Sep 3, 2011

Why are the leading figures of atheism running away from a debate with William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is arguably the foremost Christian apologist in the world and he is coming to the UK this autumn on a debating and lecture tour. You would think that leading atheists and representatives of the British Humanist Association, Polly Toynbee,  Richard Dawkins and A.C.Grayling would have readily accepted the invitation to debate him and given that they think they have the knock-out arguments, with some relish. Yet, one by one, they have either refused or withdrawn from a debate.

New Atheist, Sam Harris, said of William Lane Craig in his introductory comments at their recent debate;

I’m very happy to be debating Dr. Craig, the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists. I’ve actually gotten more than a few emails this week, that more or less read, “Brother, please, don’t blow this.” So, you will be the judge.

Christopher Hitchens said ahead of his debate with Craig;

I can tell you that my brothers and sisters, my co-thinkers, in the unbelieving community take him very seriously. He’s thought of as a very tough guy; very rigorous, very scholarly, very thoughtful. I say that without reserve. Normally I don’t get people saying to me ‘good luck tonight’ or ‘don’t let us down’ but with him I do.

Given that Dawkins, Grayling and Toynbee claim to have all the arguments why don’t they run William Lane Craig out of town?

Perhaps, as ‘commonsenseatheist‘ conceded having witnessed a debate between Craig and Christopher Hitchens;

The debate went exactly as I expected. Craig was flawless and unstoppable. Hitchens was rambling and incoherent, with the occasional rhetorical jab. Frankly, Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.

I’m not a great one for Youtube videos that mock the views of others and I’m certainly not suggesting that Christians ought to mock or insults all humanists but I do think that the double-standards and hypocrisy (as well as down-right rudeness in some cases) of those who claim to speak in the name of Atheism but refuse to debate Craig should be subject to a degree of mild ridicule.

‘Enjoy’ the video and buy a ticket for one of the debates. Who knows maybe Dawkins will turn up!




  • Perhaps the reluctance could be due to the fact that Hawkins et al are not theologians, and do not have the degree of biblical knowledge they feel is required to debate Craig–although they could also feel that debating Craig is a waste of their time, as they are concerned more with knowledge as opposed to speculation.

    I have already defeated many of Craig’s arguments on my blog–but as I am a professor of philosophy and religion, I possess the knowledge required in order to defeat Craig’s arguments–and it was an easy task.

    Then again–maybe Dawkins et al are looking for more of a challenge than Craig can present…..

  • Cathy – as a prof of philosophy, presumably you know from reading Dawkins that he’s hardly looking for more of a philosophical challenge – he should have stuck to his field of biology rather than going on this crusade. But having taken to the field, swinging at the foot soldiers, he shouldn’t give pathetic excuses for shying from an intellectual equal. I’m not a great fan of these kind of debates, but then, I’m not a great fan of supposed intellectuals getting away with writing trash like the God Delusion, either. There are equally terribly written works by Christians out there, of course (and indubitably more in your neck of the woods as the market’s larger!), but as they’re not written by those famous for being scientists, they don’t tend to get taken for good argument when they’re not. Why don’t you offer to debate Craig when he’s back in the States? Writing a blog post against an argument found online doesn’t really count as ‘defeating’ it – at least, it didn’t in the peer-reviewed journal world I thought was academia. :)

  • I am an atheist and I frequent Craig’s website and atheist sites like The Atheist Experience. I often play the Devil’s Advocate, because I value Truth regardless of what or where it leads me. I have often read and commented on the overt hypocrisy of these atheists and continue they to rationalize them away. They seem to be ignorant of the fact that they do it. I have also called them out– in not so kind words– on their cowardice. I used to be angry when Craig would call these atheists as ignorant, but now I can not help but agree.

Leave a comment

Facebook Twitter RSS Feed