Wednesday, October 31, 2007

D'souza / Hitchens Debate

Here are the simple points that D'Souza used.1) Atoms follow the same pattern inside his head as they do outside in the larger world. Therefore that is evidence of a divine hand.2) D'Souza says that the speed of light was measured many times in our universe with the same result. But he can't be sure that light travels at the same speed outside of our universe. So to do so, would be a leap of faith.3) All morality was taught by Christianity and without Christianity it would be a world full of chaos and immorality. People are not capable of moral actions without the Christian religion. He stated that only Christian nations donate blood.4) In answer to the fact that the law of gravity is immutable, he used a strange pen analogy. D'Souza held up a pen and stated that if he chooses to drop his pen then the law of gravity will act upon the pen. But if he doesn't than he has stopped gravity. Therefore our freedom of choice can affect gravity. Since we can affect gravity then it is possible for things such as resurrection to exist.5) All the biggest despots of the 20th century were atheists. Hitler was an atheist and so was Stalin so atheists should take responsibility for these criminals. D'Souza did admit to the inquisition but he stated that not as many people were killed during that atrocity.6) He also used the talking point that the Founders were christian and the U.S. was a christian nation.7) The universe shows the signs of being "designed" for us therefore it is evidence of a god who has a plan.8) D'Souza stated that since Christianity advocates a moral world, actions have consequences. A world without Christianity would be an anything goes world in which people would run amok. He is glad that his religion advocates and assures a "what goes around, comes around" ethic and that there are consequences for "what we do in the dark".This is the kind of convoluted, market speak we get out of religious. Arguments that eschew sense in favor of simple blurbs that play upon the ignorant. There was also a big reason why D'Souza focused in on faux scientific arguments because it hamstrung Hitchens. Hitchens was intellectually honest enough to admit that he was not familiar with scientific proofs and would not argue them. That is why D'Souza's ridiculous pen argument was allowed to stand. On the flip side, when arguing with scientists such as Dawkins, D'Souza and his ilk favor societal/cultural arguments.These aren't arguments that D'Souza used but tricks and they should be viewed as such. The problem that Dawkins, Hitchens and others run into are that they are treating their opponents sophistry with respect. The time for that is over. As wonderful and intelligent as Hitchen's answers were to all of the above, they sounded convoluted compared to D'Souza's one sentence blurbs. The gloves must come off.

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