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A New Development in the Science/God debate

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glfredrick

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From time to time, we have engaged in some rather vigorous debate on this forum concerning the topic of God.

I wanted to paste this recent article from Baptist Press as an information piece.

I believe that it sheds some light on some of the things that I have been saying for some time...

Note that I am not trying to disrupt anyone's belief system or "ram" anything down anyone's throat - You can just read it and deal with the news in any way you would like...

Here's the article:

Famed atheist sees evidence for God, cites recent discoveries
Dec 13, 2004
By David Roach

Antony Flew


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Antony Flew, a legendary British philosopher and atheist, has changed his mind about the existence of God in light of recent scientific evidence.

Flew -- a prolific author who has argued against the existence of God and the claims of Christianity for more than 50 years -- first revealed his change of mind in a video of a discussion with several others at New York University organized by the Institute for Metascientific Research. The video, released in December, is titled, "Has Science Discovered God?"

Flew said he is now best described as a deist -- a person who believes God created the universe but is not actively involved in people's lives today.

"I don't believe in the God of any revelatory system, although I am open to that," Flew said in an interview for the winter 2005 edition of Philosophia Christi, the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. "But it seems to me that the case for ... [a] God who has the characteristics of power and also intelligence is now much stronger than it ever was before."

Flew, 81, regularly attended the Socratic Club, a weekly religious forum led by famed Christian apologist C.S. Lewis while he attended college at Oxford. Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele and Reading universities in Britain. He also published numerous books and articles denouncing belief in God.

Flew credits his newfound belief in God to arguments from design such as those espoused by the "intelligent design" (ID) movement. ID argues that the universe operates in such a way that it points to the existence of an intelligent creator.

"I think that the most impressive arguments for God's existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries," Flew said. "... I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it."

Although many atheists appeal to naturalistic evolution as a method by which the world could have come into existence apart from God, Charles Darwin himself acknowledged that the process of evolution requires a creator to start the process, Flew said.

"Darwin himself, in the fourteenth chapter of The Origin of Species, pointed out that his whole argument began with a being which already possessed reproductive powers," Flew said. "This is the creature the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that he had not produced such an account."

While Flew said he does not believe in a God who is active in the lives of humans, he is "open to" the possibility of divine revelation. He also believes that Christians are intellectually justified in holding to their religion and that the resurrection of Jesus has more evidential support than any other reported miracle in history.

"The evidence for the resurrection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion," Flew said. "It's outstandingly different in quality and quantity, I think, from the evidence offered for the occurrence of most other supposedly miraculous events."

Gary Habermas, chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., told Baptist Press that Flew's decision to believe in God points to the strength of theistic arguments.

"His conversion is a testimony to the many, especially scientific figures, who are coming by way of intelligent design," said Habermas, who conducted the interview with Flew in Philosophia Christi. "... The fact that he has become a theist is a testimony to the type of evidence we have for God's existence today."

Flew's status as a world-famous atheist makes his conversion to belief in God particularly significant, Habermas said in an interview with Baptist Press.

"His conversion to theism is very valuable because of his stature," Habermas said. "The reason this story is going around the world is that he, not just anybody, but he, has converted to theism. I think that's very significant."

Despite his belief in the existence of God, Flew said it is unlikely that he will ever become a Christian. The major evidence against the God of Christianity is the problem of evil, Flew said.

The problem of evil refers to the apparent tension between the existence of a good God and the presence of evil in the world.

"The problem of evil is a problem ... for Christians," Flew said. "The thesis that the universe was created and is sustained by a Being of infinite power and goodness is flatly incompatible with the occurrence of massive undeniable and undenied evils in that universe."

Flew also argues that God does not have "any preferences ... about or any intentions concerning human behavior or about the eternal destinies of human beings."

Although he does not accept Christianity, Flew emphatically denies the possibility that he would ever become a follower of Islam, citing Islam's commitment to conquer all of its opponents.

"I would never regard Islam with anything but horror and fear because it is fundamentally committed to conquering the world for Islam," Flew said.

Flew will present a more fully developed explanation of his conversion to belief in God in a forthcoming edition of his book, "God & Philosophy."

Earlier works by Flew include "Atheistic Humanism," "Darwinian Evolution," "A Dictionary of Philosophy," "Introduction to Western Philosophy" and "How to Think Straight: An Introduction to Critical Reasoning."
 


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Positive Vibes

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Interesting. I can relate.
 




Robb

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Yep, and we got rid of that forum for a reason!!! :rolleyes:
 




glfredrick

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That's OK Robb... I am working with some other Chrisitian guys to start our own site...

Look for UCORA.org - we will be launching publically soon.

We will not have thought police there - but we will expect people to act with decorum and to use their real names...
 




Robb

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Sounds like a good plan...............so let's keep your unsolicited propaganda to yourself until that site gets rolling! Thanks!

Thought Officer Robb
 




glfredrick

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Robb, how is it that when I post something that I enjoy it is "unsolicited propoganda" - but when you post something you enjoy, it is a moderator exercising his rights?

I recall a thread where you dealt with how drunk you get on a regular basis... Surely my posts are not much different than that - both topics are sensitve to some folk...
 




Buckshot

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Ok guys, settle down. Actually I agree with both of you. GL - I agree with a need for a Christian outlet and a valid discussion board for the MANY different points of Christianity and theology that we would disagree on.

HOWEVER - I must agree with Robb that this board does not have the appropriate forum, and indeed for those who work diligently at moderating it - a religious forum would cause quite a bit more work for them - just by the nature of the discussions.

Furthermore, it is impossible to expect someone to respect Christian viewpoints by disobeying the rules and trying to force change in a very personal belief system. You should know this if you intend to moderate a religious forum.

All of that said, I would be happy to continue this discussion on your new forum, and I look forward to it.
 




Chew_12

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Did I miss the "recent scientific evidence"? It talks about them, but it states none?
 




MyExpWork

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Robb said:
Sounds like a good plan...............so let's keep your unsolicited propaganda to yourself until that site gets rolling! Thanks!

Thought Officer Robb

Robb, how is it that when I post something that I enjoy it is "unsolicited propoganda" - but when you post something you enjoy, it is a moderator exercising his rights? I recall a thread where you dealt with how drunk you get on a regular basis... Surely my posts are not much different than that - both topics are sensitve to some folk...

This is exactly the reason why we got rid of the "other" forum... :rolleyes:
 




Stephen

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I think that the article was posted as an informational peice so there's not really a lot of reason for it to remain open for discussion.
 




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