My comment on Antony Flew's "conversion"
Published on January 16, 2005
The late-in-life "conversion" of philosopher Antony Flew from atheism to belief in God has made believers highly enthusiastic. One of our Mukto-Mona members asked me to comment on this topic. Here is the link of his e-mail:
I just got this mail and i want to share with u guys. and for avijit, please respond to this issue. thanks...
Former atheist says God exists
By Kliff Kincaid
It didn't make news, on the front or back pages of leading American newspapers, but Professor Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher who is considered the world's best-known atheist, has cited advancements in science as proof of the existence of God. This is comparable to Hugh Hefner announcing that he is becoming a celibate.... ( Read more...)
In response, I
sent the following message to the forum:
Thanks Riton for asking me to respond to his forwarded piece. Just to point out, if you are not aware, our members has discussed this issue in the following thread before:
As opportunity came, let me clarify some points once again for you:
1) What Antony Flew believes or disbelieves has nothing necessarily to do with the truth of the existence or nonexistence of any god. It is his personal stand and belief.
2) I don't see any reason for those "Bible-believers" or Islamists to be happy as Antony Flew's shift is from atheist to deist (supposedly), not even Christianity, let alone Islam. Flew said he's 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." [check: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=315976 ]
You might also want to check Richard Carrier's piece where he assured atheists that Flew accepts only a "minimal God" and believes in no afterlife.
3) Note that Flew is a British Philosopher, he is not a scientist. Yet Flew uses science (actually some pseudo-scientific opinion, IMO) to determine his beliefs. For example he said he was impressed by Schroeder's book on interpretation of Genesis. Our two mukto-mona scientists (both are renowned physicists with Emeritus status) refuted Schroeder's pseudo-scientific interpretation. For detailed, please read:
Flew's Flawed Science by Dr. Victor Stenger
Not a Very Big Bang about Genesis by Dr. Mark Perakh
Flew seems to be impressed by Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" which is also criticized by prominent scientists and rationalists:
3) Richard Dawkins, Prominent scientist of this age remarked that Flew was advocating a "God of the gaps" argument as to the origin of life. For this news please read:
4) Flew's position appears to me internally inconsistent. Flew most probably believes in a deist God who does not meddle in human affairs. Yet a deist God who created the universe has to intervene in the universe's affairs to also create life 4.3 billion years ago as Flew still grants evolution. He just thinks it can't account for the origin of life, however, agrees that it certainly evolved. Problem is how does he know and how he came to such conclusion?
5) Flew is 81 years old. Perhaps what Joanna says is right. many people who were lifelong agnostics or atheists decide to be believers in old age. It may be out of fear, may be uncertainty of life, incapability to analize events rationally or may be it is comforting.
Flew, At the age of 81, is convinced by that a super-intelligence is the only explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature. however, We have a huge number of non-believers , hundreds of millions at least, who would be quite happy to believe such God if the evidence really pointed that way, and yet God is content to let them go to Hell.
The mere fact that there are still open-minded, rational non- believers there who think god is not a necessary issue to make their life worthy!
Jan 16, 2005