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Antony Flew
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Philosopher
    (February 11, 1923-April 8, 2010)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    British author, teacher, and philosopher
    Atheist turned deist
    Wrote or edited over forty books including, 'There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind' (2007)
    Other books included 'Logic and Language' (1961), 'Hume's Philosophy of Belief' (1961), 'Crime or Disease' (1973), 'Darwinian Evolution' (1984), and 'God, A Cultural Inquiry' (1988)
    Landmark contributions as a philosopher included developing the 'no true Scotsman fallacy' and contributing to the concept of retrocausality.
    Full name was Antony Garrad Newton Flew
    Retrocausality, also known as reverse causation is the belief that the present can affect the past, which the rest of us call time travel and consider science fiction.
    When he rejected atheism, he became a deist along the lines of Thomas Jefferson and posited a God who wasn't involved in His creation and didn't believe God was morally good (he described Him as a 'cosmic Saddam Hussein') or there being an afterlife. Which makes for a rather irrelevant God.
    His conversion to belief caused a storm of controversy among his former fans turned detractors that centered around his mental status instead of on the strength of his arguments.
    He had two middle names.
    Despite what his book title claimed, he was never the world's most notorious atheist; instead, he was little known outside academia during the course of his life and the present day.
    Many of his atheist detractors exposed themselves as hypocrites who claimed they supported rational thought but when faced with rational arguments they didn't like engaged in ad hominem attacks.
    He was married over fifty years.
    He served as an intelligence officer in the RAF during WWII.
    Along with graduating from Oxford, he taught at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keale, and Reading Universities in Britain and York University in Toronto.
    The 'no true Scotsman fallacy' is as follows. A Scotsman reads of a savage murder in England and says 'No Scotsman would do such a thing,' the next day he reads of an even more vicious murder in Scotland and says to himself 'No TRUE Scotsman would do such a thing' illustrating a person changing the meaning of words to support 'a priori' beliefs.
    He described Islam as 'The uniting and justifying ideology of Arab imperialism.'
    He marshaled formidable authority for all of his arguments (whatever the subject) being heavily influenced by Aristotle, Plato, Hume and Spinoza among others.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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