Richard Dawkins Accused of “Cowardice”

Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins has been accused of “cowardice” for ducking a debate with William Lane Craig. The Telegraph reports that Dawkins does not want to lower himself by debating a person like Craig. According to the article,

“Prof Dawkins maintains that Prof Craig is not a figure worthy of his attention and has reportedly said that such a contest would ‘look good’ on his opponent’s CV but not on his own.”

I have to agree with Dawkins on this one. Losing a debate with William Lane Craig probably would not look very good on his CV.


  • Paul

    I’ve seen Craig a couple of times, and was never really impressed. At least not on the level that I have been by Ravi Zaccharias, Alistair Begg or John Piper. If Dawkins refused to debate Zaccharias, then I’d accuse him of cowardice, but not here.

  • Ryan K.

    Paul no offense, but all the men you listed would not even pretend to be in Dr. Craig’s league as far as philosophy and debating goes.

    Dr. Craig publishes at the highest levels in his field and is second to none in the world for debate accomplishments.

    This really is sad and telling though, as it shows Dawkins is hardly serious about promoting “reason” and “logic” when he ducks Craig.

    The bottom line is it reveals he knows that he is out of his depth and biological background and ill-equipped to enter the arena with someone like Craig.

    Even the best and brightest of the New Atheists like Sam Harris have fared very poorly in debates with Dr. Craig. Just youtube the most recent debate Dr. Craig did with Dr. Harris at Notre Dame and you will see what I mean.

  • Matthew

    I certainly can’t blame Dawkins for ducking Craig… why would he set himself up to be humiliatied? But there’s nothing new about all this.

    A couple years back I wrote about a conversation I had with an atheistic co-worker about this phenomenon.

    Christianity has been on the outs in England for some time, and Dawkins is kicking a dying dog. If he was really as much about “reason” and fighting religion, he’d take on Allah.

  • Donald Johnson

    Just as the Surpreme Court gets to decide which cases it will take, so do others at the level of Dawkins get to decide whether to debate someone or not. He is in the position of a chess grandmaster declinging to play. He can do it, but not too many times or he loses his crown.

  • Gabe

    We can’t assume the motives of someone who refuses to debate. And it certainly doesn’t mean Dawkins is afraid of Craig, or that Dawkins secretly realizes that Craig is right and atheism is false. For instance, Craig refuses to debate John Loftus, one of his former students. Does this mean Craig is afraid of Loftus? The bottom line is we don’t know their reasons or motives for refusing to debate.

  • yankeegospelgirl

    Matthew, actually I think Dawkins at least attempts to be consistent in his dismissal of all things “religious.” He’s made a lot of negative comments about Islam too. Of course he tries to claim that somehow it’s all equally dangerous, which is a lot of hooey even from a practical perspective. Oh yeah, if we’re not careful the Amish are going to come and get us. Remember when they drove their horses and buggies into the World Trade Center?

  • Dave

    Quite frankly, when I’ve seen Craig he came off as rude and impersonal. It’s really not encouraging when you see a Christian and atheist debate and the atheist was more of a gentleman. Christians should seek to be persuasive not just in argument(word) but also in behavior (deed).

  • yankeegospelgirl

    I read a piece by someone recently that emphasized that very thing… the name is slipping my mind.

    Oh yeah. It was a transcribed lecture called “Advice to Christian Apologists” by none other than William Craig. Ain’t that just the darndest thang?

  • Donald Johnson

    Dawkins tend to pick low hanging fruit in his attacks on believers and even fellow atheists have pointed this out to him.

  • Robert Slowley

    Yeah, that was a really surprising article that came out of the blue. I’m pretty sure Dawkins will just buckle down and wait for the news to blow over though (which I imagine it already has outside of Christian circles).

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