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Having suggested that atheism and agnosticism are concerned with a meaningless problem paragraph B , he now argues that a non-empirical personal God is devoid of meaning. Ayer thought that religious claims are Non-Cognitive and impossible to verify, so they are meaningless. Have psychologists arrived at similar or different conclusions to Ayer? However, Ayer also touches upon: The nature of God is transcendent and a mystery.

He puts forward a bold idea: Secondary Points The main thrust deals with the inability of theists to give meaningful description to God. All claims which can be checked with the senses can be incorporated into science — a system for knowing things. On what grounds might someone dispute this? Introduction to A2 Philosophy Homework: An analogy is an attempt to explain the meaning of something by comparison with an example more familiar to us. Perhaps a lot of what we take for knowledge defies strict verification.

aj ayer god talk is evidently nonsense essay

Contribution Here Ayer makes a significant contribution to the debates surrounding atheism and agnosticism, by provocatively claiming that disbelief in God is just as meaningless as belief in God. The Verification Principle might contradict itself.

This raises logical positivism and the verification principle. Ayer will then go on to relate this argument to views which theists themselves hold and claims about their experience. What counter-arguments are there to what Ayer is saying?

Download ppt “Religious Language. So, what the urine tells us is indirect and incomplete. If someone were to ask what the meaning of a great work of art is, we could give them a paraphrase. It is not just a marker for Christianity, but it also makes a powerful statement.


aj ayer god talk is evidently nonsense essay

Upload document Create flashcards. He implies that our language can never convey truth in an absolute sense — can we agree with that conclusion? Why might some theists claim that mysticism is cognitive? Ayer had to distinguish between the strong and weak principles because he realised that hardly anything can be really verified in the strict sense.

Similarly, those seeing yellow things think that there are real yellow things rather than just odd sensations. The language is not meaningful. Which philosophers, and why?

Religious Language.

For instance, a road sign just points to a fact about a road, whereas a symbolic flag participates in the power of the king or the nation. You would also have to discuss further the implications of these views for religion and human experience see essay frame. Is it impossible for God to be fully known defined through empirical manifestations?

Design argument, religious experience – The claim that God is apparent in the regularity of nature tells us nothing more than that the requisite regularity is present in nature, and does not really tell us about God himself. In his Philosophical Investigations published after his deathWittgenstein focused on the uses language can be put to.

Is Ayer correct in his claim that God cannot be defined or described?

Context In this third paragraph, Ayer continues his argument that God-talk is nonsense. What are the implications of seeing God as indefinite, un-provable? Look at attempts to check the authenticity of religious experiences RC Church, Swinburne.


This links in with your A2 religious experience topic. If we are to believe in God or some other aspect of religion, we aywr only do this if we can use language to talk about it in a meaningful way. Humans can be faithful to each other, in speech and behaviour, and so on. He explains the teleology purpose of the universe by comparing its design to an intricate mechanism. Plain English Paraphrase If God is made equivalent to natural objects, then this language might mean something.

A.J. Ayer – ‘God-talk is evidently nonsense’ – Mindmap in A Level and IB Religious Studies

Statements and questions about God have no sense, so agnosticism is also ruled out. Contribution Here Ayer attacks a key basis of theism — the idea that God could exist despite not being directly observable.

aj ayer god talk is evidently nonsense essay

What about events such as Our Lady of Fatima links to A2 religious experiencewhen thousands of witnesses claimed to have seen the same peculiar solar activity?

Some would claim that religious experiences can be in some ways verified, or at least aspects of religious experiences. Non-Cognitive Language expresses things which we could never know: Tests for authenticity — Swinburne: