Friday, November 09, 2007

A 2005 interview with Flew

With the BBC

3 comments:

M said...

Professor Reppert, I certainly feel that this interview you have shown between Flew and the BBC clears up some misconceptions about his beliefs and how he came to believe in Deism.

It certainly is evidence that he hasn't lost his mind. He seemed perfectly rational enough in this interview.

Also, this is the first time being at this blog. I purchased your book a few months ago and read it cover to cover. It was an excellent argument all the way through, though I have had difficulty presenting it to others.

If you ever have time I would appreciate a lecture on some of the finer points of the argument. Perhaps we can dialogue through email.

Edward T. Babinski said...

How did Flew first encounter I.D.ist books and spokespersons?

How many pro-I.D.ist books did it take to change his mind? He mentions only a few.

I know Flew had remained friends with the Christian apologist, Gary Habermas, for decades. Was Flew mailed copies of books by I.D.ist friends of Habermas, and asked to comment on them? Was this a case of friend-evangelism?

After reading and praising I.D.ist arguments in a few such books, Flew found merit in them. But did he also seek out informed responses to I.D. arguments on the internet? Especially informed critiques of the exact arguments in such books? I have seen little evidence that he did so.

Richard Carrier had to send Flew an article critiquing an abiogenesis argument that Flew used early on when he made his original announcement that his mind had changed and before his book was published. Flew acknowledged in print that Carrier's article had changed his mind on that particular I.D.ist argument.

But what if Flew had sought out further articles like Carrier's, articles concerning that many other arguments espoused in the I.D.ist books he read? I suspect Flew might have come to more tentative conclusions than even deism.

Neither did Flew have the time to read and study much biblical scholarship during his life, as evidenced in his debate with Gary Habermas over 20 years ago right up till his recent book.

Check out my discussion of some biblical questions with Habermas regarding the resurrection by googling:

Babinski Habermas resurrection

And consider the names of a host of biblical scholars who began as devout Christians yet whose study of the Bible brought them to more moderate or liberal conclusions, including some who simply left the fold after acheiving advanced degrees in biblical studies, not to mention entire seminaries founded as conservative Christian institutions changing in the direction of increasing moderation and liberalism after about two centuries, including such places as Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and the college Calvin himself founded in Geneva. That's news. Flew's conversion after reading a few I.D.ist books, and his lack of energy or enthusiasm to seek out the counter arguments, as well as his limitations of knowledge in both the sciences and biblical studies is not news.

Anonymous said...

'After reading and praising I.D.ist arguments in a few such books, Flew found merit in them.'

Yes, it was 'The Integrated Complexity Argument' that convinced Flew.

That's close enough to 'irreducible complexity' for theists to hail Flew as a convert to ID.

The guy is as sharp as ever!