Most people who know who Flew is would know that he left behind a lifetime of atheism by admitting that he'd become a theist a couple of years ago. Understandably, that one of the foremost atheist philosophers would abandon his position rattled atheist loyalists. Atheist leaders rushed to point out that Flew had only accepted a vague sort of 'first cause' theism, or 'deism', and that he certainly hadn't become a Christian. In a letter to Richard Carrier, Flew said, "My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species ... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms". That seemed to calm atheist foot soldiers, and atheist higher-ups promptly set about refuting Flew's reasoning. Perhaps disappointing them, Flew doesn't seem to have bothered responding with further arguments of his own; he appears to have completely withdrawn from the debate. Did Flew really abandon atheism for the reason he stated? It came as comfort to many theists that he did (myself included, I admit), but philosophically, I was quite underwhelmed by the reason he gave. In an interview with Christian philosopher Gary Habermas, Flew made some comments that got me thinking that there were other reasons for his 'conversion'. In that interview he said, "But some things I am completely confident about. I would never regard Islam with anything but horror and fear because it is fundamentally committed to conquering the world for Islam." Very few philosophy professors today would dare state something so culturally insensitive, but Flew is old-school. At 83, he hails from an era in which Europeans weren't afraid of defending the superiority of their civilization. Since Flew began his adventures as one of atheism's leading minds, he's seen his native Britain undergo massive demographic and social changes. Changes that Flew doesn't seem to think have been particularly positive. In the 1980s Flew became a vice-president of the Western Goals Insitute, an 'ultra-conservative' organization committed to fighting third-world immigration, which also supported South African apartheid. I have also read a (non-hostile) letter which Flew wrote to an American racialist journal. All this suggests to me that Flew recognizes the damage done to society by its wholesale abandonment of religion. I imagine he probably regrets the unwitting role he played in the social revolution and the mass cultural degradation it caused. I think he recognizes that a somewhat organized religion is the lynchpin of a moral, ordered society; indeed, of civilization itself. No doubt he would argue against the persecution of heresy or religious infidelity, but he would simply urge that religious dissent take place in private, rather than a full-scale assault on everything that was once assumed 'normal' in favor of the celebration of freaks and diversoids of all sorts (homosexuals, Afro-centrists etc) considered to be the unfortunate 'victims' of the existing religious order. Unfortunately, after a lifetime of promoting atheism, it was too late for Flew, too difficult, intellectually and psychologically, to pretend, now, to be a Christian. But in that Habermas interview he speaks very favorably of Christianity, hinting, perhaps, that though it's too late for him, current Christians can feel philosophically justified in their Christian beliefs. I think this is a sturdy little hyopthesis and I see a lot of myself in the analysis I've offered. I myself once frantically promoted atheism, without once stopping to consider just what it was I was really doing. And I empathize with Flew's probable views on social issues. Dammit, I think it's desastrous that the Salvation Army no longer marches down my street, stopping in front of each house and playing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. That would be far too 'insensitive' these days; imagine if there was some Muslim or Hindu living there? The psychological damage that would wreak on him! I lament that my kids won't be singing those same carols in public school, the way I did as a kid; that they won't be taken to church on Good Friday (I was Orthodox and they took us to a protestant church, and I didn't even celebrate easter on the same date, but who cared? Not my parents). It galls me to think that they're going to 'celebrating' homosexuals and aborigines in favor of being primed on British history and Western Civilization. Australia isn't the country I first immigrated to and that's a damn shame, no two ways about it.