Skip to comments.Oxford atheist [Richard Dawkins] ridiculed by Anglican theologian during debate
Posted on 04/12/2007 1:27:09 PM PDT by freedomdefender
Crusading pro-evolution scientist Richard Dawkins has had his anti-religious claims ridiculed during an Oxford debate with a theologian who once was an atheist like the evolutionist, who is devout in his public denunciations of religion. "Having been an atheist, I discovered religion was in fact an enormously powerful, transformative power for good," said Alister McGrath, Oxford University's professor of Historical Theology.
"The claim that the scientific explanation ends everything, ignores fundamental realities. There's a whole range of human experiences, often involving a longing for something beyond us which brings legitimacy to our core notions and philosophical ideas."
The 54-year-old Anglican priest was debating with Dawkins during Oxford 's Literary Festival in March. Dawkins' post as professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford is funded by Hungarian-born Microsoft millionaire Charles Simonyi. His attacks on religion are frequent, and he set up a foundation in December to send atheist books and DVDs to schools in Britain and the United States.
"Far from being enriching, religion is stultifying, impoverishing and limiting," said Dawkins, whose book, "The God Delusion", has sold a million copies since publication in 2006. "Science and religion both attempt to answer the same questions - the difference is that religion gets the answers wrong," the atheist campaigner asserted.
McGrath said, however, science was unable to provide a "guiding moral vision". He noted that non-believers such as the writer Iris Murdoch had agreed on the necessity of a transcendent basis for ethical decisions.
"Although I can't prove Christianity, as I can prove the structure of DNA is a double helix, it is a hypothesis which makes perfect sense, and which gives direction and animation to life," said McGrath, who became a Christian after studying chemistry and molecular biophysics. McGrath recently published "The Dawkins Delusion" as a riposte to the scientist's book.
"Belief in God creates an explanatory framework, which enables you to appreciate and value the sciences while also seeing beyond the beauty and glory of the world to something enriching and ennobling," contended McGrath.
Describing his book as a "consciousness-raising exercise", Dawkins belongs to the London-based National Secular Society, which has since the 19th century campaigned to make Britain atheist. In his speech Dawkins said he had "disposed one by one" of arguments for God's existence, and believed it was "a form of child abuse" to assume children inherited their parents' religion "without consent".
McGrath, however, rejected this, arguing Dawkins had ignored "the dialectic between proving and giving reasons for something," and had falsely assumed science eliminated "the conceptual space for God". "Religion has the capacity to go seriously wrong - it can be dogmatic, intolerant and aggressive, as can other worldviews," said McGrath. "But it can also provide a moral stimulus and raise our imaginative capacities to new heights. For every grand tragedy involving religion, there've been ten thousand acts of personal kindness and social good."
Dawkins’ post as professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford is funded by Hungarian-born Microsoft millionaire Charles Simonyi. His attacks on religion are frequent, and he set up a foundation in December to send atheist books and DVDs to schools in Britain and the United States.
Interesting......waiting to see the usual suspects here......
What am I missing? What was the nature of the debate? What would a Christian debate an atheist regarding? If they were debating something utterly faith based, that makes as much sense as saying Princess Di had anything to offer humanity before she took a spin with the Egyptian playboy or that Hillary Clinton has anything sensible to offer...ever.
Ol’ Dawkins oughta read St. Thomas Aquinas. God is the Prime Unmoved Mover. Our reason and experience tells us there is a beginning and end. e. g. the “Big Bang”, everything from nothing. The alternative is “plenum in a flux”, i.e., a perpetual motion machine. Anyone ever seen or experienced a perpetual motion machine? By the way, the idea goes back to the Greeks, as does nearly everything, to a fellow named Xenophanes.
“As an Evolutionist, you won’t mind if my stronger organism sqeezes your neck until your biological processes cease.
Because, of course, science has nothing to say about that, except that my strenth trumps your weakness. Right?”
“a longing for something beyond us” is easily satisfied by stretching a hand and grabbing a bottle. The trouble starts if one does not have a bottle. “Spirituosen” were specifically invented for the spiritual thirst. Look up Omar Khayyam for further guidance.
There was a guy in our church who did street evangelism (not done much any more), anyway this guy (said he was an atheist) every week would hassle the church guy. So the church guy after months got sick and tired of the whole ordeal and got down on his knees and asked God to strike the guy blind. The atheist had a royal fit..claiming that it was horrible that the church guy would want him blind. So much for atheism.
Dawkins is just mad since he found out Mrs. Garrison used to be a man.
I love how atheists are blind to the fact that they need to look in a mirror when they talk.
But that's not what people like Dawkin say:
In his speech Dawkins said he had "disposed one by one" of arguments for God's existence, and believed it was "a form of child abuse" to assume children inherited their parents' religion "without consent".
The man has absolute faith that God is a false concept, and he wishes his faith to be a determining factor in how other people raise their children.
And that's what's wrong with atheism today. It's not about lack of faith. It's about hatred of God.
Your church guy needs work.
I've read his book Evangelicalism And The Future Of Christianity, which I found compelling, informative and uplifting all at the same time.
What a perfectly articulate disciple to lay the smackdown on that doofus Dawkins! :-)
* ping * s
today mate, so I expect a cookie. ;0)
No need for hassling [unless one has fun from it, but it tends to wear out]. One could establish the eye contact, wait for the pause needed to swallow the saliva or to catch the breath, and then cut in: “not a cent”.
Not merely beyond us but above and beyond us. Anciwnt paganism was superior to the modern in that it did not assume that we are essentially dead matter assembled together for no end in view except to disintegrate.
If you want, you can download the podcast of the debate from here:
Correct. And there’s has been no vaild workinbg refutation of the philosophical and metaphysical proof for the existence of God that withstands a human’s own senses and reason. This is not a debate that started recently. Dawkins says nothing new. Atheism is much more a blind act of faith than a belief in God.
No, Omar is saying that there is nothing except the taste of the wine he is drinking. except maybe the intoxification that is a foretaste of final oblivion.
Atheism is, in it’s own way, as faith-based as any other religion - we simply don’t know enough right now about the Universe to rule out the possibility of some creative force or being. Boils down to a debate between two religious people, neither of whom has any real proof to back up their core belief.
LOL - no kisses please, just a cookie.
"Dawkins’ post as professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford is funded by Hungarian-born Microsoft millionaire Charles Simonyi. His attacks on religion are frequent, and he set up a foundation in December to send atheist books and DVDs to schools in Britain and the United States."
Simonyi is a scientist, a billionaire, an atheist and now a space traveler. I wonder if Hungarian Simonyi thanks himself for his good fortunes or Mother Russia.
Hungarian-born billionaire Simonyi sends greetings from orbit
Budapest, April 11 (MTI) - Hungarian-born Charles Simonyi greeted Hungarians from outer space early on Wednesday morning, four days after he took off on a 12-day space adventure aboard a Russian Soyuz.
In a video conference with MTI, Simonyi, a former Microsoft executive, said he was glad Hungarians were proud of his mission.
"I always feel proud when I hear of a Hungarian achievement. And now I am glad that Hungarians worldwide may feel proud of my trip," Simonyi told MTI.
Simonyi, 58, and the accompanying five professional astronauts are aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Simonyi is the fifth tourist to have blast off into space, a trip which is costing him 25 million U.S. dollars.
Hungarian News Agenecy MTI The Plain Facts
Woah! So many pithy comments!
Unfortunately, those with simply a lack of faith, such as I, aren't a very vocal bunch. It's hard atheists like Dawkins who do most of the talking. You have your similar extreme types in religion, and they also get most of the attention.
Life without belief in God is like a song without a tune.
I have long said there are few of the religious more self righteous than an atheist.
It’s the hard atheists who do all the killing as well.
The article explains that Dawkins has published a book, The God Delusion, attempting to debunk religion in the name of science. His opponent in the debate, Alistair McGrath, is a former atheist who is now a defender of religion and who has written The Dawkins Delusion debunking Dawkins' book.
To the nihilist, nothing is sweet.
I am amazed that Dawkins would say such a thing. Science and religion most definitely do not attempt to answer the same questions.
I have no problem with Dawkins. In fact I appreciate his willingness to debate a topic that is clearly important and obviously effects many lives. What I do have a problem with in the case of some atheists is the active undermining of religious faith against the wishes of the parents:
His (Dawkins) attacks on religion are frequent, and he set up a foundation in December to send atheist books and DVDs to schools in Britain and the United States.
Indoctrination in other words. I don't see what right any school has to teach my children atheist theory as religious fact. Teach them whatever science can prove or what they can't prove and then leave the religious schooling to me.
There is plenty of time down the line for them to make decisions on what they believe themselves, but I do believe it is my right as a Father to teach them what I believe without having it countermanded from another source outside the family.
Dawkins is one reason I really, really hope the folks making the Narnia movies don't touch a word of Puddleglum's speech to the Green Witch: it's a lovely distillation of the arguments against secularism that Lewis gave in full in his Abolition of Man.
Only if you read Omar very superficially.
Science, Religion, and the Human Future
Leon R. Kass
Western civilization would not be West- ern civilization were it not for biblical religion, which reveres and trusts in the one God, Who has made known what He wants of human beings through what is called His revelationthat is, through Scripture. Western civilization would not be Western civilization were it not also for science, which extols and trusts in human reason to disclose the workings of nature and to use the knowledge gained to improve human life. These twin sources of Western civilizationreligion and science (or, before science, philosophy), divine revelation and human reasonare, to say the least, not easily harmonized. One might even say that Western civilization would not be Western civilization without the continuing dialectical tension between the claims and demands of biblical religion and the cultivation of autonomous human reason.
Note: this abstract was auto-generated and may contain errors.
About the Author
Leon R. Kass, the Hertog fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, served from 2001 through 2005 as chairman of the Presidents Council on Bioethics. In somewhat different form, this essay will appear in a volume on religion and the American future to be published later this year by the American Enterprise Institute.
© 2007 Commentary
A Scientific Shaman.. of natural science..
The boy needs some serious prayer..
Side A mocks side B. Side B mocks side A in return.
And the level of public knowledge goes down yet another notch.
Don’t confuse haters like Dawkins with facts, logic, or truth.
I am finding that evolutionist’s faith is in CHANCE. Totally amazing.
Science doesn’t have anything to say, morally, about the strong killing the weak, only acknowledging that it DOES happen. And as I understand that strength does trump weakness (as you say) I’m also a believer in the value of learning and practicing martial arts so that if anyone tries to squeeze MY neck they’ll very likely find themselves flat on the ground with numerous broken bones.
And I suppose it’s up to any Creator to judge me as well as my attacker for the morality of our actions.
Both will essentially rely on the same type of argument for they can find no sensible evidence to support either view. Hence, both argue on the mere faith of their beliefs.
Yet, the atheists seem to be winning in the courts claiming they want a separation of church and state. The courts are blind to the church of the atheists. Don't ask me particulars for the church of the atheists. Go to the ACLU, Ayn Rand, etc. to get details on the denominations. Some denominations, like the communists, have a whole system of commandments and altruistic rituals. Others, may be more like free spirits. It varies just as those churches founded upon a God.
The courts should throw the atheists out for violating the First Amendment.
I prefer a Ruby Port, personally. Someone ridicules Dawkins’ arrogance and it makes headlines? Pshaw
Life without [belief in] God is no song, no melody, no tune, no poetry. Nothingness.
Richard Dawkins is a hate filled blowhard who deserves to meet his [natural] death surrounded by nobody and nothing.
And did you know that there are people who don’t believe in Hell until they get there?
I hope the rocks fall on him.