Ayer’s atheism became, in fact, more radical and a bit more complicated, as he was to form the belief that typical religious statements, such as those about a transcendent deity, were not so much false as meaningless or nonsensical. is view was formed under the in' uence of an empiricist theory of meaning incorporating a criterion of meaning, the veri# cation principle. e core of the veri# cation principle was that for a statement to be cognitively (or empirically) meaningful, that statement had to be capable of being directly or indirectly ‘veri# ed’. at is, the statement had to be capable of being supported by sensory experience. If no such experiences were deemed relevant to the truth (or falsity) of the statement, then the statement was not saying anything that could have any consequences for our experiences in the world, so it was cognitively useless, and hence cognitively meaningless.