Positivism and Christianity
This essay is conceived as a critical exposition of the central issues that figure in the ongoing conversation between Logical Positivists and neo 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 emer 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.