"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Dawkins-Quinn debate

Zenit has published the transcript of the October 9 debate about the existence of God between the evangelically atheistic scientist Richard Dawkins and David Quinn, a Catholic and columnist at the Irish Independent. (The link takes you to Part II, which contains a link to Part I.) After reading it, my main question is: what's the weight class?

It isn't heavyweight. Neither man is a trained philosopher or theologian, and it shows. Each scores points but doesn't take them where they need to go. Dawkins gets a bit the better of it, but that's because he's been thinking fairly rigorously, by journalistic standards, for years. And Quinn is but a journalist. I tip my hat to him nonetheless: he did better than I would have expected. But I can think of many (including, I do not shrink from admitting, yours truly) who would have done better—well enough, in fact, to have got the better of Dawkins, who does not understand the best philosophical arguments for theism. I'd love to see him try to debate Alvin Plantinga.

Check it out yourself. I welcome comments here, and will post a few of my own this week.
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