Flew: God dies the death of a thousand qualificaitons- explain please

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fitza003
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i really dont understand this quote- im trying to revise for synoptic tomorrow morning
any help would be greatly appreciated

ta
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Flickeeby
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its okay.. the falsification principle.. if someone makes a statement and they dont give another statement that would make them change their mind anything they say is meaningless...

religious statements in particular cause problem because believers have a prior commitment to their faith, and often come up with excuses... remember the parable of the gardener

any statement made "dies the death of 1000 qualifications" if the person who says it does not say something to contradict what they believe, because they're just like excuses...

if that makes sense?
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Kerris007
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When an atheist points out evidence to show statements aren't true, a theist "qualifies" the statement by adding modifications. He uses Wisdom's parable of the gardener to show what he meant.
Flew is saying that the more qualities added, the more likely it is that the atheist is right i.e. for a statement to have meaning, it must stand firm without further justification.

Does that help?????

Good luck!!!
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fitza003
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thanks you so much
makes it loads clearer

cheers
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jmj
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I'll help you out here, I do philosophy with WJEC but we did this

What Flew means is religion never allows you to falsify religion i.e. prove it false and so religion keeps changing or 'qualifiying' our answers. ]]

There is a parable that makes it clearler Flew uses by John Wisdom- 2 guys are going through a dense jungle and they come to a patch of land so neatrly kept with flowers on it etc, so that it points to there being a gardener. So one guy says to the other, "Look at the way this is kept, there must be a gardener".

The other guy then says this is ridiculous, saying they are in the middle of nowhere, why would there be a gardener etc, there is no gardener. The first guy keeps saying there is so they both sit there and wait for a while.

After a few hours the second guy is even more confident the gardener doesn't exist but the first guy says 'well, he must only come at night'. Every time the second guy says there isn't a gardener the second guy changes or qualifies his answer, saying 'he must be on holiday', 'he must be sick' and eventually says that the gardener is invisible.

Therefore, what Flew is saying is that religion does not let itself be proven false, because believers say stuff like 'we can't know what God has planned for us' 'God is transcendent i.e. beyond this universe so we can't know what he wants us to do' etc- therefore religion dies the death of a thousand qualifications because it never allows anything to counter it.

Hope this helps, let me know if you're stuck with anything else and I'll try and help, unless you think this doesn't make sense in which case I apologise

Good luck
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fitza003
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that helps even more thank you

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jmj
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You're very welcome -haha, I just looked on my post above and I said 'there is a parable that makes it clearler- lol ironic Anything else you're stuck on (I may not know the answer but I can try )
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