But here’s the problem. PZ Meyers and Richard Dawkins, and others, have the clout to recommend those of us who do understand the various Christianities that exist who know how to debunk them on their own terms. But perhaps, and I’m only suggesting perhaps, they are so committed to the Courtier’s Reply when it comes to their own lack of understanding of Christian theology that they don’t realize this will not do if they want to change the religious landscape.
I am not aware that they actually ever suggested that the Courtier’s Reply alone would be sufficient to “change the religious landscape”, so I call strawman here, but Loftus does have a point, some religious believers might be susceptible to arguments from holes in theology. I’ll quote my answer that I gave on Pharyngula here :
I agree with those who argue that it can be a valuable tool to have some knowledge of the emperors fashion style and garment design, to argue with those who are indeed already concerned with, and invested in, these matters.
[This seems to hold true] Especially for Islam, first it seems to stun most Muslims I’ve ever talked with that a westerner should have more than a fleeting acquaintance with their religion, and some I spoke to were quite disturbed by my account of how their holy book actually came into existence, because they hadn’t known this.
Of course, in the end what it boils down to is, can you reason anyone out of a mindset they didn’t arrive at by ways of reasoning ?