A review of “There is a God” by Antony Flew March 31, 2012 and the 5 reasons Flew changed his mind!!

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Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death (he’s a much better thinker than Richard Dawkins too – even when he was an atheist). His conversion to God-belief has caused an uproar among atheists. They have done all they can to lessen the impact of his famous conversion by shamelessly suggesting he’s too old, senile and mentally deranged to understand logic and science anymore.

News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FU…

Interview and discussion with Antony Flew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53REH…

Is Goodness Without God is Good Enough? William Lane Craig vs. Paul Kurtz

Published on Jul 29, 2013

Date: October 24, 2001
Location: Franklin & Marshall College

Christian debater: William Lane Craig
Atheist/secular humanist debater: Paul Kurtz

For William Lane Craig: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/
For Paul Kurtz: http://paulkurtz.net/
To purchase this debate: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…
To purchase a published version of this debate:http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…

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Piers Morgan Tonight CNN Official Interview: Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn’t offend

Uploaded on Jan 20, 2011

Ricky Gervais tells CNN’s Piers Morgan why he’s an atheist, and why his jokes about God shouldn’t offend believers.

The Bible and Science (Part 01)

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Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

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During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.” I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work.

The famous atheist Antony Flew was actually took the time to listen to several of these messages and he wrote me back in the mid 1990′s several times.

Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008

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There is a God by Antony Flew

March 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

 In 2004, Antony Flew, longtime atheist  philosopher of religion, announced in what was going to be a debate against a theist, that he had changed his mind – and he now believes that there is, in fact, a God. The book first talks about Flew’s past, and what caused him to become an atheist in the first place. He discusses his atheist works, and why he has changed his mind about the things he has written. He has always held that “Follow the evidence, wherever it leads,” coined by Socrates, to be his motto, and he feels that the evidence now available by science points towards a creator.

Flew comments that he received a lot of heat from his fellow atheists after his conversion, many of which stated publicly that the conversion had to do with being ‘senile’ or ‘afraid of death’ (Flew is over 80 years old), or that he wasn’t up to date with the latest abiogenesis research. Flew, however, doesn’t believe any of these are accurate. He still doesn’t believe there is an immortal soul (which is odd, because I think a lot of the best evidence is for an immortal soul). He also holds that no abiogenesis will ever figure out the mystery of life. He elaborates later in his book, explaining that there is more than just the biological factor of life first forming, but rather how consciousness can be developed through naturalistic mechanisms at all, as well as the concept of ‘self’ or ‘I.’ As far as being ‘senile,’ as Richard Dawkins says, I can attest to the fact that his mind seemed to be working just fine in the writing of this book.

I found Flew’s works during his atheist years to be much more impressive than that done by today’s “New Atheist” movement. Atheism, in general, does not have many positive arguments for it, or namely, arguments that show God’s characteristics to be incoherent, or impossible given what we know about the world. Typically, atheism is believing the arguments for theism just are not good enough, or fail in some way. From my observation, Flew did things that the “New Atheists” are not doing, namely, put the ball in the theists court. One of Flew’s contentions is that the attributes of God need to be defined in a coherent way before any debate on his existence could begin. He also argued extensively that the burden of proof lies in the theist’s court, and that atheism should be the default position taken until convinced otherwise. I haven’t read Flew’s work myself, but it seems he did more than the New Atheist writers do by actually placing the theist on his heels, defending his concept of God, instead of simply denying that the arguments for God are good enough.

Flew also spends a good deal of time talking about science and it’s relation to God. He talks about the misrepresentation of Einstein, and how Einstein wanted first and foremost to discover the “Mind of God” with his work. Subsequent scientists, like Max Plank, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger, and Paul Dirac have also felt that examining nature allows one to understand the Mind of God. Even Charles Darwin is quoted as saying he deserves to be called a theist (It makes me think of a bumper sticker used by evolutionists that has the word ‘Darwin’ inside of the fish used as the symbol of the Christian Church. If you’re following Darwin, and Darwin followed God, what does this mean about you?) He believes the conflict between science and religion is not actually a conflict, but as Max Plank says, a fight against “skepticism, dogmatism, and unbelief…”

To summarize the factors that brought Flew to belief in God:

1.) How is that we have a set of laws that drives feature-less gases to life, consciousness and intelligence?

2.) Where do the laws of physics come from?

3.) Fine-tuning argument

4.) How did life go live?

5.) Cosmological Argument

(1), (2), (3) Flew feels that the laws of the universe are too fine-tuned to be just taken for granted, and he doesn’t feel any objections fully take a ‘design’ factor out of the equation. First, science rests on the fact that induction is possible, or that we will repeatedly observe the same results – when there isn’t any reason why this would have to be the case. Paul Davis makes two points about this, saying:

– A theory of everything (something proposed to account for the stability of the laws of nature, relating them all to one another) which would show that this is the only logically consistent world is ‘demonstrability wrong.’

– Some maintain the laws of physics are ‘our laws’ and not natures. Davis says this is ‘arrant nonsense,’ these laws really exist, and scientists uncover the laws, not invent them.

So this type of thinking can go in two paths:

– What upholds the laws of nature?

– Why do we have laws of nature that are ‘fine-tuned’ towards life?

When I first heard the fine-tuning argument, I originally thought it was great. I then slowly moved away from it, as I didn’t want to place any faith in a “God of the Gaps” argument. The thing to remember about this argument is that if the universe happened by blind chance, then it would not have ‘catered’ to life in any way. There is no ‘right answer’ for a randomly spawning universe, and even if the laws are interconnected in some way, it would not have to cater and facilitate towards life. So even if the laws are interconnected, somehow, I can’t see how that would necessitate it catering towards life.

The multiverse option, which I’ve talked about before, is excessive. I think the question that sums it up is asking a proponent of it – how many universes are there? The answer is ‘a lot.’ Why is it a lot? Because it needs to balance the odds. That’s really the only purpose behind the multiverse theory –  to get rid of a need for design.

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Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

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(A thought – what would happen if multiple universes were discovered, but they all we’re life-permitting?)

(4) Life, unlike non-living things, has an inherent goal, a purpose (This type of thinking is similar to Aristotle with final and formal causes, which I’m reading about now in another book). There are many issues about life, from the concept of self, the mind-body problem, how the first replication of life could occur, why things evolve towards more complex systems, origin of the code that is DNA, how sexual reproduction could have itself evolved. It seems, if I understand Flew correctly, the overwhelming number of issues, some seeminly solvable, some more unreasonable, led flew to the feeling that, as he says, “the only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.”

(5) Flew notes that he always felt at some point, people need to take things as a brute fact. For theists – God is that brute fact. For atheists, the Big Bang, or the universe in general is the ultimate brute fact. However, Flew feels that the Big Bang changes how cosmological arguments are done. Flew feels that no matter how you describe the universe, whether it existed forever, or originating from a point outside of space-time, or else in space but not in time, or having a total energy of zero – theists still will always be able to ask ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ As Richard Swineburne summarizes, ‘it is very unlikely that a universe would exist uncaused, but rather more likely that God would exist uncaused. Flew feels that this, more vague way of stating things, is the correct way to form a cosmological argument.

Flew ends his book saying that discoveries in science have led him to believe in the existence of an intelligent Mind. Flew ends, saying:

“Some claim to have made contact with this Mind. I have not-yet. But who knows what could happen next? Someday I might hear a Voice that says, “Can you hear me now?”

For Flew, science, the very thing that atheism clings to, in hopes that it will one day rid mankind’s need for the Divine, inevitably led Flew to a belief in God. I think Flew’s story is very motivational, and it’s a great story to read for those struggling with faith, and even for those who are strong in their faith (and by ‘faith’ I mean Aquinas’s usage of the word, not the ‘New Atheist’ usage of the word, of course). Man is very reluctant to admit they made a mistake in their judgement, and the hold of an ideology, for whichever team one plays for, is always a threat. That’s why it’s impressive when people who have obtained so much knowledge are able to overcome any pride involved, and admit the evidence now leads elsewhere.

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Discussion (3 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

Related posts:

Review of Antony Flew Book: THERE IS A GOD Article by R.C. Sproul May 2008

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know […]

The Death of a (Former) Atheist — Antony Flew, 1923-2010 Antony Flew’s rejection of atheism is an encouragement, but his rejection of Christianity is a warning. Rejecting atheism is simply not enough, by Al Mohler

________________________________ Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 ______________________ During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Antony Flew’s journey from Atheism to Theism

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussing Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and various other subjects with Ark Times Bloggers (Part 6) Judah ” I believe in God, Miriam. I know it… because without God the world is a cesspool”

_____________________________ Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras.http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussing Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and various other subjects with Ark Times Bloggers (Part 5) “Judah knew in his heart that God was watching his every move!!!”

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/antons@mail.ubc.ca______________ I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such […]

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