BH: G.Z. Jordan's story of conversion from atheism to Christianity makes him a possible member of a rare species: an atheist having long-term experience with both side's arguments who later converted to Christianity purely because of comparing those arguments. [H]is exposure to atheist polemics may not have been very deep, and his subsequent conversion to Christianity is tainted by at least six of the twelve potential confounding factors I describe in my survey.It's odd that your home page advises people to read the "entirety" of your material, and then you quote my statements above without answering them or apparently even reading them.
BH: Jordan seems to take bad Christians as evidence against the truth of Christianity:Jordan seems to take bad atheists as evidence against the truth of atheism:Jordan seems to take nice Christians as evidence for the truth of Christianity:
GZJ: Steve Locks (http://www.theism.net/authors/zjordan/debates_files/1_contact.htm) deduced in his de-conversion story that Christianity could not be real considering the bad fruit it produced. It works for atheists but not for Christians?
BH: Jordan confesses a history of personal problems:
GZJ: Wrong—Jordan shared a particular personal problem many years behind him.
Personal problems afflict persons of either theistic persuasion. It is not indicative of veracity of either persuasion.
Frankly, I am a member of a rare breed, indeed, considering I conquered an illness that most do not conquer. That is actually character strength, not character weakness.
Sadly for all those persons who are not Brian Holtz, his model childhood, teens and adulthood escaped them. Oh, if only a God could exist powerful enough to make all of Brian's underlings so marvelous as Brian.
BH: Jordan claims to have been a well-learned atheist:
GZJ: Oh? Where did I claim that?
GZJ: What exactly is a “well-learned,” or poorly learned, atheist?
Can you give more details on how much you knew about atheism, Christianity, and philosophy? Do you have any examples from when you were an atheist of writings by you on atheism?GZJ: Prior to my conversion my fellow atheists considered me well learned.
BH: There is no book that a true freethinker would avoid reading so resolutely as to ban it from his home. Jordan later admits (below) that while "learning so much" he managed to never look up for himself the Bible quotes cited by the atheists he read.
GZJ: And your point behind that is…?
GZJ: Does that mean Christ did not resurrect?
BH: Jordan seems to think that the current state of morality in America has some bearing on the truth of the gospels' claims about events in first-century Palestine:
GZJ: Bingo! Indeed, I do.
I would have expected you to vouch that the unfairness of your earlier blaming had absolutely no confounding influence on your later conversion.BH: The unfairness of Jordan's blaming Jesus simply is not evidence that Jesus was divine.GZJ: Correct, now about that resurrection thingy…
BH: Note that Peter and James are the only alleged resurrection witnesses who the New Testament names (John 21:18,19, Acts 12:2) as martyrs, but there is no evidence that recanting their alleged belief in physical resurrection could have saved them. All other Christian martyrs died, like the kamikazes, for what they were told and not for what they witnessed.[..] Skeptics can easily explain the 500 claim without reference to mass "hallucinations":http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~slocks/asym/jreply3/emails1.html
"Fanaticism" doesn't require "youth indoctrination", and "cultism" doesn't require prophecy. Nevertheless, early Christians were definitely "convinced of a future happening"; the details of that happening merely became more vague as it became clear that Jesus' "this-generation" Olivet prophecy had not come true.
GZJ: These points were addressed in my debate (http://www.theism.net/authors/zjordan/debates_files/04jordan.htm) with Temy Beal.
Are you claiming that your original statement (quoted above) specifies whether the "advice" was from you versus an actual psychiatric professional? Such a claim is patently false. What part of my observation above was unclear?GZJ: After rejecting professional psychiatric advice, she pursued divorce.
BH: Jordan doesn't specify whether this "advice" was from Jordan or from an actual "psychiatric professional", and instead leaves a(n intentionally hurtful?) implication of mental illness.GZJ: Yes, Jordan specified “professional psychiatric advice.” What part of that is unclear?
GZJ: I came to know Christ as my personal Lord and Savior because devout Christians accepted me and did not condemn me. They loved me. They followed Christ's teachings of loving their neighbor as themselves, and allowing their light of Jesus Christ to shine so brightly I could not deny it. [..] Be wary of intellectualism; it led Eve to the apple.I indeed have not read your entire site. I've read your "opening page", your conversion story, much of your debate with Locks, and (now) some of your debate with Beal.
BH: This sums it up perfectly: Jordan's conversion to Christianity seems not to have been based very much on a rational evaluation of the historical and scientific evidence.
GZJ: Apparently, Holtz missed a few of my pages.
The rationale behind my conversion is as my opening page presents:Your opening page describes this as your "position", and does not say it is the "rationale behind your conversion". One's current "position" may be quite unrelated to the processes involved in one's conversion. Your page's discussion of your being "saved" and your "acceptance" of Jesus is several paragraphs removed from this presentation of your "position", and surrounds a link to your "personal testimony". Your conversion story in fact reiterates your "position" as #8 of the 10 things you "determined" during your conversion, and I quoted the heart of that determination in my analysis.
For the record, would you mind answering for each of my potential confounding factors which you would agree is in your conversion story prima facie discernible (but presumably not confounding)?
GZJ: Holtz is welcome to debate if he follows the rules. He will have to stop the character attacks, read the previous debates, etc. or take a hike.