Dillahunty Debate Abortion Essay

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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Now here is an interesting debate that recently took place. First some brief facts …

  • It’s a debate between two atheists: Matt Dillahunty and Kristine Kruszelnicki and was Titled “Secularists Should Not Support the Right To Abortion”.
  • It starts off with an Introduction by Paul Cooper. He is the President Texas Freethought Convention (that is where this took place)
  • It Moderated by Nick Lee … (he did a good job, basically he kept out-of-the-way and let them get on with it)
  • Matt Dillahunty is the pro-choice party
  • Kristine Kruszelnicki is the pro-life party supporting the motion.

Some additional notes

  • Initially the audio is crap … but after about 1 minute, they have that sorted
  • Video also has a few issues, takes them until about 6 mins-42 secs to sort that

OK, so what makes this interesting is that you have two atheists taking very different sides on a very contentious issue – abortion. Here we get to have a proper rational debate without the religious mumbo-jumbo being tossed in to muddy the waters. Tha’ts fine, because atheism is by itself simply a conclusion on just one topic, the god question, it says nothing at all about anything else, so it is to be expected that there will be a diversity of rather different views on other topics.

Best Question asked …

  • At about 0:53 …to Kristine,  “.. an abortion by your definition would be murder, so does that mean the 70% of pregnancies that end in a miscarriage, is that involuntary manslaughter?”

Best Comment from Audience

  • PZ Myers leaps in at the end of the Q & A session at 1:07:00 … “I’ve heard Kristine assert several times that the embryo is fully human at fertilization. I’m in this field, and I haven’t gotten the memo …. have you talked to any modern developmental biologists? because I guarantee you that they will all say that your argument is full of shit“.

Ah yes, almost forgot, here it all is … 1 hour 14 mins long, but if it is a topic of interest, one that you have an open mind about, it is worth watching …

So having watched it all, I can say that I loved the debate. Kristine did a good job but in the end I come down on the side of Matt’s pro-choice as the one with the best arguments.

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