What I Learned From Debating Dinesh D'Souza

After looking at the debate myself I didn't do well. I did okay, but not well.

One thing was that Dinesh simply dismissed my opening statement and forced me to play by his rules after that. I should have defended it better. I should have summed up that case in my final statement. It was NOT irrelevant to the issue before us. And he interrupted me several times at the beginning. I should have stopped and said, "Did the organizers ask me to come here to listen to you give a speech, or do you want to let me respond?" Then he insulted me which put me off guard. And he monopolized the time whenever he could. One way to win a debate is not to give your opponent a chance to speak. Then during the Q & A when we were both asked the same question and Dinesh followed me, he responded to what I said rather than answering the question. All of these things caused me to second guess what I was saying as I was saying it, and so I didn't give many clear refutations as I had planned. I wanted to play nice because people think of atheists as rude people and Dinesh took advantage of that with me. But atheists have faulted me for this. One of them said "they aren't debating to make you seem like a nice guy, they are doing it to prove your a fool." That hit hard.

While none of his arguments were any good at all, and I mean none of them, he has mastered the art of debate and I learned a great deal from doing so. Nothing can prepare you for such a thing until you personally experience it. I am now a better debater because of it and I hope to show this in the future. So in terms of debate strategy Dinesh definitely won, but I think I was still able to throw out some good doubt producing arguments. Nonetheless, he's unleashed a beast, not that I plan on being rude, but I will be firm, and I will make my opponents play by my rules from now on if I can.