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Alister McGrath Swept off the Cutting Room Floor

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Early this year I described how Richard Dawkins interviewed Alister McGrath for the BBC production THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL and then decided to leave him on the cutting room floor (go here). That interview is available at Google Video here. In watching it, ask yourself if it would have made for a less biased program if Dawkins had dropped Ted Haggard and substituted Alister McGrath.

12 Replies to “Alister McGrath Swept off the Cutting Room Floor

  1. 1
    interested bystander says:

    I had time to listen to the whole thing, it was very interesting and illuminating. After seeing some confrontational clips from THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, I had no desire to see the whole thing. This nonconfrontational honest dialogue was different and good questions were raised by both men. I actually enjoyed listening to it.

  2. 2
    StephenB says:

    Obviously, Dawkins wants to promote the theme that religious people are irrational and do bad things. So he includes evidence that supports the idea (a hypocritical Ted Haggard)and excludes anything that disproves it (a thoughful, engaging Alister McGrath).

  3. 3
    StephenB says:

    Sorry, I meant thoughtful

  4. 4
    Robo says:

    I find McGrath very frustrating; why does he not put it to Dawkins that in his (Dawkins) worldview, there is no right and wrong, no good and evil. There is just matter in motion.

    McGrath is a smart fellow, much smarter than I, so am I missing something here?

    Even the name of Dawkin’s program: “The Root of all Evil” makes no sense in his worldview. Perhaps “The Root of Things I Don’t Like” would be a better name.

    Dawkins is just being plain inconsistent in my opinion.

    A moral law requires a moral law giver. Atoms and molecules cannot provide that moral law but only preferences for this over that.

  5. 5
    Kipper says:

    To be fair, Dawkins did place the whole interview on his website. It has been up there for quite some time now.

  6. 6
    Galen says:

    I was struck back when I heard Dawkins refer to himself as a spiritual atheist. I wish McGrath could of questioned him on the comment. I wonder what he meant by spiritual.

  7. 7
    Carnap says:

    Professor Dawkins’s analogy between an explanation for the complex eye and the explanation for a complex God seems to rest upon a very straightforward fallacy. When he talks about an “explanation” for the eye, he’s talking about our grounds for knowing how the eye originated, not whether it exists. We know eyes exist simply by observing them. But he tries to use this as an argument against the EXISTENCE of a complex God. To me, the straightforward answer to Dawkins’s analogy would just be this: “In both the cases of the eye and God, the complexity of the entity can be used to argue over whether we can adequately explain its origin. In neither case does the complexity bear on whether it actually exists. That question goes to whether we can explain its origin. So we can discuss whether we have an adequate understanding of God’s origin based upon complexity arguments, but that argument has absolutely nothing to do with whether God exists.”

  8. 8
    Charlie says:

    For some reason I can never access Google videos.
    Does anybody know of some other host for this one?

  9. 9
    Webwanderer says:


    1. Click on the link provided above

    2. In the search bar at the top type in “Alister McGrath” and hit the search button

    3. This should bring up a list of Alister McGrath videos. Find the one with Dawkins and hit the link at the bottom of the paragraph that says: “+Watch video here”

    That should start the video running.

    Good luck.

  10. 10
    Kipper says:

    Or go to Dawkins site

  11. 11
    landru says:

    Good call to axe this from the boadcast in favor of the piece where Dawkins heckles the tour guide in Jerusalem. In that piece, I learned that Christians pin their faith on being able to point to the very bit of stone where cross was erected.

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    landru, would you restate your thesis differently. I am not clear on your point.

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