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Assess whether 'God exists' is a testable hypothesis.

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Introduction

Assess whether 'God exists' is a testable hypothesis Ultimately, God's existence cannot be classified as a 'testable' hypothesis. A hypothesis is a proposal, which can be tested and then either confirmed or rejected. God's non-physical state makes this virtually impossible, as we are unable to use our senses to confirm his presence or absence. Anthony Flew and Ludwig Wittgenstein's theories provide a considerable amount of evidence, which suggests that there cannot possibly be a religious hypothesis. Good introduction. Firstly, Anthony Flew's parable of the gardener is highly vital in the quest to prove that God's existence is not a testable hypothesis. The scenario includes two explorers, who discover a humanly made clearing, yet evidence suggests that it occurred naturally. Both explorers have contrasting views, one favours natural causes and the other favours human intervention. Subsequently, no evidence of the gardener is present, however is invisible. Flew's claim hinges on falsification,and if a religious claim cannot be falsified it is essentially meaningless, as the claimant hasn't allowed themselves to be proven wrong. The hypothesis of God's existence is relatively similar to this case, as God is 'transcendent' and beyond our experiences, which by Flew's logic makes the religious hypothesis meaningless, as it is not testable. ...read more.

Middle

Hick uses the parable of the Celestial city to illustrate this. It includes two men, who are travelling to the same destination, yet have contrasting expectations of what they will find. This parable hints towards Eschatological verification, which relates to Hick's argument that many claims are reliant on the presence of the afterlife. Nevertheless, critics suggest that we will never be able to truly verify our experiences. This essentially applies to the existence of God and heaven if God is a figure beyond our thoughts, it is hard to envisage how we will be able to identify that we are experiencing God and heaven, rather than merely a illusion. Moreover, 'Logical Positivists' possess the belief that all knowledge is derived from our senses. Therefore, if knowledge is not empirically gained, it is meaningful. God's alleged characteristics hint toward him being non-physical, making it impossible to empirically witness his existence. This led to logical positivists claim, that God's existence is not testable and the claim is meaningless, as it is empirically not verifiable and cannot be tested. Equally, the flaws within the verification argument are highlighted regularly. History and Science exploit the weaknesses for all to see. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite this, faith is not without it's faults. Believers often require a purpose in life, which hey gain from a supernatural being.Ultimately,our faith in God may well stem from our own insecurities and the desire to feel that there is an afterlife waiting for us if we abide by God's rules. To conclude, ultimately, the existence of God's is not and will never be a testable hypothesis, for an array of reasons. The main issues arise from the fact that God can not be empirically proven, due to his non-physical state, making it far from testable, which makes it hard to provide support for the case of it being a hypothesis. The case brought forward by Anthony Flew and Ludwig Wittgenstein is compelling to say the least, as they highlight several issues, which back up claims that God's existence is not a testable hypothesis. The inability to falsify religious claims essentially makes them meaningless, as there is no possibility of the clamant being proved wrong, therefore since God's presence cannot be empirically know, we cannot test his existence. Wittgenstein highlights the subjective nature of nature, which prevents you defining a term, and he claims that hypothesis are scientists rather than believers. Therefore, we cannot label the God's existence as a hypothesis, as we're unable to gain access to it empirically or otherwise. Meaningful conclusion. Junaid O'Balogun ...read more.

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