PragerU

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If you are looking for something that actually resembles a university, please see Bob Jones University. Patriot Bible University might also fit the bill.
Prager University is not an accredited academic institution and does not offer certifications or diplomas.
—Their own website[1][note 1]

PragerU (or Prager University) is a non-profit organization and conspiracy theory peddling YouTube channel, founded by radio talk show host and professional wingnut Dennis Prager with his business partner Allen Estrin in 2009. The organization is an "education" outlet meant to be a "growing alternative to the moral and intellectual wasteland known as the Western university",[2] which instead promotes a hard right moral and intellectual wasteland, usually within the bounds of neoconservatism and social conservatism. PragerU is mostly known for its 5 minute videos, which each feature a popular conservative speaker, journalist, author, and so on. Their videos host a wide range of conservative people, from former Canadian PM Stephen Harper to conspiratorial wingnut Owen Benjamin.[note 2]

PragerU has gotten a large amount of funding from fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks,[note 3] alongside a host of other conservative advocacy groups.[3][4] DeSmog Blog has covered this funding in-depth.[3]

Prager "University" actually presents history and politics from a hard-right point of view. This includes rampant New Deal denialism, promotion of the Laffer curve, Europhobia, and an off the walls weird interpretation of liberalism.[5] The channel also promotes extreme Zionist views, claiming the IDF to be the "World's Most Moral Army",[6] and promotes fossil fuels as being "the greenest energy".[7][8] It has called wealth income inequality "good".[9] In a multitude of ill-informed videos, it furthermore espouses climate change denialism,[10][11] militarism,[12] American exceptionalism,[13][14] pro-British imperialism,[15] and many, many more nutty reactionary beliefs.

Guest hosts on the site include Jonah Goldberg and Amity Shlaes.

Prager also has a video explaining reasons marriage is healthy to a couple for non-legal reasons, which is kind of dickish given his position on gay marriage.[16]

Nevertheless, PragerU does offer a few worthwhile videos, such as Colonel Ty Seidule of the US Military Academy at West Point debunking neo-Confederate apologetics for the Civil War,[17] Patrick Moore debunking anti-GMO propaganda,[18] and Paul Copan debunking factual relativism.[19] PragerU also made a video criticizing rent control, which almost all economists believe is bad.[20][21][22]

PragerU has a channel aimed at young children called "PragerU Kids." Compared to the parent, the kids channel is very watered down, but maintains the main theme of “American values”.[23] It has made videos that hilariously whitewash things such as Ronald Reagan,[24] Capitalism,[25] Christopher Columbus,[26] equality in the United States,[27] and a video espousing the “The scientific revolution was caused by religion” myth,[28] all of these designed for an unassuming young audience.

The sheer ludicrousness of Prager's crank videos make them ripe for parody. Innumerable "YouTube Poops" or YTPs (remixes that make fun of the original source material by editing its dialogue/pictures to change them to those that are silly and/or rude) have been made of his videos.[29][30]

Origins[edit]

PragerU was created in response to a perceived left-wing bias in the American school system by Dennis Prager and Allen Estrin in 2009. Its aim was to promote the neoconservative belief system to the American people, particularly college students, through its website and YouTube.[31]

Views and videos[edit]

Dennis Prager.

PragerU's content tends to align with the personal beliefs of Dennis Prager, which includes among other things:

  • The left is on a quest to abolish Judeo-Christian values in the west and convert these societies to secular places, which will erode the west's freedom and bring us closer to a state-dominated society (like the USSR or Nazi Germany).
  • The left is trying to promote degeneracy feminism, the radical gay agenda, and transgenderism, which will destroy society as we know it.
  • The left is trying to erase history by having more nuanced views about the actions of the United States government & bringing more attention to events related to a historically oppressed group of people.
  • Free-market capitalism is the best economic system ever and socialism will basically destroy society.
  • Global warming is basically a myth. And even if it isn't a myth, it's not as bad as people say it is. But if it's not a myth, the environmentalist movement is too powerful anyway. And even if they aren't too powerful, they have bad solutions. And regardless of any of that, conservatives are the REAL pro-environment people, because they push for fossil fuel usage. They basically just inhabit multiple steps of the denialist staircase at the same time.
  • Black people have it great in America and face basically no racial discrimination nowadays — and anyone who says otherwise is actually perpetuating racism and hurting black people, by painting black people as victims and as needing outside help to solve their problems.
  • White Conservative Males are the most persecuted people in America because they are being systemically censored for violating a website's terms of service being brave enough to fight against the leftist establishment.
  • Children today are spoiled brats that need to have authoritarian parents, otherwise they'll end up like those scary activists.
  • A radical historical figure that was repressed by a conservative government was actually a conservative because they weren't like those BLM & Antifa rascals.

God and morality[edit]

PragerU VideoRationalWiki response
In the video Why God Is a He, Dennis Prager argues that God is depicted as masculine because most of the world's violence and wars are committed by men, and that a male role model is necessary to help civilize men and reduce male-driven crime.Ironically, the most masculine depictions of God frequently come around in more oppressive, traditionalist, and violent societies. The image of a masculine God has historically been used to divide people and to justify violence against enemies. In the Bible, God also killed and ordered the killings of many people (mostly in the Old Testament). This is covered in better depth in this response video.


In If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong, Prager argues that God is necessary for an objective moral code, using murder as his example. He says that without God, only opinions about morality exist — leading to moral relativism. He then goes on to say that Judeo-Christian civilization embraces this while Godless atheists (like the Nazis and Communists) rejected those values and as a result murdered millions of people.Re: Prager’s Incoherent Rambling on Morality - Logicked

Dennis Prager's "Moral Facts" - Professor Stick If There is No God, is Murder Wrong? (a Reply to Dennis Prager) - Skeptic

Prophet of Zod Explains Things to Babies-Episode 5: Where Do You Get Your Morality? - Prophet of Zod WOTMQ: If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong. - misterdeity

Dennis Prager is an idiot - NateTalksToYou


In The Best Book to Read to Your Kids, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders Johnnie Moore talks about the book that “conveys [to the children] the values of love, compassion, hard work, justice, and virtue, and has the added benefit of endurance throughout history” and is a “longtime bestseller.” If you didn’t already spot it from a mile away, it’s the Bible! He says that for every morally good thing, there's a Bible story about it. He then says that we should push Biblical literacy back into society (with special emphasis on kids) to the point at which everyone knows from memory some of the Bible's text.The bible is too boring for most kids.[citation NOT needed] Additionally, there's not only violence in the bible which is inappropriate for kids, but there is also lessons in the bible that should not be learned (Biblical sexism, an example of great lessons taught by the bible). Ironically, despite the fact that the bible should be inappropriate since Christians are very preachy about violence on television, according to Dennis Prager, it is fine for kids to read, including the violence and the bigotry that came straight from an ancient civilization. (RationalWiki recommends reading science books for kids. It’s fascinating stuff and is actually derived from reality!)


In Are Humans More Valuable Than Animals?, Dennis Prager ponders the question about relativism and whether humans are more important than animals and plants. He says that humans are infinitely valuable under the Judeo-Christian belief since they were made in the image of god, but not so much under the Atheist belief since humans are made of Carbon.Firstly, the video misconstrues secularism and that is not worth answering, besides pointing out the fact that yes, Atheists do value people, even if people are made of Carbon. Prager forgets that homo sapiens can be vile, so there is nothing particularly sacred about humans, besides our expanding knowledge that no other lifeform on earth is blessed by which makes us extremely valuable.[32] With that said, most of the information in the video is very misguided, trees are only valuable because without trees we would all die[33] and animals are important, so we have food. Additionally, Judeo-Christianism put god on a high pedestal while humanists put mankind on a pedestal, so not only does Dennis Prager have an erroneous view of Secularism, but Atheists value humans, while religious people value their god.


In The Ten Commandments: What You Should Know, this video covers the importance of the ten commandments in the bible.To put it simply, people are responsible enough to understand what is morally reprehensible and what is not. Moreover, the ten commandments are missing several morally reprehensible actions and concepts such as slavery, cheating (in the setting of a game, not adultery), scamming, rape, and other concepts mentioned in the bible that never make it into the actual list of commandments, such as having sex before marriage. Therefore, the list of the ten commandments is incomplete and that makes it not nearly as important as Prager is claiming it to be, especially since Atheists have for a long time figured out everything else that is morally wrong.


God's existence[edit]

PragerU videoRationalWiki response
In God vs. Atheism: Which is More Rational?, philosophy professor Peter KreeftWikipedia basically presents Thomas Aquinas's unmoved mover argument (basically that something needs to have caused the universe, and that cause would be God). He responds to a number of critiques:
  1. On the critique about radioactive decay not having a discernable cause, he says that there likely is a cause but scientists just haven't discovered it yet - and that even if a cause is discovered, that cause would then in turn have to be caused by something else, and so on.
  2. On the argument that the universe is infinitely old, Kreeft responds by pointing out that the Big Bang happened.
  3. On the argument that the beginning of the universe was caused by another universe, Kreeft says that because of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, all time is relative to matter, so time must have began when matter began (so that before the big bang, there would be no time to exist for another universe). He then again says that even if a previous universe is the cause, that in turn would need a cause, and so on.
See:


In Does God Exist? 4 New Arguments, baseball player and radio host Frank PastoreWikipedia talks about how he used to be atheist until he started learning about theist arguments and became a born-again Christian. He goes on to present 4 big bangs which he says atheists haven't accounted for that can be best explained by a Creator (God). These big bangs are:
  1. Cosmological, or how the universe came into existence in the first place. Fortunately, Pastore doesn't talk about the unmoved mover and instead basically accepts the big bang as the best explanation for the universe's creation.
  2. Biological, or how life began to exist. Regarding this, he basically says that scientists still have basically no clue for how life would have began to exist. He says that "the closer we look, the wider the chasm" regarding our certainty on life's origin.
  3. Anthropological, or how such a broad variety of life came into existence. He says that we still don't have an explanation for why bacteria, dogs, and humans all exist at the same time, how a single starting point for life can lead to so many different life forms. He acknowledges that evolution is a possibility, but says that Charles Darwin wasn't able to answer the central question of how evolution began.
  4. Psychological, or how a mechanical brain can develop into an introspective mind, have free will, appreciate art and beauty, etc.
Aside from the fact that each argument is basically just the "God of the gaps" argument 4 times over, there's more to talk about.
  1. Cosmological. It seems like Pastore accepts the big bang theory for the beginning of the universe, but in case you're personally not convinced, there's a decent body of evidence supporting the fact that the big bang happened.
  2. Biological. Scientists do have several explanations for how life began, some of which have evidence backing them. There have even been major advances into artificially creating life forms, something which will inform us a lot about how abiogenesis may have happened.[34] Of course, scientific knowledge and explanations for abiogenesis will improve and change with time as more evidence is brought to the table, but this is no excuse to dismiss all of that work in favor of the simplistic goddidit worldview.
  3. Anthropological. Evolution clearly and thoroughly explains the broad variety of life that exists today. Evolution is not meant to explain how the process of evolution began, but rather it is meant to explain the biodiversity that exists today. This argument is basically akin to saying that chemistry is false because it doesn't explain why atoms exist. Regardless, we can assume that evolution will happen as long as we have life reproducing over a long timespan during which mutations occur.
  4. Psychological. There's a lot that scientists have yet to learn about the brain, the human mind, and other things related to the human experience. However, just because we don't know a lot right now, that doesn't mean that we won't know in the future due to new findings. Again, not a great excuse for the goddidit explanation.
Potholer54 made a short response in video format which gives the Psychological point more attention.[35] Youtuber TMM also made a response video, though shorter and snarkier.[36]


In Does Science Argue For or against God?, conservative author Eric MetaxasWikipedia argues for the Fine tuning argument based on the improbability of the emerging of life in the universe, where over 200 parameters of the universe must have been “perfectly met” for a planet to sustain life. Metaxas used the failure of Search for extraterrestrial intelligenceWikipedia promoted by Carl Sagan as evidence for the argument. This presentation is actually a video version of one WSJ article he wrote before.[37]There are many problems with the notion of fine tuning for life, such as whether the universal constants are even constants at all; or what are the universal parameters are exactly necessary for life. Moreover, the idea of a universe in which there is barely any life is evidence against Metaxas' argument. After all, why would the universe be specially finely tuned for life if the universe is almost inhospitable and very hostile to life? (see The Argument from Scale).

Astrophysicist Lawrence M. Krauss wrote a response to Metaxas in The New Yorker, where he pointed out that "life is tuned to the universe rather than the other way around" and "if the cosmological constant were different, perhaps vastly different kinds of life might have arisen".[38]

Multiverse theories can also explain the existence of a fine-tuned universe as well.

See also:


In What's a Greater Leap of Faith: God or the Multiverse?, cosmologist Brian KeatingWikipedia argues against multiverse theories because there is no and can be no evidence for it despite being defended by physicists like Steven WeinbergWikipedia and Stephen Hawking. Keating claims that if a multiverse theory was true then “that girlfriend who broke up with you, you’re married to…in another universe,” which is “a bit far-fetched”. To support his rejection, Keating also quotes Paul DaviesWikipedia and G. K. ChestertonWikipedia saying “invoking an infinity of unseen universes... is just as made up as invoking an unseen creator”[39] and "who does not believe in God will believe in anything".[40]Multiverse theory is a common response against the argument from fine tuning and that's the main reason PragerU argues against it.

This video seems to suggest that physicists believe in a multiverse as "the answer to life, the Universe, and everything" to reject God instead of because it is a plausible consequence of cosmic inflation. As the cosmologist Alan GuthWikipedia said: "It's hard to build models of inflation that don't lead to a multiverse [...] and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously".[41] Many physicists are skeptical of multiverses (like Steven Weinberg and Stephen Hawking, actually...) but admit to be a serious scientific possibility, and defenders of the multiverse have never claimed it to be anything more than that.

While it is true that the multiverse is purely theoretical, it is based on scientific theories that can pass the falsification criteria and give testable predictions, while supernatural entities, like God, aren't (see Scientific method). As Paul Davies claimed: "Although direct confirmation of other universes, or regions of our universe, may be infeasible or even impossible in principle, nevertheless the multiverse theory does make some observable predictions and can be tested".[42] Other scientific theories and hypotheses that suggest the existence of multiverses are black holes, string theory, and the many worlds interpretation.[43] So, while belief in God is based on faith (as Keating admits), the multiverse is at least based on scientific data (at least we know a universe exists while we don't even know a God exists).

Regarding the "ex-girlfriend argument", Keating just asserts that it follows from a multiverse but never proves it to be the case (and even if it were, this would be just an argument from incredulity).

See also:


Other religious junk[edit]

PragerU videoRationalwiki response
In Was Jesus a Socialist?, FEE president Lawrence Reed argues that Jesus was not a socialist (which he defines as concentrating wealth and power into the government in order to do central planning and redistribution) and then argues that Jesus was actually a free-market capitalist. He pulls from a number of examples and stories from the Bible to justify his position.It is irrelevant whether Jesus was a Socialist or a Capitalist, since Capitalism didn't exist back when he was alive and Socialism was not an established ideology as it is today,[44][45] but Prager is so concerned that someone might be a Socialist based on their charity that he dedicated an entire video on the topic. See also these videos: Was Jesus a Socialist? A Hammered Response to PragerU - Suris, Was Jesus A Socialist? - "Rebuking" PragerU - Damon Garcia


In Just Say Merry Christmas, Prager lays out the case for the War on Christmas. He claim that secularists are trying really hard to replace mentions of "Christmas" and "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" and other more 'inclusive' phrases. He says that despite secularists downplaying or outright denying that this is happening, these people secretly want to thoroughly secularize American society and they see the word "Christmas"[note 4] as a reminder of America's religious nature. He takes on the "inclusiveness argument" for saying "Happy Holidays" (basically the idea that saying "Merry Christmas" will exclude non-Christians), by pointing out that many Christmas songs were written by Jews, which is true for once - his specific example being the song White ChristmasWikipedia by Irving BerlinWikipedia, a Jew.Secularists trying to replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" either don't exist or are incredibly stupid, because Christmas is already quite detached from its religious origins — Christmas nowadays is associated more with a commercialized Santa Claus (not a religious figure) than it is with Jesus, and Santa Claus has been a common Christmas figure for centuries (not a good look for our religious holiday). The phrase "Happy Holidays" has similarly been used for decades... including by that Jew mentioned earlier, Irving Berling, in the title of his 1942 song Happy Holiday.Wikipedia Part of why the inclusiveness argument fails is because of how divorced from religion the holiday has become with time, to the point at which it's not a clearly religious holiday and thus doesn't exclude people of non-Christian religious beliefs.[note 5]


In Is There Life After This Life?, Prager starts out by clearly stating that "If there is a God, there is an Afterlife." Within the next minute, Prager changes his requirements so that the God must also be good and just, and humans must also have souls. Once all of this is laid out, Prager explains that a good and just God would have to compensate for the immeasurable level of injustice and suffering which people experience on Earth, and that the afterlife would be able to serve as that place of compensation. He then goes on a bit of a tangent about how being remembered by other people is not the same thing as being in the afterlife. He ends the video by talking about how his belief in an afterlife keeps himself sane, and how he doesn't know what happens in the afterlife.The most blatant problem here is that Prager assumes premises which not everyone will agree on — that God exists, that God is good, and that humans have souls. Prager would have to convince someone that all three of these premises are true before he could sell them on his explanation for the afterlife.

There's another fatal flaw with Prager's logic in the video — throughout it, he assumes that the afterlife would be used to compensate for life's injustice and suffering, but at the end of the video, he says that he doesn't know what happens in the afterlife. This means that even he doesn't really know that people in the afterlife would be compensated for life's suffering, as he doesn't know what even happens there in the first place. This basically reduces Prager's ideas of compensation in the afterlife down to mere speculation, to a "this might happen in the afterlife but I don't know" situation.

Aside from that, the fact that believing in the afterlife keeps himself sane is itself a concern because a belief that closely held will end up overriding any logical reasoning Prager has about the belief — his belief in the afterlife is probably driven more by emotion than reason in this respect. This isn't even mentioning the problems with a good God letting unnecessary, let alone an immeasurable amount of, evil exist in the first place.


Climate change denialism[edit]

PragerU videoRationalwiki response
In Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?, Prager basically says "No they can't".Thoroughly debunked by multiple sources:
  • Debunking PragerU 2: "Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?"[46]
  • PragerU post by Happer uses flawed reasoning to claim that climate models always fail[47]
  • Climate Change Denial Videos[48]


In Climate Change: What's So Alarming?, the super reliable Bjørn Lomborg (who has had no problems with reliability or spreading false/misleading information about global warming at any time in the past)[citation NOT needed] goes onto PragerU to say that global warming is real and is indeed happening, but it's not as bad as we're told. He says that:
  • Antarctic sea ice is increasing at fast enough a rate to cancel out Arctic sea ice melting
  • Sea levels are rising but two papers suggested that the rise isn't accelerating
  • A study showed that droughts have slightly decreased with time
  • Hurricanes aren't getting worse because, after adjusting for population and wealth, hurricane damage is decreasing
He then goes on to say that wind and solar won't have a big impact because they won't be widely used, and then suggests more research be done to reduce costs so that developing countries are more likely to use renewable energy.
Dodginess betrays ulterior intent - Know The System


In Do 97% of Climate Scientists Really Agree?,Easy to measure, hard to model - Know The System, A Course in Climate Misinformation - The Weather Channel


In Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy,Fossil Fuels, Climate Change and Stupidity with PragerU - The Rational Channel

Prager University hosts a video by Alex EpsteinWikipedia of the Center for Industrial Progress[note 6] that strawmans climate change, calling it "catastrophic climate change", and has assumed people are taught to believe that "fossil fuels pollute the environment and make the climate unlivable".[49] The latter statement appears to be an exaggeration of the claim of the negative impact of climate change on life. The video shows a graph apparently "never seen before" (and no source given) that shows a correlation between fossil fuel use and access to clean water, as well as correlation between more fossil fuels and better sanitation. This is a spurious correlation where the video fails to account for any other external factors, including improved technology, that have led to more fossil fuel use and access to clean water and sanitation. Perhaps the technology that has improved access to clean water and sanitation requires fossil fuels, but fossil fuels in and of themselves are not directly associated with access to clean water. The video itself even admits that getting clean water requires energy and technology, and not necessarily fossil fuels, though the video insists that fossil fuels are the only source of energy and have either negligible side effects or none at all. The sanitation argument is debatable, considering fossil fuels have demonstrably led to acid rain and lung cancer.

Speaking of lung cancer, the video tries to show a graph[note 7] showing a negative correlation between fossil fuel use and air pollution, and this is from anti-pollution technology[note 8] that requires fossil fuels. The video overlooks, thanks to air pollution standards, air quality overall is higher, but CO2 emissions are still on the rise. They cite indoor air pollution being a global problem back in the 19th century (and still a problem in the developed worlds) until kerosene made it a non-issue. Again, the video implies that fossil fuels are the only source of energy, instead of addressing how access to cleaner energy improved air quality rather than fossil fuels in and of themselves.

The video then tries to make a point between "climate change" and "catastrophic climate change", when these two "distinctions" are often made up by climate change deniers to make them seem more "moderate" and those who accept global warming as "paranoid". "Catastrophic climate change" is rarely, if ever, used in climate change research. Epstein accepts that while burning fossil fuels have some warming impact, the real issue is if the climate warming is "dangerously fast". This argument does nothing to address preventive measures to avoid dealing with issues that will become more serious, and it is also a simplification of the entire package of climate change, which includes longer and more intense droughts and more unpredictable weather. The video tries to refute a leading NASA scientist, James Hansen, and his prediction in the 90s that in the first decade of 2000, temperatures will rise 2 to 4 degrees. The video shows a graph in 2000 (with a source) that apparently contradicts that statement. They also draw a half-assed trend line to make viewers believe the trend is flat. Nevermind that the statement was done back in the 90s, and graphs of satellite measurements and global surface temperatures point to the same direction. They also bring up that people talk less about "global warming" and more about "climate change", without mentioning how "climate change" more accurately describes the events of unpredictable weather.

The video then uses a "key statistic" that's "unfortunately almost never mentioned": that "climate-related deaths" and a negative correlation between CO2 emissions[note 9] and climate-related deaths[note 10] is evidence that climate change is not dangerous. But even in the graph, at some point in 1970s, the decline starts slowing drastically. This is apparently because fossil fuels, and not access to energy, allow the developed world to protect its population from extreme weather and temperatures, but the developing world needs a chance to get some fossil fuels running. While the video may be correct that the developing world may not have the resources to transition to renewable sources, the developed world certainly does have them.


In Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?, Richard Lindzen (totally not a problematic guy on this subject)[50] lays out 3 groups of people: the IPCCWikipedia scientists (specifically IPCC working group 1), skeptic scientists (who dispute the existence of human-caused global warming), and the politicians/activists/media. He tries to describe and characterize the beliefs of the scientist groups and show where they agree, as well as show how the third group have abused their position for political or ideological gain.A number of errors are made just at the outset. Around 20 seconds in, a graph is shown from 1997 to 2016 to show that the earth hasn't gone through recent warming, but that graph can be easily dismissed simply by including more years in the timespan[51] among other things.[note 11] Lindzen also insinuates that "global warming" has been dropped in favor of "climate change," which is blatantly false.[52] From there, Lindzen misrepresents the beliefs of the groups of people who he lays out. This is done a lot of times, so covering it all here would take up a lot of space - those errors are covered in detail in several response videos.[53] The video actually generated enough ruckus to get reviewed by multiple relevant experts in the field, who all dismissed the video as heavily misleading and full of errors.[54]


In The Truth About CO2,'The TRUTH about carbon dioxide' BUSTED - Thunderf00t PragerU Attempts To Prove Fossil Fuels Are Green, Solar Energy-Directors Cut - Godless Engineer


In What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change,Response to Patrick Moore's "What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change” - potholer54


In Why You Should Love Fossil Fuel, Alex EpsteinWikipedia presents fossil fuels as a great thing which helped humanity progress technologically in the past. He argues that because of these past benefits from fossil fuels (because they were able to provide energy for society to work with), we should keep using them today.Epstein ignores a key fact, which is that just because a resource was helpful in the past, that doesn't mean that we have to continue using it even when there's better alternatives (and there's plenty of alternative sources of energy). He completely ignores any problems which are related to fossil fuel usage, instead presenting it as basically something we should love and never give up on - and because he ignores the problems with it, he doesn't have to engage with alternative energy sources which largely avoid those problems, like nuclear and geothermal energy among others.


In general, he gives an obvious whitewash of the impact of fossil fuels to ignore anything negative about them. He attributes basically all modern advances in technology to fossil fuels, while ignoring the impact which other energy sources have had within the past century. Ironically, he also ignores how several of the problems he says fossil fuels solved (like smoky skies for instance) were themselves caused by extensive fossil fuel usage early on, which people then had to figure out a fix for.


In Stop Climate Change Alarmism, PragerU repeatedly misrepresents science and uses deceptive arguments to criticize the Green New Deal.Many flaws in the video are analyzed by testudos101:

In this video, they use a lot of their tried-and-true deceptive strategies to spread climate change misinformation while also pointedly attacking some left-wing ideas, in particular the Green New Deal.[55]



In A Few Missing Polar Bears, Greg Gutfeld argues Islamic terrorism is a greater threat than global warming, stating global warming is just a few missing polar bears.Climate change is more than just a few missing polar bears, and domestic terrorism is a greater threat than Islamic terrorism in America.[56]


Evolution denialism[edit]

PragerU VideoRationalWiki response
In Evolution: Bacteria to Beethoven, the highly academic and science-driven PragerU rejects the concept of evolution. The video is hosted by Stephen C. Meyer of the creationist Discovery Institute, who is credited with changing Prager's mind on the subject of evolution.[57]A number of errors introduced throughout the video have been thoroughly addressed in response videos.[58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66]


Civil War[edit]

PragerU VideoRationalWiki response
In Was the American Civil War about Slavery?, Colonel Ty Seidule, a Professor of History (head of the department at the time) for the United States Military Academy at West Point answers with an unambiguous yes.Good job, no notes. A selected quote about why people stand against this: "Many people don't want to believe that the citizens of the southern states were willing to fight and die to preserve a morally repugnant institution."


Robert E. Lee[edit]

PragerU VideoRationalWiki response
On November 6, 2020, PragerU posted a video called "Who Was Robert E. Lee?" The video has since been deleted, though there have been re-uploads.[67] The video argued in favor of keeping up statues of Lee for the following reasons:
  • He lived near George Washington
  • He knew people from George Washington's bloodline
  • His house is now the location of Arlington cemetery
  • He led US Marines to crush a slave rebellion by "radical" abolitionist John BrownWikipedia
  • He said slavery was bad but that black people were better off as slaves in America than free in Africa
  • He opposed secession but defended the secessionist Confederacy because his home state of Virginia chose to secede (PragerU defends this as a show of patriotism for his native state)
  • He surrendered in the Civil War
  • He supported free blacks getting education but opposed their right to vote
  • He died (good!)
This video argues against the removal of statues of Robert E. Lee.[68] While this is a common position on the right, most right-wingers argue for it by downplaying Lee's racism and dubiously suggesting that removal would "erase our history." Not so for PragerU; they want to memorialize Robert E. Lee because:
  • "Lee led U.S. MARINES to crush the ATTEMPTED SLAVE REBELLION by radical ABOLITIONIST JOHN BROWN."
  • "Lee deemed SLAVERY 'a MORAL and POLITICAL EVIL in any country,' but considered it 'A GREATER EVIL to the WHITE MAN than to the BLACK RACE' since 'BLACKS ARE IMMEASURABLY BETTER OFF here than in AFRICA.'"
  • "As PRESIDENT of Virginia's WASHINGTON COLLEGE, he favored EDUCATION for FREED SLAVES but OPPOSED their right to VOTE."

This video is remarkable for how openly and intentionally it leans into racism. PragerU could easily have truncated each of these statements to make Lee sound less racist than he was. For instance, they could have said that Lee "led US Marines to crush the attempted rebellion by radical John Brown," without specifying that it was a slave rebellion or that Brown was an abolitionist. Likewise, they could have stated that Lee considered slavery "a moral and political evil in any country" without adding that he thought it was more of an evil to white people, or that he favored education for freedmen without specifying that he didn't want them to vote. That PragerU instead emphasized Lee's racism while advocating to memorialize him suggests that PragerU considers that racism to be not a negative trait, nor even an understandable byproduct of Lee's upbringing, but a positive good.

The claim that Black people were better off as slaves than free in Africa is common slavery apologia from this period in American history. Despite the fact that Lee surrendered the Civil War, the video glosses over Lee's actions as a major Confederate general during the war.


Capitalism/Socialism[edit]

PragerU videoRationalwiki response
In Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sounds A Lot Like Karl Marx, AOC talks about how Reaganism has used race to divide the working class so they couldn't exercise pressure upon the government to deal with various pressing issues.
  • PragerU imediately compares her to communist dictators and lambasts her as a Marxist
  • It also uses a video of a speech by Ronald Reagan at NAAC in which he condemns racism
The use of race as a dividing factor goes beyond mere economics. Conservative politicians created the myth of the welfare queen,[69][70] which has been aimed at single, black mothers. Likewise, a 18 years old high schooler was set up as part of a stunt by the DEA for George H. W. Bush's expansion of the War on Drugs[71] Likewise, Alexandria's political views more closely align with social democracy rather than communism.[72]


In Capitalism vs Socialism, PragerU explains that capitalism is about need while socialism is about greed. The comment about toilet paper didn't age well.[73] Consumers don't have that much influence,[74] because the consumers don't have the time or inclination to weigh in every option. Also marketing seeks to manipulate consumers.[75] Amazon workers don't care about consumers, they only want to earn money to pay their bills[76] and even conservatives acknowledge (in their own way) how despotic is the modern workplace.[77]


In Immigrants! Don't Support What You Fled, PragerU takes aim at the Latino community and says that the reason why they immigrated to America was to escape "big government" and socialism, so they shouldn't vote for Democrats who allegedly support such measures.The biggest problem with this video is that it uses GuatemalaWikipedia as an example of a country that was "ruined" by socialism, which is laughable to anyone even remotely familiar to the history of Central America. In reality, Guatemala has only had a government that could even remotely be considered left-wing for four years after the 1954 coup and today is overwhelmingly dominated by right-wing parties.[78] In reality, the economic problems in Guatemala are largely a result of the country's economic exploitation by the United Fruit Company[79] as well as a CIA-backed coup that installed a genocidal military junta.[80] In fact, Guatemala is a better example of the failures of capitalism rather than socialism. Also, the host, Gloria Alvarez, is a noted denier of the Guatemalan genocideWikipedia committed under the military government,[81] so as we can see PragerU is only picking the finest people to be representatives of an entire population.


Immigration[edit]

PragerU videoRationalwiki response
In A Nation of Immigrants, Michelle Malkin criticizes immigration policies that "threaten to destroy the American Dream."Responses:
  • Debunking a PragerU Video About U.S. Immigration[82]


Gender issues[edit]

You'll hear ol' Dennis gloat that "there are only two genders", despite scientific consensus, next!

PragerU VideoRationalWiki response
In Make Men Masculine Again, host Allie Stuckey says that "demonizing masculinity is not the solution, but the problem."The video claims that rape, murder, and war are all caused by insufficient manliness in society.


In There Is No Gender Wage Gap, host Christina Hoff Sommers says there IS a wage gap... but that's ok because that's women's fault "differences in individual career choices that men and women make".Youtuber Shaun[83] pointed out this video contradicts with another Sommers' PragerU video, War on Boys, where she claims boys are getting lower grades than girls generally and this is a problem because "male underachievement is everyone's concern" for achieving a successful society. So, while women problems are product of individual choices, men problems are problems of society and we neeed to do something about it...

See also:


Genocide Denial[edit]

PragerU VideoRationalWiki response
In Leo and Layla meet Christopher Columbus, Christopher Columbus (voiced by someone at PragerU) says to Leo and Layla that all the things said about him (murderous, etc.) were allegations, and that there was another murderous tribe called the Carib, and calls them cannibals, and says slavery is as old as time and has been practiced across the world.The video claims that Columbus wasn't murderous, and tries to undermine and distort the genocide that happened when he demanded gold from the Taino when they didn't have any. And the video also promotes stereotyping as he calls the Carib tribe "cannibals", the stereotype has been used against Indigenous peoples of the Americas for centuries. While it is true that slavery has been around even before the discovery of the Americas, they use it as an excuse to justify the enslavement of indigenous people.


PragerU in real schools[edit]

One of PragerU's objectives is for them to be included in school curriculums in the US. On their website, they host a petition that states:

Students are failing. Test scores and grades continue to plummet nationwide. Why? America’s K-12 education system is often more concerned with pushing radical activism on students rather than teaching what needs to be taught. Facts, knowledge, and achievement are no longer a focus. No wonder our students are falling behind. Sign the petition to get PragerU in schools![84]

In July 2023, they were included in Florida schools' curricula, which under DeSantis had already become very conservative.[85] A Media Matters review of these videos highlighted some of the indoctrination included in the videos. Among them was a video which nonsensically compared those engaged in climate change denialism with those who engaged in the Warsaw Uprising;Wikipedia a video which spouted pro-cop, anti-Black Lives Matter propaganda; a racist, apologist video regarding Britain's colonial rule of India, which framed India as a backwards colony that benefited from the British rule due to them spreading "the influence of Christianity and Western values through India" and discouraging or even outlawing "harmful traditions"; an apologist video for America's mediocre health care system that spouts tired conservative propaganda about the dangers of socialized medicine; whitewashed whataboutism viewpoints on slavery in America and apologist stances on Christopher Columbus; and an apologist video for gender roles, in which the video encourages conformity in order to "create a well-balanced family and community".[86]

Even ignoring the indoctrination, PragerU is a fucking useless educational tool due to ineptly structured lessons and terrible learning objectives. As an example of how bad the learning objectives are, a lot of them include "appreciate", a word that Bloom's Taxonomy explicitly advises against because it isn't quantifiable. Its lessons - contrary to its own stated goals - are unengaging because they largely consist of watching videos; educationally unsound because they rarely, if ever, meaningfully achieve their learning objectives; and difficult for teachers to implement due to missing steps.[87] This means that classes across Florida, especially ones with neurodivergent students, are going to become rowdy due to boredom and a lack of anything of substance being learned.

"But muh freezepeach!"[edit]

Quote mining and ominous music are not valid arguments
Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven.
—Dennis Prager[88]

Prager's organization has made hilariously bad arguments regarding freedom of speech to further their conservative persecution complex.[89] It has also displayed hilariously bad takes on the law regarding speech, such as suing in order to try to prevent YouTube from removing their videos for violating the terms of service.[90]

In 2017, PragerU sued Google claiming that YouTube censored their videos for political reasons.[88] The lawsuit was accompanied by a petition and much whining, but was summarily dismissed several months later. The presiding judge stated that not only did PragerU fail to demonstrate that YouTube's age restrictions imposed on their videos are a First Amendment violation, but also that Google is not subject to the First Amendment because it's a private company and not a public institution.[91] And, of course, as mentioned above, PragerU videos have been actively advertised on YouTube for a considerable period of time. Companies that let you advertise on their platforms probably aren't trying to censor you.[citation NOT needed]

To claim that Google is censoring PragerU because YouTube set some of their videos to restricted mode (to make sure children are unable to watch them) is ludicrous.[92] According to YouTube’s policies on Restricted Mode —

Videos containing potentially mature content will not be shown to viewers who have Restricted Mode turned on...
Violence: Graphic descriptions of violence, violent acts, natural disasters and tragedies, or even violence in the news...
Mature subjects: Videos that cover specific details about events related to terrorism, war, crime, and political conflicts that resulted in death or serious injury, even if no graphic imagery is shown...
Profane and mature language: Inappropriate language, including profanity. Incendiary and demeaning content: Video content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning towards an individual or group...

The videos set to restricted mode cover at least one or more of these instances. Furthermore, the videos are not removed from YouTube, or unobtainable through a Google search or through one’s feed.

In 2018, PragerU criticized YouTube for adding fact-checks to YouTube videos which cover climate change, since it relies on the viewer’s ignorance of science and scientific consensus to enforce its viewpoint.[93]

In a nutshell[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Dennis argues that PragerU actually is a university because you can learn stuff from their videos. You can also learn a lot of stuff at the esteemed university of your local library.
  2. To their credit, they removed their video with Owen after he drifted too far down the anti-semitic rabbit hole. Here's a reupload of that original video.
  3. No, these aren't the Koch brothers, get your billionaires straight.
  4. or as he refers to it at one point, "the C word"
  5. This video does a rather good job breaking down the video and analyzing who it appeals to.
  6. A for-profit anti-environmentalist think-tank that promotes "I Heart Fossil Fuels" T-Shirts!
  7. "Based on the Environmental Protection Agency", now there's a source.
  8. Which they assert, even then, is unnecessary because fossil fuels make air cleaner somehow.
  9. Which they don't deny is rising and high.
  10. Defined by deaths from storms, droughts and heat waves.
  11. In the video, the graph's apparent break-even line hovers around a warming level of 0.25° C rather than at a neutral 0° C level. This leads to PragerU's graph subtly exaggerating how much cooling has happened in that time period. On top of this, the dataset which the graph is based on saw a major correction in 2017 (after the PragerU video was published, to be fair) which showed that global warming was increasing at a faster rate than was previously measured. Ouch!

References[edit]

  1. PragerU website homepage
  2. Super-conservative PragerU aims to arm pro-Israel students for their campus ‘wastelands’ from the Times of Israel
  3. 3.0 3.1 Great post by DeSmog Blog which covers the funding of PragerU and its content in regards to global warming
  4. Fracking Titans Spend Millions Proselytizing School Children from Rewire News Group
  5. Prager University - "Are You A Liberal?"
  6. "Israel: The World's Most Moral Army" - PragerU
  7. Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy - PragerU
  8. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Teja5YNCo "Why You Should Love Fossil Fuel" - PragerU
  9. "Income Inequality is Good" - PragerU
  10. "What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change" - PragerU
  11. "The Truth about CO2" - PragerU
  12. "Should America be the World's Policeman?" - PragerU
  13. "How Do You Judge America? Left vs. Right #3" - PragerU
  14. "What Makes America Different?" - PragerU
  15. "If You Live in Freedom, Thank the British Empire" - PragerU
  16. [http://www.prageruniversity.com/Life-Studies/The-Case-for-Marriage.html#.Ulde25rn9Ms Prager University - "The Case For Marriage"
  17. "Was the Civil War About Slavery?" - PragerU
  18. "Are GMOs Good or Bad?" - PragerU
  19. "True for You but Not for Me" - PragerU
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJvTTGOHFkU "Why Rent Control Hurts Renters" - PragerU
  21. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/15/comeback-rent-control-just-time-make-housing-shortages-worse/ "Opinion: The one issue every economist can agree is bad: Rent control", Washington Post
  22. https://freakonomics.com/podcast/rent-control/ Rent Control - Freakonomics Podcast
  23. PragerU Kids
  24. PragerU Kids: Ronald Reagan
  25. PragerU Kids: Adam Smith
  26. PragerU Kids: Christopher Columbus
  27. PragerU Kids: Frederick Douglas
  28. PragerU Kids: The Scientific revolution
  29. YTP Dennis Prager ascends to godhood and respects women. BottledBanana, YouTube, 7 May 2019.
  30. Dennis Prager says the darndest things. Dragonflame Media, YouTube, 8 September 2019.
  31. Nellie Bowles, Right-Wing Views for Generation Z, Five Minutes at a Time. Archived from the original at The New York Times, 4 January 2020.
  32. "Are Humans Really the Smartest Species?", CBS News
  33. "What Would Happen if All the World's Trees Disappeared?", BBC
  34. Callaway, Ewen. "‘Minimal’ cell raises stakes in race to harness synthetic life", Nature
  35. Welcome to PragerU -- Part 2 - potholer54
  36. 4 "New" Arguments for God's Existence - TMM
  37. Metaxas, Eric (2014-12-25). "Eric Metaxas: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God" (in en-US). Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. 
  38. Krauss, Lawrence M. (2015-01-24). "No, Astrobiology Has Not Made the Case for God" (in en-US). The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. 
  39. Davies, Paul (2003-04-12). "Opinion | A Brief History of the Multiverse" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  40. https://www.chesterton.org/ceases-to-worship/
  41. Kramer, Miriam (2014-03-18). "Our Universe May Exist in a Multiverse, Cosmic Inflation Discovery Suggests" (in en). 
  42. Davies, P. C. W. (2004). "Multiverse cosmological models". Modern Physics Letters A 19 (10). doiWikipedia:10.48550/arXiv.astro-ph/0403047. 
  43. "Evil doppelgängers, alternate timelines and infinite possibilities: the physics of the multiverse explained" (in en). 
  44. "The History and Characteristics of Capitalism", UK Essays
  45. "Socialism", History
  46. Debunking PragerU 2: "Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?" PoliDice, YouTube, 19 June 2018.
  47. PragerU post by Happer uses flawed reasoning to claim that climate models always fail. climatefeedback.org, 27 January 2021.
  48. Climate Change Denial Videos, desmogblog.com.
  49. Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy. PragerU (YouTube). April 21, 2016.
  50. Lindzen getting the facts super right!
  51. PragerU graph overlayed with a graph covering more years. A bit embarrassing for an expert to leave out...
  52. To list one of many examples, big names like Margaret Thatcher spoke to big organizations like the UN way back in 1989, her speech using "climate change" 12 times. The IPCCWikipedia, established in 1988, literally has "climate change" in the name. The use of "climate change" over "global warming" isn't some recent manufactured thing whatsoever.
  53. PragerU Lying About: Climate Change ("What Do Scientists Say?") - Madt, PragerU Lies About Climate Change - TMM, and Richard Lindzen (PragerU) Misrepresents Climate Change - All About Climate
  54. https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/video-from-prageru-makes-several-incorrect-and-misleading-claims-about-climate-change-richard-lindzen/ "Video from PragerU Makes Several Incorrect and Misleading Claims About Climate Change", Climate Feedback
  55. PragerU's "Stop Climate Change Alarmism", Reddit, 23 January 2020.
  56. Far-right terror poses bigger threat to US than Islamist extremism post-9/11, Joanna Walters and Alvin Chang, The Guardian 8 September 2021
  57. David Klinghoffer, Dennis Prager on Evolution: Stephen Meyer Turned Me Around. evolutionnews.org, 19 October 2018.
  58. More PragerU Creationist Nonsense - Professor Stick
  59. Prager U supports Intelligent Deception - AronRa
  60. Prager UwU Hires Creationists. GETS DESTROYED | Ft. Nathanial Walters (Suris Response) - Suris
  61. Teaching PragerU About Biology - Jackson Wheat
  62. Prager U Misrepresents and Misunderstands Evolution - ThetaUpsilon
  63. PragerU Tried to Debunk Evolution - Debunk the Funk with Dr. Wilson
  64. Another PhD Doesn't Understand Evolution! – A Response to PragerU - Majestic Masiakasaurus
  65. PragerU Lies About Evolution-TMM
  66. Exposing Discovery Institute Part 2: Stephen Meyer-Professor Dave
  67. Who Was Robert E. Lee? (Reupload of deleted Pro-Slavery PragerU video) - Stuff
  68. PragerU Defends Robert E Lee. TMM, YouTube, 1 March 2021.
  69. The New Republic The myth of the Welfare Queen
  70. The Nation The Ugly Myth of the Welfare Queen
  71. "George H. W. Bush's biggest failure? The War on Drugs."
  72. Business Insider Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains what democratic socialism means
  73. College of Natural Resources News, How the Coronavirus Created a Toilet Paper Shortage
  74. Consumer Sovereignty - EconomicsHelp
  75. Using marketing psychology to influence consumer behavior - Astute
  76. Employment First Florida, Why People Work? - Employment First Florida
  77. The modern American workplace is like a communist dictatorship - Business Insider
  78. A Right-Winger Just Triumphed In Guatemala's Presidential Election, The Huffington Post
  79. The Influence of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala, History in Charts
  80. How America overthrew Guatemala's reformist president, BBC
  81. "La república es la única cura al populismo", Confidencial
  82. Debunking a PragerU Video About U.S. Immigration. Mr. Beat, YouTube, 4 December 2020.
  83. How PragerU Lies to You
  84. Tell America You Want PragerU in Schools! accessed July 27, 2023 (archive), PragerU
  85. PragerU Says Florida Teachers Approved to Use Its Class ‘Curriculum’ July 24, 2023, Josh Fiallo, The Daily Beast
  86. "The lessons Florida public school students will learn from PragerU Kids" by John Knefel, Media Matters, 2023 July 27
  87. How PragerU Hurts Students (and Teachers), Zoe Bee
  88. 88.0 88.1 Harper Neidig, PragerU sues Google, YouTube for 'censoring' conservative videos. thehill.com, 24 October 2017.
  89. A dumb podcast of theirs, which can be summed up as "offensive=true"
  90. Mark Joseph Stein, "Another Court Throws Out PragerU’s Preposterous YouTube Lawsuit", from Slate
  91. Harper Neidig, Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Google censorship of conservative YouTube videos. thehill.com, 27 March 2018.
  92. PragerU is NOT being censored by Google/YouTube
  93. PragerU criticized YouTube for adding fact-checks to YouTube videos which cover climate change, Buzzfeed