Debating Richard Dawkins

Daniel Cane writes a truly silly article in today’s Guardian in which he attacks Richard Dawkins for refusing to debate with William Lane Craig, then proceeds to complain that the new atheists don’t have any ‘new’ arguments for atheism. What is interesting is that he is himself not a theist, and actually agrees with the conclusion regarding the falsehood of theism, so his real argument is that the new atheists are, “fundamentally ignoble and potentially harmful to public intellectual life“!!!

OK, let’s get our facts right … Craig is a theist loon who is not open to the concept of reasoned debate and who openly admits that no argument/evidence can trump the voice in his head (or heart, as he puts it) that tells him Jesus is lord and saviour. (I believe the term for that is acute psychosis). So choosing to not engage with this idiot is a far more honest position to adopt. In fact Dawkins himself wrote an article (here), in which he explains exactly why he will not engage in such a debate …

Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either. Perhaps he is a “theologian”. For some years now, Craig has been increasingly importunate in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame me into a debate with him. I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: “That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine”.

… But Craig is not just a figure of fun. He has a dark side, and that is putting it kindly …

Dawkins then outlines Craig’s support for genocide and finishes with …

Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn’t, and I won’t. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty.

Be honest now, would you choose to engage with this apologist for genocide?

Ah yes, as for Mr Cane’s other complaint … “there is nothing substantively new about the New Atheists” … I agree, but I do not see it as an issue because there is no need for a shiny new way of refuting silly supernatural beliefs that don’t have one single jot of credible evidence when arguments that are as old as the hills are fine and have not yet been refuted.


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