In “Richard Dawkins’s Delicacy” (The Best Schools, October 21, 2011), James Barham comments on Dawkins’ refusal to debate William Lane Craig, and what it may portend:
Now, it is understandable that Dawkins should disdain to debate someone so far below his own celebrity star-power as Professor Craig. On the other hand, by that criterion, he really ought to limit himself to appearing with other bona fide media stars, like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (not that they would find much to disagree about).
If, however, Dawkins’s principal concern were the truth, as opposed to protecting his celebrity status, then he ought to jump at the chance to debate Craig. If modern science really has put the question of the existence of God to rest once and for all, then what better forum to get this across to the public than Oxford’s venerable Sheldonian Theatre next Tuesday? It really is a pity, because for many of us interested in the question of the existence of God, such a match-up would have the quality of a real clash of the titans.
Dawkins claimed Craig endorses genocide because of something he said about the Book of Deuteronomy (see here).
Now, I do not mean to defend the book of Deuteronomy, or even to defend Professor Craig’s defense of that recalcitrant book. But I do think it is a little rich that Dawkins should seize on Craig’s more or less unexceptionable exercise in Christian apologetics as a means of wriggling out of what had clearly become for him a very disagreeable situation.
I think the real reason for Dawkins’s refusal to debate Craig is plain enough to see. If you have any doubt on this point, I suggest you take a look at a couple of video clips from recent debates between Craig and the atheist apologists Peter Atkins (a former Oxford Professor of Chemistry) and Sam Harris.
Which he provides. And what happened to Peter Atkins and Sam Harris was grim.
Prediction: As long as Dawkins has his toff media and government TV in hand, he doesn’t need to debate anyone.
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