Richard Dawkins debates William Lane Craig from the safety of the Guardian

Richard Dawkins has stated as one of his reasons for refusing to debate William Lane Craig that Craig is a “Christian ‘philosopher’ [who] is an apologist for genocide”.

He then goes on to quote Craig’s understanding of the Biblical passage on the destruction of the Canaanites – and labels Craig as “ an apologist for genocide”. In doing this, Dawkins is debating Craig, without giving Craig the opportunity to respond.

Two can play at that game, of course. So here is Richard Dawkins smiling cheerily at the idea of cannibalism:

And here he is advocating infanticide:

But would he eat the murdered babies? Can we look forward to another article in the Guardian where he might enlighten us further on his culinary experiments?

Perhaps Craig would be doing Dawkins a favour by being willing to share a platform with an apologist for infanticide and cannibalism.


Richard Dawkins explains why he refuses to debate William Lane Craig

And he does it with insults and petulance:

This Christian ‘philosopher’ is an apologist for genocide. I would rather leave an empty chair than share a platform with him.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either. Perhaps he is a “theologian”. For some years now, Craig has been increasingly importunate in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame me into a debate with him. I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: “That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine”.

Craig’s latest stalking foray has taken the form of a string of increasingly hectoring challenges to confront him in Oxford this October. I took pleasure in refusing again, which threw him and his followers into a frenzy of blogging, tweeting and YouTubed accusations of cowardice.

A few points:

Craig isn’t the person trying to cajole Dawkins into a debate, it’s the debate organisers and many of Dawkins’ atheist friends who want it.

Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, has not only heard of Craig, but has written to Dawkins suggesting that, since he has debated the intellectual heavyweight,  Pastor Ted Haggard, perhaps he should take on the “foremost apologist for Christian theism”, William Lane Craig.

Dawkins’ own link to the Wikipedia article on Craig describes him as an “American analytic philosopher, philosophical theologian, and Christian apologist. He is known for his work on the philosophy of time and the philosophy of religion”. Funnily enough, it omits to mention that Craig is someone who parades himself as a philosopher.

Calling Craig “an apologist for genocide” is damning evidence that while Dawkins is happy to use insults against Craig, he is less confident in using reason.

Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris both debated Craig and were routed. That points to the real reason why Dawkins won’t debate Craig: cowardice.


There's Probably No Dawkins. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Oct 25th

Richard Dawkins has refused to debate William Lane Craig during the Reasonable Faith tour. Up until now I had been labouring under the assumption that Dawkins was simply too pusillanimous to debate Craig since he knew he would be in for a good thumping delivered with nothing but blind pitiless indifference.

But now there is a new theory that is about to be plastered over Oxford buses: since he won’t be at the debate, we won’t see or hear him, therefore there is no evidence for his existence – by his own measure, Dawkins is as real as the flying spaghetti monster. At one time he did exist, of course: he existed on Youtube. But outside video-sharing mythology, I am not so sure. He may be living proof – well, non-living proof – that cogito ergo sum really works: he refused to debate Craig, demonstrating that he doesn’t think. He realised his mistake too late and, before he could even mutter “oh Darwin” –  poof! was gone.

From here:

A message with a familiar ring to it will be rolling out on the side of buses in Oxford from 10th of October. ‘There’s Probably No Dawkins. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Oct 25th at the Sheldonian Theatre’

The advertising campaign follows Richard Dawkins’ refusal to publicly debate the existence of God with philosopher William Lane Craig when he visits the UK in October. He has an open invitation to debate Craig at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre on 25th October.

The Oxford bus campaign echoes the 2009 London atheist bus advertisements: ‘There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life.’

Richard Dawkins: the Magic of Hypocrisy

Richard Dawkins has refused to debate William Lane Craig; his excuses have included a classic piece of projection: “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion.”

Someone kindly emailed me this poster which, if you click on it, will reveal a high resolution version suitable for printing and attaching to the side of a bus.

A call for the church to take on the new atheists

From here:

Clergy are to be urged to be more vocal in countering the arguments put forward by a more hard-line group of atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who have campaigned for a less tolerant attitude towards religion.

A report endorsed by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, warns that the Church faces a battle to prevent faith being seen as “a social problem” and says the next five years are set to be a period of “exceptional challenge”.

It expresses concern that Christians are facing hostility at work and says the Church could lose its place at the centre of public life unless it challenges attempts to marginalise religious belief.

The rallying call comes amid fears that Christians are suffering from an increasing level of discrimination following a series of cases in which they have been punished for sharing their beliefs.

I agree.

However, if the church is to create a bulwark against the onslaught of God hatred from the ilk of Dawkins and Hitchens, it will have to ensure its own belief is robustly Christian. The kind of wishy-washy liberal Christianity of someone like Tony Blair will not withstand the typical diatribe of the anti-God brigade, as evidenced by the Hitchens vs. Blair debate in Toronto.

William Lane Craig, has sent Dawkins and his cohorts scurrying for the hills, whimpering excuses, although Dawkins says he is quite happy debating a bishop or archbishop. This is not surprising; since many bishops and archbishops dither on what the resurrection is or what the gospel is, they aren’t going to stand much of a chance defending something whose truth they themselves doubt.


Richard Dawkins, William Lane Craig and self-promotion

Richard Dawkins has consistently refused to debate Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. The most plausible explanation for Dawkins’ uncharacteristic reticence is that he is afraid he would lose; he is correct.

Among Dawkins’ excuses is this: “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion.”

Dawkins is not known for being a man of self-effacing humility. In fact, he knows a great deal about a “relentless drive for self-promotion”: his website sells a bumper sticker with his name on it in large letters:

Dawkins’ tendency to indulge in emotion tirades against anyone with whom he disagrees – his “the Pope is a leering old villain in a frock” harangue, for example – stands in stark contrast to Craig’s relentless logic. Unable to defeat Craig on the ground on which he, himself, claims to stand – reason – Dawkins has resorted to his old standby: insults.