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The Great Debate: Dinesh D'Souza v. Michael S

Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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4/28/2011 6:49:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
To be frank, I would not call it impressive by any stretch, and there is a later segment where he is asked how come God won't heal amputees where he shows why he is very weak in direct confrontation. But in the actual back and forth, he is not outclassed by Shermer.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around. I've got his book and read parts of it, and its just terrible. I remember a debate he had with Peter Singer about the existence of God, where he talked about "atheist atrocities for his 20 minutes opening statement, and Singer nailed him on it, saying that even if he conceded the entire speech, it was not relevant in a debate over the existence of God. I don't think Shermer either is a particularly strong advocate for atheism. While I like his books and think that there are some points he does make that I agree with, he's not the best when it comes to arguments for/against the existence of God.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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4/28/2011 8:06:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around.

I don't think Shermer either is a particularly strong advocate for atheism.

I would agree thus they are well suited to debate each other. Shermer I think is amusing in how he can be so contradictory. He exclaims the value of being skeptical, of demanding proof, of asking questions - but when someone says "Hey, how do we know the holocaust happened, where are the holes in the ceilings?" is response is to call them a nut job.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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4/29/2011 7:40:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around. I've got his book and read parts of it, and its just terrible.

You've heard of Ray Comfort, haven't you? Or Kirk Cameron?
joneszj
Posts: 1,202
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4/29/2011 10:33:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/29/2011 7:40:52 AM, Meatros wrote:
At 4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around. I've got his book and read parts of it, and its just terrible.

You've heard of Ray Comfort, haven't you? Or Kirk Cameron?

How about James White, or RC Sproul Jr.? Matt Slick? I have been reading from Slicks webpage for years now, he is pretty solid.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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4/29/2011 11:04:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/29/2011 10:33:39 AM, joneszj wrote:
At 4/29/2011 7:40:52 AM, Meatros wrote:
At 4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around. I've got his book and read parts of it, and its just terrible.

You've heard of Ray Comfort, haven't you? Or Kirk Cameron?

How about James White, or RC Sproul Jr.? Matt Slick? I have been reading from Slicks webpage for years now, he is pretty solid.

While I ultimately do not agree with Matt Slick or RC Sproul (James White is drawing a blank), I do think they are good debaters and can put up thought provoking arguments.

Ray Comfort, on the other hand, cannot.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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4/29/2011 11:23:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/29/2011 7:40:52 AM, Meatros wrote:
At 4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around. I've got his book and read parts of it, and its just terrible.

You've heard of Ray Comfort, haven't you? Or Kirk Cameron?

The difference between banana man and D'souza is that the latter is taken seriously - with universities across America giving him a platform to argue his case, when, in reality, he's not much better than Comfort or Cameron. If Christians want a defence of Christianity, Bill Craig or Alvin Plantinga is surely the best option (though I don't agree with them on much, at least their arguments aren't literally textbook examples of ad hominem).
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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4/29/2011 12:53:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/29/2011 11:23:10 AM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/29/2011 7:40:52 AM, Meatros wrote:
At 4/28/2011 7:40:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
I'll be honest and say that I think D'Souza is probably one of the worst advocates for Christianity around. I've got his book and read parts of it, and its just terrible.

You've heard of Ray Comfort, haven't you? Or Kirk Cameron?

The difference between banana man and D'souza is that the latter is taken seriously - with universities across America giving him a platform to argue his case, when, in reality, he's not much better than Comfort or Cameron. If Christians want a defence of Christianity, Bill Craig or Alvin Plantinga is surely the best option (though I don't agree with them on much, at least their arguments aren't literally textbook examples of ad hominem).

Fair enough.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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4/29/2011 10:08:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago

You've heard of Ray Comfort, haven't you? Or Kirk Cameron?

Ray Comfort is one of the best apologists I have ever seen. Ray
the banana fits perfectly in your mouth.......and also in your a$$" argument just might be the greatest argument for the existence of God I have ever seen.

Paintings have painters
Coke cans have coke can makers
Therefore The universe has a creator

Seems like a rock solid argument to me.

P.S There is alot of observable evidence for coke cans and paintings being made (as in you can actually go watch these things being made by people), no one has every seen a universe "created" but don't let that get in the way.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
vardas0antras
Posts: 983
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4/30/2011 9:21:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/30/2011 9:17:58 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Yeah, well then who make God.

Can't answer that!

Fish.
"When he awoke in a tomb three days later he would actually have believed that he rose from the dead" FREEDO about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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4/30/2011 10:08:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/29/2011 9:53:01 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Does Plantinga even actively debate.

Yes.

There is one audio debate where he participates with other theists/theists. Also, he's involved in a written debate on Internet Infidels.
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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4/30/2011 7:20:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/29/2011 9:53:01 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Does Plantinga even actively debate.

Craig, as usual, does well. Smith, as usual, gives a lecture that only most theoretical physicists could understand. Plantinga was ok in the debate. And I can't remember how the other guy did. But I think he started to contradict Smith, which made for some rather awkward moments.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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5/2/2011 7:31:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/30/2011 7:20:38 PM, Freeman wrote:
Craig, as usual, does well. Smith, as usual, gives a lecture that only most theoretical physicists could understand. Plantinga was ok in the debate. And I can't remember how the other guy did. But I think he started to contradict Smith, which made for some rather awkward moments.

I think that's the one I was thinking of.

I generally agree with Smith's position, but I found him completely incoherent in his opening statement.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/2/2011 8:59:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I watched that, it was relatively amusing, this minute that minute, etc. . And after all of that, it was destroyed by a question from Plantinga later on. It seems obvious that the theists are simply much more prepared for these debates and the arguments/counter arguments in detail.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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5/2/2011 10:42:01 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/2/2011 8:59:05 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
I watched that, it was relatively amusing, this minute that minute, etc. . And after all of that, it was destroyed by a question from Plantinga later on. It seems obvious that the theists are simply much more prepared for these debates and the arguments/counter arguments in detail.

I would grant that, in reference to Craig and maybe Plantinga (certainly this debate). I've only witnessed/read a very limited few Plantinga debates. He's good, not spectacular. Craig is on another level of debate.

In general, I think that theists/atheists kind of level out. I would say that that, in my experience, atheists tend to do better in debates over theists in general (not much better), with notable exceptions (Craig being subsantially better then most atheists).
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/2/2011 11:58:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think it is simply one of preperation. The thesists are debating what they know, what they do and what they actively research. The atheists in general, with exceptions like Kagan, actually just assume they can win by inertia with little preperation. The counters they use to arguments are usually almost infantile, like Dawkin's arguing - yeah, well who made God.