*Free Ebook ⇴ There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind ↡ Ebook or Kindle ePUB free

On the face of it, this is a provocative and interesting book Flew is a British philosopher, noted for numerous books proclaiming an atheist worldview, who in 2004 startled the intellectual world by announcing that he has changed his mind and is now a religious believer.Some of Flew s points are well taken, for example his analysis of the ongoing debate over the multiverse and big bang cosmology For those of you who are not familiar with this, many scientists are currently perplexed by numerous features of our universe and its laws that are extremely finely tuned to permit the existence of life And we re not just talking DNA carbon earth based life, but life even in a very general sense based on a reasonably long lived universe and stable atoms In an attempt to explain these features, some scientists have hypothesized a multiverse consisting of a huge number 10 500 or even infinite number of actually co existing universes They assert that the reason ours is so finely tuned for intelligent life is that if it weren t, we wouldn t be here to talk about it i.e., the anthropic principle Flew notes, as even some scientists have acknowledged, that the notion of a universal Creator is at least as plausible as this.Flew also did a very nice job in summarizing writings of a number of leading scientists, some of whom are outwardly atheistic , but who are closer reading acknowledge a sublime beauty in the elegant laws governing the universe, at least, and perhaps a creator as well Among those he quotes are Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger, Max Planck, Paul Dirac, and recently Stephen Hawking, Paul Davies and John Barrows Even Charles Darwin, who by his own statement lost faith in any sort of personal deity, commented on numerous occasions about the wonder of the natural world and felt compelled to look to an intelligent mind.Unfortunately, Flew s book is marred by his flawed analysis of biological evolution He starts out by dismissing writings of biologists on this subject, saying that they rarely attend to the philosophical dimension of their findings He mentions the question of how a universe of mindless matter can produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and coded chemistry He then asserts Here we are not dealing with biology, but an entirely different category of problem Are we Along the way, he mentions the monkeys at a typewriter argument the claim that monkeys at a typewriter could construct the works of Shakespeare He noted correctly that Schroeder and others have refuted this argument, because constructing even a few lines of text would take enormously than the age of the universe But Flew then appears to incorrectly conclude that this utterly and totally refutes the notion that an evolutionary process can construct information rich structures such DNA.Unfortunately, reams of scientific evidence argues the other way evolution CAN and DOES increase information content There are numerous examples of beneficial mutations, for example, the strain of bacteria that, due to a frame shift mutation, was able to metabolize nylon, and tragically the development of multi antibiotic resistant strains of tuberculosis and STDs Numerous recent experiments are starting to shed light on the problem of abiogensis how the first reproducing molecules formed More importantly, the record of mutations in the DNA of every human and every other species for that matter is replete with literally millions of relics of our evolutionary past Finally, I should mention the field of genetic or evolutionary computing, which employs evolution like schemes to devise new engineering designs that in many cases are superior to anything designed by humans.In spite of this, though, overall Flew s material is not bad But the coup de grace is Appendix A, written by Roy Abraham Varghese, who is listed as a co author and who Flew acknowledges was a major factor in his conversion Varghese s article is awful He starts by giving the example of a marble table Since it is impossible that it could become conscious, and since it is made of atoms, how could we ever expect any other collection of atoms to acquire properties such as consciousness He continues this general line of reasoning for 20 pages.I m sorry, but this argument won t work It is identical in many respects to John Searle s Chinese room argument if a roomful of clerks performing mechanical operations were able to translate Chinese, one could not say that this computer program was conscious Searle s flawed reasoning has been refuted over and over again what one can say about individual atoms and low level structures is NOT what one can say about a high level system involving billions or trillions or of such structures acting out high level imperatives imposed by evolution.Besides, all of these arguments will soon be laid to rest Little known to the public, the field of artificial intelligence is currently making great strides The main turning point here was about 10 years ago with the adoption of Bayseian probabilistic analysis schemes, instead of the deterministic rules previously preferred This has greatly improved the effectiveness of intelligent software ranging from translation to medical diagnosis and industrial process monitoring Anyone who questions this can just try to translate a paragraph of foreign language text using Google s online translation facility Most likely you will find that while it is by no means perfect, it is often good enough that someone reading the resulting English can polish it up Recently Google won an international competition sponsored by a government agency for translation This was in spite of the fact that there was no one on Google s staff who was knowledgeable in either of the target languages it was achieved entirely by analyzing using Bayseian methods a huge corpus of UN documents in English and the relevant foreign languages.In short, it s too bad that such an interesting book as Flew s is so deeply flawed This makes it an easy target for the very atheists that Flew is trying to convince Sadly, I m inclined to agree here with Richard Dawkins with whom I strongly disagree for his acerbic in your face rhetoric in the science vs religion debate critical portions of Flew s book are nothing than the old god of the gaps logic the thought that God is to be found in the gaps of current scientific knowledge I was hoping that a world renowned philosopher would do better. I was raised a Christian, and was a very ardent church member and proponent of my faith up until the age of 21 In the 9 years since my apostasy , I have continued to read books on both sides of the God debate I have endeavored to follow the evidence where it leads, as the author of this book, Antony Flew, has asserted for himself It was then of interest to me that a well known atheist such as Flew should claim to now believe in God This announcement was a hot topic a few years back prior to Flew s death in 2010 , and this book in particular was the subject of much controversy More on that later.First, an aside This book came to me in an unusual fashion, from a man I ve never met Donny is a Christian who gives talks at churches around the world about his former 9 year career as a porn producer He used to frequent a mutual friend s Facebook page to debate with her on why she left the Christian faith His style was notable for its abusive qualities honing in on insecurities, exposing information that was once confidential, and arguing by guilt and intimidation, without much in the way of actual support for his points I would chime in as a third party and analyze his posts in order to deconstruct logical fallacies and challenge him to produce real support for his beliefs As we were debating one day, he told us that if we read this book by former atheist Antony Flew, it would answer a lot of our questions I asked him to summarize or present a few cogent points, but instead he much to my surprise generously offered to buy three copies of the book for the participants in the conversation He gifted it to me digitally, and a year and four months later I have finally gotten around to reading it.I must confess that Antony Flew was not well known to me before the controversy about his deism He is lauded in the introduction and attending reviews as being the most influential and well known atheist perhaps something of an overstatement , but I d never read any of his books and couldn t tell if this book was a departure from his usual style of writing I ve read many Apologetics works defending the faith , and some of philosophy, and I found this book wavering strangely between the two, with a strong emphasis on the former that seemed odd coming from an 85 year old British philosopher He spends a fair amount of the book recounting his personal history and philosophical journey, from the days he participated in C.S Lewis s Socratic Club, to writing Theology and Falsification, God and Philosophy, and The Presumption of Atheism After his summary, I finally recognized a couple of his intellectual contributions to atheism that statements of metaphysics and religion are literally meaningless because they are empirically unverifiable , and that the burden of proof is on the believer, rather than the on the disbeliever the null hypothesis being the lack of belief in a positive claim.The primary target of this book is biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins, whose name is mentioned no less than 44 times In the preface, co author Roy Abraham Varghese already begins to argue a theological position odd, as Flew only ever claims to be a deist He says Dawkins s atheism relies upon faith, citing an Edge feature which asked contributors what they believed but could not prove I remember reading Dawkins s response, which was that he believed all other life in the universe would also have developed via evolution by natural selection No one who had read and understood this would see this as an appeal to faith, which caused me to worry early on about the level of discourse in this book, as well as its consistency At the same time he projects faith on Dawkins, Varghese is implying that there s something wrong with relying on faith as theists must Elsewhere Varghese and Flew criticize Dawkins on style rather than substance, or write off legitimate critiques flippantly For example, one huge argument against invoking God as an explanation for the existence of the universe is that you re explaining something complex the universe with something evencomplex a God complex enough to design and create the universe You re still stuck with the question of where God came from This is how Flew waves the problem away Richard Dawkins has rejected this argument on the grounds that God is too complex a solution for explaining the universe and its laws This strikes me as a bizarre thing to say about the concept of an omnipotent spiritual Being What is complex about the idea of an omnipotent and omniscient Spirit, and idea so simple that it is understood by all the adherents of the three great monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam Commenting on Dawkins, Alvin Plantinga recently pointed out that, by Dawkins s own definition, God is simple not complex because God is a spirit, not a material object, and hence does not have parts p.69 Seriously That s all the treatment afforded that important question in the entire book I trust I do not need to point out how the question has been avoided and replaced with a straw man The quote also demonstrates a proclivity to borrow others arguments the book is largely a compilation of quotes and borrowed stances , and a repeated assumption that spirits are established things that can be used a priori as explanations.Flew also expresses his ignorance of biology in his dismissal of evolution By assuming Dawkins was saying that evolution inspires only selfish interest and arguing from that standpoint, Flew demonstrates that he has never read The Selfish Gene and has no idea how selection works He also bizarrely ties this in with human exceptionalism I can only wonder where he thinks humans came from It was at this point I really started to suspect that someone else was writing for him, as these were all the tired arguments of theists, not philosophers turned deists He also used the monkeys at keyboards argument to contest evolution, signaling again that he hasn t read much on the topic and doesn t understand the concept of gradual, successive changes There s too much material to fully quote and respond to, so I ll simply point you to pages 53 56 on that matter.The discussion of free will is equally superficial, and Flew seems unaware pun intended of the sheer amount of work our brains do outside of our conscious control, as well as a large and growing body of evidence that all our actions and thoughts arise unconsciously, and only report after the fact to our conscious mind He dismisses determinism without realizing that determinism can operate on such minute levels, assuming free will and side stepping the actual debate on that issue.Flew s arguments for God are structured around three primary questions 1 How did the laws governing the Universe come about 2 How did life arise from non life 3 Where did the Universe come from He also spends a fair amount of space contemplating the problem of consciousness All of these questions are addressed with a God of the Gaps philosophy If science hasn t explained it yet, then God is the only viable remaining solution Voila Each of these issues is expounded upon using the buzzwords and key issues of the Discovery Institute and similar outfits the fine tuning of laws, the implausibility of multiple universe theory, the origins of genetic information rather than mere chemical synthesis, the lack of a model for how neurons produce consciousness, and so on These are the latest issues that theists have embraced after having abandoned others that science has explained It s classic God of the Gaps and nothing else Bonus points for referring to the multiverse theory as a Blunderbuss theory , one that explains everything and yet nothing , and cannot be refuted Right and how is that different from invoking God My notes include other issues I had with the book, but I ve covered the main problems Suffice it to say, this book was not written in the voice of someone who had been an atheist for 50 years, nor someone well versed in science, let alone philosophy And sure enough, Flew later confirmed that Varghese did the actual writing This explains why a deist would be commenting on how God is loving, or why he allows suffering two things a deist should have no need to address It also explains the focus on Christianity that is pervasive throughout the book, even though Flew states here and elsewhere that he does not believe in Christianity he just considers it the religion with the best chance of being true A sizable chunk of the book is devoted to two appendices, apologetic works by Roy Abraham Varghese and N.T Wright, deepening the odd co opting of a converted deist s position with Christian apologist talking points.It s a confused effort superficial and poorly considered. In There s a God , Flew takes us in an intellectual journey searching for God Starting with Plato s logic We must follow the argument wherever it leads , he managed to compare new Science discoveries late scientists opinions like Einstein, Hawking..etc to old philosophers mainly Russell Spinoza , and also to attack famous atheists like Dawkins He managed to review his own beliefs and came to a new radical conclusion on his question of God, superior mind, Illimitable superior spirit, superior reasoning force, What I liked most about this book that it used mere science logic to prove God s existence, not revelation, not holy scriptures Nothing I grew fond of Einstein Hawking writings about this rational Mind What I didn t like was the book appendixes with its two parts , the first one was attacking what being called the New Atheism That part was not that really convincing, and also the second appendix about Jesus and Christianity You can pass through the first part of the book quickly as it was mainly bragging about his old atheism era But that was necessary after decades of being atheist, writing several books about it and hosting debates so It really needed lots of courage to review one s own opinion specially in such great topics.That was a wonderful read Note I knew about this book from one of Moezz Massoud episodes, I read it maybe 2 years after the program was aired During my reading I was only wondering Quran verses always push us to understand the Universe laws, to read, to learn, to think about God s creatures to understand God s greatness to believe in Him But we are not doing any of that, we are the worst nation in all scientific discoveries, the highest rate of illitrates so Are we really the Best Nation came to world I really doubt Anthony Flew was one of the philosophical fountainheads of much of the atheist thinking of the 20th century When he announced he had decided the best evidence and argument no longer supported that position, that he in fact had become a deist, atheist believers were shocked They assumed that this was a late age deathbed conversion Flew begins his book by disposing of that notion What led him to accept that the existence of God an omniscient, omnipotent, creator being was the same thing that had led him to initially deny His existence The Socratic Principle, which states, We must follow the argument wherever it leads As an atheist, Flew wrote several influential papers These not only influenced atheists, but theist philosophy as well in that over time rebuttals were formulated Modern theist philosophers, such as Alvin Plantinga, and Roy Varghese co author of this book , and David Conway, stand on solid philosophical ground for having developed responses to Flew s arguments.Why did Flew change his mind The short answer is this this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science His departure from atheism developed over the last two decades as a consequence of his continuing assessment from the evidence of nature He says that t hose scientists who point to the Mind of God do not merely advance a series of arguments or a process of syllogistic reasoning, rather, they propound a vision of reality that emerges from the conceptual heart of modern science and imposes itself n the rational mind It is a vision that I personally find compelling and irrefutable He says the three items of evidence we have considered in this volume the laws of nature the anthropic principle , life with its teleological organization, and the existence of the universe can only be explained in the light of an Intelligence that explains both its own existence and that of our world I have followed the argument where it has led me And it has led me to accept the existence of a self existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent, and omniscient Being. The book is in three sections Each section is like a time lapse view at a portion of this incredible man s life I found it amazing that this great British philosopher managed in his book to both profoundly analyze, and easily portray his thoughts and beliefs in each section of the book.He has an amazing ability to analyze inputs and thoughts and how they originate, develop and culminate into a final belief Temporary as they may have been all his beliefs, as the book states, resulted out of following the principle of following evidence wherever it may lead.The book helped me find a mental approach to God, as well as find a methodology through which I can analyze, and refute, where applicable, the various neo atheistic forms of propaganda that has spread recently in various media forms something which I struggled with for a long time before I read this book.A must read for everyone, believer or not At the very least you will get a glimpse of what being a true philosopher and analytic thinker means And if you re as lucky as I was, it will further help you find something that is truly priceless. 1923 2010 2004 2007 23 80. For than 50 years atheists turned to the writings of Antony Flew, a British philosopher Flew first came to fame with the essay, Theology and Falsification, which he presented at the C.S Lewis chaired Socratic Society at Oxford He spent the next 50 years as an atheist, but he always added the caveat I ll follow where the evidence leads In 2004, at a conference on atheism in New York City, Flew dropped a bombshell He had finally rejected atheism, and was now a believer in God He s not quite what many would call a traditional believer he doesn t believe in an after life so those accusing him of hedging his best in his old age are left without a counter argument there and thinks God pretty much made man, and then left him to his own devices After studying many scientific papers, particularly the ones on the human genome project and the mapping of DNA, Flew came to the conclusion that the function of DNA, and RNA, is so specific and so subtle that there is no way random development and evolution could explain it all away That, coupled with a re evaluation of the writings of Hume a long time hero of his led Flew to embrace beliefe in God.This is definitely an interesting book Flew chronicles his development as a young atheist, and then finally what led him to believe in God Don t skip the appendices, here Particularly the one dealing with the ressurection of Christ Very insightful. *Free Ebook ☘ There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind ☠ In One Of The Biggest Religion News Stories Of The New Millennium, The Associated Press Announced That Professor Antony Flew, The World S Leading Atheist, Now Believes In GodFlew Is A Pioneer For Modern Atheism His Famous Paper, Theology And Falsification, Was First Presented At A Meeting Of The Oxford Socratic Club Chaired By C S Lewis And Went On To Become The Most Widely Reprinted Philosophical Publication Of The Last Five Decades Flew Earned His Fame By Arguing That One Should Presuppose Atheism Until Evidence Of A God Surfaces He Now Believes That Such Evidence Exists, And There Is A God Chronicles His Journey From Staunch Atheism To BelieverFor The First Time, This Book Will Present A Detailed And Fascinating Account Of Flew S Riveting Decision To Revoke His Previous Beliefs And Argue For The Existence Of God Ever Since Flew S Announcement, There Has Been Great Debate Among Atheists And Believers Alike About What Exactly This Conversion Means There Is A God Will Finally Put This Debate To RestThis Is A Story Of A Brilliant Mind And Reasoned Thinker, And Where His Lifelong Intellectual Pursuit Eventually Led Him Belief In God As Designer Once in a while I read yet another book by a sophisticated thinker on the issue of whether a God exists Often it turns out that there s also a chapter on the alleged resurrection of Jesus this always feels like a betrayal, as well as an admission that the main driver of the argument has actually been magical thinking all along I m aware that many brilliant and honest people over the past 18 centuries have claimed to believe that this fellow Jesus was dead for three days and then became alive again, but it seems to me quite impossible and unworthy of special pleading.I am far ready to entertain the hypothesis that there is a divine mind without a brain though I can t imagine how this could be true , than that a particular guy rose from the dead and was, for that matter, a human incarnation of the infinite God of the ancient Hebrews, and was somehow his own Father and his own Son, and so on It is so absurd, so pitifully, heartbreakingly far fetched that I won t waste ink on it Such a belief may be laudable as a cultural formation, but it s not my culture Unfortunately, Flew s book does include such a chapter, written by a guest author he admires It seemed very silly to me.I m genuinely and un ironically interested in the question of what speaks for theism and what speaks against it I would like very, very, much to become convinced that God exists, which is my reason for putting in the time reading such books as this one by Antony Flew When such a book turns up the old saw that God provides a transcendent foundation for moral values, I give the book away as non worthwhile for example, God The Evidence, by Patrick Glynn Happily, this book doesn t do that It claims that God is a good explanation for the origin of life, the phenomenon of consciousness, and the fact that there is a world at all While I agree that Richard Dawkins seems to be an a hole of some kind, I am not ready to believe that no amount of biochemistry can account for emergent self replicating macromolecules As to why there is a world at all, I don t prefer to ask why there is a God at all, which is the obligatory next move if I say there s a world because a God made one Consciousness as an emergent property of a computational neural network, I just don t understand but I certainly don t understand consciousness as an incorporeal spirit any better.Somehow Antony Flew thought others would be persuaded by this book, and I respect him so I wonder if I simply read it too fast I don t think so.