There Is A God

There Is A God

How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

Book - 2007
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Publisher: New York : HarperOne, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: 212.1 F618t
Characteristics: xxiv, 222 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Varghese, Roy Abraham

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Jan 19, 2018

This is an easy read, for a book of philosophy. It reads more like a popularization of more in-depth argumentation, of Anthony Flew's earlier atheistic writings and of the 'fine tuning' argument of Intelligent Design. As such, it is commended. Some will want more detailed argumentation.

The furor which this book has caused reminds me that we live amdist several cultures - science, religion, politics, philosophy and art. Each of these has its own framework and meanings. While intelligent people can make substantial contributions to one culture, they may not have the background to appreciate meanings in one of the other cultures. People can build crosswalks between the various cultures so that we better understand one another. Others seem content to live within their own culture, and to throw stones at other people's houses.

Jul 04, 2017

Upon entering Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” into my In Progress shelf, I noticed a raft of comments on it, some rather heated. Several mentioned Flew’s “There Is a God,” so I borrowed it. It’s a very short book, well put together, and fairly succinct. The first part of the book covers his approximately six decades as an atheist, while the second describes the reason for his conversion to deism. Appendix A, a thesis by R. A. Varghese, presents a critique of various atheist writings, and is very helpful in understanding Flew’s reasoning.

Richard Dawkins has attacked the principal argument of the book, and its author and his friends have struck back. My reaction is that Dawkins is not a philosopher and that Flew seems disdainful of Dawkin’s scientific efforts. For instance, Flew argues that genes don’t have characteristics such as emotions, a reference to “The Selfish Gene.” He spends several pages discussing what he calls the monkey theorem (with reference to origin of life), as if it were part of a mathematical proof. Does he really believe that “selfish” is meant literally, or that the monkey theorem is anything other than a metaphor?

But the most credible part of his argument has to do with an aspect of the concept currently called Intelligent Design. In this instance, he argues that the fact that there are laws of nature, without which we and the universe would not exist, lead inexorably to belief in some designer, creator, or god. Flew speaks to Dawkins’ rejection of this based on what Dawkins likens to nested Russian dolls; namely, that if there is a creator, where did it come from, and what caused that, et cetera to an infinite regression. Flew’s statement is that the laws are the “Mind of God,” which feels like a copout to me.

Appendix A expands on the Mind of God argument, and is definitely worth reading. Personally, I take it to be circular in nature, almost inventing God in human image. Or maybe it’s some teleological thing that I just can’t understand, not being a philosopher myself.

No matter what, Flew’s omnipotent, omniscient God is not a personal god, and is of no consequence in our daily lives, nor does Flew make any claim to the contrary.

If you are a “fundamentalist atheist” (whatever that is supposed to mean), and feel that you are under attack for your position, read this book so that you can “know thy enemy.”

Nov 11, 2016

There is one particular reviewer who consistently reveals his commitment to an unthinking, unfalsifiable dogmatic materialism. But with his "review" of this book he sinks to new lows, by denying the authorship of a book for no other reason than he doesn't want it to be true. Unbelievable! This reveals not rationality but a bizarre conspiracy theory mentality. If he had taken five seconds to do some research rather than reflexively regurgitating his prejudices, he might have found the following words from Antony Flew himself which should put the matter to rest as to his authorship of the book:

I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: “My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.”

This quote can be found here:

Sep 01, 2015

Antony Garrard Newton Flew 1923-2010
Antony Flew’s Hot Selling Bogus Book exposed by Carrier . . .
“As also reported by the Associated Press years ago, I’m well known for my correspondence with Flew on the matter of his conversion from weak atheism to strong Deism, and anyone who wants the full story about that can read my article on the subject (which has numerous subsequent updates appended to it): Antony Flew Considers God…Sort Of (2004). Now, after reading “Flew’s” new book, I was appalled at how badly argued it was, and how obviously it was not written in his style or idiom, but in that of contemporary Christian apologetics (like someone attempting a poor imitation of the style and approach of a Lee Strobel or Gary Habermas). Moreover, from crucial omissions (and distortions of history) it was clear the author could not have been Flew. Unless Flew had gone completely insane.
But I was certain another author was to blame, and not lunacy. And now my suspicions have been confirmed. This book is being promoted as “former atheist” Antony Flew’s “long awaited” explanation of why he converted, but it is now known that Flew did not write any of it, and in fact recalls almost none of its contents. Indeed, Flew openly confessed to Oppenheimer that he didn’t write a word of it. Oppenheimer also confirmed that Flew apparently knows (or remembers) little of its contents and almost none of the authors or works cited in it, despite the publisher’s assurance that he signed off on it (though as Oppenheimer reports, even his publisher confesses doubts about Flew’s ability to remember essential details, and it seems evident now that Flew’s failing memory is clinically serious).” – Richard Carrier
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Nov 28, 2010

I found that this book looked into some of the issues that have always troubled me about science's understanding of the beginnings of life and the universe. Flew will not come down in favour of any of the organized religions, rather taking the position that there is not enough evidence for any of them to be considered the absolute truth or certain divine revelation. He also is scornful of the "new athiests" and their intellectual foundations. Worth the time to read.

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