The Warren Flew Debate On The Existence Of God Summary

991 Words4 Pages

This book report serves as both a brief overview and an evaluation of The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God, which is the manuscript from the oral debate held between Thomas B. Warren and Antony G. Flew in Denton, Texas from September 20 through September 23, 1976. This debate (as suggested by the title) centered on the existence of God, with Flew affirming, “I know that God does not exist,” and Warren affirming, “I know that God does exist.” The debate took place over a period of four nights; each night the speakers had three twenty-minute speeches that were delivered alternately (the affirmative speaker spoke first), and a one and a half minute rejoinder delivered by the affirmative speaker to close each night. Flew was in the affirmative …show more content…

Warren begins by presenting a chart entitled, “Flew’s Prison”. This chart shows six “barriers” that Flew must overcome in order to “know that God does not exist.” Throughout the rest of the debate, Flew does not overcome any of these barriers, and most of them are completely unmentioned by Flew. Warren uses other charts and a list of questions that he submitted to Flew before the debate to begin laying out his negative case against Flew. One of the major arguments that Warren uses is that of the Nazi Germans. According to Flew’s answer on Warren’s questionnaire, the Nazi soldiers committed objective moral wrong, which implies a higher standard than human …show more content…

Flew poses some difficult questions, but (as Warren accurately observes) he does not fulfill his job as the affirmative speaker by laying out a valid argument. Over the course of the debate, Warren obviously proves his case much more effectively than Flew. During the first two nights in the negative, Warren presented convincing evidence to disprove Flew’s case, and during the second two nights, he forms many sound arguments to prove his affirmation of the existence of God. Flew continues to pose “interesting” questions and hint at certain arguments (such as the “problem” of evil), but he forsakes his duty to function as the affirmative/negative speaker on the respective nights and fails to form a precise

Open Document