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Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    06 Mar '05 21:45 / 1 edit
    http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/

    Antony Flew and Gary Habermas met in February 1985 in Dallas, Texas. The occasion was a series of debates between atheists and theists, featuring many influential philosophers, scientists, and other scholars.

    A short time later, in May 1985, Flew and Habermas debated at Liberty University before a large audience. The topic that night was the resurrection of Jesus. Although Flew was arguably the world’s foremost philosophical atheist, he had intriguingly also earned the distinction of being one of the chief philosophical commentators on the topic of miracles. Habermas specialized on the subject of Jesus’ resurrection. Thus, the ensuing dialogue on the historical evidence for the central Christian claim was a natural outgrowth of their research.

    Over the next twenty years, Flew and Habermas developed a friendship, writing dozens of letters, talking often, and dialoguing twice more on the resurrection. In April 2000 they participated in a live debate on the Inspiration Television Network, moderated by John Ankerberg. In January 2003 they again dialogued on the resurrection at California Polytechnic State University–San Luis Obispo.

    During a couple telephone discussions shortly after their last dialogue, Flew explained to Habermas that he was considering becoming a theist. While Flew did not change his position at that time, he concluded that certain philosophical and scientific considerations were causing him to do some serious rethinking. He characterized his position as that of atheism standing in tension with several huge question marks.

    Then, a year later, in January 2004, Flew informed Habermas that he had indeed become a theist. While still rejecting the concept of special revelation, whether Christian, Jewish or Islamic, nonetheless he had concluded that theism was true. In Flew’s words, he simply “had to go where the evidence leads.”

    The following interview took place in early 2004 and was subsequently modified by both participants throughout the year. This nontechnical discussion sought to engage Flew over the course of several topics that reflect his move from atheism to theism. The chief purpose was not to pursue the details of any particular issue, so we bypassed many avenues that would have presented a plethora of other intriguing questions and responses. These were often tantalizingly ignored, left to ripen for another discussion. Neither did we try to persuade each another of alternate positions.

    Our singular purpose was simply to explore and report Flew’s new position, allowing him to explain various aspects of his pilgrimage. We thought that this in itself was a worthy goal. Along the way, an additional benefit emerged, as Flew reminisced about various moments from his childhood, graduate studies, and career.

    HABERMAS: Tony, you recently told me that you have come to believe in the existence of God. Would you comment on that?

    FLEW: Well, I don’t believe in the God of any revelatory system, although I am open to that. But it seems to me that the case for an Aristotelian God who has the characteristics of power and also intelligence, is now much stronger than it ever was before. And it was from Aristotle that Aquinas drew the materials for producing his five ways of, hopefully, proving the existence of his God. Aquinas took them, reasonably enough, to prove, if they proved anything, the existence of the God of the Christian revelation. But Aristotle himself never produced a definition of the word “God,” which is a curious fact. But this concept still led to the basic outline of the five ways. It seems to me, that from the existence of Aristotle’s God, you can’t infer anything about human behaviour. So what Aristotle had to say about justice (justice, of course, as conceived by the Founding Fathers of the American republic as opposed to the “social” justice of John Rawls) was very much a human idea, and he thought that this idea of justice was what ought to govern the behaviour of individual human beings in their relations with others.

    HABERMAS: Once you mentioned to me that your view might be called Deism. Do you think that would be a fair designation?

    FLEW: Yes, absolutely right. What Deists, such as the Mr. Jefferson who drafted the American Declaration of Independence, believed was that, 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.

    HABERMAS: Then, would you comment on your “openness” to the notion of theistic revelation?

    FLEW: Yes. I am open to it, but not enthusiastic about potential revelation from God. On the positive side, for example, I am very much impressed with physicist Gerald Schroeder’s comments on Genesis 1. That this biblical account might be scientifically accurate raises the possibility that it is revelation.
  2. Donation kirksey957
    Outkast
    06 Mar '05 21:57
    Originally posted by Darfius
    http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/

    Antony Flew and Gary Habermas met in February 1985 in Dallas, Texas. The occasion was a series of debates between atheists and theists, featuring many influential philosophers, scientists, and other scholars.

    A short time later, in May 1985, Flew and Habermas debated at Liberty University before a large audience. The t ...[text shortened]... biblical account might be scientifically accurate raises the possibility that it is revelation.
    These two sound positively boring. I remember the old days when Jerry Falwell would invite Larry Flynt to Liberty Bible School. Now that was a debate.
  3. 06 Mar '05 23:32
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    These two sound positively boring. I remember the old days when Jerry Falwell would invite Larry Flynt to Liberty Bible School. Now that was a debate.

    An athiest's believes in God. The angels may celebrate in Heaven, but no celebration from our pastor Kirk.



  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's about respect
    06 Mar '05 23:56 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Darfius
    http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/

    Antony Flew and Gary Habermas met in February 1985 in Dallas, Texas. The occasion was a series of debates between atheists and theists, featuring many influential philosophers, scientists, and other schol ...[text shortened]... fically accurate raises the possibility that it is revelation.
    [/b]
    The interview described in the first post took place in early 2004. Here is what Flew had to say in October of that year:

    In general, it is not clear exactly what form of deism or theism [Flew] subscribes to, and it is likely changing over time. He made it clear, however, that he continued to believe that the gods of Christianity and Islam did not exist. In response to a question of whether he would assert that "probably God exists", he said:

    "I do not think I will ever make that assertion, precisely because any assertion which I am prepared to make about God would not be about a God in that sense ... I think we need here a fundamental distinction between the God of Aristotle or Spinoza and the Gods of the Christian and the Islamic Revelations."


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Flew

    I'm not sure what this guy thinks.
  5. Donation kirksey957
    Outkast
    07 Mar '05 00:08
    Originally posted by pcaspian
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    [b]These two sound positively boring. I remember the old days when Jerry Falwell would invite Larry Flynt to Liberty Bible School. Now that was a debate.


    An athiest's believes in God. The angels may celebrate in Heaven, but no celebration from our pastor Kirk.



    [/b]
    Let me ask you this. I could only respond to what I read in Darfius' piece, but in that piece, did you experience anything resembling a life changing experience? Did you experience any passion or energy in it say maybe like the energy we got from Martin Luther King or even Billy Graham for that matter? All I heard was some highly logical discussion about an openness to the possiblities. If you're going to break out into the Halleluia Chorus over this, then would you cut me the same courtesy as I went to church this morning.
  6. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    07 Mar '05 00:18 / 1 edit
    Richard Carrier, a philosopher, historian of ancient history, as well as a friend of Anthony Flew, has been corresponding with Flew about his change to Spinoza-style theism.

    Consider this recent update from Carrier concerning Flew.

    "Antony Flew has retracted one of his recent assertions. In a letter to me dated 29 December 2004, Flew concedes:

    I now realize that I have made a fool of myself by believing that there were no presentable theories of the development of inanimate matter up to the first living creature capable of reproduction.

    Flew also makes another admission:
    I have been mistaught by Gerald Schroeder." He says "it was precisely because he appeared to be so well qualified as a physicist (which I am not) that I was never inclined to question what he said about physics."

    As Richard Carrier pointed out to him, Flew should have consulted a biochemist working in abiogenesis not a physicist.

    If anyone is interested in this story, please read Richard Carrier's submissions to the Secular Web at http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=369

    The essay gives a thorough presentation of Flew's thinking, as well as updates of Flew's most recent positions at the bottom.


  7. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    07 Mar '05 00:44 / 1 edit
    Lol, I love this one:

    "It would seem the only way to God is to jettison responsible scholarship."

    hahahaha

    As a funny man once said:

    "Atheism: The belief of one's own, smug sense of superiority."

    EDIT: That is from the author of the article, not Flew. He still knows who is responsible for this universe.
  8. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    07 Mar '05 00:47
    By the way, Genesis 1 still lines up perfectly with evolution, as can be seen at

    www.godandscience.org

    Though I suppose the Jews, like everything else they "coincidentally" got right thousands of years before everyone else, just made a "lucky guess." Cough

    And abiogenesis still makes me chuckle. It's just a shame they can't do it, though it seems so EASY. Heck, if Nature did it all by its non-sentient self, we should be able to do it with ease.
  9. Standard member Maustrauser
    Lord Chook
    07 Mar '05 01:44
    Originally posted by Darfius
    As a funny man once said:

    "Atheism: The belief of one's own, smug sense of superiority."
    As an atheist I certainly don't feel superior to anything or anyone. I see myself as a small, tiny, miniscule bit of matter in a massive universe. What superiority could I seek?

    On the contrary, theists, particularly prosleytizers seem to have a smug sense of superiority as they "know where they are going" Their humbleness in the vastness of the universe is usually completely lacking. Tell me, why do you desire immortality?
  10. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    07 Mar '05 01:51 / 1 edit
    By the way for those just glancing over my previous post, the bold-typed words are Anthony Flew's.

    This includes the portion that says,

    I have been mistaught by Gerald Schroeder."

    Here is another update from Richard Carrier posted March 3, 2005. (All emphasis mine.)

    "On the question of what Flew calls himself, I can't recall any occasion of his referring to himself as a theist, but such a term is uncommon and awkward and not the sort of thing even theists usually say of themselves. Flew has definitely asserted that he is a Deist and that he does not believe in the God of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Even Philosophia Christi has not concealed this fact.

    However, Flew just wrote to me that he has abandoned his argument from biogenesis (the only argument he ever told me he had) and will no longer make any public pronouncements on religion. Apparently there will be no article for Free Inquiry and we will never hear anything more on the matter from him.

    Logically he should be an atheist again, if his only reason for being a Deist he now disavows, but he won't say. I just got an advance look at his new Preface for God and Philosophy and he has now removed every reference to his change of belief. This Preface was supposed to be "the" official announcement of his conversion (and a previous advance copy he sent me definitely was that), but in the new and apparently final version (the book is soon to go to press) he now says nothing at all about what he believes and only surveys the new issues in the philosophy of god that his book does not adequately address (and therefore a new work is needed, i.e. he essentially calls on others to take the torch from now on)."
  11. 07 Mar '05 01:57

    The last thing we will ever hear from Flew is that he converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed.
  12. Standard member Nemesio
    Ursulakantor
    07 Mar '05 02:22
    Originally posted by ivanhoe

    The last thing we will ever hear from Flew is that he converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed.
    Long live the Pope! His praises sound
        Again and yet again:
    His rule is over space and time;
        His throne the hearts of men:
    All hail! the Shepherd King of Rome,
        The theme of loving song:
    Let all the earth his glory sing,
        And heav’n the strain prolong.

    Beleaguered by the foes of earth,
        Beset by hosts of hell,
    He guards the loyal flock of Christ,
        A watchful sentinel:
    And yet, amid the din and strife,
        The clash of mace and sword,
    He bears alone the shepherd staff,
        This champion of the Lord.

    His signet is the Fisherman’s;
        No sceptre does he bear;
    In meek and lowly majesty
        He rules from Peter’s Chair:
    And yet from every tribe and tongue,
        From every clime and zone,
    Three hundred million voices sing,
        The glory of his throne.

    Then raise the chant, with heart and voice,
        In church and school and home:
    “Long live the Shepherd of the Flock!
        Long live the Pope of Rome!”
    Almighty Father, bless his work,
        Protect him in his ways,
    Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
        And grant him “length of days.”
  13. 07 Mar '05 02:26
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Long live the Pope! His praises sound
        Again and yet again:
    His rule is over space and time;
        His throne the hearts of men:
    All hail! the Shepherd King of Rome,
        The theme of loving song:
    Let all the earth his glory sing,
        And heav’n the strain prolong.

    Beleaguered by the foes of earth,
        Beset by hosts of hell,
    He guards the loyal ...[text shortened]... t him in his ways,
    Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
        And grant him “length of days.”

    Well, thank you Nemesio ...... how nice of you.