Dawkins Dodges Another Debate

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Dawkins dodges another debate, according to articles in Christian Today 30 September 2011 and The Telegraph 14 May 2011. Richard Dawkins has declined invitations from the British Humanist Association, the Cambridge Union, Premier Radio and the Oxford Christian Union to debate Christian apologist William Lane Craig. Craig is a professor of philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology in California but Dawkins does not consider him to be a worthy opponent, declaring: “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion”. Dawkins’ stance has annoyed both atheists and Christians. According to The Telegraph, Daniel Came, an atheist and Worcester College philosophy lecturer wrote to Dawkins saying: “The absence of debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part. I notice that, by contrast, you are happy to discuss theological matters with television and radio presenters and other intellectual heavyweights like Pastor Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals and Pastor Keenan Roberts of the Colorado Hell House”.

However, Dawkins was not convinced, and reiterated his stand with the following statement: “I always said when invited to do debates that I would be happy to debate a bishop, a cardinal, a pope, an archbishop, indeed I have done those, but I don’t take on creationists and I don’t take on people whose only claim to fame is that they are professional debaters; they’ve got to have something more than that. I’m busy”.

Christian Today, Telegraph

Editorial Comment: So, Dawkins formally announces he is prepared to take on bishops and other church leaders, but not creationists. Maybe he doesn’t feel threatened by church leaders, and maybe there is good reason for that – many don’t believe Genesis anyway. Therefore, we are surprised that Dawkins has chickened out on this debate offer, since W.L. Craig, when challenged to declare where he stood, labelled himself “somewhere between progressive creation and theistic evolution”, which the questioner rejoiced in, as that meant Craig wasn’t one of those young earth creationists. Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSc92EDm5gU
One additional reason Dawkins gave face to face to John Mackay for not wanting to formally debate John when Dawkins interviewed John for Channel 4 UK, was that “I do not think fast on my feet and I am not good at debating”. We have to agree on both counts. (Ref. philosophy, education, world view)

Evidence News 12 October 2011

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