From: Brian Holtz []
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 10:29 PM
To: Kyle Gerkin
Subject: RE: On Rennie's and Gerkin's discussion

> I think your approach is a bit too cold
> and logical to be effective with many types of people.

(It's odd that people often confuse precision with coldness.) I don't doubt that my approach is too rational and scholarly to convert most Christians. But Christianity isn't dying because Christians are being converted by the direct proselytizing efforts of non-Christians.  Christianity is dying because people recognize (at varying levels) that there is a superior worldview available. My goal is simply to identify and promote the best available worldview; the rest will take care of itself.

> But with others you need to establish a level of friendship and
> trust before you go steamrolling over their cherished beliefs.

Do you proselytize any of the Christians among your friends and family?  I don't.

> Sadly, many Christians seem shocked that an atheist can be friendly and
> considerate. One Christian recently wrote to me "These are in no way
> slandering questions, I am honestly asking them because normally
> when I ask an Atheist they ridicule me instead of giving an answer." If this
> true, our worldview has had poor representation indeed.

I agree that most atheist polemicists are too impatient and too scornful toward Christians. But Christians and atheists alike are foolish to take anyone's behavior as evidence for or against the propositions he asserts.

> In an item JP and I co-authored, JP places me in a category called
> "Scholarly Skeptics" described as "Those who have researched and
> thought out their position with careful consideration, and are also willing
> to listen to coherent arguments against their views and listen to them thoughtfully."
> That is located here:

The former applies to Turkel, but the latter often doesn't. If you or he ever have any specific evidence that either doesn't apply to me, I would welcome hearing about it. Otherwise, good luck teaching Turkel some manners.