(Sorry, I had to use the word “blog” since it’s necessary here.) John Loftus, ex-Christian preacher and author, has started a new group of blogs, Skepticblogs.com, whose intent, as he said in the mission statement, “is not to antagonize any other skeptical or freethought blogs.” The mission statement is below:
WELCOME TO SKEPTIC BLOGS
Skeptic Blogs has been designed to be a network community of skeptical bloggers, podcasters and Vbloggers. Our intention is not to antagonize any other skeptical or freethought blogs. We merely seek to offer a fresh perspective, one we think other skeptics and atheists will appreciate. It will include like-minded people who will run their own individual blogs as they see fit given our mission statement and posting policy (below).
We seek to collectively provide a positive set of voices on behalf of science, reason, and skepticism. We take aim at critically examining the basis of religious faiths, their holy books, claims of miracles, and of the paranormal, without neglecting the adverse cultural impact they have on us. We will do so from a diverse set of perspectives and disciplines of learning.
Our Posting Policy
Bloggers have agreed to post something at least once a week, barring unusual circumstances. Invectives which demean individuals on the basis of ethnicity, sex, gender identification, or age, will not be tolerated. Wherever there is room for debate about controversial issues we will do so reasonably based on evidence. While it is fashionable in some corners of the internet for atheists to crassly denigrate people, that is not acceptable here (although, sometimes we can only tolerate the tolerable). We will focus on the arguments themselves. No position worth defending requires the sacrifice of respect or manners. We want a respectful intelligent debate on the issues that divide us or none at all, and we demand the same from our commentariat.
John’s old website, “Debunking Christianity,” is now located there, as well as seven other sites. So far John et al. seem to maintaining an atmosphere of civility (at least in the posts; there are few readers’ comments so far), and the sites are heavy on ideas and philosophy, which I like.
Two posts I particularly appreciate include “Gould’s NOMA—a thorough analysis” at The Tippling Philosopher (which, I note, has stolen my phrase “sophisticated theologians™”!), a post that has lots of reference and debunks not only Gould’s specious idea, but also the common claim that Augustine was the original Sophisticated Theologian™ who, presciently, saw the Bible as pure metaphor. Another good post is “Of miracles” at the Hume’s Apprentice site.
The whole enterprise looks good, and so far refreshingly free of drama, but it’s new and needs publicity, readers, and comments; so go over and have a look. (I’m hoping that a cat will appear now and then.)
As always, I’ll maintain the independence of my own site, but I wish John and his comrades well. And while I’m at it, let me put in an unsolicited plug for John’s new book, Why I Became an Atheist. Despite its unfortunate title, which implies that it’s a personal story of John’s journey from faith to unbelief, it’s really a thoroughly-reasoned and well documented account of the follies of faith. It belongs on your shelf beside the books of Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, Stenger, and Dawkins, and I recommend it highly.