Last Fall, I attended a debate at the Sheldonian in which Richard Dawkins did not show up. I would have loved to attend the debate this week with Dr. Rowan Williams in which he did show up. Hearing this alone would be almost worth the plane fare.
There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator.
The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Prof Dawkins answered that he did.
An incredulous Sir Anthony replied: “You are described as the world’s most famous atheist.”
Prof Dawkins said that he was “6.9 out of seven” sure of his beliefs.
“I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low,” he added.
This floors me. I can be slightly opinionated, but if I were only about 98.5% sure God does not exist, I sure as heck would not be as (What’s a nice word?) militant about it as Dawkins is. Granted, that is rather a high level of conviction but . . . wow, I am at a loss. What incredible hubris the man has.
But, to his credit, he admitted he was not entirely sure. And I guess he’d be an even greater fool if he was 100% sure. And it sounds like he and His Grace provided an interesting evening indeed.
I would love to hear from those who were there. Did anyone faint when the air went out of the room?