For several decades, Antony Flew has been among the most influential of atheist thinkers. Initially interested in paranormal research, he soon established himself as a powerful opponent of religious belief. He held teaching positions at the University of Oxford and the University of Aberdeen, and then Professorships at the University of Keele and the University of Reading.
Among Flew’s most influential works are his essays “Theology and Falsification” (in New Essays in Philosophical Theology) and “The Presumption of Atheism”. In the former, he argued that theological claims should not be taken seriously because they cannot be falsified; in the latter, that atheism ought to be the default position, that the burden of proof on the question of God’s existence lies with the theist. He has also published a work on the possibility of an afterlife, first released under the title The Logic of Mortality but now available as Merely Mortal?
In late 2004, it was reported that Flew had changed his mind and accepted the existence of God. The burden of proof, he decided, can now be met following scientific advances that strengthen the argument to design. He continues, however, to reject all purported divine revelation, along with any possibility of an afterlife, describing himself as a deist rather than as a theist.