Skip to comments.Professor Antony Flew Dies (World's Foremost Rationalist Philosopher/Atheist Who Changed His Mind)
Posted on 04/14/2010 9:29:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Professor Antony Flew, the rationalist philosopher who died on April 8 aged 87, spent much of his life denying the existence of God until, in 2004, he dramatically changed his mind.
Flew always described himself as a "negative atheist", asserting that "theological propositions can neither be verified nor falsified by experience", a position he expounded in his classic paper Theology and Falsification (1950), reputedly the most frequently-quoted philosophical publication of the second half of the 20th century.
He argued that any philosophical debate about the Almighty must begin by presuming atheism, placing the burden of proof on those who believe that God exists. "We reject all transcendent supernatural systems, not because we've examined or could have examined each in turn, but because it does not seem to us that there is any good evidence in reason to postulate anything behind or beyond this natural universe," he proclaimed. A key principle of his philosophy was the Socratean concept of "follow the evidence, wherever it leads".
When Flew revealed that he had come to the conclusion that there might be a God after all, it came as a shock to his fellow atheists, who had long regarded him as one of their foremost champions. Worse, he seemed to have deserted Plato for Aristotle, since it was two of Aquinas's famous five proofs for the existence of God the arguments from design and for a prime mover that had apparently clinched the matter.
After months of soul-searching, Flew concluded that research into DNA had "shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved".
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Well, now he knows if he made the right choice
Does anyone know if Flew ever came to faith in Christ?
In the face of eternity, man’s logic, man’s attempt to reason away the miracles of the universe ... simply fall apart.
>>Well, now he knows if he made the right choice<<
Exactly what I was wondering. "Believing in God" is meaningless by itself. Hell's full of demons and fallen angels who most certainly believe in God.
one of those i better cover my bets moments...??...
bump for later
From the article: But believers waiting to welcome this most prodigal of sons back into the fold were to be disappointed. Flew's conversion did not embrace such concepts as Heaven, good and evil or the afterlife let alone divine intervention in human affairs. His God was strictly minimalist very different from "the monstrous oriental despots of the religions of Christianity and Islam", as he liked to call them. God may have called his creation into existence, then, but why did he bother? To that question, it seemed, Flew had no answer.
Many of us that may not believe in God know that we will say a prayer just before we die. Don’t knock us Athiests and Agnostics for being living and thinking beings. Basically, we just don’t care...yet. God appreciates this skepticism.
Nietzsche is dead. God is not.
I care— I just don’t KNOW.
So you're not sure whether or not He exists, but you still understand his thought processes?
LOL. Good one, Joe.
God knows.... and it's all up to Him.
Sort of, yeah, but currently I just don’t care.
Perhaps you’d be surprised that so many of us are out here.
SFSGSW until my time comes.
So what else does God appreciate? Do you get these answers in visions? Most of the weakest-minded religious that have visions tell us that He’s saddened by peoples’ skepticism and behavior.
In December 2004, an interview with Flew conducted by Gary Habermas was published in the journal Philosophia Christi (published by the Evangelical Philosophical Society with the assistance of Biola University), with the title, Atheist Becomes Theist - Exclusive Interview with Former Atheist Antony Flew. Flew agreed to this title. According to the introduction, Flew informed Habermas in January 2004 that he had become a deist, and the interview took place shortly thereafter. Then the text was amended by both participants over the following months prior to publication. In the article Flew states that he has left his long-standing espousal of atheism by endorsing a deism of the sort that Thomas Jefferson advocated (While reason, mainly in the form of arguments to design, assures us that there is a God, there is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or for any transactions between that God and individual human beings.). Flew stated that the most impressive arguments for Gods existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries and that the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it. He also answered in the affirmative to Habermass question, So of the major theistic arguments, such as the cosmological, teleological, moral, and ontological, the only really impressive ones that you take to be decisive are the scientific forms of teleology?. He supported the idea of an Aristotelian God with the characteristics of power and also intelligence, stating that the evidence for it was stronger than ever before. He rejects the ideas of an afterlife, of God as the source of good (he explicitly states that God has created a lot of evil), and of the resurrection of Jesus as a historical fact though he has allowed a short chapter arguing for Christs resurrection to be added into his latest book.
Flew is particularly hostile to Islam, and says it is best described in a Marxian way as the uniting and justifying ideology of Arab imperialism. In a December 2004 interview he said: Im 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.
When asked in December 2004 by Duncan Crary of Humanist Network News if he still stood by the argument presented in The Presumption of Atheism, Flew replied he did but he also restated his position as deist: Im quite happy to believe in an inoffensive inactive god. When asked by Crary whether or not he has kept up with the most recent science and theology, he responded with Certainly not, stating that there is simply too much to keep up with. Flew also denied that there was any truth to the rumours of 2001 and 2003 that he had converted to Christianity.
Such a brillant man. Wouldn’t you love to sit down and have a conversation with him!?! I know I would!
If he did not accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior, there will be a great gulf between where he is and where I will be.
There is no other name by which we will be saved.
I used to think of myself as an atheist, until I realized atheism doesn’t exist.
Seriously, the word “atheism” means literally “without religion” or “without belief in a god or gods.” I talked/debated with many atheists for a long time. And, it turns out, everyone DOES believe in something. The question to ask yourself is: What is it that you believe in?
I came to see that it’s not that we don’t believe in a higher power. It’s that we either don’t believe in (or misunderstand) the popular definitions of God, or we disagree with specific doctrines that are put forth by churches, etc.
Furthermore, words like “agnostic” or “atheist” tells people what a person is “without”. Why should people refer to themselves using a term that indicates they’re without something (such as knowledge or faith)? We all believe in/know something, or we wouldn’t be here talking. Just my two cents.
The trouble is, there is no rational basis for this presupposition. All epistemological systems must start with certain primary assumptions ("axioms") which can neither be proven or disproved by reason. It is these presuppositional foundations which dictate how one percieves reality (ie. metaphysics). The test is how well does any given epistemology explain human experience. I would argue that an empirical epistemology makes no sense of human experience. Only when we start out presupposing the truth of scripture does our reality make sense.
I was talking about CS Lewis.
lick on post 26 image
err....that is click
See you in Heaven!
I'm glad you clarified that... :-)
That is just a convoluted rationalization of your decision to do as you like until your last thoughtful moment - if you get one. You can willfully delude yourself as much as you want, but God knows.
Well thanks a lot! My screen is still all wet now, and the dust tastes awful.
I’m cool with that.
It is your God given right.
Recognition of a Higher Power is at least a start.
As the church sign said "Those that wait till the last hour to get saved often die at 10:30"
As we saved people know, we are only a heartbeat away from Heaven (or Hell)
Just substitute "It" for "He" and you'll get over it.
Satan recognizes there is a "Higher Power" and we know the Evil One's eternal future. (Rev 18:1-6)
According to scripture, Prof. Flew is lost unless he has been "reborn" into a saving faith through Christ Jesus. Good works is not enough. Faith in a false prophet such as Mohammed or Joseph Smith is not enough. And belief in a higher power is not enough.
I'll PM you my address - I really want that nit.
My inner-nihilist delights in a post like this that is rife with contradictions, non-sequiturs, oxymorons, and intentionally-ironic self-aggrandizements. The entire statement implodes upon itself with an artfulness that rivals Nietzsche's pessimistic aphorisms. Kudos.
btw, I don't knock Atheists. Today's atheist may be tomorrow's faithful believer in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Some accounts make him a theist, or believer in a personal God who acts on the world, but the evidence for that is skimpy.
Thanks for the ping!
Depends on what qualifies as "experience," I suppose....
R.I.P. dear Sir Anthony. I shall miss you, but hope to meet you some day.
May God ever bless you.