From: Brian Holtz [brian@holtz.org]
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:08 PM
To: Bob Norsworthy III
Subject: RE: Jesus
H: Again, if you think you have arguments for Christianity that can stand up to my arguments against it, then I challenge you to show them to your readers side-by-side with mine.

N: Iím getting there, but we are already covering a lot of ground here. [..] I have already addressed the miracles section. I have addressed Jesusí claims to deity in another section of this letter. [..]  I have already addressed Jesusí claims to deity several times over. [..] I have addressed Jesusí illegitimacy, sanity and resurrection elsewhere. [..] I have already addressed your divine shyness questions.

Completing any response to your latest effort is going to be a very low priority, for two reasons.

First, while your level of civility is high, the quality of your arguments isn't. For example, in your latest response you use the words "opinion" and "subjective" thirty times in describing my arguments. Another example: you repeatedly cite "Son of God" and "Messiah" designations as straightforward proclamations that Jesus was Yahweh himself, and thus blatantly beg the question of Jesus' self-identification. Answering arguments this weak just isn't a priority for me.

Second, you seem to think that you have answered most if not all of my Arguments Against Christianity. If you really think this, then I again challenge you to place your arguments (and any you might want to excerpt from other apologists) side-by-side with mine. If you decline this challenge, then it will probably be a month or two before I get around to rebutting your latest message.

N: (I notice that in some of your responses, you seem angry at me. I hope I have not offended you, it certainly is not my intention.)
You can't offend me; the worst you can do is try my patience and make me question whether this discussion is worth my time.
N: I have observed that on the page where you chronicle your interaction with others, you incessantly demean, degrade and belittle those you mention. Only in a couple of instances do you give a scrap of credit. That is sad.
My correspondence consists almost entirely of answering arguments against my beliefs. Are you expecting that I would say some of the arguments against my beliefs are better than my counter-arguments? Are you expecting that I would merely note disagreement with my critics without characterizing how I think our arguments compare? I invite you to tell me which discussion I have unfairly characterized, and I defy you to name a single discussant who has been more civil to me than I to him.
N: You are not the only intelligent person in existence.
Disagreeing with my critics hardly constitutes a claim to being "the only intelligent person in existence".
N: I would like to add that I am not trying to convert you. Why am I involved in this? Because I find it intellectually stimulating, I love to learn and I feel like I am learning from this voyage with you and because it is strengthening my faith. I really enjoy studying the bible and you are a strong enough critic that I really have to do my homework.
I'd actually prefer it if you were trying to convert me, because then this discussion would probably end sooner. :-)  My purpose here is just to ensure that any serious arguments against my beliefs are answered. If you're only trying to learn more about the arguments against Christianity, I'd prefer you just did some reading on infidels.org.
N: At any rate, I wanted you to know my intentions so that you don't think Iím just some ďholy rollerĒ. Iím just a person like anyone else who is trying to keep my head above water in life.
Allow me to suggest a value system in which sinking is not the default.