If you intresting in sport Buy trenbolone and Buy testosterone enanthate you find place where you can find information about steroids
  • Resources

  • Book of the Month

  • Shopping on Amazon? Use this search box and support Dangerous Talk at the same time.
  • Blog Directories

    blog search directory Religion Top Blogs
  • AdSense

The Deathbed De-Conversion of Antony Flew

When I was in grad school, I was already a vocal atheist and was pretty knowledgeable about the greater atheist community. One day a fundamentalist Christian friend of mine was excited to tell me that the most famous atheist in the world had just converted to Christianity. Antony Flew was so famous that I had never heard of him.

On April 8th of this year the most famous (and possibly only) ex-atheist died. To me, Flew’s fame came more when he announced that the vague higher power concept of a creator deity can’t be ruled out and so some kind of god might exist. Christians immediately took Flew’s statement as a declaration of his conversion to Christianity.

Flew found out that Christians were claiming that he had converted to Christianity and wrote a short response titled, “Sorry to Disappoint, but I’m Still an Atheist!” The title says it all, but there were still a few Christians who remained undeterred. Postmodern Philosopher Gary Habermas, Physicist Gerald Schroeder, and others flew to Flew’s side to make the case that God is real.

In 2007, the book titled, “There is a God” reached bookshelves all over the world. The book was authored by Antony Flew… sort of. The book was actually written by ghost writer Roy Abraham Varghese because Flew was starting to literally lose his mind.

Flew was now in his mid-80s, didn’t know much about the internet, started to show signs of senility and memory loss, and was being bombarded by Christian intellectuals who were feeding him inaccurate information which he did not have the ability to fact check.

Richard Carrier, long time friend to Flew had been in snail mail correspondence with him. Carrier is a member of the Jesus Project and a well known atheist. According to an article in HumanistLife:

“Flew wrote back to say he had been mistaken in trusting his Christian correspondents; that Schroeder and his modern-science-is-Genesis theory obviously wasn’t up to date, and that he would withdraw the forthcoming introduction to a new edition of one of his books.”

He continues to say,

“The statement which I most regret making during the last few months was the one about Habermas’s book on the alleged resurrection of Jesus bar Joseph. I completely forgot Hume’s to my mind decisive argument against all evidence for the miraculous. A sign of physical decline.”

Another long time atheist friend of Flew’s, Mark Oppenheimer visited Flew to get a sense of his mental stability:

In “There Is a God,” Flew quotes extensively from a conversation he had with Leftow, a professor at Oxford. So I asked Flew, “Do you know Brian Leftow?”

“No,” he said. “I don’t think I do.”

“Do you know the work of the philosopher John Leslie?” Leslie is discussed extensively in the book.

Flew paused, seeming unsure. “I think he’s quite good.” But he said he did not remember the specifics of Leslie’s work http://rxtadalafil.com/.
“Have you ever run across the philosopher Paul Davies?” In his book, Flew calls Paul Davies “arguably the most influential contemporary expositor of modern science.”

“I’m afraid this is a spectacle of my not remembering!”

… As he himself conceded, he had not written his book.

“This is really Roy [Varghese]’s doing,” he said, before I had even figured out a polite way to ask. “He showed it to me, and I said O.K. I’m too old for this kind of work!”

Antony Flew was 87 when he died and had never accepted Jesus in his heart as his lord and savior. The story of Antony Flew is not one of an atheist converting to Christianity, but rather the tragic story of how the brightest minds in Christianity conspired to take advantage of an old atheist who was losing his mind. While this hasn’t been confirmed, it wouldn’t surprise me if Antony Flew’s last words were, “There is no God… Oh my.”

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Kyle Szklenski

    My only nitpicks are you misspelled “lose” as “loose”, “losing” as “loosing”, and “loss” as “lose”. This is an excellent recounting of the whole story, however, and I’ll be sharing it with my friends.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      I always get those words mixed up, but I fixed it. Thanks.

  • 1225truth

    Hmmmm! Methinks you need to straighten out some of your facts. Richard Carrier has never been a member of the ‘Jesus Seminar’. That was founded 20 years ago or more by proponents of “high criticism”, when Richard had yet to embark on his academic study in history. His colleague in Biblical scholarship, Dr. Robert M. Price has been since its inception.

    Both Carrier and Price have been members of CFI’s ‘Jesus Project’ which was founded to scientifically examine the topic of Christ’s historicity.
    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/jesusproject

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      I stand corrected.

  • http://www.myspace.com/that_damn_atheist AJ (TDA)

    Thank you Staks!

  • http://landonhedrick.blogspot.com Landon Hedrick

    Also, I was under the impression that Carrier was never a long-time friend of Flew’s. I thought Carrier was just doing a journalist’s job of tracking down information about Flew’s alleged conversion. In fact, I think I remember seeing Carrier say somewhere that (like you) he had never even heard of Flew.

    And by the way, just being an atheist does not mean you’ll have heard of Flew. But if you study philosophy of religion at all, chances are you’ll come across some of Flew’s work.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      When I was in grad school, guess what I was studying?
      Philosophy!

      One of my focuses was of course religion and I never heard of Flew until my Christian friend told me Flee became a Christian. May he was more well known in England, but in America, I never heard of him.

  • Bill

    Um Staks, did you later edit your post to correct an alledged mistake RE Jesus Seminar vs Jesus Project.

    Furthermore, I dont think the Centre For Inquiry is a reliable source of information.

    I am inclined to concede defeat rather than assert something as fact, however I dont think Jesus fanbois deserve any more favourable treatment than other varieties.

    I support your fight and have joined your facebook group.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      When someone points out an error, I correct it. So yes, I corrected the error as well as other errors. I don’t have a problem with CFI. I see no reason to discount them as a reliable source of info, but they were not the only source I used for this article.

  • f_galton

    Grinch.

  • Matthew Bryan Turner

    STAKS! I used to “debate” you on your blog about 10 years ago alot. For a few years actually. I’m not sure what name I used…either my real name or blackhawk probably. I have been trying to remember the name of your blog for quite some time. Finally did, and now I’ll be here to comment on your stuff :) Doubt you remember me…but at any rate I’ll contribute now and again here now.

  • HailSithis

    I love the cookies though. Haha!

  • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    “New Atheism” is a coherent label. It describes a particular incarnation of secular activism with the critical features A. massive media success (i.e. best-selling books, articles, etc) and B. an unapologetic aggressiveness. That certainly is new, as previous secular activists are bascally unknown in the wider culture.

    I don’t think that Christians imagine atheists are literally militant or likely to use physical force. I think that is meant metaphorically to apply to strident activism. It’s mean to impugn the style of debate (as hostile and close-minded) and political aims (as pushing for reforms that marginalize theists and advantage atheists unfairly).

    There are atheists with highly aggressive and poorly considered persuasion styles, but the insult is still largely overblown and arises from the sacred-cow-ness of religion that even many secular people unconsciously apply.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      Being vocal about atheism isn’t new. Mark Twain, Robert Ingersoll, and many others were doing the same thing a long time ago.

      I know that the media uses the phrase “militant atheists” metaphorically, but the problem is that there actually are militant theists. So this phrase attempts to equate the two when one group isn’t actually militant and the other group actually is.

      • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

        I didn’t mention vocality.

        I don’t think anyone believes there are paramilitary atheist groups, outside of the complete nutjobs. Anyone who is trying to spread the belief has failed miserably.

        • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

          I guess my point is that the label is Owellian in nature.

  • Steve Willy

    Thanks for this steaming pile of regurgitated pseudo-intellectual neck bearded blather, you Hitchens-Dawkins parroting basement dwelling megadouche. Yours is a petty trivial localized earth bound philosophy unworthy of the universe.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    In the United States today or in any westernized nation, you would be hard pressed to find an atheist even talk about murdering theists. I yet, I can find dozens of theists in my town alone who talk about “stringing up” evil atheists. Fortunately, I doubt any would actually do it, but the threat is certainly there.

    My standard of evidence is the scientific standard. You made false assertions that this would rule out any knowledge and that is just absurd. You are attempting to claim that nothing can be proven therefore everything must be accepted as truth. That’s just poor reasoning.

    Why yes, I can actually. But it seem that the double standard in on you. You demand evidence for my claims, but not from your own claims. The fact is that over the course of history, people believe in less gods. Feel free to Google it. At one point, people believed in multiple deities and over time that number started to shrink. I am suggesting that the number will continue to shrink. That is my hypothesis and so as I stated before, the theological arc bends toward atheism. I see no reason that the shrinking should stop at one deity especially when we are seeing a rise in godlessness over the last decade.

  • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    Really? In no place and at no time have atheists murdered theists?

    Your question implies a different point has been made than what Staks is talking about. This entire essay is about “new atheism” meaning relatively recent & current atheism (and, generally, the West). Why then do you ask about any time and any place? This seems like a deliberate attempt to distort the essay. That’s not very cordial.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    You are attempting to claim that nothing can be proven therefore everything must be accepted as truth. That’s just poor reasoning.

    Not at all. I’m claiming that your standard of evidence does not allow you to say things like “there’s evidence Abe Lincoln was an historical person”. Such a claim would be supported by historical, not scientific, methodology. I’m saying you need to expand what you consider evidence. But in doing so you will have to admit there is evidence for God, even if you think it is insufficient evidence to warrant belief. Such blatant double standards on your part will hinder your re-education campaign of theists.

    The fact is that over the course of history, people believe in less gods.

    That hardly implies the arc of history is towards atheism. You could just as easily say the arc of history is towards monotheism.

    I see no reason that the shrinking should stop at one deity especially when we are seeing a rise in godlessness over the last decade.

    Your lack of imagination is not scientific evidence (the only kind of evidence you allegedly accept). Nor is a trend over the last decade (in the West only?) a good predictor of the distant future.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    Why then do you ask about any time and any place? This seems like a deliberate attempt to distort the essay.

    First, to make sure he acknowledges such abuses. Second, if the words of new atheists echo the words of other atheists who have used force or violence that might lead us to wonder what is really in store if new atheists have political power. For example, I’ve heard atheists who want religious belief to be considered a mental illness and to be treated as such. This echoes the abuse of psychiatry by the USSR.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    That’s just bullshit right there, but I’ll play. I’ll “expand” my evidence to include photographs. Now there is evidence for Abe Lincoln, where is the evidence for God?

    You could say that the arc of history is toward monotheism, but as I stated before, why stop with one? Take that reasoning to it’s logical conclusion and you get zero.

    Actually, it is your lack of imagination if you are the one stopping the arc at one instead of zero. Like I said before, this is a hypothesis, which is just part of the scientific process. It is not a proven statement… yet. As I stated before, there is supporting evidence for my claim, but not enough to make it a fact. It is a hypothesis and so far, the evidence is backing it up. If you can point to nations with more social/cultural development and more gods, you could weaken my hypothesis. But as it turns out, the more developed a nation is, the less gods they tend to worship. Countries like the Netherlands and Denmark are arguably more developed than the United States (universal healthcare, gay rights, etc.) and they are also the among the most atheist countries. This again supports my hypothesis.

    But you don’t really care about facts anyway. You just want to argue to feel smart and smug. But the reality is that there is no evidence for your deity and it tears you up inside. The double standard is again on you. If someone where you conduct business transactions with you using your standard of evidence, you would laugh in their face. Disagree? then I have a bridge that I would like to sell you at a really cheap price. It’s a great investment.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk
  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    BTW I have already received one violent response to this post from a religious believer on Twitter and that pretty much illustrates my point.

  • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    Staks has no need to acknowledge points irrelevant to his essay, but even if he did, you would still be wrong to imply that he said something other than what he did, it remains a dishonest tactic. You owe him an apology.

    re: If… then’s. Yes well if theists act like other theists (say, of the second century, or many modern places like Saudi Arabia) they’ll want to execute blasphemers. So what? This is fantastically irrelevant supposition (to the essay at hand). If you can not address points that have actually been made by Staks in this post with actual evidence or reason not pie-in-the-sky hyperbole, then please stop.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    That’s just bullshit right there, but I’ll play. I’ll “expand” my evidence to include photographs. Now there is evidence for Abe Lincoln, where is the evidence for God?

    The authenticity of a photograph is supported by human testimony. Likewise, the resurrection of Christ is supported by human testimony. You can’t claim human testimony counts as evidence only for historical claims you accept. You fail to see that science and history, for example, rely on more basic forms of evidence that can also be used in arguing for God’s existence.

    You could say that the arc of history is toward monotheism, but as I stated before, why stop with one?

    Because the past does not allow us to predict the distant future. History is filled with radical changes.

    But the reality is that there is no evidence for your deity and it tears you up inside.

    Hardly. I just find it ironic that we theists need to be re-educated by someone whose idea of evidence is philosophically suspect and should lead him to reject many of his own beliefs.

    The double standard is again on you. If someone where you conduct business transactions with you using your standard of evidence, you would laugh in their face. Disagree? then I have a bridge that I would like to sell you at a really cheap price. It’s a great investment.

    I consider evidence for P to be any piece of information that is more probable given P than not-P. That hardly requires that I purchase your bridge since I make a distinction between evidence and sufficient evidence to believe P. I have no problem admitting that there is some evidence for many different viewpoints on God, including atheism. I just find the evidence to best fit monotheism. On the other hand, you seem to be adamant that there is no evidence at all for God’s existence.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    Except I’m not making what you call the Stalin argument. I’m not claiming that all atheists bear responsibility for Stalin’s crimes. I’m saying that when an atheist sounds kind of Stalin-y it raises moral questions about the atheist in question.

    What would you say to an atheist who thinks religiosity is a sign of mental illness and such people should be sent to a mental facility for treatment?

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Again, your view is that all evidence is meaningless and therefore everything is permissible. Then you claim that you have just proven your deity of choice. But the fact is that there are facts. We have ways in which we know things (with relative certainty). A photograph could be faked, but we can test that photo and put it in context with other available evidence to conclude that Abe Lincoln almost certainly existed. But that isn’t really the point. The claim was that there was “more” evidence for Jesus than there was for Abe Lincoln. I have shown that this is patently false! Unless you can produce a photo of Jesus or some more compelling evidence the claim fails.

    You claim that there is more evidence for the existence of P than not-P. I will again ask you to present that evidence because I don’t believe that is true. I have yet to see any valid evidence for any concept of a deity at all and I certainly have yet to see any evidence for the specific Abrahamic deity. If you have a personal experience, it needs to be peer reviewed because your experience might not be what you think it was. That is the point of peer review. Sometimes our senses deceive us. Sometimes we want something to be true that we imagine that it actually is true. But there I go again, trying to discuss something in a genuine way with a disingenuous actor. So go ahead and tell me that atheism is a religion or that there is more evidence for God than there is for the computer you are typing on. Make assertion after assertion without bothering to back any of it up with actual facts… which according to you must not really exist anyway.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Actually you are making the Stalin argument because Stalin didn’t hunt down religious believers because he was an atheist and they were religious. He hunted them down because he was a fascist and they challenged his authority.

    Second, while some atheists like Dawkins have claimed that religious belief is a form of mental illness (a position I disagree with), he did not claim (nor have any atheists that I am aware of) that religious believers should be sent to a mental facility.

    For the record, I think religious belief is similar in some ways to a mental illness. Studies have actually been done to see if there is something within the brain that makes people more likely to be religious and I think they have found that there is. This would lend support to the mental illness view so some degree. However, it would be inaccurate to compare religious belief to something like schizophrenia despite the obviously similar symptoms.

    Getting back to my original point. Religious thinking hasn’t changed much since the Inquisition. Modernity has shifted morality in such a direction that religious institutions simply couldn’t get away with those tactics today… in most countries. But if they could get away with torturing non-believers, they certainly would. When you think about it, in their mind the non-religious are going to be tortured any way, so what does it matter? Jesus said it himself in Matthew 5:29. Isn’t it better to be tortured for a few days year on Earth than to be tortured for all eternity in Hell?

    Like I pointed out, the Christian “love” in response to this post has already started. Here is what one Christian had to say: “You eliminate, touch my Religion; we eliminate your Atheist Religion! Life is a two-way street!”

    Clearly that person either didn’t read the post or didn’t understand it. But that person’s hate and violent undertones are plenty clear.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    Again, your view is that all evidence is meaningless and therefore everything is permissible.

    Wrong again. My simple point is that evidence is not restricted to scientific evidence and that scientific evidence relies on more basic types of evidence.

    But that isn’t really the point. The claim was that there was “more” evidence for Jesus than there was for Abe Lincoln. I have shown that this is patently false!

    Only by contradicting yourself as to what evidence is.

    You claim that there is more evidence for the existence of P than not-P.

    No, I said: “I consider evidence for P to be any piece of information that is more probable given P than not-P.”

    I will again ask you to present that evidence because I don’t believe that is true.

    I already alluded to some such evidence. The testimony contained in the NT is more probable given God resurrecting Jesus from the dead than if he did not do so. This simple fact, by itself, does not demand belief that Jesus was raised from the dead. But it is evidence as I defined it.

    If you have a personal experience, it needs to be peer reviewed because your experience might not be what you think it was.

    You don’t apply that standard to all personal experience. Generally, you believe your personal experience reflects reality barring a counter-argument. Such blatant double standards will hinder your re-education campaign.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    First, I referred to psychiatric abuse in the USSR, which was mainly post-Stalin. Nor did I say the motive of the atheist I heard was identical to the motive of the USSR. I merely noted the dangerous parallels between the two. Once a person is considered mentally ill it should not be surprising that others will want to treat him.

    Second, I referred to an atheist I heard, not some famous atheist like Dawkins. Apparently your personal experience counts as evidence but mine doesn’t. And since we generally try to treat mental illness it’s hardly comforting to know that Dawkins doesn’t want to round us up for treatment. Someone will want to take that next step, especially since, we are told, religious is so dangerous.

    Third, anything found in the brain could just as easily be considered evidence that atheism is a mental illness. If the brain is, say, hard-wired for religion then the atheist brain can be seen as abnormal and in need of treatment.

    Fourth, torture wouldn’t change your heart towards God so your argument doesn’t even get off the ground. Nor do all Christians view hell as a torture chamber.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    1. Again, even post-Stalin, the Stalin argument doesn’t hold up. The USSR so the State as God and went after any challenge to the State. See my article I posted above.

    2. You have a history of being disingenuous, so I don’t take your alleged experience as being truthful. But the old Slipper Slop argument is a logical fallacy.

    3. Our brains are hard-wired for religion, but that doesn’t make religion true. It just makes our belief in them true. That is my point!

    4. Tell that to the Christians of Dark Ages!

  • No name needed

    I appreciate your input. I was a christian, then atheist. I said I was a prior atheist because I used to consider myself one. I do not label my beliefs anymore, i do not follow, there is no wrapper or mask that I wear I am an individual as is everybody. The illusion we create by following and leading is the mirror. The mirror of ourselves is in what way we presume to something to be true. For one to grow and learn new things we must have a mind open to interpret. The first reply holds great meaning that I hold close to my heart. For one might see as puzzling another might see clear as day. I am not as you perceive as you are not what I do. I listen and appreciate any input.