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.