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Is anyone familiar with the works of Anthony Flew? Especially with his book "There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind" (2007).

My friend, D, after my relentless reasoning, almost converted to Atheism. But this afternoon, D paid an unfortunate visit to his cousin.

His cousin's husband is an academic theologian. And he completely turned D around and my friend is now brimming with religious furor and was quick to blast me for being un-objective because I do not consider both sides of the God argument.

I read a bit about Flew and the interviews he gave and articles written about him and his argument for God, and it doesn't make much sense.

But I'm not very familiar with his work.

Can anyone with a better knowledge of him clarify his work?

Edited by The Individual
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I encountered his name when writing the Wikipedia article on atheism, but only for the works he had written as an atheist. Reading his Wikipedia article, he seems to be accepting evidence for intelligent design, fine-tuned universe, etc, blanking out the source of the designer and His complexity, of course.

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Is anyone familiar with the works of Anthony Flew? Especially with his book "There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind" (2007).

My friend, D, after my relentless reasoning, almost converted to Atheism. But this afternoon, D paid an unfortunate visit to his cousin.

His cousin's husband is an academic theologian. And he completely turned D around and my friend is now brimming with religious furor and was quick to blast me for being un-objective because I do not consider both sides of the God argument.

I read a bit about Flew and the interviews he gave and articles written about him and his argument for God, and it doesn't make much sense.

But I'm not very familiar with his work.

Can anyone with a better knowledge of him clarify his work?

I had a book by Flew in which he destroys all of the attempts to logically argue for the existence of God. It is a good reference.

However, Flew was an Linguistic Analysist. One of those people who said that the phrase "a material thing cannot be in two places at the same time" is merely the way we choose to use those words. You couldn’t conclude that he ever thought the logical exercises he undertook had anything to do with belief or feeling or morality. He held atheism as someone held a belief in reincarnation. No big deal either way. I mean he is no big deal either way.

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One of those people who said that the phrase "a material thing cannot be in two places at the same time" is merely the way we choose to use those words. You couldn’t conclude that he ever thought the logical exercises he undertook had anything to do with belief or feeling or morality. He held atheism as someone held a belief in reincarnation.

I bet with a gun to his head, words suddenly have meaning and importance.

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Flew converted from Atheism to Deism in 2004.

I'm curious as to what convinced him and the arguments he presented for Deism in his books - God and Philosophy and There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind with Roy Abraham Varghese.

No doubt it had more than a little to do with certain prevailing scientific theories.These people need to discover Plasma Cosmology. All of the favorite scientific theories used to support theist crumble under close analysis in this light. But we are talking major checking of premises. Another thing I don't hear mentioned much is the idea that there has always been life in existence. It's commonly understood that the question of the origin of existence is invalid. At this point I consider the question of lifes origin on a similar order. Of course this challenges a whole other set of widely accepted premises in the special sciences. I bring all this up in relation to the wiki article on him.

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No doubt it had more than a little to do with certain prevailing scientific theories.These people need to discover Plasma Cosmology. All of the favorite scientific theories used to support theist crumble under close analysis in this light. But we are talking major checking of premises. Another thing I don't hear mentioned much is the idea that there has always been life in existence. It's commonly understood that the question of the origin of existence is invalid. At this point I consider the question of lifes origin on a similar order. Of course this challenges a whole other set of widely accepted premises in the special sciences. I bring all this up in relation to the wiki article on him.

Do you know exactly what arguments he put forth for the existence of a Deist god?

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God doesn't exist, so there is no God's side of the story.

The Theist probably talked about how orderly the universe is and how unlikely it is that it would ever happen this way if re-rolled from the start. Probably gave arguments for intelligent design.

I'm not certain what to say to the "The universe is too orderly" one, but the probability one is easily disproved. Take an example of a deck of cards. What the theists are doing is shuffling the deck, dealing it out, and then proclaiming the chances of it happening again that way. The flaw is that there was nothing extraordinary about the deck coming out the way it did. That's just the way it happened to be dealt. When you look at the end result, of course it's not gonna happen again anytime soon. But when you start from the beginning and follow the cards as they're dealt, you see that there's nothing special about it.

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In an argument over the possible existence of a God, no experimentation can be performed, and as far as I know, nothing that we can observe from the natural world can help us draw a conclusion on either side of the argument. Isn't the entire dispute, then, based on rationalism (that is to say, we argue using logic but no evidence or experimentation)? And don't Objectivists reject rationalism in favor of reason?

So how exactly does one justify claiming to base their belief or lack thereof on reason, if it is in reality rationalism they base their thoughts on?

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Whenever you face a problem which you want to solve with a pure logic method you must be exact with definition.

I'll be able to take the challenge as soon as you'll answer the question "Who (or what is) god?"

You don't need science to proof religion wrong. Every axiom in every area is based upon Parmenides' axioms, and he was a pre-Socrates philosopher.

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I suppose (for argument's sake) that God is a being who resides somewhere in the cosmos besides Earth, that He created the universe, that He is a being of eternal existence, that there is no other being in existence of greater power than Him, and that He does not meddle in a man's activity or life on Earth.

Sorry about the run-on, but I think it's a pretty simple list nonetheless.

Now go, set me straight.

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In an argument over the possible existence of a God, no experimentation can be performed, and as far as I know, nothing that we can observe from the natural world can help us draw a conclusion on either side of the argument. Isn't the entire dispute, then, based on rationalism

No. The part where you claim there is a God, is based on rationalism. (sometimes, other times it is based on nothing) My response, that you're wrong, is based on the idea that rationalism is wrong. (or that basing things on nothing is wrong)

I suppose (for argument's sake) that God is a being who resides somewhere in the cosmos besides Earth, that He created the universe, that He is a being of eternal existence, that there is no other being in existence of greater power than Him, and that He does not meddle in a man's activity or life on Earth.

Sorry about the run-on, but I think it's a pretty simple list nonetheless.

Now go, set me straight.

Why would anyone want to have an argument, about something you invented "for argument's s sake"? What would the purpose of that argument be?

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On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), I was wondering if all of you are complete 10/10 Atheists?

Do any of you recognize the possibility of God's existence? Richard Dawkins admitted himself he wasn't a full atheist. He was "6.9/7" Atheist. He said it would be "unscientific" if one was fully convinced God doesn't exist.

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To Jake Ellison , I want to clarify that I have not claimed there is a God. I have simply realized that, from what I've seen on these forums so far, all the arguments against the existence of a God have been based solely on logic. I don't wish to defend the God theory, but rather obtain some good, reasonable proof defying it.

And sorry about the "for argument's sake" post; I was merely trying to present a deistic description of God, because I know Anthony Flew chose to become a deist over anything else, so why not start there.

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On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), I was wondering if all of you are complete 10/10 Atheists?

Do any of you recognize the possibility of God's existence? Richard Dawkins admitted himself he wasn't a full atheist. He was "6.9/7" Atheist. He said it would be "unscientific" if one was fully convinced God doesn't exist.

Certainly! Dawkins did not understand the concept of certainty and the fact that knowledge is contextual.

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On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), I was wondering if all of you are complete 10/10 Atheists?

Do any of you recognize the possibility of God's existence? Richard Dawkins admitted himself he wasn't a full atheist. He was "6.9/7" Atheist. He said it would be "unscientific" if one was fully convinced God doesn't exist.

There is no such thing as a 6.9 atheist, in my opinion. Dawkins is still an agnostic until he comes to realize arbitrary claims of existence have 0 truth value. As someone else said, Dawkins does not understand fully the concept of certainty. To him, certainty and absolutes are mere dogmatism. Indeed, that is how both the theist and subjectivist want it viewed. The theist (mystic) views absolutes and certainty in the form of bubbles. Everything is floating, nothing inter-connected. There just truths out there, and they don't necessarily connect to higher level truths. God just is, it's an absolute. An honest person, who is really interested in ideas, rejects this. However, without a proper theory of knowledge to back it up, he concludes that absolutism is the game of the religious man. Skepticism, agnosticism and uncertainty then rule the day with those who fancy themselves the reasonable ones. However, absolutes are not floating concepts out there. They are part of what should be an integrated whole of knowledge.

Dawkins, and other atheists, continue to go back on the idea that absolutes are dogmatic, and so they brand themselves as simply being close to atheism, but not willing to make any "religious" claim. It's quite annoying, and does not help the atheist movement at all.

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The Certainty Concept is new to me and I'm trying to comprehend it.

Take a pregnant woman for instance. According to the Certainty Concept, it would be reasonable if the woman expected her child would be born with two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, etc. But there have been occasions when a child is born with six fingers on a hand instead of five. What does that mean? Can one still be certain that a child is going to be born with two eyes, two ears, etc?

As for the God argument, God doesn't exists because there has been consistently no proof about him and therefore we can be certain (or just about almost certain?) that God doesn't exist. Is that the correct train of thought?

Dawkins, and other atheists, continue to go back on the idea that absolutes are dogmatic, and so they brand themselves as simply being close to atheism, but not willing to make any "religious" claim. It's quite annoying, and does not help the atheist movement at all.

Dawkins doesn't help the Atheist movement? I have to disagree. I think Dawkins tipped more people into Atheism than Objectivism did, albeit using the wrong method I suppose. Isn't it taught in Science that nothing is absolute and therefore we have to be skeptical and question everything?

Edited by The Individual
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Take a pregnant woman for instance. According to the Certainty Concept, it would be reasonable if the woman expected her child would be born with two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, etc. But there have been occasions when a child is born with six fingers on a hand instead of five. What does that mean? Can one still be certain that a child is going to be born with two eyes, two ears, etc?

As for the God argument, God doesn't exists because there has been consistently no proof about him and therefore we can be certain (or just about almost certain?) that God doesn't exist. Is that the correct train of thought?

There is no certainty that a particular child is going to be born with two eyes, two ears, etc until an inspection has been performed.

A God invoking omniscience, omnipotence, or omnipresence can be rejected on the purely logical basis that God contradicts the law of identity. All that exists is particular, specific, delimited, finite. God is indefinite. Therefore God does not exist. Other varieties of God are arbitrary assertions, and the arbitrary is neither true nor false but simply disregarded.

Certainty

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If a penguin cannot fly, it doesn't mean all penguin cannot fly right?

But I have seen thousands of penguins and they all cannot fly, it doesn't mean all penguins cannot fly but in such a context, it is reasonable to assume - to be certain - all penguins cannot fly until I have been proven otherwise. Is that the correct way of thinking about Certainty?

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No, that is not correct. Counting penguins is not the way to arrive at certainty, this method provides no assurance that the next penguin you see is also flightless. No universal conclusion can follow from counting a finite set of particulars. A universal conclusion about all penguins must be justified by an attribute or cause that applies universally to all penguins. See Notes on "Induction in Physics and Philosophy"

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A universal conclusion about all penguins must be justified by an attribute or cause that applies universally to all penguins.

How do we know that the attribute or cause applies universally to all penguins?

If it is the penguin's wing structure that is the cause of its flightlessness, how do we know all penguins have that particular wing structure?

So we do not actually know whether all penguins are flightless but we do know that under certain conditions (i.e. the penguin possessing some particular attribute) the penguin is flightless.

Edited by The Individual
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