"The Christian faith should be rejected by modern civilized scientifically literate people."
I'm not too familiar with John Loftus' writings. However, the above claim is one he advances at his blog, and I must disagree on several grounds.
If he wants to debate me on the matter, I don't think it would be a waste of time - although there may be more important matters for people to spend time debating.
How I interpret the statement
Loftus seems to be saying that all shades of Christian faith (where it differs from other beliefs) should be rejected. This is the problem. The Christian faith is very broad.
Some branches are quite modern.
Some branches are quite civilized.
Some branches are quite scientifically literate.
Loftus would make a better argument if he argued for rejecting the elements of the Christian faith that are different. He could argue for rejecting the aspects of Christianity that are ancient, uncivilized and incompatible with science.
The nature of "should"
My key disagreement with Loftus' statement regards his choice of the word "should." Since he has this phrase highlighted in red text in a permanent "challenge" section on his blog, I assume he did a lot of thinking when he chose his words. As I see it, there are two possible meanings.
First, there is a *practical* use of the word. If you want to win a game of chess, you *should* try to put your opponent's king in checkmate.
Second, there is a *moral* use of the word. If people want to be modern, civilized and scientifically literate (all "good" things), they should reject the Christian faith.
In a practical sense, Loftus would have to (and would inevitably fail, I believe) to establish that those aspiring to be modern, civilized and scientifically literate - in order to do so - must reject the Christian faith. This is evidently incorrect.
It should be noted - there are elements, some specific to the Christian faith, that should definitely be rejected by modern, civilized, scientifically literate people. Just not all.
We are left with the moral element. Loftus may be claiming that modern, civilized, scientifically literate people have a moral obligation to abandon Christianity. For simple reasons, I disagree. If people are modern, civilized and scientifically literate - and Christian - what moral reason is there for such people to reject their Christian faith? It clearly is not obstructing them. Such a claim would also imply that adherence to the Christian faith (and thus, all Christians) are either incapable of being modern, civilized and scientifically literate, or are severely lacking in those areas. This amounts to bigotry and is not to be tolerated.
Doubtless, Loftus wrote his challenge to instigate discussion with Christians. His view is probably shared by many people who have not considered the actual implications of that sort of claim. My post is simply to express my disagreement with his argument, pending clarification.