Falsification Principle and Criticisms

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  • Created by: Lucas D
  • Created on: 12-04-12 14:12


Falsification Principle

Karl Popper

- Created the falsification principle as verification principle is too flawed to be valid.

- Aim of falsification was to work out if a statement was scientific as opposed to any other statement.

- This has been developed by other philosophers who consider a non-factual statement to be meaningless.

- A scientific statement is one which is falsifiable, meaning that it would accept evidence, if it existed to prove the statement false e.g. All humans are mortal, not verifiable but is falsifiable.

- “Science is more concerned with falsification of hypothesis than with the verification”

 - This idea led to a debate between Flew, Hare and Mitchell, in an article called “Theology and Falsification: A Symposium”


- Flew suggests that believers will allow nothing to falsify their claims, thus they cannot be considered scientific and cannot be applied to the falsification principle.

- To explain this Flew gives the Analogy of the Gardener, this is similar to the one used by John Wisdom

- From this Flew argues that theist behave in the same way as the believing explorer, i.e. they don’t accept any evidence to falsify their claims, such as suffering in the world, is evidence that god is not benevolent.

- In a simple sentence Flew suggests “Religious claims die the death of a thousand qualifications”

-This means that religious believer’s statements about God will be made to fit in any circumstance.

- Thus God talk is meaningless and unscientific as it’s unfalsifiable.



- In response to Flew, Hare created the Analogy of the Lunatic and the Dons.

- In this Hare, coined the word ‘Blik’ a ‘Blik’ describes the way in which people see and interpret the world.

- ‘Bliks’ cannot be falsified and it does not make factual claims that can be tested.

- Religious claims are ‘Bliks’ and therefore are meaningless but cannot


Katie Morrey

This is really good

Lucas D


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