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Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God
The Telegraph ^ | May 14, 2011 | Tim Ross

Posted on 05/17/2011 8:37:33 AM PDT by Bed_Zeppelin

Richard Dawkins has made his name as the scourge of organised religion who branded the Roman Catholic Church “evil” and once called the Pope “a leering old villain in a frock”.

But he now stands accused of “cowardice” after refusing four invitations to debate the existence of God with a renowned Christian philosopher.

A war of words has broken out between the best selling author of The God Delusion, and his critics, who see his refusal to take on the American academic, William Lane Craig, as a “glaring” failure and a sign that he may be losing his nerve.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology
KEYWORDS: apologetics; atheism; atheists; current; dawkins; theology

1 posted on 05/17/2011 8:37:40 AM PDT by Bed_Zeppelin
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To: Bed_Zeppelin

bookmark


2 posted on 05/17/2011 8:41:49 AM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin

“..a leering old villain in a frock...”

####

That says all I need to know about Dawkins.

To characterize either of the last two Popes in this matter displays abject ignorance, and a willful denial of any of the factual evidence concerning the lives of these two men.

It is clear that Dawkins is really just ALL about showing off for his fans and generating press and publicity.

The fool is a just an unfunny, pathetic joke, not worth the time of any thinking human being.

Dismissed.


3 posted on 05/17/2011 8:43:11 AM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin

Probably has yet to get over his liaison with Mrs. Garrison.


4 posted on 05/17/2011 8:45:04 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: EyeGuy

I have never understood why this guy was ever given any credence. I have always thought he talked gibberish.


5 posted on 05/17/2011 8:45:06 AM PDT by Parmy
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To: Parmy
The article mentions his 1976 book The Selfish Gene as marking his territory as an evolutionary biologist.

How he thinks it gives him the moral authority to speak on the non-violent spiritual needs of people is another thing.

6 posted on 05/17/2011 8:52:34 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Calvin Locke

Thanks for brining that image back....pass the brain bleach please!


7 posted on 05/17/2011 8:53:07 AM PDT by Uriah_lost (Is there no balm in Gilead?....)
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To: Uriah_lost

8 posted on 05/17/2011 8:59:07 AM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin
I like Craig. Check him out here.
9 posted on 05/17/2011 9:02:10 AM PDT by ocr1 (really?.. Really?)
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To: All

Poll: was this guy better in Hogan’s Heroes or Family Feud ?


10 posted on 05/17/2011 9:05:02 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (Huguenot)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin

Dawkins saw how Craig wiped the floor with Hitchens - no wonder he’s chicken. Dawkins is incredibly weak on meaphysics and even the elementary rules of logic. Virtually none of the conclusions in “The God Delusion” follow from the premeses he uses. When one looks at the most brilliant apologists for atheism, Russel, Hume and Flew it becomes quickly appearant that Dawkins isn’t close to being in their class.


11 posted on 05/17/2011 9:09:10 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: Bed_Zeppelin

The article states that the two were involved in some sort of six person battle royale in a boxing ring of all places.

Dawkins position is apparently that he took Craig’s measure and, “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion,” he said.

I’ll play anyone in tennis, at least once—unless I see them playing first and they suck. I want to play better players, not vice versa.
Occasionally I succumb to taunting and mop him up 6-0, 6-1, 6-0. So then he’s a little better and I’m a little worse. I guess it beats batting the ball against a backboard, unless you have better things to do.


12 posted on 05/17/2011 9:12:11 AM PDT by tumblindice (Cant-free since 2005)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin
Heh... if Dawkins really had balls he'd write a book called "The Allah Delusion."

He is like most "atheists"... just another anti-Christian bigot who takes only token swipes at other faiths.

13 posted on 05/17/2011 9:12:29 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin
Richard Dawkins has made his name as the scourge of organised religion who branded the Roman Catholic Church “evil” and once called the Pope “a leering old villain in a frock”.

Photobucket

If Dorkins thinks the pope is evil, what the heck does he think of Mookie? The Good Humor Man without his ice cream truck?

14 posted on 05/17/2011 9:12:44 AM PDT by dragonblustar (If libs are inspired by a book that was dedicated to Satan, their reward will be hell.)
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To: PieterCasparzen

Hogan’s Heroes v Family Feud.

Sort of apples and oranges.

He was brilliant in both.

In all seriousness, Hogan’s Heroes is a classic piece of work. I saw an interview recently with Werner Klemperer on Pat Sajack (I love youtube!). What a great gentleman he was. His father, which I did not realize until recently, was the great conductor Otto Klemperer.

In any event. Back to Dawkins.

That man is a genius. His own sort of genius, to be sure. But genius still.

If pressed, I would have to vote for HH over FF, though.


15 posted on 05/17/2011 9:14:50 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: EyeGuy

I agree. If he was talking about Alexander Borgia, okay, but John Paul II and Benedict XVI are distinguished and honorable men by any reasonable secular standard. One need not believe in any religious faith to recognize this.


16 posted on 05/17/2011 9:21:13 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Obama's "Gutsy Decision": Who's gonna tell the fool that he ain't cool?)
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To: ConservativeDude; PieterCasparzen

Hogan’s Heroes had clever writing and a terrific cast, but Family Feud required Mr. Dawson to act as if he wasn’t about to ROFLHAO at the “people of Walmart” who appeared on the show. That takes skill!

Robert Clary, who played Louis LeBeau in HH, was (is?) a holocaust survivor. He wrote a book that never shows up in my library, and I always forget to order it.


17 posted on 05/17/2011 9:24:29 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Obama's "Gutsy Decision": Who's gonna tell the fool that he ain't cool?)
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To: PieterCasparzen

That, my friend, was Richard DAWSON on Hogan’s Heroes and Family Feud.


18 posted on 05/17/2011 9:28:07 AM PDT by getarope (Paddle faster, I hear banjo music!)
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To: circlecity

How can anyone really be strong on metaphysics? Isn’t it really just someone’s theory? It’s not like anything metaphysical can really be proven, is it? I think one man’s theory about the unknown, is as good as any others.


19 posted on 05/17/2011 9:28:21 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: PieterCasparzen
"Poll: was this guy better in Hogan’s Heroes or Family Feud ?"

Definitely at his best in Running Man, where he lampooned the ultimate gameshow host taken to extremes.

20 posted on 05/17/2011 9:29:32 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: PieterCasparzen
[ Poll: was this guy better in Hogan’s Heroes or Family Feud ? ]

Wrong Dawson.. but both are comedians..

21 posted on 05/17/2011 9:30:48 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: stuartcr
"How can anyone really be strong on metaphysics? Isn’t it really just someone’s theory?"

No, it's primarily just applied logic. Is the logical law of non-contradiction (a metaphysical doctrine) "just someone's theory"?

22 posted on 05/17/2011 9:32:12 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: Tax-chick
... but John Paul II and Benedict XVI are distinguished and honorable men by any reasonable secular standard.

The funny part about that is "any reasonable secular standard" in the Western world inevitably is borrowed from Judeo-Christian teachings about what is good and what is not good. :)

23 posted on 05/17/2011 9:33:14 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin
Richard Dawkins main problem is he has a "god complex"

Rather ironic that he doesn't believe in god

24 posted on 05/17/2011 9:34:22 AM PDT by Popman (Obama. First Marxist to turn a five year Marxist plan into a 4 year administration.)
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To: circlecity

Does it really apply to metaphysics?


25 posted on 05/17/2011 9:37:14 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: pnh102

That’s true - excellent point.


26 posted on 05/17/2011 9:38:54 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Obama's "Gutsy Decision": Who's gonna tell the fool that he ain't cool?)
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To: stuartcr
"Does it really apply to metaphysics?"

Why wouldn't it? If it doesn't than nothing does.

27 posted on 05/17/2011 9:41:17 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: Tax-chick

You know, interestingly, Werner Klemperer was also Jewish and his father escaped Vienna just in time.

When you step back and think about the Nazi cost to music for busting up Vienna, it makes you feel really sick. Many like Klemperer escaped. Many didn’t have the foresight, or the guts, or something else.

What a terrible era of history.

So when you think about that, you know, Hogan’s Heroes, is really rather poignant. It was dealing with some very grave matters, but in the form of comedy and this was, after all, only the 1970’s. WWII was still very recent history.

I would highly recommend watching the Klemperer interview on the Pat Sajack show, easily found on youtube.

If you want to see what a dignified, distinguished, intelligent man is like, this is a great resource. Klemperer comes across as a thoroughly decent human being.

And...with all that...your points on Dawson are well taken.

Just how DID he keep from laughing uproariously? Brilliant!!!


28 posted on 05/17/2011 9:43:58 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: circlecity
When one looks at the most brilliant apologists for atheism, Russel, Hume and Flew it becomes quickly appearant that Dawkins isn’t close to being in their class.

Interesting that you mention Russel; years ago I bought "Why I am not a Christian" by Russel, which I couldn't even read, as I recall it was just typical of an overeducated European blowhard. That may sound harsh since he is so revered, but as he made various points he did not even address what would be a theological response to each of his points. Very basic elements of theology, not finer points or obscure concepts. To me that simply is someone pretending to write a serious contention about a subject he was not knowledgable of.

Just more evidence for my personal view, IMHO, that between sometime in the 1800's and WWII many significant European intellectuals were seriously missing the point of their respective fields, very arrogant and yet mistaken in much of their thought (moreso than the overeducated normally do) and laying the groundwork, unwittingly, for both world wars.
29 posted on 05/17/2011 9:44:29 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (Huguenot)
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To: circlecity

s the logical law of non-contradiction (a metaphysical doctrine)”

I believe according to Aquinas, this is the first principle of metaphysical reasoning.....you are quite correct.


30 posted on 05/17/2011 9:45:02 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: circlecity

Flew really was brilliant. And he was/is anti-socialist, which I always loved.

His atheistic arguments were always really strong. I always thoroughly enjoyed his challenge.

And isn’t it interesting, that he is no longer an atheist? Again, Flew was always honest, truly intellectual, and really, very courageous. He went the way that his intellect told him to go, and he wasn’t afraid to work hard.

I respected him even when he was an atheist; I respect him even more now.

May the Lord bring Flew to full knowledge of him in this life.


31 posted on 05/17/2011 9:49:13 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: PieterCasparzen
"but as he made various points he did not even address what would be a theological response to each of his points."

You would have to cite examples. I don't think, for the most part, theology makes for persuasive apologetics because it generally begs the question.

32 posted on 05/17/2011 9:50:39 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

Personally, I don’t see how logic can apply to the subject of God. How would you logically talk about resurrection, salvation, virgin birth, forgiveness of sins, original sin, an all-knowing being that knows the future, etc?


33 posted on 05/17/2011 9:52:50 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: circlecity

I can give one. In that pathetic little essay Russell chastises Jesus for cursing the fig tree. He sees it as gratuitously cruel.

The cursing of the fig tree cannot be understood outside of a thoroughly theological context. But Russell didn’t bother to look beneath the surface of his simplistic, facile reading. He read the Gospel account on HIS terms, rather than on its own terms, and with knowing something of the theological context which is necessary to understand why Jesus cursed the fig tree.


34 posted on 05/17/2011 9:56:35 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: stuartcr
"How would you logically talk about resurrection, salvation, virgin birth, forgiveness of sins, original sin, an all-knowing being that knows the future, etc?"

Why couldn't you talk logically about any of those doctrines? None of the things you cite violate any of the elementary rules of logic.

35 posted on 05/17/2011 9:57:19 AM PDT by circlecity (')
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To: ConservativeDude

It looks like it's out of print, so I 'd better have my husband order it for me when he gets home. I think I saw him on an A&E "Biography" interview, or something similar.

36 posted on 05/17/2011 10:03:12 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Obama's "Gutsy Decision": Who's gonna tell the fool that he ain't cool?)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: circlecity

Didn’t Flew fly the atheist coop and change his mind?


38 posted on 05/17/2011 10:07:43 AM PDT by HerrBlucher ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." G.K. Chesterton)
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To: ConservativeDude

Thanks for the recommendation on the Klemperer interview; I’ll pull it up later. I’ve seen him in various tv episodes over the years, including “Law & Order” a couple of times. An old-school, very skilled actor.

Ivan Dixon, who played Sgt. Kinchloe, went on to be a very successful tv director, including many episodes of “Magnum, P.I.” He died a few years ago - quite old! - here in the Charlotte area.


39 posted on 05/17/2011 10:08:18 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Obama's "Gutsy Decision": Who's gonna tell the fool that he ain't cool?)
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To: circlecity

God knows the future, He knows what you’re free-will choices will be. He creates you knowing you will choose to do something that will send you to hell for eternity. Yet He loves you. Please explain this logically.


40 posted on 05/17/2011 10:36:43 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: pnh102
The funny part about that is "any reasonable secular standard" in the Western world inevitably is borrowed from Judeo-Christian teachings about what is good and what is not good. :)

IMHO..

Brings up a nice fundamental concept: the revealed word of God. Judeo-Christian doctrine relies on the revealed word, not anything that comes out of the mind of man. So when Judeo-Christian teachings are borrowed from, the Western world is maintaining that it is not so arrogant as to believe that humans can correctly design morality, or what is right and what is wrong.

It's remarkable that the secular posit that mankind can perfectly or even adequately determine what is right and wrong. Of course, they must deny the divine inspiration of Scripture. I have thought about that quite a bit and done some studying, and it gets very difficult to explain away the elegant logical, historical, symbolic and ethical harmony contained in the Bible considering the circumstances and time span of it's writing and transmission down through history. Especially when we have such a fantastic example of a document with similar very high and worthy goals, the U.S. Constitution, constructed by a group of very highly capable men, working together, with all sorts of alleged conspiracy theories about their desires to "control", etc., and it is getting all contorted out of shape in it's interpretation. And it's only been around for the last two hundred years and we have plenty of contemporaneous writings to assist us in interpreting it. It makes it seem highly unlikely that a group of men conspired to write the Bible over hundreds of years and have it all theologically agree all for some purpose, either good or bad, depending on the particular conspiracy theorist's view, and get transmitted and analyzed by thousands of highly educated people for thousands of years, and one can still dig a little and get right to the original meanings, which, again, are all internally harmonized. The claim of divine inspiration is made within the text of the Bible: so those who say that the Bible is not divinely inspired are actually proposing that all of the men who wrote it were either knowingly or unknowingly lying.

It's simply amazing that a well-trained pastor can point to a Biblical viewpoint on any literally difficulty one could possibly have in one's life - I know of no other text which provides this capability all the while being largely historical in nature.

If one patiently and honestly studies the Bible, it's quite difficult to miss the magnitude of it's beauty, even the design of the system of ethics and morality it describes.
41 posted on 05/17/2011 10:42:33 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (Huguenot)
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To: Bed_Zeppelin
Great and pertinent article:

Why Richard Dawkins Cannot Stomach the Eucharist
http://catholicism.about.com/b/2009/11/04/why-richard-dawkins-cannot-stomach-the-eucharist.htm

42 posted on 05/17/2011 11:37:09 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: stuartcr
"God knows the future, He knows what you’re free-will choices will be. He creates you knowing you will choose to do something that will send you to hell for eternity. Yet He loves you. Please explain this logically."

You changed subjects from the existence of God to the accuracy of what the Bible tells us about God. Whether God exists is a different question from what all his attributes are, once we establish he does exist. Particularly when those attributes involve his motives, design and purpose. Since God is, by definition, infinite it is impossible for finite creatures such as us to criticize God on the basis of contradictions. We don't know a fraction of what God knows and thus we can never know all the variables which may explain a seeming inconsistency. It is certainly logical that God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, could have very good reasons for not giving us the information to resolve what appear as contradictions. It is interesting that the seeming contradiction you try to point out, moral accountability versus providence, involve the two variables absolutely necessary to provide objective meaning and ethics in life.

43 posted on 05/17/2011 1:29:25 PM PDT by circlecity (')
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To: circlecity

I mentioned a number of metaphysical subjects that I do not think can be logically talked about. You said there’s no reason those things cannot be logically discussed.??? What’s up? Should I have menioned every possible thing?


44 posted on 05/17/2011 4:59:37 PM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr
God knows the future, He knows what you’re free-will choices will be. He creates you knowing you will choose to do something that will send you to hell for eternity. Yet He loves you. Please explain this logically.

Why does this seem illogical to you? Aquinas defined "love" as the decision to pursue the authentic good of another. God certainly wills the authentic good of each one of us. Part of that "authentic good" is the freedom of each of us to pursue that which is not authentically good for us, even up to and including the ultimate "un-good" of hell.

45 posted on 05/17/2011 8:37:22 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: stuartcr

You didn’t make a case why these things cannot be logically talked about. You threw out the statement and made no case to back it up. I addressed your comments in 43


46 posted on 05/18/2011 5:10:21 AM PDT by circlecity (')
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To: Campion

Very convenient, thanks


47 posted on 05/18/2011 12:42:44 PM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: circlecity

I understand, thanks


48 posted on 05/18/2011 12:43:48 PM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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