This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Daniel Dennett Debates Dinesh D'Souza

Daniel Dennett Debates Dinesh D'Souza - Comments

maton100's Avatar Comment 1 by maton100

I've been waiting all evening for this!

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 10:30:00 UTC | #88444

MarcKeys's Avatar Comment 3 by MarcKeys

D'Souza is a goddamned idiot. Why is he shouting when he answers the dude's question at the end.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 10:31:00 UTC | #88446

Ludacrispat26's Avatar Comment 4 by Ludacrispat26

Hey guys,

I was Pat Andriola, the President of the Freethought Society that opened the debate.

What'd you guys think about it overall? I know what you think of D'Souza, but how about all the other stuff that went on?

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 10:45:00 UTC | #88449

aoratos philos's Avatar Comment 5 by aoratos philos

Thx for putting this up, I'll watch over dinner. (Net is way better than TV) :D

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 10:53:00 UTC | #88450

FoundLink's Avatar Comment 6 by FoundLink

Oh, Boy! This should be a "smack down"! Dennett should do an even better job than Hitchens did and Hitchens debated this knucklehead quite well. Thanks
for the links.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 10:55:00 UTC | #88452

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 7 by eXcommunicate

Part 4: D'Souza just called South Korea a "continent." So much for correcting Dennett's "factual errors."

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:22:00 UTC | #88456

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 8 by Chrysippus_Maximus

I wonder what people here think of Dennett's proposition that we should teach world religion.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:23:00 UTC | #88457

plastictowel's Avatar Comment 9 by plastictowel

I love Dinesh's comment: The Muslims and Palestinians aren't fighting over religion, but land!

How daft is he? They are fighting over the land BECAUSE THEIR RELIGION says it's holy land.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:24:00 UTC | #88459

obscured by clouds's Avatar Comment 10 by obscured by clouds

Well it's clear that D'Souza does not know the first thing about how to debate. Rather he launches into a sermon. I feel sorry for Dennett, though he is a good guy for putting up with that intellectually challenged nonsense.

I guess D'Souza book is not selling and needs all the help he can get to peddle his wretched diatribe. Maybe he should stick with coloring books.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:34:00 UTC | #88461

SameerMarathe's Avatar Comment 11 by SameerMarathe

Dear Mr. Pat Andriola

Your opening remarks introducing Dinesh D'Souza as an "authority" or at least an authority of comparable depth of understanding in his area as Dan Dennett can claim in his area simply astounds me. I wish you had a more serious and less frivoulous opponent for this debate. I can almost predict the shoutfest I am going to see from Dinesh for the typical questions that have been asked to him (e.g. in previous debates... like the one with Christopher Hitchens).

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:35:00 UTC | #88462

Ludacrispat26's Avatar Comment 13 by Ludacrispat26


1. I said they were authorities in their fields. I never indicated the level of authority. Remember, as President of the Freethought Society at Tufts, I have to seem bipartisan or religious groups on campus or around can say I was being unfair.

2. This debate also brought great promotion for our group and we really wanted Daniel Dennett to be involved. To do both, Dinesh was needed. For future debates that you will see (you will enjoy the fact that Tufts will have numerous debates over the next few years) different debaters debate different topics.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:41:00 UTC | #88467

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 12 by eXcommunicate

I agree with Dennett's proposition of teaching religions in school. Not much else to say about it, other than it should not evangelize. As long as religites stop trying to push religion into Science class.

I love how Dennett calls out D'Souza's bullshit in Part 7. Hallelujah.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:41:00 UTC | #88466

GBG's Avatar Comment 14 by GBG

While these debates interest me and i enjoy watching them, I can't help but think it's a complete waste of time.

The only person on that stage with the intellectual ability to change his mind is Dan Dennett.

Christians have had centuries of evidence contradicting their scriptures and blowing their "reasons" for believing in god out of the water, and they still hold their facile beliefs. It's pointless to have a "battle" where one side is able to concede defeat and the other only able to deny that they were defeated.

Was Pat Condell right when he said debating these people is nothing more than a "hobby"?

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:48:00 UTC | #88471

the way's Avatar Comment 15 by the way

I have forgotten all the false "arguments" that debaters or apologists use, but is there one known as "the argument of the empty vessel" (makes the most sound!)?

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:49:00 UTC | #88472

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 16 by eXcommunicate

I am onto Part 8 now, and D'Souza is "rebutting" Dennett. Here's my Youtube comment:

Part 8: Dinesh recycles the anthropic principle over and over and over ad nauseum. He is quite thick, isn't he? Hey, Dinesh, the Universe is just how it is. Life evolved according to the conditions in which it found itself, not the other way around. No matter how much you polish your turd of an argument, Dinesh, it's still just a high polished turd.

Part 9: Again with the strawmen, D'Douche. Dennett did not say we evolved as a species, no. He said our morality evolved. Jesus, Dinesh, are you willfully mendacious or are you mentally deficient? I'm sorry if this is an ad hom, but at some point that's all you deserve.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 11:59:00 UTC | #88475

MarcCountry's Avatar Comment 17 by MarcCountry

Does Dinesh actually think browbeating an intelligent audience is going to sway them to his (ridiculous) position? He is risible...

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:03:00 UTC | #88476

Dutch_labrat's Avatar Comment 18 by Dutch_labrat

First time I witnessed Dinesh.

People fall for this contemptible little prick?

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:04:00 UTC | #88477

FoundLink's Avatar Comment 19 by FoundLink

Re: Comment #10 Obscured by Clouds

Sadly, D'Souza's book is #33 on the NY Times bestseller list. I am not sure how many he has sold so far, but #33 is still pretty high up there. He is just a few places below the lovely(adam's apple and all) Ann Coulter.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:08:00 UTC | #88478

Ludacrispat26's Avatar Comment 20 by Ludacrispat26


The intelligent audience was put off by Dinesh's fillibustering, loudness, constant analogies, asking questions back to the questioner, and mocking voices.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:08:00 UTC | #88479

yoyoman812's Avatar Comment 21 by yoyoman812

I wanted to mention that I was at the debate and thought the Dennett did not prove his point.

He did make some terrific arguments on a variety of subjects.

I'll also be honest, I was impressed with a few of the counterpoints that D'Souza made as well.

I think Dennett made a good case that religion is man-made invention just like language...

However, he didn't prove the point of the debate which was the GOD is a man made invention.

Dennett thanks goodness that he is alive. Some people thank God they are alive. Couldn't you see this as exactly the same thing? I asked him this very question (after the video cut off) and he responded with "yes, in fact you can see god = goodness")

In which case, goodness exists is to say god exists, which is to say that God isn't manmade.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:09:00 UTC | #88480

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 22 by eXcommunicate

yoyoman812 - How does that follow? Dennett was probably saying that you may thank "god", but all you're doing is thanking "goodness." Not necessarily that god = goodness.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:15:00 UTC | #88481

maton100's Avatar Comment 23 by maton100

D'Souza is loud, obnoxious, dribbling, gesticulating and full o' shit. A fool of cosmological proportions. He should be a preacher at the Alabama State Fair.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:17:00 UTC | #88482

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 24 by Steve Zara

Hey, Dinesh, the Universe is just how it is. Life evolved according to the conditions in which it found itself, not the other way around.

I see your point, but I think this is the wrong way to deal with this.

I believe there is an issue about why the universe seems so suitable to life (and, despite what so many have argued, this really is the case, or so I believe). I don't think this issue can be easily dismissed.

However, what can be easily dismissed is the idea that a universe suitable for life could be the result of an enternal first-cause creator called God.

Whatever the fine-tuning we may currently think is needed for a universe which allows sufficient physical complexity to permit life to appear, that is unimaginable orders of magnitude less 'fine-tuning' than that needed to allow a God-like creator to exist.

This was expressed very well by Dawkins in TGD.

I believe that this is the argument we should use. If you want to declare the universe unlikely, fine. But then you have to accept the vastly greater unlikeliness of an infinite and omnipotent mind, so your argument fails.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:17:00 UTC | #88483

Inoculatedcities's Avatar Comment 25 by Inoculatedcities

D'Souza sounds positively exasperated and overwhelmed. Rather than respond to specific questions regarding his positions, he prefers to promote some vague (and long-disposed of) concept of all religions as institutions that have 'a few bad apples' but are morally superior (self-evidently and by default, it seems) to nonbelief. He never seems to grasp the idea that disbelief requires one to rationalize actively, understanding moral choices and facts on the basis of reason, not prescription. Without dogmatic prescription, D'Souza has said time and again, what's left is nihilism. Apparently crediting people with the ability to reason and think for themselves never occurs to him, maybe for obvious reasons.

Also, what might be worse, D'Souza's jokes are infinitely corny. He seems a rather smug, joyless twit, but excuse the ad hominem.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:23:00 UTC | #88485

Prazzie's Avatar Comment 26 by Prazzie

I greatly admire Dennett. Having to watch that ignorant little twit D'Souza in order to follow this is pure torture for me.

My molars will be ruined before the end of this debate.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:24:00 UTC | #88486

Prazzie's Avatar Comment 27 by Prazzie

Inoculatedcities, I started writing my comment before I saw yours.

"He seems a rather smug, joyless twit, but excuse the ad hominem."

I concur.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:27:00 UTC | #88487

Shane Williams's Avatar Comment 28 by Shane Williams

I'm so tired of these D'Souza debates. The more people we send his way the larger that smile grows. Every time we reference his god its image becomes more defined. He feeds on events like these, he needs them.

I'm pretty much calling him ignorant, so there is no point in all of this debating. Unless of course 3 or 4 of our best could take a swing at him. Any man can argue fiction, but surely it takes more to reveal the truth.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:34:00 UTC | #88489

Quine's Avatar Comment 29 by Quine

D'Weasel knows the old saying from law:

"If you don't have the facts, pound the law. If you don't have either the facts or the law, pound the table."

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:35:00 UTC | #88490

SameerMarathe's Avatar Comment 30 by SameerMarathe

"For future debates that you will see (you will enjoy the fact that Tufts will have numerous debates over the next few years) different debaters debate different topics."

I look forward to them.

BTW I am on part 6 and this guy brought up Pascal's Wager. I don't know whether to laugh or cry :(

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:37:00 UTC | #88491