Faith and Reason: Is There a Sharp Divide? (Part 10)

Logical Positivism. Those who have been paying close attention will notice history repeating itself with the movement known as Logical Positivism. Once again we have a movement, this one started out very aggressive, that has as its goal the elimination of all metaphysical speculation. This means assumptions about the nature of reality. As we have stated before, morality cannot be derived from empirical observation, so ethics is done away with, it is labeled meaningless.

The verifiability principle was the standard that was used by the Vienna Circle to decide what is meaningful and what wasn’t. Roughly stated, this principle states, “for a statement to be meaningful it is in theory verifiable/provable by observation, either directly or indirectly.” This was the sword that they used to cut ethics and religion from meaningful conversation (they were relegated to the realm of “faith”-irrational belief- not “reason”- that which is testable). But this sword did something unexpected; it turned around and destroyed the movement itself! The Verification Principle could not be proven by observation so therefore it isn’t meaningful. It could not meet its own standards.


Posted on November 27, 2007, in Faith and Reason. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hey Joe, How is life? I just thought I would visit your blog and saw that you were writing about faith and reason which is a topic we are touching on in worldviews. We are working on existentialism and talking about Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith”. Hope all is well, and thanks so much for the book on Pomo, I will be reading it over the break in preparation for our unit on Postmodernism.

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