Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares?

Lots of people, probably. Dawkins recently admitted the reason he won’t debate the guy and it has to do with the apparent condoning of child massacre in the bible. Lane Craig claims it’s because God had the right to do it simply because he was God. QED. This blog out of the Guardian shits all over Dawkins, calling him “either a fool or a coward” over his unwillingness to debate the guy using theological arguments.

We are left with two possible conclusions from Richard Dawkin’s flimsy sick note. The first is that he doesn’t understand Christian apologetics, which is why he unintentionally misrepresents Craig’s piece [regarding the deaths of Caananite children and conflicts with that morality then and how we think today]. The most frustrating thing about the New Atheism is that it rarely debates theology on theology’s own terms.

The second is where the cowardice comes into play. Dawkins is just plain scared of going to battle against someone that intelligent and well spoken. He’d rather spend his time mocking the stupid ones… The last part is possibly true, but the first part?

William Lane Craig makes appearances in Saskatoon once in a while. One of our Freethinker members debated him at the University of Saskatchewan in January and it was fun to watch, but brutal to watch at the same time. George did what he could against the guy but Lane Craig makes his living off apologetics and all its bizarre arguments to justify God’s existence and behaviour. It’s hard for an ordinary philosophy professor to compete with that. That’s hardly been his area of focus. Plus, it wouldn’t matter what kind of theological arguments George might know and could have brought to the stage because he’s aware that theological arguments have no basis in reality. They’re just thought experiments and there are far better ways to use one’s brain than contemplating what a god might do and why.

That’s why I think Tim Stanley missed the point with his post. Dawkins has a good reason to skip debating a guy like Lane Craig. You can’t get anywhere doing it. Lane Craig could never best him in a science debate about biology and evolution because that’s not where he’s focused his education and career – except in terms of what he can point at and claim God had a hand in. (Usually with a smarmy smile on his face while he does it.) Debating him accomplishes nothing. I wish everyone would turn him down, frankly. Of course, he’d likely count them all as debates he won by default, but what can you do.

For one thing, you can put the time into battles that have a better chance at being won for real. Keeping science in schools. Teaching critical thinking skills and encouraging skepticism. Stopping teachers from overtly preaching in public schools via prayers or posters. Stop employers from employing similar tactics. Making waves when people want to put up monuments that are meant to speak for all but only seem to apply to a specific religious group. Seriously questioning politicians about their belief systems and what those beliefs might mean for the climate change debate, gay marriage or women’s rights to abortion.

Put the emphasis on the things that matter most in this world and fuck William Lane Craig.

21 Responses to Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares?

  1. factorysense says:

    Hey opinionminion

    I see what you are trying to say and I basically agree with it. These talks are often highly somewhere up in the sky and often carry practically no real everyday application.

    However, I must differ in saying “it does not matter at all”, for as some atheists insistently engage in these debates and call for proofs and sound reasoning, this is were Mr. Craig comes into the picture and offers answers.

    Yet it appears this is not your neighborhood, which I again agree is perfectly okay to admit.

  2. [...] Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares? (1minionsopinion.wordpress.com) [...]

  3. Mike D says:

    There was a great comment over at the Guardian basically pointing out that it’s the height of petty arrogance for Craig to presume that he has the clout to demand that someone of Dawkins’ status debate him, and proclaim that any refusal is cowardice.

    Dawkins hit a home run pointing out that he’s engaged many more prestigious theologians, and it’s painfully obvious that Craig is just in it for his own ego-stroking.

  4. [...] Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares? (1minionsopinion.wordpress.com) [...]

  5. Dawkin’s does not just have an aetheist opinion. He seems to be waging a bitter war on Christians, believers, the bible and religion. He is a public figure, and seeks to be in the public arena he places himself in a position to be challenged. The same happens perfectly acceptably, in sporting arenas – Boxing for example, or Michael Johnson challenging Carl Lewis on the track.
    Using crass language or unkind names to add emphasis to debate, is usually an indication that the argument does not have enough substance to support it’s point.

  6. 1minionsopinion says:

    Not every atheist follows Dawkins’ lead. I don’t tend to pay much attention to what he’s saying usually. I’ve seen other moments where people think he’s gone too far with comments made, though. It’s an every day risk for someone who’s as well known as he is. He’s bound to step on toes. Maybe he should care a little more about how he comes across but maybe he’s decided this is the best method to get debates going about what matters.

    I have no idea what he’s thinking any more than William Lane Craig knows what his god is thinking.

  7. [...] Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares? (1minionsopinion.wordpress.com) [...]

  8. kumar says:

    If Dawkins writes a book about religion/God then he should be willing to respond to questions that his opponents have about what he has written. Dawkins did in fact say that he would like for people to discuss his book and point out its weaknesses, but when he said this he had in mind the average christian… he didnt foresee that someone like William Lane Craig may take him at his word and ask for a debate/discussion.

  9. David says:

    I really think William Lane Criag could beat Dawkins in a few scientific assets. I’ve seen him humiliate Richard on Youtube. I alaso think it is a very innapropriate thing during a debate, is to use profanity (ex. Fuck william lane craig) and to make fun of the others belief. I have never heard Craig try and make fun of one’s beliefs while in a debate session. On the other hand, it seems like the darwanists of today cannot keep their innapropriate thoughts to themselves.

  10. 1minionsopinion says:

    Yes, I’m sure it’s far more appropriate to think how great it’ll be when the lot of us are having a blazing hot time in hell, as some believers like to remind us.

    I’m not in a debate so I’m allowed to use profanity. I was just stating my opinion of debates of this nature and I still think they aren’t very helpful.

    On the whole I think the “does God exist” crap needs to be set aside for a while. It doesn’t matter. Whether he does or he doesn’t, it doesn’t change the fact that the ecomony’s in the tank. It doesn’t change the fact that people are protesting and rioting. It doesn’t change the fact that the climate trends are of concern and need to be taken seriously. It doesn’t change the fact that children aren’t getting great educations everywhere. It doesn’t change the fact that people are too nosy about the lives of their neighbours and whether or not they’re heterosexual or keeping their fetuses.

    I’ll reiterate my point from above: brains need to be put toward a use far better than debating theology and God’s existence.

  11. factorysense says:

    While I do not want to lower the importance of all those things you have mentioned above, the knowledge or understanding of Gods existence will completely change the light through which we look at all of them, since eternal life is something of even greater significance.

  12. mkuzemommy says:

    I do agree with you, that there are important topics to debate which would benefit society more than the playground brawl over religion. But when someone or a group is being bullied or sworn at because of their beliefs, it is hard not to want to speak out for them.
    Many believers I know choose their belief as an act of faith, not reason.
    They are then challenged to ‘prove’ God’s existence logically to those who have no concept of Faith.
    So I agree with your point that these debates are futile.
    I can also understand an atheist frustration with the institution of religion, if that institution has some direct influence over that individual.
    But often when an atheist feels the need to speak out, they do not distinguish between the institution of religion and the personal beliefs of the individual. Which is no less prejudiced than any unacceptable bigotry.

  13. 1minionsopinion says:

    Fair point at the end, there, I suppose. I hope I haven’t been in the habit of implying believers are dopes and morons. Readers need to call me on it if they spot any instances of that.

    I waffle in terms of what kind of outspoken atheist I want to be, truth be told. I don’t particularly mind if believers keep believing. If belief in god is what they think they need to get through the day, so be it. All I can really do from my end is note the existence of alternative ways to deal with issues that plague everyone, regardless of beliefs, but I don’t write with the intention of converting people.

    Ultimately, I think my biggest concern comes from believers using their religion as the basis for EVERYONE’s morality and ethics, especially when that particular religion has been shown to be out of date, cruel to women, or failing in some other way to accurately reflect life as we live it now. Admit that the old beliefs are flawed and troubling and collectively commit to an acceptable compromise.

    Pipe dreams, no doubt.

  14. factorysense says:

    …Of course not, that would be silly. Luckily Christianity isn’t anything like that. :)

    If it is alright to ask, why do you write?

  15. [...] Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares? (1minionsopinion.wordpress.com) [...]

  16. 1minionsopinion says:

    Why do I write? For kicks, mostly. I like to put my two cents in on certain topics. It also gives me a reason to use my brain a few times a week rather than sit around playing Sushi Cat or some other silliness. Not that there’s anything wrong with the silliness. Sushi Cat is completely awesome. Not a real brain stretcher though.

  17. [...] Richard Dawkins VS William Lane Craig – who cares? (1minionsopinion.wordpress.com) [...]

  18. factorysense says:

    Hello minion

    I appreciate your response and thank you for clarifying your reasons to us. Now, I believe then that your articles may fulfill what you desire, however if truth or verity isn’t something that you seek, I am afraid we will not get much out of our discussion or arguing over them since that was never your intention.

  19. Jayman says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to post on your blog spot. At the time of my posting Dr. Craig and Dr. Dawkins have debated the topic. It is posted on youtube. I have not watched it nor do I intend on watching it.
    What I would be interested in watching would be a debate between Dr. Dawkins and a Creation Scientist such as Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, or a Scientist who is an I.D. supporter. This would best allow Dr. Dawkins to debate in a field of discovery which can best discuss observable facts within interpretive models. Sticking to facts and focusing on interpretations of the facts should minimize emotions and name calling and make for a more enlightening discussion.
    Unfortunately Dr. Dawkins states he will not debate creationists because “he is a very busy man”. He also stated he has nothing to gain by giving a platform to some undeserving unknown…. Actually I don’t blame him, regardless of any excuse. His books are generally bought by the “converted” to his way of thinking (best sellers) and I would bet money his readers give him a great deal of poetic licence in his speculations and conjectures. A creation Scientist would not allow his work to go unchallenged in such a manner. See “The Greatest Hoax on Earth” (Sarfati) as an example. I trust Dawkins’ supporters would also suppress giving a “hearing” to creationists as well…nor do I blame any of you!

  20. Guy Nevo says:

    It might not be the most important issue but Dawkins dedicates his time to it and makes a nice living. After I saw Richard Hitchines and Harris debate with craig I felt that atheist got used to argue with the morons, and are to lazy or they might lack the debating skills to beat a guy like Craig, His argument are the same bullshit as ever, but he comes very prepared and he is very good (in the bad meaning of the word) in what he does. He is manipulative, arrogant and shallow, but he manages to give you the feeling that he wins his debates with his absurd claims and week arguments. I think Dawkins SHOULD debate him, but only if he is willing to prepare himself for the challenge

  21. James Verner says:

    It seems to me that Atheists are running scared of men like Lennox–who majored in science, math and theology. Dawkins does not want to meet him any more! I don’t blame him. Humiliated too many times by a better trained intellectual–my fellow countryman, Dr. Lennox. James

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