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A British Atheist Philosopher, 81, Now Believes in God

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posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:17 AM
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NEW YORK (AP) _ A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God -- more or less -- based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday.

At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.

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I think in my opinion that this is a total cop-out. For more than half his life he has believed that there was no god and now since he is getting really old and the only thing left waiting for him is death, he has needed to believe in faith and a theory which isn't even wholesome or credible.




posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:55 AM
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My personal theory is, lets face it he is not getting any older and i am sure his own mortality is becoming more apparent. I would not be surprised if he is trying to convince himself that there is a heaven.

Anyway good post and a flag from me!



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:57 AM
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Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates.

Years of confusion infused into the young minds to which he had access over the span of his atheistic career. What a tragedy.
Psalm 14 1 Only fools say in their hearts,“There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse...
Better late than never. He still has "far to go"...



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by nahsik
 


That's exactly what I thought when I first read it. I'm sure it brings him comfort, knowing he's lying to himself.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 10:27 AM
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I disagree that this is a 'total cop-out' or that he's 'lying to himself'. You cannot make that assumption and it is narrow minded to do so. Especially since you both know nothing about the studies he has done or his reasons for reaching this conclusion.

We're talking here about a very intelligent man that studied philosophy and science for decades, not a senile old man who has suddenly changed his mind as some kind of damage limitation cause he's getting on in years.

From reading the story he seems to have come to the same conclusion as myself (also after years of studying science and being an athiest), that science doesn't hold all the answers and there's a lot of questions left unexplained. So maybe there's a higher spiritual power that flows through us all, something that kick-started the system. Maybe there isn't. Blindly believing that God doesn't exist is just as daft as blindly believing that it does. Technically we've got equal evidence for both - none.

It seems his athieism has stemmed from a disagreement with the Christian/Judeo/Islamic view of God more than anything else. Perhaps he's now realised God doesn't have to be viewed in the way everyone's been brainwashed to accept.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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Here's the interesting thing that people are glossing over: (emphasis mine)


Originally posted by nahsik

NEW YORK (AP) _ A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God -- more or less -- based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday. ...

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posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by nahsik
 


This was released in 2004 and there is a couple of threads dedicated to this.
Famous Atheist has found God. It was posted on BTS.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by KOGDOG


Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates.

Years of confusion infused into the young minds to which he had access over the span of his atheistic career. What a tragedy.
Psalm 14 1 Only fools say in their hearts,“There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse...
Better late than never. He still has "far to go"...


You're assuming he has decided to adhere to the Christian God, which he has not. He has simply acknowledged that there could be an intelligent power that exists. Furthermore he even went so far as to call the Christian and Islamic God a "cosmic Saddam Hussein". Just because someone refers to God using the term God does not automatically mean that it is the same God of any particular religion.


I too have found myself struggling to accept that the complexities of nature could be the result of chance. To read about a man who spent so much of his life dealing with information and thinking directly related to that dilemma is reassuring in some way.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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It is called hedging your bets.


Although, my belief in a higher power is always strengthened by laws of nature and physics. They were always there, but who devised them?

I am not a follower of religion or creationism and I don't believe that the bible was written by a higher power but I do believe that there is some sort of intelligence behind this universe.

However, I just have to look at any Hubble pic to be in total awe of how insignificant we all are, in the grand scheme of things, and I cannot believe that this higher power has its voicemail on all the time to listen to our crap. It has far more important things to do..



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by John_Q_Llama

You're assuming he has decided to adhere to the Christian God, which he has not. He has simply acknowledged that there could be an intelligent power that exists. Furthermore he even went so far as to call the Christian and Islamic God a "cosmic Saddam Hussein". Just because someone refers to God using the term God does not automatically mean that it is the same God of any particular religion.

I too have found myself struggling to accept that the complexities of nature could be the result of chance. To read about a man who spent so much of his life dealing with information and thinking directly related to that dilemma is reassuring in some way.
No, that is why I said that... "He still has "far to go"...



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by KOGDOG
 


Ahh! My bad. I didn't realize that was what you meant.
Sorry about that.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 06:21 AM
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For a philosopher I must say that I'm really not too impressed with his reasoning. He appears to be going for the God of the Gaps argument. That is if we can't explain it it must be a deity.

We used to use the "gods" explanation for everything from the sun rising to to why a herd of goats died. Now we understand the workings of the solar system and animal disease, we have no need to bring gods into it. Flew seems to think because we don't have an explanation for abiogenesis, for example, that a diety must somehow be involved. Maybe one day we will crack abiogenesis, if not I'm happy to say "don't know".

His other line of reasoning is that because the physical laws of the universe appear to be set up just so there must have been a Prime Mover who started it with life in mind. To me this argument doesn't take us anywhere at all with our understanding of the cosmos. My first question is: "Well then where did this deity/prime mover come from?" - for which the only honest answer is "don't know" - the same answer we get when we ask where did the universe, and it's laws come from. It adds nothing.

I don't expect to agree with philosophers, but I do expect some new insights. This stuff is all old hat.

He's simply wrong about there being "scientific evidence" for a "super intellegince". There is just scienctific data we can't explain.

[edit on 17/9/08 by FatherLukeDuke]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by Nammu
Technically we've got equal evidence for both - none.



In the absence of evidence for a thing, the most parsimonious explanation is that the thing is not there.

Hence, the simplest explanation, given the lack of evidence, is that there is no god. So, if you want people to believe in god, evidence must be provided. "Faith" is a cop-out answer because it does not require any evidence.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 09:19 AM
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Many people become delusional in old age, what's your point?



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 09:20 AM
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Many priests and religious folk have gone the other way too....

[edit on 17/9/08 by blupblup]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 09:32 AM
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Good for Him!
His ego didn't blind him from the truth!
Just because you're old doesn't mean it's too late.

Charles Wesley (John's brother) had been preaching and writing songs a LONG time (A mighty Bulwurk-sp?) before He ACTUALLY became born-again!

If only Stalin or Marx had been that humble!



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by Nammu
I disagree that this is a 'total cop-out' or that he's 'lying to himself'. You cannot make that assumption and it is narrow minded to do so. Especially since you both know nothing about the studies he has done or his reasons for reaching this conclusion.

We're talking here about a very intelligent man that studied philosophy and science for decades, not a senile old man who has suddenly changed his mind as some kind of damage limitation cause he's getting on in years.


hmm, it seems your assumption is made with just as much speculation as anyone else's. How do you know he wasn't senile, or that he suddenly changed his mind?

I wonder why this was a news story at all. I look forward to some articles that read "Man believes in god for 60 years, then realizes it was all a lie."



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by keeb333
In the absence of evidence for a thing, the most parsimonious explanation is that the thing is not there.
Hence, the simplest explanation, given the lack of evidence, is that there is no god. So, if you want people to believe in god, evidence must be provided. "Faith" is a cop-out answer because it does not require any evidence.

Ha... ha... today's scientific paradigms are tomorrows superstitions. Better to look for what we suspect to exist rather assume that what we cannot yet prove does not.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 10:42 AM
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Here's the OT God formula....

Knowledge + Life Experience + Circumstances = Revelation

"Its all about 'vantage point'

OT out!



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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I don't understand why not having or getting all the answers from science gets concluded in "God".

I'm called an atheist, but my mind is open to spirituality and beings at a higher plain of existence then us.

But I do not believe any of the organised religion rediculous stories and definatly don't believe in anything monotheistic. There is no logic in there being any requirement for there being a or any kind of god to have started the universe.

Our concepts and understanding of space and time are stil very very young. Copping out to religion because science hasn't found the ultimate answer to the fabled ultimate question yet doesn't mean there is no answer. I say fabled question because imho, once we understand more about the universe around us, the question about the origins of life and the origins of the universe will sound stupid and childish.

The entire point of science is to obtain knowledge and understanding of everything. If there isn't an answer to a question yet, then find it, instead of pussying out like this old guy did.



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