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Prominent atheist turns theist. Is this noteworthy?

FanOreilly 2007/12/01 01:04:31
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http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DineshDSouza/2007/11/19/th...

" Imagine if one of the world's leading Christians--say C.S. Lewis a generation ago, or Billy Graham now--were to reject his religious beliefs and become a atheist. It would be big news! The New York Times would be all over it, for sure, and the question would be why a man who has devoted his life to God would now turn against Him? In sum, the focus would be on what were the reasons for the conversion and on what's so bad about Christianity.

Contrast this with the New York Times' approach to the conversion of philosopher Anthony Flew. Flew has been, for the past half-century, the world's leading advocate of atheism. His works such as Theology and Falsification and The Presumption of Atheism were considered classics of theist thought. No one has so relentlessly espoused the atheist cause, and no one has been more anthologized and eulogized by the atheist community. Other twentieth-century philosophers, such as Martin Heidegger and Bertrand Russell, were unbelievers but they did not make atheism central to their philosophical work as did Flew. Flew's atheism long precedes that of latecomers like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens.

Now, in his early eighties, Flew has rejected atheism and said he believes that God exists. He does not espouse the Christian God, but calls himself a Deist. He says he has a lifelong commitment to following the evidence where it leads, and that new advances in the sciences have shown him that materialism and Darwinism simply cannot account for the world as it is and life as it is. Examining the fine-tuning of the universe and the mind-boggling complexity of the cell (a compexity that evolution presumes but cannot explain), Flew now believes that the design of the universe requires a designer. He gives his reasons in a new book There Is a God which is co-authored with Roy Abraham Varghese."
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  • byebye ,I love you,gotta go 2007/12/01 03:36:55
    Yes
    byebye ,I love you,gotta go
    +17
    And he isn't the first atheist to convert! I believe it was john mcarthur who set out to prove God didn't exsist and wound up proving that God did exist! God don't believe in atheist! lol

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  • brandi 2009/11/11 22:06:05
    Yes
    brandi
    +1
    I thought this was pretty interesting. Never heard of him until now but Im glad I did. Thanks : )
  • Nowonmai 2009/11/11 06:17:06
    No
    Nowonmai
    Who?
  • seathanaich 2009/11/11 05:12:19
    No
    seathanaich
    +1
    No, actually.

    Somewhat well known atheist goes senile, and admits that some sort of "higher power" deist god may exist.

    Hardly a "conversion" to theism, let alone a specific theism like, say, Christianity.

    Such is the need to grasp at straws.
  • thekidflash 2009/11/11 01:01:38
    Yes
    thekidflash
    Why not? There's nothing wrong with being a theist, just as long as you're not apeshit about it.
  • Disko Pickle 2009/05/30 00:45:29
    No
    Disko Pickle
    +1
    Christian apologists are making a big deal about this by saying that Anthony Flew is the most influential atheist of the 20th century. I guess we'll just have to take their word for it, since none of us atheists seem to have ever heard of the guy.
  • that0neguy Disko P... 2009/05/30 00:47:03
    that0neguy
    +2
    I've certainly never heard of him. When I hear Atheist and influential I think Richard Dawkins.
  • Disko P... that0neguy 2009/05/30 00:48:25
    Disko Pickle
    +2
    I think Bertrand Russell.
  • that0neguy Disko P... 2009/05/30 00:48:56
    that0neguy
    +1
    Ooooo, good one!
  • seathan... Disko P... 2009/11/11 05:12:57
    seathanaich
    +1
    Yeah, I'd never heard of him either until this "amazing news".
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/11 17:57:21
    FanOreilly
    +1
    > Yeah, I'd never heard of him either until this "amazing news".

    Evidence of the ignorance of the average atheist.
  • seathan... FanOreilly 2009/11/12 03:11:40
    seathanaich
    You hadn't heard of him either. Liar for Jesus.
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/13 19:54:01
    FanOreilly
    Funny how you despise the religion of your smooth lord and savior.
  • seathan... FanOreilly 2009/11/13 21:37:26
    seathanaich
    "you despise"

    People who claim to see hate where there is none are just projecting their own emotions.

    "your smooth lord and savior"

    That's a turn of phrase I've never heard before. Smooth, as opposed to crunchy, like peanut butter? But I have no lord, and require no saving from Jewish mythology threats, or Christian ones. My parents freed themselves from that whole racket before I was born.
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/14 19:10:59
    FanOreilly
    >My parents freed themselves from that whole racket before I was born.

    I bet you believe in global warming.
  • Margo 2009/05/29 03:24:47
    No
    Margo
    +1
    Aren't atheist, agnostic, and deist usually all lumped into the 'nonbeliever' category?

    And another thing: . . .who? I know Dawkins, Dennent, Hitchens, Harris, and all the prominent Youtube guys, but I've never heard of Anthony Flew. . .
  • FanOreilly Margo 2009/05/29 07:41:00
    FanOreilly
    +1
    You have never heard of Anthony Flew?...the father of modern atheism?
  • Margo FanOreilly 2009/05/29 21:38:58
    Margo
    +1
    Can't say that I have.
  • Disko P... FanOreilly 2009/11/11 05:19:06
    Disko Pickle
    +1
    Christians are the only people who have ever heard of Anthony Flew.
  • FanOreilly Disko P... 2009/11/11 17:58:53
    FanOreilly
    +1
    > Christians are the only people who have ever heard of Anthony Flew.

    Looks like we are more informed than the average atheist.

    Sir Issac Newton? I don't know nothin' but no Newton!
  • seathan... FanOreilly 2009/11/13 21:43:09
    seathanaich
    Yeah, this nobody is on par with Isaac Newton. There's no statement that's too stupid or illogical for you to make. You have chosen an appropriate avatar and pseudonym.
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/14 19:11:31
    FanOreilly
    >There's no statement that's too stupid or illogical for you to make.

    Not very scientific of you.
  • seathan... Margo 2009/11/11 05:13:29
    seathanaich
    Exactly. Who's even heard of him?
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/11 18:00:46
    FanOreilly
    +1
    LOL!

    Apparently the highly scientific and intelligent atheists missed how the wikipedia entry lists the late Dr. Flew as:
    "Prominent atheist"

    Ignorance is probably not your best argument sir.
  • Bico 2009/03/19 04:32:40
    No
    Bico
    +1
    He's in his eighties, for one thing. The saying "There are no atheists in foxholes" applies in this case, as when on death's door, most people would hope and look for even the most flimsy evidence that there is something after death and your whole life wasn't meaningless.

    I, myself, am in the same boat, philosophically, as this guy. While I'm not old, I have tried to think of my consciousness simply ending at my death for eternity, and trying to imagine the scope of time in which there would be no more "me," and it's quite daunting. I don't believe in a god in the traditional sense, but I have to believe that consciousness, whether mine or a different one, like me with amnesia, will continue on.

    Anyway, to address the question more directly, no it's not really noteworthy. Plenty of atheists find God all the time just like plenty of religious people become atheists every day. Just because he was a noteworthy person among the atheists and put forth many pro atheist arguments also does not negate those messages. People change their minds all the time. If Abe Lincoln had decided at the end of his life (providing he hadn't been assassinated) that he was wrong to free the slaves, would that have negated the arguments he put forth for abolition? No, it would have just meant he'd gone senile.
  • rabbit*patriot* 2009/03/19 03:14:52
    Yes
    rabbit*patriot*
    +1
    This is big news, but what a suprise! No one is covering it. I havent heard this till this post, which I will say is a great post. !!!!!
  • Disko P... rabbit*... 2009/05/30 00:46:17
    Disko Pickle
    You just haven't been paying attention. This was huge news last year.
  • seathan... rabbit*... 2009/11/11 05:14:35
    seathanaich
    It wasn't big news at all. It merely highlights that as millions of religionists become atheist, every once in a while someone goes the other way.
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/11 18:01:47
    FanOreilly
    +1
    This wasn't the average atheist with a ridiculous hat on...this was the father of modern atheism.

    If the pope turned atheist, you folks would be howling!

    Then by your logic I could reply 'I never heard of no Ratzinger!'
  • seathan... FanOreilly 2009/11/12 03:12:24
    seathanaich
    There is no "father of modern atheism".

    If there was, that would be Bertrand Russell, someone people have actually heard of.
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/13 19:54:34
    FanOreilly
    LOL!

    Your ignorance is not an argument it is a shame.
  • seathan... FanOreilly 2009/11/13 21:39:17 (edited)
    seathanaich
    There is no "father of modern atheism".

    If there was, that would be Bertrand Russell, someone people have actually heard of.

    Anyone who is aware of atheism over the past 50 years would agree with this.
  • FanOreilly seathan... 2009/11/14 19:12:24
    FanOreilly
    >Anyone who is aware of atheism over the past 50 years would agree with this.

    LOL!

    So you speak for atheism? Is that the official uniform on your head there? I think it is appropriate.

    LOL!
  • jackolantyrn356 2009/03/19 02:51:18
    No
    jackolantyrn356
    +1
    It's a rather simple thing. Not particularly easy, but simple none the less. Bleave on the Lord Jesus Christ and be ye saved. Other wise work hard to get in Heaven die and fgo to Hell.
  • DemonKiTTiE ♥ In MUSE I Tru... 2008/12/24 01:47:30
    No
    DemonKiTTiE ♥ In MUSE I Trust ♥
    Maybe he saw something that scared "God" into him. People change their minds all the time. It's nothing I should be concerned about.
  • Tomus Megalomania 2008/12/19 11:07:52
    Yes
    Tomus Megalomania
    It is a noteworthy blunder of epic proportions! The fact that existing accounts cannot explain everything in the world is no reason to adopt a worse explanation. This is especially true when we consider why flew adopts design theory-- complexity or apparent design in nature. There are other justifications for Deism, but I do not think that design theory is a viable one.
  • FanOreilly Tomus M... 2008/12/19 22:53:32
    FanOreilly
    +2
    A man well versed on the topic (he literally wrote the book) thinks you are wrong.
  • Tomus M... FanOreilly 2008/12/19 23:24:00
    Tomus Megalomania
    I'm aware of that. Is that supposed to be a repudiation? More experts on the subject agree with me, anyway, so if you make an appeal to authority, this man is in the minority.
  • FanOreilly Tomus M... 2008/12/20 01:12:57
    FanOreilly
    +2
    But he is no ordinary 'expert'...he is one of the top experts.

    Dinesh D'Souza was right...it is as if Billy Graham himself had turned atheist yet the scientifically minded atheists shrug and dismiss him as deranged.
  • Tomus M... FanOreilly 2008/12/20 02:42:21 (edited)
    Tomus Megalomania
    I just find the reasoning (design theory) weak. I would have to look at his work in detail to see what the particular issues are. It is actually common for philosophers to turn to more controversial work later in their careers. Other notable examples include Jean Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger.
  • Margo FanOreilly 2009/05/29 03:26:47
    Margo
    Two words: So what?

    It doesn't matter who adopts a view. If Richard Dawkins were to suddenly say "I believe that someday a nephilim is going to come out of the earth and destroy the human race", until it is proven via the scientific method, it's still false.

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