Last night I stumbled over to Debunking Christianity. I haven’t read his blog in weeks.
Well, hell hell, ol’ Loftus debated again … which I tried to listen to … but I fell asleep.
Here, you tell me.
The guy has cajones. He got back on the horse after D’Souza to ride again!
Bored out of my mind, I breezed through the comments on the DB blog while I was listening. There were some, “You lost” responses. Mind you, there were a couple from Christians, and of course they are going to say he lost. Not that any atheist would ever say another atheist would lose. There were some, “You improved” responses. There were some, “You mumbled” or “You got off track” criticisms. The guy who thinks John Loftus did great was Loftus himself. And it’s partly because he posted that, “Atheists always win debates.”
Loftus dares his readers to give him good reasons that he should stop debating. And he needs good reasons, none of these, “You make us look bad” kinds of responses. He needs criticism steeped in professional language like, “You’re a fuck up” or “The shit you say sucks big hairy ape balls” or “Pull your fucking head out of your ass. You’re being as delusional as we accuse others of being. Grow up and be rational about your lack of debate talent.”
I grew up in sports. I don’t watch sports. I like to play them. Sports are the main comparison I have to compare this to.
The tradition I came from was high quality, high calibre. When I was on the field, court, course … you gave it your all. Since I was a Christian, the parable of talents was something I took to refer to actual “talents.” If I’m not mistaken, this was precisely the way the parable was taught to me. To a man with much talent, he must use it to its fullest. To him with little talent, he must use it to its fullest. Whatever you have, you bring it all to the table and you multiply it.
In soccer, I wasn’t the best guy on the team. But I was pushed myself hard. One day my coach pulled me aside and said, “Witt (they called me Witt), I want you to play to your ability. Listen to the guys who are better than you. Identify your level of play and push yourself to be really good at that.” And that’s what I did. I wasn’t out scoring goals, but I was a team player, and I would push myself to make my teammates look good.
The “parable of the talents” crossed into every spectrum of life. There were many bizarre things about the Christian culture, but one thing I liked was that the custodian was no better than the president. Each position is essential to success. Only, if you’re cleaning toilets, your pay grade is lower. But the Christians have one thing going for them … Jesus said, “The first shall be last.”
I play on a pool league now. It’s not much, but it’s something I’m pretty good at. At any league match, there are five games and eight players. So three people won’t play every match. One night, it was the fifth game, and I recommended a better player play the last game because we were down and likely going to lose the match. If we had a winning game, we might make a dent in how badly we’d lose. But a poorer player was insisting on playing, because he would be gone for a few weeks. I argued that it’s not about that.
Finally another player said to have the poorer player play. I looked at the poor player and said, “Are you ready to go?” He said, “Of course. I’m always ready.” But what I expected was for him to think rationally. The rational answer was to selfishly put down your pride and say, “Hey, the team needs a better player to play at this point.” I said that to him. He didn’t get it. It’s pool, not the World Series. So I waved my hand. “Go play.”
I make this comparison, knowing full well that it’s ridiculous. It’s only pool … at a bar … who the hell cares?
Well, I care … when it comes to people like John Loftus competing for attention to represent myself and other like-minded people. He’s not playing pool at a local bar. He’s now performing to the possibility of millions thanks to the Internet.
The Internet is great for some things, but man, this is not one of them.
It got me thinking. How can I be constructive about this?
If I were to talk to Loftus, I’d say, “Use your talent to the best of your ability. If it’s writing, write. If it’s putting in written word the arsenal of thought that another speaker could bring to a debate, do it. Loftus, go find someone who is an excellent speaker and mentor them. Stop trying to do a double somersault backflip roundhouse dive into the pool, when the best you’ve got is a lousy cannonball.”
Nothing is as it seems
Why do you like the shows on TV? Do you really think it’s the actors? Behind great talent on stages and on screens is an arsenal of writing, production, directing and editing talent. This is where the atheist lack of organization gets me riled up.
Do you know that even “Queer Eye for the Straight” guy was a written show? Those guys weren’t riffing from their perfect little minds. Those guys had a writing staff. They hired real comedians to feed them lines.
You know, I’d love to work myself into a public sphere larger than a blog, write a book, go out and debate. But that’s not my talent. Blogging is something I do for fun and for a sort of therapy. It’s not something I take too seriously. Hell, even Loftus pointed that out a couple times.
I expect rational thought from atheists, but apparently there is at least one who’s still latching on to irrationality … and it’s hurting the rest of us.
Play to your ability, Loftus. Be a team player. Find your talent and be successful at it. As my teammate, you’re making the rest of us look badly.
Stop it. Concentrate on furthering the cause. Yeah, I know in your mind you are. But in many others, you’re not.