The falsification principle

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  • Created by: Abitracey
  • Created on: 15-02-13 15:13
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  • The falsification principle
    • Falsification: criticisms and responses
      • Basil Mitchell disagreed with Flew's analysis. Religious believers are not blind to the problems of faith. Uses a story about a fighter and a stranger
      • R.M. Hare: suggested Flew did not understand the nature of religious belief. Hare used the lunatic analogy. Hare calls basic beliefs 'bliks', they are not verifiable or falsifiable.
      • Hick: argues for eschatological verification. Verification and falsification are not opposites. Hick argues that religious beliefs can be verified in principle if true but never falsified if false.
    • The falsification principle and religious language
      • Flew's point is to ask what would have to happen in order for the existence of God to be disproved.
      • Any theory that is impossible to disprove is no valid theory at all.
      • Flew has a garden analogy.
      • The falsification principle has its origins in Karl Popper's philosophy of science.
      • Anthony Flew: the problem with religious language is that it cannot be falsified and it is not a genuine statement at all.
    • Aims to improve upon the apparently limited verification principle by suggesting that the difficulty with religious statements is that there is no possible state of affairs that could ever lead to a religious statement being proven false.


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