According to an article in The Christian Post, atheist professor Richard Dawkins was defeated by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams in a debate about the need for religion in the 21st century. The debate was held at the University of Cambridge on Thursday, January 31st in front of an audience of about 800, made up primarily of students. Williams won the debate by 324 to 136 votes.
During the debate, Dawkins described religion as a “cop-out,” calling it “a betrayal of all that’s best about what makes us human.”
“(Religion) peddles false explanations where real explanations could have been offered, false explanations that get in the way of the enterprise of discovering real explanations,” Dawkins told the audience.
In his address, Williams pointed out that religion has always been a matter of community, “a matter of building relations of compassion, fellow-feeling, and inclusion.”
“The notion that religious commitment can be purely a private matter is one that runs against the grain of religious history,” Williams said.
Watch video of the debate here.
Dawkins currently serves as an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and the vice president of the British Humanist Association. Williams left his role as the Archbishop of Canterbury on December 31st of last year and is currently Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge.