Craig is unworthy

William Lane Craig has his rhetoric down pretty well. He is a professional debater, after all. Ask him most any metaphysical or theological question and he will probably have a prepared answered well memorized. But that’s about as far as the guy can go. Actually engage his points and it isn’t difficult to defeat him.* But why should anyone bother debating the guy? He has made zero special contributions to his field other than to revive a long-dead, easily dismissed argument (one which, unlike a good deal of philosophy, can be directly addressed and defeated via empirical evidence). His primary claim to fame is that he likes to debate. I admit I occasionally enjoy watching debates myself, but I generally only watch the ones done by people with esoteric knowledge in a field. Craig, for that reason, is not worth watching.

And according to Richard Dawkins, he also is not worth debating.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either. Perhaps he is a “theologian”. For some years now, Craig has been increasingly importunate in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame me into a debate with him. I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: “That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine”.

It’s true. A debate between Dawkins and Craig, while it would rack up the YouTube hits, would only serve to benefit Craig. It would be beneath Dawkins to engage the guy.

But these facts aren’t stopping Craig from continuing “in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame” Dawkins into a debate. At one of his entertainment shows in England, Craig is going to place an empty chair on the stage to represent Dawkins’ absence. I’ll let the good doctor take it from here:

But what are we to make of this attempt to turn my non-appearance into a self-promotion stunt? In the interests of transparency, I should point out that it isn’t only Oxford that won’t see me on the night Craig proposes to debate me in absentia: you can also see me not appear in Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and, if time allows, Bristol.

Okay, I’m happy Dawkins isn’t going to debate the guy, but it wouldn’t be so bad to hear a few more knockdowns like that.

*When I went over to Mike’s to find some Craig links, it turned out he already had a post on this topic, as well as another Craig post. Further searches will reveal a good number more posts.

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