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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dawkins continues to duck Comfort

Today's article by Les Kinsolving raises yet again the question as to why atheist Richard Dawkins will not take a $20,000 payday to debate Ray Comfort. I doubt that this is in response to Comfort's abilities as a debater as much as the lack of confidence Dawkins has in his own arguments. From Kinsolving's article....
"Newsweek magazine's Oct. 5 edition devotes four full pages to Britain's atheist, Richard Dawkins. Three of these pages are given to an article by Dawkins, under the headline "The angry evolutionist." The fourth page is headlined "Darwin's Rottweiler." It features Dawkins' twice stipulating: "The God of the Old Testament is a monster."
It appears that Comfort is watching all of this and today's entry over at his blog entitled "God and Genocide" addresses one of the main criticisms of God by Dawkins. Like PZ Myers before him who ran and hid when confronted by the possibility of a debate with Vox Day, Dawkins is hardly doing his side any justice by refusing to come down off of his perch and debate the preacher from New Zealand.


Ross said...

Dawkins will be one of the speakers at the 2010 Global Atheist Convention to be held in Melbourne, Australia.

How good a debater is Comfort? You probably know of the debate he and Kirk Cameron had with members of the Rational Response Squad. Ray and Kirk didn't go too well on that occasion. If RRS had been debating William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias or Erwin Lutzer, it would have been them who were on the back foot.

JD Curtis said...

The only "debate" that I'm aware of w/Comfort is when he recently took on "Thunderf00t". It's on youtube and I think they called it a draw.

Ross, do you ever check out Vox Day's blog? He had a good thread today re:atheism. I'll have to check out Lutzer.

SmartLX said...

Enter "rrs comfort debate" on YouTube, you'll find the earlier one with the RRS several times over. It was televised on Nightline and everything.

JD Curtis said...

Thanks SLX. But back to that main question....WHY won't Dawkins accept a 20K payday to point out the error of a Kiwi? It doesnt make sense.

Tracy said...

After reading the above I checked out Vox Day's blog and find it interesting (he definitely doesn't worry about being PC)

JD Curtis said...

Are the fires put out yet Tracy?

I just posted this over at Makarios. Apparently Dawkins is too chicken to debate Stephen Meyer also.

SmartLX said...

1. He doesn't need the money, and would rather simply donate that amount to his foundation himself.

2. He knows a debate with Comfort, no matter what the result, is worth a fortune in publicity to Way of the Master and other creationists.

Remember the clip of Dawkins silently fuming, having realised he was talking to creationists, that was publicised as if he'd been "stumped"? Check out the mileage creationists have gotten out of that, by editing it different ways.

Imagine what could be done with just a five-second clip of Comfort threatening Dawkins with hell, face to face. Dawkins' response would be irrelevant. Even better, if Comfort managed to get a proper rise out of Dawkins there'd be an immortal clip of him being the quintessential "angry atheist".

$20,000 of work by the RDFRS or the CFI would be easily undone by publicity like that. It's just not worth the money. Dawkins has apparently decided, in fact, that only once the offer reaches $100,000 will it have a good chance at counteracting what Comfort intends to make of the debate. So that's where his counter-offer stands.

JD Curtis said...

Imagine what could be done with just a five-second clip of Comfort threatening Dawkins with hell, face to face

But is that really Comfort's style? Threatening opponents with Hell while debating them on the theory of evolution? I doubt it. Not that I believe that Comfort is the BEST debater. I would much rather see Vox Day or William Lane Craig debate him but ehh, you take what youm can get.

SmartLX said...

A better description of his style is threatening all and sundry with hell while tossing in the odd point about evolution.

Check out his debate with the RRS; once his initial points about evolution are out of the way, he and his lackey Kirk Cameron move straight onto the Ten Commandments and Pascal's Wager. He really didn't care how many of his points were answered or refuted by the other team, as long as he got to preach about God and the Bible on Nightline. (He had promised the RRS beforehand that he wouldn't use God or the Bible in his arguments, so he brought them up instead as complete non-sequiturs.)

Comfort sees pretty much any public exchange as another chance to evangelise directly to his opponents and to the public. It's only in his recent filmed conversation with Thunderf00t that he managed to stay on-topic, but that's because the topic was mostly God.

JD Curtis said...

Ehhh. I enjoy the banter and back and forth more at other blogs than Comfort's although he does occasionally suprise with some terrific threads. If he's going to argue the shortcomings of ND/TENS he should probably stick to the agreed upon subject.