Philosopher Who Gave the New Atheists Their Theoretical Foundations Became Convinced that God Exists

Jan 24, 2014 Full story: Free Republic

In December 2004 Flew announced in a symposium and subsequent video that he had completely changed his view and now, based on scientific evidence, believed that God exists.

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“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#1 Jan 27, 2014
"Convinced that God Exists"? Hardly - at least not what the Christians mean by that word. "A god" perhaps,but not "God."

For those not familiar, Antony Flew was an atheist philosopher, who, near his death, and while suffering from Alzheimer dementia, is said to have reversed himself and become a deist.

We need to consider the circumstances surrounding this alleged conversion to see what the Christians were up to there.

From Wiki:

"On several occasions, starting in 2001, rumors circulated claiming that Flew had converted from atheism to deism. Flew denied these rumors on the Secular Web website"

Here is evidence that others were already trying to speak for him in his earlier stages of dementia. Why else would the above be true?

From the article linked to above:

"In December 2004 Flew announced in a symposium and subsequent video that he had completely changed his view and now, based on scientific evidence, believed that God exists. In 2007 he wrote the book There Is a God, subtitled How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind."

Suddenly, Flew is not objecting any more. What is not mentioned is that Christian Roy Abraham Varghese "coauthored" the book with Flew, writing on behalf of the demented philosopher.

What is also not mentioned in this article is that what Flew allegedly did in his dotage - convert to deism - was still an extreme repudiation of faith and Christianity, not an acceptance of "God".

Even if Flew eventually consented to deism, we are left with the portrait of a man, who, in his dotage, and with dementia engulfing his intellect, decided that the universe implied a creator after all.

And this is touted as a great victory by the theists, even though Flew continued to reject all mythologies, religions, and dogmas, including Christianity. He continued to reject Jehovah-Jesus, which he considered him a mythological character.

He also rejected magical thinking, prayer and miracles.

He rejected virgin births and resurrections.

He rejected divine revelation and holy books.

He rejected heaven, hell, angels and demons.

He also rejected sin, grace, the soul, salvation, and damnation.

He rejected everything held sacred and self-evident to a Christian.

And to Christians, he is in hell.

From Wiki;

"Flew died on 8 April 2010, while nursed in an Extended Care Facility in Reading, England, suffering from dementia"

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#2 Jan 27, 2014
It aint necessarily so wrote:
"Convinced that God Exists"? Hardly - at least not what the Christians mean by that word. "A god" perhaps,but not "God."
For those not familiar, Antony Flew was an atheist philosopher, who, near his death, and while suffering from Alzheimer dementia, is said to have reversed himself and become a deist.
We need to consider the circumstances surrounding this alleged conversion to see what the Christians were up to there.
From Wiki:
"On several occasions, starting in 2001, rumors circulated claiming that Flew had converted from atheism to deism. Flew denied these rumors on the Secular Web website"
Here is evidence that others were already trying to speak for him in his earlier stages of dementia. Why else would the above be true?
From the article linked to above:
"In December 2004 Flew announced in a symposium and subsequent video that he had completely changed his view and now, based on scientific evidence, believed that God exists. In 2007 he wrote the book There Is a God, subtitled How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind."
Suddenly, Flew is not objecting any more. What is not mentioned is that Christian Roy Abraham Varghese "coauthored" the book with Flew, writing on behalf of the demented philosopher.
What is also not mentioned in this article is that what Flew allegedly did in his dotage - convert to deism - was still an extreme repudiation of faith and Christianity, not an acceptance of "God".
Even if Flew eventually consented to deism, we are left with the portrait of a man, who, in his dotage, and with dementia engulfing his intellect, decided that the universe implied a creator after all.
And this is touted as a great victory by the theists, even though Flew continued to reject all mythologies, religions, and dogmas, including Christianity. He continued to reject Jehovah-Jesus, which he considered him a mythological character.
He also rejected magical thinking, prayer and miracles.
He rejected virgin births and resurrections.
He rejected divine revelation and holy books.
He rejected heaven, hell, angels and demons.
He also rejected sin, grace, the soul, salvation, and damnation.
He rejected everything held sacred and self-evident to a Christian.
And to Christians, he is in hell.
From Wiki;
"Flew died on 8 April 2010, while nursed in an Extended Care Facility in Reading, England, suffering from dementia"
It is impossible to know, from your vantage point, the degree to which Flew was affected by dementia when he converted. Same goes for the extent of his participation in the ideas in the book.

Neither side gains from this evidence. Taken as complete truth, the conversion would only prove that an intellectual atheist can come to belief in God. We already knew that.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#4 Jan 28, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
It is impossible to know, from your vantage point, the degree to which Flew was affected by dementia when he converted. Same goes for the extent of his participation in the ideas in the book. Neither side gains from this evidence. Taken as complete truth, the conversion would only prove that an intellectual atheist can come to belief in God. We already knew that.
I'd say that the evidence speaks for itself. There is evidence of others trying to speak for Flew when he was capable of denying it. Less than a decade, Flew died in an extended care facility with dementia. In between, the same claims that he had denied were made in a book that he did not write alone. The other writer was a Christian. In the article cited, Flew's alleged deism then becomes a belief in "God."

I don't have much doubt about what happened there. Those familiar with the standards of truth to which church apologists typically hold themselves have no difficulty believing that Flew was used.

I recall Hitchens saying near the end of his life that if he recants his atheism on his deathbed, it was because of delerium induced by his disease or by narcotic analgesics. I can't help but think that he was considering Flew's story when he made that comment, was concerned about being used the same way, and was taking measures proactively to prevent it. I wish that I could find a citation supporting that, but I couldn't.This was the best I could do:

“The eye has it...”

Since: May 09

Russell's Teapot

#5 Feb 7, 2014
It aint necessarily so wrote:
(for space)
I recall Hitchens saying near the end of his life that if he recants his atheism on his deathbed, it was because of delerium induced by his disease or by narcotic analgesics. I can't help but think that he was considering Flew's story when he made that comment, was concerned about being used the same way, and was taking measures proactively to prevent it. I wish that I could find a citation supporting that, but I couldn't.This was the best I could do:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =QpQUG5Xz4vQXX
A letter Hitchens wrote in April of 2011. At the time his voice(I think) was affected and he was unsure just how long he had left on this chunk of dirt.

I sort of got the idea he was writing it(at that time) to stave off any confusion as to where he stood on that one subject all atheists hold in common.

Dear fellow-unbelievers,

Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. Protean in form, it extends from the overt menace of nuclear-armed mullahs to the insidious campaigns to have stultifying pseudo-science taught in American schools. But in the past few years, there have been heartening signs of a genuine and spontaneous resistance to this sinister nonsense: a resistance which repudiates the right of bullies and tyrants to make the absurd claim that they have god on their side. To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.

As the heirs of a secular revolution, American atheists have a special responsibility to defend and uphold the Constitution that patrols the boundary between Church and State. This, too, is an honor and a privilege. Believe me when I say that I am present with you, even if not corporeally (and only metaphorically in spirit...) Resolve to build up Mr Jefferson's wall of separation. And don't keep the faith.

Sincerely

Christopher Hitchens
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/22...

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6 Feb 8, 2014
scaritual wrote:
A letter Hitchens wrote in April of 2011. At the time his voice(I think) was affected and he was unsure just how long he had left on this chunk of dirt. I sort of got the idea he was writing it(at that time) to stave off any confusion as to where he stood on that one subject all atheists hold in common.

Dear fellow-unbelievers,

Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. Protean in form, it extends from the overt menace of nuclear-armed mullahs to the insidious campaigns to have stultifying pseudo-science taught in American schools. But in the past few years, there have been heartening signs of a genuine and spontaneous resistance to this sinister nonsense: a resistance which repudiates the right of bullies and tyrants to make the absurd claim that they have god on their side. To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.

As the heirs of a secular revolution, American atheists have a special responsibility to defend and uphold the Constitution that patrols the boundary between Church and State. This, too, is an honor and a privilege. Believe me when I say that I am present with you, even if not corporeally (and only metaphorically in spirit...) Resolve to build up Mr Jefferson's wall of separation. And don't keep the faith.

Sincerely

Christopher Hitchens
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/22...
Thanks. He was made a difference while he was here.

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