Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Flew to God

Antony Flew has died. This happened a week ago and I didn't hear about it until today. He was one of the most prestigious atheist philosophers of the 20th century, but he came to believe in God several years ago. Ironically, it was largely due to the theistic argument most ridiculed by atheist philosophers: the teleological (or design) argument as applied to biology. He thought the complexity of life discovered by contemporary science showed that God must exist. He never accepted any religion; his belief was in an Aristotelian God, a Prime Mover, who didn't interact with his creation. You can read an interview he gave soon after his conversion, which was published in Philosophia Christi (a philosophy journal), here.


Matko said...

Have you read anything by him, Jim? I didn't, but I have a feeling that, when he was an atheist, he wasn't in the league of Plantinga or Alston. And I find Rowe's contributions a tad more relevant for contemporary philosophy of religion.

Jim S. said...

I read some of his essays and debates he took part in, but I never read any of his books. I think his heyday was in the 50s and 60s, and he's been less relevant since then.

Matko said...

You're correct. He was active during the dawn of analytic philosophy of religion. His article "Theology and falsification" is a relic the same way as the philosophy that stood behind it. It was written in the transitional period between logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy.