Later in 2011 William Lane Craig will be visiting Oxford, stomping ground of Richard Dawkins. It’s no secret that Dawkins has quite self consciously presented himself – both in publications like The God Delusion and in public speaking engagements – as an outspoken apologist for atheism. For that reason then it’s a little surprising that he has repeatedly refused to debate probably the best known apologist for Christianity today, William Lane Craig. Craig has made it clear that he is more than happy for that public discussion to take place, and his time in Oxford would present the opportunity for just that.
There’s mounting pressure for Dawkins to take the opportunity – both from Christians and atheists alike. To an extent I confess that I’m in two minds. The fact is, Dawkins’ case against theism is an attempt at philosophy, and it’s really really bad philosophy. I frankly don’t think it deserves a platform like this, and it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. However, I’m well aware of the fact that regardless of what scholarly merits his work against theism might have, it has an enthusiastic fan base. Dawkins gets attention that he doesn’t deserve, and for that reason perhaps a public meeting like this is justified.
It’ll be interesting to see if this eventuates!