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There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
 
 

There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind [Kindle Edition]

Antony Flew , Roy Abraham Varghese
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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"Flew's exposition will be a source for reflective inquiry for many, many years..."--Daniel N. Robinson, Philosophy Department, Oxford University

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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 God.

Flew 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 believer.

For 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 rest.

This is a story of a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker, and where his lifelong intellectual pursuit eventually led him: belief in God as designer.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Flew over to the other side... almost. 27 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
While the designation of Flew as `the world's most notorious atheist' might be talking him up somewhat, the book charts the eminent philosopher's journey from arguing for atheism to a deistic position. It discusses his previous arguments for atheism and the rebuttals his oponents made, and moves on to the contemporary arguments that persuaded him to change his mind, and the ones the didn't.

It's important to note that there has been some controversy with this book. While Flew had already made his change of mind public several years earlier, some felt that Varghese had taken advantage of an old man in mental decline (most notably Mark Oppenheimer's piece in the New York Times). The criticisms have been roundly debunked by a number of people who knew Flew, and indeed, Flew himself offered this clarification:

"I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: "My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I'm 84 and that was Roy Varghese's role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I'm old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.""

While I don't feel the need to defend the legitimacy of the book against the ad hominem attacks, I was keenly aware of these accusations while reading the book. I noticed a distinct difference between the main text of the book and the appendix attributed specifically to Varghese, and for these reasons, I will continue with the view that the positions put forward are the thoughts of Flew unless specifically stated otherwise.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There is a God, but which God 28 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There has been much said about the authorship of this book. Some have attempted to undermine the book by claiming that it was all or mostly written by Varghese, with Flew in a confused state of mind. Flew himself denied this. It also becomes clear in the style of writing as an essay from Varghese is included in the Appendix. It is the inclusion of this poorly thought out and scientifically illiterate essay at the end that has resulted in this book getting 4 stars instead of 5. The crass nature of this appendix contrasts with the rest of the book greatly.

The main body of the text is a marvelously honest account of the thinking of a great mind. Detailed philosophy has been as accessible as I ever seen it. The arguments are fine and concise. Each chapter could be expanded into a book in itself, and could certainly be the basis for a debate.

However, be under no illusion: this is not a Christian book. While passing references are made to Christianity, and indeed the second appendix is a typical tour-de-force that we have come to expect from Tom Wright, Flew (at the time of his death) was a Deist, not a Christian. This book is very much focussed on ontology.

Given his earlier position in life as an atheist it is good to see the inclusion of many atheistic arguments contained in this book. These are not straw men, as you may find in many other anti-atheistic writings and present the unbeliever with ammo and the believer with food for thought. Likewise, the second half of the book reverses the roles.
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257 of 293 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Following the evidence 28 Nov 2007
Format:Hardcover
After fifty years as a leading non-theistic philosopher, whose challenges to theistic thinkers did much to shape the debate about God, Flew declared himself convinced of the existence of a God (although not of any particular religious tradition) in 2004, thereby sending shock-waves through the atheist community.

Unfortunately, several prominent atheists responded to Flew's apostasy with ad hominem assertions about his losing his marbles in his dotage (yes he is getting slower and forgetful, especially of names; but his solo interviews and writings seem lucid, and his arguments should be taken on their own merit), or about his hedging his bets with respect to the afterlife (despite the fact that Flew doesn't believe in an afterlife!).

Part autobiography, part theistic apologetic, Flew's 'last will and testament' There Is a God (written with Roy Abraham Varghese) is a fascinating read that deserves wide circulation and careful consideration.

Flew summarised the reasons for his change of mind in an exclusive 2007 interview with Benjamin Wiker:

'With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a `lucky chance.' If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over... I would add that Dawkins is selective to the point of dishonesty when he cites the views of scientists on the philosophical implications of the scientific data.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware
I bought this book on Kindle. Unfortunately Amazon do not tell you that you will not get the appendices which are referred to throughout the text and which are over 30% of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Donal M
5.0 out of 5 stars It was fantastic book. It educates me
It was fantastic book. It educates me.
And also has scientific therapy.
Now i understan what atheist is ?
Published 2 months ago by Mohammed
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Imhappycustomer
Published 3 months ago by Virginia Lynes-lumsden
5.0 out of 5 stars world leading atheist's story of what changed his mind .
This book tells the story of Anthony Flew's journey from atheism to belief in God. What could change so great a philosophical mind? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Expect a Proof
This so called convert to deism presents some of the arguments for and against the existence of God but each section finishes with some sort of 'leap of faith' statement such as... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Book
The mean spirited ranting of antitheist Richard Dawkins has practically converted me to theism after years of considering myself an atheist, I don't like extremists of any kind... Read more
Published 4 months ago by M P Crouch
5.0 out of 5 stars Flew Flying High
I don't feel qualified to offer a detailed analysis, especially when others here have already done it better than I could. Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Science has not disproved God...!
Excellent alternative understanding to the prevailing view(s) that the Universe came out of nothing, or that billions of Multiverses are an adequate explanation for why just the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by R E S Tripney
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Subject
This book sparks much debate in whether there is a god or not. Strange read from a man who was adamant that god did not exist.
Published 15 months ago by Chrismack
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
The story of Anthony Flew, his life and how he got to believe in God is very good. The appendices are also very insightful. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bookman
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