You Can Say Nothing Meaningful About God. Discuss (35)

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You can say nothing meaningful about God. Discuss (35)

Ayer believed that ‘No sentence which describes the nature of a transcendent God can possess any literal significance’ therefore according to Ayer we cannot say anything meaningful about God. Through the verification principle, he demonstrates that all religious statements are meaningless, because for any statement to be meaningful it must be empirically verifiable for example the statement “Jesus is the light of the world”; is meaningless as there is no way to verify this.

Ayer used the strong verification principle to reject any talk of ethics, metaphysics, historical and even scientific claims as they work in probability rather than certainty. The strong verification principle only regarded statements to have meaning if they could be tested in the past, present and future using sense or empirical measures to find the conclusion. Therefore statements such as “Jesus resurrected on the third day” would be seen as meaningless as we cannot test this claim in the here and now. Once again this stresses the fact that we cannot say anything meaningful about God using the strong verification principle as we cannot physically see him in our present time. This principle criticised itself because it not only meant that we could say nothing meaningful about God but also past historical events since we are unable to verify their certainty.

However the weak verification principle allows statements to have meaning if the means to which a statement can be verified are known. This allows for historical & scientific statements to be seen as meaningful if it is possible in practise to gather the evidence, and if experience and observation can establish the statements as probable. In this instance the statements “Jesus resurrected on the third day” or “God exists” are meaningful, even though I cannot go back to the past to…...

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