I have been asking John Loftus to explain his epistemology. Based on what does he judge a person rational or irrational, epistemically justified or unjustified, having knowledge or lacking it? One would think these are blushingly basic questions for a person who constantly disparages entire groups of people as being irrational, unjustified and deluded.
Think about it like this. Imagine a person who constantly says things like this: “Psychiatry isn’t science. It’s baloney. And quantum physics isn’t science either. It’s hokus pokus.” Such a person would be setting themselves up for a very simple, reasonable, basic question: how do you discern what is, and is not, science? So imagine if that person could not address that simple question. Imagine if they responded to it with a long-winded, obnoxious filibuster in which they refused even to define the way they were using the term. How would that make their imflammatory harangues against psychiatry and quantum physics look? Rather empty, no?
Well here is John’s latest response to my simple request that he define and defend his epistemological commitments:
Oh, one more thing Randal, am I not already taken seriously?
You back into an elitist corner when confronted with the problems of faith, claiming that I need to waste my time pursuing you down that epistemological rabbit’s hole, as if I can catch you. I can’t. I know that. So why bother? Why bother reading up on all that you have read only to become more entrenched in my opinion that you are deluded, dead wrong. You and I both know there are atheist philosophers who have looked at your Christian epistemology and its detours and not blinked. So why would it be different for me?
No one in his right mind would ever claim that to take someone else seriously he has to have a developed epistemology about anything other than epistemology.
I see what I see. I don’t see what you see. The evidence shows you are wrong. The evidence shows I am correct. These statements should be good enough. Otherwise, you are gerrymandering around that the evidence calls you to accept. Otherwise, you are requiring anyone who wishes to write to be at least as much of an expert on these topics as you are.
Let’s say you’re an expert on cats and you claims one of them talked. I do not need to be an expert in cats to say I need to see the evidence. I don’t have to have any theory of knowledge to do so either. But you do, if that is your claim. You would have to come up with a whole lot of theological gymnastics in order to make such a claim as yours intellectually respectable.
The rest of us can simply see the emperor as having no clothes on and laugh.
Breathtaking, isn’t it?
Let me begin by answering John’s opening question: no you’re not taken seriously. How could anyone take you seriously when you write things like that? Every day you use inflammatory language in which you claim that people are “irrational” and “unjustified” and “deluded”. And now you admit that you don’t even have definitions for those very terms? You admit that you have no epistemology?
Your final sentence is sadly ironic. Yes John, the rest of us see that the emperor has no clothes. However, this kind of tragic scene is no laughing matter.