We often see the “Who’s Who?” game in this debate. We want some intellect to be on “our side” while pushing the moral miscreant on to “their” side. Everybody wants Einstein. Everybody wants Hitler…to be on the opposing team.
So we enter (in my opinion-- ridiculous) debates over what teams certain individuals played for. As if the theistic belief of Abraham Lincoln, or Ghandi, or Stalin makes a wit of difference to the viability of anyone else’s belief. (And I should note we ALL play this game. No particular group is any better or worse than another.)
Recently, the hot, hot person of the hour is Antony Flew. A formerly atheist philosopher, who now is a deist. Two or three years ago, if the name “Antony Flew” was mentioned, most people, Christians and atheists alike, would have said, “Antony who?” But now, apparently his change in beliefs is supposed to be making tsunami-like impact throughout the world.
The recent salvo is his book, “There is a God,” in which he describes his conversion. To be honest, this was book 1,009,978 on my list of books to read. And not moving up any, either.
However, an extremely perturbing item regarding this book has come to light. According to this blog by Richard Carrier, Antony Flew didn’t write it. If you read the blog, and the articles cited, Mr. Flew may not even have any knowledge of what is in it!
If this is true, and I have no way to confirm or deny it—I seriously question the truthfulness of its authors. If (and I know this is a big “if”) Christian apologists wrote this book, and had a feeble-minded man mumble his unknowing assent, in order to “make a point” this severely degrades the viability of Christianity.
If you have to lie to “win” your argument; your argument is lost.
I am particularly dismayed by some of the notations by Mr. Carrier, which it has been my experience Christian apologists DO use in their books. Anecdotes at the beginning of chapters. Appeals to authority. Long quoted conversations.
If this book was NOT written by Flew—it should absolutely positively declare it. I would hope Christians such as Habermas, Varghese and Hostetler take these claims by Mr. Carrier extremely seriously and address them. Explain them. If they do, I would appreciate anyone providing me a link here.
I don’t care about “Who’s Who?” But if people are deliberately lying in order to play the game…THAT I care about.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)