Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dan Barker Debating Dinesh D'Souza at UCSD March 7

I'm breaking my promise for one post: to promote Dan Barker's upcoming debate with Dinesh D'Souza. Barker is one of the key figures at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which does good stuff. The event is actually being sponsored by a Christian philanthropist, which may be why it hasn't received more attention in the freethought community. (I found out about it directly from Barker himself at the SoCal Secular Humanist Conference kickoff party. Not that I'm dropping names or anything :)

While Barker has the truth on his side, D'Souza is no slouch. He's one of very few theists who has gone up against the likes of Christopher Hitchens (repeatedly) and lived to tell the tale - although I dont' think it's true to say that D'Souza has "not lost yet", as he claims in this article: a while back I posted the results of one of their debates in Boulder. Maybe D'Souza calls this a tie? This is all to say that they're now here in SoCal, and if you are too, you should go to the event. Show support, meet other atheists, network and have fun!

When: March 7

Where: Price Center, UCSD Campus

How much: free!


Anonymous said...

We realize that we have to have come from something. The world we live in cannot have come from nothing. As a Christian, I find it easier to believe that God created rather than believe that all this came from nothing. Why do your people have the truth on their side?

Michael Caton said...

Sorry it took me so long to reply, I'm on self-imposed blog-break. The thing is, for all of us it's not about what's easier to believe, or what "our side" believes, but rather what's really true - and as human beings, we all have a tendency to believe what we want to, whether or not it's true. You and I can both look around and easily find a bunch of people who believe things we both think are silly, but somehow they believe them just as sincerely as you and I believe the things we do. The question for all of us is "How do we know what's true?" and the reason we care about that is because it helps us answer "How do we live good lives?"

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous on feb 23 saying " a christian...":
Your argument is known as Pascals wager
Who? Pascal's wager. Who? Pascal's wager.
Now that's a fool's bet
And against the intelligent it's used less
Really? You bet
This aint nothing new, they use it on kids
But for those who don't know it goes a little like this
Wouldn't you rather believe in God and be wrong
Then to not believe in God and be wrong
If you believe in God and your wrong you've lost nothing
But if you don't believe and you're wrong its all suffering
The problem is you can try it on anything
Switch the Gods around and apply it to anything
The Flyin Spaghetti Monster, Zeus, Amin, Ra
Krishna, Odin, Baal and then Allah
Which one of em's our God?
None of em all false
And blame it on the Atheists its always our fault
Except it never is
So don't get mad at us we just showin ya'll the evidence

Michael Caton said...

You could also say that people make Pascal's wager in reverse and do things like hurt themselves or their families based on following false beliefs - case in point, there was one woman who stabbed her children as a result of Harold Camping's fake-pocalypse last year. The basis of Pascal's wager is that belief is at worst useless in this life, and yet that's clearly not the case.