Anthony Flew

Oh my. Anthony Flew is a well-known atheist philosopher who recently declared himself a believer in a deist God and a sort of intelligent design. Only as the Times article reveals, it looks much more as if he was manipulated by the people around him into writing the book.  I’ll just repeat what I wrote at Ross Douthat’s site:

as a graduate student in philosophy, it’s quite shocking to me that Flew would sign off as author of a book he did not write (this [norm] is probably common to academics of all stripes). Right now, I cannot think of a single major figure in the field who has done such a thing-it seems almost dishonest.* (*Followed this up by noting that I was not accusing Flew of dishonesty).

That by itself, with or without the more serious charges of manipulation, would suffice to make me doubt that this book was worth anyone’s attention.

One response to “Anthony Flew

  1. Brain in a Hat

    I don’t see how ‘some wrongdoing’ isn’t evident about this so-called conversion.

    Perhaps people don’t understand that philosophers don’t have ghost writers, certainly don’t need them on intellectual grounds, and, even more certainly (not that there is such a thing) are incapable of commenting on the content of their ghost-written books.

    Why are theists parading Flew’s conversion as if this strengthened their position? You’d think that his conversion would only be only half the show: Where are the new and better arguments now in favor of the theistic position?–you know, the ones that finally convinced Flew to switch camps. If it was simply a matter of now giving more weight to an old because of new evidence, then what evidence might that be? Why aren’t these questions already answered, and answered by the only person who should be answering them, namely Flew?

    I have nothing but the greatest respect for Flew, but that his mind has decayed, has been decaying for some time now (since when, I dunno), is obvious, and there is little reason to lend weight (not that there even is) to Flew’s conclusions sans his arguments. And this is all we really have: Flew says there is a God.

    Answer: so what!