Tag Archives: Roy Abraham Varghese

Antony Flew tells what the book THERE IS A GOD is all about (Ricky Gervais talks about atheim on Piers Morgan Tonight)

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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Antony Flew tells what the book THERE IS A GOD: “How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind” is all about in the first part of the introduction from the book:

Ever since the announcement of my “conversion” to
deism, I have been asked on numerous occasions to pro-
vide an account of the factors that led me to change my
mind. In a few subsequent articles and in the new intro-
duction to the 2005 edition of my God and Philosophy, I
drew attention to recent works relevant to the ongoing dis-
cussion on God, but I did not elaborate further on my own
views. I have now been persuaded to present here what
might be called my last will and testament. In brief, as the
title says, I now believe there is a God!
The subtitle, “How the World’s Most Notorious Athe-
ist Changed His Mind,” was not my own invention. But it
is one I am happy to employ, for the invention and employ-
ment of apt yet arresting titles is for Flews something of a
family tradition. My theologian father once edited a col-
lection of essays by himself and some of his former stu-
dents and gave to this polemic paperback the paradoxical
and yet wholly appropriate and properly informative title
The Catholicity of Protestantism.In the matter of form of
presentation, if not of substantive doctrine, following his
example, I have in my time published papers with such
titles as “Do-gooders Doing No Good?” and “Is Pascal’s
Wager the Only Safe Bet?”
At the outset I should make one thing clear. When
reports of my change of mind were spread by the media
and the ubiquitous Internet, some commentators were
quick to claim that my advanced age had something to
do with my “conversion.” It has been said that fear concen-
trates the mind powerfully, and these critics had con-
cluded that expectations of an impending entrance into
the afterlife had triggered a deathbed conversion. Clearly
these people were familiar with neither my writings on
the nonexistence of an afterlife nor with my current views
on the topic. For over fifty years I have not simply denied
the existence of God, but also the existence of an afterlife.
My Gifford Lectures published as The Logic of Mortality
represent the culmination of this process of thought. This
is one area in which I have not changed my mind. Absent
special revelation, a possibility that is well represented
in this book by N. T. Wright’s contribution, I do not
think of myself “surviving” death. For the record, then, I
want to lay to rest all those rumors that have me placing
Pascalian bets.
I should point out, moreover, that this is not the first
time I “changed my mind” on a fundamental issue. Among
other things, readers who are familiar with my vigorous
defense of free markets may be surprised to learn that I
was once a Marxist (for details, see the second chapter of
this book). In addition, over two decades ago I retracted my
earlier view that all human choices are determined entirely
by physical causes.
Since this is a book about why I changed my mind
about the existence of God, an obvious question would
be what I believed before the “change” and why. The first
three chapters seek to answer this question, and the last
seven chapters describe my discovery of the Divine. In the
preparation of the last seven chapters, I was greatly helped
by discussions with Professor Richard Swinburne and Pro-
fessor Brian Leftow, the former and current occupants of
the Nolloth Chair at Oxford.
There are two appendices to the book. The first is an
analysis of the so-called new atheism of Richard Dawkins
and others by Roy Abraham Varghese. The second is an
open-ended dialogue on a topic of great interest to most
religious believers—the issue of whether there is any kind
of divine revelation in human history, with specific attention
to the claims made about Jesus of Nazareth. In the inter-
est of furthering the dialogue, the New Testament scholar
N.T. Wright, who is the present bishop of Durham, kindly
provided his assessment of the body of historical fact that
underlies Christian theists’ faith in Christ. In fact, I have to
say here that Bishop Wright presents by far the best case for
accepting Christian belief that I have ever seen.

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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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

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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Related posts:

Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith in Christ but will his conversion from atheism to theism have an impact?

____________ 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 the […]

Concerning the book THERE IS A GOD Antony Flew stated, “This is my book and it represents my thinking!

_______ ________ 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 […]

Bill Muehlenberg’s review of “There Is a God” By Antony Flew

_________________   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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

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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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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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Related posts:

Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith in Christ but will his conversion from atheism to theism have an impact?

____________ 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 the […]

Concerning the book THERE IS A GOD Antony Flew stated, “This is my book and it represents my thinking!

_______ ________ 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 […]

Bill Muehlenberg’s review of “There Is a God” By Antony Flew

_________________   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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Roy Abraham Varghese: Antony Flew’s paper THEOLOGY AND FALSIFICATION became most widely reprinted philosophical publication of last century!

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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…

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 Did Jesus Rise from the Dead Gary Habermas vs Anthony Flew

Published on May 30, 2013

Gary Habermas vs Anthony Flew – Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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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

__________________

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

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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.

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Ricky Gervais – Losing Religion and Becoming An Atheist

Uploaded on Jul 2, 2009

Ricky Gervais – Losing Religion and Becoming An Atheist

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Debate – Does God Exist? William Lane Craig vs Herb Silverman

Uploaded on Aug 21, 2011

University of North Carolina Wilmington (March 23, 2010) – Does God Exist? William Lane Craig debates atheist Herb Silverman on the existence of God.

Links:

http://reasonablefaith.org
http://drcraigvideos.blogspot.com

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

Follow Reasonable Faith On Twitter: http://twitter.com/rfupdates

Add Reasonable Faith On Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/reasonablefai…

The Bible and Science (Part 02)

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From the Antony Flew’s last book.

Roy Abraham Varghese wrote in Preface:

Famous Atheist Now Believes in God: One of World’s
Leading Atheists Now Believes in God, More or
Less, Based on Scientific Evidence.” This was the head-
line of a December 9,2004, Associated Press story that
went on to say: “A British philosophy professor who has
been a leading champion of atheism for more than a
half century has changed his mind. He now believes in
God more or less based on scientific evidence, and says
so on a video released Thursday.” Almost immediately,
the announcement became a media event touching off
reports and commentaries around the globe on radio and
TV, in newspapers and on Internet sites. The story gained
such momentum that AP put out two subsequent releases
relating to the original announcement. The subject of the
story and of much subsequent speculation was Profes-
sor Antony Flew, author of over thirty professional philo-
sophical works that helped set the agenda for atheism for
half a century. In fact, his “Theology and Falsification,” a
paper first presented at a 1950 meeting of the Oxford Uni-
versity Socratic Club chaired by C. S. Lewis, became the 
most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last
century. Now, for the first time, he gives an account of the
arguments and evidence that led him to change his mind.
This book, in a sense, represents the rest of the story.
I played a small part in the AP story because I had
helped organize the symposium and resulting video in
which Tony Flew announced what he later humorously
referred to as his “conversion.” In fact, from 1985, I had
helped organize several conferences at which he had made
the case for atheism. So this work is personally the culmi-
nation of a journey begun two decades ago.
Curiously, the response to the AP story from Flew’s fel-
low atheists verged on hysteria. One atheist Web site tasked
a correspondent with giving monthly updates on Flew’s
falling away from the true faith. Inane insults and juvenile
caricatures were common in the freethinking blogosphere.
The same people who complained about the Inquisition
and witches being burned at the stake were now enjoying
a little heresy hunting of their own. The advocates of toler-
ance were not themselves very tolerant. And, apparently,
religious zealots don’t have a monopoly on dogmatism,
incivility, fanaticism, and paranoia.
But raging mobs cannot rewrite history. And Flew’s
position in the history of atheism transcends anything that
today’s atheists have on offer.

 

Review: There Is A God

aflew.jpgThere Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.  By Antony Flew.  HarperOne: New York, 2007.  222pp.
Reviewed by R.C. Sproul.A Tale of Two ParablesWith the publication of his book, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, the British philosopher Antony Flew dropped a bomb on the playground of Western atheists.  In this book, Antony Flew traces his lifelong pilgrimage from hardcore atheism to what he calls rational theism.  His change of mind in his latter years has been greeted by jeers, hoots, and hollers from the atheistic community, claiming that the once brilliant philosopher has suddenly grown senile in order to acquiesce to claims of the reality of God.  Anyone, of course, who reads this book from Antony Flew will quickly recognize that the claim of incipient senility is mere sour grapes by his present opponents who were his former comrades.  Rather, his book exhibits a mind that remains brilliantly lucid and acute in its analytical thought.I’ve titled this review, “A Tale of Two Parables.”  The reason is that in the first instance, apart from the parables of Jesus found in the New Testament, I doubt if there is any parable more famous in the annals of philosophy than the famous parable devised by Anthony Flew in the middle of the twentieth century, which is referred to simply as, “Flew’s Parable.”  The parable tells the story of two explorers who are hacking their way through a dense jungle when suddenly they came upon a clearing marked by a magnificent garden.  The garden displays rows of perfect symmetry and a cultivation that indicates the presence of no weeds.  The first explorer exclaimed his conviction that this garden obviously indicates a presence of a gardener.  The two men set about their quest to discover the gardener.  When no gardener appeared to tend the garden, one of the explorers argued that the appearance of this orderly garden was simply a freak of nature, and there was actually no gardener present.  The other persisted in his assumption that there must be a gardener, and claimed that the gardener perhaps was invisible.  So they set a trap by stringing wires around the garden, and attaching bells to them, so that if the invisible gardener appeared to tend his plot, he would make his presence known by making the bells ring.  When the bells did not ring, the explorer who argued for the presence of the gardener insisted that the gardener must not only be invisible but immaterial.  In the debate that ensued, the first explorer finally in exasperation said, “What is the difference between an invisible and immaterial gardener and no gardener at all?”
Flew’s point in this original parable was that God had died the death of a thousand qualifications.  We must remember that this original parable appeared in the midst of the strength of linguistic analysis as a dominant school of philosophical thought in the middle of the 20th century.  In that context, analyses were made of religious and theological language, and the conclusion was drawn by many that theological language about God has no empirical verifiable referent to justify the language.  So the strongest skeptics reduced all religious language simply to what they called emotive language, which language spoke more of the believers in God than it did of the nature of God Himself.  This all provoked what was called in the middle of the century, the “God Talk controversy” or the “God Talk crisis,” which in the theological realm culminated in the death of God movement.  The lingering problem with the old parable that Flew presented was the garden.  Though no gardener could be found, the presence of the garden itself remained a nagging issue begging for explanation.At the prime of his atheism, Flew argued that the burden of proof for the existence of God fell upon those who would assert it in a positive form, rather than upon those who would deny it.  At that point, he argued that the default position, absence of any compelling evidence, would be atheism.  At this point, Flew was merely applying basic principles of logic and proof by indicating that verification is always easier than falsification.  If we recall the analysts of that day, the standard illustration of this was the statement: “There is gold in Alaska.”  To verify the assumption that gold exists in Alaska, all one must do is to find a piece of it somewhere in that state.  One bit of gold discovered in Alaska would empirically verify the assertion: “There is gold in Alaska.”On the contrary, if someone asserted that there is no gold in Alaska, to falsify that claim, one would have to dig up every square inch of the state without finding any gold.  And even then if no gold were found, someone might posit the explanation that people were clumsy in their explorations and overlooked the presence of what was really there.  This is the type of argument that people make when they say that there are little green men who live on the other side of the moon, who can never be discovered by telescopes or scientific inquiry because these green men have a built in allergy and antipathy to all things scientific.  Such a truth claim of little green men of this nature can never be falsified.  People will take comfort in the fact, saying, “Well, my theory has never been disproved.”  But Flew rightly points out that questions like this and the existence of God put the burden of proof on those who argue for it, rather than on those who argue against it.Flew began his commitment to atheism at the young age of 15, when he was convinced, as was England’s other famous twentieth century atheist Bertrand Russell, by John Stuart Mill’s arguments against theism based on the problem of the existence of evil.  Both men became atheists in their teens and both by being convinced by the arguments of John Stuart Mill.  The irony of the atheism of Flew was that his father was a minister of great commitment and conviction of biblical truth.  The son rejected the father’s convictions in toto.  One principle of philosophy, however, made a lasting impact on Antony Flew.  It was the axiom uttered by Plato’s hero Socrates in the Republic, in which Socrates argues that one must follow the arguments wherever they lead.  Or as Flew articulated it, he felt a lifelong commitment to follow the evidence, wherever that evidence took him.In this book he argues that the evidence that he has examined over the years has brought him to a radically different conclusion about the existence of God from where he stood decades ago.  He has now composed a new parable to explain the change in his thinking.  He tells the story of a cell phone that washes ashore on a remote island inhabited by primitive people, who were otherwise out of touch with modern civilizations.  The natives there play with the numbers on the phone, and when they hear different voices coming out of the little box, the assumption they make is that the box itself is making all the noises.  The tribe has some clever scientists who are able to replicate this box that had washed ashore, and they hear the same voices.  They come to the conclusion that the obvious is true, namely that the voices are merely properties of the device.

Then the great sage of the tribe suggests that the voices that are similar to the tribe’s own but coming in a different language were not found simply in the little box, but that they were coming from afar off, from real people, not from parts of this little box, and argued that this consideration should be explored as a real possibility.  However, the tribal “scientists” refused to consider it at all.  They remained close-minded — as many modern thinkers have been totally close-minded to any possibility to the existence of God and are forced to argue that life on this planet has arisen spontaneously by chance, and that even the so-called laws of nature with which science works are lawless in themselves.  The examination of the nature and the properties of things, or the “what” questions have not been able to answer the “why” questions, and particularly the “how” questions of any one thing’s existence or how life has come to pass.

In his pilgrimage, Flew encountered three questions that would not go away and for which he found no satisfying answer from the realm of materialism or naturalism.  These three questions are first of all:  How did the laws of nature come to be?  Second, how did life originate from non-life?  And third, how did the universe come into being?  He explores the question of who wrote the laws of nature.  There are those who argue that the laws of nature are merely convenient forms that human investigators impose on nature, that nature’s facts are brute facts and mute facts, and have no inherent design.  Design is something that is merely projected upon nature from the thinking of the scientist.  In this case, Flew argues that the atheists accept the laws of nature simply by faith, and pursues the point that these laws are not something that are the result of cultural creation, but rather the discovery of something that exists within nature itself.  Newton did not invent the law of gravity or impose a principle of gravity on the natural world; rather, he discovered it as an external reality.

Now, the very presence of laws in nature indicates that nature has intelligible order.  The overarching presupposition of all scientific inquiry is that the inquiry can yield intelligible information.  If indeed the universe and everything in it is utter chaos, without order, then it would be equally unintelligible.  The fact that science can proceed in an intelligible manner screams to Anthony Flew that there must be order in it.  It is a short step or an easy argument to move from the presence of order to the presence of design.  In a sense, the presence of order is virtually tautological to the question of design.

The second question that captivated the inquiry of Flew was the question: How did life originate from non-life?  And he sees no acceptable naturalistic or materialistic explanation for the emergence of life.  Life in all of its complexity requires design and intelligence.  He argues at the same time that everything that is alive is teleological, that life functions and moves in a purposeful rather than chaotic direction.  The third argument is perhaps the one most captivating to him, and that was the question: How did the universe come into existence?  The emergence of Big Bang cosmology was the explosion that rattled Flew’s philosophical world.  It argues that if there was such a thing as a big bang 16 to 18 billion years ago from which the universe emerged, this would clearly indicate that the universe had a beginning.
The absolute, non-negotiable principle, with which Flew rightly works, is the principle that nothing has the ability to produce itself, that the whole notion of self-creation is a manifest absurdity.  For something to create itself, it would have to be before it was.  And so he espouses the age old axiom, ex nihilo nihil fit, out of nothing, nothing comes.  He even quotes from the musical, The Sound of Music, in which the song is sung, “Nothing comes from nothing, and nothing ever could….”  Because of the Big Bang cosmology, once again the cosmological argument is reconsidered.

Flew also takes time to critique Hume’s skepticism with respect to causal principles.  He argues that every effect must have a cause and a sufficient reason for its being.  The universe has neither a cause for itself nor such a sufficient reason built in.  Though effects require causes, self-existent eternal beings do not.  The fact that something exists now and that the universe as we know it has a beginning, rules out the possibility of finding a sufficient cause in contingent effects.  The only reasonable explanation for the origin of the existence of the universe is found in the power of a self-existent, eternal being.

Attempts to argue for multiple universes or fluctuations within vacuums only exacerbate the problem.  The argument from the infinite series of finite causes simply compounds the problem of self-creation infinitely.  Fluctuations within vacuums are at best question begging and at worst fanciful flights of imagination.  As a result of his reexamination of the evidence, Antony Flew has come to the conclusion that the universe was created by a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent, and omniscient being.  He states that he is not yet come full circle to affirming doctrines found in biblical revelation.  He has thus far restricted his findings to natural theology.  He indicates that he is open to more consideration of biblical revelation.  For this reason, he includes in his book an appendix written by Bishop N.T. Wright, in which Wright argues for the historical reality of the incarnation and of the resurrection of Christ.  Before the added appendices, Flew ends the body of the work itself with this statement: “Someday I may hear a Voice, that says, ‘Can you hear me now?'”

Dr. R.C. Sproul is an Alliance Council Member and the president of Ligonier Ministries.  Dr. Sproul is featured daily on the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcasts and the author of many books including his most recent work, “The Truth of the Cross”.

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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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