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|How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by 0ubenji(m): 9:07am On Aug 24, 2016|
For the last half of the twentieth century,
Antony Flew (1923-2010) was the world's most famous
atheist. Long before Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens,
and Sam Harris began taking swipes at religion, Flew was the
pre-eminent spokesman for unbelief.
However in 2004, he shocked the world by announcing he
had come to believe in God. While never embracing
Christianity—Flew only believed in the deistic, Aristotelian
conception of God—he became one of the most high-profile
and surprising atheist converts. In 2007, he recounted his
conversion in a book titled There is a God: How the
World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
. Some critics suggested Flew's mental capacity had declined
and therefore we should question the credibility of his
conversion. Others hailed Flew's book as a legitimate and
A couple months before the book's release, Flew sat down
with Strange Notions contributor Dr. Benjamin Wiker for an
interview about his book, his conversion, and the reasons
that led him to God. Read below and make observations, objections and deductions as you wish
NOTE: Flew is the interviewee; Wiker is the interviewer
Dr. Benjamin Wiker: You say in There is a God, that "it may
well be that no one is as surprised as I am that my
exploration of the Divine has after all these years turned
from denial...to discovery." Everyone else was certainly very
surprised as well, perhaps all the more so since on our end,
it seemed so sudden. But in There is a God, we find that it
was actually a very gradual process—a "two decade
migration," as you call it. God was the conclusion of a rather
long argument, then. But wasn't there a point in the
"argument" where you found yourself suddenly surprised by the realization that "There is a God" after all? So that, in
some sense, you really did "hear a Voice that says" in the
evidence itself "'Can you hear me now?'"
Antony Flew: There were two factors in particular that were
decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of
Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an
Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical
Universe. The second was my own insight that the integrated
complexity of life itself—which is far more complex than the
physical Universe—can only be explained in terms of an
Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and
reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological
standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every
passing year, the more that was discovered about the
richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed
likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the
genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it
became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical.
The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins'
comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of
life can be attributed to a "lucky chance." If that's the best
argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not
hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this
Wiker: You are famous for arguing for a presumption of
atheism, i.e., as far as arguments for and against the
existence of God, the burden of proof lies with the theist.
Given that you believe that you only followed the evidence
where it led, and it led to theism, it would seem that things
have now gone the other way, so that the burden of proof
lies with the atheist. He must prove that God doesn't exist.
What are your thoughts on that?
Flew: I note in my book that some philosophers
indeed have argued in the past that the burden
of proof is on the atheist. I think the origins of
the laws of nature and of life and the Universe
point clearly to an intelligent Source. The burden
of proof is on those who argue to the contrary.
Wiker: As for evidence, you cite a lot of the most recent
science, yet you remark that your discovery of the Divine did
not come through "experiments and equations," but rather,
"through an understanding of the structures they unveil and
map." Could you explain? Does that mean that the evidence
that led you to God is not really, at heart, scientific?
Flew: It was empirical evidence, the evidence uncovered by
the sciences. But it was a philosophical inference drawn
from the evidence. Scientists as scientists cannot make these
kinds of philosophical inferences. They have to speak as
philosophers when they study the philosophical implications
of empirical evidence.
Wiker: You are obviously aware of the spate of recent books
by such atheists as Richard Dawkins and Christopher
Hitchens. They think that those who believe in God are
behind the times. But you seem to be politely asserting that
they are ones who are behind the times, insofar as the latest
scientific evidence tends strongly toward—or perhaps even
demonstrates—a theistic conclusion. Is that a fair
assessment of your position?
Flew: Yes, indeed. I would add that Dawkins is selective to
the point of dishonesty when he cites the views of scientists
on the philosophical implications of the scientific data.
Two noted philosophers, one an agnostic (Anthony Kenny)
and the other an atheist (Thomas Nagel), recently pointed
out that Dawkins has failed to address three major issues
that ground the rational case for God. As it happens, these
are the very same issues that had driven me to accept the
existence of a God: the laws of nature, life with its
teleological organization, and the existence of the Universe.
Wiker: You point out that the existence of God and the
existence of evil are actually two different issues, which
would therefore require two distinct investigations. But in
the popular literature—even in much of the philosophical
literature—the two issues are regularly conflated. Especially
among atheists, the presumption is that the non-existence of
God simply follows upon the existence of evil. What is the
danger of such conflation? How as a theist do you now
Flew: I should clarify that I am a deist. I do not accept any
claim of divine revelation though I would be happy to study
any such claim (and continue to do so in the case of
Christianity). For the deist, the existence of evil does not
pose a problem because the deist God does not intervene in
the affairs of the world. The religious theist, of course, can
turn to the free-will defense (in fact I am the one who first
coined the phrase free-will defense). Another relatively
recent change in my philosophical views is my affirmation of
the freedom of the will.
Wiker: According to There is a God, you are not what might
be called a "thin theist," that is, the evidence led you not
merely to accept that there is a "cause" of nature, but "to
accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable,
immaterial, omnipotent, and omniscient Being." How far
away are you, then, from accepting this Being as a person
rather than a set of characteristics, however accurate they
may be? (I'm thinking of C. S. Lewis' remark that a big
turning point for him, in accepting Christianity, was in
realizing that God was not a "place"—a set of characteristics,
like a landscape—but a person.)
Flew: I accept the God of Aristotle who shares all the
attributes you cite. Like Lewis I believe that God is a person
but not the sort of person with whom you can have a talk. It
is the ultimate being, the Creator of the Universe.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Petersamuel8(m): 9:10am On Aug 24, 2016|
The most Notorious atheist is Saul, the day he jam Jesus he was converted
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Edwardhead(m): 9:11am On Aug 24, 2016|
i was here
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by rummeh: 9:16am On Aug 24, 2016|
There is God
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by 0ubenji(m): 9:18am On Aug 24, 2016|
Petersamuel8:Saul[paul] was not an Atheist..he believed in a Jewish God..he only hated and persecuted christians
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 10:10am On Aug 24, 2016|
Hello sir! Peace and love!
Great to know they're great Christians here. The kind of things one sees here are quite appalling.
I just joined this forum recently. How do I create a thread? I have things to share.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 10:20am On Aug 24, 2016|
please I think you forgot Antony flew also said this
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph of London in 2004, he described “the God in whose existence I have belatedly come to believe” as “most emphatically not the eternally rewarding and eternally torturing God of either Christianity or Islam but the God of Aristotle that he would have defined — had Aristotle actually produced a definition of his (and my) God — as the first initiating and sustaining cause of the universe.”
So he does not believe in God the ways most religions do, he just attributes the complexity of the universe to an intelligent being( maybe aliens.)
Also if you say that intelligent complex life cannot immerge by chance hence God must exist. Then the question is who created God.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by 0ubenji(m): 10:53am On Aug 24, 2016|
Lennycool:bro..don't complicate ur understandin of this Flew's issue...
He's simply a deist..the same religion practiced by thomas paine(if u knw who he is)..
U cud check ur dictionary once more to get a grasp on the meaning of the word G(g)od...
Provided u bliv in d existence of a supernatural being of higher intelligence...(it cud be aliens or even goats)....then u bliv in God...
If u, admissively attribute some/all factors of life to the influence of an entity worthy of reverence..then u r no longer an atheist...u bliv thrz a God alredi..
That's whr anthony flew stands..
Now, The perspective from which u view this G(g)od u choose to revere now determines ur religion faction..
Lennycool:that's a question most of we religious ppl evade for understandable reasons..
I pasted dis article for us to sample his opinions to agree wit it or not and wit reasons..so u dnt av to attack me wit it yet again like I am anthony flew, himself
But to answer ur question; speakin for myself...
If u dare acknowledge thrz a God somwhere..then u av no business tryin to decipher who made him..this automatically berates ur reverence for that being...this is where Faith comes in...
Atheists and Faith are on parallel divides...I av no prob wit dat...
I av always been an advocate of do whateva works for u..
If Atheists don't bliv in any supernatural entity..itz not their headache to bother bou who created a "non-existent" entity as well...it also berates the intelligence in their apt assertion on this non-existent entity
Let the religious peeps bother wit dat...
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by winner01(m): 11:27am On Aug 24, 2016|
Lennycool:For something to have been created implies it has a beginning. For something to have a beginning, it has to be within the confines of the time dimension. Scientific evidence shows that time has a beginning along with the universe.
What exists outside time and the universe is timeless otherwise known as eternal.
God is eternal.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 11:33am On Aug 24, 2016|
0ubenji:Fine I accept your facts on the thinking of Andrew flew. But your argument is that you won't try to explain the origin of God, because you simply don't know. But your basis for believing in God's creation of the universe is faith based on a really old book. So no clear answer?
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 11:38am On Aug 24, 2016|
I'm sorry your argument makes my brain hurt. so God (an intelligent being) wasn't created? he just existed outside time? WoW how you bend logic to fit your views. By the way scientists don't know if this is the first time the big bang has happened, or if this is a whole new universe.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by winner01(m): 11:46am On Aug 24, 2016|
So this is the new evasion tactics?
Its no longer "how are we sure this cause is God".
One quick question; "Can you study the mechanics of car engine well enough to Know who created it?"
Naah, You'd need to reach beyond the car engine to know.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 11:52am On Aug 24, 2016|
Please how can I create a thread? It's not clearly spelt out here.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 12:01pm On Aug 24, 2016|
winner01:A car isn't created by one person, it goes through a lot of stages, and yes if you study enough of the mechanics you can accurately tell which company made it.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by winner01(m): 12:14pm On Aug 24, 2016|
ROCK100:Go to the section i.e Religion.
Click on "create new thread" option. And voila.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by HCpaul(m): 12:43pm On Aug 24, 2016|
Paul didn't. He only used Christianity as an opportunity to invent his own religion but he failed.
Nevertheless, Paul still shares a higher percent credit and recognition in the new testament.
Paul is just a learned person hired by the Messiah's crew to help them organized the new testament epistles since most of them are unlearned.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by kilo4sure: 12:49pm On Aug 24, 2016|
HCpaul:What are you actually saying my guy, Paul was just writing letters to his converts whom he couldn't be with physically, he had no idea some of his letters would later form part of what would be called a new testament.
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by KingEbukasBlog(m): 12:55pm On Aug 24, 2016|
That guy promulgates so many lies and I think the mods need to monitor what he posts .
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Nobody: 1:07pm On Aug 24, 2016|
winner01:A million thanks!
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by 0ubenji(m): 1:40pm On Aug 24, 2016|
Lennycool:Point of correction...my faith is not entirely based on the old book...thr are lots of errors init dt I very well acknowledge..
I'm not a religious fanatic...if it pleases u to know..
I'm very well informed on the shortcomings of the composition of the bible and christianity as a whole..so dnt fink I'm a blind dude..
I'm arguably a better atheist than you are..but I chose to hold onto d xtian faith for reasons on which I don't owe u an explanation for.
Hmmn...honestly..u r correct on my inability to explain the origin of God coz I don't know....
The funnier tin is that..even u the atheist (as I suppose u are) don't knw how the earth came to be either...that, in no way, doesn't mk u any smarter than I am
Ur supposed explanations for the origin of the earth are refutable scientific educated hypotheses...
My faith as well is bein hinged on refutability too..albeit overwhelming..
U might only feel advantaged coz u apun to reason rationally with the non-conscientious freedom to question the intricacy of the unknown...
News flash!...I'm a rational finkin xtian bro...
My faith is strongly attached to incumbent reasonin..I'm not a fan of religious dogma..
Anything I av faith in is what apun to av worked for me,
until Atheism promises me evidential perfection...let me remain whr I stand..
I see it a preposterous braggadocio whenever I come across an Atheist tryna mock me on my faith..(Not referring to u)
Yet we know, nothing for sure is certain, as to the definitive purpose of man's existence..
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by 0ubenji(m): 1:47pm On Aug 24, 2016|
KingEbukasBlog:.I tot I was the only one that noticed his ambiguous perspective in debates..
More like u can't reali figure out whr he stands
2 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by 0ubenji(m): 1:53pm On Aug 24, 2016|
HCpaul:once the concept of the emboldened is admissible..Atheism is not a permissible assertion in such a case..
A religion needs a God to revere...
P.S: don't underestimate the power of semantics wheneva u involved in a debate. Unintended misapplication of words cud defeat, exaggerate or puncture the impression u aim to derive wit ur point(if there's one dat is worthy of note)
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