Monday, 3 December 2007

Wanna Headache?

Richard Dawkin's website has published links to a debate between Daniel Dennett and Dinesh D'Souza that is well worth watching but with a warning, D'Souza is full if shit and it's an ordeal listening to him. He starts talking in parts 6 and 7 and it's a real challenge to keep up with the logical fallacies he delivers in machine gun fashion, its a fun but exhausting game to try and name them. His favourite mode of debate however seems to be a blending of Ad Hominem and Equivocation so keep an eye out for how he presents Dennett's ideas and how he reckons Augustine preempted modern cosmology. One of the best bits is when (in Part 9) he castigates Dawkin's, Dennett etc for "wandering far outside their field's (of expertise)" for talking about religion. Apparently he finds this "intellectually embarrassing" but of course it wasn't in the least bit embarrassing for him when he talked about history, science and cosmology earlier in the debate, for people like D'Souza these hypocrisies don't seem to register but unfortunately they don't appear to register with his target audience either.

Dennett does very well, much better than either Michael Shermer or Christoper Hitchens did in their encounters and he seems to have gotten under the skin of D'Souza as D'Souza is far louder and angrier than he appeared in the two aforementioned debates. This makes him look far more like the lunatic he is and I for one approve.

D'Souza spends a lot of time explaining how he believes there must be something "greater", i.e. God and how logical and brilliant it is to believe in this god so I wish someone would put the point to him 'So what?'. If there is a god that can exist outside of space/time and is capable of creating the universe and everything in it then there is no reason to believe it's his god (I believe Dawkins came up with this argument). It could be any god ever thought of, or none, but the point is, it seems very unlikely such a being would bother feeding strange and contradictory stories to a bunch of bronze age goats herders to convey "truths" of any description. After all it's such an inept way to convey anything, but the good news is we have radio and TV now so god can contact us with the true "truth" whenever he's free.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12:

Part 13:

Part 14:

Part 15: