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Dillahunty Debate Abortion Essay

When I heard on last weeks show about this debate, I was very keen to hear it. Abortion is an issue I don’t have a complete understanding of yet, and I was really looking forward to listening to two secular humanists debate and discuss some of the difficult questions, and perhaps illuminate the key issues; if not confirm the validity of one side or the other.

I’m really disappointed by how the discussion quickly veered away from an “academic debate” and instead took on a sort of “what’s her problem” tone. I don’t immediately agree with the points she was making, but I think Kristina was at least making the points that many secular anti-abortionists give consideration to when it comes to abortion. Matt clearly knows this stuff well and has given it a log of thought, but rather than simply address Kristina’s points with clear, cogent responses, Matt [as he seems to have a tendency to] introduced attitude, derision and profanity. Admirably he immediately apologized for the inappropriate profanity, but it was around this time the notion of an academic debate was left behind. It was pushed well into the rear-view mirror with the tone of accusation from the lady demanding to know if she was culpable, in Kristine’s eyes, for a rejected pregnancy. And PZ Myers didn’t help when he couldn’t just simply challenge Kristine’s claims to argument from Scientific authority without calling it “full of shit”.

The same lack of focus has been adopted on this forum. People like Kazim thinking it important to point out that the girl has been shunned by the pro-life secularists, and Martin Wagner suggesting Pro-lifers couldn’t be in favor of birth control.

Is this what its all about for you guys? You want to emphasize how right you all are, and how stupid everyone else is for not agreeing with you? Is your goal really about the promotion of positive atheism, logic and reasoning, or is it about promoting your side of the playground?
There was a lot more to be gained and shared from a debate on this topic than simply total victory over Kristine Kruszelnicki!

On Friday the 7th I went into the Premier Studios in London and recorded two shows with Matt Dillahunty from ‘The Atheist Experience’.  I was not really looking forward to it – Matt does a kind of atheist apologetic that I actually find distasteful.  It is mocking, self congratulatory, smug and superior.  Anyway recording the two shows was a tough experience and a spiritual battle.  I know I did not get everything right, but what really fascinates me is the reaction to the shows.  By any standard Matt made a mess of the first one – he contradicted himself, failed to offer answers and left me gasping with wonder at the poverty, hopelessness and irrationality of his atheist philosophy. It was a total wipe out.  Cringeworthingly embarrassing for any respectable atheist!    I came away strangely encouraged – not because I ‘won’ the debate (that is too often a subjective perception) – but because once again Christianity stood up to one of its fiercest critics and walked away rejoicing in the truth of Jesus.

When I said ‘by any standard’, that wasn’t strictly true – by the standard of the New Fundamentalist Atheists, I was obnoxious, horrible, rude, ignorant and totally beaten into the ground by the nice, gracious, brilliant Matt!  The posts and e-mails I have received telling me that I am going to atheist hell are quite astonishing.  Perhaps nothing illustrates more the emotional investment that some people have in their atheism (there is no God and I hate him) and the intellectual disconnect that results.  Of course they may be right – maybe I am the deluded one! – I will leave you to judge…..here is the link for the debate:

http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable

Or you can get the MP3 here –

Apparently those links are not now working – you can get both here – http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Why-I-am-not-an-atheist-David-Robertson-vs-Matt-Dillahunty-Unbelievable

I wonder if it is of any significance that Matt has so far not put any link to the debate in his tweets or website?  Or maybe he was just too busy mocking those dumb Christians at the conference he was at?!

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