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Skip to comments.Famous Athiest Now Believes in God.
Posted on 12/09/2004 2:20:12 PM PST by Republic_of_Secession.
Science Gives Famous Atheist Faith in God.
NEW YORK - 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.
At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.
Flew said he was best labeled a deist like Thomas Jefferson, whose God was not actively involved in people's lives.
"I'm thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins," he said. "It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose."
Flew first made his mark with the 1950 article "Theology and Falsification," based on a paper for Socratic Club, a weekly Oxford religious forum led by writer and Christian thinker C.S. Lewis.
Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates.
There was no one moment of change but a gradual conclusion over recent months for Flew, a spry man who still does not believe in an afterlife.
'Intelligence Must Have Been Involved'
Yet biologists' investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been involved," Flew says in the new video, "Has Science Discovered God?"
The video draws from a New York discussion in May organized by author Roy Abraham Varghese's Institute for Metascientific Research in Garland, Texas. Participants were Flew; Varghese; Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jew; and Roman Catholic philosopher John Haldane of Scotland's University of St. Andrews.
The first hint of Flew's turn was a letter to the August-September issue of Britain's Philosophy Now magazine. "It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism," he wrote.
The letter commended arguments in Schroeder's "The Hidden Face of God" and "The Wonder of the World" by Varghese, an Eastern Rite Catholic layman.
This week, Flew finished writing the first formal account of his new outlook for the introduction to a new edition of his "God and Philosophy," scheduled for release next year by Prometheus Press.
'Follow the Evidence'
Prometheus specializes in skeptical thought, but if his belief upsets people, well "that's too bad," Flew said. "My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads."
Last week, Richard Carrier, a writer and Columbia University graduate student, posted new material based on correspondence with Flew on the atheistic www.infidels.org Web page. Carrier assured atheists that Flew accepts only a "minimal God" and believes in no afterlife.
Flew's "name and stature are big. Whenever you hear people talk about atheists, Flew always comes up," Carrier said. Still, when it comes to Flew's reversal, "apart from curiosity, I don't think it's like a big deal."
Flew told The Associated Press his new ideas had some similarity with American "intelligent design" theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life.
A Methodist minister's son, Flew became an atheist at 15.
Early in his career, he argued that no conceivable events could constitute proof against God for believers, so skeptics were right to wonder whether the concept of God meant anything at all.
Another landmark was his 1984 "The Presumption of Atheism," playing off the presumption of innocence in criminal law. Flew said the debate over God must begin by presuming atheism, putting the burden of proof on those arguing that God exists.
Matter is lost everytime you light a fire, turn on your stove, drive your car, post to the internet.
Yes it's transformed into energy, it does not disappear. Surely you are aware of the law of conservation of matter?
It is the law of conservation of matter AND ENERGY.
The story may be apochryphal. If true I can't recall the guys name or there may have been more than one. To me it makes sense.
I once read of a statement by a WWII U-Boat captain who said it was interesting to see the most calloused of the young atheists come aboard. It was interesting to watch them when the depth charging began as these young atheists would hit their knees and find the Lord.
It will be fun to see what people who believe this say in the afterlife. Not that I'm in any rush to find out, but it will be interesting!
Given the gentleman's age, that would be a fair presumption, now wouldn't it?
The SS was at the top.......
So much for his ____!
and,.....Merry Christmas too!
God in the Manger of Bethleham!
Jesus,.....God Incarnate,.....God In The Flesh!
He's become a "Burger King" believer: "have it your way".
I agree....I realize that some of you would not consider yourself a "born again" Christian....but this guy saying he believes in some sort of God, but not the Christian God is just not good enough....when he gets to look Jesus Christ in the eye and say well, I believed in your father, but not you....it's not gonna work...thats not good enough, the Bible says even Satan believes in God..doesn't mean Satan is gonna be walking the streets of heaven someday....
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