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Oxford mathematician John Lennox on the atheists that made him sweat

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And advice for debaters:

In your debates with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Shermer, and others, did the atheists ever make you sweat? Well, Michael Shermer certainly not. But people sweat because they’re afraid. And there are two kinds of nervous reaction to public engagement. One is healthy, the other is not very healthy. Let me take the unhealthy one first. That’s where people are so concerned with their own reputation, what people will think of them, are they going to win the argument, are they going to get the most votes, and all that kind of thing. That I think, particularly for a Christian, is very risky.

But then there’s the other kind, and that comes from the sense of responsibility. When I did that first debate with Richard Dawkins, there was a huge concern that I’m stepping out into the arena, into the lion’s den…

My attitude is to try and win the person and be friendly with the person even if they get very hostile, as you can see in some of those debates, they did. Be friendly, because when people get angry, they’ve completely lost the plot.

David Klinghoffer, “John Lennox: What Atheist Made Me Sweat? Plus Advice for Debaters” at Evolution News and Science Today

Here’s the trailer for his new film:

One Reply to “Oxford mathematician John Lennox on the atheists that made him sweat

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This is one situation where online discussions are definitely better.

    Since 1968, conservatives have constantly tried to bring speakers on campus for debates. This is ALWAYS counterproductive and sometimes deadly. The Left has long experience in using tumult and violence, and the media and college admins will always take the side of the Left. Result: Neither side actually gets heard, and conservative students end up injured or jailed and ruined for no purpose or gain at all.

    In the online environment, tumult and violence are physically impossible, so an actual debate can happen.

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