In April I linked to an online debate between noted apologist William Lane Craig and an atheist he debated over the resurrection of Christ. Quite good, and I commented on how thoroughly Craig “clobbered” the atheist. Craig often “humiliates” and “annihilates” his opponents. Tough words, sure, but that’s how I perceived it. Listen to the debates and you’ll probably think the same.
I was surprised to have a couple people take issue with me. One poster, Nuala, apparently from outside the United States, claimed I had “power issues” in my heart, and that debate was not “valid spirituality.” Another poster agreed, claiming debaters (like Craig and me) are somehow “proud,” so therefore wrong.
- Atheists should write their books and spread their worldview throughout the collegiate world without ever being challenged?
- Christians should just preach to their choirs, their churches, and keep to themselves?
- Attempting to refute or engage the thoughts of others is somehow wrong?
I don’t buy it. In fact, I have problems with those who refuse to debate. To me, they’re insisting on remaining ignorant, holding to opinions that, well, may be wrong. Worse yet, they cling to a worldview that is likely wrong.
Nuala refused to answer a few simple questions I shot back at her. Her simple reply, “I wish you well, and I wish you peace,” then telling me to look up a Catholic philosopher she recommended. She engaged only with her opinion, but refused to engage in the rebuttal presented to her. Ultimately, “I’m not going to stoop as low as you and debate the issue that I brought up.”
Perhaps this is similar to the atheists’ responses to William Lane Craig. They don’t stoop so low as to actually prepare for these debates. They just rattle off their thoughts from the top of their heads, and Craig follows their logic and then exposes their weaknesses, and their most common response is haughtiness, sometimes pure ad hominem.
Debate is a very good thing, and I wish people wouldn’t be so against it. People like Nuala wish to be heard, but they don’t wish to be challenged. If she would have engaged, the dialogue may have been enlightening and refreshing. Too bad, really.
I love debate. It’s an activity worth appreciating and participating. I believe the world would be a better place if people humbly challenged one another with discourse and logic. Opinions would be less dogmatic, and sweet truth would be more welcome.
What about you? Do you think debate is wrong?