Was Antony Flew the most prominent atheist of the 20th century?

_________

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…

________________

Does Belief in God Make Sense in Light of Tsunamis? William Lane Craig vs. A.C. Grayling

Published on Aug 14, 2013

Date: 2005
Location: Oxford Union, University of Oxford (audio replayed July 5, 2011 on Unbelievable? Premier Christian Radio)

Christian debater: William Lane Craig
[New] Atheist debater: A.C. Grayling

For William Lane Craig: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/
For A.C. Grayling: http://www.acgrayling.com/
To purchase this debate: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…

___________

The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Scientific Evidence) (Henry Schaefer, PhD)

Published on Jun 11, 2012

Scientist Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer gives a lecture on the cosmological argument and shows how contemporary science backs it up.

______________

It was my view in 1994 when I started corresponding with Antony Flew that he was the most well known and respected atheist scholar of the 20th century.

Roy Abraham Varghese has stated:

It is not too much to say that within the last hundred years, no mainstream philosopher has developed the kind of systematic, comprehensive, original, and influential exposition of atheism that is to be found in Antony Flew’s fifty years of antitheological writings. (ix)

Part One: Antony Flew sought to make the best case for atheism

01/01/08

by Denyse O’Leary
ARN correspondentAntony Flew, 84, is the author of over 30 professional philosophical works. His Theology and Falsification, first read in 1950 to the Oxford University Socratic Club chaired by CS Lewis, was very widely circulated. Flew, throughout his long life, sought the best reasons for atheism that he could find, and then, in his 80s, decided that it all wasn’t really working – but mainly because of the evidence from science.Roy Abraham Varghese, who had organized philosophical symposia since 1985, at most of which Flew made the case for atheism, describes the significance of his 2004 change of mind thus:

It is not too much to say that within the last hundred years, no mainstream philosopher has developed the kind of systematic, comprehensive, original, and influential exposition of atheism that is to be found in Antony Flew’s fifty years of antitheological writings. (ix)

One needs to look back to such 18th and 19th century figures as David Hume or Friedrich Nietzsche for anything like the depth of Flew’s work.

There were, of course, many other 20th century atheist thinkers. But Varghese argues that thinkers like Ayer, Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, Rorty, and Derrida differed from Flew in that they offered systems of thought, one of whose byproducts was atheism.

Essentially, they were saying, my system is right – oh, and by the way, there’s no God. But that means that you must buy into the system to get the atheism. And if you come to doubt the system, why believe the atheism?

Flew’s God & Philosophy and The Presumption of Atheism took a different tack. They provide arguments against theism (belief in God) that do not depend on buying into a system but follow from logical assumptions. For example, in God and Philosophy, Flew argued that God is an incoherent concept and in The Presumption of Atheism, he argued that the burden of proof lies on theism, and that atheism should be the default position meanwhile. These are much stronger arguments and harder to counter because they do not depend on the task of undermining a system (which, in the case of Nietzsche and Derrida, for example, may be quite easy to do). Flew’s arguments and assumptions forced theists to grapple seriously with why they believe as they do. Varghese believes that the challenge that Flew provided had the unintended effect of revitalizing philosophical theism.

Varghese is, by contrast, sharply dismissive of the “new atheists,” Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Lewis Wolpert, Victor Stenger, and Sam Harris (xvi-xvii), of whom he writes,

The authors, for the most part, sound like hellfire-and-brimstone preachers warning us of dire retribution, even of apocalypse, if we do not repent of our wayward beliefs and associated practices. There is no room for ambiguity or subtlety. It’s black and white. Either you are with us all the way or one with the enemy. Even eminent thinkers who express some sympathy for the other side are denounced as traitors. The evangelists themselves are courageous souls preaching their message in the face of imminent martyrdom.

But when it comes to seriously engaging the intellectual arguments for the existence of God, the new atheists are AWOL in his view.

In The Spiritual Brain, Mario Beauregard and I similarly noted a general decline in the quality of thought in atheism in recent years, which – it seems to me – curiously parallels the decline in Christian thought noted by Mark Noll in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Often the best that the new atheists can do is to come up with some harebrained theory of how religion might have been passed on from our ancient ancestors in our selfish genes. Now that the human genome has been mapped, it might be a good idea to declare a moratorium on all such theorizing unless the theorist can point to the specific genes about which the claim is made, and demonstrate the effect unambiguously.

Too much certainty is bad for us, apparently. Life should be an adventure.

Varghese is particularly hard on Richard Dawkins, accusing him of being “patently dishonest” in his description of Albert Einstein’s views. More on that later, from Flew.

He also writes,

Dawkins, in fact, belongs to the same peculiar club of popular science writers as Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov from a previous generation. These popularizers saw themselves not simply as scribes, but as high priests. Like Dawkins, they took on themselves the task not just of educating the public on the findings of science, but also of deciding what it is permissible for the scientific faithful to believe on matters metaphysical. But let us be clear here. Many of the greatest scientists saw a direct connection between their scientific work and their affirmation of a “superior mind,” the Mind of God. Explain it how you will, but this is a plain fact that the popularizers with their own agendas cannot be allowed to hide. (xxiii-xxiv)

Flew is far and away atheism’s best and most consistent shot. A serious intellectual theist might merely dismiss Dawkins as a shrill hatemonger but he must grapple with Flew.

That is, until the day Flew turned around and said, there Is a God . Now let us look at how he came to say that.

Next: Part Two: Following the argument wherever it leads

Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O’Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada’s Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul  (Harper 2007).

Send mail to GButner@gmail.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Errant Skeptics Research Institute
Copyright © 1999 – 2012
Last modif ed: January 01, 2014

___________

Related posts:

Former Atheist Antony Flew noted that Evolutionists failed to show “Where did a living, self-reproducing organism come from in the first place?”

____   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

Educated Scholars like Antony Flew can believe in God!!!

__________ 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 Debate – William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist? Uploaded on Jan 27, 2011 April 4, 2009 – Craig […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

________   William Lane Craig versus Eddie Tabash Debate Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012 Secular Humanism versus Christianity, Lawyer versus Theologian. Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig debates humanist atheist lawyer Eddie Tabash at Pepperdine University, February 8, 1999. Visit http://www.Infidels.org andhttp://www.WilliamLaneCraig.com ________________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee […]

Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!!

___________   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

The Christian influence on society is real and that is one of the reasons Antony Flew left Atheism!!!

_____________ 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 […]

Antony Flew, George Wald and David Noebel on the Origin of Life

___________ Does God Exist?: William Lane Craig vs Antony Flew Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010 http://drcraigvideos.blogspot.com – William Lane Craig and Antony Flew met in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of the famous Copleston/Russell debate to discuss the question of God’s existence in a public debate. Unlike Richard Dawkins, Flew was one of the most respected […]

The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew!

___________ ________ Jesus’ Resurrection: Atheist, Antony Flew, and Theist, Gary Habermas, Dialogue Published on Apr 7, 2012 http://www.veritas.org/talks –Did Jesus die, was he buried, and what happened afterward? Join legendary atheist Antony Flew and Christian historian and apologist Gary Habermas in a discussion about the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Mark Oppenheimer of Time Magazine claims Antony Flew was convinced by PSEUDOSCIENCE that God exists!!!

___________ ________ 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 […]

A review of “There is a God” by Antony Flew March 31, 2012

________ 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 […]

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

Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas ______________ Atheist Lawrence Krauss loses debate to wiser Christian Published on Sep 13, 2013 http://www.reasonablefaith.org More of this here The Bible and Science (Part 02) The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Scientific Evidence) (Henry Schaefer, PhD) Published on Jun 11, 2012 Scientist Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer gives a lecture […]

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: