like alcoholoism. As is rage. So are many genetic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, emphysema, and heart disease. All of these things are hardwired into genetics, and no one is trying to argue for society to unconditionally accept people subject to those things on the basis of a genetic predisposition.

Things that are inborn, however, are undeniably part of the self. And what does Jesus call us to do when we become his followers? Deny ourselves (Lk 9:23).

And, turning to Paul’s writings, we see that sin itself is inborn: it is nature as well as action. Otherwise, the whole concept of the Christian becoming a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) is meaningless drivel.

Loftus cranks out lots of posts, and most of them are mindless soundbite arguments. This is the dude who complained at Victor Reppert’s blog (in the comments here) that soundbites were all that comments allowed. Yet, when faced with the unlimited canvas of a blog post, he again argues by soundbite.

Perhaps that’s all he has?

It would seem since one of the arguments that he keeps harping on is that we can’t trust our brains to make sense of the world, since we approach everything with bias and defend that which we prefer to be true.

Which leaves us with a big question for Mr. Loftus:

Why should anyone believe that you offer the truth? You also approach with bias and defend that which you prefer to be true–being that you’re a human and accuse all humans of doing this. You admit it: “I have never claimed that atheists are more rational than believers” (source).

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on January 13, 2011, in Christian Delusion, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. How could you possibly doubt anything John Loftus says about his primary area of expertise – natural science?

    • I wasn’t sure if you were seriously asking me this question, or if you were being sarcastic. So I read a few entries on both your blogs. I still can’t tell. So I’ll just say that Loftus’s expertise is PHILOSOPHY, not science.

  2. Definitely sarcastic! But thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • I was leaning toward sarcasm, but I’ve been wrong in the past so I didn’t want to look like an idiot.

      Even though you don’t necessarily appear to be a theist, you are definitely not a Loftus fan. It’s nice to see others who find his arguments shallow and unconvincing.

      I’m hoping that you’ll review The Christian Delusion soon. I’ve been meaning to work on that (my copy’s right here collecting dust), but I always find something better to do. After reading chapter 1, I keep thinking that it’s not worth my time. Chapter 1 did nothing to refute faith in general (it was under the section on refuting faith), nor Christianity in particular. In fact, it seemed to grasp authentic Christianity better than some Christians! (Irony: Gotta love it.) It wasn’t quite an endorsement of Christianity, but with a little different spin it could have been.

      Perhaps that’s a testament to Loftus’s disorganization. “Let’s write a book to disprove Christianity, but in we’ll actually help Christianity’s case in the first chapter.” Mmm-hmmm.

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