Challenges to the Falsification Principle

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  • Created by: Vez97
  • Created on: 21-02-16 12:55

CRITICISMS

(A university debate considered this falsification challenge --> 'Flew, Hare and Mitchell: A Symposium on Theology and Falsification')

BASIL MITCHELL - THE PARABLE OF THE PARTISAN AND THE STRANGER

Mitchell believed Flew was missing the point of religion.  

In wartime, a resistance fighter meets a stranger who claims to be the secret leader of the resistance.  He makes a good impression.  The stranger's subsequent actions are ambiguous but, on the strength of the original meeting, the resistance fighter continues to trust him. Mitchell is trying to illustrate that religious believers are not blind to the problems of faith - they recognise that evidence counts against their belief in God, but religion is based on faith and commitment. 

Also, Mitchell deals with the problematic parts of religion, by illustrating that everything will be revealed at the end of time/after death, aka the stranger in the story will be able to reveal his true allegiance after the war and explain his mysterious behavior.

  • Is the analogy weak - can you really compare God to a partisan?  He is risking anthropomorphizing God.

R.M.HARE - BLIKS

Although Hare agreed that the FP could help decide the meaningfulness of cognitive statements, he believed religious language still has meaning - not because it imparts knowledge, but because it influences the way people

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