Phil HL - Religious Language - The Verification Principle

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taja.barber
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Philosophy HL - Religious Language - The Verification Principle

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Phil HL - Religious Language - The Verification Principle
1 A sentence is meaningful if...
1.1 it is a tautology (true by definition)
1.2 Can be proved true/false, even if only in principle
1.2.1 There is life on other planets
1.2.2 Verifiable by sense experience
2 Religious Statements
2.1 Can't be verified
2.1.1 The soul is reborn
2.1.2 There is life after death
2.2 Don't talk about observable things/properties in the world
2.3 Don't make sense without context
2.4 Depend on the reader's beliefs
2.5 Are useful in picturing the character of Christ (his qualities)
2.6 Helpful in understanding Christian theology: principles valued, importance of Christ
2.7 Cosmological argument
2.7.1 can be verified to a certain extent (beginning of the universe) but not before that
3 Criticisms
3.1 The statement itself is not meaningful
3.1.1 Can't be verified by sense experience
3.2 Sentences that are meaningful to us can be dismissed
3.2.1 I love you
3.2.2 I had a weird dream
3.2.3 all ravens are black - can be falsified in principle therefore meaningless
3.2.4 beauty is subjective - can't be empirically falsified/verified
3.2.5 historical events sometimes can't be empirically verified by our senses/observations
4 A statement...
4.1 can be verified depending on whether you can check it with empirical evidence
4.1.1 It is currently snowing
4.2 Cognitive (realist) Language
4.2.1 Factual statements, can be verified with empirical evidence
4.3 Non cognitive Language
4.3.1 Context dependent, can't be verified/falsified
4.3.1.1 Symbols, myths, metaphors
4.4 Analytical statements
4.4.1 true by definition, can't be false because of wording
4.5 Mathematical statements
4.5.1 incorrect only because of human error, can be recalculated
4.6 Synthetic statements
4.6.1 are verifiable/falsifiable by empirical evidence
5 Verification (A. J. Ayer
5.1 Practical Verifiability
5.1.1 a statement can be tested in reality, in practise
5.2 Verifiability in Principle
5.2.1 we can, but lack the ability
5.3 strong
5.3.1 can be verified conclusively
5.4 weak
5.4.1 can be shown to be probable through observation
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