I Will Be Debating Dinesh D'Souza

I have been given a formal invitation to debate Dinesh D'Souza on Feburary 10th at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It's now official. The topic of the debate is this: Does the God of Christianity Exist? Dinesh will take the affirmative and I the negative. As you'd guess, I'm excited.

13 comments:

Richard H said...

Who will be hosting/moderating the debate?

André T. said...

Great!

All I can say is: don't spend time telling people about your personal story with christianity. Just use the things you've already shown you know. This will be great.

Meatros said...

I'm glad that you are getting more visibility, by engaging in this debate, but I have to be honest, I don't think that Dinesh is a very apt interlocutor.

Jacob said...

Looking forward to see you in a debate. Too bad it's versus the creepiest most ad hominem ridden douche on the theist side.

But if its a stepping stone to get to the goal(?) of debating Craig then so be it.

bobius said...

The "topic" is irrelevant (see the D'Souza Dennett debate). D'Souza will make the same arguments in the same way regardless of what you supposedly agree to as a topic. Get ready for "atheism is a faith too because the best explanation for the universe/fine tuning is theistic but atheists use their faith to override this clear evidence" and "atheists should take responsibility for communism, nazism, etc."

These sound like easy things to deal with, but they're not, because D'Souza is a great sermonizer. The arguments aren't great, but the rhetoric and the performance are enough to build a bit of sympathy for his position in even my atheist heart.

I'm just saying, be ready for those arguments to be the arguments he trots out, and be ready to have some real emotional/rhetorical content to your bit to counter D'Souza's theatre.

Really looking forward to the debate. Can you make sure someone videotapes it so that we can all watch it? Go get 'em John.

Measure said...

"[New Atheists want] to make the believer feel like a total idiot for believing in God. So it's more ambitious, it's more aggressive in its agenda."

http://www.mormontimes.com/studies_doctrine/doctrine_discussion/?id=11536

Wow. Have fun with that guy.

Chris said...

"Too bad it's versus the creepiest most ad hominem ridden douche on the theist side."

This is an interesting statement.D'Souza uses ad hominems?

GungFu said...

YEAH! I'm excited, too! Make sure you 'bone up' & watch his other debates. It's just like a boxer or sports team, watch the tapes & see where the faults are. Dan Barker handled him soundly...

Barker vs D'Souza Pt. 1

Dan said...

Drinking game: Take a shot of your favorite alcohol every time Dinesh uses a silly voice to imitate his opposition. A voice that is clearly designed as an insult.

DamianP said...

As others have remarked, the one and only demand that I would make sure that you get Dinesh to agree to is that you are comfortable with the moderator. That's it. Unless, of course, there are others, but I would suggest that that is a must.

In other words, you need someone that will treat you both as equals, and make sure that Dinesh sticks to the topic of the debate (within reason, obviously), and that he isn't allowed to jump in whenever he feels like it.

Of the few "debates" that I have personally witnessed with D'Souza, he is an aggressive user of the "Gish gallop" tactic, also beloved by those who should know better, such as William Lane Craig, unfortunately.

For those who don't know what it is, it basically consists of him throwing out as many accusations as possible in the time that he is allotted, in the hope you won't be able to answer all of them (at least, not fully), and that the people in the audience will recognize that many of his assertions have been left unanswered, so he gets to win, largely by default.

Yes, it could well be described as dishonest, but that is often the difference between people who are committed to an honest search for truth, and those that are looking to win debates at all costs.

bobius said...

you should prepare some gish gallop of your own to give him a taste of his own medicine... then if he comes out at the end to triumphantly say that you have no answer to this that and the other point, you can come back that he has no answer for several of your points as well

Indy said...

I've met Dinesh - he spoke at a nearby Christian college. I will say he was unimpressive, but his arguments are appealling to believers. Stick to your core arguments and you'll win by reason alone, if ny by your sparkling personality. :-)

Just be prepared for broad ad hominem attacks and non sequitors.

Aroup Chatterjee said...

If you'd be facing Dinesh D'Souza you may find my book on (Mother) Teresa of use. Pls go to www.meteorbooks.com.
D'Souza is an Indian origin Catholic so he may start chanting her name in a rapturous state.
(I was on BBC TV's Big Questions last month, debunking the so-called saint)