Flashcards in religious language Deck (26)
What is AJ Ayer's verification principle?
Something is meaningful (worth studying if it is a tautology or can be verified in practice. This principle was used to determine what subjects are worth studying and according to the principle all religious language is meaningless.
What is an issue with AJ Ayer's original verification principle?
The principle dismisses some scientific theories that cannot be verified right now such as there is a dark side to the moon.
What is the weak verification principle?
Something is meaningful if it is a tautology or it can be verified in principle.
Why is the weak verification principle an improvement over the original?
Some scientific statements such as there is a dark side of the moodn were meaningless according to the original as we cannot verify it right now. However we can verify it in principle as we could fly there in a rocket if we had one making it meaningful.
Why does Hick disagree with Ayer on religious language being meaningless according to weak verification?
Eschatological verification is the idea that there is a condition in which religious belief can be verified. We can die and see if god exists meaning it is verifiable in principle.
What is a problem with eschatological verification?
If we need to die in order to verify a claim this seems like the claim is meaningless as we cannot express our findings if we are dead.
What is an issue with the verification principle as a whole?
According to the principle, the principle itself is meaningless therefore meaningless which seems like a paradox as if it is meaningless we should not use it as a tool.
What is the falsification principle?
Karl Popper put forth the idea that a statement is only meaningful if we know what evidence could be used to count against it.
What is ment by cognitivist approach to language?
Meaningful language is based on fact and thus can be shown to be true or false.
Why is falsification more Rigourous then verification?
A statement can have lots of evidence pointing towards it being ture but if there is one piece that prooves it false it is meaningless.
What did Popper say about statements that claim something is real?
A statement speaking about what is real must be falsifiable if it is not then the statement is not about reality.
How did Flew apply the falsification principle to religious language?
All religious statements are meaningless as there is nothing we can do to falsify claims about god.
What is the analogy of the gardener?
Two people return to a garden they have not visited in a long time. 1 says there is a gardener who maintains the garden but the other rejects this as there is so much wrong with the garden. They create experiments to proove there is no gardener such as setting traps but the one who believes in the gardener qulifies his belief with statements like the gardener is invisible, intangeable, etc.
How does Flew apply the gardener analogy to religious language.
Flew suggests there is no difference between this gardener and no gardener at all and the same goes for god. constant quallifactions render religious language meaningless because they die "the death of a thousand quallifications". There is nothing one can say to a religious believer that would falsify their claim thus religious statements are meaningless.
Why does RM Hare disagree with cognitivist approaches to language?
Bliks are things we believe that are not verifiable or falsifiable but we live our lives according to such as my wife loves me. Statements like this cannot be verfied useing cognitivist theories however Hare argues they still have meaning as we live our lives according to them.
What is the via negativa?
A way of talking about god by saying what god is not rather then what god is.
Why do people use the via negativa to talk about god?
As god is ineffable, mystical, divine and transcendent, god is so beyonde humans we cannot use our language to say what god is as our language is not applicable to a being of this nature. However we can know what god is not such as god is not a human.
What are some problems with the via negativa?
It claims we cannot know what god is yet is based on the assumptions that god is ineffable, mystical, transcendent and divine which seems contradictory. Also saying what god is not does not further our understanding of god really and therefore still seems meaningless.
What is univocal language?
When the same words are used in different contexts but mean the same thing.
What is equivocal language?
When the same words mean different things in different contexts.
What is an issue with useing univocal language to talk about god?
Language which describes this world are not applicable to god as god is so beyonde humans.
What is an issue with equivocal language?
We cannot be sure what someone means if the same language can have different meanings.
What solution does Aquinas suggest for the issues of univocal and equivocal language?
We must use analogical language to talk about god by making comparisons to things in the world. Then we are not useing language that describes humans to describe god and we are not createing different meanings for the same words.
What is ment by analogy of attribution?
We can attribute all good things back to god as god is the creator. For example the world is beautiful and therefore good and thus so is god.
What is ment by analogy of proportion?
We can compare god to good things in this world only he is good at the greatest proportion. For example, my dog is good and so is god but god is good at the greatest possible proportion.