William Lane Craig, the American Evangelical Christian apologist, wants a public debate during his UK visit. However, the problem he faces is that nobody wants to, (You can see where this is going), so he is claiming that the atheists are scared.
This month president of the British Humanist Association, Polly Toynbee, pulled out of an agreed debate at London’s Westminster Central Hall in October, saying she “hadn’t realized the nature of Mr. Lane Craig’s debating style.” (thats a polite way of saying that he is a complete kook and really likes babbling mangled pseudoscience).
Responding to Toynbee’s cancellation, Lane Craig commented:
“These folks (atheists) can be very brave when they are alone at the podium and there’s no one there to challenge them. But one of the great things about these debates is that, it allows both sides to be heard on a level playing field, and for the students in the audience to make up their own minds about where they think the truth lies.”
Dawkins was also invited four times to take part, and refused each time. When this became public knowledge in the UK press, some are quoted as observing, “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.“. Dawkins responded by saying, “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion.”
I once recall being present when somebody yelled at Richard Dawkins, “Why don’t you debate … <name-of-some-evangelical-kook>“, he turned and politely explained, “I’m busy, I’ve got better thing to do with my time“. Now that nails it, these kooks want credibility by being associated with somebody well respected, so when the famous folks they invite refuse to play ball, they then taunt and cry about it.
Still not sure? OK, think about it like this; if you worked for National Geographic and were invited to debate with the flat-earth society, would you accept, or would you simply dismiss it as silly?
Does Craig really have a valid argument that many find hard to refute? Lets take a look at what he actually says, here is William Lane Craig’s formulation of the Cosmological Argument (he is famous for this) …
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.
Oooh, a scary argument … oh but wait, here is that same argument being easily de-bunked:
Commenter has kindly pointed out that Stephen Law has stepped up to the mark and will be debating him on 17th October 2011 at Westminster Hall. Tickets are £12.50 and available at http://www.premier.org.uk/craig