My question concerns the 20th Century doctrine of "logical postivism" and its apparent refutation. Its distinction between analytic and synthetic statements seems to me straight forward and an important one. Wittgenstein's quote seems appropriate: "On what cannot be spoken of one must remain silent."
I understand that logical positivism has been successfully refuted by Quine and others. I cannot grasp that refutation. One of those arguments seems to be the "indeterminacy of translation"); an argument I understand and accept. I also understand that ALL language has different connotations to different people. However, it seems impossible to make an understandable "synthetic" statement about metaphysics. That is, if we cannot verify the existence of something empirically, such as a concept (God, for instance), we cannot come to any agreement about it.
In other words what I find valuable about logical positivism, as a materialist, is that metaphysics is simply speculation and cannot be understood similarly across a human population. It has is some way, "no cognitive content" that we can grab hold of and evaluate. It seems to be indeed, what logical positivists called it: "non" sense.
The practical result from this appears to me that we can debate claims like the the "moon is made of cream cheese" or that "Washington crossed the Potomac" by means of bringing scientific and historical evidence in favor or not if favor of the proposition. However, the claim that "God wants us to be happy" is a claim without any meaning. Consequently, nonsense. Is it not true that there is a difference in "kind" between those two statements? I certainly see a difference.
Now, is it the case that the refutation is only about "language" and not about the "real world." If so, I understand that language only approximates, or pictures reality and is not reality itself. But that's true of ALL statements in language. ???