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God & Philosophy Paperback – April 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (April 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591023300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591023302
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Willie Plaschke on May 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Antony Flew in 'God and Philosophy' was a disciple of Hume, and a radical empiricist. Even given this, and his famous `transformation,' this work still brings forth some generally useful points. However, these points tend to be overshadowed by Flew's underdeveloped and underexplained arguments. You'll sometimes find him telling, and not showing. He'll say, for example, that an incorporeal thing is not an expression for anything identifiable, yet he'll fail to field any serious arguments to the contrary, or bring forth his own (other than references to his other publications). He'll throw in phrases like "the appeal to faith" (coupled with "the appeal to authority") without properly setting them up--does he mean `the appeal to faith as opposed to reason?' or `the appeal to faith as opposed to unbelief?' A sentence-or-two clarification would help with what is already a difficult text.

This difficulty is not relieved by cumbersome phrasing. For instance: "It is perhaps these particular requirements rather than some general demand for the scientifically inexplicable which account for whatever lack of enthusiasm may be detectable in that quarter about the wider development of evolutionary theory." Along with these tough sentences are ones that are wasteful. He states, "Campaigns for proselytization, must become, as we have already suggested, perfectly preposterous if there not only is but if it is also admitted that there is no good reason to believe the doctrines to be preached" (160). If this was an opening statement--perhaps, part of a litany of this sort, set out in an opening chapter--that would be fine. However, he seems to believe that these kinds of truisms are arguments.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Titus Rivas on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lately, there has been quite a lot of commotion about the supposed 'conversion' of a well-known atheist, the analytical philosopher Antony Flew, to a moderate position about the existence of a divinity. Supposedly, his position would now be deism, the theory that reality was indeed created by a God, but that the creator would have withdrawn from this world right after his creative act, never to interfere again.

The publisher of Flew's treatise in favour of atheism, God & Philosophy, made a clever move by issuing a new version of the book with an updated introduction by the author himself. Anyone who was following the debate in the media, would have expected that the main text would also have been adapted to Flew's newest ideas, but in this respect the reader should be ready for a disappointment.

To be honest, my main conclusion about the supposed revolution in the philosopher's thought is that Flew does not succeed in presenting a clear formulation of his latest convictions.

He really seems to take the so called argument from order to design seriously, namely that there would be so much 'integrated complexity' in nature that we simply have to assume some kind of intelligence behind it. However, he still has great difficulty in accepting the notion of an non-physical, purely spiritual creator. His assumption that an entity could never be wholely spiritual is also the reason why Flew rejects the reality of an afterlife. He is even well known for this assumption within the philosophy of parapsychology.

What's outright bizarre about Flew's supposed new position is that in this very book he gives important reasons (especially in Chapter 3) why the Intelligent Design-argumentation so hotly debated today would be philosophically untenable.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Justin M. West on November 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Flew is a wise man. I say this as a Catholic Theist (and he is no friend of Catholics, though he does respect them in their search for the truth). In this books Professor Flew presents his arguements against the existence (and even coherence) of the Monotheistic (read: "God of Abraham") deity.

Flew's biggest fault is that he is a radical empiricist (at least when he was writing the book), which is a poor place to start as it eventually turns on itself. However he does raise still a number of salient points which the average theist should know how to answer.

The average theist and/or upper level philosophy undergrads, may have a tough time reading and taking Professor Flew's meaning. The biggest qualm I have with the book is that it is a difficult read. Flew tends to digress, and then digress in his digresson, and 15 pages will have gone by before you get to what the chapter was supposed to deal with. His sentence structure is also a bit difficult at times to understand. That's not to say it's un-readable at all. Just that the average reader will need to understand that this book will need to be read and re-read most likely to fully take his meaning.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Xin Qi on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
To Dear GangstaLawya

Have you actually read the book or at least Flew's new introduction regarding his changed view on theism? He stated that there are number of new factors to consider before nailing down one's position on God's existence. Pray do not amplify what has been said and said soundly. Moreoever, whether Flew himself actually rejected his own argument or not, this book, even to Christians(incluidng I the writer of this review), furnishes a compelling and comprehensive reexamination of one's belief system. Descartes' meditation is still considered a work of great mind long after his arguments are proven defective or misleading. The fact that an author changed his view does not make his work less valuable.
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