Flashcards in Religious Lanuguage Deck (26):
Scholar issues with RL
It is difficult to use human words to describe a transcendent God
Humans words are inadequate
Can end up anthromorphising God
Some say it is actually impossible to talk about God at all
VP formed in the 1920/ by a group of logical positivist called the Vienna Circle
It aims to discredit metaphysics by looking at the meaningfulness of language
Ayer introduced this to the UK
RL has no specific meaning but can be defined as the "way we speak about God"
It aids people with the ability to speak and describe why they believe in God
Can encompass a lot e.g.
Specific terms = omnipotent
Religious terms = sin
Everyday terms = love
For language to be meaningful it must be
Analytical = true by definition = all bachelors are male
Synethic = true by testing = all dogs bark
Due to the failure of the VP
Flew developed the FP in the 1950's
Focused on knowing that empirical evidence can prove wrong.
Religious believers are so convinced of their own truths that they do not except counter evidence
Flew says language is meaningless since it is not able to be proven false.
Wittgenstein rejected the Vp and argued the meaning of words lie in their use and their function.
Language is a game with set rules
statements are neither true or false
it is about making true statements through communicating meaning to others within the game.
It is meaningful fore those who are in the same game but for those not in the game it will be meaningless or a category mistake.
Thomas Aquinas was one of the first to say that language is neither univocal or equivocal
Since God is unlike other beings we can understand God through words = non literal way.
Aquinas suggested this as
analogy allows people to speak meaningfully about God by using human terms to describe God. We are not identical to God as he is superior.
Analogy of Attribution
God must have as a minimum whatever is necessary to produce goodness in humans
Analogy of proportion
God is the cause of all good in humans. We share he same qualities but Gods are greater.
Symbolic language is non cognitive language that isnt literal.
they are an easy way of understanidn the nature of God.
Subtle modes of communicating
Serves to open up new levels of reality.
Often serve a more powerful means
Mythical language encompasses symbols, metaphors and imagery
Myths aim to use symbols to express the truth
e.g. noahs ark = highlights the sinful nature of humanity and Gods love
RM Hare criticsed the FP
Religious language can never be fact
But does influence views and beleifs this is a blik
An unverifiable and unfalsiable way of looking at the world.
words in everyday sense is the same as RL words used e.g. Gods love = Janes love
Same word is used with a totally different meaning e.g. refferring to God as good.
The VC concluded religious statements are meaningless as they are subjective and cannot be empirically tested or verified
A J AYER
1910 - 1989
'Language truth and logic'
1923 - 2010
'A dictionary of Philosophy'
1889 - 1951
1225 - 1274
1919 - 2002
'Philosophy of religion'
Hick quote to support FP
"in order to say something which may possibly be true, we must say something which may possibly be false"
AJ ayer quote
to say that god exists is a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false
In finding the value of religious langauge an individual will find God
Burrows quote on myth
Myth is a symoblic expression of truth which human mind cannot perceive and therefore cannot adequalty or accuralty express