Criticisms of Symbols

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  • Created by: hayleydee
  • Created on: 24-11-15 12:01
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  • Criticisms of Symbols
    •   John Hick criticised Tillich’s idea of participating, calling it unclear- he argued that there is little difference between a symbol and a sign 
    • William Alston argues that symbols are meaningless because we don’t know whether they’re true or not 
    •       Paul Edwards argues that symbols are meaningless because they cannot be verified or falsified thanks to their subjective nature: ‘’it doesn’t convey any facts''  
    • John Macquarrie criticises Tillich but he does not criticise symbols. Macquarrie is an advocate of religious symbology, but suggests that there is no difference between a symbol in a sign. In the phrase ‘clouds are a sign of rain’, for example, the clouds are both a sign and a symbol of rain- we can’t differentiate between the two. 
      • Macquarrie instead proposed the existential response, whereby he said that symbols and signs link to human existence. For example, water cleanses us, so water is often used symbolically to be seen as cleansing (baptism, for example).  
        • He also argued for the similarity of relation, which is basically the use of analogy; shepherds look after sheep just like God looks after us


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