Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath debate

About 6 years ago, Richard Dawkins engaged in fascinating dialogue with Christian Academic, Alister McGrath, regarding issues of religion, Christianity, and God’s intervention.

Before I ask if anybody’s seen the debate…here’s a few highlights that I thought were interesting, and some that picked at my brain…

-Near the beginning, Richard Dawkins thought it was cruel of Christians to celebrate Christ’s crucifixition as the means of forgiveness, when he was ignoring the resurrection aspect, and the reason why Christ had to go through the process of suffering in his human form before his conquering of death. He did however ask why couldn’t God just forgive them (personally, I thought he was scratching at the surface).
-He brings up good examples of suffering in the world and he questions the idea of God intervening or not.

Just a few. I just wanted to start out with this list to see if I could get a train rolling. Anyway, has anybody else seen the debate? If so, thoughts?

First I would say that Richard Dawkins (and the rest of the so called New Atheists) has/have a very poor understanding of religion and an even poorer understanding of Christianity. Their “knowledge” of religion, especially Christianity amounts to little less than an elementary knowledge. You can see how poor they do when they debate people who are their “size” to say. Peoply such as William Lane Craig come to mind and although he is a protestant he in my opinion destroys atheists when he debates them. In fact he’s so good that Richard Dawkins himself refuses to debate him one on one. I’ve seen William Lane Craig’s debates with Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and other less known atheists, and I must say William Lane Craig does a great job. You can watch those debates on youtube. You should also check out William Lane Craigs website:

We can look at some. Figure to see if you’re right about this.

In a survey that Pew conducted in 2010 (, it was found that atheists knew more about religion than any other group.

In fact, out of thirty odd questions that were asked, Catholics that answered more than half correct were just 40%. Atheists were 82%.

but in general i would say atheists have a gross misunderstanding of religions and why religious followers do what they do. it’s because they are not a part of that religion or one in general that they do not know. almost like unintentional ignorance. they may know the facts about the religion but they don’t understand why the followers do what they do.

So the only conclusion we can draw is that Mr. Dawkins is a poor choice to defend the atheist side in a debate (because of a lack of knowledge of Christianity) or else he is part of the vast knowledge base that atheists apparently maintain, and he’s merely being dishonest in an attempt to portray God in a bad light and sway the ignorant.

Neither choice speaks well (for his particular case).

William Lane Craig makes them look silly

I just watched one William Vs. Hitchens. Hitchens never adressed his points properly and provided a refutation. Failure on hitchens part…

Very old stuff. And the objections are old as time. The answer of course is that whether or not God exists evil of every kind will always exist. So how is the objection a mark against God?
Of course we see goodness, order and perfection everywhere in the universe, past and present, in macro existence and in micro existence, even in nano-existence. How can you explain all this goodness without an All Good God? You sure can’t explain it without Him. Since He exists then and since He is the source of all Goodness we can only assume that what we call evil will be the occassion of some greater good. Which is exactly what Catholics believe. I don’t see any contradiction, though it admittedly won’t be accepted by Dawkins and many others. What he needs to do is read the Book of Job. That answers it all.

The mistake we make is to think we have to prove everything to everone. No, all we have to do or even all we can do is give reasonable answers and leave the rest to God. Some will believe and Praise God, some will not, so pray more. :thumbsup:

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