When Language Goes on a Holiday – Part II

In a recent post entitled When Language Goes on a Holiday [1], I gave a brief introduction to the matter of religious language and arguments from the side of the fence that finds our talk of God to be either “incoherent” or “meaningless.” I first gave an introduction to the problem of religious language and then provided some arguments for and against the issue. In this post however, I simply wish to go beyond John Hick and A.J. Ayer and move on to George H. Smith, Kai Nielsen, Antony Flew and Thomas Aquinas. George H. Smith (1979) isn’t necessarily a philosopher within the circle of this tradition, but does give us an outline from an atheistic perspective that is worth consideration.

Why – must we ask – is the title When Language Goes on a Holiday? What metaphor am I trying to draw here? Noted Austrian philosopher and dominant figure in the Vienna Circle Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) once wrote in his book Philosophical Investigations, section 38: ”Philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday” [2].Though this quote has a corresponding context, I of course used it to provide a title for the discussion of this post.

In respect to everyday language, the average person doesn’t always reflect on the very philosophical nature of what they’re doing. No one should really expect them too. In order to provide a demonstration for this “philosophic nature”, take for example Wittgenstein’s attention to the conundrum of trying to identify an object:

It is quite true that, in giving an ostensive definition for instance, we often point to the object named and say the name. And similarly, in giving an ostensive definition for instance, we say the word “this” while pointing to a thing. And also the word “this” and a name often occupy the same position in a sentence. But it is precisely characteristic of a name that it is defined by means of the demonstrative expression “That is N” (or “That is called ‘N’ “). [3]

In other words, in trying to define some given object, there seems to be this relationship between naming the object and the object itself. However, just exactly what is this relationship? Wittgenstein gives a response:

[Y]ou really get such a queer connexion when the philosopher tries to bring out the relation between name and thing by staring at an object in front of him and repeating a name or even the word “this” innumerable times.

Thus, in direct consequence, Wittgenstein says, “Philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday.” However, I use this quote to bring out a larger issue at hand in respect to our belief in God. A belief in which, we believers consider to be coherent and intelligible in terms of content. Even more so, that our belief in God is one that can be conveyed in terms of a coherent form of language, from believer to believer and unbeliever alike. However, my focus for this post is to give attention to the discussion of this issue, and what exactly the function of our religious language is.

What is the Problem?

To state our issue in a quick manner, the subject of religious language contains a problem of meaning. Norman Geisler (1980) explains: “If God is infinite and our language is finite, then how is it possible to engage in meaningful talk about God? For if language is empirically grounded and God is a trans-empirical Being, then it would seem that no talk about God can be truly descriptive” [4]. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae raises subject of religious language with the few following questions:

Can we use words for God?
Do any of the words we use for God expresses what he essentially is?
Do some of the words we use for God apply to him literally, or are they metaphorical?
Are these words used for God synonymous?
Are words used of God and creatures univocally or equivocally?
If we say they are used analogically, do they apply primarily to God or to creatures?…
Can we make affirmative statements about God? [6]

More over, it is just as important to remember that when speaking about the “validity” or “truth” of some given proposition, thing, or idea that we are also concerned with the meaning of that proposition/thing/idea. To make a point from Vern Poythress,

To speak of “validity” is to make a statement about content and meaning. If the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. To speak of “truth” is to also to be concerned with meaning. The very form of the argument is important only because it points to something about the nature of truth and validity. [5]

Thus, if religious language is incoherent, then that seems to leave little room for the belief in God(s). However, a few distinctions must be made in respect to the division of given camps before we can exposit particular views. This distinction is as follows:

  • (1) Cognitive Language
  • (2) Non-Cognitive Language

In respect to (1) I don’t mean to necessarily speak on the subject of natural language being grounded in human cognition [7], but, that what I mean by (1) is that cognitive language is a discussion of knowledge and facts (e.g., Hellenistic Christendom is a philosophy page), whereas non-cognitive language discusses or expresses things that we could never really “know”, such as values, feelings, etc. (e.g., the author of Hellenistic Christendom is a compassionate person).

One particular camp as opposed to the other might emphasize the latter view of language (e.g., critics of religion) in as much that “whereof we cannot speak thereof we cannot know” (Wittgenstein). Now, to move on to the particulars, let’s examine a view perspectives who found religious language to be meaningless. A few passing thoughts on the verification theory are in order.

A.J. Ayer’s Verification and the Failure of Metaphysical Deduction

Ayer’s critique of a metaphysical reality is much similar to his critique regarding the existence of God. In fact, he writes, “[t]his mention of God brings us to the question of the possibility of religious knowledge. We shall see that this possibility has already been ruled out by our treatment of metaphysics.” [8] Particularly, as seen from his argument in The Elimination of Metaphysics (1952, 33), Ayer outlines his criticism of a metaphysical reality by asking the metaphysician to justify his knowledge regarding this transcendent reality:

One way of attacking a metaphysician who claimed to have knowledge of a reality which transcended the phenomenal world would be to enquire from what premises his propositions were deduced. Must he not begin, as other man do, with the evidence of his senses? And if so, what valid process of reasoning can possibly lead him to the conception of a transcendent reality? Surely from empirical premises nothing whatsoever concerning the properties, or even the existence, of anything super-empirical can legitimately be inferred. [9]

Likewise, in the same way with his critique of the existence of God, Ayer amounts empirical propositions to only be probable propositions; so as to say that God cannot be known a priori (i.e., according to Ayer, “to have logical certainty”) but only a posteriori. However, if God’s existence were even probable, “then the proposition that he existed would be an empirical hypothesis.” [10] This becomes problematic [in that] from the proposition of God’s existence, other empirical hypotheses and respective experiential propositions are able to be deduced whereas from other hypotheses they didn’t have that privilege. Yet, in an unfortunate fashion, Ayer states that “this is not possible.”

More so, since Ayer rejects the existence of a metaphysical reality by virtue of his limiting of propositions to be either analytic or synthetic, he argues that “no sentence which purports to describe the nature of a transcendent god can possess any literal significance.” [11] The proper criterion for the truth-value of propositions are outlined by Ayer as follows:

We say that a sentence is factually significant to any given person, if, and only if, he knows how to verify the proposition which it purports to express – that is, if he knows what observations would lead him, under certain conditions, to accept the proposition as being true, or reject it as being false. If, on the other hand, the putative proposition is of such a character that the assumption of its truth, or falsehood, is consistent with any assumption whatsoever concerning the nature of his future experience, then, as far as he is concerned, it is, if not a tautology, a mere pseudo-proposition. [12]

This is understood in light of Ayer’s previous commitment to the elimination of metaphysics as having no literal significance under the empiricist’s framework – although it should be noted (see Ayer 1952: 71) that Ayer considers himself to be advocating a “form of empiricism” since he sees philosophy as predominately a “logic of science” and distinctively analytic (see p. 46 and pp.71-72). Thus, Ayer’s position can best stated to say that he renders all a priori truths (e.g., truths of logic and mathematics) as analytic propositions, or tautologies [13].

All knowledge begins with sense-experience – though, as he recognizes alongside Kant, it does not arise from sense-experience (see p. 74) – and that “there can be no a priori knowledge of reality” [14]. Thus, by the criterion of verifiability, Ayer only allows for two type of propositions:

  • Analytic Propositions: A statement that is purely definitional, or true by definition (e.g., a square circle is false).
  • Synthetic Propositions: A statement that is verifiable, or able to be confirmed by the senses (e.g., the chicken is raw).

Thus, any other statement, whether ethical, theological or metaphysical, are meaningless. It’s not Ayer’s position that religious propositions are false, just that they are meaningless in scope.

Critiques of Ayer’s Position

What are we to say in light of Ayer’s “thrusting” argument? A few responses can be accumulated. Norman Geisler in an overview of the general consensus position, writes:

The principle of verification has gone through many revisions by Ayer and by others in attempts to save it from collapse. Some have broadened it to include experiences that are not strictly empirical and others prefer to speak of confirmation rather than verification. But the original form of the principle of verification is all but universally rejected, even by most members of the original Vienna Circle. One objection to the principle of empirical verifiability is that the principle itself is not empirically verifiable. [15]

An even more interesting response can be found from John Hick in his work Faith and Knowledge [16], where he draws upon the idea that talk of God might be verifiable in principle. In the spirit of a response, Hick concedes to and accepts Ayer’s verification principle. Thence, Hick goes on to argue that the overall claim (or claims) of Christian faith can be verified in the afterlife if Christianity were true; however, if those respective Christian claims are false, it therefore cannot be falsified, since there would be no afterlife in which to falsify those beliefs. Thus, Hick offers a parable about an atheist and a theist walking down a long road to which believes is a great “Celestial City”, while the other believes he is going nowhere. Hick goes on to explain:

During the course of the journey the issue between them is not an experimental one. They do not entertain different expectations about the coming details of the road, but only about its ultimate destination. And yet when they do turn the last corner it will be apparent that one of them has been right all the time and the other wrong. Thus, although the issue between them has not been experimental, it has nevertheless from the start been a real issue. They have not merely felt differently about the road; for one was feeling appropriately and the other inappropriately in relation to the actual state of affairs. Their opposed interpretations of the road constituted genuinely rival assertions, though assertions whose status has the peculiar characteristic of being guaranteed retrospectively by a future crux. [17]

This is where the term eschatological verification that Hick coined comes from. Otherwise shortly stated, the idea of judgement assumes that God will (and can) be seen and known. Now, whether or not I really agree with Hick’s thesis here, I do happen to think it is respectively weak in terms of a reply, but is not so much a “rag” that needs to be tossed out of our consideration. It is nonetheless a meritous discussion to have in terms of religious epistemology.

Antony Flew’s Critique of Religious Language

Antony Flew (2007) in his account of one of his most famous works, Theology and Falsification, gives us a clear insight as to thesis of his paper presented to the Socratic Club in the summer of 1950:

My main objective was to clarify the nature of the claims made by religious believers. I asked: Do the numerous qualifications surrounding theological utterances result in their dying the death by a thousand qualifications? If you make a claim, it is meaningful only if it excludes certain things. For instance, the claim that the earth is a globe excludes the possibility that it is flat. [ … ] [O]nce you add the appropriate qualifications, the claim can be satisfactorily reconciled with phenomena that appear to contradict it. But if contradictory phenomena and associated qualifications keep multiplying, then the claim itself becomes suspect. [18]

Flew’s motivation for this thesis was his rejection of the belief in God due to the problem of suffering. This is evident from the Flew’s argument that in order to say that God loves us, we must first consider what given phenomena that claim would exclude. Hence, Flew argues that the existence of pain and suffering emerges as problems for such a claim. Thus, Flew explains that “[a]lthough my intention in raising these questions seems clear, I have repeatedly encountered claims that I was expounding my views about the meaning [ … ] of all religious language” [19].

However, Flew was not arguing in this paper that all statements of religious belief are to be considered meaningless by virtue of some criterion. Rather, how religious believers “explain how their statements are to be understood, especially in the light of conflicting data” [20]. Flew develops this thesis through the parable of the gardener; to quote the section in its full length:

Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, ‘Some gardener must tend this plot’. The other disagrees, ‘There is no gardener’. So they pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener is ever seen. ‘But perhaps he is an invisible gardener.’ So they set up a barbed-wire fence. They electrify it. They patrol with bloodhounds. (For they remember how H. G. Wells’s The Invisible Man could be both smelt and touched though he could not be seen.)

But no shrieks ever suggest that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry.Yet still the Believer is not convinced. ‘But there :is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves.’ At last the Sceptic despairs, ‘But what remains of our original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?’ [21]

One notable reply from the White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford would be R.M. Hare and his furthering of a counter parable and the the concept of a blik. To first explain, a blik according to Hare is a non-rational belief that could never be falsified (i.e., disproved). To use one interesting illustration of Hare’s point,  imagine that a student is convinced that his philosophy teacher is trying to kill him. However, as the friends of the student point out, there’s no evidence at all to show that this is the case. The student may say that his teacher is so clever that he would never leave any evidence to give off any suspicions. Hence, bliks are not necessarily untrue, but they are nonetheless groundless claims.

However, what is the application of this thesis to Hare’s counter-parable? To quote Hare’s proposal for a solution:

A certain lunatic is convinced that all dons want to murder him. His friends introduce him to all the mildest and most respectable dons that they can find, and after each of them has retired, they say, ‘You see, he doesn’t really want to murder you; he spoke to you in a most cordial manner; surely you are convinced now?’ But the lunatic replies ‘Yes, but that was only his diabolical cunning; he’s really plotting against me the whole time, like the rest of them; I know it I tell you’. However many kindly dons are produced, the reaction is still the same. [22]

Now, asking the question of whether or not our lunatic is deluded by his assessment of the character of the dons, does Flew’s criterion apply here? Hare goes on to comment that “[t]here is no behaviour of dons that can be enacted which he will accept as counting against his theory; and therefore his theory, on this test, asserts nothing” [23]. In other words, no matter how much evidence we present to the lunatic regarding the (moral) behavior of the dons, the lunatic’s theory thence on the dons is meaningless (or, asserts nothing) because there is no claim which excludes some other contradictory claim from the lunatic’s.

Thus, Flew according to Hare has a faulty position because the “mistake of the position which Flew selects for attack is to regard this kind of talk as some sort of explanation, as scientists are accustomed to use the word” [24].

1.1 Thomas Aquinas: Language and Metaphysics

Thomas Aquinas is an interesting figure  in respect to our discussion and surely a key point of reference. In his Summa Theologiae (1a.13.1-6, 12), we see Aquinas go forth to ask a number of questions as to whether or not we have “words for God”:

Can we use words for God?
Do any of the words we use for God expresses what he essentially is?
Do some of the words we use for God apply to him literally, or are they metaphorical?
Are these words used for God synonymous?
Are words used of God and creatures univocally or equivocally?
If we say they are used analogically, do they apply primarily to God or to creatures?…
Can we make affirmative statements about God? [25]

He thus begins to engage these questions with the following objection: “It seems we have no words for God.”  He then goes on to seek the strongest three arguments for that position:

  • (1) For [1] pseudo-Dionysus says: of him there is neither name nor opinion. And Proverbs 30 asks: What is his name or his son’s name? Do you know?
  • (2) Moreover, [2] nouns are either abstract or concrete. Neither are appropriate to God: concrete nouns because he is simple, abstract nouns because they don’t express complete subsistent things. So no nouns apply to God.
  • (3) Moreover, [3] nouns express sorts of things, verbs and participles are tensed, pronouns are either demonstrative or relative. None of this is appropriate to God, who is without qualities or incidental properties, exists out of time, can’t be ostensively demonstrated to our senses, nor referred to by any pronoun referring back to a noun or participle or demonstrative pronoun. So no sort of word can apply to him.

It is here that we see the beauty of the scholastic method of disputation at work. As Timothy McDermott explains, “the structure he adopts is that of sets of disputed questions, though each article in a set is very much simplified in its microstructure. The simplification he adopts generally [ … ] limits the objections to three and the arguments in favor to one, and he keeps the summing-up [ … ] to a modest length by multiplying articles rather than by dealing with too many points within each one” [26].

1.2 Aquinas’ Reply to the Objections

Thus, Aquinas limits himself by allowing only one reply to the three objections. In this reply Aquinas quotes Aristotle where he writes that “words express thoughts and thoughts represent things” [27]. Hence, words correspond immediately to things by way of our own mental conceptions. (i.e., “we talk about things in the way we know them.”) It should be noted here first that intellectual cognition according to Aquinas is dependent on sense experience. (e.g., “It is natural to human beings to attain to the intelligible though sensible things.”) Jan Aertsen (1997) comments on this subject saying that

[s]ystematic knowledge extends only as far as sensory cognition. Of course, the senses are not the total cause of all our knowledge, but they do provide the indispensable material from which the intellect abstracts the intelligible content. From this it follows that human beings cannot know the essence of a substance that is not perceptible by the senses. [28].

It is thus Aquinas’ position that “in this life we cannot see God’s substance but know him only from creatures: as their non-creaturely and transcendent” [29]. This gives us gateway to Aquinas’ solution to the problem of religious language:

So this is where our words for God come from: from creatures. Such words, however, will not express the substance of God as he is in himself, in the way words like human being express the substance of what human beings are in themselves, expressing what defines human beings and declaring what makes them human beings; for the meaning of a word is the definition of some thing. [30].

Hence, in response to the three objections:

  • to (1): “God is said to have no name or be beyond naming because his substance lies outside what we understand of him or can express in words.”
  • to (2): “Because our knowledge and our words for God come from creatures, the words we use for him express him in ways more appropriate to the kind of creatures we know naturally, and these, as we have said, are material creatures. In such creatures subsistent wholes are composed [of formed material], the form not being a subsistent whole itself but determining what subsists. So all our words for expressing subsistent wholes are concrete terms, appropriate to composite things; whereas to express the non-composite forms we use words that don’t express them as subsistent but as determining what subsists: as whiteness, for example, names what makes things white.” [31]

In reply to objection (2), Aquinas’ statement here becomes important:

Now God is both non-composite and subsistent, so we use abstract terms to express his lack of composition and concrete terms to express his subsistence and wholeness. But neither way of talking full measures up to his way of existing, for in this life we do not know him as he is in himself.

Since Aquinas likewise argues that when we see an effect, we have a natural desire to inquire into its cause. This natural desire however will not come to rest until we reach the First Cause, “namely the divine essence itself” [32]. We are therefore inadequate in our forms of language to meet these attributes of non-composition and subsistence in respect to God. However, our best shot at achieving a functional form of religious language can be found in the following options:

  • (1) Analogical Language
  • (2) Univocal Language
  • (3) Equivocal Language

1.3 Explanations of the Three Forms of Religious Language

In respect to (1), it was Aquinas’ proposal through the principle of analogy that the fact that God created the world points to a fundamental “analogy of being” (analogia entis) between God and the world. Alister McGrath (2001) writes:

There is a continuity between God and the world on account of the expression of the being of God in the being of the world. For this reason, it is legitimate to use entities within the created order as analogies for God. In doing this, theology does not reduce God to the level of a created object or being; it merely affirms that there is a likeness or correspondence between God and that being, which allows the latter to act as a signpost to God. A created entity can be like God, without being identical to God. [33]

Where Aquinas believed that “words correspond immediately to things by way of our own mental conceptions” is where his point of divine self-revelation is made clear: namely that this kind of revelation makes good use of images and ideas that tie in with our world of everyday existence, “yet which do not reduce God to that everyday world” [34].

(2) Univocal language however can be understood as language that means the same thing in all situations (e.g., “black cat,” “black hat,” black mat,” “black rat,” etc). Aquinas draws this objection in Article 5, Question III where he discusses Aristotle’s comment “that a measure must be generically one with what it measures” [35]. Thus, Aquinas seems to follow the objection to say that “God is the first measure of everything, and therefore generically one with creatures; so something can be said univocally of God and creatures” [36]. This would seem to imply that if we say “that lesson was good” then good means something different from saying “God is good,” since God is perfect and infinite. Thus, Aquinas rejects univocal language by a further statement saying that

[n]othing can be said univocally of God and creatures. For effects that don’t measure up to the power of their cause resemble it inadequately, not reproducing its nature, so that what exists in simple unity in the cause exists in the many various forms in the effects: the uniform energy of the sun, for example, produces manifold and varied forms of effect on earth. And in the same way, as we have said, all the many and various perfections existing in creatures pre-exist in God in simple unity. [37]

(3) Equivocal language as defined by Aquinas means “[w]hen the same word is used but with different meanings” [38]. This form of language becomes problematic as well, since, taking for example, if we were say that “God is good” meant something completely different from any other good then God would be unintelligible (i.e., we couldn’t understand him). Thus, Aquinas also rejects equivocal language.

George H. Smith: Negative Theology and the Problem of Analogy

George H. Smith in his book Atheism: The Case Against God [39] wishes to analyze the Christian concept of God by examining its very nature. Introducing this analysis, he opens with a distinguishing:

Traditional Christianity offers us two basic ways in which we may discuss the nature of God: (a) negatively, by stating what God is not, referred to as negative theology; (b) positively, by stating what God is, referred to as affirmative theology. Some theologians have adopted negative theology exclusively, while others have employed a combination of both. Our concern is with evaluating the success of these approaches in explaining how man can know an unknowable God. [40]

Immanuel Kant in Lectures on Philosophical Theology [41], and his discussion on the knowledge of God distinguishes between these two phenomenons of knowledge: “Positive knowledge is very limited, but this makes the gain of negative knowledge so much greater. As regards positive knowledge of God, our knowledge is no greater than ordinary knowledge. But our negative knowledge is greater” [42]. A simple contrast between the two, but the significance according to Kant is remarkable. “What interest does reason have in this knowledge? Not a speculative, but a practical one. [ … ] [O]ur morality has need of the idea of God to give it emphasis. Thus it should not make us more learned, but better, wiser, and more upright” [43].

However, the problem Smith finds with these matters of our knowledge of God and his very characteristics “simply push the idea of God beyond man’s comprehension” [44]. To demonstrate the point of Smith, consider a view given matters of our own knowledge:

  • (a) Man, when he perceives of reality, is aware of a finite and limited existence;
  • (b) Man perceives material organism with limited capacities;
  • (c) Man perceives a world of change;
  • (d) Man perceives a knowable and natural universe.

However, in respect to defining God with negative terminology Smith calls this the “non-everything-man-knows” technique. For instance, (a) Man perceives a finite and limited existence, (a’) but God is infinite and unlimited. (b) Man perceives material organisms with limited capacities, but (b’) God is immaterial with unrestricted capacities. (c) Man perceives a world of change, but (c’) God is unchanging. (d) Man perceives a knowable and natural universe, but (d’) God is unknowable and a supernatural being. Thus, after this sort of epistemological conundrum, Smith writes that “God is the negation, the exact reversal, of how man perceives reality” [45].

However, Aquinas’ solution to the analogical use of language seems to have taken care of this problem. In other words, our coherent mode of language is based on a resemblance between God and finite creatures. However, Smith objects that such a resemblance is impossible. He writes:

We must remember that a supernatural being differs in kind from finite existence, not merely in degree. This unbridgeable gap between God and man prevents the Christian from arguing that God possesses the same qualities as man, but to a greater extent [ … ] [T]he “goodness” of God is not the goodness of man magnified to a tremendous degree, nor is the “intelligence” of God a kind of exaggerated human genius. God and man are diametrically different species, so there can be no intrinsic similarities between the attributes of God and the attributes of man. We see, therefore, that the analogy between God and man cannot stem from similarities in their natures. No such resemblance is possible. [46]

Concluding Remarks

Whether or not Hare constituted a sufficient reply to Flew, or that Hick to Ayer, or even Smith to Aquinas, it would be interesting and surely beneficial for you as the reader to examine the given and cited works available here in this post for yourself. The subject is a tricky one, and requires more complex discussions on the knowledge of God and our language of God, but nonetheless the flat-lining thesis regarding the subject of religious language is here. Comments, critiques are welcome for further consideration and editing’s for future posts.




  • [1] You can see the post at https://philosophicaugustine.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/when-language-goes-on-a-holiday/
  • [2] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations. trans. by G. E. M. Anscombe (Basil Blackwell: 1958) Section 38, 19*
  • [3] Ibid., p. 19*
  • [4] Norman Geisler, Introduction to Philosophy (Baker Books: 1980) p. 305
  • [5] Vern S. Poythress, Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundations of Western Thought (Crossway: 2013) p. 160
  • [6] Quoted from Aquinas: Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford University Press: 1993) p. 214
  • [7] See Peter Carruthers essay in The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Cognitive Science (Oxford University Press: 2012) pp. 382-401
  • [8]  A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (Dover ed., 1952) p. 114
  • [9] Ayer, 33
  • [10] Ayer, 115
  • [11] Ibid.
  • [12] Ibid, p. 35
  • [13] Ibid., pp. 86-87
  • [14] Ibid., p. 115
  • [15] Geisler, 50
  • [16] John Hick, Faith and Knowledge: A Modern Introduction to the Problem of Religious Knowledge (Wipf. & Stock Publishers: 2nd. edition, 2009) 278 pages, or, see Faith and Knowledge, 2dn. ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966 (1957).
  • [17] John Hick, Faith and Knowledge (Cornell University Press: 1966) pp. 177-178
  • [18] Antony Flew, There is a God (HarperOne: 2007) p. 43
  • [19] Ibid., p. 44
  • [20] Ibid., p. 45
  • [21] Antony Flew, Theology and Falsification (University College of North Straffordshire) p. 1
  • [22] Ibid., p. 3
  • [23] Ibid.
  • [24] Ibid., p. 4
  • [25] From Aquinas 1993, p. 214
  • [26] McDermott, Aquinas: Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford: 1993) xx.
  • [27] Int. 1. [1.16a3].
  • [28] Jan Aertsen, Aquinas’s Philosophy in its Historical Setting in The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas (Cambridge University Press: 1997) p. 32
  • [29] From Aquinas 1993, p. 215
  • [30] Ibid.
  • [31] Ibid., pp. 215-216
  • [32] J. Aertsen, 33
  • [33] Alister McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction (Blackwell: 2001) p. 253
  • [34] Ibid.
  • [35] Aquinas 1993, p. 223
  • [36] Ibid.
  • [37] Ibid., p. 224
  • [38] Ibid., p. 223
  • [39] George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God (Promotheus: 1979)
  • [40] Ibid., p. 53
  • [41] Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Philosophical Theology, trans. by Allen W. Wood and Gertrude M. Clark (Cornell University Press: 1978)
  • [42] Ibid., p. 24
  • [43] Ibid.

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