Should us atheists be worried that Richard Dawkins cowered to Craigs debate challenge?

I have been hearing a lot of Christians say Richard Dawkins is a total coward to refuse William Lane Craigs debate challenge. I think this is harming the atheist movement, what do you think? And why didn't Dawkins debate Craig? Craig is known as the #1 best Christian debater in the world. WHy did Dawkins cower? I don't understand? As an atheist shouldn't have Dawkins been confident in his atheism? I am starting to lose faith in my atheism now..

This video is going around youtube mocking Dawkins. I just wish it all would stop, I am embarrassed for Dawkins Cut and past url

22 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Craig is too intelligent for Dawkins to accept the challenge!

    @ JILL - Please share his IQ with us. Obviously you have it available to share as you claim it to be low. What is it?

    Also, After seeing several of your answers, it seems that yours is more in question than Craigs. What is yours?

    When do you plan on becoming a world renouned scholar, philosopher and apologetic so you can show Craig how lucky he is that he fooled everyone into thinking he was an intellectual scholar, professor of philosophy, PhD, apologist and well respected author. Here's some of what a low Iq accomplishes according to Jill:

    Wheaton College — B. A. Communications, high honors 1971

    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School — M. A. Philosophy of Religion, summa *** laude 1975

    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School — M. A. Church History, summa *** laude 1975

    University of Birmingham, England — Ph.D. Philosophy 1977

    Universität München, Germany — D. Theol. Theology 1984

    Honors and Lectureships

    Scholastic Honor Society

    Wheaton College 1971

    Academic Achievement Award Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 1975

    Research Grant Andersen Foundation 1975-77

    Research Fellowship Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung 1978-80

    Best Articles of 1988 Philosopher's Annual II 1988

    McManis Lectureship Wheaton College 1994

    Geneva Lecture Series University of Iowa 1994

    Exemplary Papers Award Templeton Foundation 1995

    Paley Lectures University of Western Ontario 1995

    Easterwood Lecture Southern Methodist University 1996

    Carver-Barnes Lectures Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 1996

    Strauss Lectures Lincoln Christian College and Seminary 1996

    Easterwood Lecture Southern Methodist University 1996

    Carver-Barnes Lectures Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 1996

    Strauss Lectures Lincoln Christian College and Seminary 1996

    Exemplary Papers Award Templeton Foundation 1996

    Exemplary Papers Award Templeton Foundation 1997

    Ryan Lectures Asbury College and Seminary 1999

    Templeton Lecture Montana State University 1999

    Templeton Lecture Malone College 2000

    Staley Lectures Crown College 2000

    Saucy Lectures Talbot School of Theology 2001

    Nelson Lectures Samford University 2001

    Bonchek Series Franklin and Marshall College 2001

    Physics and the God of Abraham Gonzaga University 2003

    Lee Lectures Louisiana State University 2003

    Weyerhauser Debate Series University of Hawaii 2003

    Templeton Lecture University of Colorado 2004

    Templeton Lecture University of California, Santa Barbara 2004

    Stobb Lectures Calvin College and Seminary 2004

    D. Litt. Bethel College 2005

    Joseph M. Carr Lectures Mt. Union College 2006

    Templeton Lecture Methodist College 2006

    UNESCO Lecture University of Tunis 2007

    Professional Societies

    American Philosophical Association 1977-

    American Academy of Religion 1978-

    Society of Biblical Literature 1978-

    Society of Christian Philosophers 1979-

    Executive Committee 1997-2000

    Evangelical Theological Society 1983-

    Evangelical Philosophical Society 1983-

    Vice President 1995-96

    President 1996-2005

    Science and Religion Forum 1990-

    Philosophy of Time Society 1992-

    President 1999-2006

  • 9 years ago

    Is this the same Craig that once denied that he is a professional debater? I do believe so. He denied on a British Christian radio show that he spends much of his time debating. Yet he challenges Dawkins to a debate? Really?

    As for those apparently "rare" times (sarcasm intended) when he does debate, his opening is nearly scripted, and shows all the evidence of a refined and well-practiced delivery. The tactics he uses --flooding his opponents with "reasons" that his position is true to the point that there is not enough time on the clock for his opponents to respond to them--are nothing short of dishonest. That aside, this tactic is also a hallmark of someone who has a lot of practice in the debating hall. Then when his opponents fail to respond to this "reasons" item by item, he tells the audience that the opponent has not addressed what he claimed! Nevermind that the clock ran out!

    Yeah...Dawkins is such a coward for not debating with someone so fundamentally undherhanded.

    Let's outline some of Craig's tactics:

    1) Overload the opponent with points that they never have time to respond to, then accuse them of not responding to those points afterward, while claiming victory.

    2) When the non-believer brings up the existence of God as a question, Craig objects that the existence of God isn't the topic. Nevermind that Craig's position ASSUMES THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. He did this in a debate with an athiest on ethics.

    3) When the subject of the Christian god comes up, Craig objects that he did not specify what kind of god, or any god at all. Nevermind that the fact Craig is a Christian apologist who has a ministry, facilitates a website that teaches Christian apologetics, and even dedicated one of his books ("On Guard") to Christian apologist Norman Geisler. If he isn't talking about the Christian God, then he's lying to his students and followers. If he is talking about the Christian god, then his objection in the debate is dishonest.

    And Dawkins DID participate in a debate with Craig once before--along with several other atheists and several other religious followers in a round-table event. So the claim that Dawkins refuses to engage him is dishonest.

    Yes...atheists typically lose debates against Craig. concedes that. Luke Milhauser also wrote in a series of articles on that blog that the reason they lose is that there isn't enough time on the clock to respond to the apologists. Moreover, the apologists are professional debaters. That's what apologists do--they debate. They have polished delivery and they know all the tricks. I outlined three above.

    Nevertheless, the atheists would win every single debate if they took the time to look at the delivery and arguments of their opponents from past debates. A few minutes of preparation typically shuts them down.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Mainly, because it would give the illusion of legitimacy to Craig -- it implies that talking to the man ISN'T a complete waste of oxygen.

    There's also the matter of Craig's credentials -- strictly speaking, Craig simply isn't in the same "league" as Dawkins. On principle Dawkins doesn't debate with anyone ranking lower than a bishop.

    Incidentally, you're lying through your teeth -- Dawkins DID participate in a team debate, with Craig on the other side, and wiped the floor with him:

    Youtube thumbnail

  • Who
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    What for?

    You think debate changes facts?

    Facts are not democratic.

    You can have as many debates as you like, you can have as many votes as you like, they will not changes one fact.

    As as for youtube - it just shows the dumba//ss mentality of those that believe it.

    Cant remember who said it but somebody said that a creationist can tell more lies in 5 minutes than would take a scientist an hour to refute.

    Scientific sounding phrases can be easily said in a few seconds and they can fool the audience, cos they think they understand the science But in reality they dont.

    The problem is that a VERY large proportion of people attending these debates just dont understand science. So whats the point of trying to explain the lies that can be put forward when they just cant understand the science that shows them to be lies, especially when the scientific explanation can take 10s of minutes and be quite technical?

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  • JBere
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Obvious theist poe.

    If Craig is the best Christian debater, I feel sorry for the sake of all Christians.

    Dawkins refuses to debate any theist, because that would only give the theist legitimacy. If a theist has an argument that holds any validity whatsoever, they should publish it scientifically. If they can't, they're not worth a moment of credibility.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I have been losing faith in atheism also. Now that Christopher Hitchens lost to Craig and Dawkins is afraid to debate Craig. Sam Harris also lost to Craig. The future doesn't look bright for us atheists unless we get someone that can defeat Craig. I am an atheist but will admit, he is very good. Even admits Craig defeated hitchens. I saw the entire debate where Hitchens lost at and I actually for the first time felt sorry for Hitchens.

  • 9 years ago

    Dawkins has no desire to lend credence to the fool Craig. I agree with him.

    I am embarrassed for you.

    "Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

    -- Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

    This applies equally to generic Christian apologists.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    No, I'll be worried when he does lower himself to debate with radical lunatics like this. He is a brilliant leading biologist who has debated two Archbishops of Canterbury, The Archbishop of York, various eminent rabbis and many others. Craig needs to realise he is just one of 200 mediocre debaters Dawkins has turned down and stop trying to raise his own publicity by trying to force someone at Dawkins level to debate with someone like him. Dawkins put it best when he said 'That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine.'

  • pab
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Losing your faith in atheism? You are a terrible troll.

    Just like we pay you no real attention, Dawkins also ignores the trolls.

    "Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

    - Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

  • 9 years ago

    "I am starting to lose faith in my atheism now.. "

    Then in my eyes you are a coward. To let someone else's action or lack of action sway your opinion shows that you lack the heart to stand on you own about how you feel about gods. Honestly, good ridance. i am an atheist and no debate will sway my decision because the fundamental reason i am an atheist can never be met.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Just because William Lane Craig is behind by about 6000 years on the cosmological argument doesn't have anything to do with it? I wouldn't waste my time with Craig either.

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