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Thread: Should Dawkins debate with William Lane Craig?

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    Should Dawkins debate with William Lane Craig?

    Background:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...iam-lane-craig

    "William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name..."

    "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine".

    "I turn down hundreds of more worthy invitations every year, I have publicly engaged an archbishop of York, two archbishops of Canterbury, many bishops and the chief rabbi, and I'm looking forward to my imminent, doubtless civilised encounter with the present archbishop of Canterbury."

    "The idea of cashing in on another's name by conniving to share a stage with him is hardly new."

    Dawkins quotes Craig supporting the God of the Old Testament's penchant for child genocide:

    "... those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives."

    Dawkins asks, reasonably:

    "Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

  2. #2
    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    It sounds like Dawkins is making a good choice. I don't know why anyone should want to say anything to someone who does not value this life. If his life is so meaningless, he should just leave this place to the people who actually care about it.

  3. #3
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quite simply: NO

    Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, not a philosopher. Craig writes on theology from the perspective of (mostly) cosmological physics, moral philosophy, and New Testament historicism, areas Dawkins knows very little about. What common ground do they have as the basis for a debate? Craig should stick to debating other philosophers, IMO.

    FWIW, everyone makes a big deal about Dawkins "refusing" to debate Craig, as if he's scared of Craig, but nobody mentions that Craig refuses to debate his former student, John Loftus. I think Dawkins has a much better ground for refusing the debate (not having heard of Craig, not being a philosopher, not being a cosmologist or Biblical historian) than Craig has for refusing to debate Loftus (he's a former student). Craig's reason translate for me as "he knows my arguments too well and can contradict them too efficiently".
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...=ILCNETTXT3487

    Apparently, you're a little late coming to this. Also, you've not got hold of the full story since the fallout from this incident was worse than the incident, itself. First, let's get something straight: Dawkins didn't decline Craig's invitation to debate, but rather declined The British Humanist Association's, The Cambridge Debating Union's, the Oxford Christian Union's and Premier Radio's invitations. Dawkins's hilariously idiotic denunciation of Craig was really a sideshow compared to the slew of criticisms from his FELLOW ATHEISTS that followed. Let's get real here: Dawkins agreed to debate Kirk Cameron at one point, but when it comes to Craig, he doesn't debate creationists. Hilarious!

    The whole debacle with Dawkins, along with the death of Hitchens, probably marked the end of "New Atheism" as a coherent movement. The New Atheists lost in the arena of public discourse, everyone knows it, and the world has now moved on.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/reli...ce-of-God.html

    Excerpt:

    Some of Prof Dawkins’s contemporaries are not impressed. Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, wrote to him urging him to reconsider his refusal to debate the existence of God with Prof Craig.

    In a letter to Prof Dawkins, Dr Came said: “The absence of a 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.
    Last edited by stuntpickle; 05-13-2012 at 01:18 PM.

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...=ILCNETTXT3487

    Apparently, you're a little late coming to this. Also, you've not got hold of the full story since the fallout from this incident was worse than the incident, itself. First, let's get something straight: Dawkins didn't decline Craig's invitation to debate, but rather declined The British Humanist's Association's invitation. Dawkins's hilariously idiotic denunciation of Craig was really a sideshow compared to the slew of criticisms from his FELLOW ATHEISTS that followed. Let's get real here: Dawkins agreed to debate Kirk Cameron at one point, but when it comes to Craig, he doesn't debate creationists. Hilarious!

    The whole debacle with Dawkins, along with the death of Hitchens, probably marked the end of "New Atheism" as a coherent movement. The New Atheist's lost in the arena of public discourse, everyone knows it, and the world has now moved on.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/reli...ce-of-God.html

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    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    From where I'm sitting "new atheism" looks like it's doing just fine. We don't have to debate anything. Observe your world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Quite simply: NO

    FWIW, everyone makes a big deal about Dawkins "refusing" to debate Craig, as if he's scared of Craig, but nobody mentions that Craig refuses to debate his former student, John Loftus. I think Dawkins has a much better ground for refusing the debate (not having heard of Craig, not being a philosopher, not being a cosmologist or Biblical historian) than Craig has for refusing to debate Loftus (he's a former student). Craig's reason translate for me as "he knows my arguments too well and can contradict them too efficiently".
    Loftus? Hilarious. I guess one of Dawkins's former students is best suited ro refute evolution? You people! Perhaps you should read this now infamous atheist article listing all the people who shouldn't debate Craig, of whom Loftus is one.

    http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=1437

    Excerpt:

    So yeah, that’s right. You are not qualified to debate William Lane Craig. Richard Carrier? Austin Dacey? Quentin Smith? Bart Ehrman? You are not qualified to debate William Lane Craig. Louise Antony? Christopher Hitchens? Eddie Tabash? You are not qualified to debate William Lane Craig. Frank Zindler? Gerd Ludermann? Hector Avalos? You are not qualified to debate William Lane Craig.

    “What about some people who would like to debate Craig?”

    Mark Smith? John Loftus? You are not qualified to debate William Lane Craig.

    --------

    The reason Craig doesn't want to debate Loftus is obvious: it would be embarrassing for him to debate a student of his own who has "strayed from the path." It has obviously nothing to do with whether Loftus would "efficiently refute" Craig's arguments.

    Theists weren't the ones "making a big deal" about Dawkins's refusal; atheists were. The whole hilarious attempt to suggest equivalence between Dawkins's refusal and Craig's is simply evidence of how the New Atheist sheep are desperate to rationalize the whole thing.

  8. #8
    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    New atheist sheep? Rubbish. I would debate the zealot myself. It's obviously a waste of time. I could expect better debates from the religious nuts here and about. Must we always beat a dead horse?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varenne Rodin View Post
    I would debate the zealot myself.
    I don't recall Craig or some major institution asking you to debate him.

    If you think you're ready to debate Craig, then you're the "nut".

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    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Loftus? Hilarious. I guess one of Dawkins's former students is best suited ro refute evolution?
    Firstly, I've listened to every debate listed by Luke on commonsenseatheism and I know he said Loftus wasn't qualified, but I think he's wrong, because Loftus is one of the few people who IS intimately familiar with Craig's arguments and all of the various arguments to made against them. If Loftus lost it would be because of his lack of debate skills, not because he was less informed. Dawkins' students wouldn't be "best suited" to refute evolution because there's nothing to refute. Dawkins isn't playing word games. He's saying "here's the mountain of evidence, go look for yourself." One has to be monstrously oblivious to that evidence to attempt a rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    The whole hilarious attempt to suggest equivalence between Dawkins's refusal and Craig's is simply evidence of how the New Atheist sheep are desperate to rationalize the whole thing.
    I don't know what you think there is to be rationalized. Dawkins and Craig are on completely different intellectual planets specializing in completely different subjects. I'll repeat my initial objection: what mutual ground would they find for a debate? Dawkins isn't going to debate Craig on cosmological philosophy and Craig isn't going to debate Dawkins on evolutionary biology. What's the point?

    That's not the case with Loftus though because Loftus DOES exactly what CRAIG DOES but merely from the other side of the fence. Dawkins and Craig are apples and oragnes, Craig and Loftus is peanut butter and jelly. Dawkins' reasons for rejecting are perfectly legitimate, Craig's are entirely suspect.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

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    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, not a philosopher. Craig writes on theology from the perspective of (mostly) cosmological physics, moral philosophy, and New Testament historicism, areas Dawkins knows very little about.
    These are not the reasons Dawkins gives for not debating Craig. You can't pigeon hole someone by his early studies! If you do that then you'd have to say that Kant and Bertrand Russell are not philosophers. Name anyone with a PhD in philosophy who has had a similar impact to Dawkins in 'the God debate'. Dawkins is a premier league thinker in this area, Craig is minor league (and nasty...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, wrote to him urging him to reconsider his refusal to debate the existence of God with Prof Craig.
    Who? At least I've heard of Craig. Who is Came? No doubt there are just as many minor league atheists as minor league theists, and no doubt they can be just as daft. I doubt Dawkins would bother to share a stage with Came either. And the "Oxford affiliation' impresses me not at all - I live near there and the place is full of dafties...

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    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    These are not the reasons Dawkins gives for not debating Craig.
    I realize that, but the question of the thread was "Should Dawkins debate Craig" and I think the answer is "no," but not for the reasons Dawkins gives. Dawkins himself has admitted to being dumbfounded by much of what has been said by physicists like Krauss, and Dawkins' "philosophy" is all based on his evolutionary biology research. I still maintain he would have no common ground for debating Craig.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  14. #14
    Since I've already seen both gentleman debate about religion multiple times, I can pretty much imagine how the debate would go. Thus I can't find it in myself to get excited about whether they debate or not. Dawkins is probably right not to debate Craig, that pretentious hypocrite.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

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    Who cares whether it is Dawkins or the famous Argentinean Mongo Aurelio? One would have to be absolutely insane to argue with Craig.

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