Oh lord. This looks awful. It’s Matt Dillahunty in a debate with some evangelical clown named Glen Scrivener, where he totally fumbles an easy question. “Are all human beings worthy of all provision and protection?” he’s asked, and he pauses for a long time, and finally answers, “I have no idea”. It’s intercut with somebody pretending to be an exasperated. Then they cut to him saying he doesn’t think humans have intrinsic value, the universe doesn’t care about human life, and then this bit where he doesn’t think a person sitting around and just consuming doesn’t add value, etc., etc., etc.
It’s not how I would have answered anything, but OK, I think he’s overanalyzing and trying way too hard to be logical, and some of this is just plain bad argumentation. I had to look at the source, though, to get the context. So I did. It was agony. Not so much because of Dillahunty — although he does say some bullshit about bothsiderism, and the damn thing is an hour and a half long — but because Scrivener is such a flaming idiot. Also, whoever made this abbreviated cut is grossly dishonest. The part of the debate it’s taken from is at an hour and five minutes in, and it’s spliced together from short fragments sliced out of the following half hour. This is the audio analog to the notorious creationist ellipsis, where they splice together sentence fragments scattered over a whole paragraph to cobble together something the opposite of what the author intended.
If you’re going to mock anything in that debate, a worthier target is Scrivener. Around 38 minutes in, for instance (and at other points scattered throughout), he starts babbling about how secular humanism is just Christianity Lite, or a little later that all other religions, except Christianity, are built around the principle of Survival of the Fittest, (which is a Herbert Spencerism, not intrinsic to the scientific understanding of evolution or even to any of the religions he’s misrepresenting). He’s also got this smug Christian Exceptionalism, saying that it is the only religion that is inclusive and preaches universality and brotherly love and all that stuff.
You have in Christ the fittest who is sacrificed for the survival of the weakest, and what you get birthed out of the Christian movement is a unique preference for the poor, the marginalized, the weak, the outsider, to draw them in. Such that…we include everyone, even our enemies, into the circle of our humanity.”
[Christianity] is founded on the god who became flesh, who became the weak one, in order to rise up again and bring us weak ones into his family, and he uniquely gives to the entire human race a dignity.
He also has this weird schtick where he gushes over his god who became a single human cell. All that in order to enable his blood sacrifice to redeem, somehow, everyone. He never thinks twice about the twisted logic, or the lack of evidence, for any of this.
But you know what’s really annoying? I was all ready to critique what seemed to be a weakness in Dillahunty’s argument, and then I discover that the only way that excerpt was able to bring it up was to cut out an hour of flamboyant, ridiculous bullshit from Scrivener, and then hack up Dillahunty’s response into micro-fragments, and intersperse it with an actor hamming it up. I am always ready to argue my disagreements with other atheists, but then the theists have to dishonestly butcher a discussion to make their point, whatever it is, and I lose all interest in the atheist and just want to point and laugh at the capering Christian twit in the room.
So yeah, I don’t care that Matt Dillahunty paused for a few seconds before answering a question in a debate, especially not when the Christian is spewing glib garbage the whole time.