Today’s lesson will be successful if you can: Explain the Verification Principle Critique the Verification Principle We started on Tuesday looking at the word ‘meaning’. This is because we need to find out if religious language is meaningful. Before we do this – try the activity on the sheet. Can you work out whether these statements are ‘meaningful’? (Philosophy of Religion Statements Sheet) Starter: Make a 6 grid Bingo grid with the following words: Using the words from your glossary, make a bingo grid with 6 words. Can you a) recognise b) explain these words in relation to the Verification Principle Brainstorm everything you have learned about the Vienna Circle. • A Group of Philosophers in the 1920’s and 30s’ in VIENNA • Wittgenstein was a strong influence on them • They followed the thoughts of E Comte • Led by a writer called Moritz Schlick • They believed that theology was an outdated way of looking at religion was outdated • Known as logical positivists (evidence based) Starter: Sort these into Analytic and Synthetic statements The table in the kitchen is round All bachelors are unmarried Frozen water is ice Daisies are flowers All men are arrogant Two halves make a whole Triangles have three sides The president is dishonest The strong verification principle states that only statements that are analytic or empirically verifiable are meaningful. All other statements are meaningless (not false). Henry VIII was the King of England Love of money is the root of all evil God is Good There is life on other planets There are 180 degrees in a triangle God exists Dog’s bark Jesus lived Hurray I love my dog I will go to heaven when I die Which of these statements are empirically verifiable? Create a table, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of the Vienna Circle verification principle Advantages Disadvantages Ideas for extra study Homework task: when you are at home, go to youtube logical positivism radio 4. Listen and make notes on logical positivism (verification principle)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heTZPZhw2 k0 Textbook – pages 227-230 Philosophy of Religion (Cole) Chapter 11 (This is a slightly harder read) Preparation from Religious Language Booklet – Falsification Principle The Weak Verification Principle A J Ayer The key difference: a statement may not be provable: however it may be possible to show that it is probably true beyond all reasonable doubt. Ayer’s version allows us to make statements about the past, people’s emotions and to make predictions in science. However, and key here is that Ayer believed that religion and ethics are NOT Create a table, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of the Ayer’s weak verification Principle Advantages Disadvantages So, because God/Religion cannot be empirically verified, to describe God/Religion as anything is meaningless. John Hick (1922 – 2012) came up with the a BRILLIANT argument against logical positivism – we cannot empirically verify the existence of God this side of heaven! We may be able to sometime in the future. Now, who can argue with that! Ayer’s response was to argue that the verification principle only applied to statements and propositions, not whole theories 2 Choices: 1)Compare the strong and weak verification principle. Outline the strengths and weaknesses of both. 2)Stretch and Challenge option ‘The Verification Principle cannot be verified’ Write a couple of paragraphs explaining this point and considering whether Ayer’s criticism is sufficient.