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← [UPDATE - Video replaced]David Silverman Debates Dinesh D’souza

[UPDATE - Video replaced]David Silverman Debates Dinesh D’souza - Comments

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 1 by Peter Grant

Note that the video link to The King's College posted below is extremely slow to buffer and couldn't be downloaded to rehost from the RDFRS server

You're not joking, even burnbit says it will take at least an hour and a half to download.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 13:53:39 UTC | #884912

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 2 by Peter Grant

Aw shit, it's gone up to 1h45. Ease off a bit guys, you know the Christians get all huffy when we crash their servers :P

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:04:16 UTC | #884920

Ai Deng's Avatar Comment 3 by Ai Deng

Downloading at the speed of progressive social change in a religiously conservative nation.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:06:12 UTC | #884924

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 4 by MilitantNonStampCollector

I'm not so sure about this Silverman guy, I've always thought him a bit of a goof - a bit too in your face. I suppose it's no harm but it could confirm theist misconceptions of atheists as generally arrogant and bitchy. Then again I suppose we've earned the right to be as angry as we like.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:45:06 UTC | #884936

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 5 by Peter Grant

Why do Christians always have such slow servers?

Watch the progress of both parts one and two with me.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:10:09 UTC | #884955

Rune Bjerke's Avatar Comment 6 by Rune Bjerke

Comment Removed by Author

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:17:33 UTC | #884958

gunapie's Avatar Comment 7 by gunapie

The subject of all the scriptures is (THAT). The object of the natural sciences is (THIS). Religion disdains THIS and fails to realize THAT. Science does quite well in describing THIS and considers THAT not to be in the realm of science. Religion (being incompetent with the “here and now” and the “after life” would do well not to declare war on science. Science does not pose the question of ultimate origins in particle physics. Religion is still trying to figure out basic cardinal human values while that feed the wars of the theologically divided humanity. Score: science 1, religion 0.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:20:01 UTC | #884962

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 8 by drumdaddy

I object to giving right-wing tool Dinesh D’souza any further forums. His overexposed lies are tiresome. He is filth, right-wing filth. Look it up.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:38:07 UTC | #884970

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 9 by Vorlund

Having seen D'Souza before I can't watch this, my beta blockers aren't strong enough. Five minutes in and my trousers would be beshat. He's a tiresome bastard peddling the same old coprolite. His doG is the gap doG. He is completely ignorant of correct analytical thinking. He's one of the, don't know that? I do! doG did it brigade. He trades logical fallacies like a slimy spiv flogging feelthy photos.

Why anyone would bother to debate him or think that debating him achieves anything or is worth the waste of life span is beyond me. Even accepting a debate challenge from him is a serious risk to one's bonafides.

What happens when you die? Fuck all, your brain (the organ you use for thinking about reality dies), you stop thinking (rather unsurprisingly), then you begin to decompose almost immediately. Death is oblivion.

Is there an afterlife? Dunno there's not a shred of evidence to support the notion, but even if there was an afterlife what proof is there that it is not the default situation? Where is the proof that a particualr belief and certain proficiations are requried to win you a place?

Only in the minds of charlatans, liars, mountebanks and their feeble minded and desperate victims.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:42:47 UTC | #884971

some asshole's Avatar Comment 10 by some asshole

Well kids, I was going to download both parts, join them, and provide a mirror (actually a host since it would then be a new file), but the downloads crapped out after two hours of downloading. Screw it; I'll catch it on YouTube or whatever.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:53:55 UTC | #884979

Rune Bjerke's Avatar Comment 11 by Rune Bjerke

Seems like they pulled the video now. 404.

The Lord couldn't deal with it? Sheesh. So much for omnipotency!

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:07:49 UTC | #884981

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 12 by Peter Grant

Yeah, looks like we crashed their server:

We thank you for your interest in this debate. Due to technical difficulties, it will not be available for a short time. Check back here soon for an update on how to watch the video.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:08:26 UTC | #884982

achromat666's Avatar Comment 13 by achromat666

Dinesh has routinely handled debates with a complete and utter disregard of the facts, and is seemingly incapable of actually adhering to the idea of directly answering a question asked, especially if it casts a negative light on a viewpoint he regularly espouses.

I've seen enough of his debates with Hitchens to understand that his only interests is the social celebrity that comes with debating with people far better at critical thinking than he is.

I won't waste my time if his arguments never alter from playing the god of the gaps gambit and reciting right wing rhetoric in regards to god and the USA. And I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:10:19 UTC | #884984

/Mike's Avatar Comment 14 by /Mike

YouTube version that plays substituted for the limping/not playing King's College version.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:11:34 UTC | #884988

mirandaceleste's Avatar Comment 15 by mirandaceleste

Comment 4 by Derek M :

I'm not so sure about this Silverman guy, I've always thought him a bit of a goof - a bit too in your face. I suppose it's no harm but it could confirm theist misconceptions of atheists as generally arrogant and bitchy. Then again I suppose we've earned the right to be as angry as we like.


While the vast majority of atheists who are called strident, arrogant, angry, mean, shrill, dogmatic, etc., are absolutely nothing of the sort, Silverman is all of those things and more. Additionally, almost every American Atheists spokesperson (speaker, blogger, debater, etc.) prefers childish angry ranting and shouting to rational debate and discussion. They're embarrassing, and, I'd argue, extremely detrimental to the goal of de-stigmatizing atheism in American culture. They need to grow up and calm down.

And this particular article is really poorly written. I don't believe that every blog post has to be perfect or error-free or anything like that. However, blog posts do need to be understandable, and parts of his post make no sense whatsoever, i.e.:

Asserting the bronze-age morality that comes from Christianity on society, and the fact that it’s ways are only perfect and caring for itself and not actual human beings only leaves us to recognize that the damage done is far greater than the good it could have caused.


Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:51:09 UTC | #884996

debaser71's Avatar Comment 16 by debaser71

I think there is space for the more in your face style activism. I appreciate American Atheists efforts. For me personally, it was AA that many years ago that sort of introduced me to atheism on the internet. They've been around going on Fox News before most others have even thought about these issues. The only reason I have for dismissing a particular group or person and their atheism activism is when they espouse real bullshit. AA does not do this.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 17:14:48 UTC | #885003

ganggan's Avatar Comment 17 by ganggan

David Silverman did an excellent job. His tactic is to use data and facts to support his assertions. It is so powerful.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 17:22:26 UTC | #885010

JoxerTheMighty's Avatar Comment 18 by JoxerTheMighty

Debating about the existence of God seems a bit silly, since most believers would admit there is no evidence(excluding the rare cases of immediate revelation) and you just need faith. There are the cosmological arguments, such and such, but do they really hold any weight to the everyday man, who has little interest(and has no reason to be otherwise) about obscure scientific topics?

I would be interested to watch a debate where just the ideas are debated. For example, take as granted that there are 7 billion people on earth, 1.5 billion of the Christians, 2 billion of them Muslims, millions others from different religions and atheists or agnostics. Take as granted that we can't disprove or prove the existance of God(s), and what one thinks is the truth, is a lie for someone else, and vice versa. Debate then how the various ideas that float around have, or could, affect society, and in what ways. Dawkins I believe is part of an informal group called "atheists for Jesus". Why not "atheists for Muhammad" or "atheists for Zarathustra"? He must have seen something in Jesus' ideas. Surely the ideas of each religion about the human condition and interpersonal relationships could be then evaluated calmly and rationally, for example the Golden Rule, or, as an example against religion, the 'eye for an eye' law. I think this is a more important matter to be debated than whether or not "God exists", which many times seems a bit like a pissing contest.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 19:22:42 UTC | #885054

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 19 by Mr DArcy

What an arrogant title! "Is Christianity Good for America?" Meanwhile in the rest of the world perhaps we could debate whether Islam is good for Israel, or Judaism is good for Iran, or Buddhism is good for Norway, or Sikhism is good for Pakistan. The possibilities are endless. Of course any educated person knows that America (Israel) is God's chosen country among all the ?180 odd countries in the world. And of course we all know that what's good for America is good for everyone else, ...or else!

Of course Christianity is good for America. It gives it the highest jail population in the world, even surpassing China. All those God fearing prisoners festering away in prison must be there for a "higher" purpose, preparing for the day when Jesus returns! Oh Halleluyah!

Yes we can be sure that God Creator of the universe, keeps a very special watch over that exceptionel 20th of the world's population!

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 21:07:47 UTC | #885088

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 20 by aquilacane

I have to agree with some other posters here. When I saw D'souza was involved, I couldn't bring myself to watch it. Hate that guy.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 22:14:25 UTC | #885111

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 21 by alaskansee

Silverman was excellent, I liked his breakdown info and it put DDS in an awkward position if he was listening but I can't get the second part!

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 22:58:35 UTC | #885121

ollipehkonen's Avatar Comment 22 by ollipehkonen

There is something fundamentally wrong about the argument that human rights/antislavery/education/whatever is christian since christians in the 16th century or another such tima began to promote it. Since christianity has been around for about 2000 years and a strong influence for 1700, all those things should be at least a full millenium older, if the were really christian things. Clearly christians only used bible passages to validate beliefs that they started to hold because of other influences. We would have had gender and race equality, democracy, etc for at least 1500 years already, if those ideas were core christian ideas and not that christians sought out bible passages to support them when they came into fashion.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 23:09:48 UTC | #885123

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 23 by rrh1306

It seem's to me to be a superfluous task to examine ancient text on how to live when even most religious people these days think that the information from there religion is only truly useful through the prism of a modern, mostly secular morality.

. Surely the ideas of each religion about the human condition and interpersonal relationships could be then evaluated calmly and rationally, for example the Golden Rule, or, as an example against religion, the 'eye for an eye' law.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 01:25:03 UTC | #885135

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 24 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 04:58:49 UTC | #885148

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 25 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 05:19:09 UTC | #885150

raam's Avatar Comment 26 by raam

Based on what I saw, I thought D'Souza did better in the debate. He challenged silverman's data, by proposing an alternative explanations for them which Silverman didn't pursue. Also the q and a session was poor by silverman. D'souza had pretty entertaining answers for most of the questions which Silverman could not challenge because the format dictated that he had to move on to the next question.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 06:30:35 UTC | #885155

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 27 by huzonfurst

Hey, I looked it up: "Dinesh" is the Hindi word for "Douchebag!"

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 07:16:07 UTC | #885156

fuzzylogic's Avatar Comment 28 by fuzzylogic

Comment 25 by Michael Gray :

Comment 24 by fuzzylogic :

This is a strange position for me since I find David Silverman an obnoxious turd and Dinesh D'Souza is pretty smart and well read

Two ad hominems in the same otherwise vacuous sentence!

Hmm. Well first, there is one "ad hominem", but no ad hominem arguments, because I'm not arguing anything. Just saying the guy advocating my side I dislike personally and the guy on the other side I have some respect for, which is a very unusual situation.I actually have no watched the debate yet.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 08:02:00 UTC | #885159

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 29 by Stafford Gordon

Heard it all before; like the man says, religion will never own up when it's wrong.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 10:55:07 UTC | #885179

NilsPihl's Avatar Comment 30 by NilsPihl

Silverman makes us all look bad.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:07:33 UTC | #885182