Mind map on the three philiosophers interpretations of Falsification

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  • Created by: JMitch
  • Created on: 29-05-13 13:33
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  • Falsification
    • Anthony Flew
      • Analogy of Explorers in a Jungle
        • 1 explorer argues that the Jungle must have a Gardener
        • The other is a skeptic and watches and can't see it - the believer qualifies it as an invisible gardener
        • They set traps and electric fences but still the believer does not give-in
        • The Believer argues that the gardener is invisible, intangible and insensible - the Skeptic argues that it is no different to a made up gardener or no gardener at all
      • Flew called this 'Death by a Thousand Qualifications'
      • Religious believers dismiss any evidence to falsify their faith and therefore making their faith meaningless as unfalsifiable
    • R.M. Hare
      • Parable of the Paranoid Man
        • Lunatic student believed that all lecturers were trying to kill him
        • Despite many good natured lecturers being shown to falsify the belief, the lunatic argued they were trying to trick him
        • A sane student wouldn't have had this - the paranoid man represenst the bilk
      • Agreed with Flew but argued that people have different standards of falsification
      • These different standards are called Bilks - a set of beliefs that will not change
      • Religious believers have an unfalsifiable bilk
      • Argued Flew was wrong to treat religion like science
        • But Flew argued that religious believers make statements about creation, therefroe needing to be treated in a scientific way
    • Basil Mitchell
      • Story of the Stranger
        • A partisan met a stranger who told the partisan to trust him no matter what
        • When the stranger is seen helping the cause, the partisan declares he is on our side
        • Also declares the stranger is on their side when arresting partisans
        • Friends ask what the stranger would need to do for the partisan to change his mind - he gives no replies
      • Mitchell argues that religious believers recognise issues such as the Problem of Evil, but it doesn't affect their belief
        • Flew argued that if you questioned believers on the issue they would eventually qualify their belief or God
    • Religious believers accept no possibility of falsification in regards of God - this is therefore meaningless
    • Criticisms
      • Swinburne Toys in Toy cupboard
      • Ayer argues that a unicorn who comes out when no-one looks is technically possible with this theory


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