Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath Debate God

As you may or may not know, the internet has recently been bombarded with debates between atheists and religious people about whether there is a god or not. For the most part, the arguments don't turn out to be as interesting or intellectually stimulating as one would like (from either side): think Kirk Cameron talking about his (mis)understanding of evolutionary theory when he invokes the preposterous concept of the crocoduck a few months ago; I felt my IQ dropped significantly when I saw that. Thanks a lot, you idiot!

Well, there's good news... sort of. In the following video, Oxford evolutionary biologist and self-professed atheist Richard Dawkins engages in a debate with Alister McGrath, also from Oxford, and perhaps England's best theologian and Christian apologist. This debate was part of Dawkins' documentary The Root of All Evil?, which explored two main questions: whether religion is actually a greater force of destruction than good, and whether God exists or is simply a delusion (you can watch the entire documentary in this previous entry; it's definitely worthwhile food for thought, whether you are a believer or not).

After all the religious leaders Dawkins interviewed (virtually all of them deranged, irrational and scary, especially considering some of them are mainstream), McGrath is a breath of fresh air. He actually understands Dawkins' challenges, recognizes their merit, and does his best to overcome them without simply pulling out the faith trump card: the card that basically says "f-you, I'll go on believing and there's nothing you or anyone can say to make me change my mind." I don't have to tell anyone just how irresponsible, irrational and insulting such an answer is.



Yes, it's sad that, when pressed with the question of whether God exists and what kind of evidence he could present for his case that God exists, McGrath kept introducing non-sequitors and appeals to emotion such as the idea that it's psychologically comforting to believe and so on, as if whether believing in God because it feels good automatically makes God pop into existence.

Dawkins' reversal of the argument that the eye is too complex to have "just popped into existence" is brilliant: a designer that designed such an eye would have to be even more complex than the eye, so the supposed explanation for the improbable complexity of one thing requires that we posit the existence of something even more complex and improbable... What kind of explanation is that?

I would be very interested to see if there's ever a public debate between Dawkins and American philosopher of religion Alvin Plantinga. Does anyone know if this has happened already somewhere?
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