29th Kasım 2008

Former Atheist Against Richard Dawkins, Writer Of God Delusion

Antony Flew was a lecturer at the Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen, before posts as Professor of Philosophy at the Universities of Keele and of Reading. He has now retired. He is renowned for his 1950 essay “Theology and Falsification” and his atheistic work, before announcing in 2004 his belief in a Creator God.

On 1st November 2007, Professor Antony Flew’s new book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed his Mind was published by HarperOne. Professor Flew has been called ‘the world’s most influential philosophical atheist’, as well as ‘one of the most renowned atheists of the 20th Century’ (see Peter S. Williams’ bethinking.org article “A change of mind for Antony Flew”). In his book, Professor Flew recounts how he has come to believe in a Creator God as a result of the scientific evidence and philosophical argument.

Not surprisingly, his book caused quite a stir – as can be seen from the miscellaneous customer reviews on Amazon.co.uk. Some of those comments (and those elsewhere) implied that Flew was used by his co-author, Roy Varghese, and did not in fact know what was in the book. This is a serious charge to which Professor Flew responded and which he reiterated in a recent letter (dated 4th June 2008) to a friend of UCCF (Christian Unions) who has shown it to us. Professor Flew writes:

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.”

Professor Flew has recently written his forthright views on Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. His article, reproduced below, shows Professor Flew’s key reasons for his belief in a Divine Intelligence. He also makes it clear in There is a God (page 213) that it is possible for an omnipotent being to choose to reveal himself to human beings, or to act in the world in other ways. Professor Flew’s article is offered here as testimony to the developing thinking of someone who is prepared to consider the evidence and follow its implications wherever it leads.


In June 2008, Professor Flew wrote his forthright views on Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion:

The God Delusion by the atheist writer Richard Dawkins, is remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies. But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents – or rather lack of contents – of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot(BAĞNAZ/DAR KAFALI). (Helpfully, my copy of The Oxford Dictionary defines a bigot as ‘an obstinate or intolerant adherent of a point of view’).

The fault of Dawkins as an academic (which he still was during the period in which he composed this book although he has since announced his intention to retire) was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form. Thus we find in his index five references to Einstein. They are to the mask(MASKE/GÖLGE) of Einstein and Einstein on morality; on a personal God; on the purpose of life (the human situation and on how man is here for the sake of other men and above all for those on whose well-being our own happiness depends); and finally on Einstein’s religious views. But (I find it hard to write with restraint about this obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins) he makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it. (I myself think it obvious that if this argument is applicable to the world of physics then it must be hugely more powerful if it is applied to the immeasurably more complicated world of biology.)

Of course many physicists with the highest of reputations do not agree with Einstein in this matter. But an academic attacking some ideological position which s/he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.

On page 82 of The God Delusion is a remarkable note. It reads ‘We might be seeing something similar today in the over-publicised tergiversation of the philosopher Antony Flew, who announced in his old age that he had been converted to belief in some sort of deity (triggering a frenzy of eager repetition all around the Internet).’

What is important about this passage is not what Dawkins is saying about Flew but what he is showing here about Dawkins. For if he had had any interest in the truth of the matter of which he was making so much he would surely have brought himself to write me a letter of enquiry. (When I received a torrent of enquiries after an account of my conversion to Deism had been published in the quarterly of the Royal Institute of Philosophy I managed – I believe – eventually to reply to every letter.)

This whole business makes all too clear that Dawkins is not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means. That would itself constitute sufficient reason for suspecting that the whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt – an extremely successful one – to spread the author’s own convictions in this area.

A less important point which needs to be made in this piece is that although the index of The God Delusion notes six references to Deism it provides no definition of the word ‘deism’. This enables Dawkins in his references to Deism to suggest that Deists are a miscellany of believers in this and that. The truth, which Dawkins ought to have learned before this book went to the printers, is that Deists believe in the existence of a God but not the God of any revelation. In fact the first notable public appearance of the notion of Deism was in the American Revolution. The young man who drafted the Declaration of Independence and who later became President Jefferson was a Deist, as were several of the other founding fathers of that abidingly important institution, the United States.

In that monster footnote to what I am inclined to describe as a monster book – The God Delusion – Dawkins reproaches me for what he calls my ignominious decision to accept, in 2006, the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth. The awarding Institution is Biola, The Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Dawkins does not say outright that his objection to my decision is that Biola is a specifically Christian institution. He obviously assumes (but refrains from actually saying) that this is incompatible with producing first class academic work in every department – not a thesis which would be acceptable in either my own university or Oxford or in Harvard.

In my time at Oxford, in the years immediately succeeding the second world war, Gilbert Ryle (then Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in the University of Oxford) published a hugely influential book The Concept of Mind. This book revealed by implication, but only by implication, that minds are not entities of a sort which could coherently be said to survive the death of those whose minds they were.

Ryle felt responsible for the smooth pursuit of philosophical teaching and the publication of the findings of philosophical research in the university and knew that, at that time, there would have been uproar if he had published his own conclusion that the very idea of a second life after death was self-contradictory and incoherent. He was content for me to do this at a later time and in another place. I told him that if I were ever invited to give one of the Gifford Lecture series my subject would be The Logic of Mortality. When I was, I did and these Lectures were first published by Blackwell (Oxford) in 1987. They are still in print from Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY).

Finally, as to the suggestion that I have been used by Biola University. If the way I was welcomed by the students and the members of faculty whom I met on my short stay in Biola amounted to being used then I can only express my regret that at the age of 85 I cannot reasonably hope for another visit to this institution.




Richard Dawkins branded ‘secularist bigot’ by veteran philosopher (RICHARD DAWKINS, DAHA ÖNCE ATEİST OLAN BİR FİLOZOF TARAFINDAN SEKÜLER BAĞNAZ OLMAKLA DAMGALANDI-Telegraph Gazetesi)

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
02 Aug 2008

The prominent scientist Richard Dawkins has been denounced as a “secularist bigot” by a philosopher who was himself once renowned for being an atheist.

He is accused by Prof Antony Flew of being more interested in promoting his personal views than finding the truth, in the latest controversy over his best-selling book The God Delusion.

Prof Dawkins, professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, is also said to have “scandalously” selected particular quotes from Einstein to back up his claims that God does not exist and that people who believe in a divine creator despite an abundance of contradictory evidence are delusional.

However, the author has been left unshaken by this latest attack on his work, telling The Daily Telegraph that Prof Flew, now 85, has lost the ability to read a book, let alone write one.

Prof Flew, a former Reading University philosophy professor, was known as “the world’s most notorious atheist” before he became convinced of the existence of a “divine intelligence” in 2004.

In an article for the Christian website Bethinking.org, he writes: “The fault of Dawkins as an academic was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form.”

He says there are five references to Einstein in the index to The God Delusion, but no mention of his belief that the complexity of physics led him to conclude that there must be a divine intelligence behind it.

“An academic attacking some ideological position which he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.”

He went on: “The whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt – an extremely successful one – to spread the author’s own convictions in this area.”

Prof Dawkins replied: “Antony Flew, having lost the ability to write a book, was persuaded by a Christian ghost writer, Roy Varghese, to let him write it instead. It is one thing for a footballer or a supermodel to use a ghost writer, but there is something absurd about a philosopher using a ghost writer.

“Flew has now apparently lost the ability to read a book, too, for his ‘review’ of The God Delusion turns out to be a review of its index and nothing but its index. He only needed to read Chapter 1, in order to see the absurdity of his claims about my treatment of Einstein.”

He added that an Einstein letter he tried to buy at auction this year proved that the physicist considered religions “childish superstitions”.





Dawkins’ God

Alister McGrath PhD

Alister E. McGrath is uniquely qualified to write this devastating and stunning rebuttal of the Oxford based atheist Professor Richard Dawkins. McGrath, also a Professor at Oxford, is not only one of the world’s leading theologians but also has a PhD in molecular biophysics. Dawkins’ recent Channel 4 documentary ‘Can You Believe It?’ confirmed how little he understands about the meaning of faith and the contents of the Bible. This fascinating and thought provoking work by McGrath is the first book-length response to the ideas Dawkins promotes in films, articles and books such as The Blind Watchmaker and the Selfish Gene.

Addresses fundamental questions about Dawkins’ approach to science and religion: Is the gene actually selfish? Is the blind watchmaker a suitable analogy? Are there other ways of looking at things?

Tackles Dawkins’ hostile and controversial views on religion, and examines the religious implications of his scientific ideas, making for a fascinating and provoking debate

Written in a very engaging and accessible style, ideal to those approaching scientific and religious issues for the first time

Contains a thrilling chapter uncovering the hollow nature of Dawkins’ unscientific ‘meme’ theory.

“Wielding evolutionary arguments and carefully chosen metaphors like sharp swords, Richard Dawkins has emerged over three decades as this generation’s most aggressive promoter of atheism. In his view, science, and science alone, provides the only rock worth standing on. In this remarkable book, Alister McGrath challenges Dawkins on the very ground he holds most sacred – rational argument – and McGrath disarms the master. It becomes readily apparent that Dawkins has aimed his attack at a naive version of faith that most serious believers would not recognize. After reading this carefully constructed and eloquently written book, Dawkins’ choice of atheism emerges as the most irrational of the available choices about God’s existence.” Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project

“In this tour-de-force Alister McGrath approaches the edifice of self-confident, breezy atheism so effectively promoted by Richard Dawkins, and by deft dissection and argument reveals the shallowness, special-pleading and inconsistencies of his world-picture. Here is a book which helps to rejoin the magnificence of science to the magnificence of God’s good Creation.” Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology, Cambridge University

“This is a wonderful book. One of the world’s leading Christian contributors to the science/religion dialogue takes on Richard Dawkins, Darwinism’s arch-atheist, and wrestles him to the ground! This is scholarship as it should be – informed, feisty, and terrific fun. I cannot wait to see Dawkins’s review of Alister McGrath’s critique.” Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University

“A timely and accessible contribution to the debate over Richard Dawkins’s cosmology which exposes philosophical naivety, the abuse of metaphor, and sheer bluster, left, right and centre. Here Alister McGrath announces what every Darwinian Fundamentalist needs to hear: that science is and always has been a cultural practice that is provisional, fallible, and socially shaped – an enterprise to be cultivated and fostered, but hardly worshipped or idolised. A devastating critique.” David N. Livingstone, Professor of Geography and Intellectual History, Queen’s University, Belfast 208 pages. 15 illustrations. Paperback

The Dawkins Delusion

Alister McGrath with Joanna Collicutt McGrath

World-renowned scientist Richard Dawkins writes in The God Delusion: ‘If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.’ His work has received wide coverage, fuelled much passionate debate and caused not a little confusion. As far as a rebuttal is concerned, Alister McGrath is ideally placed to evaluate Dawkins’ ideas. Once an atheist himself, he gained a doctorate in molecular biophysics before going on to become a leading Christian theologian. McGrath subjects Dawkins’ critique of faith to rigorous scrutiny. His exhilarating, meticulously argued response deals with questions such as:

• Is faith intellectual nonsense?
• Are science and religion locked in a battle to the death?
• Can the roots of Christianity be explained away scientifically?
• Is Christianity simply a force for evil?This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of The God Delusion and the many questions it raises – including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning.

Reviews: “Addressing the conclusions of The God Delusion point by point with the devastating insight of a molecular biologist turned theologian, Alister McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism, and demonstrates instead that Dawkins has abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism” – Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project.

“Richard Dawkins’ utopian vision of a world without religion is here deftly punctured by McGrath’s informed discourse. His fellow Oxonian clearly demonstrates the gaps, inconsistencies, and surprising lack of depth in Dawkins’ arguments” – Owen Gingerich, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University.

“The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths show why” – Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University.

About the authors: Alister McGrath is Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University and Joanna McGrath is lecturer in Psychology of Religion at Heythrop College, University of London. Paperback, 78 pages.

Deluded by Dawkins?

Andrew Wilson

Is Richard Dawkins right? Is God a myth? Are Christians deluded and dangerous?

In his best-selling book The God Delusion, Dawkins has mixed intellectual, scientific and philosophical arguments with vitriolic attacks on Christianity and Christians. Deluded by Dawkins? by Andrew Wilson, is a lucid and coherent refutation of Richard Dawkins’ arguments against God and Christianity. Wilson writes with the ordinary reader in mind who want to cut through the rhetoric and get to the heart of the issues involved.

Andrew Wilson says: “I saw The God Delusion on sale in London, and it annoyed me. Not because it was a book arguing for the non-existence of God, but because it was so strident, so arrogant, and so full of mistakes and misrepresentations that it could significantly mislead people. Concerned that people in my church might struggle from reading it uncritically – and, more probably, that their unbelieving friends would – I decided to work through it in some detail, and write a response…Encouraged by some church members and other friends in Christian leadership, I decided to devote the time to making … a serious, if somewhat lighthearted, response to all the substantial arguments in Dawkins’ text.”

About the Author: Andrew Wilson holds degrees in theology from Cambridge (MA) and London (MTh). He has taught a number of courses and seminars on apologetics, and has debated Christian issues with several leading scientists. Paperback, 112 pages.


This entry was posted on Cumartesi, Kasım 29th, 2008 at 14:21 and is filed under BİLİMSEL RASYONALİTE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 4 responses to “Former Atheist Against Richard Dawkins, Writer Of God Delusion”

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