The Debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

You can listen to it here.


Hallq said...

Someone tell me if anything interesting comes up in the later parts of this debate. I tried the first time around, but really the format was all off and Lennox was intolerably silly.

Caleb Wimble said...

The entire "debate" was a travesty, particularly in regards to the utterly biased format which allowed Lennox to attack The God Delusion without Dawkins being given a chance to respond.
Dawkins was in perhaps the worst form I have yet heard him, and yet he still managed to demolish the pitiful arguments presented by Lennox - who, incidentally, came off as nothing more than a raving lunatic for a great portion of the debate, refusing to actually address any of the issues presented by Dawkins and instead spouting a river of mindless drivel and circular reasoning.

It's no wonder Dawkins typically refuses to debate believers. Here we have him faced off against one of the foremost Christian "scientific" minds, and the result is nothing more than an hour-and-a-half joke, with Christian debate ethics serving as the punchline.

Ah well. If anything, it demonstrated the typical inability of Christian "experts" to provide any sort of reasonable basis for their arguments. Lennox's guns were as empty as they could possibly be; even Josh McDowell's ludicrously weak arguments from Evidence that Demands a Verdict were more convincing than Lennox's imbecility.

My apologies if I come off as offensive, but I am only honestly describing what I have heard. If anyone believes I am reacting too strongly and too brusquely, they have only to listen to this "debate" to understand my indignation. Even Christians will likely be appalled at the results of this program.

cipher said...

"Debates" of this kind are nearly always fruitless. Neither side comes away questioning their basic assumptions. Stephen Jay Gould used to refuse to debate creationists. He knew that his opponent's supporters wouldn't change their minds, would hear what they wanted to, and would come away feeling vindicated in that the mere fact that an evolutionist would even debate a creationist meant that he considered it to be a defensible position. He was concerned that he'd legitimate it by implication.

Rabbis tend generally to refuse to debate missionaries and "Messianic Jews" for the same reason.

Joseph said...

Not entirely useless, cipher. They help those of us with open minds to better discern which side has a better grasp of the truth.

cipher said...

Yeah, but you already know which side has a better grasp of the truth!

If it's a debate between two evolutionists, for example - classical Darwinianism vs. punctuated equilibrium - then I can see the value. But a debate between an atheist and a Christian? Or between a Christian and a proponent of another religion? I have yet to hear or read the transcript of one that has impressed me. I'd like to hear one that did!

Shygetz said...

I might agree that it is a bad tactical idea for a majority view to debate a minority; however, it is important to remember that debates tend to be toward a lay audience, and lay audiences (especially in Birmingham, AL) tend to be religious. So, what have we got to lose? Show 'em that we're not crazy, not immoral, and don't hate God, and that we have reasons for not believing that go beyond mere obstinancy and rebellion.

Joseph said...

"I have yet to hear or read the transcript of one that has impressed me. I'd like to hear one that did!"

I guess it depends on who the audience is. These debates helped me when I was in the process of questioning my faith. For the first time, I opened myself up to reading and listening to atheistic reasoning. It started with debates of this kind.

cipher said...

Okay. If that's the case, I concede.

B H said...

Listening to part 2 right now, and I have to agree with comments on the format. You can hear Dawkins getting fed up with it, its so clear I can picture his body language in my mind.

B H said...

In another thread, akakiwibear complained that we weren't taking the debate seriously, so, I have:

DY said...

I used to be an agnostic or maybe even an atheist (not really sure as the core of my heart struggled whenever I think there is no God in our lives and simply ignore it). Anyway, I used to live my life as if there's no God. Something happened to me in 2002 facing possibly the toughest times in my life (where you feel like there's no reason to go on anymore, I was suddenly put in a position where I was absolutely lost, not sure who to depend on, and who I can turn to).

Yet, in all those years of living my adult life as if there was no God, I was constantly living in fear (everything from fearful of losing money to darkness to walking alone to the happenings around the world), I was frequently angry (bad temperament as well as tendency to fight physically with people (I'm also well trained in martial arts)), frequently feeling insecure, hyper-critical of others, addicted to pornography and feel quilty about it. So, here I was a highly educated man, come from an established family background, worked in major corporations and have been a businessman for 10 years now, successful and reputable in the industry in the city I live in but living my life (in the inside, I was downright miserable). Outwardly I can show to others that I am ok. My relationship with my wife and family was seemingly "hanging by the thread" because of my anger.

Then, everything changed in 2001 after my business partnership collapsed as a result of partners disputes, I lost everything that I had built up over the few years before that, got myself tangled with business debts, sued by people whom you had once trusted, friends that you thought were friends dissapeared (as you are no longer the one with the money or the position in society), couldn't turn to my own family for help because of pride and my track record with them. Well, basically I was all alone facing a mountain of challenges. And I've learnt - truly anger and pride will always lead to no good. Always. Not only it is foolish but it never reaps harvests with good values.

So, I think all of you reading this would probably see where my testimony story is leading to - Yes, I believed in God sometime in 2002 by a miraculous incident (I could never had planned it, so I thank God for His amazing grace, mercy and He is still doing miracles for people all over the world). Yes, my life had completely turned around, and I've never been more joyful, more peaceful, more loving, more secured. I couldn't comprehend using my own understanding of things, but as simply as God's words said as I read on that night in 2002, my heart yearns for someone to help me, and something truly amazing happened. My relationship with my wife and all my family members have never been better. I have made many new friends who now are concerned of my inner well being rather than what we have on the outside. My new business is wonderfully blessed and growing. Yes, life still have challenges (work, family) every now and then but now I face them with a new sense of hope, always believing and knowing being greatly loved by God, and so often, things are resolved quicker and even miraculously. All I can say is wonderful. Could I have done all these by my own strength, no way. I benefit from nothing for making up all these, but with love and hope that you would experience the abundant life promised to us free from the bondages of sin that births fear, insecurities, anger, self delusions, loneliness, lust.

I've always believed that in everything that we choose to believe, in life (on earth anyway), if our innerselves never have the peace, joy, love, faithfulness, patience, self control regardless of any sort of circumstances (good or bad), then it is foolish to continue living our lives believing in those set of values or beliefs. Rather, make the bold move to decide to change and make our inner-selves better, constantly flowing with the peace, joy, love, patience, self-control, goodness, gentleness that come from within. Am I advocating being soft and stupid, no way. I've never been a better business leader, a financial leader, a family leader, a better public spokesperson than now living my life totally knowing that there is a real and living God constantly loving me.

Have I subscribed to a religion? No. Jesus had never ever advocated people to join up a religion (in the Bible) contrary to what majority of Christians think and know. Jesus called all of us to seek the truth and be reconciled with God, whom all of us had been separated because of sin. He came so that we have the life promised by God for all His children (while on earth). In fact, it were the "super religious" who first persecuted Jesus, not the Romans, they were merely following the orders given by the highest religious Jewish leaders during that time. The religious couldn't accept a single word Jesus preached to the people and to them. He was radically different.

It is true that none of us are willingly to die (deep in our hearts), we merely accept death as part of our lives process. The scriptures tell us that God had put eternity in every person's heart. Have you ever thought about love being the only thing that every dying person can't let go of, not our mercedes, BMWs, holiday homes, luxury boats, rolexs, designer clothes, jewelry, etc. I recently attended my aunt's funeral, she died of cancer. I was there with her and her family during her last moments. I was griefed because God let me see how amazing and beautiful love is even at that miserable time frame. I can my aunt's last moments were not wanting to let go because she will missed all her children. Her children (my cousins) were not wanting to see mom go because they will soon lose their mom. So, love is meant for eternity. Love being such a amazing and beautiful thing given to all of us is not subjected to a human body shape, not subjected to any circumstances. Those feelings are not love. Because of love, parents are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect their children, not because the children are "super" smart, or "super" handsome or beautiful, but the simple, yet profound and powerful love that binds souls together regardless of every circumstances. It is sad to see that media is projecting all the wrong messages about love to the people of the world - the love that is often projected are closely linked to bodily attractiveness, subjected to things we expect and being satisfied. Yes, we all like beautiful objects, including me. My wife is absolutely beautiful, but as your relationship years grow, the love you pour out and share stems from a deeper source and that source must be nourished with truths and revelations that are beyond human understanding. I found those truths in the Bible.

God bless and have a wonderful New Year filled with every blessings in your lives.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

not stupid said...

Many of the comments for Dawkins and against Lennox sound like members of a mutual admiration society patting each other on the back. Pathetic.

It seems that there are two types of people - those narrow-minded individuals with a position to defend and those that really have an open mind, a degree of humility and a real desire to know the truth.

These two groups span both sides of the debate but seem to reside more in the naturalistic/atheistic camp.

free'n'fancy said...

Does being narrow-minded mean someone who affirms that there is absolutely no god or someone who is open to the idea of god?
Narrow-minded people could be right about the truth and broad-minded people could be wrong. At the end of the day this is not the arbiter of truth: It is whether the particular worldview conforms with reality - Is it atheism, theism, pantheism, deism or something else?
Every world view must deal with 4 questions:
1. Origin: where do we come from?
2. Meaning: why are we here?
3. Morality: what is right or wrong, good or bad?
4. Destiny: where do are going and where will we ultimately end up?

You then apply the tests of truth to each of these 4 questions individually and collectively:
1. Logical coherence. Is the worldview that you hold logically coherent?
2. Empirical adequacy. What is the evidence for (and against)
3. Experiential relevance. Does this resonate with you and work out in practice in your everyday life?

Whether you are a naturalist/atheist or a theist (or something else), it is worth your while to consider your worldview and the alternatives. There is one thing going for being 'broad-minded', you will want to follow where the evidence leads you to and you will be willing to look critically at all the alternatives. Not all of the alternatives can be true, maybe none of them are true but my personal conviction is that there is one worldview that most satisfactorily and plausibly meets the tests of truth. If you are a genuine seeker of truth then my recommendation is that you do so with a questioning but humble attitude. If you want to know more please return the correspondence.