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Reblogged: Livestream of D’Souza–Bernstein Debate

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Livestream-logo-sm.png The Livestream option for viewing the debate between Dinesh D’Souza and Andrew Bernstein—Christianity: Good or Bad for Mankind?—is now available for purchase.dsouza_bernstein-300x1941.jpg

This event, which will be held on February 8 at 7:00 PM CST in Austin, TX, will be the first time a major religious intellectual has debated a major Objectivist intellectual. Never before has a theist of D’Souza’s stature grappled with a philosopher espousing a secular, observation-based, absolute morality—and never before has an Objectivist of Bernstein’s caliber grappled with a Christian as knowledgeable as D’Souza is about philosophy.

Religion vs. Objectivism is the battle for the future of the West, and this debate will put the central issues on the table for all to see.

Please help spread the word about it by inviting your friends to attend either live in Austin or via Livestream on the Web.

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This should be fascinating. I saw D'Souza in debate along with several prominent libertarians at the FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas in 2010. The debate was on the topic of whether religion was a destructive influence in America. It was religion on trial, so to speak. Obviously, D'Souza was among those defending religion. Afterwards, the audience voted in favor of religion, and I would credit D'Souza with that victory.

FreedomFest 2010: Debate on Religion

As I recall, none of those testifying against religion seemed well-versed in Objectivist philosophy. As is often true of certain 'Randite' libertarians, they imagine that they understand the Objectivist viewpoint but do a truly pathetic job of presenting it. I'm quite sure Bernstein will do much better. It will be interesting to see.

D'Souza is not above using ad hominem to win debate points. While going one-on-one with Doug Casey at FreedomFest, D'Souza made a historical reference that Casey was not aware of. Casey asked about the relevance of D'Souza's reference, and he replied:

"My point is that you are an ignorant man."

Bernstein should be prepared for this such cheap theatrics.

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"My point is that you are an ignorant man."

I wrote quite a bit about this upcoming debate here:

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=24436&#entry301951

Then I saw this recent lecture by Bernstein, and find that he takes a lot of his "facts" and interpretations of history from Peikoff.

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=24757&#entry304309

So I'm afraid Dinesh is going to have ample opportunity to use the above line against Bernstein. Greece and Rome were secular? And what was Socrates accused of? Why were Christians persecuted by the Romans? Under what legal regime? News flash: Christianity didn't bring theocracy to the Roman Empire, it inherited it. Dinesh is very well read, very glib, and a pretty fiery debater, even when he's full of shit. He's going to rip Bernstein to shreds over crap like this. Manichaeans were Christians, oh for chrissakes!

In case Bernstein's reading this and is inclined to take advice, look up the Voltaire quote about how one religion equals tyranny, two equals civil war, and thirty live in peace. That's the way to understand religion in the Roman Empire, and why imposing Christianity was a disaster. You can maybe use the Battle of the Frigidus as a case in point. Also there's the great Gibbon quote about the various religions all being true for the people, false for the philosophers, and useful for the magistrates. Have these quotes ready.

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