For refusing to debate Christian philosopher William Lane Craig? Some of his fellow atheists appear to think so. From the London Telegraph:
Some of Prof Dawkins’s contemporaries are not impressed. Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, wrote to him urging him to reconsider his refusal to debate the existence of God with Prof Craig.
In a letter to Prof Dawkins, Dr Came said: “The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.
“I notice that, by contrast, you are happy to discuss theological matters with television and radio presenters and other intellectual heavyweights like Pastor Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals and Pastor Keenan Roberts of the Colorado Hell House.”
Prof Craig, however, remains willing to debate with Prof Dawkins. “I am keeping the opportunity open for him to change his mind and debate with me in the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford” in October, he said.
As I have said elsewhere, I don’t think debates are very useful for learning about a subject. But as a means of testing the rigorousness of ideas, they are wonderful venues. I suspect the reason Dawkins and other New Atheists are so fearful of debating Craig is because their means of attacking Christianity relies primarily of ad hominems, straw men, and Bulverisms. When held up to the light of scrutiny and placed side-by-side with Christianity, materialistic atheism comes off quite silly. As a result Craig has cut quite a swath through the field of atheist advocates, and come out looking quite formidable in the process.
Given those facts, perhaps Dawkin’s fear is the most rational response.