From Nelson Jones:
Richard Dawkins stands accused of cowardice for refusing to debate with an Amercian theologian, William Lane Craig. He responds that he’s too busy and that Craig is nothing but a professional debater.
Naturally, Dawkins is under no obligation to take part in someone else’s publicity tour, but the allegation does have some force, not least because Craig has a reputation for eating atheists for breakfast.
Even Christopher Hitchens, it is generally conceded (even by atheists), lost his encounter with Craig on points….
Perhaps the atheists’ collective failure in debates with skilled believers such as Craig is only to be expected. Essentially, they have to try harder.
An atheist is like the lion running for its dinner – victory is desirable but not crucial. Theists need better arguments – like the gazelle running for its life – because they need to, as the default setting of our society is now atheist, or at the very least agnostic.
Whatever the beliefs of individual scientists, science is a fundamentally atheistic endeavour. By which I mean that no single scientific theory – if one ignores the quasi-scientific concept of Intelligent Design – relies on or invokes God. An explanation of science that depended on God would not, in scientific terms, be an explanation at all.
But then no historian, searching for the root causes of significant events, considers divine intervention, either: even the Holocaust, which clearly raises questions for theology, does not raise theological questions for historians….
To articulate a convincing case for God in a society that functions almost entirely on the assumption of his non-existence is, therefore, no easy proposition. It requires intellectual flexibility, imagination, an ability to look beyond the obvious. As such, we should expect believers to win debates with atheists. Needless to say, it does not mean that they are right.