PDA

View Full Version : Science 'frauds' trigger a decline in atheism



Khattab
08-28-2005, 11:45 PM
Interesting article I came across, most likely written by a follower of the christian religion after reading it but raises a few points.

The Washington Times

GURAT- France - Godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars. "Athieism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide" Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg said in an interview.

His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agrees.

Atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat," Mr. McGrath wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today

Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings.

The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.

British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, has turned his back on atheism, saying it is impossible for evolution to account for the fact that one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Mr. Flew still does not accept the God of the Bible. But he has embraced the concept of intelligent design — a stunning desertion of a former intellectual ambassador of secular humanism to the belief in some form of intelligence behind the design of the universe.

A few years ago, European scientists snickered when studies in the United States — for example, at Harvard and Duke universities — showed a correlation between faith, prayer and recovery from illness.

Now 1,200 studies at research centers around the world have come to similar conclusions, according to "Psychologie Heute," a German journal, citing, for example, the marked improvement of multiple sclerosis patients in Germany's Ruhr District because of "spiritual resources."

Atheism's other Achilles' heels are the acts on inhumanity and lunacy committed in its name.

"With time, [atheism] turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths and careerists as religion does. ... With Stalin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheism seems to have ended up mimicking the vices of the Spanish Inquisition and the worst televangelists, respectively," Mr. McGrath wrote in Christianity Today.

The Rev. Paul M. Zulehner, dean of Vienna University's divinity school and one of the world's most distinguished sociologists of religion, said atheists in Europe have become "an infinitesimally small group."

"There are not enough of them to be used for sociological research," he said.

Mr. Zulehner cautioned, however, that the decline of atheism in Europe does not mean that re-Christianization is taking place.

"What we are observing instead is a re-paganization," he said.

The Rev. Gerald McDermott, an Episcopal priest and professor of religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Va., said a similar phenomenon is taking place in the United States.

"The rise of all sorts of paganism is creating a false spirituality that proves to be a more dangerous rival to the Christian faith than atheism," he said.

After all, a Satanist is also "spiritual."

Mr. Pannenberg, a Lutheran, praised the Roman Catholic Church for handling this peril more wisely than many of his fellow Protestants.

"The Catholics stick to the central message of Christianity without making any concessions in the ethical realm," he said, referring to issues such as same-sex "marriages" and abortion.

In a similar vein, Mr. Zulehner, a Catholic, sees Christianity's greatest opportunity when its message addresses two seemingly irreconcilable quests of contemporary humanity — the quest for freedom and truth.

"Christianity alone affirms that truth and God's dependability are inseparable properties to which freedom is linked." As for the "peril of spirituality," Mr. Zulehner sounded quite sanguine.

He concluded from his research that in the long run, the survival of worldviews should be expected to follow this lineup: "The great world religions are best placed," he said.

As a distant second he sees the diffuse forms of spirituality. Atheism, he said, will come in at the tail end.


http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050...733-9519r.htm#
Reply

Login/Register to hide ads. Scroll down for more posts
Ansar Al-'Adl
08-29-2005, 01:41 AM
Ah, the controversial case of Mr. Flew! :)

:w:
Reply

root
08-29-2005, 09:17 AM
for example, at Harvard and Duke universities — showed a correlation between faith, prayer and recovery from illness.
Yes, the placebo effect. Faith can and does have the power to "heal", but does it imply the existence of God. Children who were tested by having them lay down and imagine a "bad virus" in there own mouth being attacked by big killer T cells "all" showed an increased level of anti-bodies within the mouth. Is this the work of God or is there something else going on!!!!! I have debated with many and the placebo effect and faith has been discussed on this forum. Either way what he is actually saying is "look, faith can be testable, so faith can be part of science".

Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings.
This refers I think to the current issue as to wether ID is to be taught in the science class, this is very much against the scientific community and an ongoing issue.

The Rev. Paul M. Zulehner, dean of Vienna University's divinity school and one of the world's most distinguished sociologists of religion, said atheists in Europe have become "an infinitesimally small group."
Of course he is free to express his opinions, and that is based strongly within a christion ideology, such reteric is all too common within ID.
Reply

czgibson
08-29-2005, 09:53 PM
Hello everyone,

An interesting article, no doubt. I can't comment on other disciplines, but I would take issue with the assertion that there is a "growing consensus among philosophers" that atheism is in trouble. One professional philosopher is mentioned - that hardly constitutes a consensus.

The case of Professor Flew is certainly a strange one, there's no doubt about that. The question is, what sort of god does he now profess to believe in? It doesn't seem to be the god of any religion in particular. Here is a letter to Professor Flew which asks this question:

An Open Letter to Professor Anthony Flew

Do not be under any illusions - most professional philosophers are atheists. The consensus mentioned in the article is entirely fictitious.
Reply

Welcome, Guest!
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up
Ansar Al-'Adl
08-30-2005, 01:05 AM
Originally Posted by czgibson
most professional philosophers are atheists.
Hi Callum,
This statement can be misleading. Any philosopher who accepts Islam would immediately be considered a religious scholar or theologian, but no longer a philosopher. I can think of many religious scholars who would qualify as philosphers, but I think 'religious philosophers' are just segregated from the community of secular philosophers.

Peace.
Reply

czgibson
08-30-2005, 10:41 AM
Hello Ansar,
Originally Posted by Ansar Al-'Adl
This statement can be misleading. Any philosopher who accepts Islam would immediately be considered a religious scholar or theologian, but no longer a philosopher. I can think of many religious scholars who would qualify as philosphers, but I think 'religious philosophers' are just segregated from the community of secular philosophers.
We seem to understand different things by the word "philosopher". Here is a distinction I made on another thread, showing how I understand the term:

Up until about 1859, when a certain book was published, the vast majority of philosophers were theists. Admittedly it's a bit cavalier to pinpoint an exact point when the change occurred, but I think that is as reasonable an approximate date as any. For these theistic philosophers, belief in god may well have underpinned their philosophies, but they were not preachers as such. Some of them were, such as Bishop Berkeley, who suggested there was no reason to believe anything exists except god. In the main, though, philosophers have attempted to persuade people through reasoned argument rather than appeals to faith. In my view, this is what separates the two fields.

Of course, it's certainly possible to believe and philosophise simultaneously. In a certain sense, everyone is a philosopher, because we all use philosophical approaches regularly. Any time you have a reasoned discussion with somebody, you are using philosophical principles. This is different from being a philosopher in the professional sense.
When you say you can think of many religious scholars who would qualify as philosophers, I take you to mean that they use philosophical approaches or reasoning, as everyone does. This does not make them philosophers in the professional sense. Bertrand Russell, writing about St. Thomas Aquinas, says that starting from a assumption based on faith, and then making philosophical arguments to justify that assumption, should be called "special pleading", not philosophy as such.

Can you name any religious scholars who do not start off from such an assumption? If there are any, then they could be considered to be philosophers.

Hopefully that clarifies my position.

Peace
Reply

Ansar Al-'Adl
08-30-2005, 01:52 PM
Greetings,
Originally Posted by czgibson
Can you name any religious scholars who do not start off from such an assumption? If there are any, then they could be considered to be philosophers.
Well the most obious ones would be atheist philosophers who converted to Islam. Dr. Jeffery Lang is one that comes to mind.

peace
Reply

czgibson
08-30-2005, 03:42 PM
Originally Posted by Ansar Al-'Adl
Greetings,

Well the most obious ones would be atheist philosophers who converted to Islam. Dr. Jeffery Lang is one that comes to mind.

peace
Hello Ansar,

He's a mathematician, not a philosopher (unless we're thinking of different people).

As for atheist philosophers who have converted to Islam - I'd very much like to hear about any of them, to find out what effect this had on their philosophy.

Peace
Reply

Ansar Al-'Adl
08-30-2005, 11:23 PM
Originally Posted by czgibson
He's a mathematician, not a philosopher (unless we're thinking of different people).
No, same person. But I've read his writings and they involve most philosophy, hence I don't see why its wrong to classify him as both a mathematician and a philosopher.

As for atheist philosophers who have converted to Islam - I'd very much like to hear about any of them, to find out what effect this had on their philosophy.
I'll see if I can dig something up for you. :)

peace
Reply

czgibson
08-31-2005, 02:12 PM
Hello Ansar,
Originally Posted by Ansar Al-'Adl
No, same person. But I've read his writings and they involve most philosophy, hence I don't see why its wrong to classify him as both a mathematician and a philosopher.
I've never read any of his writings, and I've never heard of him being referred to as a philosopher, so it's difficult for me to comment. There are two things I'd like to say though. Firstly, I've had a quick look round the net to see what kind of books are available by him, and for the most part they tell the story of his journey towards Islam. Does he mention philosophy in these books? What kind of ideas does he talk about? As well as these, there are a few technical mathematical books. This brings me to my second point.

It's possible to think about mathematics in a philosophical way, so perhaps he uses some philosophical ideas in these technical books. However, this brings me back to a point I made earlier, about how using philosophical ideas does not make someone a philosopher in the professional sense. For instance, I have a degree in philosophy, and I try to use logical and philosophical principles in discussions, but I would only consider myself a philosopher in the general sense in which everybody is a philosopher.

I'll see if I can dig something up for you. :)
Many thanks for your help, Ansar; this is something I'm very interested to find out about.

Peace
Reply

root
08-31-2005, 05:15 PM
Just to bring things back to Topic and point out a certain irony. In the week where Evolutionary Science made a massive leap forward, someone posts an article about how Evolution was all but forgotten about.

Evolutionists who use the scientific principles of ERV insertions to map common ancestory links and stated that the Chimps were our closest living ancestor

Further information on this can be found in this thread:
http://www.islamicboard.com/showthre...1863#post71863


announced today Wednesday 31st August 2005 that chimps DNA has now been sequenced and analyzed by a team of International Scientists.

A comparison shows chimps and humans to be almost 99% identical in the most important areas of their "life codes". The team tells Nature magazine that future research will tease out the significance of the few differences.
The study was undertaken by an international group called the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, which was made up of 67 scientists at 23 research institutions in the US, Germany, Italy, Israel and Spain.
Source:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4197844.stm

Knowing where to look within the huge genome will allow for rapid understanding of how and why they differ. And as from today many Creationists will need to come up with a better reason than "how can 96% of DNA match, it needs to be sequenced and that requires the decoding of the chimp which would take years"!!!!!!!!!

In particular the Human Genetics group at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge is intrigued by why chimps are immune to many human diseases, such as malaria and Aids. According to Dr Tim Hubbard:
Science works with the here and now, religion uses the past.........

Non of those scientists were "Philosophers or Creationists" To be a bioligist in the first place is to accept Micro-Evolution. I know creationists like to steer onto philosophy but a great day for Evolutionists....

Woooohooooo
Reply

Ansar Al-'Adl
08-31-2005, 08:46 PM
Hello Callum,
Originally Posted by czgibson
I've never read any of his writings, and I've never heard of him being referred to as a philosopher, so it's difficult for me to comment. There are two things I'd like to say though. Firstly, I've had a quick look round the net to see what kind of books are available by him, and for the most part they tell the story of his journey towards Islam. Does he mention philosophy in these books?
In his book, Even Angels Ask, he discusses several issues like fate and predestination, etc. towards the beginning of the book. I was planning on making some excerpts from the book available in an article on the net.

Many thanks for your help, Ansar; this is something I'm very interested to find out about.
You can take a look at Nuh Ha Mim Keller who studied philosophy extensively before and after his acceptance of Islam. [Note: His writings on Bida'ah, Salafis and Sufis are not reliable]. There's also Rene Guenon.

peace
Reply

czgibson
08-31-2005, 10:13 PM
Greetings everyone,

Ansar, thank you very much for the links; I'll be checking them out in due course. At the moment I'm using a very slow dial-up, so I can't listen to the downloads just yet. I'll get the chance once I get back onto my broadband connection.

I've managed to read the article about Rene Guenon (who I was not familiar with previously), and he seems like a person of great wisdom, as befits someone featured in a journal called sophia. However, for me he is an example of the kind of religious writer who is doing something other than philosophy. The reason I say this is that his work is based on an assumption. Here is how the writer of the article summarises Guenon's function:

To sum up what his function was, one might say that it was his function, in a world increasingly rife with heresy and pseudo religion, to remind twentieth century man of the need for orthodoxy which itself presupposes firstly a divine intervention, and secondly a tradition which hands down with fidelity from generation to generation what Heaven has revealed.
(My emphasis)

Now, to say that his work is based on an assumption is not to say that it is worthless - after all, many subjects are built on assumptions (e.g. mathematics or psychology). The difficulty is that divine intervention is a large assumption; many would say an unjustifiably large assumption. An assumption like this would be untenable for a philosopher who wishes to convince his audience on the basis of pure reason. Because of this, I cannot consider Guenon a philosopher in the sense in which the term is understood by most working in the field.

Having said all that, I've only read one person's interpretation of the man's life work, so I'll continue to find out more about him to see if he has firm reasons for his faith, or if it is, indeed, simply a matter of faith.

P.S. root - Great news from the genome researchers - it confirms something I think many have long suspected. Also, regarding your point about creationists - I've yet to hear a creationist argument that I would consider truly philosophical...

Peace
Reply

czgibson
09-03-2005, 08:28 PM
Greetings,

Ansar, thank you for the link to works by Nuh Ha Mim Keller - I've been enjoying reading and listening to them immensely. A huge eye-opener for me; it's very interesting to read a Muslim philosopher making use of Western philosophy in the way he does. Of course I disagree with many of the conclusions he draws and the arguments he uses to get there, but it's fascinating to see entirely new interpretations of philosophers I thought I knew well - it's not often someone finds reasons in Nietzsche for believing in god, for example. I've only read one article and listened to one audio recording, but I think I've grasped the outline of his position with regard to the interaction, as he sees it, between Islam and Western philosophy.

So he's clearly a theistic philosopher, but he uses philosophy as a jumping-off point for faith. Ultimately, any argument he could produce is based on justifying faith, which is beyond logic. In his fascinating article on becoming a Muslim, he gives excellent interpretations of philosophers' ideas, choosing quotations with great skill, but he ultimately comes to an progressive outline of the materialist/secular position and says: "Is there not more to hope for than this?" A philosophical position based on hope is very unusual, because is not actually a logical argument; it's more like a faith-position or an axiom of mathematics - an unproved assertion.

The philosopher who seems to provide Keller with the final answer in his quest for a deity is Hegel, who believed that all philosophy moves from the abstract to the concrete, and that the Deity is the most absolutely real. Now, Hegel is an extremely difficult and controversial philosopher, and huge debates range about what he actually believed and whether he had good reasons for doing so. To use Hegel's conclusions with no account of how he got there, or any further logical argument of one's own provides quite a risky basis for one's philosophical position. Perhaps he includes this sort of thing in other articles - I'll keep reading.

The only audio excerpt I listened to was unfortunately nowhere near as persuasive as the article I've mentioned. There were many mistakes and irrelevancies. I think this was because he was answering questions on the spot, with no prior preparation (that's what it sounds like, at least), so he can't really be blamed too much for that.

So all in all, it's great to discover a modern theistic philosopher. He's a persuasive writer, but for the reasons I've given, I don't think his views are well-founded - he's clearly of the view that atheism is an unreasonable position position, and he gives reasons for this view, but I do not think his views and the views of other theistic philosophers represent a majority or consensus view within philosophy.

Peace
Reply

Khattab
11-13-2005, 09:13 PM
:sl: I thought I would post this article I came across inshallah it will serve of some benefit and bring about a discussion on it.

:w:

http://www.harunyahya.com/articles/7...fic_world.html
"As people have certainly been influenced by me, I want to try and correct the enormous damage I may have done." (Anthony Flew)

The newspapers these days are echoing with these regret-filled words by Anthony Flew, in his time a well-known atheist philosopher. The 81-year-old British professor of philosophy Flew chose to become an atheist at the age of 15, and first made a name for himself in the academic field with a paper published in 1950. In the 54 years that followed, he defended atheism as a teacher at the universities of Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele and Reading, at many American and Canadian universities he visited, in debates, books, lecture halls and articles. In recent days, however, Flew has announced that he has abandoned this error and accepts that the universe was created.

The decisive factor in this radical change of view is the clear and definitive evidence revealed by science on the subject of creation. Flew realised, in the face of the information-based complexity of life, that the true origin of life is intelligent design and that the atheism he had espoused for 66 years was a discredited philosophy.

Flew announced the scientific reasons underlying this change in belief in these terms:

"Biologists' investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been involved." (1)

"It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism." (2)

"I have been persuaded that it is simply out of the question that the first living matter evolved out of dead matter and then developed into an extraordinarily complicated creature." (3)

The DNA research which Flew cites as a fundamental reason for his change of opinion has indeed revealed striking facts about creation. The helix shape of the DNA molecule, its possession of the genetic code, the nucleotide strings that refute blind chance, the storage of encyclopaedic quantities of information and many other striking findings have revealed that the structure and functions of this molecule were arranged for life with a special design. Comments by scientists concerned with DNA research bear witness to this fact.

Francis Crick, for instance, one of the scientists who revealed the helix shape of DNA admitted in the face of the findings regarding DNA that the origin of life indicated a miracle:

An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. (4)

Based on his calculations, Led Adleman of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has stated that one gram of DNA can store as much information as a trillion compact discs. (5) Gene Myers, a scientist employed on the Human Genome Project, has said the following in the face of the miraculous arrangements he witnessed:


"What really astounds me is the architecture of life… The system is extremely complex. It's like it was designed… There's a huge intelligence there." (6)

The most striking fact about DNA is that the existence of the coded genetic information can definitely not be explained in terms of matter and energy or natural laws. Dr. Werner Gitt, a professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, has said this on the subject:

A code system is always the result of a mental process… It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required… There is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information, neither is any physical process or material phenomenon known that can do this. (7)

Creationist scientists and philosophers played a major role in Flew's acceptance of intelligent design, backed up by all these findings. In recent times Flew participated in debates with scientists and philosophers who were proponents of creation, and exchanged ideas with them. The final turning point in that process was a discussion organised by the Institute for Metascientific Research in Texas in May, 2003. Flew participated together with author Roy Abraham Varghese, Israeli physicist and molecular biologist Gerald Schroeder, and Roman Catholic philosopher John Haldane. Flew was impressed by the weight of the scientific evidence in favour of creation and by the convincing nature of his opponents' arguments, and abandoned atheism as an idea in the period following that discussion. In a letter he wrote for the August-September, 2003, edition of the British magazine Philosophy Now, he recommended Schroeder's book "The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth" and Varghese's book "The Wonderful World."(8) During an interview with the professor of philosophy and theology Gary R. Habermas, who also played a major role in his change of mind (9), and also on the video "Has Science Discovered God?," he openly stated that he believed in intelligent design.

The "Intelligence Pervading the Universe" and the Collapse of Atheism

In the face of all the scientific developments outlined above, the acceptance of intelligent design by Antony Flew, famous for defending atheism for many years, reflects a final scene in the process of collapse being undergone by atheism. Modern science has revealed the existence of an "intelligence pervading the universe," thus leaving atheism out of the equation.

In his book "The Hidden Face of God," Gerald Schroeder, one of the creationist scientists who influenced Flew, writes:

"A single consciousness, a universal wisdom, pervades the universe. The discoveries of science, those that search the quantum nature of subatomic matter, have moved us to the brink of a startling realization: all existence is the expression of this wisdom. In the laboratories we experience it as information that first physically articulated as energy and then condensed into the form of matter. Every particle, every being, from atom to human, appears to represent a level of information, of wisdom." (10)

Scientific research into both the functioning of the cell and the subatomic particles of matter has revealed this fact in an indisputable manner: Life and the universe were brought into being from nothing by the will of an entity possessed of a superior mind and wisdom. There is no doubt that the possessor of that knowledge and mind that pervade the universe at all levels is Almighty Allah. Allah reveals this truth in the Qur'an:

Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing." (Qur'an, 2:115)


i Richard N. Ostling, "Lifelong atheist changes mind about divine creator," The Washington Times 10 December 2004; http://washingtontimes.com/national/...3212-2782r.htm
2- Antony Flew, "Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," Philosophy Now; http://www.philosophynow.org/issue47/47flew.htm
3- Stuart Wavell and Will Iredale, "Sorry, says atheist-in-chief, I do believe in God after all," The Sunday Times, 12 December 2004; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...400368,00.html
4- Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, p. 88
5- John Whitfield, "Physicists plunder life's tool chest", 24 April 2003; http://www.nature.com/nsu/030421/030421-6.html
6- San Francisco Chronicle, 19 February, 2001
7- Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV, Bielenfeld, Germany, pp. 64-7, 79
8- Antony Flew, "Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," Philosophy Now; http://www.philosophynow.org/issue47/47flew.htm
9- "Atheist Becomes Theist: Exclusive Interview with Former Atheist Antony Flew;" http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/index.cfm
10- Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, Touchstone, New York, 2001, p. xi
Reply

- Qatada -
11-13-2005, 09:20 PM
:sl: warahmatulahi wabarakatuh.

i think its to do with his old age too.. most people start thinking about death more as they get older and with all the scientific evidence in front of him (due to new discoveries over the decades) Allaah subhanahu wa ta'aala must have opened his eyes to the truth..

but the article doesn't mention which faith he has, does it mention that anywhere? or does he just believe there is a greater power that created everything.

jazak Allaah khayr bro.. it showz how a persons belief can totally change if someone really openz up their eyes insha Allaah.


wasalam o 'alykum warahmatulahi wabaraktuh.
Reply

Khattab
11-13-2005, 09:26 PM
:sl:

I think he just believes in a creator not in any of the scriptures as far as I know

:w:
Reply

sonz
02-14-2006, 09:06 AM
By Denyse O’Leary **

The 81-year-old philosopher acknowledged the existence of God after a lifetime of atheism

An eminent British philosopher—a key champion of atheism for more than fifty years—announced late last year that he has come to believe that there really is a God, on account of the intelligent design of the universe and life forms.

Antony Flew, who became an atheist at 15, debated at Oxford in the 1950s. He promoted atheism through prestigious works such as his landmark 1984 book, The Presumption of Atheism.

His thesis was disarmingly simple: Most people assume that God exists, and therefore that the atheist must prove otherwise. Flew reversed the onus. He claimed that there is no evidence that God exists. Therefore, the religious believer must prove that there is a God.

Over time, Flew became a very successful atheist. Overall, he wrote ten books against belief in God, as well as many other works. His works were among the most widely reprinted in all of philosophy. One thing that helped him was that many people assumed, without really looking into it, that science evidence suggested that God does not exist.

So why did he change his mind when he was eighty-one years old? Not because he fears the eternal consequences of a lifetime spent promoting atheism. He insists that he still doesn’t believe in heaven or hell.

Rather, Flew was convinced by modern science findings. He was amazed by the language that is written into the DNA of every cell of each of our bodies. He said, “What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together. The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence.”

Flew discovered that a number of scientists and philosophers believe that the universe and life forms show scientific evidence of intelligent design—this is called the intelligent design hypothesis. At any rate, Flew began to think seriously about intelligent design in 2000. By 2003, he was actively corresponding with other philosophers about it.

Darwinism or Design?

The alternative to intelligent design is Darwinian evolution or Darwinism. According to Darwinism, life forms develop from amoeba to man by chance mutations, without any design or any need for God.

Disagree? Post your questions and express your doubts to Denyse…

Flew put all the design arguments to Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins, who is well known not only for his defence of Darwinism but for the promotion of atheism on account of Darwinism.

And, according to Flew, Dawkins—an expert in Darwinian evolution—was not able to answer his objections based on intelligent design. Finally, in early 2004, Flew admitted to American Christian philosopher Gary Habermas that there must be a God. His change of mind became public later in the year, as the result of an interview released by the philosophy journal Philosophia Christi.

Flew makes very clear that he has not become a religious believer in any conventional sense. He thinks that God “… could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose.” In reality, he believes only that God created the universe.

But let’s not discount the importance of that admission. It means that Flew’s life—and yours and mine—have a meaning and purpose that go beyond our own feelings at any given time. We are here because God intended us to be here. That makes a difference as we confront the tangled problems of our lives.

The best-known Muslim author who writes on this fiercely controversial topic is Dr. Harun Yahya. He has written several books that address divine design in nature, notably Evolution Deceit (Istanbul: Arastirma, 2002) and Signs of God: Design in Nature (Istanbul: Global Publishing, 2001). As Yahya notes in his works, modern science knows vastly more today than in past centuries about the intricate details of life. And the more we know, the less likely any atheistic explanation seems.

Turkish Philosopher: Atheism “Mere Irrationality and Ignorance”

“The 21st century will be a historical-turning point when people will generally comprehend the divine realities…” Harun Yahya

Do you have enough faith to be an atheist? Can you look at the marvelous designs of nature and conclude that it all happened by chance? If so, you are part of a shrinking, if stubborn, minority. There has been a steep, widely reported, decline in atheism worldwide.

According to Paul M. Zulehner, a European sociologist of religion, “True atheists in Europe have become an infinitesimally small group. There are not enough of them to be used for sociological research.” And Europe, after all, is hardly noted for its piety. A key reason given is precisely the one that convinced Flew, the growing evidence from science that makes atheism unlikely.

Another reason he gives is that many people embraced atheism in the twentieth century because they hoped for a humanly-based system that would prevent the wrongs often done in the name of religion. But atheistic regimes like communism and Nazism outdid, in every category of wrong, the regimes where most rulers or leaders were religious.

Harun Yahya recently told United Press International, “Atheism, which people have tried for hundreds of years as ‘the ways of reason and science,’ is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance.” For example, evolution alone, without intelligence, can hardly account for the fact that “a single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together” (Insight on the News, March 14, 2005).

Yahya even predicts, in Evolution Deceit, that “…the 21st century will be a historical-turning point when people will generally comprehend the divine realities and be led in crowds to God, the only Absolute Being” (p. 248).
Reply

Ghazi
02-14-2006, 10:38 AM
Salaam

Well it's a start at least, someone should give him dawa
Reply

Ansar Al-'Adl
02-14-2006, 01:51 PM
:sl:
Threads merged.
Reply

HeiGou
02-14-2006, 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by sonz
According to Paul M. Zulehner, a European sociologist of religion, “True atheists in Europe have become an infinitesimally small group. There are not enough of them to be used for sociological research.” And Europe, after all, is hardly noted for its piety.
To quote from Wikipedia on atheism,

Atheism is particularly prevalent among scientists, a tendency already quite marked at the beginning of the 20th century, developing into a dominant one during the course of the century. In 1914, James H. Leuba found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. natural scientists expressed "disbelief or doubt in the existence of God". The same study, repeated in 1996, gave a similar percentage of 60.7%; this number is 93% among the members of the National Academy of Sciences. Expressions of positive disbelief rose from 52% to 72%. [8]
....
Atheism in the United Kingdom

A poll in 2004 by the BBC put the number of people who do not believe in God to be 40% [9], while a YouGov poll in the same year put the percentage of non-believers at 35% with 21% uncertain [10]. In the YouGov poll men were less likely to believe in god than women and younger people were less likely to believe in god than older people.

Atheism studies and statistics

The following surveys are in chronological order, but as they are different studies with different methodologies it would be inaccurate to infer trends on the prevalence of atheism from them:

* A 1995 survey [18] attributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica indicates that the non-religious are about 14.7% of the world's population, and atheists around 3.8%.

* The 2001 ARIS report found that while 29.5 million U.S. Americans (14.1%) describe themselves as "without religion", only 902,000 (0.4%) positively claim to be atheist, with another 991,000 (0.5%) professing agnosticism.

* In the 2001 Australian Census [19] 15.5% of respondents ticked "no religion", and a further 11.7% either did not state their religion or were deemed to have described it inadequately (there was a popular and successful campaign at the time to have people describe themselves as Jedi).

* The 2001 New Zealand census [20] showed that 40% of the respondents claimed "no religion".

* In 2001, the Czech Statistical Office provided census information on the ten million people in the Czech Republic. 59% had no religion, 32.2% were religious, and 8.8% did not answer. This suggests that the Czech Republic is probably the most atheistic country in the world.

* In 2002 survey in Russia, 32% self-described as atheist. Of the 58% self-describing as Russian Orthodox Christian, 42% said they had never been in a church.

* A 2002 survey by Adherents.com [21] estimates the proportion of the world's people who are "secular, non-religious, agnostics and atheists" as about 14%.

* In a 2003 poll in France, 54% of those polled identified themselves as "faithful", 33% as atheist, 14% as agnostic, and 26% as "indifferent". [22]

* A 2004 survey by the BBC [23] in 10 countries showed the proportion of the population "who don't believe in God" varying between 0% and 44%, with an average close to 17% in the countries surveyed. About 8% of the respondents stated specifically that they consider themselves to be atheists.

* A 2004 survey by the CIA in the World Factbook [24] estimates about 12.5% of the world's population are non-religious, and about 2.4% are atheists.

* A 2004 survey by the Pew Research Center [25] showed that in the United States, 12% of people under 30 and 6% of people over 30 could be characterized as non-religious.

* A 2005 poll by AP/Ipsos [26] surveyed ten countries. Of the developed nations, people in the United States had most certainty about the existence of god or a higher power (2% atheist, 4% agnostic), while France had the most skeptics (19% atheist, 16% agnostic). On the religion question, South Korea had the greatest percentage without a religion (41%) while Italy had the smallest (5%).
I do not see that as statistically insignificant.
Reply

Kittygyal
02-14-2006, 05:45 PM
wow
Reply

Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 44
    Last Post: 08-10-2010, 02:16 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-09-2008, 12:33 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-25-2007, 02:11 AM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-27-2007, 11:13 PM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-23-2006, 10:54 PM

IslamicBoard

Experience a richer experience on our mobile app!