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AuthorKlein, Kenneth H. author
TitlePositivism and Christianity [electronic resource] : A Study of Theism and Verifiability / by Kenneth H. Klein
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1974
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Descript 194 p. online resource


This essay is conceived as a critical exposition of the central issues that figure in the ongoing conversation between Logical Positivists and neoยญ Positivists on the one hand and Christian apologists on the other. My expository aim is to isolate and to describe the main issues that have emerยญ ged in the extended discussion between men of Positivistic turn of mind and men sympathetic to the claims of Christianity. My critical aim is to select typical, influential stands that have been taken on each of these issues, to assess their viability, and to isolate certain dilemmas which discussion of these issues has generated. I am convinced that the now commonly rejected verifiability theory of meaning is very commonly misunderstood and has been rejected by and large for the wrong reasons. Before it is cast off-if it is to be cast off-what is needed is a reconsideration of that theory and of the objections that its several formulations have elicited. Furthermore, at least partially because of a misconstruing of the verifiability doctrine, there have been some interesting-though in my opinion unsuccessful-claims advanced about the testability-status of sentences expressive of Christian belief. Moreover, in their haste to vindicate Christianity, some apologists have been fairly cavalier, in my opinion, about what "Christianity" involves. This volume offers what I hope will be a clear statement and analysis of the principle points at issue between Positivism and Christianity, together with my own assessment of where the argument stands now


I. Statement of the Issues -- A. Overview of the Positivist stand upon theism -- B. Exposition of the Positivist stand on the issues -- C. Appendix: Unintelligible words and unintelligible sentences -- II. Theism without belief in God -- A. Religious belief construed as a moral commitment -- B. Religious belief construed as โ{128}{156}slantingโ{128}{157} -- C. Religious belief construed as the contemplating of a โ{128}{156}symbol pictureโ{128}{157} -- Discussion -- III. Testability and Factual Significance -- A. The search for a criterion of factual significance -- B. Formulations and difficulties -- C. Further problems -- Retrospect -- IV. Are Theological Sentences Testable? -- A. Terrestrial falsifiability -- B. Eschatological verifiability -- C. Terrestrial verifiability -- Retrospect -- V. Dilemmas -- A. Summary of the argument -- B. Objections and dilemmas -- Selected bibliography

Philosophy Epistemology Religion -- Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Philosophy of Religion


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