On Richard Dawkins Refusing to Debate William Lane Craig

In a mocking YouTube video Bill Craig tells us he wants to debate Richard Dawkins. There is even a petition Christians have set up for this debate to happen and a discussion about it at Richard Dawkins.net. Here's a clip being linked to by Christian sites where Dawkins declines:

Because of his refusal Christians are mocking Dawkins, seen at Triablogue and especially by James White, who calls this refusal "Amazing Arrogance". Craig himself called Dawkins a "coward!"

This is a fight, is it not? We are men and we want to see blood, right? Yeah, that will solve everything.

Listen up folks. It's not as if Dawkins won't interact with his opponents. He does so regularly. Here is one such occasion where he and Alister McGrath went one-on-one.

I suspect Dawkins is merely mocking Craig. He surely knows who Craig is by now. He's using the now famous Courtier's Reply in response. Everyone knows that Dawkins does not have a philosophical/theological background so he would probably lose such a debate (at least in the minds of most Christians), just as Christopher Hitchens lost his debate with Craig, especially since Craig is a master debater.

The disingenuous goal of the Christians calling for such a debate is simply to embarrass Dawkins, not unlike the white supremacists who wanted to embarrass black heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson. Johnson was arguably the best boxer of the past century, or at least close to being equal to Muhammad Ali. Since Jack Johnson reigned as the heavy weight boxing champion for several years in the early part of the 20th century it just galled the white folk in that era. PBS documented his life here.

Debates are like boxing matches. No intelligent person thinks that the issues are solved depending on who wins a debate. No one. But debates are entertaining and educational. The debaters are sparring, yes. We like to watch them. They want to win. We want our man (or woman) to win for our side. But they are like boxing matches. And Dawkins is the leading atheist in our generation. So Christians are acting just like the supremacists did back in Jack Johnson's day. "Knock Dawkins out," they're saying. "Embarrass him." "Show the world our Christian man is better than your atheist man." "They're a minority and so let's keep them in their place." In Johnson's day it was a fight between the races. This is a fight between skepticism and faith.

But to burst the Christian bubble let's place this debate challenge in a larger context. Bill Craig has refused to debate me so far. When I was a student of his he said something I thought was odd at the time. This was back in 1985 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He said "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine."

Yep, he said this. I doubt very much he will deny saying it. I'm waiting and willing to debate him. I know I'm not a leading atheist but I am among a number of recognized atheists. And I know something about Christian apologetics and theology too.

Bill Craig says his refusal so far to debate me is because he does not want to turn me into "Mr. Anti-Christian Apologist." Okay. But will someone please ask Bill at his next debate to confirm or deny that the person he fears debating the most is a former student of his? Will someone stand up and ask Craig that question just as the Christian in the video above asked Dawkins why he won't debate Craig?

Then let's see what Christian bloggers will have to say about that. ;-)