FLEW & HARE (1971) THEOLOGY & FALSIFICATION - SUMMARY
This extract from Antony Flew's 1971 Symposium features Flew's outline of the falsification principle and a response from R.M. Hare that outlines the concept of bliks.
In Flew's section, he describes the Parable of the Gardener and how the idea of falsification criticises religious language. Flew lays down a challenge to the other symposiasts to defend religious language against the accusation that it is meaningless.
R.M. Hare takes up the challenge by arguing that Flew has mistaken the nature of religious language. Religious statements are not scientific-style explanations. Instead they are statements of a worldview (blik) which is not falsifiable or verifiable with evidence.
There is a big debate about whether religious statements are assertions about the real world (a realist view) or descriptions of a worldview (an antirealist view).
Many religious believers and many atheists would disagree with what Hare is saying and claim that their beliefs really are "explanations, as scientists are accustomed to use the word". Most religious believers think their beliefs are objectively true, but if religious beliefs are bliks then they can't be true or false and there's no way of judging which one to follow, other than personal preference.
If atheism is a blik then it's not based on lack of evidence for God's existence - but many atheists would argue that's exactly what their atheism is based on.