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Oxford atheist [Richard Dawkins] ridiculed by Anglican theologian during debate
virtueonline ^ | April 12, 2007 | ENI

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."


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: anglican; atheist; christophobia; dawkins; misotheism
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1 posted on 04/12/2007 1:27:12 PM PDT by freedomdefender
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To: freedomdefender

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.
____________________________________________________________
Sad....and sick.


2 posted on 04/12/2007 1:31:48 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: freedomdefender

Interesting......waiting to see the usual suspects here......


3 posted on 04/12/2007 1:33:53 PM PDT by scottdeus12 (Jesus is real, whether you believe in Him or not.)
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To: freedomdefender

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.


4 posted on 04/12/2007 1:35:03 PM PDT by stevem
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To: freedomdefender

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.


5 posted on 04/12/2007 1:35:10 PM PDT by JeeperFreeper
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To: freedomdefender

“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?”


6 posted on 04/12/2007 1:35:42 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (McCain / Feingold - 2008 ... "Shut Up or Go To Prison")
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To: freedomdefender

“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.


7 posted on 04/12/2007 1:36:08 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

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.


8 posted on 04/12/2007 1:36:36 PM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: freedomdefender

Dawkins is just mad since he found out Mrs. Garrison used to be a man.


9 posted on 04/12/2007 1:37:52 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: freedomdefender

I love how atheists are blind to the fact that they need to look in a mirror when they talk.


10 posted on 04/12/2007 1:39:25 PM PDT by Spacemonkey1023
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To: freedomdefender
If atheistist simply lacked faith, there wouldn't be much to debate. They could shrug and say, "I believe in science. Computers work because science is real. I don't believe in God, because I don't see evidence for God."

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.

11 posted on 04/12/2007 1:41:12 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: svcw

Your church guy needs work.


12 posted on 04/12/2007 1:42:00 PM PDT by GeneralisimoFranciscoFranco
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To: freedomdefender

bump


13 posted on 04/12/2007 1:43:36 PM PDT by dangerdoc (dangerdoc (not actually dangerous any more))
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Huber
That is three

* ping * s

today mate, so I expect a cookie. ;0)

15 posted on 04/12/2007 1:44:32 PM PDT by Condor 63
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To: svcw

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”.


16 posted on 04/12/2007 1:45:07 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob

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.


17 posted on 04/12/2007 1:45:14 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: freedomdefender

If you want, you can download the podcast of the debate from here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/audio_video/podcasts/books/article1570989.ece


18 posted on 04/12/2007 1:45:33 PM PDT by socrates_shoe
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To: ClearCase_guy

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.


19 posted on 04/12/2007 1:46:38 PM PDT by JeeperFreeper
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To: RobbyS
Well, if the shelf on which the bottle stands is above you, then both "beyond" and "above" conditions of yours are satisfied. As you can see, it is trivially easy.
"Again, like in the years of my youth,
I'll fill a cup, for happiness is there..."
Omar Khayyam
20 posted on 04/12/2007 1:50:31 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob

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.


21 posted on 04/12/2007 1:54:26 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Condor 63
Survey says...


22 posted on 04/12/2007 1:56:14 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: freedomdefender

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.


23 posted on 04/12/2007 1:58:37 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Puppage; Huber

LOL - no kisses please, just a cookie.


24 posted on 04/12/2007 1:59:18 PM PDT by Condor 63
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine; freedomdefender; The Spirit Of Allegiance; Brad's Gramma; DaveLoneRanger
ThisLittleLightofMine wrote:

"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

25 posted on 04/12/2007 2:00:02 PM PDT by bd476
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To: RobbyS

Woah! So many pithy comments!


26 posted on 04/12/2007 2:00:52 PM PDT by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: ClearCase_guy
And that's what's wrong with atheism today. It's not about lack of faith. It's about hatred of God.

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.

27 posted on 04/12/2007 2:02:21 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: RobbyS
the remainder of that quatrain gives a lie to your interpretation:
"Don't wonder at the bitter taste of wine -
My bitter past is tasting the same way"
[I had to do the translation of the second order, as I do not read farsi and do not have access to an English translation. From the one I had, I did it almost verbatim, except for the last line, for I had to preserve the meter as well]. So there was a lot more to his wine than its simple taste.
28 posted on 04/12/2007 2:02:39 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: freedomdefender

Life without belief in God is like a song without a tune.


29 posted on 04/12/2007 2:03:37 PM PDT by azhenfud (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
Atheism is, in it’s own way, as faith-based as any other religion

I have long said there are few of the religious more self righteous than an atheist.

30 posted on 04/12/2007 2:06:02 PM PDT by Condor 63
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To: antiRepublicrat

It’s the hard atheists who do all the killing as well.


31 posted on 04/12/2007 2:09:03 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Brad Cloven
“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?”

Good post. Heck, what difference does it make if we're all just a conglomeration of chemicals? If my young and strong conglomeration pounds the cytoplasm out of your old and weak conglomeration, it's actually a good thing because it helps the species evolve into something stronger. Right?

That's why, when you come down to it, atheism always leads to mass killings in the name of the greater good.
32 posted on 04/12/2007 2:10:36 PM PDT by Antoninus (Have you donated to FR yet?)
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To: Brad Cloven
“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?”

Good post. Heck, what difference does it make if we're all just a conglomeration of chemicals? If my young and strong conglomeration pounds the cytoplasm out of your old and weak conglomeration, it's actually a good thing because it helps the species evolve into something stronger. Right?

That's why, when you come down to it, atheism always leads to mass killings in the name of the greater good.
33 posted on 04/12/2007 2:10:37 PM PDT by Antoninus (Have you donated to FR yet?)
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To: antiRepublicrat
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.

You've got your Richard Dawkins, we've got our Pat Robertsons. Not much difference between the two when all is said and done.
34 posted on 04/12/2007 2:13:38 PM PDT by Antoninus (Have you donated to FR yet?)
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To: stevem
What am I missing? What was the nature of the debate?

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.

35 posted on 04/12/2007 2:21:55 PM PDT by Albion Wilde (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. -2 Cor 3:17)
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To: GSlob

To the nihilist, nothing is sweet.


36 posted on 04/12/2007 2:23:56 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: freedomdefender
"Science and religion both attempt to answer the same questions - the difference is that religion gets the answers wrong," the atheist campaigner asserted.

I am amazed that Dawkins would say such a thing. Science and religion most definitely do not attempt to answer the same questions.

37 posted on 04/12/2007 2:28:02 PM PDT by Logophile
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To: Antoninus
You've got your Richard Dawkins, we've got our Pat Robertsons.

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.

38 posted on 04/12/2007 2:28:37 PM PDT by Condor 63
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To: freedomdefender
Dawkins' book, like so many things described as 'consciousness-raising' by their proponents would be better described as 'consciousness-razing'.

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.

39 posted on 04/12/2007 2:30:38 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: GSlob

Only if you read Omar very superficially.


40 posted on 04/12/2007 2:34:50 PM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: Antoninus

See also:

Science, Religion, and the Human Future
Leon R. Kass
April 2007

Abstract –
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 revelation—that 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 civilization—religion and science (or, before science, philosophy), divine revelation and human reason—are, 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 President’s 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

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.aip?id=10861


41 posted on 04/12/2007 2:38:46 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (McCain / Feingold - 2008 ... "Shut Up or Go To Prison")
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To: freedomdefender; Alamo-Girl; betty boop
Richard Dawkins is a religious fundamentalist.. a Zealot..
A fire baptised, snake bitten believer of the DNA GOD...
He shakes his ju-ju bag of bones and reptile claws..
Passing feathers over the heads of the terminally brain washed..

A Scientific Shaman.. of natural science..
The boy needs some serious prayer..

42 posted on 04/12/2007 2:39:46 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: freedomdefender

Side A mocks side B. Side B mocks side A in return.
And the level of public knowledge goes down yet another notch.


43 posted on 04/12/2007 2:41:02 PM PDT by spinestein (Resistance is futile!)
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To: freedomdefender

Don’t confuse haters like Dawkins with facts, logic, or truth.


44 posted on 04/12/2007 2:45:49 PM PDT by TBP
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To: antiRepublicrat

I am finding that evolutionist’s faith is in CHANCE. Totally amazing.


45 posted on 04/12/2007 2:52:11 PM PDT by huldah1776 (Worthy is the Lamb.)
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To: Brad Cloven
[“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?”]

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.

46 posted on 04/12/2007 2:55:25 PM PDT by spinestein (Resistance is futile!)
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To: freedomdefender
How does a priest prove God exists?
How does an atheist prove God does not exist?

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.

47 posted on 04/12/2007 2:56:41 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The only good Mullah is a dead Mullah. The only good Mosque is the one that used to be there.)
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To: GSlob

I prefer a Ruby Port, personally. Someone ridicules Dawkins’ arrogance and it makes headlines? Pshaw


48 posted on 04/12/2007 3:00:40 PM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: azhenfud

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.

):^(


49 posted on 04/12/2007 3:16:45 PM PDT by elcid1970
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To: elcid1970
I hope the rocks fall on him.

Lots of godly love in that post. I'm sure you've won over many lurkers with your exemplary display of human kindness.
50 posted on 04/12/2007 3:22:34 PM PDT by Sirloin
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