Falsification: Religious language.

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  • Created by: Becca
  • Created on: 10-03-10 20:39


Falsification menas to prove something false, an assertion is meaningless if there is no way in which it can be falsified.

Karl Popper: Falsification was a way to demarcate scientific statements from other statements. Thus if applied to religious belief falsification raises a question about the nature of the claims that religious people make.

Anthony Flew: Presented an analogy: Two explorers come across a clearing in a jungle filled with weeds. One suggests that there is a gardener who looks after it secretly. The sceptic despairs - what remains of your orginal assertion, just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an a imaginery garderner or no gardner at all.

Flew said that religious believers say that God loves them even when disaster happens. No experience seems to falsify a religious believers faith. Flew therefore argues that talk about God is meaningless. God has died a death by a thousand qualifications. Whenever a religious believer is challanged they modify what they say which no longer resemble the orginal claims about God.

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Challanges to Falsification

John Wisdom: Used a similar analogy to Flew but suggested that religious language makes statements that are reasonable. The story may suggest that the existence of God is a matter that is outside our normal scopes of the traditional methods of scientific matter.

Basil Mitchell: Gave an example of the resistance worker to show that a person will often take a statement as being meaningful on trust became prior faith maintains that trust even when evidence undermines it. Religious statements are meaningful as they are a commitment of faith.

R.M Hare: Religious statements are non - cognitive and influences the way in which people see the world so have meaning. Hare called this idea Blik; which is how people see the world and the difference between different people's Bliks cannot be solved by observation. He used the analogy of the University student.

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