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Flashcards in Religious Language Deck (82):
1

Cited in Richardson and Bowmen, how does Burrell define analogies

"Proportional similarities which also acknowledge dissimilar features"

2

What does Aquinas say about univocal language

"No name belong to God in the same sense that it belongs to creatures"

3

What does Aquinas say about equivocal language

"Neither, on the other hand, are names applied to God and creatures in a purely equivocal sense...if that were so it follows that from creatures nothing could be known or demonstrated about God"

4

Aquinas book

Summa theologica

5

Univocal language

Means same

6

Equivocal language

Different

7

What does Hume say about univocal language

"We justly ascribe to him because those words are honourable among men and we have no other language by which we can express our adoration of him"

8

What phrase does Aquinas use to sow that what we say and know about God is limited

Via eminentia

9

Analogy of attribution is

The idea that the qualities we ascribe to one another reflect the qualities of God. It draws a causal relation between the two things being described

10

Brian Davies example of analogy of attribution

Bakery. To say the bread is good is to say the baker is good as the bread is the product of the baker

11

What does Aquinas think "God is living" means

God is the cause of life

12

Analogy of proportion is

The idea that the attributes of a being are unique and dependant on the type of being that possesses said attributes

13

What is the example used by John Hick that was originally used Baron Von Hugel

Faithfulness.

Dogs faithfulness is limited to humans
Humans faithfulness is limited to Gods

14

Ian Ramsey's book

Religious language

15

Ian Ramsey's model and qualifiers idea

Take a human attribute (model) and qualify it (with adjectives like perfectly) to make it clear that it is infinitely enhanced when applied to God

16

Weaknesses of analogy

William Blackstone: Thomson doctrine is unhelpful because we have to translate the analogies into univocal language before we can know anything - need to know how Gods love relates to humans love before we gain knowledge

St Paul: need to 'see' God before we can accurately express God

Still assumes similarities between humans and God but God transcends us

Duns Scotus: too vague and leaves us unable to understand God and his actions

By using analogy we lose the meaning and purpose behind what we are trying to communicate

17

Strengths of analogy

Evans: says nothing wrong with accepting the fact god is mysterious and that our knowledge of him is limited as long as we know enough to worship

Stops anthropomorphism

Hick: analogy enables us to make some statements about God yet we still preserve the mystery present in Judeao-Christian theology

18

How does Burrows describe myth

"A symbolic approximate expression of the truth"

19

What is the purpose of myths

To convey concepts that go beyond the basic true-false descriptors to express that which is other worldly. They allow humans to gain and insight into cosmological and existential questions that are difficult to express in cognitive terms

20

Myth is bible

Creation

21

What does mythological language describe

Apocalyptic events and eschatological expectations in the Bible

22

Quote for the second coming of Jesus

"With the sound of the trumpet of God...men, both alive and dead, will rise to meet the Lord in air"

Paul
Thessalonians 4:16

23

What does Braithwaite believe about religious stories

Are inspirational and give us the motivation to lead a moral life

24

What did Bultmann believe

Demythologising the bible made it meaningful. He believed we needed to access the kerygma which is done by demythologising the New Testament to reveal its truths

25

Bultmann quote about demythologising

"It is impossible...to avail ourselves of modern...surgical discoveries and, at the same time, to believe in the New Testament world of demons and spirits"

26

Once demythologised what does the story of Jesus walking on water tell mean

Helping them through difficult times

27

Is symbolic language non cognitive

Yes

28

How does Erika Dinker Von Schubert define symbol

"A pattern or object that points to an invisible metaphysical reality and participates in it"

29

How does Tillich define symbols

Something that "Participates in that to which it points"

30

Example of symbol used by Tillich

National flag
Conveys nationalism and patriotism
Shows symbols express what the believer feels about the symbol

31

What does Tillich believe signs do

Provide information

32

What does Rowan Williams say about religious language

"Like all other serious human discourse, religious language requires a symbolic foundation"

33

What does Tillich believe symbols do

Open up dimensions of the soul
Open up levels of reality that are closed to us
Point to something beyond us

34

Randall agrees with Tillich because

He believes religious language is symbolic and non cognitive

35

Randall argues religious language

Inspires, clarified our experiences and allows us to express our emotions

36

Randall believes God is

A intellectual symbolic and "a ripple imagination"

37

Phillips view on myth

Shouldn't thing eternal life is literally living together but expressing a quality of life available in the present

38

Macquerries criticism of Tillich

Cannot separate symbol and sign

Cloud is sign and symbol of rain

39

Macquerries book

Principles of Christian Theology

40

Alstons criticism of symbol

Meaningless as we don't know if it's true or not

41

Edwards criticism of symbol

Meaningless as cannot be verified or falsified

42

Hicks criticism of symbol

"Participating in it" meaning is unclear

43

Who developed the via negativa

Pseudo Dionysius

44

Pseudo Dionysius book

Mystical theology

45

What does the via negativa does

Begins be negating the least appropriate characterisations of God then negates the most honourable names for God

46

Peter coles explanation of via negativa

"By denying all the descriptions of God, you get an insight and experience of God rather than unbelief and scepticism"

47

Maimonides book

The Guide for the Perplexed

48

What did Maimonides believe

The attributes of God could be expressed in a negative terms whereby people come to an understand of what is not and therefore move closer to appreciating what God is

49

Example used by Maimonides

Ship

By saying what a ship is not, get closer to understanding what I ship it

50

Quote by Maimonides

"There is no necessity at all for you to use positive attributes of God"

51

How is the via negativa used in Buddhism

Used to describe ineffible concepts like the nature of nirvana. Buddhists do not believe in God but use the via negativa to convey the essence of the ultimate reality

52

Quote in Saddaharmapundarika to prove use of via negativa in Buddhism

"For the Tathagatha has seen the word as it really is: it is not born; it dies not"

53

Strengths of via negativa

Stops anthropomorphism

Universal (unlike symbols and analogies)

It doesn't limit God, James calls this the "mystical approach"

54

Weaknesses of the via negativa

Contradicts positive statements in the Bible

Flew - negatives amount to nothing

As God is only spoken negatively, it doesn't distinguish between atheism and theism

55

Who developed language games

Wittgenstein

56

Wittgensteins book

The tractatus logico philosophicus

57

Why is language non congnitive

Primary purpose is not to make factual statements

58

Wittgenstein quote to reinforce the fact that Wittgenstein believes the way we see and describe the worlds is matter of perspective

"I think differently, in a different way. I say things differently to myself. I have a different picture"

59

Wittgenstein was only concerned with

The use of language not if it's meaningful as the context it's used in defines its function

60

Donovans book

Religious language

61

What does Donovan point out

Philosophers doubt think religions are games but it's a useful way of understanding how religion has special meaning

62

Donovan quote

"Religious language, like moves in a game, are context dependant"

63

D Z Phillips take on language games

Language shouldn't be taken literally

Problems arise when the word "soul" is taken literally and people look for non physical thing at core of being
Look at context of the term "soul" is used in (like language games says to) realsie it is the most important thing in life

64

Strengths of language games

Non believers can't criticise believers as they don't understand language rules

65

Weaknesses of language games

Do not allow for believers to make objective truths

Allienates those who aren't part of the game

66

Ayers book

Language, truth and logic

67

Analytic statement is

"Statement, like in mathematics, that is true by definition"

68

Synthetic statement is

"Verified by experience"

69

Ayer believed religious language has

"No literal significant"

70

Vienna circle was

Group of logical positivist that aimed to make religion scientific and all religious language verifiable

71

Weismann argued

"A statement which cannot be conclusively verified cannot be verified at all. It is simply devoid on meaning"

72

Why is religious language meaningless according to Ayer

Neither synthetic nor analytic. No empirical evidence for religious experiences so language used by believers is "nonsensical"

73

Karl popper book

Philosophy of science

74

Who came up with the falsification principle

Karl popped

75

What is the falsification principle

Anything that can't be falsified is meaningless - religious language

76

Who came up with the parable of the garden

Anthony flew

77

Flews quote on the falsification principle

"Dies the death of a thousand qualifications"

78

How does the parable of the garden link to falsification

Religious believers keep changing their stories so can never be falsified

79

RM Hare came up with

Blinks

80

Bliks are

Non rational and cannot be falsified because they are groundless

81

Hares parable

Parable of the lunatic

82

Hick came up with

Eschatological verification