In a recent interview in Playboy (see here), Dawkins claims:
PLAYBOY: Are you concerned that your opponents might fake a deathbed conversion, as creationists have tried to do with Darwin?
DAWKINS: What’s slightly more worrying is the Antony Flew effect. Flew was an atheistic British philosopher who had an old-age conversion. It seems he went gaga. You can’t guard against that.
PLAYBOY: So if it happens we should assume you’ve lost it.
DAWKINS: Yes. After my friend Christopher Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer, he was asked if he might have a conversion. He said that if he did, it wouldn’t be the real him. What’s rather wicked is when religious apologists exploit that, as they did in the case of Flew, who in his old age was persuaded to put his name to a book saying that he’d been converted to a form of deism. Not only did he not write the book, he didn’t even read it. [laughs]
How can you “not be you” ?
How can you say something, but on the same time warn people that “this wasn’t me that was talking!”…?