The Falsification Principle offers no real challenge to religious belief.
Falsification developed from Karl Poppers philosophy of science, which attempted to define the point at which science becomes metaphysics. Popper argued that science did not move from observation to theory but rather from theory to observation. In other words theories are considered true until some evidence counts against them i.e. they are falsified.
Falsification for some philosophers has given rise to the idea that falsification could be the basis for developing a different criterion of meaning. As well as applying falsification as a test for the truth of scientific theories, it was thought that it could also be applied to test the meaningfulness of statements. Scientific statements are true as long as they had not been falsified. However, although it is hard to gather evidence to prove a scientific theory that is considered true to be wrong, the theory is still meaningful because we know what evidence would disprove it. If a statement asserts nothing, then it can not mean anything.
One Philosopher who adopted this idea of falsification was Antony Flew he related the idea of falsification to religion. Flew was influenced by Popper and said that a statement is meaningful if it is known what empirical evidence could count against it, or prove it wrong. E.g. ‘I have blue hair’ is a meaningful statement because we know how could verify the statement. Flew went on to say that religious language is meaningless, because religious believers do not accept any evidence to count against their beliefs, therefore we do not know what evidence could falsify their beliefs. Flew used John Wisdom’s Parable of the Gardener to prove this point. The parable starts with two explorers coming across a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, ‘some gardener must tend this plot.’ The other disagrees… so they pitch their tents and set a watch. No...