Antony Flew argues that the concept of God is meaningless, since it cannot even in principle be falsified, and therefore since ‘God exists’ denies nothing. by Antony Flew. L et us begin with a parable. It is a parable developed from a tale told by John Wisdom in his haunting and revolutionary article “Gods.” Once. The contribution in question is the symposium in which Antony Flew’s short paper “Theology and Falsification” was presented and discussed.
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Either you feel it or you don’t. My view is that it would not invalidate Flew’s thoughts if he went mad later. It was mainly in meetings of the Socratic Club that Oxford linguistic philosophers, who were often accused of trivialising a once profound discipline, began to explore what Immanuel Kant famously distinguished as the three great questions of philosophy — God, Freedom and Immortality.
Of course, this is no sure sign that they either are, or are intended to be assertions. When the Sceptic in tjeology parable asked the Believer, “just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?
One explorer says, “Some gardener must tend this plot. And in this, it seems to me, lies the abtony danger, the endemic evil, of theological utterance. But though the process of qualification may be and of course usually is, checked in time, it is not always judicially so halted.
Yet still the Believer is not convinced. Someone may dissipate his assertion completely without noticing that he has done so.
And to know the meaning of the negation of an assertion, is as near as makes no matter, to know the meaning of that assertion. This paper from has been described as the most-read philosophical work of the late twentieth century.
But let us confine ourselves to the cases where those who utter such sentences intended them to express assertions. Dickenson Publishing Company, Inc. Find it on Scholar. But then perhaps we ask: Merely remarking parenthetically that those who intend or interpret such utterances as crypto-commands, expressions of wishes, disguised ejaculations, concealed ethics, or as anything else but assertions, are unlikely to succeed in making them either properly orthodox or practically effective.
Antony Flew : Theology and Falsification
August Learn how and when to remove this template message. I therefore put to the succeeding symposiasts the falsidication central questions, “What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or the existence of, God?
This article has no associated abstract. The following excerpt was published in Falsifiation and Responsibility Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.
No keywords specified fix it. It is reproduced here on the Secular Web with permission. Another man prefers to talk of Aphrodite but knows that there is not really a superhuman person additional to, and somehow responsible for, all sexual phenomena.
For they remember how H. I’ve had the compelling experience that I was abducted by aliens, therefore aliens exist. It was founded by C. Let us begin with a parable. It is beyond reason. Wells’ invisible man could not, admittedly, be seen, but in all other respects he was a man like the rest of us.
Posted by John Danaher at 5: Can religious beliefs be disproved?
Theology and Falsification
Another man prefers to talk of Aphrodite but knows that there is not really a superhuman person additional to, and somehow responsible for, all sexual phenomena. I think the goading of atheists slips out in the video when he starts talking about the ever-present “spiritual dimension” to doubt.
Phillips, who himself accepts the description ‘religion without propositions’ as appropriate. Of course, this is no sure sign that they either are, or are intended to be, assertions. My short paper entitled ‘Theology and Falsification’, which is reprinted below, has some claim to have been the most widely read philosophical publication of the second half of the twentieth century.
And anything which would count against the assertion, or which would induce the speaker to withdraw it and to admit that it had been mistaken, must be part of or the whole of the meaning of the negation of that assertion. Thus Flew concludes that religious believers cause God to “die the death of a thousand qualifications”. For if the utterance is indeed an assertion, it will necessarily be equivalent to a denial of the negation of that assertion.
Theology and Falsification
Theism, Atheism and the Magnus Image York: Antony Flew at home in But though the process of qualification may be, and of course usually is, checked in time, it is not always judiciously so halted. I think you can easily take issue with Craig’s inner witness argument, which is simply an appeal to personal experience: Some qualification is made — God’s love is “not a merely human love” or it is “an inscrutable love,” perhaps — and we realise that such sufferings are quite compatible with the truth of the assertion that “God loves us as a father but, of course, Showing that God Exists.
Either you get it or you don’t. The bloodhounds never give cry. Flew’s main claim in using the parable is that religious believers do not allow anybody to “falsify” their assertions, instead they simply change their beliefs to suit the questioner.
Apparently, only Christians are allowed that. Emo Civil August 24, at 5: The Logic of Miracles — Part 4: But though the process of qualification may be and of course usually is, checked in time, it is not always judicially so halted.