Friday, February 25, 2011

A Carpet Cleaner's Problem

I'm taking much of the day to do USDA work, so we have a guest post today from Tekton reader "Tophet" -- who has had as much fun with John Loftus as we've had.


Here is my problem," says John W. Loftus, the bankrupt carpet cleaner from Indiana.

Oh, what could it possibly be?

"The first time I went online in 2004 someone pointed me to TWeb."

Actually, Loftus posted in TheologyWeb on May 26, 2005, starting with a thread called "Is there such a thing as an Honest Doubter?" (Link below.) His first post was moderated for advertising his book.

In response to EvoUk, J.P. said,
May 26th 2005 11:30 AM:

DJ wrote me an email, what, about a week ago with the same basic info as his OP, also asking if I wanted to debate him. I said, "Until I know if we have something to debate about, I can't say, but I'm here on TWeb. How about a copy of your book?" He sez, "Buy it thus way" and I did.

To Loftus he said,
May 26th 2005 11:18 AM:

I see ya took up my invitation. Welcome aboard.

Today Loftus says, "I didn't know any better. So I went there."

Loftus didn't know any better? Here's what he told J.P. at the time,
June 1st 2005 10:49 AM:

Ed Babinski told me to watch out for you, after telling me to contact you. Then he shared some websites and after viewing them I was fearful you'd trash me. But so far you seem pleasant. I want a pleasant conversation or none at all, and so far you've treated me with respect. Thanks!

He added, I think you are understanding me, and that's all I guess that I can expect for now. So Loftus revealed Babinski told him to contact J.P. Why doesn't he admit this now?

J.P.'s response, June 1st 2005 12:07 PM:

Heh heh. Here's a "secret", DJ... I DO trash people who are a) dishonest or b) refuse to admit that they are in over their head.

So Loftus was given fair warning, both by J.P. and by Babinski.

Loftus then fished for an endorsement,
June 1st 2005 10:59 AM:

So, tell me in general terms what you think of my book. We can talk about specifics as you feel you may want to. But I'd first like to know before we get into any specifics what your general impression of my book is. That's a fair question, isn't it? What do you think of it?

Note that Loftus said, "We can talk about specifics as you feel you may want to."
J.P. responded, June 1st 2005 12:07 PM:

I think it's a story of an honest doubter, just like the title says....though the level of scholarship isn't up to standard (as you allow for) it serves well as an account of your journey. If I were writing a review for Library Journal, that's what I'd say....

June 1st 2005 01:52 PM --

That's it? Short review, isn't it, although that's the bare bones summation. Usually appraisals of works include a variety of words and phrases like: "interesting," "makes a fair case," "makes some very good points," "challenging," "very weak," or mildly strong," or even "crazy" depending on your evaluation. Don't be afraid of offending me. I'm really interested. And likewise, don't be afraid to compliment my book more than merely saying it "serves well as an account of your journey." You merely think it's better than other books that don't serve well as an account of the journey.

Note that Loftus said, "Don't be afraid of offending me."
Loftus bombarded the thread with extracts from his book, which J.P. addressed. Loftus observed, June 2nd 2005 01:34 PM:

The way you are going through my book is page by page, and you can do that. I think I had invited you to debate. I suppose what I really wanted was some kind of assessment of what I had done in my book by you. But my doubt is so deep today that if you want me to rehash all of the minutia you find in my book, then quite plainly, I never asked for that.

So much for "We can talk about specifics as you may want to."

Yes, John W. Loftus does have a problem.
It's called "honesty."

Link: Loftus comment

Link: TWeb thread

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