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D’Souza’s Portuguese Inquisition

I recently watched an interesting debate on the question, “Is the world better off without religion.” The debate featured two sides with two people representing each side. The atheist side was represented by A.C. Grayling and Matthew Chapman. Both of these men are very intelligent, but don’t have a whole lot of debating experience. The religious side had a great deal of experience with these types of debates. They were represented by Rabbi David Wolpe and Dinesh D’Souza.

Let me say this about the religious proponents here. David Wolpe is a genuine guy. I have a great deal of respect for him, but I think he is obviously wrong. D’Souza on the other hand is a hack. He is however a very good hack. What I mean by this is that he uses every slick trick in the book and is smart enough to know they are slick tricks. In my opinion, he is the most skilled religious debater.

While most of D’Souza’s arguments can be dismantled pretty easily, those refutations take time and are not easy to dismantle in the limited time of a debate format. In the closing statements of this debate, he talked about being born in India and converting to Christianity. I heard him talk about this once before in a closing statement of another debate, but I didn’t really understand what he was talking about. In this debate, it explained it much better, but that explanation also is easily refuted.

He talked about the Portuguese Inquisition in India in which Christians came to India and inspired the lower castes of Hinduism to convert to Christianity. He “reasoned” that religion is great for the world because it inspired these poor people to rise up against the injustice they faced at the hands of… oh wait, Hinduism is a religion too. Oop.

Here we once again see religion claiming to have solved a problem that only exists because of religion. It is like when religious believers claim responsibility for the suffrage movement. They conveniently re-write atheist suffrage leaders out of history and the fact that it was religious holy books and institutions which were (and still are) the main opponents of equal rights for women.

Oh course, the solving problems that they themselves have created is religion’s whole bag. Christianity claims that we are all evil sinners and that they only way out is threw them. But I reject the claim that we are all evil sinners in the first place. In any case, here is the full debate… which we won by the way. I don’t say that because it is my belief, but because it has been supported with actual evidence. I think all debates should have this format:

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