I just want to start by saying I’m a big fan of your work. I also listen to Dogma Debate, though not as frequently.
It seemed to me that David and Andrew largely resolved what issues they may have had in the original dispute, David admitted he just got angry and didn’t read Andrew’s replies properly, and Andrew admitted that he probably came on a little strong in the first post that David read. Additionally I think David’s explanation about why he got angry (people accost him all the time, he brought that baggage into his interaction with Andrew, and by the time Andrew explained himself better David was already too angry and flew off the handle) was generally understandable, and his apology seemed sincere. I was satisfied by how that interaction played out.
The issues between David and you, however, were dealt with somewhat less elegantly. I think ultimately you were talking past each other a little and you were only getting at the real issues at the very end, when you unfortunately ran out of time. My perception is that David values his ability to accept when he is wrong very highly, and also considers himself
to be a person who would obviously listen to expert opinions. He accused you of mis-characterizing him because he saw your episode as portraying him as a man who does not listen to experts and does not accept when he is wrong. His repeated assertions that he got mad because of how Andrew acted, rather than because he was shown to be wrong speaks to this I think. Frankly, I believe him on that point, and his contrary responses in their Facebook interaction can be chalked up to anger and nothing more. Perhaps I’m being too generous, but I know I can get that way sometimes so i’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
This explains (I think) why David was so angry and confrontational with you, Thomas.
As to how you did, while I agree 100% with the content of the points you made, I do think that you were not as respectful to David as you could have been. Specifically when you laughed at him it sent (to me) a message that you didn’t really take his objections seriously.
Putting myself in David’s shoes, I would have experienced a pang of white hot rage every time you laughed, and it would have been difficult for me to control it. I think that elevated the intensity of the interactions between the two of you unnecessarily, especially after David specifically called you out on it and explicitly stated that he interpreted that as being disrespectful.
Now that being said, I absolutely agree that you did not misrepresent David in your original podcast, I agree completely with Andrew’s take that any reasonable listener would know that you are just giving your opinion. I also agree with the concession that you did give, where you admitted that you should have set up more positive context for David, and I appreciate you reiterating that at the end of the podcast. I actually don’t think that David completely disregarded that, but I would bet that he was just too angry at the end to give it the appreciation that it deserved. I also got the weird sense that David considered the mere suggestion that he might drink as an ad hominem, I think he’s bringing some connotations into that that aren’t warranted.
Finally, do I think that you should apologize to David for anything? With regards to your original podcast about him, no, nothing beyond what you’ve already given him. I will say, however, that you might want to apologize to him for how your tone, especially the laughing, was at some points disrespectful in this podcast. I would also maybe clarify to David that you never meant to imply that his character was anything other than generally upstanding except for this particular instance on Facebook with Andrew (which you actually did at the end of the podcast, I would just make sure that David hears that)
Well, those are my two cents, I want to reiterate that I love what you do, I love you podcasts and I will absolutely keep listening to the vast majority of your content! – Cheers!