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Richard Dawkins on refusing to debate Craig

Rusty
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10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?
unitedandy
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10/20/2011 5:04:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
http://secularoutpost.infidels.org...

This kind of sums my opinion as well. Whatever one thinks of Craig or his views, Dawkins is being not only disingenuous, but breathtakingly arrogant. Why doesn't respond to Craig criticisms of TGD in print (or his arguments), if it's only a matter with sharing the stage with Craig?

He's prepared to debate with folks like Ted haggard or Bill O'reilly, but not with serious academic philosophers, even when defending his own work, and I think it's obvious why.
izbo10
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10/20/2011 5:08:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 5:04:49 PM, unitedandy wrote:
http://secularoutpost.infidels.org...

This kind of sums my opinion as well. Whatever one thinks of Craig or his views, Dawkins is being not only disingenuous, but breathtakingly arrogant. Why doesn't respond to Craig criticisms of TGD in print (or his arguments), if it's only a matter with sharing the stage with Craig?

He's prepared to debate with folks like Ted haggard or Bill O'reilly, but not with serious academic philosophers, even when defending his own work, and I think it's obvious why.

Its a waste of time, Craig parades around long since laughed out of philosophy circle, arguments. He is useless. He throws so many fallacies out one couldn't possibly hope to point them all out. Then idiots, ie you, think he won.
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Man-is-good
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10/20/2011 5:10:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 5:08:14 PM, izbo10 wrote:
At 10/20/2011 5:04:49 PM, unitedandy wrote:
http://secularoutpost.infidels.org...

This kind of sums my opinion as well. Whatever one thinks of Craig or his views, Dawkins is being not only disingenuous, but breathtakingly arrogant. Why doesn't respond to Craig criticisms of TGD in print (or his arguments), if it's only a matter with sharing the stage with Craig?

He's prepared to debate with folks like Ted haggard or Bill O'reilly, but not with serious academic philosophers, even when defending his own work, and I think it's obvious why.



Its a waste of time, Craig parades around long since laughed out of philosophy circle, arguments. He is useless. He throws so many fallacies out one couldn't possibly hope to point them all out. Then idiots, ie you, think he won.

Apparently, il figlio dell' avversione has spoken out for his father....
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
popculturepooka
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10/20/2011 5:17:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 5:04:49 PM, unitedandy wrote:
http://secularoutpost.infidels.org...

This kind of sums my opinion as well. Whatever one thinks of Craig or his views, Dawkins is being not only disingenuous, but breathtakingly arrogant. Why doesn't respond to Craig criticisms of TGD in print (or his arguments), if it's only a matter with sharing the stage with Craig?

He's prepared to debate with folks like Ted haggard or Bill O'reilly, but not with serious academic philosophers, even when defending his own work, and I think it's obvious why.

I literally facepalmed when *richard carrier*, of all people, calls swinburne anf plantinga "borderline retarded". This coming from the guy who deems himself a leading atheistic philosopher. Ot, but i just have to laugh. I agree, dawkins' dodges seem weak in any case.
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Kinesis
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10/20/2011 5:40:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In all fairness, Craig's defense of the cannanite slaughter is pretty horrifying. I read it the first time with my mouth half open.

Obviously Dawkins is wrong about Craig not being a philosopher - regardless of your opinions about his work, he has a PhD in analytical philosophy and regularly publishes in academic philosophical literature.

Carrier is at best a poor philosopher, and at worst not even a philosopher at all - a reasonably informed layman with a serious attitude problem.

In any case, seriously, trying to force someone to publicly debate someone they don't want to and harassing them in public isn't cool. Leave the guy alone, it's his choice.
drafterman
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10/20/2011 6:18:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM, Rusty wrote:
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?

Yes. A was not cited a reason for not going. It was just an observation. And c, why is that ridiculous? The man is abhorable and contemptible.

But you missed the actual reason: He has other engagements.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/20/2011 6:33:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Richard's defense for not debating is kind of weak, but I agree with Izbo when it comes to WLC. He's a fvcking idiot.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Rusty
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10/20/2011 8:23:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 6:18:39 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM, Rusty wrote:
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?

Yes. A was not cited a reason for not going. It was just an observation.

I thought it was a pretty safe conclusion to draw from the mood of the opening paragraph and the conclusion at the end of that paragraph. Also, he's made attacks on Craig's status before when pressed for reasons for not debating Craig.

And c, why is that ridiculous? The man is abhorable and contemptible.

As far as c goes, I'll be the first to admit that I don't find Craig's moral responses to be particularly comforting with certain issues (although I'm far from well-read on that subject) but Dawkins reminds me of a certain member on this very website who down-votes people on debates for holding a position, no matter how respectfully stated, that they don't find very "nice." Dawkins says all kinds of things that could be taken very offensively.

Additionally, I can't find the quote at the moment, but I'm pretty sure there's one by Dawkins where the general message is that one shouldn't believe in something simply because it would be nice if it were true. On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn't close your mind to something just because it wouldn't be nice if it happened to be true, and that seems to be exactly what he's doing.

But you missed the actual reason: He has other engagements.

To be honest, I didn't include that because I was trying to focus more on deliberate reasons why he wouldn't debate Craig- "principle" reasons, if that makes any sense. I don't know how to state it any better than that. In that article, Dawkins states pretty outright that he would be proud to leave the stage to Craig even if he wasn't going to be in London. That's not to mention the fact that the article seems to be more of general response to the idea of debating Craig, which isn't new, as opposed to something focusing, as a whole, on this particular instance at Oxford. Most of the reasons Dawkins supplies have to do with Craig as a person.
boss1592
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10/20/2011 11:45:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I do like Dawkins, in my opinion, he's done a great job in his advocacy of atheism and has convinced many people (myself included) to be more vocal in their own unbelief. With that said, I really don't like how he has responded to this debate invitation. Granted, I think Craig is a brilliant debater, as fallacious as his arguments are, and I think Dawkins may well indeed lose if they did debate, however, I think, as one of the most prominent defenders of atheism, he has an obligation to defend it, and he should have to guts to engage Craig and represent the side.
sadolite
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10/21/2011 12:07:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 6:33:09 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Richard's defense for not debating is kind of weak, but I agree with Izbo when it comes to WLC. He's a fvcking idiot.

I always find it interesting that people who call other people who are wildly more successful then themselves "idiots". It's oxymoronic.
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CosmicAlfonzo
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10/21/2011 1:41:24 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 12:07:02 AM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:33:09 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Richard's defense for not debating is kind of weak, but I agree with Izbo when it comes to WLC. He's a fvcking idiot.

I always find it interesting that people who call other people who are wildly more successful then themselves "idiots". It's oxymoronic.

There are so many things wrong with this statement that I could write a long rebuttal, but instead of humoring you, I'm just going to flat out say....

You too are a fvcking idiot.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
drafterman
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10/21/2011 7:47:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 8:23:21 PM, Rusty wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:18:39 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM, Rusty wrote:
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?

Yes. A was not cited a reason for not going. It was just an observation.

I thought it was a pretty safe conclusion to draw from the mood of the opening paragraph and the conclusion at the end of that paragraph. Also, he's made attacks on Craig's status before when pressed for reasons for not debating Craig.

Fair enough. But if the man is in the position where he can pick and choose who we can debate, and is (probably) getting so many challenges that he can't possibly debate everyone, should we fault him for having his own interests in mind? He does have a point, Craig stands more to gain just being in the physical presence of Dawkins than the other way around. Craig benefits, Dawkins does not. Why should acknowledging this be seen as a mark against Dawkins?


And c, why is that ridiculous? The man is abhorable and contemptible.

As far as c goes, I'll be the first to admit that I don't find Craig's moral responses to be particularly comforting with certain issues (although I'm far from well-read on that subject) but Dawkins reminds me of a certain member on this very website who down-votes people on debates for holding a position, no matter how respectfully stated, that they don't find very "nice." Dawkins says all kinds of things that could be taken very offensively.

Ok, but I don't find this positions to be analogous. This isn't an issue of voting on a debate, but deciding whether or not he even wants to debate with him. I'm relatively new here, but I've already seen people that I wouldn't want to debate with because I dislike their behavior. Is that wrong of me?


Additionally, I can't find the quote at the moment, but I'm pretty sure there's one by Dawkins where the general message is that one shouldn't believe in something simply because it would be nice if it were true. On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn't close your mind to something just because it wouldn't be nice if it happened to be true, and that seems to be exactly what he's doing.

Not at all. He's not saying the man is wrong because he's contemptible. He's saying he doesn't want to debate the man (or even be in his presence) because he's contemptible.


But you missed the actual reason: He has other engagements.

To be honest, I didn't include that because I was trying to focus more on deliberate reasons why he wouldn't debate Craig- "principle" reasons, if that makes any sense.

That does make sense and, worded like that, I agree. I just consider the other reasons to be as equally valid.

I don't know how to state it any better than that. In that article, Dawkins states pretty outright that he would be proud to leave the stage to Craig even if he wasn't going to be in London. That's not to mention the fact that the article seems to be more of general response to the idea of debating Craig, which isn't new, as opposed to something focusing, as a whole, on this particular instance at Oxford. Most of the reasons Dawkins supplies have to do with Craig as a person.
Kinesis
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10/21/2011 8:34:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 6:33:09 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Richard's defense for not debating is kind of weak, but I agree with Izbo when it comes to WLC. He's a fvcking idiot.

I would say having two PhD's is moderately good evidence that one is not an idiot. And having read several of his books, he is not an idiot: he's very intelligent.
Meatros
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10/21/2011 9:07:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM, Rusty wrote:
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?

I don't think that Dawkins has any business debating people on religious topics. Since he seems intent on doing this, I think he should debate (and most likely lose to) Craig.
Meatros
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10/21/2011 9:09:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/20/2011 5:40:42 PM, Kinesis wrote:
In all fairness, Craig's defense of the cannanite slaughter is pretty horrifying. I read it the first time with my mouth half open.


I agree - I also think that the defense of animal suffering that he used in his debate with Law was pretty bad too.

Obviously Dawkins is wrong about Craig not being a philosopher - regardless of your opinions about his work, he has a PhD in analytical philosophy and regularly publishes in academic philosophical literature.


True - the plain fact is that Dawkins is not a philosopher. He's a scientist.

Carrier is at best a poor philosopher, and at worst not even a philosopher at all - a reasonably informed layman with a serious attitude problem.

In any case, seriously, trying to force someone to publicly debate someone they don't want to and harassing them in public isn't cool. Leave the guy alone, it's his choice.

I can agree with this. Craig shouldn't be harassing Dawkins. I think Dawkins' excuses are lame, but whatever.
Rusty
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10/21/2011 9:51:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 7:47:09 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/20/2011 8:23:21 PM, Rusty wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:18:39 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM, Rusty wrote:
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?

Yes. A was not cited a reason for not going. It was just an observation.

I thought it was a pretty safe conclusion to draw from the mood of the opening paragraph and the conclusion at the end of that paragraph. Also, he's made attacks on Craig's status before when pressed for reasons for not debating Craig.

Fair enough. But if the man is in the position where he can pick and choose who we can debate, and is (probably) getting so many challenges that he can't possibly debate everyone, should we fault him for having his own interests in mind? He does have a point, Craig stands more to gain just being in the physical presence of Dawkins than the other way around. Craig benefits, Dawkins does not. Why should acknowledging this be seen as a mark against Dawkins?

Put bluntly, I don't understand how anyone could think that one of the most popular critics of religion somehow not benefiting from defeating (probably) the most popular modern defender of religion could be anything but absurd. Craig is both extremely technically qualified and has a track record of debating people such as Law, Hitchens, Harris and several professors from top-notch universities. Defeating Craig would look much better than defeating people such as Bill O'Reilly, who, as someone else pointed out, Dawkins has no problem debating for some odd reason.



And c, why is that ridiculous? The man is abhorable and contemptible.

As far as c goes, I'll be the first to admit that I don't find Craig's moral responses to be particularly comforting with certain issues (although I'm far from well-read on that subject) but Dawkins reminds me of a certain member on this very website who down-votes people on debates for holding a position, no matter how respectfully stated, that they don't find very "nice." Dawkins says all kinds of things that could be taken very offensively.

Ok, but I don't find this positions to be analogous. This isn't an issue of voting on a debate, but deciding whether or not he even wants to debate with him. I'm relatively new here, but I've already seen people that I wouldn't want to debate with because I dislike their behavior. Is that wrong of me?

You may be correct about that not being a perfect analogy, but, in my defense, the underlined part seems to miss the point of the "no matter how respectfully stated" part of my comment.



Additionally, I can't find the quote at the moment, but I'm pretty sure there's one by Dawkins where the general message is that one shouldn't believe in something simply because it would be nice if it were true. On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn't close your mind to something just because it wouldn't be nice if it happened to be true, and that seems to be exactly what he's doing.

Not at all. He's not saying the man is wrong because he's contemptible. He's saying he doesn't want to debate the man (or even be in his presence) because he's contemptible.

But I think that's exactly what he's doing here. He's effectively closing his mind (I actually never used the wording "saying he's wrong" for what it's worth) to Craig's argument (by refusing to even engage with him) because it wouldn't be nice if God actually did order the slaughter of the Canaanites for whatever reason.



But you missed the actual reason: He has other engagements.

To be honest, I didn't include that because I was trying to focus more on deliberate reasons why he wouldn't debate Craig- "principle" reasons, if that makes any sense.

That does make sense and, worded like that, I agree. I just consider the other reasons to be as equally valid.

I don't know how to state it any better than that. In that article, Dawkins states pretty outright that he would be proud to leave the stage to Craig even if he wasn't going to be in London. That's not to mention the fact that the article seems to be more of general response to the idea of debating Craig, which isn't new, as opposed to something focusing, as a whole, on this particular instance at Oxford. Most of the reasons Dawkins supplies have to do with Craig as a person.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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10/21/2011 10:06:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Dawkins is scared shitless of Craig, bottom line.

Winning a debate doesn't de facto mean someone is therefore correct in their assertions. Dawkins could be totally right and Craig totally wrong, without actually winning the debate. It isn't a measure of accuracy or acumen, it's simply an art of persuasion. And sycophants do particularly well in that arena.

I've seen creationists mop the floor with atheists in debates, but it doesn't make the creationist viewpoint therefore correct or the atheist viewpoint incorrect by default. It just means one side debated their position better than the other.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Gileandos
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10/21/2011 10:34:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Paradigm,
I would agree with you. I would add something though.

My point of view would be that debates can very much be a source of articulated information.

A debater has to struggle making their points and evidence succinct. Succinct arguments can show innaccuracy more clearly.

Most of the debaters lose to craig because he can show their statements to be factually in question (like the Krauss debate where Krauss butchered a mainstream model of the universe) and logical (where Craig clearly showed wopert to be obviously logically inept in using his own mind).

Craig wins due to his comfort with the subject matter, his clear logical and reasonable consistency in his arguments.

If you choose a different debate topic like "why wolves mate for life" you would see different results and a different win record.

This is the reason Dawkins will avoid Craig on this topic. Craig's arguments are better and designed to be clearly understood.
Dawkins are logically inconsistent most of the time and factually inept as well.
Kinesis
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10/21/2011 11:05:35 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I pretty much agree with the two of you. It's lucky for Dawkins that Craig has such a risable view of the Caananite slaughter so he has a legitimate looking excuse for avoiding him.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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10/21/2011 11:52:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I would just like to say that Dawkins may be a philosopher, but he is not a great philosopher. If he wishes to present himself as a champion for militant atheism then he almost has a duty to engage with the major proponents of theism. If he did not want the stresses and strains of his crusade he should not have taken up the flag.

Oh and so what if Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter? Refusing to debate someone for moral discrepancies makes no sense. Craig has to defend the Canaanite slaughter, he also has to defend the holocaust, hiroshima, nagasaki and the killing fields of cambodia. This ought to make Dawkins job easy.

I don't know, it strikes me that there is a little bit of Izbo in every atheist. A disturbing thought.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Kinesis
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10/21/2011 12:09:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 11:52:48 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Craig has to defend the Canaanite slaughter, he also has to defend the holocaust, hiroshima, nagasaki and the killing fields of cambodia.

Umm, why...?
drafterman
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10/21/2011 12:27:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 9:51:44 AM, Rusty wrote:
At 10/21/2011 7:47:09 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/20/2011 8:23:21 PM, Rusty wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:18:39 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/20/2011 4:44:54 PM, Rusty wrote:
I'm pretty sure that this hasn't been posted yet. If it has, my bad. It's pretty new, so some of you who were aware of the Craig-Dawkins thing might find it interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Dawkins pretty much says that he won't share the stage with Craig because:

a. He's a no-name.

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

b. A debate with Dawkins would look much better on Craig's record than a debate with Craig would look on Dawkins' record.

"I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine"."

c. Craig defends the Canaanite slaughter.

"Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty."

Personally, I find at least two of these to be somewhat ridiculous, particularly a and c. I must say though that Dawkins is probably right about point b, although I think it's because he would most likely be humiliated, not because Craig's alleged no-name status would tarnish Dawkins' reputation.

Any thoughts?

Yes. A was not cited a reason for not going. It was just an observation.

I thought it was a pretty safe conclusion to draw from the mood of the opening paragraph and the conclusion at the end of that paragraph. Also, he's made attacks on Craig's status before when pressed for reasons for not debating Craig.

Fair enough. But if the man is in the position where he can pick and choose who we can debate, and is (probably) getting so many challenges that he can't possibly debate everyone, should we fault him for having his own interests in mind? He does have a point, Craig stands more to gain just being in the physical presence of Dawkins than the other way around. Craig benefits, Dawkins does not. Why should acknowledging this be seen as a mark against Dawkins?

Put bluntly, I don't understand how anyone could think that one of the most popular critics of religion somehow not benefiting from defeating (probably) the most popular modern defender of religion could be anything but absurd. Craig is both extremely technically qualified and has a track record of debating people such as Law, Hitchens, Harris and several professors from top-notch universities. Defeating Craig would look much better than defeating people such as Bill O'Reilly, who, as someone else pointed out, Dawkins has no problem debating for some odd reason.

Whether defeating Craig "looks" better than defeating O'Reilly is a matter of opinion. Apparently Dawkins thinks it's better to debate O'Reilly than Craig. Why is that absurd?




And c, why is that ridiculous? The man is abhorable and contemptible.

As far as c goes, I'll be the first to admit that I don't find Craig's moral responses to be particularly comforting with certain issues (although I'm far from well-read on that subject) but Dawkins reminds me of a certain member on this very website who down-votes people on debates for holding a position, no matter how respectfully stated, that they don't find very "nice." Dawkins says all kinds of things that could be taken very offensively.

Ok, but I don't find this positions to be analogous. This isn't an issue of voting on a debate, but deciding whether or not he even wants to debate with him. I'm relatively new here, but I've already seen people that I wouldn't want to debate with because I dislike their behavior. Is that wrong of me?

You may be correct about that not being a perfect analogy, but, in my defense, the underlined part seems to miss the point of the "no matter how respectfully stated" part of my comment.

Do you think not debating Craig on this point makes Dawkins a hypocrite?




Additionally, I can't find the quote at the moment, but I'm pretty sure there's one by Dawkins where the general message is that one shouldn't believe in something simply because it would be nice if it were true. On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn't close your mind to something just because it wouldn't be nice if it happened to be true, and that seems to be exactly what he's doing.

Not at all. He's not saying the man is wrong because he's contemptible. He's saying he doesn't want to debate the man (or even be in his presence) because he's contemptible.

But I think that's exactly what he's doing here. He's effectively closing his mind (I actually never used the wording "saying he's wrong" for what it's worth) to Craig's argument (by refusing to even engage with him) because it wouldn't be nice if God actually did order the slaughter of the Canaanites for whatever reason.

Or he's closing his mind to debating with a person who is supportive of genocide. Perhaps "supports genocide" is a deal breaker for him.




But you missed the actual reason: He has other engagements.

To be honest, I didn't include that because I was trying to focus more on deliberate reasons why he wouldn't debate Craig- "principle" reasons, if that makes any sense.

That does make sense and, worded like that, I agree. I just consider the other reasons to be as equally valid.

I don't know how to state it any better than that. In that article, Dawkins states pretty outright that he would be proud to leave the stage to Craig even if he wasn't going to be in London. That's not to mention the fact that the article seems to be more of general response to the idea of debating Craig, which isn't new, as opposed to something focusing, as a whole, on this particular instance at Oxford. Most of the reasons Dawkins supplies have to do with Craig as a person.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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10/21/2011 12:58:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 8:34:37 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 10/20/2011 6:33:09 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Richard's defense for not debating is kind of weak, but I agree with Izbo when it comes to WLC. He's a fvcking idiot.

I would say having two PhD's is moderately good evidence that one is not an idiot. And having read several of his books, he is not an idiot: he's very intelligent.

Tenacity is mostly what is required to get a PHD. A PHD does not in any way guarantee that someone is intelligent, though they might like you to think so.

Then all you have to do is look at what he has his degrees in. WLC is an idiot.
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Cerebral_Narcissist
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10/21/2011 1:00:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/21/2011 12:09:18 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 10/21/2011 11:52:48 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Craig has to defend the Canaanite slaughter, he also has to defend the holocaust, hiroshima, nagasaki and the killing fields of cambodia.

Umm, why...?

What do you mean why? Isn't it self-evident?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Kinesis
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10/21/2011 4:15:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What do you mean why? Isn't it self-evident?

Oh, you mean generally as part of the problem of evil. The Canaanite slaughter was an instance of God directly ordering his followers to commit genocide, including killing innocent children. It tends to have more impact if God actually ordered the killing himself, although I guess if you believe God controls the world it amounts to the same thing.