13 0

What do you think? Who is Dr. Antony Flew?


dave1459 8 Aug 30

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


But the fact is there’s a large and growing collection of scientific facts (and scientists themselves) that point more and more convincingly towards some kind of intelligence behind the universe.

No there isn't. There is no scientific fact that points towards intelligent design. My guess is he is using the anthropic principle as evidence but that is based on the idea that our life is the only life that counts and thus the fine tuning of our universe is the only one that counts. This is an unproven idea and doesn't discount a completely random event (that our universe parameters are completely random) nor a begging the question style arguement (the universe has life, thus the universe had to be designed for life)

And second, some of the most convincing evidence in favour of a God-made universe comes from former atheists who have changed their minds based on empirical data.

No it doesn't. For one, there is no huge population of atheist scientists that have changed their mind on empirical datat. For two, science is well renown for being wrong... in fact, it relies on 99 ideas being wrong such that the 1 idea that is right is strongly right. So there is no guarantee that even if this population exists (IF) that they are in the 1 idea that is right and not the 99 that are wrong.


Interestingly, if you believe that ATHEISM is a position of belief and not one of existence, you owe a great deal of thanks to Flew who came up with that concept.

Before that, atheism was a position of existence... as in gods don't exist. After him, it became a position of belief.... I don't claim that gods do or do not exist, but I don't believe in them [1]. This paved the way for the modern acceptance of the Agnostic Atheist.

I personally find that position untenable as I see no difference between not believing in god(s) and claiming their aren't any. Perhaps this dissonance is real with people that embody Flew's idea and perhaps a reason why he is more prone to "watchmaker" arguments since his position on gods is based on belief (which is "squishy" ) and not existence (which is not).

[1] []


Anthony Flew was an Athiest for 50 odd years, he died in 2010 in his mid eighties resident in a home for people suffering extreme dementia where he had been resident for almost a decade.
So this guy's arguement is that an eminent philosopher in his dotage turned to god and that proves everything else he ever said while still sane was irrelevant.
What a convincing arguement.


I think that you are posting drivel from a site written by a carpenter and mason worker from his home in Canada, which speaks volumes of the relevance of this site. Flew did not convince me at all in his book because his arguments were flimsy, mostly philosophic rather than scientific.

I read the article and thought I'd ask. If you find to be drivel, so be it. Just trying to learn how the group feels and thinks about these things.

@dave1459 the asking to learn card.


"Intelligent" design.


Never heard of the guy. So he changed his mind about god due to science. Did he have objective evidence that any god was real? Did the fear of death with no afterlife scare him?


Flew was a famous British philosopher of religion. As I understand him, his long-term view was that there is no evidence whatever that would tend either to verify or falsify the claim that God exists, so it is a meaningless claim. However, as science progressed he came to believe that it did provide evidence that would tend to verify it (along the lines of special design). But I don't think this was the God of popular religion.

Good point and I agree!


Flew's arguments from his atheist days stand by themselves.


Anyone convinced by the watchmaker analogy doesn't understand evolution AT ALL.


"There is more and more evidence....." And what, author of said piece would any of that be. A little name dropping or citations wouldn't get you lumped into the "some people say" category of bullshit.


I remember reading Flew as an undergraduate philosopher. It seems he suffered from some mental debility in his later years. The Wikipedia entry gives a good summation:


I think Pink Floyd said it best,
But it was only fantasy
The wall was too high
As you can see
No matter how he tried
He could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain


Just another person with opinions.
He clearly changed his mind about what he believed, and gave in to fear.

Not unlike many, but no better than anyone else.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:529285
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.