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HAS Flew flown? News abounds this week that the man described on the cover of his new book as “the world’s most notorious atheist” – that renowned British philosopher Antony Flew (pictured) – has returned to the fold of the believers. Some accounts have him stopping short of the personal God we read about in the Bible and the works of religious apologists, yet one does describe his new book as depicting his “move from being one of the world’s leading exponents of the pure materialist Darwinian philosophy to belief in the existence of a personal deity who created the universe”.flew-antony1.jpg
Theists are rubbing their hands; nontheists, whom Flew championed, suspect him of grasping at the comforts of certainty now he’s getting on a bit (he’s 85).
One writer, Dinesh D’Souza at the AOL news blog, says, “Other philosophers, such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, espoused atheist beliefs but those beliefs were incidental to their philosophy. Atheism was Flew’s philosophy. His works such as Theology and Falsification and The Presumption of Atheism were considered classics of theist thought.”
Flew’s new work is There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, which came out at the end of October. Make up your own mind: there are links aplenty, with just a few here, here and here.
While we can never prove what is impossible to prove, and cannot disprove a negative – i.e. that there is no god – it’s always sad when someone who has spent his life using a formidable brain to challenge wacky ideas begins to doubt the power of his own reason. Especially when some of the greatest minds of the twentieth century have posited far more plausible theories to explain how the universe came about and how life on Earth emerged and evolved.