Recently a podcast by a Christian speaker offered a couple of excuses for Jonathan McLatchie’s plagiarism. However, there are several issues with the excuses provided. To begin, the first excuse was that it was an oral presentation (debate), whether it was a written or oral presentation, Jonathan still read from a prepared statement without citation of the authors so the audience would not have known if he was using someone else’s works. Secondly, another excuse used was that Jonathan used someone else’s arguments and everyone at some point or another uses arguments they have learned, the problem here is we’re not saying that Jonathan is not allowed to borrow arguments, the problem is reading word for word from someone else’s article without referencing them in the least, thus giving the impression that the spoken words were his own.
Thirdly, the podcast’s speaker claimed that Jonathan was an author at Answering Islam, therefore they were allowed to use any statement from that website and pass it off as their own, however, Jonathan is not an author at that website and has so far not corrected the Christian speaker that made that claim. Even if Jonathan was an author at that website, it would still not preclude him from the responsibility of citing his sources which he implied were authoritative. Consider if kids at school were to use this type of reasoning, the argument here being, we’re in the same class so we can copy each other’s essays. Yep, no joke folks, that’s the level of maturity we’re using here. That covers the only excuses that one could allow, if one were that desperate.
Jonathan on the other hand plainly admitted that he was not capable of performing in the debate for himself. He claimed that he needed help from other Christian speakers (Sam Shamoun and Anthony Rogers) to the point that the presentation was not his own but borrowed from someone else entirely:
Initially I made the mistake of agreeing that since he had permission this would not be plagiarism, but on reflection, this is literally the definition of plagiarism. Not only were the debate quotes uncited, according to Jonathan McLatchie, the presentation itself was plagiarised as he did not cite that the presentation itself was copied from someone else. His excuse therefore has made the situation even worse. Surprisingly, Jonathan has acknowledged that he does not think the audience would have believed he was competent enough to use his own research or debate preparation, he clearly states in this image below that the audience would not have believed the material being presented was his own.
When the issue first reared its head, Jonathan claimed that the uncited quote of Sam Shamoun (a Christian blogger) was an “isolated case“, now he’s claiming that the entire presentation itself was handed to him to use uncited, at this point one must ask, did Jonathan actually do any research at all? Did he prepare for this debate by himself at any point? As it stands, the answers are clearly no.
and God knows best.