There is no adequate response to the falsification principle, I am really struggling Watch

YellowLover
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I need help thinking of a counter to Hick's eschatological verification and Hare's bliks and religious language as symbolic.. THANK YOU!!!
There is no adequate response to the falsification principle.” Evaluate this claim (15 marks)
The falsification principle (FP) states that a statement can only be meaningful if there is evidence that could prove it false. An adequate response to the FP then would have to provide a satisfactory argument against it.
It could be argued that there is an adequate response to the FP posed by Hick who argues that Christian religious statements will be verified and falsified eschatologically. So this does seem to be a good response to the FP because it still accepts that religious statements are cognitive and factual as FP requires them to be. It says that a religious statement such as ‘There is life after death’ will and can be falsified as we would never wake up after death, but we would never know this statement is false. But this is a weak and very unappealing argument since it is not how normal falsification works since you would not actually experience the evidence that shows the statement false.
Another argument for there being an adequate response to the falsification principle is through Hare’s bliks, a view of the world that is non-cognitive and non-falsifiable. Hare’s use of the parable of the lunatic in which a man will not allow anything to count against (falsify) his belief that the dons want to murder him is a most convincing illustration. What the theory of bliks argues then is that we all have a view of the world, and religious people have a religious blik which will keep strong their faith and belief even if they are unprovable and evidence counts against them. No amount of persuasion would change anyone’s blik and they are not changed by observation of the world. This provides an adequate response as it says that the FP is essentially meaningless to humans who hold a certain blik as they will carry on believing and having faith in their view, unlike in the scientific world where theories are rejected when there is evidence against it. This is a convincing argument as it seems to be in line with human psychology and behaviour where we show high determination and unwavering support for a thing.
Also, the language game theory provides a response to the FP. It argues that the FP is exclusive to the science language game only and hence cannot be applied to religion which works to different rules by science (doesn’t require empirical evidence as support). This is a very convincing argument because it rejects the FP on the basis that it is not suitable for how religion and religious statement works, they have a different meaning and use that is meaningful in a particular context. Some may argue that the language game theory doesn’t adequately answer the FP since it merely rejects and doesn’t attempt to answer it on the basis that it is irrelevant to religion. But this does seem to be dubious since religious language should at least acknowledge the challenges from Hare’s falsification, but the game theory fails to do this. Furthermore, the language game theory is a stronger argument than Hare’s bliks since if we do not acknowledge potential evidence that may prove our beliefs wrong it presents us as insane and irrational.
A final response to the FP is from Tillich’s view of religious language as symbolic. Tillich argues that symbols provide a transcendence of our reality by pointing to a greater reality. Tillich’s approach can respond to the FP on the basis that for something to be religious it has to reflect religious experiences, so the religious statement ‘There is a God’ symbolises religious experiences and attempts to encapsulate an essence of the higher reality experience in the religious experience. So, since the FP isn’t developed from religious experience but rather empirical evidence and scientific thinking, Tillich does provide a satisfactory response to the FP. Some may argue that this is not a good response since religious symbols should be challenged on their suitability and…
In conclusion, while the FP is a good criterion to assess the use of statements, there are adequate responses to the FP. The most convincing response is that from.
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YellowLover
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That's me essay...
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jimbleby
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Hi. I don't have time to mark this whole essay, but I want to clear something up. The falsification principle is not quitethat a statement is "only meaningful if there is evidence that could prove it false". That would suggest I can't meaningfully say "the sky if blue" unless there is evidence the sky is some other colour. I can't say the sky is blue unless the sky is red. And that sounds weird, right?

The FP was originally introduced by Karl Popper, a philosopher of science. He said that for a hypothesis to be scientific, you had to be able to describe how it could be falsified. How it is falsifiable. This makes more sense. 'The sky is blue" is falsifiable because you can describe what it would be like if it was false - the sky would not be blue if we were to look up and see the colour purpose or red or whatever. That's what it would be like. If that never actually happen, so you keep the original working hypothesis that "the sky is blue".

The falsification principle was then used by Anthony Flew to apply to religious language. He argued that religious statements are not falsifiable, so he said they were meaningless statements. He was applying Popper's principle to religious language. You might want to look up his 'parable of the gardener', as if I was marking your essay I'd expect that to feature.

When evaluating this, the point then is to keep assessing whether this is a good theory for what makes a statement meaningful or not. The rival theories you use are the right ones - Hare, Wittgenstein's language games. But if you're a little vague about the original point of the falsification principle, the essay will be a little messy.
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YellowLover
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(Original post by jimbleby)
Hi. I don't have time to mark this whole essay, but I want to clear something up. The falsification principle is not quite that a statement is "only meaningful if there is evidence that could prove it false". That would suggest I can't meaningfully say "the sky if blue" unless there is evidence the sky is some other colour. I can't say the sky is blue unless the sky is red. And that sounds weird, right?

The FP was originally introduced by Karl Popper, a philosopher of science. He said that for a hypothesis to be scientific, you had to be able to describe how it could be falsified. How it is falsifiable. This makes more sense. 'The sky is blue" is falsifiable because you can describe what it would be like if it was false - the sky would not be blue if we were to look up and see the colour purpose or red or whatever. That's what it would be like. If that never actually happen, so you keep the original working hypothesis that "the sky is blue".

The falsification principle was then used by Anthony Flew to apply to religious language. He argued that religious statements are not falsifiable, so he said they were meaningless statements. He was applying Popper's principle to religious language. You might want to look up his 'parable of the gardener', as if I was marking your essay I'd expect that to feature.

When evaluating this, the point then is to keep assessing whether this is a good theory for what makes a statement meaningful or not. The rival theories you use are the right ones - Hare, Wittgenstein's language games. But if you're a little vague about the original point of the falsification principle, the essay will be a little messy.
OMG you are so clever...thank you...what did u get in a levels???
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jimbleby
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Ha - I'm a full-time online RS/philosophy tutor with a degree in theology!

Apologies for typos in my post, was in rush.
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YellowLover
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(Original post by jimbleby)
Ha - I'm a full-time online RS/philosophy tutor with a degree in theology!

Apologies for typos in my post, was in rush.
Ooooo what uni??? I wanna do religion, philosophy and ethics at kings or nottingham...
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jimbleby
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(Original post by YellowLover)
Ooooo what uni??? I wanna do religion, philosophy and ethics at kings or nottingham...
I was at Cambridge. Graduated 2010, been tutoring since. I don't know a huge amount about the courses at other unis though, I'm afraid!
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(Original post by jimbleby)
I was at Cambridge. Graduated 2010, been tutoring since. I don't know a huge amount about the courses at other unis though, I'm afraid!
oooo you so clever!!! I was gonna apply to Cambridge for theology but I don't want to do the interview...
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(Original post by YellowLover)
oooo you so clever!!! I was gonna apply to Cambridge for theology but I don't want to do the interview...
Definitely don't be put off by the interview! It really isn't what you might read in the press. And also Cambridge is so much less intimidating than it might seem, even if like me you come from a background that you might not assume would get into/fit in there. If your grades are good and you really love the subject, you definitely should apply.
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YellowLover
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(Original post by jimbleby)
Definitely don't be put off by the interview! It really isn't what you might read in the press. And also Cambridge is so much less intimidating than it might seem, even if like me you come from a background that you might not assume would get into/fit in there. If your grades are good and you really love the subject, you definitely should apply.
But I don't jnow how to justify my views
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jimbleby
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(Original post by YellowLover)
But I don't jnow how to justify my views
Well, I won't convince you via a forum. But all I'd say it, justifying your views is less important than just being interested in the topic and being able to understand it critically.
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(Original post by jimbleby)
Well, I won't convince you via a forum. But all I'd say it, justifying your views is less important than just being interested in the topic and being able to understand it critically.
What a levels did u do and what jobs have you had because I do not know what to do with a RPE degree
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(Original post by YellowLover)
What a levels did u do and what jobs have you had because I do not know what to do with a RPE degree
This is probably getting a little off-topic. But I did English, Politics and History - not RS A Level. Then I studied Theology at Cambridge. Since then, as I said, I've been a full-time tutor in RS/philosophy. But you can look at career destinations of degrees by Googling. RS is like many other arts degrees in the kinds of jobs people end up in.

Think we should stick to falsification though, in case other students are visiting.

Is anyone else confused about a specific aspect of the falsification principle or the criticisms? (I can't answer a question like "yeh can you explain the whole thing to me" - that would require an actual paid tutorial).
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