The other day, I mentioned a planned boycott at an event where Richard Dawkins was going to speak.
Now, groups are calling on Dawkins to take part in a debate on God’s existence and Dawkins isn’t taking the (de)bait. He explains why:
… in their shoes, perhaps I would be clamouring for debates as well. If your case depends on pulpit-style oratory, manipulating the emotions of your audience and playing with words, debates will probably work for you very well. They do not, however, work well for explaining science. Debates play to the emotions, to soundbites, to oratorical flourishes and, all too often, to sheer volume. They may make for good drama, but they do not make for good understanding. Fine if your goal is to grandstand; no good at all if it is to educate…
He makes a point I’ve heard many times before. In a debate, you’re never playing to your opponent(s). You’re playing to the crowd.
And Christians are excellent actors.
Dawkins will, of course, take questions from the crowd after his talk as he has always done.