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Dawkins and Lennox discussion July 9, 2008

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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A fascinating discussion between two very interesting characters.  This is a great example of how polite direct conversation can achieve so much more in a shorter space than debates.  All the clutter is gone and the two can interact as they want to make for a dynamic and potentially useful outcome.

The discussion can be found here (YouTube, audio only, ~52 minutes total):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

One point I was curious about was that of evidence for god which of course Dawkins pushed early on.  Lennox’s reply was that there are three types of evidence:

Scientific Evidence

For which Lennox offers fine tuning in nature and that universe is rationally intelligible.  He points out not that these are positive evidence but that they are coherent and consistent with the idea that the primary thing is a mind rather than matter & energy.  If the best scientific evidence you have is only “consistent with” something you are a long way from confirmation.

Historical evidence

This covers the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  The only connection between all of this and god is, curiously, the bible.

Personal experience

He doesn’t talk about this in any detail. 

However this last one is perhaps the most interesting one for me.  It is the only “real” evidence that seems to be offered by anyone for the specific existence of a super-mind that knows worship and responds to it.  All the other evidence is only at best “consistent” with this notion.  For example absolute proof that there was n intelligent designer does not really suggest it at all. 

It is my hypothesis that most, if not all, examples of personal experience of god are tainted by expectation and/or are only superficially explained by god, and can equally well be explained without need to invoke a super-mind of some description.  With that in mind I would like to track down examples of personal experiences and loosely test this hypothesis over the next few weeks or so.  Any suggestions of links, or even offers of personal experiences of one’s own would be greatly appreciated.

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Comments»

1. Ken - July 12, 2008

I agree with you about the advantages of polite debate. It is, however, a bit frustrating that one side can still so easily hog a discussion. It’s a pit that the moderator wasn’t able to reign in Lennox a bit.
Still it did enable his position to be laid out and I think Dawkins did make his points.

2. Ian - July 12, 2008

I think Dawkins allowed Lennox to have free reign quite deliberately. By giving Lennox more time to speak, it just gave him more rope to hang himself with. It only took a few poignant questions from Dawkins to leave Lennox scrambling for answers. Of course it makes for a less entertaining spectacle for Dawkins supporters lol.

3. ADParker - July 13, 2008

The whole thing can also be found here on the Richard Dawkins website, in one piece (along with a bunch of comments on it:

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2834,Conversation-between-Richard-Dawkins-and-John-Lennox,Richard-Dawkins-John-Lennox-Fixed-Point

4. Ian - July 13, 2008

Cheers mate 🙂

5. Bookmarks about Interact - October 26, 2008

[…] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by xMCRxRevengex77 on 2008-10-07 Dawkins and Lennox discussion https://authorofconfusion.wordpress.com/?p=42 – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by […]


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