Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Dinesh D'Souza vs Bart Ehrman: Theodicy, God & Suffering

In this debate at Gordon College on Thursday, November 11, 2010, Dinesh D'Souza and Bart Ehrman debate the topic of: Theodicy, God and Suffering. Did Ehrman's objections carry weight? Did D'Souza provide adequate answers?

Original video can be found here.
Full Debate MP3 Audio here (1hr 42min)



Anonymous said...

Bart seemed like he had more of an emotional barrier than an intellectual one. Dinesh could've explained the reason for natural evil in more detail.

Nick Potts said...

@irrelevantaxiom, I agree. Bart usually is a bit more emotional when it comes to debates rather than presenting the facts. Especially in his debates with Licona, these were probably some of Ehrman's worst moments. As for D'Souza, he is good in a way of presenting an overview of things, such as if the topic were, "Is there evidence for God?" D'Souza would be great and even in the presentation for something. But, I honestly butt heads with his explanation for evil...I think it is elementary and insufficient, though...I think the Christian position is the best explanation (personally...the only explanation) for such an event.

dgfisch said...

I could not believe Bart's commendation of Job's friends as suitable sources of support! Honestly, sitting quietly for a few days in "support," then accusing Job of crimes and misdemeanors suitable for his misfortunes! No wonder Job called them "miserable comforters." (Job 16:2).
Is this what Ehrman prefers to the hopes of heaven?

Kyle Essary said...

I think D'Souza ran away with this one. He probably won this debate more handily than any other (save the Loftus debate, which wasn't even a real competition for Dinesh).

Ehrman did best in his opening, because it made the emotional appeal through his own story (as he always does), but fell apart in rebuttals due to being overly emotional and not dealing with the rationale of Dinesh's position. Dinesh does so well on the fly. If he is the second presenter, then he will begin responding to his opponent in his opening. He's an extremely clear speaker, and often explains his opponents position better than they do so that he can respond to it adequately.

I would expect he's a wonderful classroom teacher. In all fairness to Ehrman, he's an excellent classroom techer as well. If you've listened to his lectures he is very clear and avoids the emotional appeals that are so common to his debates.

bossmanham said...

I can't believe being on the Colbert Report is now worthy to be mentioned as part of the debaters' CV.

I also get sick of Ehrman's constant beginning point of, "I was a Christian like most of you, and now I'm not dumb like you." Who cares, Bart? That's irrelevant to anything having to do with the debate.

Brian said...

Ehrman: "Hitler was an oversized mouse." - huh?

Seth said...

Bart sounds like an old hellfire preacher. I keep thinking, "Quit screaming at me Bart!" Maybe he should switch to decaf. :)

Stephen said...

I thought the line of the debate came when they were talking about heaven. Dinesh has a kind of teacher's sigh that seemed to say, "How do I explain this another way?" then explained how the onus was on Ehrman to disprove hell rather than on him to prove it.

Ehrman responded, "Now you're just intellectualizing the issue."

And Dinesh brought down the house with, "Uhh, that's why we're having a debate."

That seemed to sum up the whole thing for me.

Hoops said...

In his closing statements, Dr. Ehrman said speaking of life "'s a gift, and it won't be with us for long." Interesting. If life is a gift, wouldn't that imply a gift giver? Perhaps this isn't a difficult concept for a self professed agnostic.

Unknown said...

If any are interested, Cornelius Van Til has prepared an extensive overview of this question for apologetical purposes in an extended article, Evil and Theodicy, available for free as a .pdf. He has always impressed me as a careful and thorough biblical reviewer for any matter he takes under consideration; certainly, you will have plenty to "chew on" if you step into his reflective circle on this or any other matter... Bon Appetit!

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