Talk:Antony Flew

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This article really needs to be expanded.

What does this "He later repudiated atheism because of scientific discoveries from cosmology that a teleological principle might be at work in the universe." Mean?

I think that the 93% of the American National Academy of Sciences' scientists wouldn't agree. So what the f does that statament mean?

Evolution shows us that there's no supernatural agency at work, it's natural selection that does the job for us. And most cosmologist I heard of are atheists. So really... What are we talking about? Gianga23 (talk) 16:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree. At the very least, the sentence makes it sound like his decision was a sound one, which I'm not so sure about. - GrantC (talk) 16:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Basically he's saying he is unable to imagine how everything arose by itself due to the sheer magnitude of all that exists. Therefore he now believes based on faith and gut feeling. I don't see how we can judge that to be sound or not sound. It's simply a personal decision. It's not like he seems to be making any concrete and disprovable claims like "the earth is actually really young".
What we can criticise, though, is this apparent stance on evolution that the guy has taken (once those quotes are actually correctly sourced, I mean. We don't want accusations of having taken them out of context...). Nullahnung (talk) 10:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
It seems there was a Times interview with him which is behind a paywall, but the text is reproduced here.
Some quotes:
"Flew is still convinced the gods of organised religion do not exist and there is definitely no afterlife. He is only willing to sign up to the notion that a deity of some sort created the universe."
"My positive belief is in an Aristotelian God," he says. "Aristotle never produced a definition, but his God was not interested in human beings. He would have said that if God had really been concerned with human behaviour he would have made us behave according to his own way."
So - deist I'd guess. Of course he was 81 when he came to this conclusion.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 11:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
And this is from the Telegraph in which we learn that:
"His God was strictly minimalist – very different from "the monstrous oriental despots of the religions of Christianity and Islam", as he liked to call them."
So I don't see him as much of a poser child for Christianity at any rate.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 11:34, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


I've cut these two unsourced quotes.

"Reason, mainly in the form of arguments to design, assures us that there is a God, there is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or for any transactions between that God and individual human beings."[citation needed]

"It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that 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. 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. It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design."[citation needed]

If anybody wants to add them with sources plese go ahead. --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Negative atheism[edit]

He argued in his 1976 book The Presumption of Atheism that we should presuppose that God does not exist until proof to the contrary was found (...)
This statement is plainly wrong. This excerpt from The Presumption of Atheism clarifies his views:
The word 'atheism', however, has in this contention to be construed unusually. Whereas nowadays the usual meaning of 'atheist' in English is 'someone who asserts that there is no such being as God', I want the word to be understood not positively but negatively. I want the originally Greek prefix 'a' to be read in the same way in 'atheist' as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as 'amoral', 'atypical', and 'asymmetrical'. In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

I'm not sure what you're getting at. The former quote isn't directly included in the latter, but it seems a valid paraphrase to me. Could you clarify the change you want to see in the article? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:12, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Statements 'I am convinced that God does not exist' (positive atheism) and 'I am not convinced that God does exist' ('non-theism') aren't logically equivalent. Of cource latter follows from the former, but not conversely. Positive atheism is stronger stance and some justification is needed, such as arguments provided by philosophers like JL Mackie, M Martin, Oppy, Schellenberg, G Dawes or physicists e.g. V Stenger, T Edis.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
I think you're misunderstanding. He was asserting strong atheism as a kind of null hypothesis to the point of weak atheism. It's not a certainty of falsehood but a presumption pending contrary evidence. These are not the same thing. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:33, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

racism! oh noes![edit]

Surprised the oriental despots comment didn't put the PC fascists over the edge Burkean (talk) 19:18, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

The FEMA camps are behind schedule in construction. --Ymir (talk) 19:40, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Hey, look Ymir. There goes the point! Burkean (talk) 07:25, 5 July 2016 (UTC)