Implications - Ayer

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Paragraph 1 - Summary

  • Cannot prove God's existence is probable.
  • God's existence is not an 'empirical hypothesis' (it cannot be empirically proven).
  • Design in the world = God exists - doesn't work as it only shows there is design, and doesn't give actual evidence of God's existence.
  • Metaphysical utterances cannot be true or false [Ayer's verification principle].
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Paragraph 2 - summary

  • Concepts of atheism and agnosticism are equally meaningless.
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Paragraph 3 - summary

  • Statements within primitive religions could be meaningful, i.e. it is thundering = Jehovah is angry.
  • Sophisticated religions suggest there is a being outside the world with 'super-empirical attributes' - non-sensical.
  • Existence of noun does not equal its reality.
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Paragraph 5 - summary

  • Theists describe God as 'ineffable', 'mysterious'.
  • Religious believers = faith and reason - if it is not intelligible to reason it's meaningless.
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Paragraph 6 - summary

  • Intuition does not reveal any facts [Donovan/religious experience].
  • Mystic is unable to express what he knows or say how it could be tested [psychologists].
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Paragraph 7- summary

  • Theists suggest it is logically possible for men to be immediately acquainted with God much like we are immediately acquainted with a sense-content [Swinburne's principle of credulity/direct awareness].
  • Yellow patch can be empirically proved as a sense-content compared to an experience of God.
  • We cannot deny an experience of God but it has no validity because it cannot be checked.
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Paragraph 8 - summary

  • Religious experience cannot be true because it cannot be empirically proved.
  • Theist is deceiving himself by believing his experiences are cognitive, unless he can formulate his 'knowledge' into propositions that are empirically verifiable.
  • Religious experience is interesting from a psychologist's point of view.
  • Reduces knowledge to empirical evidence [logical positivists/Donovan].
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