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Famous Athiest Now Believes in God.
Newsmax.com ^ | December 9, 2004. | Newsmax.com

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."

Intelligent Design

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: antonyflew; athiest; athiests; faith; god
Science itself states that one can not get something form nothing. This is why when even athiests really examine it, some do indeed tend to conclude that there must have been an intelligent design.
1 posted on 12/09/2004 2:20:12 PM PST by Republic_of_Secession.
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

Foxhole convert?


2 posted on 12/09/2004 2:23:26 PM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

It took him to 81 to realize that? Bah, I'd reached that conclusion by my late 20s. I'm not a person of faith and am highly skeptical of the Old and New Testaments (and the Koran, and every other so-called holy book) but I do not believe the theory that random mutation and natural selection are solely responsible for the diversity of life as it exists today. And it revolts me that this dubious proposition is itself accepted as an article of faith by the so-called intellgentsia, with skepticism treated as heresy.


3 posted on 12/09/2004 2:23:59 PM PST by Politicalities (http://www.politicalities.com)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

BTTT


4 posted on 12/09/2004 2:24:18 PM PST by Heartlander
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
A senile old man with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel is your icon for deathbed conversions?
5 posted on 12/09/2004 2:24:51 PM PST by balrog666 (The invisible and the nonexistent look very much alike.)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
As he approaches death, believing in a GOD allows one to "cover his bets". He really doesn't know much about the God of Abraham, although he seems to know something about Allah...
6 posted on 12/09/2004 2:25:08 PM PST by Edgerunner (The left ain't right. Hand me that launch pickle...)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke.


7 posted on 12/09/2004 2:25:49 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe.

Amazing...it's taken 81 years for this asshole to recognize an obvious, basic fact. Strange, what passes for elite intelligensia.

8 posted on 12/09/2004 2:26:43 PM PST by kimosabe31
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

Wow. It's not a conversion but it's something.


9 posted on 12/09/2004 2:26:48 PM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: Edgerunner

What most scientists forget to remember about science is that there are rules and patterns. Else, why study it if it is completely random? Science is about writing down and understanding what is going on. For everything to be random defeats the purpose of science.


10 posted on 12/09/2004 2:27:59 PM PST by MinstrelBoy (What will you do without freedom?!)
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To: randog
Perhaps he heard me coming......


11 posted on 12/09/2004 2:28:47 PM PST by WilliamWallace1999
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To: Edgerunner
He really doesn't know much about the God of Abraham...

I was thinking the same thing. Being the son of a minister, one wonders just what he was taught about God as a child?

12 posted on 12/09/2004 2:28:55 PM PST by TChris (You keep using that word. I don't think it means what yHello, I'm a TAGLINE vir)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
Belief in god makese a helluva lot more sense than believing in the UN.
13 posted on 12/09/2004 2:29:06 PM PST by atomicpossum (I am the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.)
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To: D-fendr

Hmmm.


14 posted on 12/09/2004 2:29:25 PM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

For what it's worth:

I was brought up in the reform Jewish tradition, Bar Mitzvah’d in 1963 and confirmed in 1964. During high school, I began dabbling in Hinduism (studying the Bagavhad Gita, reading Siddhartha and learning to play the sitar). I subsequently became a confirmed atheist, and remained so for almost two decades.

During the 1980s, my layman’s interest in physics, particularly my efforts to understand the theories of Albert Einstein, led me to contemplate the implications of the unified field theory -- a single mathematical equation that describes every process in the universe.

Einstein spent the last years of his life trying unsuccessfully to discover that formula, and although modern physics has yet to establish this Holy Grail of everything, I believe that it will one day be found. Stephen Hawkings has said that the discovery of this formula would be equivalent to “reading the mind of God.”

Through such readings, I eventually came to realize that the entire universe, which at the subatomic level is not solid, is nothing more than one incredible concept. To me that fact implies a single, universal mind at the core of creation. Once I had that insight, I felt I could no longer scientifically justify my atheism – especially since at about the same time, while I was training for my black belt in Korean Zen Sword, I began to notice that when modern physicists try to put their mathematical formulas into English, they end up sounding a lot like Zen Buddhists.

Of course, try as I might, I really couldn’t grasp the implications of all this intellectually since it really can’t be done. But in the early ‘90s, reeling from a great personal, professional and familial disaster, the only way I could find comfort was by spending hours alone in the famous Mt. Auburn Cemetery, where day after day I would walk among the tombstones or sit in the chapel sobbing and praying out loud for relief from my great pain. I experienced the healing that I felt there as finding my connection to God on a heart level.

To this day, when I feel the need for spiritual renewal, I head to the nearest cemetery by myself and pray to God for strength, wisdom, courage and guidance.

So when asked today what my religion is, I tell people that I am a “Cemeterian.”


15 posted on 12/09/2004 2:30:22 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
Oops! Another target for Islamofascist, Satan worshiping, Muzzle-em head choppig monsters !!!
16 posted on 12/09/2004 2:31:09 PM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: Maceman
Through such readings, I eventually came to realize that the entire universe, which at the subatomic level is not solid, is nothing more than one incredible concept. To me that fact implies a single, universal mind at the core of creation.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'realize', 'concept', and 'universal mind' in this passage. You have every right to use such words, but when you stretch them beyond their ordinary significations, it might be a good idea to explain yourself more fully.

17 posted on 12/09/2004 2:34:46 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
Certainly makes all the brilliant minds of the last 5000 years who had faith in a Creator without the benefit of modern science look foolish. How could they have been so presumptive, so rash?

Sounds like a 'cover your bets' faith to me since he's hit his 4th score.
18 posted on 12/09/2004 2:34:50 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (I'm fresh out of tags. I'll pick some up tomorrow.)
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To: Edgerunner
As he approaches death, believing in a GOD allows one to "cover his bets".

Not really. He doesn't believe in a God who is personally involved in his life and he believes that when you die, that's all there is.

That's hardly a man who has taken Pascal's wager.

The very existence of matter and its conservation is empirical proof that there is a God - which Flew is conceding.

19 posted on 12/09/2004 2:35:35 PM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Maceman

Thanks for sharing. That's quite a testimony.


20 posted on 12/09/2004 2:37:20 PM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: wideawake
The very existence of matter and its conservation is empirical proof that there is a God - which Flew is conceding.

Matter is lost everytime you light a fire, turn on your stove, drive your car, post to the internet.

21 posted on 12/09/2004 2:37:33 PM PST by WildTurkey
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To: WildTurkey

Yes it's transformed into energy, it does not disappear. Surely you are aware of the law of conservation of matter?


22 posted on 12/09/2004 2:39:59 PM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: wideawake
Surely you are aware of the law of conservation of matter?

It is the law of conservation of matter AND ENERGY.

23 posted on 12/09/2004 2:42:27 PM PST by WildTurkey
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To: randog
Foxhole convert?

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.

24 posted on 12/09/2004 2:44:57 PM PST by stevem
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To: MinstrelBoy
One of the most powerful and comforting aspects of our Universe is it's amazing self consistency and the absolute nature of mathematics to describe it's workings. These facts alone are powerful statements regarding the nature of That Which Made Everything. The indelible consistency of the universe speaks volumes about the nature of that which made Nature. To accept that the universe just Is, and has no Creator, is unacceptable.
25 posted on 12/09/2004 2:45:20 PM PST by HangnJudge
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

BTTT


26 posted on 12/09/2004 2:47:20 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
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.

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!

27 posted on 12/09/2004 2:48:40 PM PST by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON)
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To: randog
Foxhole convert?

Given the gentleman's age, that would be a fair presumption, now wouldn't it?

28 posted on 12/09/2004 2:52:38 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Republic_of_Secession.
All of Hitler's troops had to swear a oath of obligation, allegiance, duty,.....to him so help them god.

The SS was at the top.......

So much for his ____!

Happy Hanukkak!....................5765

and,.....Merry Christmas too!

God in the Manger of Bethleham!

Jesus,.....God Incarnate,.....God In The Flesh!

Where?

Micah 5:2

29 posted on 12/09/2004 2:58:19 PM PST by maestro
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To: Republic_of_Secession.

He's become a "Burger King" believer: "have it your way".


30 posted on 12/09/2004 2:58:44 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: TheDon

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....


31 posted on 12/09/2004 3:02:01 PM PST by kyperman (Hows this for a face you love to hate.)
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