Scott Stephens on Richard Dawkins

Last night on the ABC’s Q&A, atheist-at-large Richard Dawkins went head-to-head with the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell (see here). No offense to Pell, he’s a Pastor to priests, a manager of huge resources, and a spokesperson for thousands of people, but he does not have the intellectual and philosophical clout to take on a professional Christian-basher. I mean, Pell used to be a professional football player (as much as AFL is “football”). So Pell was a poor choice to take on Dawkins if you ask me. But it remains that the whole debate did nothing more than to ingrain polarities and to increase mutual prejudices. Nothing was advanced by the exchange.

Any way, over at ABC Religion & Ethics, Scott Stephens has a good take on the debate, and I loved his remark about Dawkins:

Richard Dawkins is not only the most theologically illiterate of the non-believing ultra-Darwinists, but he is also notoriously unsophisticated on questions of ethics and moral obligation.

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  • Joshua

    I believe Richard Dawkins has said that he will only debate a bishop or archbishop, or something to that effect. It’s not clear why, though. He either a) will only debate someone who will boost his reputation and resume, or b) is completely ignorant of the fact that having a position in the clergy does not mean you are a competent theologian or Biblical scholar. I think a is more likely.

    If Dawkins were out to teach or learn, or let others learn, he would’ve debated Bill Craig or even Francis Collins (the head of the Human Genome Project, and an unabashed Christian).

    The archbishop who debated (was it really a debate) Dawkins really needs to get a better theological and scientific education. I think that would only be to the good at this point.


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