Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Friday Night Funny: There’s probably no Dawkins showing up to debate Craig

There's Probably No Dawkins

There's Probably No Dawkins

Full story here. (H/T Apologetics 315)

Excerpt:

‘THERE’S PROBABLY NO DAWKINS’ SLOGAN FOR OXFORD BUSES
‘Reasonable Faith Tour’ with William Lane Craig Responds to Dawkins Boycott

A message with a familiar ring to it will be rolling out on the side of buses in Oxford from 10th of October. ‘There’s Probably No Dawkins. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Oct 25th at the Sheldonian Theatre’

The advertising campaign follows Richard Dawkins’ refusal to publicly debate the existence of God with philosopher William Lane Craig when he visits the UK in October. He has an open invitation to debate Craig at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre on 25th October.

The Oxford bus campaign echoes the 2009 London atheist bus advertisements: ‘There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life.’

The ‘Reasonable Faith Tour’ organisers, supported by Premier Christian Radio, commissioned the advert, which will roll out on 30 buses in Oxford from 10th October for two weeks. ‘There’s Probably No Dawkins. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Oct 25th at the Sheldonian Theatre’ promotes this significant event.

BACKGROUND: William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, California and is arguably the world’s foremost defender of historic Christianity. Widely respected among academic philosophers, he has debated with many leading atheists across the world, including Peter Atkins, Daniel Dennett, Anthony Flew, A.C.Grayling, Christopher Hitchens, Lewis Wolpert and most recently, Sam Harris.

Harris has described him as “the one Christian apologist who has put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists.”

THE REFUSALS: Dawkins’ refusal to debate Craig highlights the lack of leading British Humanists prepared to debate him.

Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, and outspoken atheist and critic of religion, has refused four separate invitations to debate Craig, sent from The British Humanist Association, The Cambridge Debating Union, the Oxford Christian Union and Premier Christian Radio.

Dawkins’ refusal to debate led fellow Oxford academic Dr Daniel Came, who is an atheist himself, to write a letter to Dawkins stating that,“the absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.”

[...]The Sheldonian evening will be chaired by an Oxford Professor of Philosophy, who is himself an atheist. The stage will be set for a debate or a lecture should Dawkins not show up. Craig intends to tackle the central arguments in Dawkins book before a panel of academics who will respond to his lecture, before questions are invited from the audience.

[...]An open invitation has been sent to Richard Dawkins to change his mind and debate with Craig in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre on October 25th. If he does not come, an empty chair will be placed on the stage, and will remain there.

How can you get tickets to the events? Look here:

I think this is a good reminder about why Christians should care about the economy. No government will ever fund ads like this, it’s up to us to do it. We should vote conservative so that we keep more of our own money for things like this that a secular left government will never fund. Always vote conservative, and save your money.

Just one more small thing for this Friday night’s fun.

Happy Friday!

UPDATE: If you would like to see Dawkins’ opponent in action, watch this debate between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens:

This is what Dawkins is afraid will happen to him.

Filed under: Humor, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where’s Dawkins? Debating or promoting his books to his gullible followers?

Where's Dawkins?

BirdieUpon asks: Where's Dawkins?

So the top defender of Christianity operating today is going to be doing a speaking/debating tour of the UK. The organizers have asked Richard Dawkins to come out and defend atheism, but Dawkins is not willing to discuss atheism with anyone who isn’t… already an atheist.

What is Dawkins doing instead of debating?

From BirdieUpon’s blog. (H/T Apologetics 315)

Excerpt:

Craig has not sought to debate Dawkins. He’s responded to invitations from independent organisations who have tried to set this up – in fact he’s never set up a single debate, himself, in his life!

Best of all, Dawkins will actually be spending October… self-promoting! He’ll be charging around the country and in TV studios plugging his new book The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True! In fact, Dawkins will be promoting it in the Royal Albert Hall on October 19th, while Craig is in Cambridge delivering a lecture on Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design.

Dawkins’ calendar, on his website, indicates that October 25th (the night of Dawkins’ challenge to fill Oxford Sheldonian Theatre’s empty debating chair) is free for him. It also, however, mentions a movie-screening in New York, so one hopes Dawkins isn’t planning on fleeing the country!

William Lane Craig’s speaking and debating tour of the UK is almost upon us, and now might be a good time to review some of his debates.

Dr. Craig normally debates two topics: 1) Does God exist? and 2) Did Jesus rise from the dead?

Does God Exist?

For the question of God’s existence, he uses 5 arguments.

You can see them being used in this debate against Christopher Hitchens:

Did Jesus Rise from the dead?

For the question of Jesus’ resurrection, he uses 1 argument based on four “minimal facts”, which are all accepted by the majority of scholars.

You can see them being used in this debate against Bart Ehrman:

If you watch both of these, that should prepare you for the news of the UK debates when it comes out. The tour starts on October 17th and will go until October 26th. You can learn more about Dr. Craig from this radio interview that he just did on the Unbelievable radio show, with Justin Brierley.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Announcing the Reasonable Faith 2011 UK tour with Dr. William Lane Craig

And here’s the schedule:

The details of the tour are still being arranged, and the schedule below will be updated as events are finalised.

Monday 17th October 2011
7.30pm Does God Exist?
Public Debate with Stephen Law, lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, London and Editor of the magazine of the Royal Institute of Philosophy THINK. Arranged by Premier Radio.
Westminster Central Hall, Storeys Gate, London, SW1H 9NH

Tuesday 18th October 2011 **NEW**
12.30 Student Lecture “The Evidence for God”
Pippard Lecture Theatre (Sherfield Building), Imperial College London (South Kensington Campus), Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ
Refreshments from 12.00. Start promptly at 12.30.
We hope this event will be webstreamed to the world – details will be announced here on bethinking.org when available.

Wednesday 19th October 2011
7.30pm Public lecture on Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design followed by a panel response
St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge

Thursday 20th October 2011
7.30pm Debate at the Cambridge Union: “This House Believes that God is not a Delusion”
Proposing the motion: William Lane Craig and Peter S. Williams
Opposing the motion: Arif Ahmed and Andrew Copson
The Cambridge Union, Cambridge
[N.B. This event is open only to members of the Cambridge Union]

Friday 21st October 2011
7.30pm Does God Exist?
Debate with Professor Peter Millican, Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University
The Great Hall, Birmingham University, Edgbaston, B15 2TT

Saturday 22nd October 2011
9.30am – 5.30pm Bethinking National Apologetics Day Conference
Westminster Chapel, London
Opening and closing lectures from William Lane Craig
Further lectures from Gary Habermas, John Lennox and Peter J. Williams

Sunday 23rd October 2011

Monday 24th October 2011
7.30pm Lecture “The Historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection”
Southampton Guildhall, Southampton SO14 7LP

Tuesday 25th October 2011
7.30pm Lecture “Is God a Delusion?” A Critique of Dawkins’ The God Delusion
[or a debate with Richard Dawkins if he should accept the invitation]
Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3AZ

Wednesday 26th October 2011
7.30pm Does God Exist?
Debate with Dr Peter Atkins, former Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University
University Place Lecture Theatre, Manchester University, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

“Why isn’t there more of this kind of thing being preached from church pulpits?  If there were, I’d go more often and I’d stay awake during the sermon!”
Comment from a self-confessed irregular churchgoer during the 2007 Reasonable Faith Tour.

N.B. All the events will be recorded and will eventually become available to the public.

I note that Craig will be facing Arif Ahmed and Peter Atkins again for re-matches. I hope they do better than they did the first time around…

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MUST-HEAR: Glenn Peoples debates Arif Ahmed on God and morality

Another good Unbelievable debate between theist Glenn Peoples and atheist Arif Ahmed.

Details:

Torturing children for fun – is that absolutely wrong?

The Moral Argument for God states that there are such things as objective moral facts, and that objective moral facts must have an immaterial source – namely God.  Therefore God Exists… Simple right?

However, atheist Cambridge Philosopher Arif Ahmed disagrees with the first two premises.  He debates with New Zealand’s Christian philosopher Glenn People’s on whether the argument proves the existence of God.

So, are moral beliefs nothing more than our “preferences”? What do we do with the intuition that certain things are absolutely wrong?  Are atheists who affirm moral facts but deny God, being inconsistent?

The MP3 file is here.

I would not really characterize Glenn as an orthodox “Christian” philosopher, although he claims to be – because he doesn’t hold to some beliefs that are essential. E-mail me if you want more info and links to his statements. But he makes good arguments for theism.

Summary

Are there moral facts?

Glenn Peoples:

  • Here is my argument:
  1. If there are moral facts, then they have a basis that is either supernatural or natural
  2. If there are moral facts, then there basis is not natural
  3. Therefore, if there are moral facts, then there basis is supernatural
  4. A supernatural person is the most plausible way to think of the the basis of moral facts
  5. If there are moral facts, then the best way to think about their basis is that they are grounded by a supernatural person

Arif Ahmed:

  • There are no moral facts
  • There is no sensory evidence for moral facts
  • I would only accept sensory evidence for the existence of moral facts
  • Each person has preferences for how to treat other people
  • I campaign for things I personally prefer
  • So morality for me is doing whatever I want

Glenn Peoples:

  • Well, that is not moral conduct, that’s “satisfaction conduct”
  • You are doing what satisfies you, but it’s not normative
  • There is no ought there
  • It’s not prescriptive of what you should do, it’s just descriptive of what you do

Arif Ahmed:

  • I would interfere with other people’s preferences if I didn’t prefer them

Glenn Peoples:

  • What do you mean you “ought to” impose your preferences on other people

Arif Ahmed:

  • I do this thing I prefer and this thing I prefer and this thing I prefer
  • I do certain things because I like the way I feel when I do them
  • Nothing defines moral standards because there are no moral standards

Glenn Peoples:

  • On Arif’s view, it is impossible that anyone’s preference could be “wrong”
  • Each person’s preferences are supreme and cannot be judged on Arif’s view
  • On his view, someone who tortures people for fun is as justified as someone who doesn’t because both act on the basis of preferences

Arif Ahmed:

  • We can’t prove the existence of moral facts because only things that can be perceived with the senses are real

Glenn Peoples:

  • But even sensory inputs cannot be proven to be reliable using the senses

Is Glenn’s argument valid?

Arif Ahmed

  • Well, what if I arbitrarily assert that harm is morally wrong without sensory evidence for that moral fact, thus breaking my own rule about what counts as true
  • that makes me look like less of sociopath than before, right?
  • so how about that?
  • even if there were moral facts, God doesn’t have to be the cause of them

Glenn Peoples:

  • If there are moral obligations, they must be owed to a person, not to a state of affairs

Arif Ahmed:

  • Human beings don’t have any proper function, no way we ought to be
  • Each person just decides what they want

Glenn Peoples:

  • What about purpose, is there any reason why we are here?
  • On atheism, you would have to say no

Arif Ahmed:

  • An atheist could have a purpose for your life in an accidental universe without a designer
  • I don’t believe there is a purpose to life though
  • But you can choose social justice, or yoga, or vegetarianism, or video games and have meaning in life
  • And an arbitrary, narcissistic, illusory purpose is just as valid as an objectively true purpose (and as healthy!)
  • It’s very liberating to be able to make up your own arbitrary purpose and arbitrary preferences
  • You can even pretend they are significant and meaningful and that you are a good person (but they aren’t!)

Glenn Peoples:

  • Just to be fair, the idea of objective meaning and objective purpose does require creativity and work – it’s not a cop out

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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