Exploring Why Richard Dawkins Is Chickening Out

 An atheist blog founder of Debunking Christianity, author of “Why I Became An Atheist” and former Christian minister John W. Loftus reviewed William Lane Craig Vs Christopher debate, under the title William Lane Craig “Won by a Landslide” Against Hitchens as follows:

That’s what Roger Sharp said on Facebook after watching the debate in person. [Full disclosure, Sharp is a Christian]. This is exactly what I had predicted. Christian professor Doug Geivett weighed in on the debate where he said: Craig “was thoroughly prepared for every aspect of the debate and never faltered in his response to objections by Hitchens,” and that Hitchens’s arguments “were largely unfocused, sometimes disconnected, and often irrelevant.” Over at Common Sense Atheism (which is a great source for Craig debates) is an atheist review of the debate where we read: “Frankly Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.” For more info visit here.

Dawkins, Haris, Dennett

What does this have to do with Richard Dawkins?

Everything! Pro. Dawkins knows that William Lane Craig is prepared for every aspect of the debate and as a matter of fact, Dawkins has yet to respond to Bills’ critique of The God Delusion,(see the  first chapter of, God Is Good, God Is Great, Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible)

One can understand why Dawkins is Chickening Out, when he/she reads how William Lane Craig shattered his objections.

A good example can be seen when Craig shattered one of the popular Dawkinian objection “Who Design the Designer?” which is countless repeated in New Atheists’ books.

Dawkins’ Objection To Teleological Argument:

But of course any God capable of intelligently designing as complex as the DNA/protein replicating machinery must have been at least as complex and organized as that machine itself. Far more so if we suppose him additionally capable of such advanced functions as listening to prayers and forgiving sins. To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like “God was always there,” and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well say that “DNA was always there,” or “Life was always there,” and be done with it. (Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Longman, 1986, p. 141.)

Echoed By an atheist apologist and philosopher Daniel C. Dennett:

“Since, as Dawkins notes, the hypothesis that [organized, complex] mind plays such a role in the universe could not possibly be explanatory, we should ask: With what other hypotheses is the architecture of the universe consistent?”(Dennett, Atheism and Evolution; The Cambridge Companion to Atheism; The Cambridge University Press;2007, p143.)

And again by Christopher Hitchens:

the postulate of a designer or creator only raises the unanswerable question of who designed the designer or created the creator. Religion and theology… have consistently failed to overcome this objection(Hitchens, God is not Great, Hachette Book Group; 2007, p71.)

William Lane Craig shattering the Objection:

First, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn’t have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from. Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there. In order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn’t be able to explain the explanation. In fact, so requiring would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn’t be able to explain the designer.

Secondly, Dawkins thinks that in the case of a divine designer of the universe, the designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. But leave those questions aside. Dawkins’ fundamental mistake lies in his assumption that a divine designer is an entity comparable in complexity to the universe. As an unembodied mind, God is a remarkably simple entity. As a non-physical entity, a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it. In contrast to the contingent and variegated universe with all its inexplicable quantities and constants, a divine mind is startlingly simple. Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas—it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus—, but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. Dawkins has evidently confused a mind’s ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the universe most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.(Craig: Reasonable Faith Site)

See Also:  Full Shattering of Dawkins’ Teleological Argument Objection by William Lane Craig

So why is Richard Dawkins Chichening Out? Well, Sam Harris has a hint “[William Lane Craig is] the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists”


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