6. Religious Language: Analogy

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  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 17-06-17 14:21
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  • 6. Religious Language: Analogy
    • Aquinas
      • Summa Theologica
      • Rejected via negativa as it it wrong to talk about what God is not.
        • God is good but a different way to humans
      • Rejected the separation of religious language into univocal or equivocal
        • Against univocal
          • When we say God is Holy and we are holy, they are not the same thing
        • Against equivocal
          • This means that there is no objective meaning to religious statements, which Aquinas says is illogical
      • Via eminentiae
        • The way we talk about God is partial
      • Analogy of Proportion
        • Extent to which something compares to another
        • Words related to objects are different in proportion
        • We can use the words 'loving' and 'faithful' when we talk about God, but they are on a bigger scale than our understanding of the words
        • Hick refers to Baron von Hugel's example
          • Faithfulness of human, dog and God
      • Analogy of Attribution
        • Qualities of something
        • A causal relationship between two things being described
          • e.g. healthy seaside due to effects on residents
        • God can be described as 'living' as He  is the cause of life
        • We gain understanding about God by comparing our attributes to Him, as we are made in his image
          • "God is called wise not only insofar as He produces wisdom, but also because, insofar as we are wise, we imitate to some extent the power by which He makes us wise."
    • Strengths
      • It can help believers make sense of a concept (God) that is beyond human comprehension
    • Criticisms
      • St. Paul
        • We cannot accurately express God even through analogy until we see him
      • Analogy tells us nothing new about God
        • Analogies are based on what is known through His creation
      • Based on the notion God exists
        • Analogy has no meaning to non-believers
        • Implies that analogy is part of a language game (Wittgenstein), so no objective meaning

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