Look, the article alleges some fairly serious misconduct on the part of certain individuals. These people have answers for those allegations which I was able to get by e-mailing Gary Habermas. Oppenheimer could have presented Varghese's side if he had wanted to. He was available for comment, and perhaps did comment. Even if Varghese is guilty as sin for doing everything he is accused of doing, It's just plain irresponsible journalism to not represent his counterclaims. What part of shoddy don't you understand?
Whatever the arguments are, they have to be addressed on their merits. Flew may have changed his mind for inadequate reasons. He's enough of a philosopher to realize that he can't expect people to agree with him because he's Flew.
Why is this so intolerable to the hard-core atheist crowd. Why the character assassination? The mere fact of Flew's conversion to deism undermines the hard-line atheist conviction that there are no real, intelligent ex-atheists. This is the atheist equivalent of the "There are no atheists" position amongst Chrstians, and it was in response to a comment of that sort that I made the claim, which got me into a fight with presuppositionalists, that the claim that there are no atheists is silly. The idea is that once you really realize that the evidence is against theism, you can never turn back. What are they supposed to say now? That Flew wasn't a real atheist? The he was "really" a believer all along?
I'm guessing (and it's just a guess) that Flew has been dismayed at the "zero-concession attitude" that has been taken by many atheists. I mentioned Mackie, and while he lived beore the ID movement arose, I never saw him refer to Swinburne, his frequent intellectual opponent and design argument advocate, as an idiot, with or without capitalizing the first two letters. I think some of his responses to Plantinga were more acerbic than his responses to Swinburne, but here again, nothing so rude. When I see people suggesting that those inclined to accept ID are not even smart enough to be attending college, then I start wondering if we have a person here who is capable of engaging an ideological opponent in a serious conversation. And at that point, I almost wish Flew were still an atheist so that he can dress them down.
And believe me, it grieves me when Christians are rude to their intellectual opponents.