Analytic Philosophy of Religion (Handbook of Contemporary by James F. Harris

By James F. Harris

While Gene lengthy, editor of Kluwer's instruction manual of latest Philosophy of faith sequence, first invited me to jot down the amount on Analytic Philosophy of faith, I authorized with nice enthusiasm. My simply reason for that enthusiasm now's that i used to be more youthful and extra naive on the time. quickly after beginning paintings at the quantity, my enthusiasm was once dampened via the daunting significance of the duty. i started as a sprinter and quick settled into the speed of a long-distance runner. even supposing I thought of myself good learn within the topic, I quickly chanced on that I had loads of examine to do to be convinced that I had thought of the entire significant contributions to a number of the discussions, concerns, and of faith. As I learn increasingly more difficulties chanced on inside of analytic philosophy books and articles, i spotted that I had rushed right into a territory already good trodden by means of the angels. i'm tremendously inspired via the sophistication and subtlety of philosophical argument that signify different debates in modern analytic philosophy of faith. This quantity covers an unlimited quantity of fabric. i've got endeavored to supply the fairest attainable studying of alternative authors, and, in situations the place I contain my very own serious reviews and boost my very own positions, i've got endeavored to supply the most powerful attainable interpretations of the positions I criticize.

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Ibid. 17 This appears to be the case if, in fact, the only thing that can falsify the original assertion is an observation statement(s). See Plantinga, God and Other Minds, p. 162. 18 Plantinga, God and Other Minds, p. 168. 15 16 THE PROBLEM OF RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE 35 Whatever the meaning of 'love' is, loving someone must mean something different from not loving that person. Whatever the behavior might be that is compatible with and evidence of one person loving another, there must be some behavior that is not compatible with or evidence of that person loving the other; otherwise, there would be no difference between loving and not loving.

One of the most compelling variations upon the early positivists' emphasis on verification and empirical meaning has proven to be the notion of falsification introduced by Antony Flew. Flew's falsifiability criterion of meaning for religious statements is an attempt to take Popper's falsifiability test for scientific claims and apply it within the philosophy of religion. Flew's use of falsification also has proven to be the most poignant and lasting formulation to capture and preserve the positivists' original concern with empirical meaningfulness.

They electrify it. They patrol with bloodhounds. (For they remember how H. G. ) But no shrieks ever suggest that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. " At last the Skeptic despairs, "But what remains of your original assertion? "? 5 See Carl Hempel, "Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning," in Semantics and the Philosophy of Language, edited by Leonard linsky (Urbana: University of illinois Press, 1952).

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