Ayer’s article ‘God Talk is Evidently Nonsense’ incorporates the issues of religious language, religious knowledge and religious experience.
These themes have been major talking points amongst philosophers particularly with regards to their implications for theism. AJ Ayer was a British philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism and the verification and falsification principles particularly in his book Language, Truth, and Logic. In the article, Ayer focuses most significantly on the problematic nature of religious language, arguing the impossibility of human comprehension of metaphysical issues. In the article Ayer has already set out his main argument that religious language is meaningless, in the extract here Ayer attempts to show that his views actually connect with the claims theists make. The main point of this extract of Ayer’s text is that there can be no transcendent truths of religion.
Ayer is not saying religion is inevitably false – instead, he is saying that there is nothing theists can say to communicate such ‘truths’ in a meaningful way. When theists make ‘truth claims’ they cannot be empirically tested, and so are meaningless and hold no truth at all.Theists believe that ‘God is a mystery which transcends human understanding’. Ayer is referring to Christian mysticism. Mysticism the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect which may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender. This coincides with religious experiences regarding the idea of mysticism.
Ayer is attempting to argue the idea that God cannot be fully known by mystics.‘What is unintelligible cannot be significantly described’ Ayer is arguing what is unintelligible by applying his Verification Principle. A.J Ayer writes “The term God is a Metaphysical Term. And if God is a metaphysical term, it cannot even be probable that God exists. The statement is neither true nor false it is mea..