I Love Christa Essay

2200 words - 9 pages

People always tend to give high attention to individuals who turned their backs on their once held beliefs to argue that (Christian) faith is unreasonable and without real substance. Rationality seems to be the source of every argument for the non-existence of God, and is often understood as inherently opposing to faith. However, the story of Antony Flew is one that atheists can and should not discard, as he experienced something very different. Born into a Christian family Flew grew up in the church and was exposed to Christian beliefs and customs. He never really found a personal connection to Christianity and converted to Atheism, but after decades of arguing the non-existence of God, he ...view middle of the document...

S. Lewis. In this forum he presented his work ‘Theology and Falsification’, which argued that countless theological statements have so many qualifications attached that they are essentially empty (pp. 43-44). Interestingly Flew clarified, that he ‘was not saying that statements of religious belief were meaningless. I simply challenged religious believers to explain how their statements are to be understood, especially in the light of conflicting data’ (p. 45). This paper developed to be widely discussed in many circles and was a major contribution to the arguments for atheism. Around 11 years later, Flew published his work ‘God and Philosophy’ in which he tried to examine the foundation of Christian belief. In this work Flew directly addressed arguments for the existence of God and tried to disprove them and reveal their invalidity. In this work he argued that before God’s existence can be debated, a definition of who or what God is has to be established. Today he calls this book ‘a historical relic’ (p.52) and uses the arguments for God in his debating for the Christian faith.
The last book that I want to mention was published in 1971 and was called ‘The Presumption of Atheism.’ This was his final work in dealing with atheism, in which he argued that as the inherently rational position, atheism should be presumed at the outset of any debate regarding God’s existence, and the burden of proof should be on the theist. This position revolutionized atheists all over the world, as it puts the necessity of bringing arguments for what one believes onto theists. Alvin Plantinga, countered this argument by saying that believing in God is ‘properly basic’ for believers. Just as Christianity is based on presumptions, atheism is based on certain ideas and ideologies. The starting point of atheism is, at best, a methodological starting point, not an ontological conclusion’, therefore the presumption of atheism could be accepted by theists who have adequate ground for believing in God (p.56). Flew was challenged by this argument, and the realization that atheism is based on propositions, such as that the universe came out of nothing, matter evolved into living cells, morality arose by natural selection, and many more.
Later Flew said, ‘What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.’
How then came the change about, and what are some of the stepping-stones in the transformation of Antony Flew? For one, after contributing these major works, he started to debate with multiple theists and found himself dealing with Christianity in particular on several occasions. In 1985 for example, Flew took part in a debate against the theologian Dr. Gary Habermas. Flew lost the debate clearly and was struck by this result. One of the main arguments that...

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