A New Verification Principle: a paradox that is unverified is nonsense


Logical Positivism says that the Verification Principle, that a statement is meaningless unless it can be shown to be definitely/probably shown to be true or false, refutes religion. It is based on the fact that meaning is about what experience and evidence teaches you. So a statement can seem to make sense and still be nonsense or meaningless.
Few today agree with the Verification Principle. But all agree that it is not totally wrong.
That might suggest that Logical Positivism or its Verification Principle (same thing!) needs modification.
I suggest this formulation of the Verification Principle.

A paradox is when something and its opposite seem to be both true and untrue at the same time. A paradox gets meaning when it is proven to be correct. A paradox that cannot be proven to be true is simply a contradiction and thus meaningless. A paradox is meaningless unless you can verify it.
But what if a paradox is true and you cannot know if it is or there is no way to tell? Then treat it as a contradiction. You have to for you don't want to risk mistaking paradoxes for contradictions. Contradictions have to be avoided for a reason, the biggest reason of all. That is to help us get at the truth or near enough to it.
A paradox out of thin air is a threat to reason - even if it is right but you don't know it is - because you don't want people and liars teaching you contradictions and calling them paradoxes. It is different if you can verify A and non-A equally. A paradox that is proven is not a threat to reason because you are saying the contradiction only seems to be there and can somehow be solved even if there are no clues how. You are still reposing soundly on evidence.
A paradox is not the same as a contradiction. It means it seems to be a contradiction and you may have no solution now but it cannot be a contradiction though it looks like one. A paradox makes sense in some way beyond the abilities of our minds. A contradiction is just nonsense.
The difference between paradox and contradiction tells us that if the VP is useless, it is useful when it comes to trying to avoid seeing a paradox where there is actually a contradiction. Then you have to modify the VP. Instead of saying something has meaning if you know how to verify or falsify it you say something has meaning when it appears to be a paradox only when you can verify it. You have to verify that something is the case and not the case at the same time before you can make sense in calling something a paradox.
This way of applying the principle means that unless something that appears contradictory can be verified it is meaningless. It is meaningless because a contradiction is meaningless.
Religion is full of contradictory doctrines that it calls paradoxes or mysteries. The modified VP shows they are meaningless.
The standard VP attacks made up paradoxes too and says they are meaningless simply because they cannot be proven true or false but it does not say they are meaningless because they might be contradictions or at risk of being ones. But there is no reason why it shouldn't. Then it would be attacking religious statements in two ways, the VP way and the modified VP way!
Consider this, "A contradiction is just nonsense. If a statement is a paradox, then the statement has meaning if it can be verified as true or false. But what if you are going to say that it is both? Indeed that is what you are saying. The modified one as proposed here says anything that is both true and false is nonsense. Thus the modified VP makes all paradoxes even scientific ones to be meaningless."
If the objection were correct then in the light that not all meaningless statements are equally meaningless, the VP makes paradoxes that are not based on scientific evidence to be the worst form of meaningless rubbish.
The answer to the objection is that a paradox is not evidence that a contradiction can be true. The paradox is down to something being true one way and false in another. It is not saying that a and not-a are both true.
God and the VP

Logical Positivism said that because we have no experience of any world beyond the physical that we can sense all statements about God and spirits and heavens are meaningless. To say God exists is meaningless for you can never see God or touch him.
If it has any value at all it certainly questions the value of religious statements. It questions their meaningfulness.
Christians are not shy about saying that the doctrine of God is full of paradoxes. God is that by definition that alone matters for it is the reason anything exists so how could anything else have any real importance apart from it? So when their basis and framework is meaningless even the meaningful stuff they do and say is meaningless. 1 + 1 = 2 is only meaningful if you say it and view maths as correct. If you think maths is nonsense and is just a custom then your calculation looks meaningful but is not. It is the same principle.
The Verification Principle as it emerged at the start was felt to eliminate too much.
Even if there are problems working out what the principle eliminates and to what to apply it to, one thing for sure is that it eliminates God which is an unnecessary belief. God is described as a being without parts. He has no components. He is like a gas that is everywhere but which is not composed of parts. His love is his justice though love and justice are not the same thing. His intelligence is his justice though intelligence and justice are not the same thing. For Catholics, he is an undivided being and yet has three divisions in him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God did not use his power or anything to make the universe. The universe was not made from anything but just popped into existence at God's command. This is magic not making or creating. We cannot understand any of this so it is unintelligible nonsense.  We know there is something in the Verification Principle. Nobody denies that there is something there. They worry that it goes too far but its eliminating God as meaningful is not going too far especially when you look at the silly baggage that comes with belief in God. There is something there in the principle. And that something must deal with God and expose the concept as meaningless. The concept is extremely meaningless and foolish and to talk about verifying God is like saying you want to verify that 1 and 1 = 3.
Many believers in God confess that strong verification isn't possible in relation to showing God exists but weak verification has to suffice. But to say that the being that alone matters and who wants to be all that matters to you expects you to thrive on weak verification for his existence and goodness is to say something stupid and nonsensical and incoherent. Incoherent and therefore meaningless.
Remember that we are taking God to mean the being who serves all our devotion for he is pure love. God then is not merely a theory but a demand upon our devotion. The Verification Principle even if flawed is not flawed when it eliminates God as meaningful because it is meaningless to say you should commit totally to God when you cannot know how to show he is there or if he isn't. To say weak verification will do for God is meaningless itself. Why? Because you need strong verification for such a big claim as that God exists. Secondly, the statement , "Weak verification is enough for faith in God and God is okay with it" makes two statements and both of them are meaningless and destroyed by the standard VP.
Some have reported visions of God. But the visions are just forms in which God appears not God himself for he is invisible by nature. So you only verify to yourself that you had a vision not that there is a God. When the Bible speaks of Christians seeing God in Heaven it never says they will see the divine essence. They only see some form God takes such as light or his taking the form of a man with white hair in white robes sitting on a throne. But these things are only like visions symbolising God and seeing them is not seeing God. The Bible says that nobody has never seen God (John 1). Belief in God is far more meaningless than belief in Odin or Jupiter for these gods are physical beings. The Church describes God as being not as a being. Being is not a thing so God is not a thing to be seen even if he is real. God cannot be verified by sense experience at all. It cannot be proved that the Catholic communion wafer is really Jesus Christ or that the Catholic notion that the bread can become Jesus without changing in any detectable way makes sense. God and the wafer would be an extreme violation of the Verification Principle. All agree that the principle is right in spirit and needs revision. All honest people agree that if the Principle is flawed it is not flawed then for if it does not apply in relation to God and the wafer it applies to nothing. God and the wafer are Catholicism declaring the principle to be a lie and a heresy.
Miracles are supernatural events. They are events that cannot be explained by nature. Miracles would be meaningless too for you can't see or sense what causes them. For a logical positivist, a miracle report would just be a report about a miracle and nothing more and would have no importance. When you don't see the cause, you cannot determine if the supernatural was involved. If you cannot determine the presence of the supernatural then you cannot tell if it was indeed a miracle. And religion condemns magic but what if the miracle is really evidence for magic if it is evidence for anything?
Some say that talk about God has meaning because you will see when you die if there is a God. But what about now? There might be a God and you might not find out when you die. You might be unsaved meaning you will never know for sure. And besides God can’t expect us to care if we meet him after death or not. He requires selfless love that puts doing right first at your own expense meaning we must be good for it is good and not because we will meet God.
Atheists hold that evil and useless suffering proves that there is no God. They say there is strong verification that there is no God. Believers respond that evil and useless suffering are mysteries, we don't know why an all-good God allows them to happen. In other words, they put their belief beyond any hope of falsification. They act like a wife who learns that her husband is cheating on her. She may say he is possessed, mad or that a demon looking like him is making it look like he is cheating on her. No matter what happens, they refuse to admit that anything can disprove their belief. Religious believers are saying that nothing is bad enough to make them doubt God which is a vicious arrogant stance when you think about it. If they were in the moccasins of the sufferers they might not be so keen. It is thought that they want to console. The truth is that they want to avoid seeing the full blackness and horror of evil afflicts others. They want to put the pressure of trying to see the love of God on the victims and on themselves and their own friends. They victimise the victims for if you are led to see your problems as less than what they are, you risk looking for the wrong solutions or getting the wrong support and ending up with "support". The victims think the believers care about them. They don't care much when they want to protect themselves from admitting the full horror of what is happening to you. The believers say God as creator and king is more important than human suffering and the victims should see that. God religion is a terrible danger. Religionists of God often have a God who picks out people who die estranged from him for eternal damnation in which they will be trapped in their sinfulness and suffer terribly and despairingly forever and ever. They even adopt beliefs that cannot be proven or verified that put God in a bad light but they still refuse to see the contradiction between God's love and this extreme evil.
Despite the problems with the VP, we know that it is right to make it meaningless when somebody says of a painting, "It's the most beautiful painting in the world." She is making her desire and subjective assessment out to be an objective truth. For some God is treated like a dogma. The real believer treats God as if she is in a relationship with him which is based on his beauty. She has to see the beauty of God and his ways even in the midst of ugliness and despair. She is even worse than the admirer of the painting in terms of embracing nonsense ...
The Verification Principle has something in it - all admit that. If it doesn't show that a God who sends people to Hell and who lets awful suffering happen is meaningless then it has nothing in it.
Is doing right good because God commands it or does God command it because it is good? Having God's endorsement or approval doesn't offer any explanation of why a thing is good or not. Saying good is just whatever God commands is to cheat a person of their right to know why they must do what is supposed to be right. And it is opposing morality and right and wrong and putting obedience in their place. If God commands things because they are good it means he is not God. Honouring good matters and honouring him does not - if there is a choice. He should be honoured for the sake of good and not his own sake. Thus good is the real God. The point is, God has to be morality to be worshipped and to be God but this is impossible. God cannot be his commandments any more than you can be your mathematical ability. God cannot be a fact for there is no explanation for why we must believe. Therefore even the most loose and liberal version of the VP, any type that makes do with weak verification, declares God to be meaningless or nonsense.
The standard VP rejects the meaningfulness of ethics and morality as there is no way of showing if something really is or isn't moral.
Yet believers worry more about it rejecting God!
The standard attacks God as God and God as morality. That is two blows!
So we see that faith in God is an extreme violation of the Verification Principle. People might say the principle eliminates too much but they don't say it eliminates everything. It certainly eliminates the God of paradoxes and the Jesus of paradoxes who is both fully God and fully an ordinary man and yet one person and wafers which are supposed to be the living Jesus! Understanding that God is to be the person who is your absolute and ultimate concern shows that believers cannot say, "Logical positivism allows for weak verification. Thus we have weak verification for God." You would not use weak verification to say that the person you are going to marry is in the attic. See the point? God is not meant to be a mere theory but the object of a relationship.


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