During the fall of 2011, Dr. William Lane Craig Christian philosopher and debater, was in Europe on a speaking tour. Independent organizations attempted to find an atheist to debate him. This process was more difficult than anticipated. Three outspoken atheists turned down the invitation; AC Grayling, Polly Toynbee, and Richard Dawkins. Fortunately, one prominent atheist, Stephen Law, accepted the invitation to debate Dr. Craig.
The most famous of the group, that refused to debate, was Richard Dawkins. He has written books and articles criticizing religion and attacking the Christian worldview as dangerous. On occasion he has publicly stated no one has been able to answer his arguments against the existence of God outlined in his book, “The God Delusion.” What Dawkins ignores is the fact Dr. Craig has on multiple occasions responded to his arguments. On Craig’s website, Reasonable Faith, I found many responses to Dawkins. Here are a couple of examples: Richard Dawkins' argument for atheism in The God Delusion. Second, Dr. Craig gives a very detailed response to The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God. Dawkins contention no one has responded to his arguments is either naïve or a lie.
I asked an atheist friend of mine why Dawkins wouldn’t debate Dr. Craig and he said possibly it was a personality conflict. I told him that would be the last reason. Richard Dawkins is the one with the caustic attitude. All you have to is read the quotes from his books. I went to dinner with Dr. Craig when he spoke in Escondido a few years ago and he is kind and caring. I've listened to over 30 of his debates and he seems to always show great respect to his opponents. Dawkins refusal to debate has nothing to do with a personality conflict.
A prominent atheist from Oxford called Dawkins a coward. On You Tube you can watch a 6 minute video called: Oxford Atheist Calls Richard Dawkins “Coward” for Not Debating William Lane Craig I highly recommend viewing this video.
A source close to Dawkins said he refused because Christian John Lennox recently soundly defeated him in a debate and he didn’t want to go through that experience again. In public Dawkins can vilify Christians but at the same time will not take on a leading Christian debater. Why fear debating a Christian who supports a belief system Dawkins thinks is grounded in ignorance? What is there to be afraid of?
In my mind there is no doubt Dawkins fears his arguments will not standup. AC Grayling and Polly Toynbee also ran away from debating Craig. This is sad when the top minds for atheism are afraid of a philosopher. My thinking is either put up or shut up.
In my own experience, I have found error always runs from the truth. Craig knows how to expose the weaknesses of the atheist viewpoint, while at the same time strongly defending the theistic/Christian worldview. I've heard Dawkins debate and if I were him I'd hide. He is better off writing books and hiding behind his words rather than putting forth his arguments in a public debate. He would get destroyed.