Professor Antony Flew: philosopher (1923-2010)

From The London Times:

Flew Antony Flew was one of the best-known atheists of his generation but he finally repudiated the label. As an academic philosopher he subjected the question of God’s existence to careful, non-polemical analysis. When he declared himself a theist in his old age he annoyed many of his admirers — which might have been the intention. Antony Garrard Newton Flew was born in London in 1923 to a Methodist family. His father was president of the Methodist Conference for the one-year term and was active in other organisations including the World Council of Churches.

He was educated at St Faith’s School, Cambridge and then Kingswood School in Bath. At 15 he was struck by the incompatibility of divine omnipotence and the existence of evil, and lost his faith. He later identified this as the first step towards his career as a philosopher. His study of that subject was delayed by the war; he studied Japanese and served as an intelligence officer in the RAF. After the war he went to St John’s College, Oxford to read Greats, of which classical philosophy is a part. His interest in the philosophy of religion led him C. S. Lewis’s Socratic Club. He was impressed by the Christian apologist, calling him “an eminently reasonable man”. He was attracted, but not persuaded, by Lewis’s moral argument for God’s existence. He studied other traditional proofs for God’s existence, and developed his philosophical skills in opposition to them.

More here.

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