ANTONY FLEW’S SIGNIFICANCE IN THE HISTORY OF ATHEISM by Roy Abraham Varghese

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Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008

Has Science Discovered God?

A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:
http://ScienceFindsGod.com

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Is God a Delusion? – William Lane Craig vs Lewis Wolpert

Published on Apr 30, 2012

Professor Craig debated Professor Wolpert at Central Hall, Westminster, Feb. 28, 2007, with John Humphrys in the chair. Professor Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine at University College, London and is well known for his atheistic beliefs.

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums

http://www.reasonablefaith.org

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Ricky Gervais on religion and atheism (Feb 2012 interview)

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The Bible and Science (Part 01)

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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Antony Flew was the most notable atheist of the 20th century.
Below is evidence backing up that assertion.
ANTONY FLEW’S SIGNIFICANCE IN THE
HISTORY OF ATHEISM by Roy Abraham Varghese
It is not too much to say that within the last hundred years,
no mainstream philosopher has developed the kind of sys-
tematic, comprehensive, original, and influential exposi-
tion of atheism that is to be found in Antony Flew’s fifty
years of antitheological writings. Prior to Flew, the major
apologias for atheism were those of Enlightenment think-
ers like David Hume and the nineteenth-century German
philosophers Arthur Schopenhauer, Ludwig Feuerbach,
and Friedrich Nietzsche.
But what about Bertrand Russell (who maintained
rather implausibly that he was technically an agnostic,
although he was an atheist in practice), Sir Alfred Ayer,
Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Martin Heidegger, all
of whom were twentieth-century atheists well before Flew
began writing? In Russell’s case, it is quite obvious that
he did not produce anything beyond a few polemical pam-
phlets on his skeptical views and his disdain for organized
religion. His Religion and Science and Why I Am Not a
Christian were simply anthologies of articles—he produced
no systematic philosophy of religion. At best, he drew atten-
tion to the problem of evil and sought to refute traditional
arguments for God’s existence without generating any new
arguments of his own. Ayer, Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger
have this in common: their focus was on generating a spe-
cific way of engaging in philosophical discussion, an after-
effect of which was the denial of God. They had their own
systems of thought of which atheism was a by-product. You
had to buy into their systems to buy into their atheism. The
same might be said of later nihilists like Richard Rorty and
Jacques Derrida.
Of course, there were major philosophers of Flew’s gen-
eration who were atheists; W. V. O. Quine and Gilbert Ryle
are obvious instances. But none took the step of developing
book-length arguments to support their personal beliefs.
Why so? In many instances, professional philosophers in
those days were disinclined to dirty their delicate hands
by indulging in such popular, even vulgar, discussions. In
other cases, the motive was prudence.
Certainly, in later years, there were atheist philoso-
phers who critically examined and rejected the traditional
arguments for God’s existence. These range from Paul
Edwards, Wallace Matson, Kai Nielsen, and Paul Kurtz to J.
L. Mackie, Richard Gale, and Michael Martin. But their
works did not change the agenda and framework of discus-
sion the way Flew’s innovative publications did.
Where does the originality of Flew’s atheism lie? In “The-
ology and Falsification,”
God and Philosophy, and The Pre-
sumption of Atheism, he developed novel arguments against
theism that, in some respects, laid out a road map for subse-
quent philosophy of religion. In “Theology and Falsification”
he raised the question of how religious statements can make
meaningful claims (his much-quoted expression “death by a
thousand qualifications” captures this point memorably); in
God and Philosophy he argued that no discussion on God’s
existence can begin until the coherence of the concept of
an omnipresent, omniscient spirit had been established; in
The Presumption of Atheism he contended that the burden
of proof rests with theism and that atheism should be the
default position. Along the way, he of course analyzed the
traditional arguments for God’s existence. But it was his rein-
vention of the frames of reference that changed the whole
nature of the discussion.
In the context of all of the above, Flew’s recent rejec-
tion of atheism was clearly a historic event. But it is little
known that, even in his atheist days, Flew had, in a sense,
opened the door to a new and revitalized theism.

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