1. Zugzwang
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    23 Jan '14 18:511 edit
    I noticed that Antony Flew (1923-2010) was recently mentioned here
    only in the context of his supposed conversion (shortly before his death)
    from atheism to deism and/or theism, which has been exploited by some
    advocates of Christianity, though I know of no evidence that Antony Flew
    ever claimed to have become a Christian. I also noticed that writers here
    seemed completely ignorant of Antony Flew before this 'conversion'.
    (As a young student, I read something of Antony Flew on David Hume.)

    As far as I can tell now, writers in this forum seem extremely ignorant of
    academic philosophy, and so their usual discussions seem extremely naive,
    tending to replicate old arguments and errors that someone who knew more
    about academic philosophy probably would avoid. This forum seems full of
    much more heat and noise than light.

    In my view, within the context of 20th century British philosophers,
    Antony Flew was someone of moderate importance, far from the level of
    Bertrand Russell (who became a public figure as well as an academic) or,
    more modestly, A.J. Ayer. The hyperbolic claim that Antony Flew was
    "the world's most notorious atheist" is sensationalistic nonsense that
    presumably only an extremely ignorant or disingenuous American Christian
    apologist would make (given the stigmatization of atheism in the USA).

    I believe that Antony Flew was wrong on many issues, particularly in his
    hard right-wing politics. He was a strong supporter of and advisor to
    Margaret Thatcher. He seemed to embrace some right-wing military
    dictatorships with brutal records of violating human rights. He loathed
    Islam and Muslims and, in his later years, seemed sympathetic to some
    extreme right-wing politicians who liked to incite hatred against Muslims.
    His apparent belief in the superiority of white Western Christian civilisation
    seemed to lead him toward some thinly veiled racism against some peoples.
    Antony Flew's political views, however, would have made him a more
    attractive target for recruitment by some right-wing American Christians.

    In his later years, Antony Flew suffered from dementia, and his mind was
    obviously far from what it had been when he died in 2010. In my view,
    anything that he supposedly said, wrote, or thought in his later years
    should be taken less seriously than what he said, wrote, or thought earlier.

    With regard to his supposed last book_There is a God_ (2007), it was
    written by Roy Abraham Varghese, an American Christian with no academic
    credentials. Varghese makes arguments referring to minor philosophers
    whom Antony Flew had not mentioned in his previous work. Indeed, it
    seems questionable that Antony Flew had read, comprehended, and
    remembered all, or perhaps even most, of the words that Roy Varghese
    was writing in his name. Antony Flew had grown to trust Roy Varghese
    (who has been ready to give his money freely to promote Christianity),
    however, and he probably accepted whatever Varghese told him was in
    the book without reading it carefully, if much at all.

    To sum up, the most likely case seems to be that Roy Varghese (and/or
    some other American Christians) had convinced Antony Flew, who was
    suffering from dementia, to trust him. An 84 year old man would not
    have been the hardest target to seduce. So a book was produced,
    and Antony Flew was persuaded or manipulated to put his name on it.
    Even if it's true that by that time Antony Flew had come to agree with
    Roy Varghese's 'thoughts' (many of which Flew seemed not to remember),
    how seriously should one take the 'conversion' of an 84 year old man
    suffering from dementia?
  2. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    23 Jan '14 19:35
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I noticed that Antony Flew (1923-2010) was recently mentioned here
    only in the context of his supposed conversion (shortly before his death)
    from atheism to deism and/or theism, which has been exploited by some
    advocates of Christianity, though I know of no evidence that Antony Flew
    ever claimed to have become a Christian. I also noticed that writers ...[text shortened]...
    how seriously should one take the 'conversion' of an 84 year old man
    suffering from dementia?
    Informative and appreciated: error, half truths and outright falsehoods suck. I'd enjoy reading quotable Flew in his prime.
  3. Standard memberRJHinds
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    23 Jan '14 21:44
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I noticed that Antony Flew (1923-2010) was recently mentioned here
    only in the context of his supposed conversion (shortly before his death)
    from atheism to deism and/or theism, which has been exploited by some
    advocates of Christianity, though I know of no evidence that Antony Flew
    ever claimed to have become a Christian. I also noticed that writers ...[text shortened]...
    how seriously should one take the 'conversion' of an 84 year old man
    suffering from dementia?
    This denial sounds like what cults do when their former advocates suddenly abandon their cult. This behavior provides evidence that atheism and evolutionism are also Satan inspired cult beliefs.
  4. Joined
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    23 Jan '14 22:42
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Informative and appreciated: error, half truths and outright falsehoods suck. I'd enjoy reading quotable Flew in his prime.
    error, half truths and outright falsehoods suck.

    Yes they do, but it didn't stop you from repeatedly posting deceitful Islamaphobic fear mongering articles on the "Sharia Law" thread - including one article that you kept posting after it had been pointed out to you.
  5. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    23 Jan '14 23:323 edits
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    [b]error, half truths and outright falsehoods suck.

    Yes they do, but it didn't stop you from repeatedly posting deceitful Islamaphobic fear mongering articles on the "Sharia Law" thread - including one article that you kept posting after it had been pointed out to you.[/b]
    Thread 157141 (Page 12)

    Article in question was addressed satisfactorily by black beetle, a learning experience for me. Thanks for the reminder.
  6. Joined
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    23 Jan '14 23:50
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    [b]"It's quite clear that GB very much has an agenda despite his claims otherwise. It's quite clear that GB has the same agenda as the website that he has repeatedly quoted."


    As someone who knows GB's online persona intimately, I can assure you that he does have an intense desire on RHP's Spirituality Forum ...[text shortened]... addressed satisfactorily by black beetle, a learning experience for me. Thanks for the reminder.[/b]
    > Article in question was addressed satisfactorily by black beetle, a learning experience for me. Thanks for the reminder.

    C'mon GB. Even after Black Beetle addressed the article you not only didn't "retract the lies" as WG59 repeatedly asked you to - you posted it again as well as another Islamaphobic fear mongering article in a vain attempt to defend it.

    Why is it that so many of the Christians who post on this forum seem to have little to no reservations when it comes to deceit and lying? even though the Bible repeatedly warns against it? For example:

    Psalm 101
    7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
  7. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    23 Jan '14 23:51
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    [b]> Article in question was addressed satisfactorily by black beetle, a learning experience for me. Thanks for the reminder.

    C'mon GB. Even after Black Beetle addressed the article you not only didn't "retract the lies" as WG59 repeatedly asked you to - you posted it again as well as another Islamaphobic fear mongering article in a vain attempt to ...[text shortened]... ho practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.[/b]
    Thread's been bumped for you...
  8. Joined
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    23 Jan '14 23:54
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Thread's been bumped for you...
    C'mon GB. Even after Black Beetle addressed the article you not only didn't "retract the lies" as WG59 repeatedly asked you to - you posted it again as well as another Islamaphobic fear mongering article in a vain attempt to defend it.

    Why is it that so many of the Christians who post on this forum seem to have little to no reservations when it comes to deceit and lying? even though the Bible repeatedly warns against it? For example:

    Psalm 101
    7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.


    Instead of addressing the above, GB vainly attempts to deflect.
  9. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    24 Jan '14 00:40
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    C'mon GB. Even after Black Beetle addressed the article you not only didn't "retract the lies" as WG59 repeatedly asked you to - you posted it again as well as another Islamaphobic fear mongering article in a vain attempt to defend it.

    Why is it that so many of the Christians who post on this forum seem to have little to no reservations when it ...[text shortened]... stand in my presence.


    Instead of addressing the above, GB vainly attempts to deflect.
    As a courtesy to Duchess64, let's remember that the thread's topic is Antony Flew not unresolved issues with Sharia Law.
  10. Joined
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    24 Jan '14 00:51
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    As a courtesy to Duchess64, let's remember that the thread's topic is Antony Flew not unresolved issues with Sharia Law.
    Classic. GB finds yet another way to avoid addressing my post.
  11. Territories Unknown
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    24 Jan '14 00:57
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I noticed that Antony Flew (1923-2010) was recently mentioned here
    only in the context of his supposed conversion (shortly before his death)
    from atheism to deism and/or theism, which has been exploited by some
    advocates of Christianity, though I know of no evidence that Antony Flew
    ever claimed to have become a Christian. I also noticed that writers ...[text shortened]...
    how seriously should one take the 'conversion' of an 84 year old man
    suffering from dementia?
    In my view, within the context of 20th century British philosophers,
    Antony Flew was someone of moderate importance, far from the level of
    Bertrand Russell (who became a public figure as well as an academic) or,
    more modestly, A.J. Ayer.

    I believe Flew was invoked as a result of his atheism, more than his work in philosophy.
    Wikipedia does devote some space to the folks you mentioned, but apparently those who've done some editing felt that Flew belonged in the same group as some other pretty notables:
    "Recent British philosophers particularly active in the philosophy of religion have included Antony Flew, C. S. Lewis, and John Hick."
  12. Zugzwang
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    24 Jan '14 03:03
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [b]In my view, within the context of 20th century British philosophers,
    Antony Flew was someone of moderate importance, far from the level of
    Bertrand Russell (who became a public figure as well as an academic) or,
    more modestly, A.J. Ayer.

    I believe Flew was invoked as a result of his atheism, more than his work in philosophy.
    Wikipedia does devo ...[text shortened]... active in the philosophy of religion have included Antony Flew, C. S. Lewis, and John Hick.[/i]"[/b]
    The general ignorance of academic philosophy in this forum can hardly
    be overstated. I feel like a one-eyed person in a kingdom of the blind.

    There's no question whatsoever to anyone with even a basic knowledge
    of 20th century British philosophers that these figures were in the order
    of importance that I have placed them:
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) > A.J. Ayer (1910-1989) > Antony Flew
    (I mentioned Russell and Ayer because they were philosophers whom
    I had read and read about much when I was a young student.)

    All three philosophers were atheists (or, at a quibble, agnostics).
    Bertrand Russell won a Nobel Prize in Literature and has been the subject of
    several major biographies. A.J. Ayer was knighted (unlike Antony Flew)
    and was a professor at Oxford University (in contrast to Antony Flew,
    whose positions were at reputable but less distinguished universities).
    A.J. Ayer also has been the subject of a biography.

    For an authoritative scholarly encyclopedia of philosophy, I would
    recommend the _Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy_ (1998) if you
    can find it. Its high price (about 6000 USD on Amazon today) puts it
    beyond the budget of most libraries. The _Encyclopedia of Philosophy_
    (1967) is a good, albeit dated, alternative that's more likely to be available.

    Wikipedia's often far from a reliable or balanced source on many subjects,
    particularly controversial ones wherein some people have an agenda to
    push. The implicit claim that C.S. Lewis and John Hick were 'recent
    British philosophers' of distinction strikes me as extremely misleading.
    I suspect this was written by someone pushing a pro-Christian agenda.

    C.S. Lewis certainly was a man of distinction in several ways (including
    as a novelist), but *not as an academic philosopher*. C.S. Lewis spent
    his time at Oxford in teaching English literature and his time at Cambridge
    in mediaeval and renaissance literature. While C.S. Lewis was a theologian
    who wrote popular books advocating Christianity, he would not have been
    accepted by most academic philosophers as their professional colleague.

    Likewise, John Hick was an obscure figure to me (as I suspect he would
    be to some British academic philosophers) because he spent most of his
    career in the United States, where he evidently became influential in some
    conservative Christian circles. So it seems rather misleading to imply that
    John Hick was influential among 'recent British philosophers' when his
    main influence seems to have been among American Christians or, at
    least, only among people already firmly committed to theism.

    The internet has made it easier than ever to propagate nonsense (or
    some half-truths at best) and mislead and deceive ignorant people.
    If you are foolish enough to believe everything you find on the internet,
    then you should blame yourself for your gullibility.
  13. Standard memberRJHinds
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    24 Jan '14 03:46
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    The general ignorance of academic philosophy in this forum can hardly
    be overstated. I feel like a one-eyed person in a kingdom of the blind.

    There's no question whatsoever to anyone with even a basic knowledge
    of 20th century British philosophers that these figures were in the order
    of importance that I have placed them:
    Bertrand Russell (1872-197 ...[text shortened]... lieve everything you find on the internet,
    then you should blame yourself for your gullibility.
    I don't know about others, but I will admit I am very ignorance of academic philosophy. I am more interested in spirituality and don't give a hill of beans about academic philosophy.
  14. Zugzwang
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    24 Jan '14 21:162 edits
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I don't know about others, but I will admit I am very ignorance of academic philosophy.
    I am more interested in spirituality and don't give a hill of beans about academic philosophy.
    RJHinds's ignorance of academic philosophy in addition to many other
    subjects is obvious without his explicit confirmation.

    Would RJHinds like to confirm explicitly that he's much more interested in
    having a high chess rating at RHP than in comprehending enough about
    chess in order to make the moves unassisted that lead to such a rating?
  15. Territories Unknown
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    24 Jan '14 22:111 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    The general ignorance of academic philosophy in this forum can hardly
    be overstated. I feel like a one-eyed person in a kingdom of the blind.

    There's no question whatsoever to anyone with even a basic knowledge
    of 20th century British philosophers that these figures were in the order
    of importance that I have placed them:
    Bertrand Russell (1872-197 ...[text shortened]... lieve everything you find on the internet,
    then you should blame yourself for your gullibility.
    The general ignorance of academic philosophy in this forum can hardly
    be overstated. I feel like a one-eyed person in a kingdom of the blind.

    You walked into a whore house looking for love.
    And we're the idiots?

    You rank Russell above Ayer (without reason), and then Ayer above Flew (on the basis of the former being knighted, yet being knighted doesn't carry enough for you to place Ayer above Russell. Curious), for essentially reasons without weight or scale.
    Okay, you did point out that both Russell and Ayer have been object of biographies.

    So why did you leave out G.E. Moore?

    The implicit claim that C.S. Lewis and John Hick were 'recent
    British philosophers' of distinction strikes me as extremely misleading.
    I suspect this was written by someone pushing a pro-Christian agenda.

    Not sure where you imagined anything other than what was said; namely, those named are--- by most accounts--- recent British philosophers recently active in the philosophy of religion.
    When you quoted 'recent British philosophers' were you questioning the 'recent,' the 'British,' or the 'philosophers' part?

    C.S. Lewis certainly was a man of distinction in several ways (including
    as a novelist), but *not as an academic philosopher*.

    You sound like the kinda bureaucrap who would ask Noah if he had a building permit.
    The fact of the matter is, philosophy is about thinking, is about having objective measures of standards employed to figure out that most beautiful of all things: truth.
    C.S. Lewis made more people re-think about what they believe, about what they think they know, about what they consider to be important--- at a time of great despair--- and reinvigorated the thinking of a generation of people... which continues to this day.
    If it weren't for people like Lewis, philosophy would be as inaccessible as you are attempting to make it.
    And he was decidedly not trained as a theologian.
    He was, however, a one-time atheist.

    So it seems rather misleading to imply that John Hick was influential among 'recent British philosophers' when his main influence seems to have been among American Christians or, at
    least, only among people already firmly committed to theism.

    I don't know that anyone said he was "influential among" as much as he was a "recent British philosopher."
    For a person who purports themselves to be one of an elite group of [harrumph-harrumph] academic philosophers, a [how did you put it again? oh, that's right...] a "one-eyed person in a kingdom of the blind," you seem to be particularly short-sighted when it comes to understanding context or correctly quoting plebes as ordinary as me.

    If you are foolish enough to believe everything you find on the internet, then you should blame yourself for your gullibility.
    I'm turning over a new leaf and starting my mission of second-guessing... starting with you, Duchess64... if that's your real name.
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