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A.C. Grayling does a Dawkins on debating William Lane Craig

Here (06/09/2011), Wintery Knight pursues the question of why AC Grayling, as well as Richard Dawkins won’t debate William Lane Craig, complete with clips. Grayling gives as his reasons:

Having been invited to debate Craig, Professor Grayling replied: 

I am not interested in debating Professor Craig, though if he would like to co-opt me for the publicity for his tour – I would be happy to debate him on the question of the existence of fairies and water-nymphs. But as for the very uninteresting matter of whether there is just one god or goddess and that it can be debated despite the claim that it is transcendently ineffable and unknowable – that is an empty prospect, hence my declining the invitation. -

Which prompted this response from a popular British TV presenter:

Justin Brierley, who presents Premier Radio’s highly-rated discussion programme, Unbelievable?, comments: 

“It looks insulting and worryingly narrow minded when an invitation to defend such views against a top-flight Christian academic such as Dr. Craig is dismissed in these terms. Grayling is seen as a key proponent of rationalism and atheism in the UK. It will therefore come as a surprise to many that he is so unwilling to defend the rational grounds for atheism against a major opponent.”

Dawkins, meanwhile, must also defend himself against accusations of cowardice by a fellow atheist here. Vid.

Many ask whether Grayling and Dawkins can continue to take refuge in self-evident superiority, given that Craig has debated other well-known new atheists such as Harris and Krauss. It’s significant that a TV presenter is now weighing in.

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13 Responses to A.C. Grayling does a Dawkins on debating William Lane Craig

  1. I’m sure Craig would be willing to debate questions other than the existence of God, such as what is the philosophical basis of atheism and rationalism.

  2. 2

    Dawkins coward video… This one made me tinkle a little:


  3. William Lane Craig Devastates Francisco José Ayala


    Peppered moths, dog breeding, and “God wouldn’t have done it that way” is all the Darwinist has to offer in an attempt to defend the indefensible.

    This is not science. It’s 19th-century, God-is-dead ideology which is completely divorced from the discoveries of contemporary legitimate science.

    No wonder folks like Grayling and Dawkins won’t debate Craig. They know in advance that they are completely outclassed by Craig, and will lose the debate on the basis of logic and evidence.

    The entire Darwinian edifice was built on a structure of complete ignorance about the nature of living systems, which is now known, and it is based on information and highly sophisticated information-processing technology, not chemistry. Chemistry is the hardware; software is the message that makes it all work.

    Software requires a programmer. It does not, and cannot, write itself.

  4. The entire Darwinian edifice was built on a structure of complete ignorance about the nature of living systems …

    That, and “personal credulity” … or, at any rate, credulity about the “right” things.

  5. Justin Brierley “popular British TV presenter”

    Uhm – I had never heard of him so I did a little checking.  He is a presenter on “Christian Premier Radio” a dedicated Christian broadcasting station with about 135,000 listeners which makes it the 238th most popular radio station in the UK (over 40 million people listen to the radio in the UK).

    Maybe it is not so very significant that he is weighing in.

  6. Speaking of Justin Brierley, This week he has John Lennox, from ‘The Conference’, on his program:


    ‘Justin introduces two elements of the conference. Professor John Lennox, Scientist and Christian apologist gave the opening address “What are we apologising for?”

    We also hear a round table discussion with audience Q&A that took place between Conference speakers David Robertson, David Instone-Brewer, Jay Smith and Mark Roques. They discuss questions on Old Testament reliability, whether apologists need to agree theologically and Osama Bin Laden.’

  7. Mark,

    I think that many of the people who matter — and by that I mean apologists and thinkers — are listening to Unbelievable. The dumb masses would probably be listening to the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey or some other brain-dead nonsense.

    It is a superb show btw and always pits a Christian against someone of the opposite persuasion.

    Out of curiosity, I wonder how many atheist radio programs do likewise? Know of any?

  8. #7 NZer

    Well I guess it is question of whom you think matters. A Christian radio station in the UK is unlikely to have many listeners other than committed Christians. Are they the ones that matter?

    I guess you are not familiar with UK radio. The UK is almost the exact opposite of the US in that the printed press is absolute rubbish, while radio and TV are often rather good – especially the radio. It is absurd to claim that those who do not listen to a committed Christian radio station are listening to the equivalent of Oprah Winfrey. The viewing figures are here. The most popular stations (excluding groups of stations) with figures of over 10 million are primarily music (e.g. BBC radio 2, radio 1). The most popular talk station by some distance is BBC radio 4 which is includes news, current affairs, drama, documentaries, and really quite demanding discussion programmes such as In Our Time, The Moral Maze, Start the Week, etc etc.  

    I am not sure what an atheist radio station would be! There are some people who try to turn atheism into a movement but it is primarily just an absence of belief. However, there are plenty of radio 4 programmes which include religious issues and some specifically about religion e.g. Beyond Belief. It is standard practice to include a wide range of views among the speakers.

  9. markf writes: “There are some people who try to turn atheism into a movement but it is primarily just an absence of belief.”

    Atheism is a movement. There’s a group here called American Atheists, which was started by Madalyn Murray O’Hair years ago. Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and PZ Myers preach the gospel of atheism in nonfiction books.

  10. #9 Barb

    As I said there are some people who try to turn atheism into a movement. But that is a recent event and the majority of atheists do not find it necessary to promote their lack of belief. Why would they?

  11. markf:

    …and the majority of atheists do not find it necessary to promote their lack of belief.

    Which explains your frequent visits here at UD.

  12. Here’s a micro-documentary about Dawkins’ list of refusals to debate Craig, and the challenge to debate in October… notice A C Grayling sitting next to Dawkins in one the shots, presumably thinking “don’t ask me… don’t ask *me*!”

    “William Lane Craig, Richard Dawkins and The Empty Chair”



  13. Who can go past all this without saying something? Dawkins and Grayling are very good examples of what atheism does to rationality and intellect. Of course, the british “intelligence” has always been much of a fraud. They seem more like shakespearean drama teachers than professors. A lot of boasting of rhetoric and pointless nonsense (Chris Hitchens) and their rebuttals usually consist of inconsiderate bias that has nothing to do with science.

    Dawkins is the least professional person ever. He is the epitome of the kind of evil you get when mixed with atheism. And after his remark about how he would kill children, I wouldn’t trust having my child around him. He definitely has a lot wrong with his head. And you don’t need to be a Christian to notice it. After my long observations of him, it seems obvious that he accuses his opponents of the things he himself is guilty of. Anyone else notice this? He just made hypocrisy a new mental disorder.

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