Logical Positivists (Vienna Circle)
2 forms of verifiable language
- a posteriori
RL is meaningless because considers things beyond human experience.
RL isn't univocal, its equivocal.
Ayer proposed strong and weak verification
No doubt a statement is true, verify using sense experience.
Verified in practice and conclusively.
We know the meaning of a statement if we know the conditions under which the statement is true or false.
Some observations relevant to proving true or false but not enough to prove conclusively.
Verifiable in principle rather than practice. Verifiable in terms of 'probable' rather than conclusive.
Ayer - all talk of God is nonsensical since 'the notion of a person whose essential attributes are non-empirical is not an intelligible notion at all'
2 Falsification Principle
Karl Popper challenged methodology of science and argued that it was concerned with falsification rather than verification: theories are considered true until some evidence counts against them
2.1 Antony Flew
RL is meaningless
This is because there's nothing can count against religious statements.
Can neither be proved true or false as believers don't accept evidence to falsify their beliefs.
Meaningless = non-falsifiability
2.2 Parable of the
St John of the Cross and other mystics
St Augustine, Dionysius
4 Aquinas & Analogy
we understand human power and this helps us understand God's power.
10 RM Hare
RL still has meaning because it influences the way people look at the world.
Can really only verify the existence of life after death when we experience iife after death
12 Basil Mitchell
Religious statements are not neutral hypotheses. Religious believer displays an attitude of trust or faith.
Religious belief can continue often when there is contrary evidence.