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God & Philosophy Paperback – April 8, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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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: 6 x 0.5 x 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: #1,702,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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Antony Garrard Newton Flew (1923-2010) was a British philosopher, and formerly a noteworthy advocate of atheism, until his 2004 change of mind (see There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind). He wrote such influential books as The Presumption of Atheism and Other (Philosophical) Essays on God, Freedom and Immortality; he also participated in debates/dialogues such as The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God, Does God Exist?: The Great Debate, Does God Exist?: The Craig-Flew Debate, Did the Resurrection Happen?: A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew, Resurrected?: An Atheist and Theist Dialogue, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?: The Resurrection Debate, etc.

This book was first published in 1966; in 2005, Prometheus Books reprinted the ORIGINAL edition, along with a new Introduction by Flew.
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