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Flashcards in Religious Lanuguage Deck (26):
1

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

2

Verification Principle

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

3

Background

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

4

VP continued

For language to be meaningful it must be
Mathematical 2+2=4
Analytical = true by definition = all bachelors are male
Synethic = true by testing = all dogs bark

5

Falsifaction Principle

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.

6

Language Games

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.

7

Analogy

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.

8

Analogical language

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.

9

Analogy of Attribution

God must have as a minimum whatever is necessary to produce goodness in humans

10

Analogy of proportion

God is the cause of all good in humans. We share he same qualities but Gods are greater.

11

Symbolical

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

12

Myth

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

13

Bliks

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.

14

Univocal

words in everyday sense is the same as RL words used e.g. Gods love = Janes love

15

Equivocal

Same word is used with a totally different meaning e.g. refferring to God as good.

16

Vienna Circle

The VC concluded religious statements are meaningless as they are subjective and cannot be empirically tested or verified

17

A J AYER

1910 - 1989
'Language truth and logic'

18

Anthony Flew

1923 - 2010
'A dictionary of Philosophy'

19

Ludwig Wittgenstein

1889 - 1951
'Tractatus'

20

Thomas Aquinas

1225 - 1274
Summa Theologica

21

RM Hare

1919 - 2002
'Philosophy of religion'

22

Hick quote to support FP

"in order to say something which may possibly be true, we must say something which may possibly be false"

23

AJ ayer quote

to say that god exists is a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false

24

Vardy quote

In finding the value of religious langauge an individual will find God

25

Burrows quote on myth

Myth is a symoblic expression of truth which human mind cannot perceive and therefore cannot adequalty or accuralty express

26

Tillich quote on symbol

symbolic language alone is able to express the ultimate because it transcends the capacity of any time reality to express it directly