Answers About God From A Famous Ex-Atheist

I never doubt theist claims that their rational and logical arguments can only ever lead one to one single irrefutable conclusion. I have every confidence that the Jesuits, at least, have thoroughly applied the principles of logic and reason to arrive at a solid rational and watertight hypothetical conclusion that supports the tenets of their beliefs. Jesuits have always struck me as being very thorough. The only problem I have is that the ultimate premise of their argument is invariably based on a priori unsubstantiated and unproven claim, that a ‘God’ exists. Clear, concise, considerable but always circular.

Antony Flew became a Deist and accepted the idea of a god after the model of Aristotle’s Prime Mover with the characteristics of intelligence and power. In a December 2004 interview he said “I’m thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins”.

He was an academic philospoher, not a scientist. His Deist decision was based on his inablilty to accept the lack of explanation of the science of the day as he understood it for just two concepts(2004): the origin of the universe and abiogenesis, two very impenetrable subjects. He also admitted that he had long since not kept up with the most recent developments in science or theology, because at his age there was just too much to keep up with.

So really we aren’t talking about the theological surrender of some giant of science or philosophy at the height of his powers conceding the existence of a supernatural deity, but rather an academic honestly accepting that he had no other explanation. It was not the result of a rigorous argument, proving the existence of a god. It was more an honest stand down in admission of his ignorance. Nothing was proven.

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Is there a similarity between Gaelic and the artificial language of Elvish? (or any of the other language Tolkein invented?)

I read Lord Of The Rings just like everyone I knew did in the nearly 1970’s. Tried, but could not get into The Simarillion.

I’ve always loved English Universities (both of 'em) Have very happy memories of staying with friends in Cambridge in 2000. He was a fellowe at Kings, Economics, she tutored history. Their two youngest boys were choristers at Kings. That meant I got to see a lot of things tourists do not.EG the Wren Library, and got to go to evens song to hear the choir. Had not realised before then just how similar is the High Church of England to Catholicism. The only difference I could see between Kings College Chapel and a catholic church was that there was no picture of the pope at the back.

I stayed a couple of months. This gave me time to explore Cambridge by bicycle and London via Tube***. As well as time to go backpacking around Southern Ireland and Scotland.

The house had six bedrooms and they boarded international students. I paid my way by cooking most nights, for between 5 and 10 people and loved it.—I became a gourmet cook while I was married, but lost interest when I was just cooking for myself. Still can’t be arsed making anything other than the simplest dishes.

Yeah, that was the best o/s holiday I ever had. Always had the best times when staying with a local family.

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*** got a special off peak fare; 10 pounds for return trip to London plus use of the Tube all day. Pretty hard to get lost in London if you are near a tube station. Became very fond of English pubs and the many different ales. (I was still drinking at that time) It’s true in my experience that alcohol is a great social lubricant.

@Grinseed

Excellent post, thanks you.

That’s my point.

I’m acutely aware that logic is an unreliable tool for discovering truth. I only had a year’s
philosophy at university. One of the first things I learned about logic is that a logical inference can be perfectly logical and untrue. One of the simplest and common forms of logic is the simple syllogism; the conclusion may or may not be true, whilst remaining logically valid…

Being a believer does not necessarily mean a person is necessarily irrational. It does seem to mean their reasoning is faulty***. Typically, believers tend not to be able to grasp that the existence of god(s) and any attributes are unfalsifiable propositions. (hard atheists also have the same problem)

I sympathise with the academic who became a theist. I also like to know the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of things. However, I’m perfectly comfortable say “I don’t know” .There must be thousands of areas of erudite study. I know a bit about surprisingly few things. At one time I had what was considered expert knowledge in perhaps four areas–and that was 35 years ago; I’m well out of date…

My position remains the same: That god(s) cannot be argued into or out of existence. Consequently, I demand empirical evidence, pro or contra, and will accept nothing less.

OT: I’ve spent a few interesting evenings with Catholic priests trained in theology and biblical hermeneutics. Try going against some real Jesuitical sophistry at the height of their intellectual powers and see how you go.

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*** Imo, THE problem with presuppositional apologetics is the acceptance of an unfalsifiable premise. IE the existence of god(s)

I have literally never seen you say that, and I have heard almost every atheist here state at least once they are also agnostic about god claims, as they are nearly always unfalsifiable.

That isn’t even remotely true, despite your tedious and disingenuous repetition of this unevidenced claim.

What objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity creator?

I give up, is there?

Not only was I not asking this, I don’t even know what it means or pertains to.

Nice straw man fallacy, more evidence you don’t have even the most basic understanding of informal logic.

Nothing can be assured as rational if uses or contains a known logical fallacy.

This is a basic principle of logic, as you’ve been told again and again. Yet here you are yet again posting vapid rhetoric and claiming it has a rational basis, despite using known logical fallacies.

Nope, this is still wrong, atheism is the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities. It makes no claims whatsoever, look it up, christ but you’re relentlessly and tediously dishonest.

What shows whom that what path of what reasoning, expects to arrive at what same point?

Thats the same cryptic vapid BS that typify your incoherent ramblings fair play.

Yes, he does this relentlessly, and it’s a known logical fallacy, then he makes endless empty and unevidenced claims he’s being rational, irony overload.

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More utter fucking ignorance. Agnosticism says absolutely NOTHING — NOT A FUCKING THING — about what a person believes. Agnosticism is about what is KNOWN. Put any theist to the test, question any of them, and eventually they will admit that there is no evidence for the existence of God. NONE. Nothing is actually KNOWN or can be KNOWN about the unfalsifiable fantasy called God. That’s why Pascal’s Wager is so popular!!! That why the bible says… "John 20:29, Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Christianity is a religion of ‘FAITH and BELIEF’ not 'FACTS or EVIDENCE."

Everyone on the fucking planet is an agnostic you fucking idiot. If they weren’t, someone would have some evidence for the existence of a god. Agnosticism is about KNOWLEDGE… (A = without GNOSIS = Knowledge) Atheism is about BELIEF IN GOD. (A = without THEISM = belief in gods)

Say something else completely fucking stupid…

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Fuck… I can usually learn something from about anybody.

Dr. Flew … hmmm :thinking: thinking … “got it!”. When a person ventures off the “scientific method” and is uncomfortable :persevere: with an “I don’t know” - they are likely to fill a “gap” with magical claims.

The imagination is a strong, wonderful aspect of our brain :brain:, an area I love to indulge. It allows for creative thinking…HOWEVER that thinking doesn’t always mesh with reality. I prefer living my life based on what is real, and the decisions I make to live the life I know I have are guided by reality not imaginative speculations.

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I learned that even the most educated among us can fall victim to the fallacies and erroneous emotional appeals of religions. I don’t actually believe that this so called “atheist philosopher” was actually an atheist at all. I am not trying to pull a “No True Scotsman Fallacy;” however, it seems that the simplistic “evidence” cited for gods existence, (theist assertions debunked for decades), are certainly not the utterances of anyone trained in any kind of philosophy. Possibly these overly simplistic utterances were created by the author and not Dr. Flew. himself. Possibly, he has a Doctor of Divinity Degree… hey, I read the article and did not check that. Let’s go look now… Hold on. ( St John’s College, Oxford)
LOL…

Okay, reading a bit more on the gentleman. He is responsible for popularizing the idea of “soft atheism” placing the burden of proof on theists. Prior to some of his writings, it was commonly accepted “Atheist” meant someone who believed gods did not exist. (I seriously doubt this to be the case as the Romans called the Christians Atheist for not believing in the Roman gods. But lets say he, like many of us today, used the word Atheist properly, to mean 'non-belief." Atheist is a religious slur spewed by the theists on non-believers. It is the same as heathen, sinner, damned, infidel, apostate, skeptic, faithless, or any other term the loving theists want to sling our way. The only thing about the word ATHEIST is that we have adopted it as a label. Just as America adopted the slur Yankee and made a song out of it, even named a baseball team out of it. Just as the homosexual population adopted the slur 'Gay" and proud of it. Non-believers merely adopted the theist slur “Atheist” and allowed it to describe their non-belief.

So Dr. Flew’s life is quite interesting. Mind you, he never adopted the Christian idea of a God. He became a Deist. He just thought that there was some sort of a creative force (intelligence) out there someplace. Not a personal force that you can interact with. Not something you can pray to. Merely a creative force. This is miles away from Christianity.

Did I learn anything… Yep. I learned that Dr Flew was first to coin the “No True Scotsman Fallacy.” Cool! I learned that he actually did have a good idea of what atheism was and that he placed the burden of proof square of the shoulders of the theists, exactly where it should be.

THEN YOU RUN ACROSS THIS ----------------
*********** On several occasions, starting in 2001, rumors circulated claiming that Flew had converted from atheism to deism. Flew denied these rumors on the Secular Web." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Web) website.[41]

“Flew states that he has renounced his long-standing espousal of atheism by endorsing a deism of the sort that Thomas Jefferson advocated” “While 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”)

So----- IN ESSENCE ----- God is there but there is no way we can actually know it. It is exactly the same thing as if God is not there… but it’s there. Somehow, this is a conversion to theism? It’s more of a conversion to confusion if you ask me.

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Oh fuck. First cause? Really? Are you truly that ignorant or just plain bloody minded? Do you think Ray comfort is a deep thinker?

Created by superior a intelligence? OK, who or what created the superior intelligence? To claim he/it has always existed is a special pleading fallacy. QED

Fair dinkum, arguing with you is like shooting fish in a barrel. I guess because you’re anti science and anti reason you’re not able to use those tools. When you try anyway, the result just makes you seem ignorant and stupid.(not to mention dishonest)

A hint; if you are going to use logic perhaps have go at familiarising yourself with some of the more common logical fallacies (see link below) THEN having done that you need to understand logic is an unreliable tool for discovering truths. The existence of god is unfalsifiable (cannot be proved to be true or untrue) As such God cannot be argued into or out of existence. Empirical evidence is required.

Following the above, you have three tasks: (1) learn about logical fallacies and reason, (2) learn about evidence . (3) produce some evidence for the existence of god. So far, you have failed spectacularly at each of those tasks.

Christian belief is based on blind faith, not reason. Jesus himself is recorded as admonishing his followers to believe without seeing, and THAT is blind faith. No wonder you seem incapable of engaging your cerebral cortex.

John20:29 " Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (KJV)

Your many post have shown you to be disingenuous at the very least. The result of your dishonesty means you have no credibility, at least not with me.

Bored now

Judging by his posts thus far, I’d say he was both.

You do know none of the stories in your bible can be substantiated right? Nothing has evidence to have ever happened. The great flood? Never actually happened. Jesus Christ? There’s no evidence he ever lived on this planet.

Christianity only dates back about 6,000 years but the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Odd that the bible can not even get that correct isn’t it? According to the bible humans were first. Yet there were other forms of life before us.

To make this simple show me some actual evidence to prove your god.

Still waiting for @Sorrentino to show some shred of integrity, and actually answer a question for once? I’m not holding my breath mind.

Umm, do you know that we have night or day, as described in the bible? The point is that many sections of the bible are historically accurate. But some are pure BS. It is fair to state that none of the tales of the supernatural from the bible can be proven.

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LOL… DAVID… I nearly made the same post but it seems I am always the one ragging on poor FievelJ for his black and white bullshit or his absolute statements. Still, you have to give him credit for using the word “evidence” instead of “proved.” He is making progress.

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Umm, not quite. It’s actually 2000. As for 6000 years, see below

There have been at least two other religions which lasted longer than Christianity has so far:

The ancient Egyptian religion lasted for over 3000 years.

Today, there are still around 100,000 odd Zoroastrian believers around. It possibly goes back 4000 years, but it as been recorded from ca 500 bce. Read the wiki article. You will find it has some very familiar features to anyone reared in the christian tradition. I make no claim of a causal connection, I’m simply observing;

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism#:~:text=Zoroastrianism%20or%20Mazdayasna%20is%20one,monotheism%2Fmonism%2C%20and%20polytheism.

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I think you may have gotten confused with the fundy claim that the earth is 6000 years old. That figure was reached By James Ussher, Irish prelate, in the eighteenth century. Reading how he did it is hilarious. Fair dinkum, it’s people like him who give creationist dickheads a bad name.

ANYTHING before the age of anesthesia doesn’t interest me…

Mkay. No probs I guess, if I knew to what you are alluding.

Cranks…I wasn’t really referencing anything AND I love that you guys know so much about history.

An old book (Bible) doesn’t really contain anything relevant to today.

Fuck, because of my surgeries and scopes I’m grateful I was born after anaesthetic :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh wait … our resident mythology fanboy is peddling the “Flew abandoned atheism” lie?

Which IS a lie, because Flew never uttered any of the words attributed to him by duplicitous pedlars of mythology fanboy bullshit. Those words were written by Roy Varghese, a piece of slime who manipulated Flew as he was dying from a neurodegenerative disease. PZ Myers covers this in suitable detail here.

Shows how intellectually bankrupt mythology fanboyism is, when its ideological stormtroopers have to resort to lies at this level.

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Oh.

My little sister turned 60 last month. Her son is 25. I remember when she was pregnant. Tall and slender, she looked exactly as if she had managed to swallow a basket ball. She told me she would give birth as nature intended; numb from the waist down.

So she did that. Even so, she decided she wasn’t going through THAT again. Her husband was livid ,as he wanted a large family and she had agreed before the marriage.

Dropkick (now ex) hubby made the mistake of complaining to me. I said something like “So what? It’s her decision and she has the right to change her mind. Grow up.”

I went off surfer boy ***some years earlier when he said “Jews started all the wars”. Not a lot one can say to that level of stupidity and ignorance. Besides his young son was there, so I kept schtum.

***Of average height, bright watery blue eyes. Blond hair which looked bleached and skin which looked sand blasted. My brilliant sister has the emotional depth of a petri dish.